A lot of founders hear “inside sales” and cringe a little or don’t react because they think it’s irrelevant. These are wrong sentiments for plenty SaaS and Marketplace companies.
Inside sales can be the precursor to continuous deployment and successful A/B testing.
I used to spend the bulk of 9-5 on the phone activating and re-engaging users/customers on the platform. All the real work happened during early morning, evening, and nights to let me focus on talking to people in the day. These calls and emails were invaluable early on to understanding which type of user was likely to turn into a customer, why that was, and what their future expectations were. Basically, this is how we learned product/market fit without deep demographic data on users that were signing up to create accounts.
I can’t say it’s a one-size-fits-all, but it’s close with a little force. Before you start early user and customer interviews to understand what and how you’re solving problems, read up on inside sales. A/B test various scripts with people (on the phone or via email) and start to mix and match the successful pieces to come up with scripts that consistently work with certain types of people. With enough interactions (probably a metric shit-ton), you’ll start to see the potential fit and direct the product, messaging, and acquisition towards that.
If you were right and your KPIs start to tick up and feel repeatable, you’re already set to begin growing an inside sales team you never knew you wanted.
Translation for inside sales: an inexpensive way to grow your acquisition strategy by tying sales goals to compensation and keeping the burn consistent with performance.