Long before the advent of conferencing tools and email, there was no such thing as inside or outside sales. Both of them were synonymous and largely involved the same duties. However, digital technologies and other innovations have tipped the balance towards inside sales. More and more reps are closing deals right from the comfort of their desks.
But even as inside sales grows at an astonishing rate, there’s still a true need for good old fashioned, face to face selling in many industries. You still need field salespeople to travel and meet the prospects where they are. These reps manage both new and existing customer relationships in person creating some of the most loyal customers for the company. According to Payscale, you need skills like account management, customer relations, new business development, account sales among others to be a great outside sales rep.
We talked to successful outside sales reps to find out what keeps them at the top of their game. In this segment, we’ll look at all the tips, secrets, techniques and technologies used by the leading outside sales gurus to close more deals and bring consistent business to their companies.
1. Know Your Product
As Ben Feldman once said, “Don’t sell life insurance. Instead, sell what it can do.” These words should be taken as every sales person’s mantra – the most important commandment in the sales bible. Nothing turns prospects off faster than a rep who doesn’t know his stuff.
You’ll be working in the field, often face to face with your customers. Unlike inside sales reps, you won’t have time to refer to insider information. And yes, just knowing the name and a few tag lines from marketing isn’t enough. If everything you are telling the customer can be found in a quick Google search, then you’re not doing your job right.
Outside sales reps must be able to give unique tips in the form of performance metrics and technical inputs that are not easily available elsewhere. If you really want to influence the customers, do it with your in-depth knowledge of the product, it’s functioning, and even weaknesses.
2. Aim for the Moon with Targets and Quotas
In the words of the famous Michelangelo, the greater danger doesn’t lie in aiming too high and falling short. Instead, we hurt ourselves more when we aim too low and actually achieve the mark. Here’s a mentality that top tier outside sales gurus have. If you’ve been hitting all your sales targets for the past few months in a row, then you’re clearly underplaying your real potential.
To be the GOAT of sales, the experts advice setting sales targets that actually scare you. Scarier goals will not only force you to plan proactively, they literally scare you into action. The goals will motivate you to gather more data and knowledge as you strive to hit these seemingly impossible numbers. But once you achieve them, then you’ll continually challenge yourself and elevate your standard as your own competition.
3. The Customer Comes First
While you’re busy trying to meet your quota, remember to value the customer more than anything else. Inside or outside, all the best sales reps know just how important it is to serve the customer’s needs. And while you can always push a product for the sake of selling it, you’ll only sell it once.
But if you can win a customer’s loyalty and focus on what they really need in a product, then you’ll be creating customers for life. Offer them suggestions from your product portfolio that match their requisition. And in case you don’t know all your stuff or lack knowledge about a particular aspect of the product, make sure you come prepared with the relevant information. Don’t be afraid of being proactive and fetching data from different departments before proceeding with the sale. If you take care of the customers, then the sales and money will follow you as opposed to the other way round.
4. Give them a Quote ASAP
Did you know that customers feel more urgency to make a decision when they have a sales quote on hand? They may have a written statement with the price, variants, product details and other information required to complete the transaction. But more often than not, customers won’t come asking for a quote. You have to give them the estimate when you feel the time is right or if the inquiry comes in.
Whether it’s through a call or email, make sure the prospect gets their sales quote. Don’t forget to add a number or email where the prospect can reach you with regards to the estimate. The sales quote will be just the first of many documents to follow, so you might as well get on with it early enough. Catch all these and more tips in Veloxy’s sales playbook.
5. Embrace the Power of Technology and Analytics
Technology is among the biggest facilitators that help managers solve the biggest problems that come with outside sales. This especially applies to CRM and managing customer data. Remember – data is good, but analytics make it great. A lot of reps end up competing on who sold the most or what product is selling faster. However, they tend to miss the bigger picture.
Analytics help you and your teams know how the sales graph is mapped out and what aspects need to be fixed. Maybe you’re selling the right product to the wrong audience in the wrong market.
Veloxy AI also uncovers sales rep forecasting biases and sandbagging, learning from forecast history so it can give you forecasts you can trust. Get Veloxy for Salesforce CRM and Outlook today and see how all phone calls, emails and actions drive the pipeline. This will really help your outside sales team to maintain a steady improvement trajectory and bring even more business to your company.