Outside sales is still around, but compared to inside sales it is trending down. Driven by digital technology, inside sales is allowing businesses to lower costs and increase their level of efficiency.
One of the technologies looking to improve on this is Ciara, the first digital virtual assistant for inside sales representatives. According to the founders of Ciara, they are in the process of creating the “Alexa for sales calls.”
What this means is, Ciara will be able to understand a conversation in full. Based on this understanding, it will provide real-time sales enablement skills to inside sales reps.
Why is this particularly important? Because according to Salesforce, sales professionals spend just 34% of their time selling. They spend the rest of their time with data entry, quote generation, and other tasks. And these tasks keep them away from customers, which is resulting in missing their quotas.
As inside sales continues to grow, businesses have to train, onboard and provide the resources they need with greater efficiency. Konstantin Krauss, one of the co-founders of Ciara addressed this very point in the press release.
Krauss says, “The job market for inside sales representatives is growing by the day. In order for SaaS companies or other industries that generally sell remotely to have success, they must ramp their people up fast, provide them with sales resources and give them access to training. We are excited to offer Ciara to the market to help on all these fronts!”
The Ciara Virtual Assistant Platform
The Ciara platform is being driven by the success of AI and real-time communications currently used by virtual assistants. Alexa is a great example of this.
As an inside sales assistant, Ciara has playbooks sales reps can use to deliver the right answers. With real-time support, Ciara offers actionable advice on calls from customers. And while a sales call is taking place, a rep can take notes within Ciara. This information can then be synced into CRM solutions such as Salesforce, HubSpot or Pipedrive.
Additionally, sales teams can create custom and interactive sales guides, manage playbooks, and structure their sales phone calls. With the playbook in place, reps can answer customer questions on competition, pricing, and new product capabilities quickly. And the more you use Ciara, the better it gets by using deep learning from daily interactions.
For new candidates, Ciara can be a training tool. Not only by providing relevant data, but also helping structure their phone conversations as they gain more experience. This allows new hires to increase their sale success early in their development.
The Growth of Inside Sales
Inside sales is growing because of the way consumers and businesses now interact with technology. When someone wants to buy a product or service, the first thing they do is search for it online. By the time they have made the decision to buy, they have all the information they need. And in most cases, they make the first contact.
Whether it is through email, chat or a phone call, this contact is made to an inside sales rep. How the rep responds will dictate if the customer is going to move forward with the purchase. This highlights the importance of proper training and having the right tools in place.
Although digital virtual assistants haven’t been used for inside sales, it makes sense. After all, the questions customers ask salespeople come from playbooks. If the virtual assistant can answer all the question in the playbook, it means more time making sales for the salesperson.
Ciara is now available for free here.