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Five Challenges of being an Inside Sales Manager

Being an inside sales manager comes with many challenges and effectively dealing with those can be the difference that leads to success.

1.  Interviewing

Just like any position that a manager looks to fill, selecting the right resources for inside sales positions can be challenging.  This is because cold calling and selling over the phone takes a particular type of person and you never really know how a sales resource is going to work out in terms of results and length of employment.

By improving the interview process, a manager can create a tremendous improvement on the overall sales operation and results.  Using tools and processes to effectively screen applicants to identify the best matched applicants will help with the interviewing challenge.


2.  Training

Once the inside sales resource has been hired, they will need to be trained.  Telesales can be a challenging job for a sales person for many different reasons that just simply come with the job.  As a result, there is likely a need to give sales training, product training, and company system training to every new inside sales person.

With a level of turnover being present with every sales position, an inside sales manager does not want to spend too much time and money training a new inside sales rep as you do not know how long they will be around.  To improve the area of training, a manager can try to automate as much as possible through e-learning.  From there, there can be a division between upfront training then additional training that can be delivered later as the rep gets going.

3.  Productivity

Inside sales resources are fairly expensive when you add up compensation, overhead, and the opportunity cost for their position.  As a result, it is key to get as much productivity out of each resource as possible.

An inside sales manager can use quantitative metrics like dials, calls answered, talk time, number of hits, etc. to manage and increase inside sales productivity.


4.  Effectiveness

It is important to make sure that inside sale reps are on the phone and making dials, but that is only half of the equation.  The other half, and actually the more important half, is the level of effectiveness that they are having while talking to prospects.  They can make 100 dials per day but if their messaging is off, that effort (and that expense from the company) could all be for nothing.

Using tools like role-playing, call monitoring, and sales coaching can help an inside sales manager to ensure that inside sales resources are embracing the sales training concepts and following the plan and strategy that has been developed.

5.  Retention

Turnover can be high in the sales profession and it can be even higher in the area of inside sales.  This is a result that selling over the phone and making cold calls can be very challenging from a mental standpoint.  This can create an environment where inside sales reps find themselves frustrated and unhappy in terms of job satisfaction and motivates them to quit and try to do some other form of work.

This cost of sales staff turnover is very high so an inside sales manager can create positive results by minimizing this challenge.  Managing and leading with clear goals, sufficient training, recurring coaching, and an attention on results can help in this area.


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Launch Pad Solutions provides sales coaching help an inside sales manager to improve results.

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This article was published on Saturday 17 December, 2011.
Back to main topic: Sales Management
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How to be an Effective Salesperson
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