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About This Episode
There’s this stereotype in the sales world. One that, while there may be a grain of truth to, does a grave disservice to everyone involved.
It’s this myth that the inside sales folks are sitting behind computer screens all day, chewing up data and analytics, then using that data to work on prospective clients. While the field sales reps are running all over town taking people out to dinner and focused on relationships.
And while relationships and data are both crucial facets of the sales profession, neither can stand on their own without the other. Which is one of the ways that COVID has changed the face of the industry.
On this episode of the Sales Engagement Podcast, we chat with Jake Tatel. Jake is the Global Director of Inside Sales & Marketing Automation at Intel. He’s spent a lot of time, especially recently, using inside sales to push innovation out to the field and doing it quickly.
What Does Acceleration Look Like?
It certainly depends on the tool, the capability, and the project. Obviously if you’re looking to accelerate quickly, there are things you can implement immediately.
Think of things like integrating notes into your CRM, or honing your Outlook integration. These are all things that are broadly applicable to everyone and can be deployed at nearly a moment’s notice.
But think of a larger project like analytics for pipeline management. Obviously it’s going to take a bit more time than a less complex project. Jake and his team are still actively accelerating these projects in the field.
How? But piloting with teams in one or two regions, working out the kinks, testing them, and learning from them in smaller environments. They’re already deployed in inside sales, but understanding the adjustments necessary to accommodate field sales is something they’re actively working on.
Everyone’s an Inside Seller
Not really, but with the “new normal” that we’re all living through right now, a lot of field sales reps are having to adapt their routines to one of a more traditional inside sales approach. Gone are the days or big prospect dinners or basketball games.
For the inside seller who’s focused on a single enterprise account, not a whole lot has probably changed. They’re probably still focused on that account, and are mostly operating in a business as usual model.
But for the sales rep who are covering thirty, fifty, or even a hundred commercial accounts, life looks a lot different now. It looks like a lot more Zoom calls, email check-ins, and virtual conferences.
The field sales rep and the inside sales rep are two sides of the same coin, so which one is going to be more valuable moving forward in this environment?
Inside Sales vs. Field Sales
This is where the stereotypes come into play. While it may be true that the inside sales reps and the field sales reps typically focus on different aspects of the profession, field sellers certainly do use data and insights to make their sales, and most inside sales reps do have T&E budget to do visits and maintain relationships and rapport.
But in this COVID fueled environment, things like video conferencing, video at scale, and personalized connection are going to go a long way in maintaining those relationships when the T&E budget is non-existent.
The bottom line is that the black and white way of looking at inside sales and field sales is outdated and not super helpful anymore, particularly moving forward through the pandemic, as we begin to adopt new methods and ways of operating.
Which begs the question: what has resulted from COVID that is here to stay?
It’s been said that the seller of the future that is not using real time insights and analytics is going to be disadvantaged and left behind. And Jake and his team at Intel are simply accelerating that capability to the field.
The biggest change that everybody is going to have to get used to is just that: change. The world is changing in ways that we never thought possible a year ago. Or 6 months ago. And the teams that are the most open to change are the ones that are going to come through this pandemic better situated to catapult themselves to the top of their field.