Three Key Software Features That Drive Inside Sales Productivity

Don’t get lost in the hype of slickness and cool features if you are seeking software to power your inside sales team. If you have folks making calls to generate leads or sales, then do the easy math. It is about making better calls, the right calls, and making more of them.

Recent independent research shows that there are certain inside sales enablers found in best-in-class software that the laggers and middle of the pack companies are missing. These include: next-best-call routing, some form of auto dialing and on board integrated email. These three features deployed across an inside sales team can create lift and additional opportunities north of 30%. Why? Because they recapture the lost time of your sales reps, assist in selecting the best opportunity to work and standardize your messaging.

The recent Aberdeen report entitled “Inside Sales Enablement; Let them Drink Coffee,” (available under our current downloads) validates the importance and focus on inside sales. Peter Ostrow, the Research Director at Aberdeen who authored the report stated:

“Best-in-Class companies are aggressively supporting inside sales enablement, and as a result see an average of 87% of their reps achieving quota.”

In recent posts, I have gone into greater detail about scripting, dialing and inserting logic into call routing. For this post, I want to keep it simple. So, I guess the question on the table is how do each of these features create incremental lift. Let’s break them down one at a time.

The Big Three Time Savers Driven by Software Features

Next-Best-Call Routing – This drives productivity by utilizing the organization’s business intelligence that has been derived from all calls attempted vs. calls attempted by an individual rep. The collection of all the data enhances the ability of management to determine the likelihood of a sale on a call by call basis. The idea here is to route calls that are more likely to have a positive outcome then those that are not. This ensures that the sales organization is focusing their best people on their best opportunities.

If you have ever watched a rep hunt and peck trying to determine who is their next best prospect to call, then you already know what I mean. It can be a real time killer. Without question, getting the right and best leads in the hands of your salespeople and doing so in an efficient manner is a big key to incremental lift.

Auto Dialing– Also called progressive dialing, auto dialing creates lift by dialing the record upon arrival. You get a lot of bang for your buck with progressive dialing. Just like the time saver found with next best call routing, progressive dialing recaptures the lost time that can occur when sales reps simply wait to engage with the prospect. Put your own team to the test. Stand behind them and measure how long they spend looking for a record to call vs. time spent actually calling the prospect. All of this time is recaptured when next-best-call routing is combined with progressive dialing. Many inside sales teams that are manually dialing and do not have any call routing logic experience a 40% lift when adding these two features together.

On-board Integrated Email – This is the third feature of what I call the big three time savers. This feature allows your inside sales team to quickly communicate via email with prospects and customers by utilizing pre-built email templates and attachments. Sales reps can still personalize the emails but the core messaging and attachments are created and approved by management ensuring that the messaging is clear and consistent and, more importantly, that the lift is measurable. Adding the ability to do complex emails with attachments on the fly reduces the workload of your rep and increases the productivity yield per hour.

To summarize, we’ve looked at three big time savers driven by software features. Each of these time savers will provide lift to your inside sales team. When all three are combined together it becomes a powerful formula for a more productive selling environment that maximizes each and every minute of the selling hour. Some organizations deploy one while others deploy all three.

I encourage you to watch your team make 100 outbound calls and ask yourself the question, “If the next best call was automatically routed, if upon arrival the prospect or customer was being dialed, and if all of our email messaging represented our best practices, how much more lift would we be getting?”

Good selling,

Ken

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6 thoughts on “Three Key Software Features That Drive Inside Sales Productivity

  1. Good post, how many features do we really need to make calls? To many bells and whistles can get in the way.

  2. Any feature that speeds up workflow is a must have. I want to streamline everything for my reps so they can concentrate on their specific and specialized task- calling and selling.

  3. I find that call routing and auto dialing specifically are must haves. It combats peoples natural tendency to zone out between calls.

  4. We implemented templated emails along with our sales calls and we have seen a world of difference.

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