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Has inside sales become the cornerstone of modern sales?

17th April 2020

This is a question worth asking. Will BtoB field sales disappear in favour of sedentary sales? One thing is certain, the “Inside Sales” model is progressing rapidly and delivering impressive results.

The initiative comes from Anglo-Saxon countries where this sales model has a special “aura” thanks to the increased support of schools, unlike in France. This is reflected in the career offered and in salaries, since a sedentary American sales representative earns an average of $61,000 per year.

Read Etienne Turion’s interview for the french magazine ActionCO

The model in use

“We went from a BtoB model where we sold products, to one where we sold service. This migration to a “use-it-or-lose-it” model requires us to rethink our “go-to-market”. Revenue recognition is no longer the same as it was before, and companies now tend to mobilize their field sales staff only for activities with very high added value,” stresses Etienne Turion, CEO of Webhelp Enterprise. It is by playing the complementarity with Inside Sales that ROI is now being optimized.

Digitization in forced operation

Whether in BtoB or BtoC, a strong trend towards the digitalization of the purchasing process has rapidly developed. Just like personal behavior, a purchase is prepared online particularly on specialized websites and social networks. The BtoB buyer no longer initially turns to a telephone relationship, “We note that more than 50% of the purchasing process is completely digitized, it is then essential to ensure human interaction based on expertise and a good knowledge of the offer to finally conclude the sale”. This is what is expected of this new generation of sales consultants.

The model of remote commercial centers

The innovation comes from bringing together a plethora of nationalities on a single platform, as Etienne Turion points out, “We offer sales teams based in Barcelona, Malaga, Lisbon, Athens, Prague… to address the whole of Europe. Far from the call-center cliché, these business hubs bring together natives of all countries, including French people, whose profile corresponds to a 3 to 5 year degree, multilingual, similar to a consultant. They are more efficient in handling a remote commercial relationship, as close as possible to the markets from one of our hubs”.

Finally, it remains to be determined whether “principal” companies should use an inside sale internally, or externally, via a service provider such as Webhelp. There is no single answer; everything depends on the commercial strategy deployed by the company. “Generally, you find a mix between internal and external sales teams. Outsourcing provides a greater workforce and increased agility,” concludes Etienne Turion.

Your business development can be accelerated by outsourcing your sales force.


Some figures from the United States (source: Five Benefits of the Rise of Inside Sales, Dialsource)

– The number of Inside Sales is growing 15x faster than Field Sales.

– 750,000 Inside Sales positions are created every year.

– 10 to 1: this is the ratio of recruitment in Inside Sales vs. Field Sales.

– 61k: the average annual fixed salary in Inside Sales.

– 109.8%: this is the achievement rate vs. target.

Since 2016, Etienne Turion is the CEO of Webhelp Enterprise, Webhelp’s BtoB solutions. A graduate of NEOMA 87, his career first took him to Xerox and Everest Marketing Group before joining Webhelp, the European leader in customer relations.

For more information:
Etienne Turion

Original article: ( in French)

Article by: Leslie Choffel

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