Bob Perkins is the founder and Chairman of the
American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP). He has
20 years of leadership experience focused on building, improving,
and leading inside sales. Bob is a nationally recognized inside
sales innovator. In today’s episode, Bob and I discuss where sales
are headed and the impact it will have on sales reps and
AA-ISP was officially started in 2009, with over
11,000 members and is represented by 3000 companies. AA-ISP is an
international association dedicated to advancing the profession of
Inside Sales. Their mission is to help inside sales reps take
advantage of the information and resources provided through
content, local chapters, conferences, career development, and an
Inside Sales accreditation program.
We are getting closer to getting rid of the inside
sales designation and leaning more into just calling it sales.
Business development is a form of inside sales, which is B2B. The
lines are getting blurred between traditional field reps and inside
salespeople because field reps are also working virtually.
The short-term challenge occurring in inside sales
right now is specialization, which is technology driven. People
tend to think that sales development is a new phenomenon, but it
has been around for years. There are a plethora of tools out there
delivering warm leads, which means that companies need to hire more
bodies to fill these roles. Customers want to interact digitally,
the same way they do on Amazon.
Ten to fifteen years ago, it was primarily
phone-to-phone selling, which meant more of a team selling
approach, leading to a change in the skill-set a rep has to
provide. In today’s market, there has been a shift from a
predominant team sale to a discreet transaction model, which
involves the inside rep owning the quota and the full sales
In a few years, the discreet model will be more
predominate such as social, virtual communicators, proposals,
screen-to-screen selling, negotiation, handling objectives, and
close. Today there is a shortage of people with the skills and
Virtualization of the buying and selling process is
important. However, you cannot get rid of the human to human
interaction, especially with complex deals. Missing this important
element may be why your competitor is winning the deals and you are
The current sales training model is broken. There are
good third party trainers. However, they are not teaching the
nuances that are critical today. For example, using LinkedIn is a
foundational requirement for inside sales reps. Companies need to
ensure they are educating their reps based on these type of
criteria; the use of social media, modern day prospecting, best
ways to draft emails, best practices for leaving effective
voicemails, and presentations of demos, etc.
Managers are under pressure to ensure their reps are
making numerous phone calls; unfortunately, companies are more
metrics driven than coaching. GET OUT OF YOUR DASHBOARD! STOP
MEASURING DIALS! Making more calls is not going to create a better
Take a look at your most productive sales reps, what
are they doing to close the deal? How do they create passion and
excitement in their voice? This will have a significant impact on
LEARN MORE ABOUT BOB PERKINS
What's your most powerful sales
Get to know the person first, before he thinks about
selling them anything.
Name one tool you have for sales management
that you cannot live without.
Bob meets with salespeople in a non-traditional
performance meeting, such as taking them to lunch.
Who’s your sales role model?
Bob’s business partner Larry Reaves.
What's the one book that every salesperson
The Sensational Salesman: A Second Chance Story:
Providing a Simple Path to Improving Your Relationships, Career,
and Life by Duane Cummings
What’s your favorite music to get you pumped
Southern Rock & Roll w/Country attributes: Lynard
Skynard and Marshall Tucker Band and Allman Brothers.
What’s the one question you get asked most by
What are your tips on how to move up through the
ranks to management?
CONTACT/RESOURCES FOR BOB
Check out your local AA-ISP Chapter!