How Salesforce Built Its Inside Sales Team

Salesforce hasn’t always had an inside sales team. In fact, it’s something we backed into based on a need. This meant that the only way to learn how to build this kind of team was to do it while on the job.

quotable side bannerWhen we’ve failed, we’ve failed fast, and moved on. Not only have we learned a ton along the way, but you, the reader, can too. Here is my account of how we at Salesforce built, and continue to build, our inside sales team.

We chose a headquarters-based model.

Where you base your inside sales team has a lot to do with whether or not you want them to serve as an internal talent pool for your organization or not. For some companies, a so-called “nearshore” model works. At Salesforce, it’s important to us to use our inside sales team as a development system for the rest of our sales organization.

We give our inside sales reps experience in the field.

Once BDRs are in the role for about a year, they can typically make the jump to the enterprise corporate sales (or ECS Geo) team. With ECS Geo, discovery is a critical component of understanding a prospect’s needs and pain points. And there is only so much one can discover by looking at the Web all day.

We use data science to chase the right opportunities.

It’s easy for inside sales to get lost and waste a lot of time chasing opportunities that simply aren’t there. We’ve found it to be incredibly important to be extremely precise in our targeting of prospects. With data science, we are getting much better at triangulating propensity to buy based on behavior.

We created synergy between sales and marketing.

There’s been an ongoing dialogue between sales and marketing teams: Sales teams complain that marketing teams don’t provide enough enablement to make salespeople successful. Marketing teams complain that they provide awesome enablement, but salespeople just don’t take advantage of it. We solve for this ongoing debate by spending a lot of time coordinating the two.

To read the full article, How Salesforce Built Its Inside Sales Team, visit Quotable.

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About the Author

Will Anastas

Will Anastas is the senior area vice president of enterprise corporate sales and business development for Salesforce . Will and his team help large North American companies leverage Salesforce’s suite of solutions to create deeper customer connections. He also runs the business development organization in North America, which develops customer and new business leads. Prior to joining Salesforce, Will served as vice president of North American sales at Forrester Research. Will holds a B.A. from Assumption College and lives in San Francisco with his wife and two children.​

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