Within the sales function of organizations, an individual or group of people go about their business day after day, and in many cases, without a lot of respect from their colleagues. It is the Inside Sales team.
If you haven’t taken the time recently to think about how much easier your job is because of them, take some today. When was the last time you bought them a coffee, took them out for lunch, or phoned/emailed to say thanks?
Our team always pitched in to get inside sales Christmas gifts with one company that I worked for. The group knew how much we appreciated them, and always loved the surprise!
Have you been guilty of using inside sales as your personal assistant?
Be honest with yourself!
Inside Sales’ role is typically clearly defined, and if you consistently dump tasks on them that you did not feel like doing yourself, you are just being lazy! Work with them on moving activities towards closing sales like quoting price and delivery, handling customer questions etc.
One concept that really helped me get on to the same page with one of my Inside Sales teams was establishing “Rules of Communication”.
The goal was to communicate on their terms as much as possible, not mine.
- Currently, are you calling or emailing inside sales for every situation that arises during the day?
- Do you even know if they prefer to be phoned or emailed?
Our agreement included the following clauses:
- If something was an emergency or crisis, I called immediately
- If something needed to be completed as soon as possible a detailed email was sent. They were always monitoring their inbox, and would respond as soon as possible
- For non urgent requests – follow-up notes, general questions and other important items were put on a Daily To Do List. It was sent to Inside Sales at the end of the day. In my case, there was a two-hour time difference, and I typically had my answers waiting for me by the time I got to my computer the next morning!
The less nagging, disruptive phone calls the support team handles internally, the more they can focus on booking business. Call when needed, but always take a moment to think, “Does this have to be dealt with immediately?”
The more you strategize with them as teammates, and respect the job that they do, the smoother the sales function should run in general. Who do you think they will give priority service to when they are in a time crunch? The rep that treats them like gold and respects them as people and colleagues of course!
And always remember, they are not your personal assistants!