As inside sales continues to gain widespread adoption among organizations of all sizes, the industry is expected to create as many as 1 million jobs in the next seven to eight years.
Bob Perkins, founder of the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP), says some venture capital firms will no longer invest in an early-stage company unless it has an intelligent inside sales plan.
Perkins shared other valuable research and insights on the future of the profession at the Inside Sales Virtual Summit. You can watch his full presentation in the video below.
Inside sales challenges
Today’s inside sales professional is expected to have an increasingly large skill set. A rep must combine phone, email and Internet skills with the persuasive powers of a seasoned field rep. Job requirements span the entire sales process from prospecting to researching to presenting to negotiating.
This presents a huge challenge as leaders are having a hard time finding and hiring qualified talent.
And the shortage of talent is not limited to reps. Perkins says he get calls every week from recruiters asking to tap into his network because they have an opening for a VP of inside sales.
Training, development and coaching present another challenge. Inside sales reps are begging for help here. They’re saying, “We need more training and development because more is being required of us.”
Inside sales leaders of the future need to be people-focused, Perkins says. They need to understand the required skills and competencies.
Tomorrow’s leaders must be more than just coaches and motivators. They’ll have to be experts in hiring and sourcing. They will have to embrace training. They absolutely must care about an inside sales rep’s career.
Inside sales leaders also need to know which tools and technologies can really make a difference.
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