Last week, I led our annual Sales Leadership intensive and hosted the best group of sales leaders to ever attend the event. Chad Burmeister, who is well known throughout the inside sales community, was one of the attendees. At one of the lunch breaks, he was talking about the customers his company, Connect and Sell, helps. He commented that most of them are inside sales organizations. Chad thought that we would have data to demonstrate the transition to inside sales over the past several years.
I began by reviewing my personal clients at Kurlan & Associates and compared them with clients from several years ago. Sure enough, the numbers were amazing.
As recently as 5 years ago, only 20% of my personal clients were inside sales forces. Today, that has increased by 150%. Half of my own training, coaching and consulting clients are inside sales forces! I investigated further and looked at the many other Kurlan clients who work with the rest of my team and learned that 73% of those clients are inside sales forces.
Next, I reviewed around 250 of the newest Objective Management Group (OMG) accounts for sales candidate assessments and discovered that 42% of the open positions are for inside sales roles. That number is quite different from the percentage I found with Kurlan clients and even though 42% is significantly greater than five years ago, I wanted to learn more about why there was such a disparity between the Kurlan versus OMG percentages.
I dug deeper and learned that the likelihood of an account being for an outside sales role was in direct proportion to the number of years that our OMG Parter/Sales Expert has been with OMG. That's code for how old the OMG partner is! Sure enough, most of the older, longtime OMG Partners are still most comfortable doing business with, or positioning themselves with companies that have traditional outside sales forces. When I looked at the recent accounts represented by newer and younger OMG Partners, 75% of them were for inside sales roles - much more consistent with what I found when I looked at the distribution of Kurlan clients.
Chad knew. Way to go, Chad!
What do these number mean for you?
Last year I wrote about the Great Migration to Inside Sales. The article highlights eight scenarios that help you determine whether or not making that move is right for your company.
I wrote about the move to inside sales again in December and asked why the migration took so long to occur? That article explains the various inside roles and makes a better case for migration winning out over the status quo.
OMG is working on a major sales effectiveness study that looks not only at traditional sales effectiveness, but also inside, inbound and social selling effectiveness. The study must be inclusive and not just for huge companies and that's why I need your help. I would be so appreciative if you would take 5 minutes from your busy day to provide your anonymous data. No names, no emails, no follow-up. Although it's an easy survey to take, it's crucial that we produce this unbiased study. Won't you please help me?
The September, Week 4 Issue of Top Sales Magazine is available here. And the brochure for the 2014-2015 Top Sales Academy is available here. On October 8, I'll be leading the session on How to Master the Art of Coaching Salespeople.
Salesforce.com's blog posted an article of mine that asks whether or not you can turn customer service reps into salespeople. If you have CSR's, then you must read this article.