In part 1 of our short series about inside sales teams, we highlighted the benefits of deploying inside sales teams, in lieu of field sales. Having recognised the cost benefits, many organisations are transitioning from a field sales model to an inside sales model, where the inside sales team work independently and are directly responsible for closing business. We also discussed some of the benefits of implementing “next-generation” inside sales teams, which can work remotely by using cloud-based contact centre software. In Part 2, we’ll discuss contact centre technology, up-selling and cross-selling, and how Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) is shaping the contact centre of the future.
Most businesses are either already operating in the cloud or are preparing for the migration of many of their applications to the cloud. A recent ABS survey revealed that the first-time take-up of cloud services within Australian businesses has reached nearly 30%. It’s a simple and inexpensive process for “cloud businesses” to implement contact centre technology across their sales teams. As a matter of fact, all you need is a computer, an internet connection and a headset to start using cloud-based contact centre software such as contactSPACE. Once a team member is online, they simply log in to the platform and they’re ready to start making calls to prospects and customers.
Sales teams are more interested in performing the activities which are directly related to closing sales than any “administrative” tasks such as updating records in the CRM or sending important follow-up emails. contactSPACE addresses this issue by providing out-of-the-box integrations with most popular CRMs, so you don’t need to keep switching between different applications as you can work within the contactSPACE environment, which automatically keeps your CRM updated.
Team managers can set up campaigns (initiatives) quickly, and the inside sales team can start contacting prospects and having better conversations immediately. With the CallGuides® feature, even novice members are prompted with guided content to help them achieve far greater sales outcomes than they would otherwise. It’s a real leveller, and the benefits are undeniable. Fast onboarding, significantly better performance. The bottom line is they can make more sales, much faster!
Inside sales teams find tremendous value in using cloud-based contact centre software, and there’s a plethora of very powerful and cool features that enables them to be as effective as possible, whether they’re working from the office or from home. You can read more about the features of current generation cloud contact centre solutions here.
So, what of the “next-generation” contact centre solution? We’ve known for some time now that AI and ML technology will play a major role in how these platforms work to deliver even higher levels of performance. Both AI and ML are already being used in everyday search engines, online shopping sites and streaming services like Netflix. AI technology is all about machines that can teach themselves to learn and make complicated decisions, whereas ML provides outcomes based on pre-built modelling fed with large datasets. Netflix, for example, uses predictive algorithms and big data to predict what its customers will enjoy. The model uses advanced analytics to make specific recommendations about which products and services to offer to each customer based on analysis of past purchases within that account, as well as purchases in other accounts with a similar profile (i.e. “data doubles”). Similarly, this technology will have a significant impact on contact centre technology. For example, labour-intensive and time-consuming decisions previously made by experts can now be made in seconds, and if your inside sales team is provided with optimum call times and hyper-targeted prospects to call, they’ll be well ahead of their competitors and their success rate will be significantly higher. You can read more about these technologies in our White Paper on Machine Learning.
Inside sales teams are also using cloud-based contact centre technology to upsell and cross-sell, maximising revenue per customer engagement. Upselling is the practice of encouraging customers to purchase a comparable higher-end product or service than the one in question, whilst cross-selling invites customers to buy related or complementary items. Both offer distinct advantages and are easily implemented within contactSPACE by scripting suggestive sales and by making promotional offers available to the team members on screen at the right time during the conversation with the prospect or customer.
There’s never been a better time to boost the performance of your inside sales teams, and with the availability of fast broadband internet speeds and cost-effective cloud-based contact centre technology, they can be top gun sales professionals from anywhere in the world.
In Part 3, we’re going to cover the top 5 things your inside sales team should be doing in 2018.
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