A proactive inside sales force can be critical to serving mid-market and small customers as part of a broader multichannel strategy, and setting one up doesn't have to break the bank, according to Jonathan Bein and Debbie Paul in The Case for Proactive Inside Sales. A few small steps, done right, can make a big difference on your bottom line.
Start by creating a small outbound calling program, which can be as simple as getting a single person on the phone making outbound calls. Look for a salesperson with a "hunter" personality who likes to pick up the phone and make things happen.
Create a database of the good contacts for use in future campaigns.By making these calls, you will be gathering some good information that you didn’t have before, so a place to enter this information is paramount. If you have a customer relationship management (CRM) system, use it to store and manage this new data. If you don’t have a CRM system, a spreadsheet in Excel will be sufficient. Even if the sale doesn't happen today, that information can be used to close one tomorrow.
Create goals that reflect the behaviors you want. If the initial goal is to reach as many customers as possible to probe for needs, then create a goal around contacts reached. If you are trying to increase margins by cross-selling product, then reward salespeople on margin growth.
Get more tips on creating a proactive inside sales force in The Case for Proactive Inside Sales.