This post originally appeared on the KiteDesk blog.
Dionne Mischler is the founder and CEO of InsideSalesByDesign.com, an inside sales consultancy based in Southern California helping companies take their teams to the next level by implementing proven best practices. We recently caught up with Dionne to get her advice on how companies can implement better inside sales strategies. Here’s what she had to say:
Tell us about Inside Sales By Design. What services do you offer?
Inside Sales by Design offers workshops and seminars to companies looking to start and/or grow their Inside Sales teams. Additionally, I’m available to talk with teams at their sales kick off or other events about the power of Inside Sales and get everybody on the same page.
What’s your approach and/or philosophy to inside sales?
My approach to Inside Sales is to be deliberate and intentional in order to be successful. My philosophy is hope is not the right tactic when a team or department is on the hook for revenue.
What is the current climate for inside sales? Why should brands be investing more into their inside sales teams?
Oh man, the current climate for Inside Sales is hot, hot, hot. For a variety of factors, Inside Sales is a proven sales channel and brands are looking at leveraging this model in order to improve their time to market of a new product, have more coverage in communicating with their prospects and customers, and having the right people in the right chair in order to communicate with their prospects and customers in the way they prefer.
Where should companies begin when growing their inside sales efforts?
When talking with companies about starting an Inside Sales team, I ask a ton of questions related to their product/service readiness. From there, we talk about their customer onboarding and retention efforts. Starting and/or growing an Inside Sales team happens AFTER these processes are in place or at least being practiced.
What are the most common mistakes or oversights you see clients making when trying to grow inside sales?
The most common mistakes/oversights I see typically fall into two buckets:
1. Funding is approved for the team and results are expected too soon; and
2. Inside Sales people are put into the seat too soon without enough infrastructure to support their efforts.
How important is good leadership to the success of inside sales teams?
Good leadership is probably the single biggest asset to the team and directly ties to the success of the Inside Sales team. I was fortunate enough to present on this very topic and it’s one of the workshops I provide.
What do you think are the qualities that are sales leaders should possess?
I think all leaders, especially Sales, should be slow to speak and quick to listen. I expect any good leader to seek to understand (Covey) first and foremost. I expect Sales Leaders to model the behavior they want to see from their team. I actually train new leaders on this very topic. Teams mimic the behavior, tone, mannerisms and priorities of their leader, even if they’re not directly communicated. Leaders live in a fishbowl. It’s what was signed up for, therefore, leaders must model what they want to see.
What are the most effective methods you’ve found for motivating sales teams? What doesn’t seem to work as well?
Let’s start with what doesn’t work. Sticks. Saying “just do it” is out. These are adults, not children. Motivating sales teams is really about changing or enhancing the behaviors we want to see. It’s about incentivizing appropriately. And in order to do that, we must know the individuals on our team and what makes them tick. Specifically speaking, money, gift cards, time off, are all great incentives. Providing a sense of purpose is actually the biggest motivator.
How does having shared goals and a sense of purpose improve a team’s output?
This is a great question and ties directly to the previous question. Every team must have a you-are-here dot. There is a collective goal that galvanizes the team and generates tremendous focus and subsequently, a vast amount of results. I’d also say, this is the first step in setting the team in the right direction aligning to company goals. For example, is the team responsible for selling a new product? What’s the company goal? And what is the team on the hook for? This goal alignment generates the desired behavior, focus, and goals.
What are your favorite tools or resources for sales managers and their teams? What will help them achieve results?
I’m a fan of continual learning and mastering our craft. So reading blogs, books and belonging to and attending targeted group and events is absolutely critical. The other half of the coin is the tools. The use of tools must propel activity forward in order to increase the velocity to goal attainment. For example, if you’re team is prospecting, a tool like KiteDesk is highly recommended. My other favorite tools are ExecVision for call coaching, Ambition for sales effectiveness and Wide Angle for robust 1:1’s.
Need more ideas for winning sales?