Testing and experimentation is already a fundamental process within inside sales organizations.
Companies with established inside sales teams will already experiment by using different scripts, features, and offers as part of their day-to-day activities.
This can produce short term situational results. However, for long term revenue growth, companies should turn to an inside sales lab methodology.
This dedicated approach takes live experimentation and testing one step further, allocating a percentage of headcount within a sales organization and creating a new team who focus on identifying assumptions based around improving sales strategies. From there, this team will experiment using A/B testing, recording results as they carry out new sales programs.
For example, a company with 100 inside sales representatives may decide to allocate 10 of them to form a sales lab within their organization. Within this newly established lab, these reps will test adjustments to touch patterns, messaging etc. They’ll usually have more flexible quotas to account for this as some tests will naturally fail or underperform. It is understood that some sales may be lost, though there’s also a good chance to unlock innovative sales strategies that can be key to long term survival and success. Testing won’t only identify new opportunities but also highlight potential weaknesses that can be addressed to improve overall performance.
This blog will explain why allocating a percentage of headcount to live experimentation and testing is essential to the success of your inside sales organization. We will explore the benefits of implementing a sales lab, how it works, and what expert help is available to those wanting to easily accelerate growth through testing.
The benefits of testing and experimentation
Here’s what you could be missing out on!
There are a range of benefits that come from testing and experimentation. Overall, this process helps to review your inside sales programs, identifying opportunities and weaknesses before testing methods that can produce actionable insights to accelerate revenue.
Testing allows you to see your strategies from a new perspective, relearning your company and their offering while better understanding your buyers and the challenges they face.
By allocating only a small percentage of headcount, you have flexibility to deploy your current sales programs without disruption, mitigating the risk you would be taking if you assigned your entire inside sales team to live experimentation.
It’s worth noting that this is an agile process, meaning experiments are carried out in a rapid fashion. Adjustments that yield results can be quickly incorporated into an organization-wide change in strategy whereas those that underperform can be just as quickly abandoned.
Another benefit of testing is that it allows you to not only improve your messaging, buyer personas, and strategy, but also reach new markets. This is essential if your company is developing new products and services, or plans to expand into new overseas markets.
In creating a sales lab, you are investing in the long term success of your company. The lab methodology is designed to test new strategies and deliver results before returning to the beginning of this cycle and starting again. The constant momentum will allow your sales programs to evolve in a way that is proactive, instead of playing catchup with your competitors.
How does experimentation work?
What does an inside sales lab look like?
Before diving into the actual processes, a sales organization needs to create the right lab environment and consider who will be carrying out the tests.
Accept that there’s always room for improvement when it comes to sales programs. You should also accept that failure is a crucial part of testing and is key to long term growth; it allows you to establish limitations, informing you which sales strategies to avoid.
Live experimentation and testing starts by allocating SDRs to a sales lab. Sales representatives devise variations within their touch patterns, appointment-setting, messaging, and the curation of buyer personas. These need to be identifiably different from the current strategies used by a company’s inside sales organization, however subtle the changes.
SDRs then employ new strategies, recording the results. Through an agile approach, they are able to learn through their experiments which adjustments to carry forward and which ones to throw out, the data collected helping them in justifying these choices. Those strategies that can provably engage prospects, lead to successful sales conversations, and drive revenue will then be employed by the wider sales organization, beyond the sales lab.
In order to ensure long-term success, this process will start over again. We go back to the beginning of the cycle by allocating another percentage of reps to develop new strategies and keep the momentum going. It’s vital to keep this wheel turning as it allows your inside sales team to remain proactive, responding to opportunities and weaknesses as they emerge.
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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.