At first glance, outside and inside sales seem drastically different. An inside salesperson sits in an office, making calls and selling the product over the phone or internet. They work in response to the easy and less profitable sales.
Alternatively, an outside salespeople is in the field initiating face-to-face conversations with prospects. They work towards more personal relationships with the customers and are responsible for high-valued targets.
Although they play different roles, inside and outside salespeople are really on the same team, just two sides of the same coin. As a sales manager, your task is to determine who is successful where, and how they will best benefit your organization. If you monitor, and even automate, these three basic metrics, you can make much more informed decisions about how to get the most from your team.
3 Metrics to Track for Your Sales Team
First, look at daily functions to gauge how often your salespeople attempt to generate new clients. How many pop-in visits or cold calls do they make each day? What other sales-generating activities do they perform? With a tool like CallProof, you can automate these reports and see a clear picture of the actions of your sales team.
A lot of companies use a point system to measure the value of their time. Any activity that generates clients is worth one point: calling a prospect, dropping by an office, etc. Activities that simply respond to clients who have already expressed interest are worth zero. Salespeople, particularly those in outside sales, must earn credits. They have to do the work and talk to more people to gain points. The more people that hear their story and what they’re selling, the more sales rise.
2. Close Ratios
When you’re able to see this activity, you can place your strongest lead generators in outside sales. Considered hunters, these salespeople spend their time prospecting, calling people who aren’t already customers and making appointments. Keep these sellers in the field and then reassign their customers to someone who will cultivate a relationship. Hunters aren’t long-term oriented.
For those not as effective in meeting strangers and starting those relationships, look at their close ratios. If they close a high number of their prospects, they could also close sales from the connections made by others. These gatherers will invest long-term with their customers and nurture those relationships.
Generally, a salesperson’s strength is also what he or she enjoys most. By asking your sales team what they like doing and comparing that with their activity reports, you can place your hunters and your gatherers accordingly. Typically, you won’t have a salesperson good at both.
3. Talk Tracks
Even if you have the right people in the right positions, the language of the sale can make or break a deal. If you have a playback of sales from the beginning to the end, you’ll notice language patterns in sales that close versus those that don’t. Certain buzzwords kill a sale.
Here’s an experiment to try: What if you pay your prospects to come in for a sales presentation and record the sales pitch? If you do this enough, you will hear phrases that scare the customer off and can revise your language. Re-framing the sales presentation can drastically change the result.
For example, a solar panel company spent the bulk of their sales pitch emphasizing the environmental benefits of the panels. No one cared. When they re-framed the pitch to emphasize return on investment, sales changed. Same product, different language. The talk track made the difference.
How Do Customers Find You
In the midst of the time and energy spent finding the clients and maximizing the skills of your sales team, don’t overlook how the client finds you. If there’s a recurring way they come to you, invest in that. Most people attribute client interest to referrals. So, ask yourself, “Am I doing my best to get more referrals?” Most people aren’t. Do what it takes to gain more referrals. It’s worthwhile.