Rise of the Inside Sales Rep

I’m fascinated by the growth of inside sales reps in organizations and the corresponding opportunities that are emerging in the market to support them. Inside sales growth is driven by a number of factors including:

  • Productivity gains from modern cloud-based tools (e.g. CRM, marketing automation, etc.)
  • Quality of video conferencing and screen sharing
  • Continual margin pressure for many products
  • Higher costs and hassles with travel
  • More quantifiable results and tracking for management

At Pardot, we focused on selling into marketing departments but we had several great tools that sales people loved including Lead Deck, Chrome Extension for Gmail, and an Outlook Plugin. Adding value to the sales process, in addition to the marketing process, was a critical part of the Pardot value proposition.

Newer tools like SalesLoftRivalry, Calendly, and Voxa as well as back-office integration systems like Kevy really complement popular applications like Salesforce.com and Pardot (disclosure: I’m an investor in these new apps). Sales rep productivity continues to improve enabling professionals to close more deals with a shorter sales cycle. It’s win-win for everyone involved.

Inside sales is a fast-growing field and I’m excited to be a part of the industry.

What else? What are some other thoughts on the rise of the inside sales rep?

4 thoughts on “Rise of the Inside Sales Rep

  1. Kyle Porter is a great guy. He helped me with my interviews to get into Techstars.

    We are now in our sixth week here in the Techstar’s Boulder program.
    My company http://quotadeck.com is a marketplace where companies can receive warm introductions directly into their target buyer through “connectors” on our platform.
    Connectors can receive compensation for connecting companies they trust to qualified people they know, that are interested.

    I have followed your blog for a long time and I really appreciated your very focused business-to-business sales expertise. I’d love to get a chance to get your feedback on what we are doing.

  2. This is a fascinating post, especially considering I came on as the first person in the sales organization at Rivalry. Including Rivalry, I have been exposed to two ends of the spectrum of “inside sales rep,” Financial Advisory and Family Wealth Management at JPMorgan and SaaS inside sales at Rivalry.

    When looking at my role as a sales executive at Rivalry versus being a financial advisor at JPMorgan, there are two major differences that are worth sharing:

    1. Technology (my tool belt): at JPMorgan technology was limited: I was hardly allowed to send email (non-template emails needed approval prior to sending) and my CRM was an excel spreadsheet. Conversely, here at Rivalry, I have access to Pardot, Tout, Salesforce, Dialing systems, Ghostery, Atext, Salesloft, Voxa… just to name a few.

    2. Coaching: at JPMorgan, I had a quarterly review… so virtually no day to day or week to week coaching. At Rivalry, I have daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly meetings focused on all aspects of sales development: 15five weekly reports, objections and rebuttal handling breakfasts, soft skills weekly meeting and monthly dinner, individual opportunity coaching, and more.

    When I weigh the differences… I am of the believe, despite all of the sales enablement technology I have been given access to, — the number one reason I have had such personal growth and success at Rivalry is a direct function of the “coaching”.

    What do you believe to be more important… enabling your sales reps with technology or coaching? Why?

  3. Thank you for the interesting article. I save tons of time using 3rd party app that integrates SF and Gmail, it’s called ContactMonkey (http://www.contactmonkey.com/salesforce-gmail-integration). It allows me to view and edit any Salesforce record without leaving Gmail. It’s so much easier than flipping back and forth between Gmail and Salesforce all day long. It’s also a bonus to see who’s opening my emails right now.

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