Many MSPs are unfamiliar with the inside sales role, which makes hiring someone for the post a bit more difficult than other sales positions. While you don't have to be an expert on the inside sales role, you should still know what to expect from an inside salesperson and how to evaluate an inside sales candidate during the interviewing process.
What should your expectations be?
Before you begin searching for someone to fill your inside sales position, with regard to leads, assess your organization’s current situation. Ask yourself the following question: Did I set myself up for success or failure? In other words, are your leads warm or cold?
Ideally, you should have a dedicated process to generating qualified leads. At TruMethods, we recommended you have access to at least 250 warm leads at all times. These leads are accounts your sales team is staying in contact with on an ongoing basis.
If you don’t have any warm leads on hand, you’re putting the inside sales person you’re hiring at an disadvantage. This individual will have to convert cold calls into warm leads, so don’t expect immediate results if this is the case. Eventually, your inside sales person will manage prospects, but until then, do your best to prepare for future sales success.
Which qualities do inside salespeople possess?
First, your inside sales person should be making about 80 calls per day, so look for a candidate who doesn’t need to overcome call reluctance. An inside salesperson who’s afraid to pick up the phone to talk with a cold lead will only impede your lead generation efforts in the long term. Find a candidate who knows how to navigate uncharted waters.
You’ll also need to determine whether the candidate your speaking with is confident. The best time to assess this is the first time you interact with this individual on the phone. Could the candidate handle rejection? Does this particular individual have a positive attitude? Use your best judgment to decide whether the candidate would be a good fit.
How to assess a candidate’s sales skills
Many MSPs offer Wonderlic tests to assess aptitude for prospective employees, but if you’re looking for something more hands on, challenge the candidate your interviewing to make a few sales calls in front of you. Sure, it puts the candidate in a tough spot, but you'll be able to see how well candidate you’re interviewing handles difficult situations.
Should I hire salesperson from the channel?
I usually don’t recommend hiring a salesperson from the channel for an inside sales role. Why? Well, the role of the inside sales person isn’t to sell. Your inside sales person should be trying to set up meetings between you and prospects to discuss how looking at technology in a different way is what’s best for them. The inside sales process is a lot
different than other sales processes. Salespeople who are used to selling products tend to try to accomplish more than they should on calls, which could turn your leads away.
Again, it’s alright if you’ve never held an inside sales position. What matters is you understand the role and know what to look for when you’re hiring someone for the job.