Home » Archive by category 'Sales'

What is Inside Sales and How is it Changing in 2024?

Inside sales have become the most popular sales model for B2B SaaS and many other high-ticket industries. But what are inside sales, how do they compare to outside sales, and what will the role look like in 2024?

A global health crisis forced millions of people to work from home, and many sales organizations still operate remotely. During this time, new technology also changed inside sales forever.

So, what is inside sales exactly and how is it evolving?

The Meaning of Inside Sales

Inside sales are the exchange of products and services online. It is also known as “virtual sales,” “digital selling,” and “remote sales.” Inside salespeople build sales pipelines through digital channels instead of outside channels.

These are the most 5 common examples of virtual sales channels in 2024:

  • Email
  • Video
  • Chat
  • Phone
  • Social media

The Difference Between Inside and Outside Sales

The main differences between inside and outside sales are travel and the workplace. Unlike outside sales, inside salespeople do not travel to visit clients off-site.

Inside sales are done in an office or remotely, on the computer, and over the phone. On the other hand, outside salespeople meet clients at off-site premises and industry events, usually for entertainment and training purposes.

Inside and outside sales can be combined for greater effectiveness. An example of this is a company that leverages remote sales for leads and account management with an outside sales team that closes bigger deals and conducts in-person training. Also, the two are often paired to upsell and cross-sell solutions.

In past years, inside sales have been considered a backup to outside sales. However, changes in B2B buying preferences have increased the importance of virtual sales in B2B SaaS.

what is inside sales
Source: DepositPhotos.com – Lic#204682470 ID#27446420

7 Advantages of Inside Sales

The inside sales model has many advantages versus outside sales or telemarketing:

1. Scalability

Remote sales teams can quickly scale and deploy new agents in the cloud. For most businesses, their stack of sales tools is cloud-based and does not require extensive implementation.

2. Cost-effectiveness

These days, sales tech is relatively inexpensive. You can equip reps with a full stack of tools for about $200 per rep monthly.

Also, there are no relocation costs for inside sales, as you can hire talent globally to work from home. Outside sales reps carry much higher operating expenses and must travel frequently.

The salary for remote sales reps is also affordable for most companies with positive cash flow.

3. Coaching

Digital sales tools have made it easier to coach inside sales reps.

Certain talk tracks and sales methods tend to win out. As an inside sales manager, you should be fully aware of your team’s playbook and monitor how the team interacts with potential customers. This is not easily achievable when managing a field salesforce.

Conveniently, inside sales are mostly done digitally. Managers in 2024 have more tools and coaching opportunities. This is a result of better collaboration tools, cloud-based CRM, conversation intelligence, recordings, chat transcripts, and virtual writing assistants.

4. Predictable revenue

Companies can predictably forecast and measure the ROI of an inside salesperson.

This is because inside sales reps should have targeted amounts of work to achieve each week. This can include the number of chats and calls answered, outbound dials, sent emails, meetings booked, sales demos, deals won, etc. The work is closely tied to lead generation and in turn, a predictable pipeline, of which the value can be calculated.

5. Global expansion

Whether you want to expand your business to new markets or tap into a diverse talent pool, remote sales offer great potential for global expansion. It can be done virtually from anywhere in the world. 

Because inside sales can be done remotely, companies can easily onboard new reps from other countries. Hiring companies only need to ensure that reps have the right equipment and credentials to use the necessary tools. A global marketplace for hiring can give your business access to better talent at competitive rates.

Inside sales also offer an opportunity to sell your products and services to customers in other countries. The work does not need to be done on-site, which enables inside sales reps to sell to customers anywhere in the world. Companies can even take advantage of international virtual numbers to simulate a local calling presence in the country of their choosing.

6. Fordism

Sales processes can be broken down and assigned to specialized roles. A traditional inside sales process might involve the following:

  1.   Identify target companies that fit your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) or new clients that fit expansion criteria.
  2.   Identify decision-makers at those target companies. Research potential pain points and service use cases.
  3.   Reach out to decision-makers to understand their pain points. Try to spark an interest in your company and how your solutions could be beneficial.
  4.   Demo the effectiveness of your products and services. Work to close the sale.
  5.   Ensure successful onboarding of new customers. Pursue expansion opportunities.

This type of sales method is kind of like an assembly line. An inside sales manager could assign agents or reps to specialize in each task. The inside sales reps become more effective by devoting their full attention to perfecting and performing a single task. 

7. Comfort

The buyer’s journey in B2B is rapidly changing. Modern buyers prefer live screen-shares and phone calls to in-person demonstrations and face-to-face meetings.

Corporate travel in 2020 also became a lot harder. Starting in 2024, requests for health documents and travel quarantines could become more common. This makes it more difficult for outside sales reps to visit clients on-site, especially in other countries. In addition, many companies are still working from home.

Interested prospects prefer to buy and sell mostly online, and savvy buyers will do more individual research before making a decision. As a result, sales organizations must remain flexible and meet buyers in their preferred mediums.

You can run inside sales from anywhere, which will make it the preferred sales model in 2024.

What Does Inside Sales Look Like in 2024?

Business changed dramatically during 2020. The whole world was quarantined for many months. This forced all executives to do more business online and over the phone, permanently changing how business is done around the world.

Keys to Running a Smooth IS Organization

There are several components that are required to run a successful inside sales organization:

  • Software

Equip managers with the right tools: CRM, call recordings, conversation intelligence, etc. Similarly, inside sales agents should have the right tools; high-speed data, sales automation tools, calling service with web dialer, writing assistants, external data, etc.

  • Specialization with well-defined roles

Inside sales reps are more effective when assigned to specialized roles. For example, your team should have specialized reps who identify target companies and decision-makers, other reps who reach out to those decision-makers to spark an interest, and closers who can properly communicate the value of your services and win deals.

  • Sales & marketing alignment

Marketing and inside sales should be in close contact. It is the job of marketing to create brand awareness and interest and also to supply inside sales reps with the proper enablement resources to do their jobs effectively. This is when SaaS marketing agencies and general marketing firms come in handy, as their expertise can be instrumental in creating effective strategies for brand awareness and interest. Ideally, prospects should know about your business before salespeople reach out.

  • Sales process

The process is key for an digital selling organization looking to scale. Ideally, managers should implement repeatable processes and properly educate their inside sales reps. This makes it easier to expand the team and in turn, grow revenue.

  • Morale & a good product

In order for salespeople to do a good job, they must believe in what they’re selling and understand its value. No righteous salesperson wants to deceive buyers and sell crappy products. They should be confident in the services that they’re selling.

