As with any growing organization, we often debate different ideas that will allow us to scale. A big challenge is attempting to maintain a consistent lead volume from each new inside sales rep as we add to the team. The common solution I’ve seen with most organizations I’ve worked with in the past was to add managers to the team in order to solve the lead volume problems that arise as you scale. Generally, this tended to be the wrong way to go, especially if you were hoping in any way to see better margins (and a bigger bonus check).
Many inside sales teams figure a big change is necessary in order to affect the positive output they’re hoping to see. Changing a comp plan, making a change in management, adding more management…the list goes on. At times this works…and at times it doesn’t. But in order to make your inside team successful, is this necessary? Are the big changes always required? Or could the answer be much simpler than we think?
Our management team has been going to a bi-weekly leadership training discussing all kinds of topics, from better communication techniques to leading individuals and groups. One of the big things our leadership trainer has been telling us is that you can’t expect to solve all of your organization’s inefficiencies overnight. We would describe ourselves as experts at running an inside sales teams, since this is what we do all day. We know what it takes to write up a solid prospecting script and train an inside rep to find the best qualified sales leads out there. Our opinion is that we have the difficult part nailed. We then asked her why every project we run doesn’t always produce the same result. She summed it up nicely by saying:
“The hard stuff is generally pretty easy…it’s the easy stuff that’s hard.”
This got me to thinking about what drives performance with our most successful clients. Could it be the product? The marketplace? The skill set of the rep we have making the dials? What could we be missing?
It all can vary, but consistently, without exception, the most common theme was the quality of the data we were working on. It really was that simple. The problem is that no one really wants to volunteer their time getting dirty to make sure it’s clean. Plus, at the outset it may seem like an easy task, but as you dig deeper it can get progressively more complex.
How much time do we really spend making sure our reps have the best quality data to call on? It can be easily overlooked and usually is. We always find ourselves trying to find an explanation as to reasons for our inability to perform when it could be staring us in the face the whole time. Put simply, quality data is the core to the success of an inside sales team.
If you’re looking to either scale an inside team, increase performance, or both, maybe it’s time to start first by looking at the lists you have your team calling on.
Do you have any idea of the accuracy of the data you have the inside team calling currently? What other “easy stuff” in inside sales seems hard?
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