When pursuing multi-channel innovations, health care can learn a lot from outside the industry. This notion was underscored at the recent American Association of Inside Sales Professionals Leadership Summit, a cross-industry gathering on how to design successful inside sales teams. At it, I collected inspiration from beyond health care.
As we look to improve inside sales performance, is one team really that much better than another? Here is an astounding benchmark: While the average team is able to contact 25% to 33% of its list, a best-in-class team can successfully reach 70% to 90%. Given such a dramatic difference in performance, we can all agree in the value of leveraging insights from these best-in-class teams. Here are five performance tips:1. Partner with marketing on right targets and right message.
It is easy for sales to blame poor performance on the quality of the target list provided by marketing … and for marketing to blame sales team’s execution. Best-in-class companies have marketing teams that leverage knowledge gained from their inside sales team to improve their targeting methodology, and inside sales uses customer-level insights from marketing as a “better hook” with individual customers.
We too quickly dismiss the value that inside sales offers as a personal channel for engagement. Best-in-class inside sales teams “work the office” to gain access to more valuable stakeholders. Through perseverance and consistency in target lists, teams see increased engagement over time as they develop a relationship with the people on the other end of the phone.
Inside sales offers an opportunity to mine data in a far more sophisticated way than our in-person channel. Best-in-class teams know the right time to call an office or when to schedule an appointment. Generally, delay causes decay—while next-day appointments have a 70% attendance rate, attendance drops to 30% on average if scheduled for the next week.
The health-care industry has yet to crack the nut on the best approach to using the inside and in-person teams as symbiotic rather than competing resources. Best-in-class examples show 1+1 > 2, as cases where the in-person and inside teams deliver details to distinct targets have lower overall impact than when the teams are working together.
Constant experimentation is the norm for best-in-class inside sales teams. Health-care may not be leveraging the agility and relatively low-cost risk this channel offers in terms of new pilots and adaptation to an ever-changing environment.
If best-in-class teams are reaching 50% to 70% more of their target customers and driving two to three times higher impact, why not look to these companies as inspiration for improvement?