Day in the Life: Inside Selling Techniques

A typical day in the life of an inside salesperson involves various tasks and responsibilities, with most days spent fielding inquiries, following up with leads or clients, prospecting online, and doing admin work. Depending on the company, the job of an inside salesperson might carry over after-hours. Results come from the work that salespeople put in.

5 Skills of a High-Performing Inside Salesperson

There’s a misconception that salespeople need to be smooth talkers in order to succeed. While being articulate in conversation helps, there are more elements of a successful salesperson.

In fact, many sales leaders believe that active listening is the number one digital selling skill. These are other valuable skills:

  1. Active listening
  2. Genuine curiosity
  3. Consultative approach
  4. Rapport building
  5. Strong network

What Business Is Most Likely to Benefit from Inside Sales?

Does your business need remote sales? Well, it depends on where your company is in its lifecycle. It also depends on the sales cycle complexity and contract values.

Scaleups, startups, and SaaS companies are most likely to benefit from having an inside sales team. Many startups have used inside sales to hustle their way to $10 million or more ARR. Many companies will also invest in a digital selling team during their growth stages.

Future of Inside Sales: Will it Be Different in 2024?

We saw how work shifted from in-office and in-person to fully remote during the pandemic. Video conferencing exploded. Demos and screen sharing also took off. The digital funnel and virtual selling pretty much replaced in-person lunches and dinners. We don’t see many more changes occurring in the near future.

 The Bottom Line: Compared to this year, inside sales processes in 2024 will not be much different. Most changes to remote sales already happened in 2020 and are here to stay.

The Ultimate Pre-Call Checklist [+Free Download]

With sales driving business growth, there is a lot of pressure to perform well on B2B sales calls. And while selling comes naturally to some people, it is always a good idea to prepare for each call.

A pre-call checklist for sales calls will help you organize your conversation and cover all key points. Additionally, it acts as a guide you can rely on to continue the conversation forward. Let’s have a look!

Need a copy to share with your team? Scroll down and download the PDF!

Preparing for Sales Calls

So, how can you best get ready for sales calls? This preparation generally starts with getting to know the prospect, both the individual you will talk to and their affiliated company.

That aside, it also involves personalizing the conversation to meet this particular prospect’s needs. For this, you’ll look at

  • solutions and services that help them
  • questions they might have
  • objections that may dissuade them from purchasing, and so on.

And since all of this happens before you make the call, they reside in your pre-call checklist.

Who Can Benefit from a Sales Pre-Call Checklist?

A pre-calling checklist will help you prepare for different trajectories the conversation may go. At the same time, you can make sure you’ve discussed everything you need to before ending the call. And so, this checklist is useful for anyone who interacts with prospects as a way of converting them; this includes:

  • Sales professionals – sales leaders, managers, and sales reps
  • Outreach specialists
  • Market research and survey professionals, and so on.

Sales Pre-Call Checklist

So, without further ado, here’s a pre-call checklist for your inside sales team, we’ll cover the following:

  1. Research Your Prospect
  2. Know Who You are Speaking to
  3. Decide What You Will Say
  4. Establish Realistic Goals
  5. Prepare Key Questions to Ask
  6. Consider Objections and Questions the Prospect May Have
  7. Keep Sales Enablement Resources Nearby
  8. Prepare to Call

1. Research Your Prospect

To pitch effectively, you need to understand who your prospect is; this means, research. Often with cold-calling sales, people tend to just call without doing their due diligence. Customers can easily tell when you haven’t done your research and nothing dissuades them faster than someone faking it. After all, how can they trust the business you represent, if they can’t trust you?

To improve your chances:

  • Research your prospect’s business and industry — What do they do? Where do they stand in the industry (experts, start-ups, newbies)?
  • Browse their website and core pages — Look at company values, mission statement, ‘About Us’ and ‘Our Team’ pages, products and services, etc.
  • Review their social media pages — What are they talking about? What is top of mind for them?
  • Check press releases and news about the company — Mergers, new features, awards, new locations, CSR initiatives, etc.

2. Know Who You are Speaking to

Next, take time to identify who in that company you are talking to. This will help you make your pitch more relatable and relevant to them.

  • Review your CRM platform, sales spreadsheet, or Sales Engagement Platforms (SEP) list
  • Understand this prospect’s relationship and past interactions with your company
  • Research the individual you will speak with — What is their job profile? Potential pain points? What do they care about? Look at social media profiles and posts
  • Determine where they land in the sales funnel — Are they aware of your product or still in the research phase? Map out their journey
  • Look for any overlap in professional networks that can connect you to the prospect.

A chart for understanding sales prospects' journeys.

3. Decide What You Will Say

Then, with all this customer information in the background, decide how you will approach the prospect and what you will say:

  • Review your script and the solution you will pitch
  • Consider adopting a “talk tracks” approach (more on that below)
  • Determine how to discuss the product or service’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Prepare your value proposition by persona — how is your product different from others for this particular prospect and industry
  • Plan out and practice your voicemail, in case the prospect does not answer.

Our Sales and Marketing Manager, Luke Genoyer recommends: “I’m a proponent of using “talk tracks” versus scripts. This is when the salesperson tries to uncover certain things in the conversation by asking open-ended questions, following a certain track, and nurturing the conversation naturally instead of adhering to a rigid script.”

He also highly recommends planning out and practicing personalized voicemails a few times before jumping in on the call.

4. Establish Realistic Goals

Next, determine what you want from this call. In other words, what are your goals for this call? This depends on where you are in the sales cycle and where your prospect is in the buying journey. Choose 2-3 goals before going into the call so you can manage your expectations effectively.

  • Understand the prospect’s company and challenges (questions to consider below)
  • Get names of important contacts to can connect with the right person
  • Qualify the lead to decide whether it is worth going after this prospect
  • Make a presentation
  • Provide informative brochures or data sheets
  • Educate the prospect and book a demo
  • Sign up for a free trial
  • Set up follow-up calls or interactions
  • Determine a sales timeline with a close date, keeping their journey in mind
  • Consider sales performance goals (duration of call block, number of calls, and number of positive outcomes).

Related: 18 Tips to Increase Call Center Sales

5. Prepare Key Questions to Ask

Another important strategy to include on your pre-call checklist is preparing questions to ask your prospect. Asking the right questions will help you better understand what is important and relevant to them. It will also show them that you understand what they do, how they operate, and their role in the industry. All of this, in turn, will help you sell your product better.

Note that these questions should work as a guide and not as a script. Additionally, they should be thoughtful questions that can start a conversation instead of simply using a one-size-fits-all method.

Here are some examples:

  • As a network engineer, what’s your most important priority right now?
  • What features do you wish [an operation] had, that it doesn’t currently have now?
  • What’s the biggest problem that you want to solve or fix?
  • From your conversations, it seems that your biggest roadblock is . . . Would you agree?

