VentureBeat recently profiled NewVoiceMedia as part of a macro overview of the exploding inside sales market. One thing the article exposed was exactly how diverse the offerings related to inside sales have become. There are tools for sales enablement, sales research, sales communications … and the market continues to grow. But why the sudden emergence of so many competitors in the inside sales market? To understand, it is important to look at how sales has transformed in the past 25 years.
Back in the day, making a sale was a straightforward process: you found the potential customer, you pitched the product and you closed the deal. Today, customers are used to a very different selling process; they want a tailored, data-driven approach. They’re used to a personalized experience. They’re used to convenience. And if a sales organization hopes to remain competitive, they’re going to have to match those expectations.
This demand for a highly specialized sales approach has created a multibillion dollar market with plenty of elbow room for competition. No one player is hogging the market share, mainly because sales need to span multiple technologies addressing multiple components of the sale.
As sales demands entangle, organizations have created tools to fulfill these different components. VentureBeat breaks these tools down into five categories (engagement, productivity and enablement, sales intelligence, pipeline and analytics, people management) operating across five different cloud mediums (internet, email, voice, chat/messaging and social). The result is 25 different market segments with companies providing overlapping services – room for hundreds of different types of combination market companies.
We are a far cry from what sales was just a few decades ago. And with new technologies multiplying year over year, there is no telling how many market segments may yet emerge. However, at the moment there are two major building blocks fueling much of the innovation in our field: The Internet of Things (IoT) and data.
People are attached to the internet with astounding consistency and on a variety of devices. Today, almost everything has internet capability – cars, TVs, ovens, vacuum cleaners. For sales, this has created an unprecedented number of outlets through which to interact with potential customers.
Similarly, it has provided the world a new platform for convenience. The prevalence of connected devices in our society has created sales that are facilitated by equal parts man and machine. Sales teams are no longer just filled with dapper smooth talkers; they include engineers, analysts, coders and system architects.
The world of connected devices has given us synergistic thinking power. Computers are smarter and reactive, like nerve endings connected to a giant brain. At the very basic level, sales reps can leverage the extra smart processing power of linked devices to automate processes that are monotonous and repetitive. On a deeper level, engineers can tap into the massive flow of data to pick apart the fundamental elements of a sale, predict behaviors and craft actions that provide the most profit/return.The IoT and the subsequent flow of information created are not simple concepts. The sophistication of these technologies have presented boundless potential. It is why there is so much value in the inside sales market, so much elbow room and so much advancement with little indication of slowing down. The internet and connected circuitry have created something almost sentient with a more complex structure than anything biological and more brain power than any one living thing. It’s a sales monster, and no single company is equipped to tame it alone.