Outside and inside sales representatives have the same goal - sales. Nevertheless, a day in the life of an outside sales rep is very different from a day in the life of an inside sales rep. Inside sales reps work from the office, make sales inquiries over the phone, and schedule demos via Skype or other conferencing tools. Outside sales reps visit clients and prospects at their business locations.
Having an outside sales rep costs more than an inside sales rep as they incur traveling and living expenses. However, if your company sells a pricey product to large corporations you may want to hire an outside sales rep to nurture and establish those relationships.
Companies can leverage outside sales reps’ stellar relationships in three ways:
Ask for referrals and introductions
Growing your client base is essential, and there’s no easier way than through referrals.
There are two main requirements when asking for a referral. Firstly, the outside salesperson has to have a successful and positive relationship with a client. Secondly, they need to ask for it face-to-face.
Outside sales reps know their clients, so they also know when the best moment is to ask for a referral. For instance, there will be a moment when the client will praise the sales rep for doing a great job. The rep should seize this opportunity to ask for a referral. There are two ways to ask:
- Explain that they are a great client and that maybe they also know other great people like them that could be interested in the solution you offer. It’s a hit-or-miss question! They will either give you some names or tell you no.
- Explain how glad you are that they are pleased with your work and ask them to pass your name onto other people who may be interested. In this case, leave some business cards.
Referrals will get you more clients, so don’t forget to ask.
Cross-selling and up-selling
It is no secret that acquiring a new client costs more than investing in an existing client. In addition, it is far easier to sell products and services to existing clients than to someone you don't have a relationship with. The key point is the client’s trust in the company. Because outside sales reps have cultivated the relationship, it is far less difficult to sell to an existing client. Moreover, they know exactly what is relevant for each client, and cross-selling and up-selling is all about relevance and timing.
It is important not to bombard clients with product suggestions, nobody wants a frustrated client. You need to select the right moment and technique. According to Econsultancy, up-selling is 20 times more effective than cross-selling. This is because once a client is interested it is easier to propose something that improves their first choice.
Nevertheless, a tip that could help outside sales reps to cross-sell is to send an email with a link to the product page of the website and turn on the Saleswings Website Tracking & Lead Scoring Add-on. The outside sales rep can track whether or not the person clicks the link. If the person clicks the link, the outside sales rep can discuss the product in the next meeting. The other advantage is that if the person clicks the link, Saleswings can analyse past and future visits to the website and score the level of engagement/interest of that person.
Cross-selling and upselling make sales people’s job more challenging. Nevertheless, the knowledge that outside sales reps have of the client will make it slightly easier for them.
Leverage relationships with other sales professionals
The goal here is to leverage professionals outside your network to get a reference. People outside of your immediate working industry. Contactually, in the blog post “5 Professionals Outside of Your Network to Get Referrals”, gives a good example of how it should be done in the real estate world. For instance, The Best Professionals to Establish a Relationship with in real estate are:
- Community Leaders
- Home Service Providers
- Moving Companies
- Mortgage Brokers
I am sure that outside sales reps will be able to use the same exercise as Contactually and think about important relationships to establish with professionals outside their network.
How can outside sales reps find new contacts outside their network?
There are two main ways: through social networks or Badger Maps. For example, the outside sales rep is visiting two clients in the same area, but between the two visits they have some dead time in their schedule. They can check where professionals outside their group are located in that area. For instance, a real estate agent can check for moving companies and schedule an appointment with them. Badger makes connecting to opportunities easier than ever, a serious advantage in field sales.
In conclusion, no company can survive today if they don’t nurture relationships with their clients. The advantage of outside sales reps is that they stay in touch with clients by keeping the relationship very personal, and we all know that a strong relationship can drive sales and growth - especially in such a competitive world.
About the Author:
Sara Sayegh-Moccand is a digital marketing specialist at Saleswings, a website tracking and lead scoring add-on. The software identifies your most sales-ready leads based on their website activity. It analyzes your leads’ past and future visits and scores their level of engagement/interest.