These questions differ based on the buyer’s journey, product development, customer research, and so on. However, you can always practice active listening to generate thoughtful questions.

6. Consider Objections and Questions the Prospect May Have

As you list down your questions to ask, you also want to anticipate questions or objections your prospect may have. Common reasons and types of sales objections include the lack of need, urgency, trust, or money.

With this and your research of the prospect in mind, you can be proactive in pitching the right solutions and explaining the need and relevance. Here are some ways to prepare:

  • Think of common objections your team deals with during sales calls
  • Review other obstacles such as stakeholder buy-in or undeveloped products/features
  • Determine ways to highlight credibility
  • Go over how you may negotiate contracts or pricing, if applicable
  • Create/use an objection handling sheet

7. Keep Sales Enablement Resources Nearby

Finally, you’ll need your resources and sales content to share during or after the call. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Sales deck or demo video
  • Product data sheets
  • Brochures for different stages of the buying journey — awareness, consideration, purchase, retention
  • Case studies or customer stories
  • Research reports
  • Compliance documentation
  • Relevant videos, blog articles, how-to guides, and so on.

You want to keep all these within reach so you can grab what you need quickly without having to waste time looking.

8. Setting Up Your Space

With all the above done, you’re ready to make the call. The last item on your sales pre-call checklist is setting up your space. This is a crucial step in ensuring that you’re in the right mindset to make this call. Here are our favorite pre-call practices:

  • Create a distraction-free zone — Close chat and email, and silence notifications
  • Open your CRM platform
  • Keep resources close by
  • Visualize outcomes — Generate a positive mindset and remember that your solution helps people

Start Calling with the Right Sales Tools

And with that, you’re ready to go!

Pre-call planning can seem daunting, especially with a checklist that looks this long. However, over time and with practice, this process will become second nature for you. And it will seem less tedious and more rewarding when you cover all your bases beforehand.

Remember the key takeaways: Know who you’re talking to, why your product will help them, and what you want out of the call. Everything else is there to support you and help you reach your goal.

Happy calling!

And, don’t forget to keep our handy downloadable sales pre-call checklist on hand.

Download Your Free Sales Pre-Call Checklist Here

Sales pre-call checklist download.
Download Our Free Pre-Call Checklist
Download this handy pre-call checklist for your next sales call.

Pre-Call Checklist

What is B2B Sales?

Sales are what drive B2B companies to achieve target revenue and growth. But new technology, customer preferences, and competitive markets mean that selling is becoming more and more difficult.

This is why it’s important to understand how exactly B2B sales can support your business. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss what B2B sales look like and how you can leverage various strategies to your advantage.

In this guide, we’ll cover:

Let’s get started!

Understanding Sales for B2B Companies

Business-to-business (B2B) describes a relationship between two business entities. This could include professional services (like consulting or market research), digital software and services (like VoIP, CRM, ERP, project management, and cloud computing), raw materials (like steel to manufacturing companies), etc.

And a B2B business will utilize sales and marketing functions to bring in new customers along with customer service employees to support these new customers.

Let’s look at B2B sales in particular.

What is B2B Sales?

B2B sales or business-to-business sales is the process of selling products and services to other companies rather than individual consumers.

B2B sales are typically conducted between:

  • a manufacturer and a wholesaler,
  • a wholesaler and a retailer,
  • two businesses without any intermediaries.

Since these include sales between two business entities, you can usually expect:

  • Higher price points
  • More complex sales cycles
  • In-depth product knowledge and custom solutions
  • Contracts and/or recurring subscriptions
  • Inside sales at various touchpoints, and more.

B2B versus B2C: How are they Different?

B2C sales or business-to-consumer sales are made from a company to a consumer. B2C sales are usually smaller than B2B sales.

To put this into perspective, Forrester’s B2B e-commerce forecast found that US B2B sales had a record-breaking growth of 22% year-over-year (YoY) in 2021. This is mainly because B2B companies work with other businesses that make large profits and revenue. And these companies have more targeted marketing opportunities and bigger budgets.

Additionally, the decision maker in B2C sales is the individual consumer. On the other hand, in B2B sales, the decision makers are the multiple stakeholders of a business. This means that B2B buyers go through a longer sales cycle than B2C buyers.

Related: Inbound Sales vs Outbound Sales

Who is a B2B Sales Rep? Job Description and Responsibilities

B2B sales representatives engage with prospective buyers and encourage them to make a purchase by providing information, personalized demos, and more.

Currently, corporate buyers tend to do their own research before reaching out to a business for a product. This research involves understanding different solutions available, conducting a cost analysis, reviewing competitor offerings, and more.

The B2B sales rep then helps the customer understand why their company’s product is the best solution. To this effect, they work closely with the customer, identify pain points, provide solutions, and more. This is where sales skills like active listening, being respectful and goal-oriented, and building relationships come into play. And all of this encourages the customer to make a purchasing decision.

Common B2B sales rep responsibilities include:

  • Make and receive calls
  • Manage sales emails
  • Set up meetings
  • Conduct product demos
  • Prospect for new business
  • Build rapport
  • Overcome objections
  • Follow up, and more.

B2B Funnel

To sell effectively, you need to understand the buyer’s perspective and what your B2B customer journey looks like. And using a visual tool like the funnel is a good place to start.

A B2B funnel is the visualization of a prospect’s journey from discovery to post-purchase. The different stages of the funnel depicting the B2B buyer’s journey include:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Consideration
  • Action / Purchase
  • Loyalty / Retention
  • Advocacy

With that in mind, here’s what the buying journey looks like:

  • Identify pain point(s).
  • Research potential solutions, check out review sites and social media, ask for recommendations, and find a vendor(s).
  • Talk to the salesperson to understand how the product can solve their issue and understand the implementation process.
  • Take this information back to the decision-maker at the company and evaluate the vendor.
  • (if all goes well) Make a purchase and implement the solution.

As you can see, the buyer’s journey isn’t straightforward. But, understanding how it works will help you develop your company’s sales process

The buyer's journey in a B2B sales process.

B2B Sales Process

B2B sales, in particular, is a complex process that uses various sales techniques for different buyer personas, use cases, and selling situations.

First, to lure these buyers in, the company’s marketing and sales teams do what they do best. Organizations are finding more success when their marketing and sales teams work together to boost lead generation. This involves offline and online marketing, cold calling and outreach, and more.

Once the lead is in the door, the B2B sales rep nurtures the lead.

