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Drive Your Inside Sales Process with Cadence and Content

Drive Your Inside Sales Process with Cadence and Content

Categories: Sales Conversation  |  Sales Process  |  Inside Sales

I’m a dinosaur. I started selling before Al Gore found the Internet and caveman found fire.

When I started selling, companies used to put teams out in every city. Inside sales was an afterthought. Now, teams that didn’t have inside sales ten years ago are giving up on the field team all together.

The rise of Enterprise 2.0 and the Freemium model has made inside sales an increasingly critical component to many best-in-class sales organizations. As Scott Irwin shows in this article, inside sales provides a critical step towards moving customers from Freemium to a full-fledged retainer based customer.

More and more companies are investing in their inside sales teams. CSO Insights reports nearly 45 percent of firms planned to grow these teams by at least 10 percent. Successful companies know that inside sales reps are no longer just order takers, but a key component in the buying cycle. As companies rely more on the inside sales team to drive revenue numbers, their proficiency at prospecting and buyer-centric sales conversations will become even more important. This broad shift to a hub and spoke model demands a renewed focus for sales leaders on:

  • Process
  • Cadence
  • Content
  • Alignment

Line-of-Sight into the Process

As a sales leader, it is imperative that you have line-of-sight into how your inside sales reps are fueling the top of the pipeline. It’s 100 times more difficult to get someone in the pipeline than it is to close someone in the pipeline. Yet, I would argue, there is no other functional area where sales managers have less insight than in the beginning stage of pipeline building.
What is more mission critical than building pipeline?

Building pipeline is a critical component to your inside sales process. If you give your inside sales reps 100 leads a day and tell them to figure out if these potential customers are going to buy, you aren’t executing on a sales process, and you aren’t giving yourself any understanding into how that rep is qualifying those deals. You, as a sales leader, are providing them as much direction as simply saying you’re responsible for 50 dials a day. Ready, go. Get to it.

inside sales processIf that’s what you are calling an effective inside sales process, you’re missing the point. Your conversion rates are going to suffer, and more importantly you’ll miss your revenue goals. Forget Freemium, inside sales and Enterprise 2.0 -- you might as well go door-to-door. 

A key component to an effective sales process is manager line-of-sight. An SVP of Sales at a Salesvue client company confessed to me one day about his sheer embarrassment that he had virtually no insight into how his inside sales team prospects, and that’s what they spent a majority of their time doing. Think about how this would translate to any other business organization – a manager not having any ideas as to how his/her employees spend a majority of their time at work.

It would be unfathomable in any other functional area, but in inside sales it’s the crushing reality. His situation is no different than the majority of sales organizations out there that are ramping up their inside sales functions. At many organizations, prospecting and pipeline building is still left to the reps discretion. As a sales manager, I can tell people what to do, but if I can’t enforce the process, then my words mean nothing.

You need people, process and technology to make it easy. Force Management uses the term “sales consumable,” meaning if you launch a new initiative and your sales team can’t digest the information and act on it – you’ve thrown money away. I couldn’t agree more.

That’s why I do what I do at Salesvue. Providing automation to the widest and most costly part of the sales funnel provides managers that critical line-of-sight into a key component of successful sales execution. As a former sales leader, I can also tell you that having the tools in place to manage, inspect and reinforce with your sales team drives repeatable success and measurable results.

That’s why the team at Force Management does what they do. If you don’t make the process sales consumable, your results will fall flat. I’m not going to make a bad rep better by telling him/her to do it faster, but I am going to make the team better by giving management critical line-of-sight into what the reps are doing well, and are not doing so well.

Cadence and Content

cadence and contentInside Sales and Enterprise 2.0 are the new buzz words in the selling industry, but don’t be fooled by the shiny new car in the window. Effective selling comes down to cadence and content.

  • What is the cadence at which your reps are prospecting and building pipeline?
  • What is the cadence at which you as a sales leader are managing your reps into helping them prospect and build pipeline? 
  • What is the content that you are delivering in your sales conversations? 

A successful deal hinges on earning the right to have the conversation, and then the content you deliver when you have your prospect’s ear. Especially in inside sales, you need to have a value proposition that you can get across quickly. If I can’t tell you what my value prop is in a minute or two someone has messed up, whether it’s marketing, sales or even worse, I have a bad product.


Building alignment around the cadence of managing your sales process, and the content you are delivering to your customer is critical to driving repeatable and predictable results for your sales team. Put five of your reps in a room and ask them: 

  • How is a customer’s business actually transformed by doing business with us?
  • What are the specific business threats and opportunities facing our customers?
  • What are the specific elements of our value proposition?
  • What truly differentiates us from alternative offerings and how do you defend this differentiation?
  • What actions does the customer need to take for me to know they have moved into the next part of their buying process?

Will all of their answers be the same? In many companies, a sales leader will get five distinct answers. Building cross-functional alignment around your value proposition and driving consistency around key sales prospecting efforts will help your organizations shorten your sales cycle, drive revenue and increase margins.

Sales is the engine that drives all businesses. Much has been written that topline growth cures all ills within a business. Developing the right process with the enabling technology is crucial to increasing sales in the competitive landscape we exist in today. Often, a change or addition to what you’re doing right now does not feel urgent, but it could make the difference between missing your revenue goals and breaking sales records. Why risk millions for your sales organization?

Bill Johnson, President of SalesvueBill Johnson is a veteran sales professional with more than 30 years of experience. He’s led sales teams at PTC and Aprimo and is currently the President and CEO of Salesvue, a prospecting automation solution, built entirely on the Salesforce Platform. It offers its users standardized call cadences, time-saving dashboards and in-depth performance reports.


More Information:

News Release: Salesvue and Force Management Partnership

Sales Pro Central