6 Top Tips for Inside Sales Leaders [Live from Dreamforce]

inside sales Dreamforce session
Around 250 Dreamforce attendees packed into an auditorium Tuesday to see a breakout called “Fastest Path to Pipeline: Best Practices for Inside Sales Teams.” Wednesday brought an encore session and a similarly packed house. Following are 6 of the top tips the crowd heard, straight from these inside sales gurus:

  • Megan Oleson, Director, Enterprise Sales Development, Salesforce
  • Patrick Lazaro, Corporate Generics Director, AmerisourceBergen
  • Alex Turner, Director of Sales Development, Wrike

6 Tips for Inside Sales Leaders:

1. Give campaigns clear start and end dates.

“I live and die by campaigns,” Alex said, of how he keeps his inside sales team productive. For example, he’ll run a three-week campaign around Dreamforce follow-ups, or around outbound calls to a select group of prospects. And that “three-week” part is critical. Alex made the point that if you don’t have a defined start and end date, you have no way to measure a campaign’s success.

2. Use Salesforce’s Console.

“We try to prioritize for our sales reps what’s important,” Patrick said of using the Console, which Salesforce calls a tool for productivity. His business has seen double-digit growth every month since it launched an inside sales team, and Salesforce’s Console is a huge part of keeping that team organized.

3. Follow sales influencers.

“I hope you write these names down,” Alex said. “Steve Richard, Trish Bertuzzi, Ken Krogue…these are the people I looked into when I was starting my sales development.” Alex credits learning from these thought leaders for being a huge part of what took him from inside sales rep to inside sales leader.

4. Take a “why you, why now” approach to pitching.

“We try not to pitch on a product,” Megan said of her sales team’s goal to position Salesforce as a solution. In doing this, her reps take the time to understand why they’re reaching out to a potential buyer and why now. Then they communicate the answers to both clearly to the prospect. (i.e., “Here’s why I’m reaching out to you now…”)

5. Rely on Salesforce technology for better sales performance.

“I start with Salesforce’s out-of-the box reports and dashboards, and then partner with our team at LevelEleven to have the [sales] leaderboards around the office,” Alex said on how he optimizes his inside sales team’s performance. “It’s that constant reinforcement, and then most importantly, it gives me insight into when to coach.” (Side note: We were honored to be included in Alex’s tips. Thank you, Alex!)

6. …but don’t try to automate everything.

“We’ve found ourselves as an industry, as a culture, in a race to automate authenticity,” Alex said. For example, he often writes his name as “W Alex Turner” digitally. He gets way too many emails saying: “Hi, W Alex Turner.”  So as for trying to automate authenticity? His take is simple: “It cannot be done.”

What do you think? Have you tried any of these tips, or do you have one to add? Let us know in the comments below!

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