September 28, 2021

How to Hire for Inside Sales

How to Hire for Inside Sales

If you have just one dedicated sales team for your company doing all the sales and marketing work, this article is for you.

There are two categories for sales: inside sales and outside sales.

Inside sales reps contact and communicate with leads without leaving the office. Their work is done in front of a computer online, without any meetings in person.

In contrast, outside sales reps are literally outside their office. They do all the meetups and pitches in person.

The highest-performing companies are those with different teams for inside sales and outside sales. The two teams should coordinate and collaborate to maximize the company’s performance.

As you can see, being an inside sales rep requires a different skill set compared to being an outside sales rep. That’s why it’s important to have specific hiring criteria for inside sales reps, which we’ll look at in this article. 

1. Hire reps who have a win-or-die attitude

Whether you are an inside or an outside sales rep, the rejection rates are still high.

Most will argue that outside sales reps have it harder because they have to travel and face rejection in person.

However, inside sales reps also have their work cut out for them. Long hours in the office facing a screen can be quite mentally fatiguing. That’s why it’s so important to get inside sales reps who are resilient.

A good way to check this is by looking at the background of your applicants. Having sports or any competitive experience is usually a good sign because it builds qualities like perseverance and teamwork.

Throughout an inside sales rep’s career, they will have to continually get inspiration and motivation from internal sources.

The more they can do this, the more likely they are to persevere in the face of hardship and rejection. And that is an important quality for any inside sales rep. 

2. Review their past work experience

If your inside sales rep applicant has past work as a sales rep, whether inside or outside, you’ll want to check how they did before.

No matter how long or short their previous job may have been, their performance is usually a good indicator of how they will perform in the future.

Were they able to meet their quotas? Did their skills grow over time? What does their past employer think of them?

Knowing the answers to these questions is crucial because it shows both the character and competence of your prospective inside sales rep.

You can start by looking at their LinkedIn profile (if they have one), and from there, you can contact their previous employers. 

3. Check their pitching skills

Pitching is an essential skill for any sales rep, and it is even more important for an inside sales rep.

An inside sales rep does not have the luxury of making demonstrations in person. This means that they will have to use different skills to pitch your product or service to consumers because most, if not all, communications will be done remotely.

You can do this in the interview phase. According to sales expert Mike Brooks, you’ll want to hire inside sales reps who ask questions first instead of diving right into pitching.

Inside sales reps who take the time to know the customer before pitching the product know that pitching requires a personalized approach.

You can’t use the same spiel for every customer, and a good inside sales rep knows that.

Additionally, you should also know how your applicant faces objections. As we all know, one of the first complaints of a customer will be about the price. 

4. Make sure that they are a good culture fit

Company culture is one of the most crucial yet underrated aspects of hiring new people into a team.

Different companies have different cultures, especially when it comes to management, competition, and collaboration.

A new inside sales rep from a free company culture that only required quotas to be met will have a hard time fitting in if your company monitors more of the sales reps’ work.

Inside sales usually involve teamwork and collaboration because almost every rep is huddled in the same place working on different computers.

Of course, there are some companies whose inside sales culture is heavily focused on individual results.

If your company emphasizes teamwork over individual competitiveness, you’ll want to stay away from uber-competitive sales reps who might throw the rest of the team under the bus.

They might meet their individual quotas but at the expense of the business as a whole.

However, some companies prefer ruthless individual competition. For them, this kind of culture is what brings the highest ROI.

Regardless, it’s important to know the culture in your own company, so you know who to hire and who to stay away from. 

5. Choose goal-oriented reps that focus on the client

For most sales reps, the main goal they have revolves around their own interests, which is usually their individual sales quotas.

But such people often meet their quotas at the expense of the client’s interests.

The sales industry has gotten a bad rep because of manipulative practices by sales reps. You don’t have to be a company with those kinds of sales reps.

The best inside sales reps are goal-oriented, but with the client’s goals, not their own. Where there is a conflict between the inside sales rep’s own goals and the client’s goals, the rep must prioritize the client’s.

They know that the best way to close a sale is to put the client’s interests first, creating a win-win situation.

The clients are happy because they know they can trust the company. On the other hand, the company is happy because its approach drives more sales.

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