Success for our Inside sales team is drawn from our own experiences in other sales departments, and the areas we felt were damaging to making an environment for sales teams to thrive. Some of the pillars of approaching the sales account execs revolve around 3 things – Vulnerability, Growth, and Trust.
Pillar 1: Vulnerability
Vulnerability means that we are willing to roll up our sleeves up and get uncomfortable while encouraging our teams to do so. Sales is full of uncomfortable moments, so there is no better way to win the trust of your people and reassure them that discomfort is okay than to lead by example. Some ways we do that is too cold call with our teams in a room. This allows us to try new things, gain feedback, and share our insecurities, while also being open about our challenges.
Pillar 2: Growth
Growth comes from the idea of serving our people’s best interest and proving that above all else you want to see them shine. We give lots of critical feedback in the role, but it’s more on mechanics and specific skill-building than it is on judgment and a good/bad scale. Changing from “that sounded bad, we need to improve” to “Hey, in that spot when we said this, I think we lost a little effect there. What do you think about adjusting to x? Let’s try that a few times and see how it feels.” The feedback feels genuine and specific, easily applied at the moment, and removes judgment from their skill level.
Pillar 3: Trust
Trust comes from allowing our people to structure their time and day and collaborate with them on their success, not dictate how they must get it. If I am focusing at the moment on auditing activity metrics and that is the primary dialogue I have with my team, I am showing a lack of trust in their self-drive, and professional mindset as a sales executives. We do speak about activity but put the work in on all stages of the pipeline before we get there.
This mentality has created a healthy culture that balances the chaos and stress that is freight sales while avoiding prolonged burnout and keeping it fresh. Our team has found ways to perform at a high level, without me having to micromanage their impact. The sales team has created an environment of friendly competition, fun banter, chemistry, collaboration, and a strong sense of purpose in connecting with potential customers on a genuine level. I believe that’s the true differentiator between us and our competition in the market. This paired with being able to go home with a positive reflection most days is what I believe to be the key driver in the financial and cultural success thus far of our Inside sales team.
Our team has had its fair share of challenges as we continue to build out the right tools and support, but they have adapted well and continue to bring added velocity no matter the environment. SO far, they have performed in upwards of 200% of revenue targets and they continue to prove how lucrative the model is for our department.
Zach Kruse, Wholesale Operations Manager, shares his methods and process used to create the success for the Inside Sales Team at Paper Transport.
Read more Paper Transport department success stories here.