This past week, I had the good fortune of attending my first ever American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP) Leadership Summit in Chicago. More than anything, I was impressed with how engaged the attendees were. No offense to my field sales colleagues, but this group of leaders was all business. According to AA-ISP, inside sales professionals represent one of the fastest growing job categories in America. In speaking with attendees, the anecdotal evidence conclusively and repeatedly suggested that many field sales professionals are being replaced by multiple inside sales professionals.
What is changing? For many companies with a traditional field sales force, the cost-per-revenue number is increasing faster than ever before. This is being caused by many factors, but the granddaddy of them all is the consumerization of the workplace–enabled by the internet. Buyer 2.0’s use of the internet is making life difficult for the traditional sales professional. These new buyers do a ton of research on their own: they read reviews by existing or previous customers, they seek online demos, and they prefer to “try/pilot” solutions before they part with the big bucks that regularly used to make up the enterprise deal.
As a result, companies large and small are re-engineering their sales processes. They are moving more of the prospecting and lead development efforts to a technology-enabled and less costly inside selling team. These new Sales 2.0 professionals are young, hip, extremely hungry, and much less expensive than their seasoned counterparts in the field sales force. These “Young Turks” also have at least one advantage over their more mature counterparts: they embrace technology, especially the social variety that lets them more easily stalk their prey.
In this new world order of sales, solutions like DemandPursuit™ Desktop are evolving to help companies manage a more complex and sophisticated lead development process. Much like supply chain management brought order to the chaos of inventory management in the last decade, emerging lead development platforms are helping marketing and sales functions do the same with sales lead management. To learn more about how leading firms are using lead development automation to enable sales acceleration, please sign up for a demo of our DemandPursuit™ Desktop.