The B2B selling journey, therefore, may look like this:

  • Preparation and research
  • Prospecting and lead or demand generation
  • Discovery and needs assessment
  • Product demo and sales pitch
  • Objection handling/negotiation
  • Follow up
  • Closing
  • Onboarding and customer success management

Keeping this in mind, the B2B sales process is usually split into the following functions:

  • Sales development — identifying and engaging decision-makers, nurturing leads
  • Closing deals — helping prospects make a purchase
  • Onboarding — bringing new customers on smoothly
  • And customer success — checking in with existing customers and helping them make the most out of your product.


Challenges to Keep in Mind

Your business can utilize B2B sales to create a better and more efficient customer journey. But part of developing a B2B selling strategy is to be aware of challenges that might impede progress. The most pressing concerns include:

  • Limited-to-no training
  • Misunderstanding or unawareness of key goals
  • Sales and marketing misalignment
  • Outdated sales culture
  • Slower adoption of supportive call center technology
  • Operational inefficiency

Keeping these in mind, let’s look at some ways your business can overcome these obstacles.

B2B Selling Techniques and Tips

About 77% of customers say that their buying journey was hard or complex — from searching for the right solution to getting stakeholder buy-in.

So, your B2B sales process must include techniques and strategies to connect with prospects effectively at all of these touchpoints — from awareness, consideration, purchase, and retention.

Here are 5 strategies to broaden your B2B sales approach:

1. Research and get to know your prospect: The most important step to any successful sale is researching the customer. Who are they, what do they need, and what are their pain points? Take time to talk to them or use available resources to understand their needs better.

2. Collaborate with other departments: Work with marketing, product development, and tech support to get a single and wholesome view of customer data. This collaboration will help you understand what messaging is important, what resolutions are useful, which features are popular, and so on.

3. Consider AI and automation: Use AI and reporting technology with key insights and forecasting to drive your sales. Furthermore, use automation solutions to help salespeople focus on more complex tasks instead of spending time on mundane ones. Also, more and more B2B customers are opting for seller-free buying. So, while you optimize your B2B sales process, consider including self-service solutions that let lower-end customers purchase your product sooner.

4. Be proactive and responsive: Nurturing corporate customers takes time and patience. So, make sure your sales reps are accessible whenever your prospect might need additional support. Train reps to proactively solve problems, make recommendations, and respond to queries quickly. Being available goes a long way in building trust.

5. Focus on building relationships: Instead of racing the clock on closing the sale, encourage sales reps to build meaningful relationships with customers that promote trust and loyalty.

20 Key B2B Sales KPIs

Another important B2B strategy is measuring performance. Analytics help you understand if your teams are close to achieving key sales goals.

You can track a variety of KPIs to measure sales performance, productivity, revenue, and more. In fact, the list of business KPIs and metrics continues to grow as new reporting software is introduced.

But let’s keep it simple.

Here’s a list of the top 20 B2B sales KPIs to measure:

Lead generation

1. Leads — number of leads coming in monthly or annually
2. Source of leads — where leads are coming from
3. Lead quality — to determine the likelihood of prospects becoming paying customers
4. Performance of qualified leads — likelihood of qualifying leads that convert
5. Lead-to-opportunity ratio — how many leads turn into sales opportunities
6. Avg lead response time — measure time needed to follow up with a prospect

Sales productivity

7. Sales pipeline velocity — time taken by a prospect to move from lead to customer
8. Sales close rate / percent of closed deals — percentage of your closed-won deals every month
9. Time spent running demos — how much time is required to demonstrate the product’s usefulness
10. Time spent on the phone — time spent on closing phone deals
11. Win-loss ratio — calculation of won deals over lost ones

Revenue tracking

12. Sales volume by location — to understand where demand is growing and/or lacking
13. Percent of sales discounts — which discounts are most efficient
14. Customer acquisition cost — how much is spent on each lead that converts to a paying customer
15. Return on investment (ROI) — effectiveness of marketing and sales activities
16. Monthly recurring revenue (MRR) — understand recurring revenue
17. MQL vs SQL conversion rate — ratio of marketing leads that convert to sales leads
18. Cost of marketing — effectiveness marketing strategies in boosting sales
19. Customer satisfaction — important customer success metric
20. Customer lifetime value — how much net profit a business can make from one customer over time

The Future of B2B Selling

Since the global pandemic, industry experts are seeing more hybrid sales roles as well as customers preferring remote and self-service interactions themselves. This means that your business needs to rethink how it sells to customers in a virtual space. Some strategies to consider as we embrace a different path forward:

  • Focus on the customer and adopt customer-first strategies
  • Diversify your communication and selling channels
  • Collaborate with other departments to understand what customers want from your organization in this day and age
  • Upskill and promote your existing sales reps and provide access to resources and training
  • Include cloud communication technology that makes it easy to sell from anywhere.

Our Sales and Marketing Manager, Luke Genoyer offers his insights:

  • Salespeople have less time with buyers, so they need to make their interactions more valuable — especially since there’s a lot more “noise” for salespeople to cut through
  • Encourage collaboration with marketing and product to improve website/marketing assets and customer experience
  • Sales professionals should invest in their own online “brands” to promote credibility.

With these tips in your pocket, your business is gearing towards entering a new phase of B2B selling. Good luck!

To learn about our cloud communication solutions for B2B sales teams, chat with our experts online!

Understanding Rate Centers and Local Calling

If your business deals with customers from different parts of the country, then you need to pay attention to the areas covered by rate centers to provide accessible and affordable customer support to your customers.

Here’s a quick overview of what rate centers are and how they affect local calling.

Rate Center Coverage for VoIP Services

Rate centers, in short, determine which calls incur local rates and which incur long-distance rates. This is crucial to understand where your callers are located and how you can continue to serve them without then paying long-distance rates to call your business.

What is a Rate Center?

A rate center is a geographic location or area that determines what constitutes a local call and long-distance call. A Local Exchange Carrier (LEC) uses rate centers to manage local calling and pricing and assign phone numbers based on local area codes.
Each rate center will have a:

  • Geographic place name (city or state associated)
  • Nominal physical location (co-ordinates to determine distance)
  • Local area code (NPA)
  • One or more prefixes (NXX)
  • Specific local calling area (list of other rate centers to which local calling is provided).

In a nutshell, a rate center helps regulate the rates of phone calls within an area. And there are more than 15,000 rate centers in the US.

What Do Rate Centers Mean for Local Calling?

Rate centers help determine which calls are local and which are long-distance so that they can be charged accordingly. Calls within a rate center (geographic area) are usually considered local calls. And calls made from one rate center to another are considered long-distance calls.

US Rate Centers

Within the North American Numbering plan, we have multiple US area codes and rate centers. To find the rate center for a particular number, you will need the following information:

  • Area code — 3-digit number
  • Number prefix — first 3 digits of the number that follows the area code

You can visit the US prefix/rate center locator to find the rate center for your phone number.

