Two Tiered Inside Sales Process for Startups

The inside sales approach for startups is nothing new but as of late it’s become much more popular. Over the last few months several entrepreneurs have reached out to me specifically to learn about how our inside sales process works and what I’d recommend. My top recommendation is often something they aren’t currently doing: implement a two tiered sales process where cold calling and closing are two separate jobs.

Here’s how it works:

Business Development Rep

  • Responsible for setting web demos
  • Extensive cold calling
  • Follows up on inbound leads that aren’t sales ready
  • Quota is setting 20-30 demos per month
  • Compensation is base salary plus commission for each completed demo after a certain allotment (e.g. no commission for first 15 demos and then $125 per completed demo after that)

Account Executive

  • Responsible for delivering product demos, proposals, and taking the prospect all the way through to close
  • Cold calling only when opportunity pipeline isn’t full (e.g. a standard sales rep might be able to work 20 – 30 opportunities at any one time and should be cold calling when their pipeline falls too low)
  • Follows up on inbound leads that are sales ready and schedules a demo
  • Quota, based on new annual recurring revenue, is 3x their on target earnings

This two tiered sales process for startups works extremely well for dynamic markets with a web-based application that has a price point high enough to warrant a consultative sales approach.

What else? What are your thoughts on the two tiered inside sales process for startups?

One thought on “Two Tiered Inside Sales Process for Startups

  1. It appears to be a smart way to carry on the sales process since your most capable person -the account executive- should focus on what he does best, which is closing deals. All the hours that he might spend cold calling won’t be as valuable to the company. It would be like an F1 driver changing his own wheels… sure he can do it but at the end of the day it is not productive.

    I like your approach but it would also be interesting if you wrote about the cons or the possible problems that you have seen with this working process.

    Great blog here!

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