The very logic of business indicates that a large customer base is desirable to achieve the full potential of an enterprise. No business would like to remain confined in “smallness” and will certainly want to expand their horizons. Herein, one of the major attributes of expansion is selling your product/service to more and more customers. And, it’s a fact that besides other factors, your sales increment will come with the expansion of your target audience as well.
Talking about sales and closures, for the past many years, most businesses, especially in India, have been opting for field sales methods. They consider F2F meetings as the most reliable and potential step to close a deal. This is because, in the commercial world, it’s believed that it’s difficult for companies to gain and show trust in other businesses without any personal interaction. And so, most companies go for direct meetings (one sure-shot way) to seal the deal.
However, field Sales doesn’t seem very real when you have to expand your target audience. You’ll not always have your prospects located within your geographical range and it won’t be very feasible for you to send your professionals to distant places for every small and big closure.
This is exactly when Inside Sales fit the picture: The ambitious picture of a large customer base achieved with more efficiency and less cost.
Inside Sales could be simply defined as a method of communicating with the potential client on virtual and remote mediums such as call email or message, and not through personal meetings.
However, due to apparent reasons, (which I think are misconceptions) Indian businesses prioritize Field Sales over Inside Sales. Let’s discuss some of them:
1. Inside Sales as cost-intensive
Well, the ‘virtual’ fuel it requires is far less than the fuel you’d spend in commuting for every deal you get. The revenue addition is considerably higher in Inside Sales than it is in Field Sales, and that is simply because of less investment you incur on every deal you close. This is why, According to Harvard Business Review, 46% of fast-growing tech companies use inside sales, vs 21% outside sales.
2. Inside Sales with lower success rates
Agreed. You’ll close a deal in 2 hours via direct meeting but you’ll close the same in 2 days via virtual communication. However, an inside sales representative can close 5 clients simultaneously in those 2 days. Whereas, your executive sitting in the meeting can only focus on one at a time. So on average, which one will give you more closures?
3. Inside Sales as insufficient for growth
Effective Inside Sales has the potential to close clients located 5000 miles away, that too, with minimal expenditure. Whereas, field Sales can’t work without spending on flight tickets worth Rs 5000 to get a cheque for Rs 8000.
Onboarding clients located miles away, with far less acquisition cost ― that’s actual growth for businesses!
How Inside Sales turned out to be Growth Hack for MyOperator
MyOperator started in 2013 and is currently a leading cloud telephony solution provider in India as well as International countries. Our product sales, in the beginning, had almost all the closures only on the basis of direct meetings with the prospect.
However, after a year or so, we started gaining closures through cold calling and emailing as well. It was at that time when we realized that cloud-based products might not need direct convincing and are capable of being implemented through telephonic explanation.
We reduced the number of meetings we went to, and explained our entire product, gave the demo, did the negotiations only on calls. We initially did feel hesitant to pitch higher plans to clients with whom we merely had 30 mins conversation on call. Gradually, we overcame even that fear when we closed a deal worth 5 lakh in 4 days, with no F2F interaction with the client.
That one deal taught us how products with clear features and smooth user experience don’t need convincing in personal meetings, they can be communicated virtually as well.
Also, we believe direct meetings bring in the aspect of servicing and not the product in the center. And, servicing can surely give you some shortcuts to cash flow, but it’s not as scalable as the product.
For any growth-focused company, it is essential that you stick to the core product at the initial stage and not sway in servicing requirements. And, that is exactly what we did!
We at MyOperator believe that it’s not revenue if it’s not recurring and replicable.
We worked on the features that had to be made more compelling, we took user-experience on the priority and promoted the DIY process in our product. We basically made our marketing and product do the talking!
The results we saw just made us more confident and clear towards our future growth strategies. All those meetings we declined and instead asked the client to understand the demo on call, they were all worth it. And, here we are with:
– No border limitations on our target market.
– ARR of 3.5 million USD
– LTV to CAC ratio of 7
We successfully created an efficient inside sales assembly line in a trust-deficit market like India. Hence, a process that could be further replicated and scaled quickly.
What made us turn the Challenges into Success
1. As mentioned before, we worked on every inch of our product and left no section that can’t be explained on the call.
2. We transformed our hiring model, we genuinely did. In the beginning, we always tried to hire people from different sales backgrounds like BPOs, on feet teams, etc. But, we later realized that it’s better to train fresh employees rather than expecting culture change in the experienced ones.
3. Most importantly, we worked on bringing automation and standardization to our Inside Sales process. As a result, we reduced our sales cycle by ½ and our onboarding time by ⅛.
We do agree that Inside sales in India is tough but not impossible. It needs discipline a lot more than anything else. We didn’t give up when we saw poor conversions at the initial level, instead focused on what we can change to make it better.
And, during all this, our product MyOperator Call Management Solution has been our biggest tool to help us achieve our business goals. Our solution isn’t limited to any industry, size or level. It’s potential enough to upgrade the sales process of any business. Give it a try now!