Fast-growing companies need to build a scalable inside sales organization quickly. Here’s how to do it successfully.
If you’re a fast-growing company that has just received funding, or is looking to expand into new markets, you will need to build an inside sales organization, and fast.
Having a dedicated team of inside sales reps is essential to outreach, booking appointments, and converting those leads passed on from marketing into sales, fulfilling the need of customers who may in turn become advocates of your product or service.
However, building an inside sales organization takes careful timing and planning, not to mention a large amount of resources.
This blog explains why you need to start building an inside sales organization now, how long this process will take, and other key considerations. We will discuss the risks that come with building your own inside sales organization internally, common pitfalls other companies encounter, and how the inside sales experts at InsideOut can help.
Do I need an inside sales team right now?
Businesses can stumble during their go-to-market when it comes to deciding how to best allocate time and resources between activities.
Regardless of whether you are a new startup or global company, the time it takes to build internal teams could be used more effectively. Building your own inside sales team becomes even less appealing when you consider the impact it can have on your product development and marketing efforts. Shifting focus and reallocating headcount will ultimately slow down your go-to-market strategy.
You could be wasting months before you’re able to hit the market with your messaging. In that time, customers will have found other solutions from companies who have been faster than you in building their own inside sales. Or, like an increasing number of businesses, they may have outsourced their inside sales.
Recruiting, building, and training
Time is crucial when navigating a highly competitive market and industry.
However, as with most things, there’s getting things done quickly, and then there’s getting them done right.
This presents an issue for fast-growing companies as they need to have an inside sales team ready to help them in their go-to-market and handle the increasing demand as the company scales.
To make sure your inside sales organization is operating at a satisfactory level of efficiency – and that it becomes a valuable asset in the long term – careful steps need to be taken in sourcing suitable candidates.
“Getting the right people on the bus is hard”, says Tom Sullivan, CEO and President of SoundConnect. “If you don’t have enough of the right people, then you will try to do everything yourself. Leaders of rapidly growing companies wear too many hats, and it can prevent you from meeting your goals and growing your company like you should be.”
Recruiting is just the first step. You’ll also need to make sure your team has a versatile tech stack and processes in place. Then there’s training and gradually ramping up an inside sales organization. We haven’t even touched on how long it takes to create a culture within your company that fosters creative testing and experimentation – this isn’t something that can be built overnight.
Navigating the complex world of inside sales can be challenging for fast-growing companies and startups. Even for large businesses, it can prove daunting, especially when expanding into new markets.
Establishing an inside sales team can draw your focus away from core objectives and comes at a considerable cost. That’s not to mention the risks involved, and how time-consuming this process can be. If you’re operating in dynamic, fast-moving markets, you won’t have time to build an inside sales team, let alone ramp them up to the level of efficiency your business needs.
How to build an inside sales organization
This next section will explain the steps behind building an inside sales team.
Firstly, you need to carry out capacity planning, which will determine the structure of your inside sales team in terms of outbound and inbound, and the ratio of managers to sales representatives.
If building an internal inside sales team, you then need to find talent. You need to determine where to look, what salary and benefits to offer, and who will lead this process. For fast-growing companies, it’s common for leaders and managers to wear many different hats and stretch themselves across different departments which can create risks across the business.
Making sure you are hiring not only the right people but also the right number of people can be a risky balancing act. As the Growth Institute points out, hiring prematurely to match the rapid growth of a company can lead to a company rushing their recruiting process, hiring staff who may not possess the right skills or don’t fit their culture.
“Talent matters”, Frank V. Cespedes and David Mattson write in The Harvard Business Report. “The best salespeople generate orders-of-magnitude more than their average peers: from three to ten times more, depending upon the sales context.”
However, knowing where to look for this talent presents a challenge. How do you make sure you are sourcing quality candidates? Who is going to interview them and oversee their training? For some companies, building an inside sales organization is not only a new frontier but a potential minefield.
Investing in people also comes with a whole number of associated costs. Beyond hiring reps, you need to pay salaries which can fluctuate depending on geography. You also need to build the required infrastructure – office space, equipment, and maintaining an effective tech stack.