Let’s look at an example. In this phone number 469-896-3563,

  • Area code is 469
  • Number prefix is 896

When you input this information in the rate center locator, you will find out that the rate center (geographical coverage) is Carrollton, Texas, United States, along with a map for reference.

Rate center for Texas (example)

How Do Rate Centers Affect Local Communication for Businesses?

So, what does all this information mean for your business? Understanding rate centers and what constitutes a local call can help you understand where most of your callers are calling from.

Track incoming calls to and run those phone numbers through the rate center locator. This will give you a general idea of where potential prospects and customers are located. You can then customize their caller experience by:

  1. Using local phone numbers to let callers call your business for local rates, and
  2. Routing incoming calls to a regional office for local support with call routing software.

You should pay attention to rate centers when

  1. Buying a new local phone number — check with your new service provider how callers will be charged for calls made to your business with your new service provider.
  2. Porting your VoIP number to a new service — not all carriers support every single rate center; be sure to check with your new carrier.

Local Calling with Global Call Forwarding

Global Call Forwarding offers local phone numbers from all cities and states in the United States. Our service and call reports let you identify what regions your customers call from. You can then buy local numbers for those areas and route incoming calls to your main office located anywhere in the world, not just the US. Callers will pay their regular local calling rate and nothing more. Chat with us online to learn more or request a demo today!

6 Call Metrics to Track in Your Global Marketing Campaigns

A majority of top marketing teams will use attribution modeling and tracking to measure the effectiveness of their various marketing campaigns in 2021, according to Pyxl.

Attribution can help you understand the means by which customers come to know and buy your products and services. There are many different approaches to attribution modeling that modern businesses use today.

What is Call Tracking?

Call tracking is one of the most commonly used forms of attribution modeling that marketers are using in 2021. It is the process of determining how callers found your business.

Call metrics are used to analyze what channels generate the most customer calls so that you can optimize your marketing efforts and improve ROI.

What is Global Call Tracking?

Many businesses today serve a global clientele.

The global economy is huge and it offers businesses a lot of potential to grow and expand. Although the top fifteen countries make up 75% of global GDP, tremendous potential exists for your business throughout the rest of the world.

International call tracking can enable your business to have unique phone numbers for different countries that are being targeted in your global marketing campaigns. Your marketing team can then track the results of various global campaigns through call tracking metrics.

Common Ways to Use Global Call Tracking

  • Compare the performance of multi-country campaigns side-by-side.
  • Assign unique in-country phone numbers to different traffic sources (social media, adwords, email, landing pages, etc).
  • Measure the results of your advertisements across a number of countries.
  • Set up local or international toll free numbers from other countries.
Global call metrics that you must track.
Source: DepositPhotos.com – Lic#50391141 ID#27446420

6 Global Call Metrics You Must Track in 2021

There’s a lot you can measure with call metrics such as where your calls are coming from and what times are most popular. You can even further delve into the content of conversations with our cloud call recording service.

But in order for your marketing team to benefit the most from global call metrics and really dig into the granular data, you’ll want to export your call detail records (CDRs) into a spreadsheet and apply filters.

These next steps and calculation of metrics will require some basic Excel knowledge.

call tracking excel

1. The Number of Calls Per Country

Have you wondered which countries or regions are generating the most phone calls? You can easily determine this through global call tracking.

Once you’ve exported your CDRs, you should then filter by service line. You can type in the country code under column D and choose the right phone number. Refer to this list of international call prefixes.

You can do a sum of the lines to see how many calls came in from each country.

Analysis: You’ll want to look further into those countries that are generating lots of calls so you can understand which marketing efforts are more successful.

2. Call Volume by Time of the Day

It’s helpful to see when most of your calls are coming in. This helps you adjust bidding strategies at various times of the day and ensure enough staff is on hand to support high call volumes throughout the day.

You can see the total number of minutes in column I. Break the column down further by filtering the date and time columns.

Analysis: Long-duration calls are likely a sign of good quality conversations while short-duration calls may indicate low-quality sales calls.

3. Call Source & Campaign Performance

This is what call tracking is all about — on a global scale.

Look at your various campaigns to evaluate which campaigns are generating the highest number of successful calls. For example, you can assign one call tracking number to social media campaigns and another number to paid search.

In the coming months, you’ll be able to enter unique names and tags for each phone number.

Analysis: Allocate more of your budgets towards high-performing campaigns.

4. Call Duration

It’s important to know how long your calls last. As a general rule, sales conversations last longer than x amount of minutes. Through global call metrics, you’ll be able to see which calls have a sufficient duration. And if you notice a dip in call duration, you can bring it up in meetings and brainstorm ways to improve caller experience.

Analysis: You don’t want to spend money on channels that do not source high-quality conversations.

5. Caller ID

Is there a certain area code where most of your calls are coming in from? Are these first time callers to your business? You’ll want to measure this through global call tracking. It is important, however, to connect our data with your other tools like your CRM and / or marketing software to really make the most sense of the metrics.

Analysis: Invest more in cities where you have lots of callers.

6. Landing Page Performance

Landing page performance can give you insights into the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. You’ll also want to talk to sales managers as much as possible and ask about lead quality and next steps in your buyers’ journeys so that you can create quality landing pages that convert.

Analysis: Invest more in landing pages that are performing well. For the low-performing landing pages, try to see how they can be improved.

How to Calculate Global Marketing ROI

Once you have all the data and it’s synced with your other business tools, how are you going to present your findings to upper management? That’s an important question that many marketers face.

Upper management is often concerned with revenue and profitability, though some marketing teams use other metrics to measure success. At a basic level, you’ll want to keep close track of costs and conversions in your calculation of ROI.

ROI = (final value of investment – initial value of investment) / cost of investment x 100%

Conversions can be new customer acquisition, qualified leads, etc. But you’ll want to clarify this definition internally and then measure conversions.

In order to calculate overall costs, download invoices into excel and you’ll see costs by country. You can add this up or simply view costs by country.

How to Sync Global Call Metrics with Your Business Tools

At some point, you’ll probably want to sync your call tracking data with your other systems and tools. This will help you recognize more patterns in the data and make better use of metrics. You can do this through our API.

Why You Need Global Call Tracking

Want to get more insights into where your customers are and what leads them to connect with your business?

You can’t improve what you don’t measure. Global call tracking can help you measure the effectiveness of your international marketing campaigns. This will help you increase profitability and slash costs.

Talk to our sales team to learn more or get a free demo today to see how we can help.

