• The 9 Essential Traits of Successful B2B Inside Sales People

    Insidesales.com conducted a study “Inside Sales Market Size 2013” which shows that the number of inside sales grew by 16% between 2010 and 2013. Due to this phenomenal growth, more than half of B2B sales reps are now on the inside. Companies have recognized that inside sales is more cost-effective and time-efficient than outside sales. The days of 3-martini lunches and hobnobbing on the golf course are over. As today’s buyers demand that the information they need be delivered as efficiently as possible, phone sales and electronic communications are taking the lead.

    This leads to a dilemma. Hiring inside sales people is not easy. It turns out that you’re looking for a very special skill set and mindset.

    What traits should an inside sales rep have to be successful?

    1. A Hunger for More

    Your inside-sales people must be hungry to achieve. Their life goals—expanding their family, going back to college, buying a new house—are a stretch today, and they’re willing to work hard to make them a reality.

    2. A Goal Setter and Go Getter

    Reps that have their eyes on their goals and compete to reach the top of your rankings are most likely to succeed. They not only have the big-picture goal of what they want to achieve each month, they have a goal for each phone call to move the sales process forward. Sales reps who are satisfied, on the other hand, fall into the trap of complacency and won’t give the extra push required for star performance.

    3. A Listener and Learner

    Motor-mouths don’t work out. You need an inside sales rep who is willing to be quiet and spend more time listening and learning than talking and telling.

    4. A Problem Solver

    While your rep listens, they take notes on what they need to follow up on and start to develop ideas on how to solve the prospect’s problem.

    5. Curiosity

    An inside sales person who is curious will naturally be adept at listening because he or she simply wants to learn. So if you’re interviewing a person for an inside sales job, take note of how many questions they have for you. It’s an indication of how they might interact on the phone.

    6. Positive and Optimistic

    Although skills are essential to inside sales, another aspect of the job is a sheer numbers game. Inside sales people have to move on from rejection with a smile on their faces believing the next call just could be their break through. The optimistic inside sales rep believes every call is one more opportunity for success.

    7. A Conversationalist

    B2B inside sales people should not be reading from a script. Often they are selling complex products to executives and they need to speak on the level of those they’re engaging with, impart valuable information, and be mentally agile enough to respond to unexpected turns in the conversation.

    8. Educated

    B2B inside sales people with a college education tend to be more successful. Their education provides them with resources to solve problems. Also it’s proof that they have set goals for themselves and met them, and are striving for more in life.

    9. Product/Service and Industry Understanding

    Also critical is a thorough knowledge of the product or service the rep is selling, as well as the industry where it’s used.

    Jeff Kalter is CEO of 3D2B, a global business-to-business telemarketing company that bridges the divide between marketing and sales. He leads customer acquisition programs for Fortune 500 companies, and is passionate about building strong business relationships through professional phone conversations.

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