How Technology Aids Inside Sales Execution

Organizations whose inside sales teams adhere to structured and automated processes generate better-than-average performance.

Inside sales teams are typically responsible for generating significant portions of their company's revenue, making solid processes and best practices more important than ever for successful execution. Brands can no longer rely on individual salespeople to define their own processes. And while the same sets of processes won't work in every sales organization, research reveals that those companies that have well-defined and structured processes typically generate better performance than their peers.

But what should these processes look like?

Velocify's recent "Winning Strategies for Optimal Sales Processes" report aims to recognize the sales practices and perspectives of inside sales organizations at varied levels of success. Conducted in collaboration with the American Association of Internal Sales Professionals (AA-ISP), researchers surveyed more than 400 inside sales leaders and professionals at B2B, B2C, and B2B2C companies to reveal which inside sales practices and processes the fastest-growing teams have implemented and which ones work best. High-growth companies challenge their salespeople while also providing these professionals with the tools and technologies necessary to boost productivity. This report further demonstrates that leading companies understand how to strike the proper balance when it comes to persistence.

The following statistics from the study reveal how fast-growing companies differ from stagnant or declining companies and how their inside sales processes allow them to achieve superior revenue results:

  • Nearly 80 percent of Salesforce users grew their revenue by at least 5 percent from 2013 to 2014, while Salesforce users are 34 percent more likely to experience revenue growth than those not using a CRM system. Brands experiencing significant revenue growth (more than 20 percent increase) are also 66 percent more likely to use two or more sales acceleration tools than companies with stagnant or declining revenues.
  • Companies with significant revenue growth provide 78 percent more new leads to every salesperson each day, subsequently resulting in 50 percent more calls per salesperson. Higher-performing companies are also 52 percent more likely to produce leads from social channels.
  • When distributing leads, companies regularly use one of five methods: Automatic, Blind, Cherry-Pick, First Available, and Manager. Using multiple distribution methods concurrently can be advantageous -- companies with significantly increasing revenues are nearly 20 percent more likely to use two or more methods than brands with flat or declining revenue.
  • Brands that use lead scoring to prioritize leads are 38 percent more likely to experience revenue growth. These companies are also 46 percent more likely to use two or more prioritization criteria than companies with flat or declining revenues.
  • Companies with significant revenue growth are two times more likely to call most of their leads in under 5 minutes than other companies, as speed-to-call remains crucial for conversions. Higher-performing brands are also 28 percent more likely to spend only 1-to-5 minutes conducting pre-call research, and 31 percent less likely to conduct more than 15 minutes of research prior to calling new leads. Such brands are also three times more likely to redistribute leads if they are left unattended for 15 minutes.
  • Fast-growing companies are most likely to attempt calling unresponsive leads 5-8 times before moving to nurture status and least likely to give up before attempting to make at least four calls. Leading brands are also most likely to indicate that the appropriate time to reach out to unresponsive leads hovers between 1-4 weeks and least likely to contact failed leads after one month.

Key takeaway: Companies must take the necessary steps to ensure salespeople have the right tools and technologies available, as these resources are essential when establishing consistent processes and best practices across an entire organization. Salespeople that follow systematized processes and best practices will likely yield better revenue results than allowing each associate to take their own route. By enabling salespeople to work smarter, not harder, companies will achieve greater productivity in the form of speed and balance as salespeople connect and convert leads to the best of their ability. Ultimately, an effective inside sales process may have just as much, if not more, of an impact on generating revenue than lead quality or sales skills. But there's no single process or solution for universal success, so companies will have to prioritize their organization's end goals and experiment with various strategies to determine which approach will satisfy their needs and the needs of their customer base. Companies must also constantly measure and reassess processes regularly to evolve alongside consumer behavior.