10 Voice of the Customer Methodologies to Revolutionize Customer Feedback

Everyone is talking about Voice of the Customer (VoC) data as an essential tool to understanding your customers and improving their experience. But what is VoC and how do you collect such data? Here is a detailed guide to what VoC is and what to keep in mind when collecting customer data through these top 10 Voice of the Customer methodologies.

Voice of the Customer: Definition and Methodologies

First, what is Voice of the Customer? VoC is the way your customers talk about your products and their experiences or interactions with these products and services. It is a market research method where a business collects detailed customer feedback about their products and services used.

Why is VoC Important?

So, why should you collect customer feedback and pay attention to the voice of the customers? Customers using your product are in the best position to explain how useful, user-friendly, and worthy your product or service is. When collecting VoC data, look for:

  • Customer pain points
  • Hesitations or objections
  • Desires and needs
  • Requirements and expectations
  • Benefits, usage, results

And so, learning how they use the product and how successful it is in helping them complete tasks will help your business create better products as well as market your current products more effectively.

By collecting VoC feedback, your business can gain:

  1. Comprehensive and detailed insights into what your customers look for and need from your products and services.
  2. Data that can be put towards product development and marketing efforts.

VoC Program Stages

A VoC program — that is, collecting and using Voice of the Customer data — typically involves three stages:

  1. Collection — Collecting feedback and information via interviews, surveys, polls, etc. related to specific products or services.
  2. Evaluation — Analyzing and studying responses to identify customer needs and expectations.
  3. Implementation — Using feedback and analysis to create better experiences and products that boost business performance.

Voice of Customer Program Stages.

In this post, we will specifically focus on the collection phase of VoC data and what methodologies work best.

And when collecting VoC data, it is good to be prepared with the following questions for each data collection project:

  1. What is the purpose of this data collection project?
  2. What is your target audience or group? (Current customers or new prospects?)
  3. How will you collect this data? (In-person interviews, online surveys, social listening, etc.)
  4. What stage is the customer or prospect in? (Unaware, problem aware, solution aware, product aware, most aware)

Once you have these factors in place, you can focus on questions to ask your customers and prospects.

What to Ask Customers?

Before we dive into VoC methodologies, let’s quickly run through how to prepare for customer interviews and surveys. In other words, what questions to ask your customers so you can get the best feedback and insights. Your questions can be focused on how customers perceive your business or how they use your product or service; customize questions accordingly. Here are some questions to consider:

What made them look for your business/product/service?

  • When did you realize you needed something like [product/service]?
  • What brought you to [business/product/service]?
  • How did you find out about [business/product/service]?
  • What problem were you trying to solve with [business/product/service]?
  • How did you go about researching for a solution to your problem?

How or why do they pick a business/product/service?

  • What matters most to you when choosing or signing up with a business or purchasing products or services?
  • What characteristics do you look for in a business, product, or service before purchasing or signing up?
  • Why were you interested in trying our [product/service]?
  • Did you consider any alternatives to our [business/product/service]? What were they?
  • Why did you choose our [product/service] over [competitor]?

About your business/product/service

  • What comes to mind when you think about our [business/product/service]?
  • How are you using our [product/service] at the moment?
  • How would you describe the [business/product/service] to a friend?
  • What do you like the most about [business/product/service]?
  • What is the most useful feature of the [product/service]?
  • What surprised you about [business/product/service]?
  • Would you recommend [business/product/service]? To whom and why?
  • How can [business/product/service] improve your customer experience?
  • How can [business] improve the [product/service]?

Understanding pain points, concerns, and issues

  • What would you like changed or modified regarding the [product/service]?
  • What features do you wish the [product/service] had, that it doesn’t currently have now?
  • What concerns do you have about [product/service]?
  • What competitor would you prefer over our [product/service]? And why?
  • What’s the #1 thing you can do with [product/service] that you couldn’t do before without the [product/service]?
  • What’s the biggest problem that you were able to solve/fix with our [product/service]?
  • What concerns or hesitations did/do you have before deciding to buy or sign up for [product/service]?

Understanding results and outcomes

  • What has changed for you since using [product/service]?
  • What measurable results have you noticed since you started using [product/service]?
  • What results are you hoping to achieve with our [product/service]?
Voice of Customer methodologies.
Source: DepositPhotos.com – Lic#61863947 ID#27446420

Top 10 Voice of the Customer Methodologies

Let’s now look at the 10 different Voice of the Customer methodologies that you use to collect customer data:

1. Detailed Customer Interviews

One of the traditional VoC data collection methods is conducting detailed interviews with consumers. These interviews can help you get insights into the customer’s perspective about your business or specifically about a product or service you offer.

You can conduct in-person, phone, video, or email interviews, depending on your capabilities. However, in-person interviews are considered the most effective for this purpose. You can choose to interview particular customers or target groups, depending on why you are collecting this data and how much information you need.

Be prepared with a list of questions and follow-up questions before conducting the interview. Inform customers how long this interview will last and what the purpose is.

2. Customer Surveys & Feedback Forms

A customer survey is another good (and common) way of collecting customer information and understanding customer expectations, needs, and pain points. There are a few different ways to send out customer surveys:

  • Online surveys through links or emails through survey tools such as SurveyMonkey
  • Phone surveys through customer service teams or automated IVR systems
  • In-app or in-software surveys
  • In-person or suggestion-box surveys
  • Contact forms surveys, etc.

You can send out such surveys and feedback forms when prospecting new leads or to new and long-term customers. As mentioned above, be prepared with questions to include in your survey form. When appropriate, include and offer multiple-choice options, drop-down lists, text-boxes, and so on. This will enable customers to provide more information and give you detailed results.

3. Customer Reviews

Online customer reviews are a great spot for collecting information about how customers are using your products and determining how they feel about them. You can look up Google reviews as well as industry-specific review sites such as G2, TrustPilot, Capterra, etc.

Additionally, since these reviews appear online and are visible to potential customers, you will want to watch these reviews and respond to them as well. Respond to good reviews with “We appreciate your business.” And respond to negative reviews with positive and solution-focused responses. In other words, show new prospects how your business handles negative reviews and customer concerns.

Related: Global Call Forwarding Reviews

4. Call Detail Records

Call detail records can be helpful when putting together insights and data based on history. You can use call records to understand the preferred communication channels and contact times. Additionally, you might even identify common complaints that require the help of your customer support team. This information can be used to create support content that helps customers solve issues through self-service options, when appropriate.

5. Recorded Calls

Next, record and review calls with customers. A call recording service is a great tool for sifting through common customer needs, expectations, and complaints. Here, you can identify patterns, anomalies, and more. These insights can then inform better product development and enhanced customer experience.

