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Inside Sales Representative

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What Is an Inside Sales Representative? How to Become One, Salary, Skills.

Inside sales representatives guide leads through the sales process, with the goal of converting prospects into customers. They do their work over phone or email, rather than in-person, hence the term “inside sales.” Here’s what to know about an inside sales representative’s needed skills, salary and how to become one.

 

What Is an Inside Sales Representative?

Inside sales representatives reach out to leads and sell products and services over email or phone.

 

What Do Inside Sales Representatives Do?

Inside sales representatives talk to leads and guide prospects through each stage of the sales process, seeking to build relationships and earn new customers.

Inside Sales Representative Responsibilities

  • Identify potential leads, reach out to them and build relationships.   
  • Demonstrate features of company products and services.  
  • Guide leads through the sales process, converting them into customers. 
  • Negotiate contracts with new and current customers. 
  • Work with sales executives to handle larger accounts.

Day-to-Day Responsibilities of an Inside Sales Representative

  • Research potential leads by referencing company profiles, databases and other sources. 
  • Reach out to leads through cold calls, sales emails, platform messages and other means.
  • Meet online with leads to demonstrate product features and answer questions. 
  • Discuss contract options and potential upselling opportunities with new and current customers. 
  • Meet with sales executives to decide how to address more complex contracts and the needs of larger customers.

Inside Sales Representatives Within a Company

Inside sales representatives are usually entry-level professionals in the sales department. They may collaborate with sales executives on bigger accounts, and they often report to a sales manager who oversees a team of sales reps.

Importance of Inside Sales Representatives

Inside sales representatives rely on technology to reach out to leads and interact with current customers. Through this approach, inside sales reps can connect to wider audiences in a shorter amount of time, delivering a major boost to a company’s growth and retention strategy.

 

What Skills Are Needed to Be an Inside Sales Representative?

Qualifications to Be an Inside Sales Representative

  • Background in sales, customer service or marketing
  • Experience interacting with customers through written and verbal communication.  
  • Basic knowledge of sales techniques and best practices.
  • Ability to multi-task and balance many projects.  
  • Proven success working in a high-pressure environment.

Inside Sales Representative Prerequisites

  • GED certificate or high school diploma. 
  • Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, communications or a related field (not required, but helpful for career advancement). 
  • At least one year of related work experience (not always required, but can be helpful for securing a role).

Inside Sales Representative Hard Skills

  • Skilled in cold calling, writing emails and other forms of sales communication. 
  • Knowledge of sales pitches, upselling and other sales techniques. 
  • Thorough understanding of a company’s products and services. 
  • Ability to research prospects and determine promising leads. 
  • Familiar with video chat platforms, messaging apps and other common communication tools.

Inside Sales Representative Soft Skills

  • Excellent persuasion and negotiation skills
  • Strong listening skills for tailoring selling points to customer needs. 
  • Resilience for handling rejection and learning from conversations. 
  • Analytical mindset for researching and identifying top leads. 
  • Competitive mentality for thriving in a performance-based environment.

Tools and Skills Inside Sales Representatives Use

  • Online meeting platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts. 
  • Sales intelligence software like LinkedIn Sales Navigator and ZoomInfo SalesOS.
  • Database tools like Microsoft Excel, Zoho Sheet and Google Sheets. 
  • Sales customer relationship management systems like Salesforce and HubSpot.
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How to Become an Inside Sales Representative

Inside Sales Representative Education and Experience

Inside sales representative positions often require only a GED certificate or high school diploma. However, professionals can accelerate their career advancement with a bachelor’s in business, marketing, communications or a related field. While it’s not required, prior experience in related entry-level roles like marketing associate or customer support rep can also help one become an inside sales representative.

Inside Sales Representative Certificates and Courses

Inside Sales Representative Career Path

After completing their education, incoming sales professionals often begin their careers as inside sales representatives. Those who excel in the position may become senior inside sales representatives. After five years in inside sales, reps can become sales executives and eventually pursue a sales manager role.

 

Inside Sales Representative Salary and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, sales occupations in general should experience no employment growth or decline between 2021 and 2031. But many workers are expected to leave their jobs, providing opportunities for aspiring inside sales representatives to build their careers.  

The full compensation package for an inside sales representative depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the candidate’s experience and geographic location. See below for detailed information on the average inside sales representative salary.

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