In a technology driven space such as inside sales, you need to pair your employees with the best tools and platforms to perform their sales activities. However, implementing a best-in-class tech stack comes with its own considerations. Firstly, there is the cost of implementation along with upgrade and subscription fees which can quickly mount up. You also need to think about the time it takes to purchase and deploy them, making sure they integrate with those tools being used by marketing, field sales, and other departments.
Even if you manage to avoid any major pitfalls, you’re still looking several months – if not longer – to implement, onboard, and train your inside sales team. They will need to learn about your business culture, the products and services you sell, and the BuyerDNA of your prospects.
Before you commit to building your own inside sales organization internally, you need to be aware of the costs. Cashflow is yet another common issue we see with fast-growing companies. Some businesses may hinder their growth, both in the short and long term, by allocating finite resources to the lengthy and costly process of establishing their own inside sales organization from scratch.
Is outsourcing the answer?
For those wanting to speed up the process of building an inside sales organization, outsourcing some (or all) of the work is a popular, effective way to resolve this.
Allocating the time and resources to building your own inside sales organization may sound like the best approach. There are plenty of companies that still have their own inside sales teams. However, if it wasn’t clear already, fast-growing companies can’t afford to waste time and money creating an effective inside sales team.
At InsideOut, we can help your go-to-market and support long term success by helping to build your inside sales organization. We can design and test tailored sales messaging to help you better understand your prospects, book appointments, and move customers through the sales pipeline.
With years of experience working with some of the world’s largest companies, we’ve amassed a wealth of data and insights that help us engineer your sales messaging and strategies, making sure you avoid all the common pitfalls and hurdles.
There is a misconception that, by outsourcing any part of your inside sales, you will lose control over your sales messaging. While this might be true of some companies, InsideOut works to understand your prospects, the industry landscape you work in, and the pain points and challenges your products/services can help solve. We don’t use templates – after all, in sales there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
We offer two solutions. We can build an inside sales team within your organization, providing them with effective sales messaging. Or, we can do everything for you, completely managing your inside sales.
Plugging directly into a managed inside sales team comes with a range of benefits. You’ll gain instant access to an established team of inside sales professionals, ready to learn everything there is to know about your business, industry, and pain points. Leveraging our BuyerDNA methodology to construct buyer profiles, we take a data-driven approach to deliver the actionable insights needed to create those winning sales plays.
If you’re a fast-growing company that has just received funding or is looking to expand into new markets, the reality is that you might not have the time or resources to build your own inside sales organization.
As we’ve already discussed, finding sales reps can be a lengthy and costly process that draws focus away from your marketing and product development efforts.
You also have to consider the additional costs and effort that goes into retaining this talent, keeping them focused, and making sure they are hitting quotas. Ramping up sales reps and then keeping them at maximum efficiency requires a work culture that doesn’t simply materialize. Our sales lab at InsideOut nurtures curiosity and creativity that, when paired with our data-driven approach, can identify weaknesses and unlock new opportunities.
Can your organization afford to wait?
Throughout this blog, we’ve highlighted the importance of why establishing an inside sales organization quickly is vital to the success of your company, especially when going up against competitors in the same industry.
However, this rapid approach can lead to pitfalls when building a team internally. Companies need to be aware of the realities – both in terms of timescale and costs – that go into building and ramping up a successful inside sales organization, making sure they have the tech stack, processes, and culture needed to deliver results for your company.
At InsideOut we can help you in building your own team, leveraging our knowledge and expertise as inside sales specialists. We can reduce the time, cost, and risk of building this team from scratch, by designing sales programs for you that are data driven. Or, if you are looking to fully outsource, we can manage your company’s entire inside sales process, from end to end.
Originally from Iver in the United Kingdom, which she will proudly tell you is near where the Queen lives, Christina moved to the U.S.A. in the early 2010s before founding InsideOut in 2015. Fast forward 12 months to 2016 and InsideOut had 150+ employees and a 7,500 square-foot facility based in Florida! With 25+ years in sales and operations, the majority of which has been at board level, those who have met Christina would agree that she strives for operational excellence on a daily basis, consistently working to develop the individuals at InsideOut and help them unlock their full potential.