6. Email Groups

You can use highly personalized emails to specific segments or send well-written generic emails to all your customers. Make it easy and less work for your customers to answer the survey. You may choose to include the feedback form or poll within the body of the email or include a link for them to click. Let them know the purpose of the survey and how long it will take them to complete it. You may even choose to include a reward for a lengthy survey that will take up a good amount of their time.

7. Social Listening

Social listening refers to paying attention to what your customers and clients are saying on social media platforms. More specifically, what are they saying about businesses, products, and services like yours? You can choose to simply listen or actively participate in the conversation to learn more about customer expectations and interests, directly from customers and in real-time.

8. Live Chat

Live chat (whether monitored or AI-enabled) is a popular customer support channel. Web visitors often use live chat to connect with a company as opposed to calling or emailing them. This makes live chat a good source for collecting VoC feedback. You can collect feedback by asking questions in real-time or scheduling a follow-up survey after assisting the customer.

9. Focus Groups

Focus groups are groups of people who asked to share their thoughts, feelings, and expectations about a product or service. You can use focus groups to test new products or features, gain feedback on existing products and services, learn how to improve user experience, and more. This is another common way of understanding the Voice of the Customer at different touchpoints.

10. Customer-Focused KPIs

There are two customer-focused KPIs or metrics that can help you gain insights into how satisfied your customers are and whether they will advocate for your brand:

1. Net promoter score (NPS) measures the loyalty of a business’s customers. NPS provides quick feedback from customers focused on whether they are likely to recommend your product or service. A common example of this is — “How likely are you to recommend our [business/product/service] to a friend or a colleague?

2. Customer satisfaction score (CSAT) measures the level of customer satisfaction after interacting with a business or using a product or service. Use questions similar to those in NPS measures and customers can answer with ratings such as a scale of 1-10 or range of Very Satisfied-Very Dissatisfied.

Let Voice of the Customer Methodologies Enhance Your Services

It’s not an underestimation how important customer satisfaction is, and companies should aim to ensure they are delivering on this fully. As we have demonstrated, Voice of the Customer data is a key tool for businesses to understand what customers appreciate about your business, and ultimately, where your business can improve. If you are aiming to maximize the experience for your customers, be sure to implement VoC methodologies and learn more about how to please those seeking out your products or services.

Understanding Cold Calling vs Warm Calling

What is the best way to sell to a new lead? This is the age-old question. Salespeople and marketers have tried and tested different methods and approaches and have collected varied results. Two of these methods that salespeople continue to use are cold calling and warm calling. But what is the difference between these methods and which approach is more helpful for your business?

The Difference Between Cold Calling and Warm Calling

Both cold calling and warm calling are outbound calling sales approaches. In these approaches, salespeople reach out to prospects and try to sell or move them down the sales funnel. Let’s take a deeper look at each of these methods and their pros and cons.

What is Cold Calling?

Cold calling is a sales technique where a sales team reaches out to prospects and leads who may or may not have heard of the business. In other words, these prospects have not interacted with your business or purchased products and services from you. They have not heard from your business or representatives before. Some of these prospects may not have even heard of your business.

Cold calling then is the attempt to increase brand awareness and sell products and services to these prospects by introducing them to your brand. Usually, sales teams are given a list of prospects deemed fit for specific products and services. This list is put together through market research of target audiences. Your job then is to reach out to them, educate them about the brand and product, and make a sale or set up a sales appointment.

Pros and Cons of Cold Calling

So, what makes cold calling successful and why do some business managers say that cold calling is dead? Here are the benefits and issues that come with cold calling:

Pros of Cold Calling Cons of Cold Calling
Solo hunting; reach out to customers on your own Customers are usually wary of unknown phone numbers and may not answer
Connect with new customers Customers are usually annoyed by cold calls
Lets you weed out bad leads and uninterested customers Inconsistent results
Sales calls can be conducted from anywhere No proper structure in place; you work alone
Helps increase inbound sales and brand awareness Chances of getting flagged as scam likely or telemarketers

Related: 7 Cold Calling Tips to Close More Sales

What is Warm Calling?

Warm calling, on the other hand, is an inside sales process where sales representatives reach out to prospects and customers who have previously interacted with the brand. These individuals are aware of your business and demonstrated some interest. Maybe they liked a social media post or downloaded an eBook from your website or submitted an inquiry about a product.

Additionally, warm calling also includes gathering feedback through surveys, informing regular customers about new promotions, or inviting them to webinars, etc. In some cases, calls made after cold emails may also be considered warm calling. This is because you have already established a connection and familiarity with the customer.

With warm calling, your job as the sales rep is to answer their questions, provide more information, and engage them. By doing so, you are moving them down the funnel and closer to a sale.

Pros and Cons of Warm Calling

If cold calling isn’t the way to go, can your business benefit from warm calling? Let’s look at how warm calling can convert more customers and what potential issues to keep in mind.

Pros of Warm Calling Cons of Warm Calling
Leads are aware of your business and interested Sales reps may not take these calls seriously enough
Leads are more likely to become customers Over-calling may discourage the prospect
Personalize calls to meet prospects’ needs Customers may prefer other channels of communication
Develop stronger customer and business relations Stock scripts may discourage leads

What Does Your Business Need?

Whether cold calling or warm calling is right for your business depends on your business structure, values, and goals. Also, another factor is where your business lies in its growth process. If you are a new business, then cold calling is the way to increase brand awareness and identify key markets and audiences. On the other hand, if your business is relatively established and has a strong online presence, then warm calling and inside sales will help maintain credibility and attract valuable customers.

How Can Global Call Forwarding Help?

Global Call Forwarding offers a variety of virtual call center tools and features that can support both your cold calling and warm calling efforts. Get outbound calling, particularly, to connect with customers and leads around the globe with local and toll free numbers. You can even use call routing services to maintain connectivity across different locations and time zones. Speak with our representatives to learn more about how we can help your specific business. Call us today at 1 (888) 908 6171 or chat with us online!

Conducting Market Research with a Local Phone Number

Market research is essential to understand your target audience, their pain points and goals, and how you can serve them better. Without these insights, your product or service does not reach its full potential. Learn how to use local phone numbers when conducting market research to achieve the best results.

Local Market Research: Definition

Local market research is the process of evaluating a current or new market. More specifically, when researching a market, researchers pay attention to customers’ and prospects’ needs, pain points, goals, and motivations. These insights then fuel product development and marketing efforts. If you do not know who your target audience is and where they are, you will be selling to the wrong crowd. Market research can help your business find the right customers and the best ways to reach them. There are many different ways to conduct market research such as interviews (in-person, phone, video), observation, surveys, etc. Check out our comprehensive guide to local market research.

Why Should Your Business Research Your Market?

