This piece is part of our series on sales reps, by sales reps.
“If you don’t like the weather in Michigan …
wait 5 minutes, it will change.”
That’s what they told me.
During my time as a field sales professional, my day could be hindered substantially by the unpredictable elements of Mother Nature. You had to invest in quality outdoor wear to stay dry, warm and on your feet (trust me, I fell a few times. My former customers have surveillance footage to prove it).
Who signed me up for this? Oh yeah, I did.
Two years in, I was approached for a role that would bring me indoors. Was I willing to surrender my freedom; hang up the galoshes; and commute to this indoor oasis boasting fresh coffee, ergonomic chairs and new colleagues?
After much consideration, I made the decision to take on this new challenge. I am now six months into my new role and well adjusted.
Here are a few things I’ve learned since:
5 Inside Sales Benefits: Trading the Field for the Office
1. Autonomy exists “inside.”
Today I have the ability to fully engage with peers and leadership regarding questions / issues in real time vs. waiting for a call or email reply. And to my surprise, I didn’t have to trade my autonomy for it.
2. Collaboration and strategy sessions are far more effective.
We can monitor and provide feedback in real time and make changes to improve outcomes.
3. Socialization amongst peers only solidifies the team bond.
I forgot how much I missed the office environment – catching up on everyone’s weekend activities, inside jokes, team lunches, etc.
4. Engaging your prospect is challenging – and exciting!
I suppose I took for granted how easy it was to sell face to face, as it is far easier to connect that way. Now, I am conducting telephone and email outreach to sales leaders, which leaves only a short window of time to grab their attention. The thrill comes when my ideal buyer says, “I want to see more, let’s get time on the books!”
5. Inside sales require new skills.
Learning not to sell on features and benefits — this lesson took some time to fully sink in. My company and our platform excite me, but so do the business challenges that we help to fix. Your target audience may like the “bells and whistles,” but they are more receptive to how your product, service or solution are going to make their lives easier.
I guess you could say I have found the best of both worlds in my new career. I regret I was unable to hang up the ol’ galoshes, but at least I only have a short walk through the streets of downtown Detroit from the parking garage to the office!