As technology continues to improve and becomes more accessible at such a rapid pace, it has had a profound effect on the sales industry. At one time, technology companies were able to rely on in-person selling techniques, however it’s not enough today. Technology companies must also utilize a strong inside sales campaign in order to tap into more markets and generate new business.
In the past, technology companies that produced complex products were primarily selling their solutions to only the largest companies. This is because they were the only ones that could afford these high-tech products. Because the audience was so small and niche and the sales cycle was so long, in-person selling was required. It could remain cost effective because there weren’t that many customers to sell to. Typically once the product was sold and the contract was signed, the company would have it for a long time.
Today, the landscape has changed drastically. As technology evolves, solutions have become less expensive, more second nature to users who are accustomed to using technology in their daily lives, and easier to adapt and implement, the target audience for business technology has also evolved. What was once out of reach for small to mid-size companies due to budget restraints is becoming more accessible. Small businesses and SMBs are now a part of the technology sales target audience alongside the larger corporations. There are less contracts and more autonomy within departments to select systems because compatibility and functionality has improved, and cost in many cases has gone done.
What was once a small market of large companies is now a large market of all-sized companies and many decision makers which has resulted in a shift in approach from technology sales professionals. The selling and adoption phases still may require some direct, in-person selling, but there is now a greater need to talk to more companies that are part of the target market. Inside sales is the most cost-effective way to do so.
With a larger market, there are also more customers and more competition, so not only is there a greater demand and need for inside sales, but there is also a greater demand for customer service professionals to be available remotely for support and retention efforts.
Inside sales and customer service professionals can speak to prospects remotely via phone, email, chat, or video conferencing in order to identify decision makers and determine whether an opportunity is qualified. The information gathered can ensure that in-person selling, if needed, is more effective. Once a prospect becomes a customer, it’s important to have a team focused on retention and providing excellent customer service.
While there is certainly still a place for in-person selling, inside sales and customer service professionals are in high demand because there are a lot more companies to sell to and a lot more users that need customer service professionals once they buy.