Local market research helps your business gain insights into various aspects such as:

  • How customers view your business
  • What lucrative markets should you target
  • How to best develop buyer personas
  • How to develop your product in comparison to competitors
  • In what ways you can improve customer experience and loyalty

Market research studies current and new markets so your business can develop good and relevant products and market them effectively.

How to Conduct Market Research with a Local Number

Here we will look at how a business can use local phone numbers when conducting market research. Businesses can get local phone numbers for various countries, cities, and regions around the world. Local numbers have specific area codes and formats assigned to them which are recognizable by locals within that area. This makes local numbers great tools for conducting research and test marketing. So, how can your business use local numbers to conduct research?

1. Market Segmentation

You can segment your target audience into smaller groups to get more detailed information and feedback from them. This process is called market segmentation. You can then use different local numbers for each segment to track responses and measure results. The four main types of market segmentation include:

  1. Demographic (B2C): based on individual attributes
  2. Firmographic (B2B): based on company/business attributes
  3. Psychographic (B2B/B2C): based on attitudes, traits, values, motivations, etc.
  4. Behavioral (B2B/B2C): based on usage, user status, purchasing/researching habits, etc.

Depending on what information you are looking for, you can either focus on behavioral or demographic elements or more. Information that you receive through market segmentation can help you tailor the product and its features as well as refine your marketing strategies to better appeal to each segment.

2. Brand Awareness Research

You can also use local phone numbers to learn more about your brand awareness. In other words, how much do customers know about your business, and how aware are they of its existence. Furthermore, you do not need to limit yourself to your own country. You can measure brand awareness in neighboring countries as well as target markets.

Your marketing and sales teams can take this a step ahead and study your customers’ awareness of the problem your business can solve. Most customers do not know that they have a problem or that there is a solution (your product or service) to their issues. Teams can take this opportunity to learn what stage of the buyer’s or customer’s journey your target audience is in.

You can also use local phone numbers to improve brand awareness in these target areas. You can do so by purchasing local numbers and advertising your product locally as well as focusing sales efforts in those regions.

3. Campaigning & Marketing ROI

Next, local numbers can help with marketing and campaigning efforts as well as measuring ROI. Use local numbers along with specific campaigns and promotions and study the results. How many customers are coming through specific campaigns or promotions? How many of these customers are converting? And how many stay on as repeat customers? The customers who don’t convert, what are they looking for?

These questions can help you determine better ways to appeal to customer pain points and display your product as a valuable solution.

4. Qualifying Leads via Presale Surveys

Presale surveys include questions marketing and sales teams use to qualify leads and determine quality prospects. This is a good way to weed out low-rank prospects as well as customers that won’t add value to your business. It also helps reduce time spent chasing bad leads. Your teams can use local numbers to easily connect with potential customers and vet them before they move further down the pipeline.

5. Customer Satisfaction & Loyalty Research

Lastly, use local numbers to keep in touch with existing customers. Your current customers are much more valuable than new customers because they are the ones who are likely to stay and become advocates for your brand. And so, you want to ensure your business and products are satisfying current customers. Measuring customer satisfaction and loyalty can help you understand how your product is performing and how much customers value it. If it is not performing well, you will need to make changes and improvements.

Survey New Markets with Local Numbers

You can get local phone numbers from Global Call Forwarding for target countries and areas. We offer international virtual numbers for more than 160 countries around the world and provide call management tools to effectively organize calls when conducting research. Browse through our inventory today or call us to learn more!

Telemarketing Versus Inside Sales

Telemarketing, telesales, cold calling, inside sales; they’re all the same, right? Sales approaches where a salesperson calls a lead and tries to sell a product or service? There is some truth to that. However, these approaches differ in their methodology and how involved salespeople need to be to convert leads. Learn about the key differences between telemarketing and inside sales so you can adopt a sales approach that is most effective for your business.

The Difference Between Telemarketing and Inside Sales

Telemarketing, inside sales, and cold calling are terms often used interchangeably. This is because they are similar services that make outbound calls to prospective customers and try to convert them. However, each approach and its methodology is different. Here we discuss telemarketing and inside sales so you can better understand the differences between the two sales approaches.

What is Telemarketing?

Telemarketing as a cold calling sales tactic has been around for years. The general understanding of telemarketing is that it is a scripted, one-call closing sales technique. In other words, telemarketing calls are highly scripted and they aim to close a deal or disqualify a lead in one call. These calls or prospects are usually about small-ticket, B2C products while the leads are low value.

Most people have come to expect telemarketing calls as spammy, disrespectful of time, and monotonous. Telemarketers get to the point; they engage with potential customers just once and decide if it is a closed or lost deal.

On the contrary, some businesses view telemarketing as more than just impersonal and monotonous selling. In this case, telemarketers don’t just try to close a deal in one call. Instead, they work on prospecting, building relationships, and sourcing opportunities, all during a phone call. And more recently, there has been a shift from scripted conversations to more personalized ones.

In short, telemarketing is quick and supports smaller sales cycles for low-ticket products.

What are Inside Sales?

The inside sales approach takes telemarketing to the next level. Inside sales includes multiple calls at various touch-points. The selling process in these calls is more complex with the reps taking a more involved approach and working closely with prospects. These calls are not scripted and tailored to the prospect’s specific situation and needs.

Inside calls target B2B and high-end B2C sales; that is, high-ticket sales. And they require longer nurturing and strategic targeting. Salespeople performing inside sales are well-trained and focus on personalization and relevance to bring new customers aboard. Inside sales also include:

  • Researching the market
  • Identifying and qualifying valuable leads
  • Studying customer pain points, goals, and needs
  • Understanding the lead before interacting with them
  • Building rapport and trust with the customer or prospect
  • Providing expertise and information to help prospects make informed decisions
  • Developing genuine relationships with prospects

In short, inside sales is more detailed, has a higher value, and a longer sales cycle.

Telemarketing Versus Inside Sales

As you can see, the key difference between telemarketing and inside sales is how involved the salesperson is.

Telemarketers may not be required to study leads beforehand or work closely with prospects to help move them down the sales funnel. They may use call center software and predictive dialing to go through their list of prospects.

Inside sales teams may use more advanced call center software and virtual communication tools such as outbound calling, web dialers, engagement tracking, sales forecasting, and more. The sales acceleration technology used by these teams helps them identify and convert valuable prospects by finding the best times to call and preferred methods of communication. This leads to a better experience for both the prospect and the salesperson.

Making Sales Calls with Outbound Calling

Global Call Forwarding offers a variety of call center software tools that help businesses make sales calls more effectively. You can use our outbound calling service with our web softphone to make sales calls from any location. Our virtual phone numbers enable you to increase your local presence in a variety of markets the world over. Want to learn more? Speak with our global specialists or chat with us online today!