As a follow-up to my last blog post, You’re Setting Your Marketing and Sales Teams Up for Failure, I wanted to talk a bit more about the importance of having a dedicated person/team handling inside and digital sales.
In that post, I talked about why you can’t task your existing marketing and outside sales teams with being responsible for the success of your e-commerce platform. It requires instituting a new team—an inside/digital sales team.
There is sometimes a tendency to place the management of the e-commerce site with an existing customer service team. After all, they’re kind of the closest team to that role already. They deal with customers all day and they help with troubleshooting and placing and fulfilling orders.
We at MPSToolbox used to think this was a reasonable compromise for dealers who couldn’t (or wouldn’t) commit to an actual inside sales resource. After roughly four months of running our Digital Sales Rep program, where we provide hands-on white-labeled inside sales management for dealers, I’m pretty confident in saying that we were wrong in our leniency—it’s not a reasonable option.
The reason inside sales needs to be a formal role is that it requires work, planning, and process. In short, inside sales is sales. It’s not customer service.
This is a shortlist of the outreach and tracking we engage in in the Digital Sales Rep program.
We have a process, templates, and talk tracks for outreach calls and emails, taking into account whether someone is an existing managed or transactional customer or a warm prospect. We track every interaction, and every conversion opportunity attributable to our efforts.
This is the type of sales process that a typical customer service department isn’t equipped to develop or manage. If success with e-commerce for print dealers was a simple case of setting up customers with accounts on their online store, then it might make sense to sit that responsibility with the customer service team. But it isn’t that simple.
And that’s no slight on customer service teams. They provide a valuable function inside of any organization. But they’re not set up in a way that’s going to drive solid value for your e-commerce store.
You need to shift some of your resources to invest in a formal inside sales team (or at the very least person). And if you’re wary of making that structural change inside your business without a bit of traction and proof first, then let’s have a chat and see if outsourcing and using our Digital Sales Rep program may be a good fit to get your e-commerce efforts off the ground.