One thing is clear from the turnout at the American Association of Inside Sales Professional's (AA-ISP) annual Leadership Summit -- inside sales is in. As inside sales becomes more firmly rooted in companies of all sizes and industries, the event's attendance has grown significantly over the past six years.
Once regarded as lesser than traditional field sales, inside sales is now a recognized and respected function. Some speakers even predicted that inside sales teams will overtake their counterparts on the road in the not so distant future.
"We expect inside sales to surpass field sales within the next five to 10 years, meaning more quota will be generated by inside sales reps than by field sales reps," said Dave Elkington, CEO and founder of InsideSales.com.
But just because inside sales is the new kid on the block doesn't mean that inside teams can make do with field reps' hand-me-down best practices and processes. Several speakers pointed out that inside sales is a whole different animal from field sales, which necessitates new approaches and strategies.
Here are 15 of the most quotable tips and takeaways from day one of the conference, packaged for your tweeting pleasure.
1) "I see a day when there's no division between inside and outside sales." - Bob Perkins, founder and chairman of AA-ISP (Tweet This Quote)
2) "Have your salespeople blog. Salespeople that are thought leaders win deals." - Tawheed Kader, founder of ToutApp (Tweet This Quote)
3) "Every decision is emotional." - Tom Snyder, founder of VorsightBP (Tweet This Quote)
4) "I know we all love technology, but it follows process and adoption." - Trish Bertuzzi, president and chief strategist at The Bridge Group (Tweet This Quote)
5) "The best email open and reply rates are at the edges of the day -- early in the morning and late at night." - Bridget Gleason, VP of sales at Yesware (Tweet This Quote)
6) "The best way to distribute leads to an inside sales team is based on performance." - Nick Hedges, president and CEO of Velocify (Tweet This Quote)
7) "Teaching is just talking unless learning takes place. Do [reps] really understand what the sales process is? Be maniacal about it." - Chris Hodges, SVP of sales at Noble Systems (Tweet This Quote)
8) "Before you buy a tool, sit on the floor next to a rep and make sure it would actually help them." - Lauren Bailey, president of Factor8 (Tweet This Quote)
9) "Any time you ask [a prospect] for less than 20 to 30 minutes, you're doing yourself a disservice. People ask for five or 10 minutes -- all you're doing is indicating it's not that important." - Mike Scher, CEO of Frontline Selling (Tweet This Quote)
10) "People sometimes think playbooks are about documenting process, but they have evolved to be buyer-based messaging." - Trish Bertuzzi, president and chief strategist at The Bridge Group (Tweet This Quote)
11) "What gets inspected gets done. Your best weapons are the questions you ask your managers in your meetings." - Lauren Bailey, president of Factor8 (Tweet This Quote)
12) "Make sure you're managing behavior, not attitude." - Chris Hodges, SVP of sales at Noble Systems (Tweet This Quote)
13) "A lead is the most perishable good on the planet. A lead goes bad after 60 seconds." - Nick Hedges, president and CEO of Velocify (Tweet This Quote)
14) "Sales management is a different job and we need to respect that and give these people the tools and training they need to be effective." - Lauren Bailey, president of Factor8 (Tweet This Quote)
15) "In my mind, inside sales is just sales and it's how the buyer wants to buy." - Judy Buchholz, general manager of IBM Digital Sales (Tweet This Quote)