Do your field staff and your internal sales team coexist harmoniously with each other, or do they work for each other in their own kingdoms?
Unfortunately, many of the inside and outside sales teams are in open conflicts with one another over sales, accounts, and territories—the time and effort required to manage the subterfuge undoubtedly not worth the effort. Not only does it affect how morale is portrayed by your employees (and your business), but it also impacts the perceptions and relationships of your clients and customers and the revenue you earn from sales.
Outside sales and inside sales should be working together to deliver impressive results. Here are ten strategies for bringing these two formidable sales teams together to maximize the results they achieve.
1. Report to an Executive Single
When the sales force in the field is under the supervision of an executive in sales, as well as the internal sales department is supervised by an operations or customer service executive (as the majority of times), there will be conflict. Each department has its own priorities, and there are sure to be disagreements. When one sales executive is directly accountable for the performance of each team is a point that all the fighting stops, and all departments begin to run at full speed.
2. Develop Blistering Clear Plans & Communicate
The biggest issue facing both sales teams from outside and inside is who handles this and who is credited for it.’ There will never be a perfect distribution of accounts and territories; it is essential to consider and plan your strategy. Marginal, inactive, and geographic remote accounts are ideal for your team of telesales and will force your field team of salespeople to concentrate on the most critical reports.
Write down the reason so that it will be a permanent reminder to you and them! If your accounts are closed or traded, you can reduce the sensitivity to double payments for up to four months. This can save you many hours of unnecessary conflict and will facilitate the transition.
3. Compensation and Motivation in a Like Manner
There is no requirement for the inside sales staff precisely like those who work in the field, but you should pay in a ‘like in a similar way. In the event that your field sales commission program has a commission, base and bonuses as well, you should pay the inside sales staff to be paid on the basis of a proportional basis. This approach helps to reduce the ‘have’ versus “have not” mindset.
If there is a contest for sales, ensure that inside sales are actively involved and that you are aware of that gap.’ Don’t fall for the trap to offer lavish rewards (e.g., trips for a trip to Vegas or Hawaii) for field sales or offering insignificant reward points (toaster ovens or movie tickets) in the case of inside sales. If the gap in recognition is so large – which is often the case – it sends a clear and negative message to your sales team.
4. Develop a Career Pathway that is In-to-Out.
One of the best ways is to create a career path that allows you to be inside reps could be elevated to outside agents through the farm system. This can accomplish a number of things. Your inside team is more efficient and more competent to be able to achieve an outside sales role. Additionally, the cost of sourcing and selecting the field representative is cut drastically. Thirdly, the client barely notices the shift because they have a seasoned and skilled rep. When the agent who is inside becomes an external rep, the process of integration gets more comprehensive.
5. Participate in Trade Shows, Conferences and other Events, All Together
Discord, tension, and frustration are reduced drastically when the sales teams are able to meet at the same time at events, including conferences, trade shows, and conferences. In most cases, they must collaborate as a group on the floor of trade shows. They form bonds at mealtime and lunchtime. They play together in the evening. It’s effective if for nothing else than to become acquainted with one another.
6. Participate in the Sales Meeting Together
It’s so obvious it is often missed. Integrate sales from inside and out by having them both attend similar sales events. Invite them to participate, present results, and report to each other. If your team is geographically dispersed and you want to have a conference call, do it to ensure that communication is encouraged. If you are hosting a president’s or sales rally, or vice versa, club, ensure that both members attend.
7. Train in an exact way
If training is mandatory, it is best to team members together. For instance, ‘boot camp training is a fantastic method of getting reps to connect from the beginning. If you are able to provide abilities or know-how training classes throughout the year, bring the teams you have together. Train in groups outside and inside at different times.
8. The Day In/Day Out program
Here’s a great way to get team members together. Each period of time, or once every six months, let reps from outside spend a whole day talking on the phone together with an inside representative. The inside rep should spend an entire day in the field together with the agent in the area. In no time, each broker will gain an appreciation for the work and the other.
9. Do Not Tolerate, Excuse, or Permit Saboteurs
The rugged and cold fact: based on the circumstances and surroundings, there is a chance that specific reps will try to undermine the efforts of other brokers. A saboteur will be a rep who is consciously and subconsciously is looking to undermine or weaken the guidelines you’ve set. For instance, field reps could tell customers that “I don’t want to handle you anymore. You’re stuck with an insider,” and thus ruin the whole program. In the same way, an inside rep could say, “Your field reps never ever visited you before, So I’m now your new account rep,” which simply tells the client the sales staff is on unstable foundations.
Such sentiments can lose your customers in a flash. Be quick to deal with these saboteurs effectively, and if required, and brutally. Be consistent with the policies. Don’t tolerate rage since it will only cause further damage and grow.
10. Stay vigilant and keep your Word
Monitor the continuous team’s integration. If you notice tension, be quick to take action. Gather your supervisors and discuss the issue. Do not ignore the problem.
Above all, keep your word. Be wary of the temptation to alter the rules on the fly as it can affect the results of sales, morale, and satisfaction of customers. Take the time to walk the walk.
Integrating outside and inside is simply a matter of common sense. The most important thing to make the integration software be successful is to be able to keep going. There will be a short battle as reps are taught to adjust and adapt, but if you adhere to these guidelines, you’ll be able to weather the storm, and your sales will increase.