There are millions of inside sales reps in the world.
Reps know this, and want to be the one-in-a-million rep that impresses their managers. Managers, on the other hand, should be honing each rep’s skills to mold a team of one-in-a-million reps.
That’s a tall order, right? It’s not as hard as you might think. It all comes down to knowing what makes a successful inside sales reps, and the best practices for training.
So… What’s the Secret to Inside Sales Rep Success?
When looking at reps that stand out from the crowd, they all of one thing in common: the bad-ass factor.
This might sound strange, but it’s something I discovered while training reps and managers alike. The common indicator of success between all of them was an element of “badassery” — otherwise explained as a combination of confidence and skill.
The good news is any sales professional can be taught to be a bad-ass; from your top sales leaders, to your sales managers, to your reps — an environment that focuses on fostering these important skills and traits can help create a team of successful salespeople.
4 Tips for Creating a Successful Inside Sales Team
There are a few things that you can start incorporating into daily sales activities today (as soon as you finish reading this article!) to help inspire your sales team, and give them the tools they need to be a sales bad-ass.
1. Leaders Reward Managers
Make it a goal this week to catch your sales managers doing something right. They’ve got a lot on their plate, and don’t always have the time to get to activities like coaching.
While some of this is due to time and workload, it also can be due to managers not seeing the value or recognition for the time they spend coaching.
Start keeping an eye out for any managers who are up out of their seat and on the floor — whether that be sitting side-by-side and coaching a rep, or just leaning over their cubicle spending time growing their relationship with a rep.
Here’s how to do it: Stop what you’re doing, even if it means you’ll be a little late for a meeting, and let them know you see their effort. It’s as simple as a high five and saying, “I love seeing you out of your chair and with your team!”
2. Managers Reward Reps
This environment of encouragement will naturally spread from the top down. I always like to say that sales is a confidence sport, so making sure everyone in the office is feeling confident and strong in their skills is a huge way to ensure success.
While leaders are focusing on rewarding managers, in turn, managers should be focusing on rewarding and encouraging reps when they see something great.
Here’s how to do it: This doesn’t have to turn into listening to a whole call and a cold-coaching session. It can just be a drive-by. As they hang up from their call, just stop by and say, “Hey, you know what? You sounded great! I’m glad you’re on my team.” That’s it! Don’t dive into a coaching conversation, just let them know they’re a bad-ass.
3. Instill Confidence Through Mini-Training Exercises
If you’re noticing reps who don’t seem to have a lot of confidence on the phone, there’s a really easy (and fun) exercise to fix it.
One of the biggest indicators of a rep who might be lacking confidence is someone who sounds like they are introducing themselves on the phone by asking a question. Their vocal inflection rises, and they seem unsure of themselves.
Here’s how to do it: Get all your reps together and have them practice ending their introductions with the word “dammit.” Have them say, “Hi I’m Lauren and I’m with Factor 8 DAMMIT” twenty times, and then drop the dammit. Their whole tone and demeanor should change, and help them exude the needed confidence.
Check out this tip looks like in action:
4. Help Reps Find Their Edge
Teaching confidence can also be done by equipping reps with the skills they need to be strong. One of my favorite ways to do this is by hosting a contest to reward reps for finding their edge, and using the gatekeeper to get info they need.
Teach reps not to just blow through the gatekeeper and ask for the name on the list, but to think of the leads as clues to a larger puzzle they need to solve. This isn’t always easy for reps who lack confidence, so sometimes they need a little push to be a bad-ass.
After all, James Bond never apologizes for going in and doing a reconnaissance mission — even if sometimes there is a little collateral damage. This is the mindset we want to instill in reps while their on the phone getting information.
Here’s how to do it: Set up a contest, and reward the reps who step out of their comfort zone and find their edge. Get reps on the phone calling and pushing for information from the gatekeeper. Reward the rep who pushes enough that they actually get hung up on.
Is this something you want to do all the time, for every call? No. Do you want everyone getting hung up on? No. Do you want to do this with decision makers? Definitely no.
Be smart about the contacts you choose to use for this contest, and select scenarios where the gatekeeper is not married to the decision-maker — commonly in bigger companies. You can push the boundaries in those situations, and use it to help reps find their edge and be a bad-ass on the phone.
Build Your Stellar Inside Sales Team Through Training
All of these exercises are a great way to begin shifting mindsets and promoting sales success. But to thoroughly transform your team, you need to bring in the pros.
Like I said: sales is a confidence sport. Bring in a coach who’s equipped to be hands-on with training, and make your reps and managers stronger.