How to Find the Right Inside Sales Job

Posted by Ryan Neu

Feb 14, 2013, 7:48 AM

Sales is sales. Every day, month, quarter and year is a grind. All of your activities, including calls, voicemails, and emails, are tracked; you are held to a strict quota; and all of your numbers are transparent within your organization. Not everyone is cut out for sales.

However, the grind is what drives us to succeed. So, if you live and breathe all-things-sales, you need to pick a company to work for. Be careful. 

Prior to choosing an inside sales job, you need to qualify the company. Think of them as your prospect. Are they "qualified" to get your time? There are a few things that all inside sales reps should consider prior to choosing a company to work for:


Understand the Competitive Landscape

It is important to understand the competitive landscape prior to taking a job in inside sales. You, the sales rep, will be on the phone attempting to beat out competition on a daily basis. Understand your chances. Good questions to ask your potential employer include:

"How many deals do you lose to competition per quarter?"

"Why do you lose those deals?"

"What about your product or service makes a prospect chose the competition?"

"Why do you win deals over your competitors?"

These questions will help you understand the competitive landscape. You should also do your own due diligence but make sure to have the potential employer explain this landscape to you as well. 


Make sure the company can "sell you" 

You are likely to go through interviews with sales managers, directors, and hopefully, the VP of Sales. Make sure that they can sell you. I always want to hear the pitch from the horse's mouth because if they can't sell you, how are you going to sell prospects? This will also help you gauge the sales-chops on the company's current sales team. If the potential employer cannot sell you, run. 


Get a grasp of the numbers

Do your diligence regarding the performance of the current sales force. What percentage of sales reps reached 100% of quota in the most recent quota period? How many sales reps exceeded 150% of quota? What was the highest performance for the quarter, year? These are all great questions to ask because remember, you are on salary + commission. It is wise to get a firm understanding of the expectations in relation to the performance of the current sales team. Make sure that a reasonable percentage of the current team hits or exceeds the expected on-target earnings (OTE).


How strong is the marketing team?

This one is important. Trust me. Do not take a job in inside sales until you understand the strength of the company's marketing team. Your job is to sell. The marketing team's job is to produce leads. In order to assess the strength of the company's marketing team, ask the following questions:

"How many people are on the marketing team?"

"What is the marketing team's monthly quota for lead generation?"

"What percentage of the leads generated are marketing qualified leads?"

"How do you define "marketing qualified" internally?"

Having a skilled marketing team is incredibly important. A well refined marketing team should be able to supply you with marketing qualified leads that will help you reach and exceed your quota. Make sure to take a deep dive into the strength of the marketing team. 

When you treat the potential employer as if they are a prospect, you will uncover the good, the bad and the ugly. You will also show that this is an important decision for you. What do you look for in a company? Share below!


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