Inbound sales representative.

Inbound Sales Representative

Inbound sales representatives are key players in inbound sales, helping businesses sell their products or services and convert inbound leads into customers. By leveraging deep product/ service knowledge, excellent communication skills, and sales techniques, inbound sales representatives enable businesses to drive sales revenue and contribute to the overall success of the company’s sales strategies. Here’s everything you wanted to know about inbound sales representatives, their key responsibilities, critical skills, and what it takes to succeed in the role.

Who is an Inbound Sales Representative?

An inbound sales representative, also known as an inbound sales agent, handles incoming inquiries and interacts with potential customers who contact a company through various channels, such as phone, email, live chat, or social media platforms. That usually comes as a result of a company’s content marketing, SEO (search engine optimization), email marketing, or advertising efforts. Unlike outbound sales representatives who proactively reach out to prospects (typically cold leads who had no prior contact with the company), inbound sales representatives interact with warmer leads.

These leads have already expressed interest in a company’s products or services in some way and may be considered marketing qualified (MQL). E.g., they may have called a company, downloaded an e-book, attended a webinar, or signed up for a product trial or demo. While each organization may have a different set of criteria a lead must meet to be considered marketing qualified, inbound sales representatives are often the first point of contact for these leads, guiding them through the initial stages of the purchasing process. 

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What Does an Inbound Sales Representative Do?

So, what exactly does an inbound sales representative do? Though the primary goal of an inbound sales rep is to engage with potential customers and guide them through their buyer’s journey to make a purchase, the scope of duties and responsibilities may vary across companies. As an essential part of your sales team – along with outbound sales representatives – inbound sales agents play a significant role in converting prospects into customers and maintaining long-term relationships with existing and prospective clients.

Key Duties and Responsibilities of Inbound Sales Agents

Inbound sales representative at a desk, wearing a headset, and engaging with a customer on the computer screen.
Let’s now take a look at specific responsibilities an inbound sales rep may be expected to handle: 

  • Answering inbound calls and responding to inbound inquiries via email, live chat, social media, or other communication channels;
  • Providing prospects with accurate and up-to-date information about the company’s offerings, products, or services;
  • Offering potential customers relevant solutions tailored to their specific needs and requirements;
  • Qualifying marketing leads based on their conversion potential and forwarding them to the appropriate team members;
  • Processing inbound orders and documenting all the details of customer interactions in the company’s CRM system for future reference;
  • Following up with potential customers who have not yet purchased, nurturing relationships with them, and moving them through the sales funnel;
  • Providing feedback to product, customer service, and marketing teams on customer interactions and offering strategies to improve conversions.

Software Tools Used by Inbound Sales Agents

Inbound call center software

Inbound call center software is the primary tool for inbound sales representatives to effectively manage and handle incoming customer inquiries. With features like call routing and IVR (Interactive Voice Response), you can efficiently handle your inbound inquiries by directing callers to the most appropriate groups of agents. E.g., by enabling your callers to interact with an IVR system before connecting to an agent, you can capture each caller’s intent and route calls more strategically to reps who are best suited to handle their inquiries based on particular products or services they are interested in.

Omnichannel contact center software

Today’s consumers increasingly prefer to interact with brands through various communication channels. In fact, according to a study by Salesforce, 78% of customers prefer using different channels depending on the context, while 71% have used multiple channels to start and complete a single transaction.

With an omnichannel contact center software solution, you can enable your prospects to connect with your business through different channels, such as live chat, email, social media, and instant messaging apps – while your reps will have a complete view of each interaction history in a single interface. In addition, these solutions allow you to stay on top of your inbound contact center performance metrics and measure the efficiency of your sales strategy.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system

CRM system is a must-have software tool for an inbound sales representative. CRM systems serve as a central repository for all customer data and interactions. Through a CRM system, inbound sales representatives can view and manage customer data, track past interactions, and schedule follow-ups.

integration with different CRMs

If a CRM system is integrated with your call center software, your inbound sales reps will also be able to receive and make calls right from the CRM interface without having to switch between multiple systems. That also gives your teams a 360-degree view of each customer and their journey with your business, which helps in providing excellent customer service and personalized interactions when communicating with existing customers.

Productivity and collaboration tools

Besides all of the above, inbound sales representatives can take advantage of numerous productivity and team collaboration tools, helping them communicate with team members or prospects and collaborate with peers more effectively. This is particularly helpful for remote and geographically distributed teams. For example, with tools like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, inbound sales reps can conduct virtual meetings or show product demos to prospects. Additionally, tools like Asana or Trello are great for organizing tasks, prioritizing activities, and collaborating with team members.

Essential Skills for Inbound Sales Representatives

Excellent communication 

Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, are vital for an inbound sales representative. Inbound sales representatives are often the primary point of contact between prospects and the company. Effective communication helps inbound sales representatives convey their message in a concise and easily understandable manner, avoid misunderstandings, and adjust their communication style to fit the audience or situation. That can also help make a positive first impression and build trust with prospects.

Active listening

Along with effective communication, active listening skills are incredibly important for an inbound sales representative. While inbound sales reps may already have some information about the prospects before connecting with them personally, active listening, attention to detail, and an ability to ask the right open-ended questions can help them better understand their needs, requirements, and concerns and deliver more personalized communication experiences.

In-depth product and industry knowledge

Naturally, inbound sales representatives must have in-depth knowledge of the products or services they are selling. In B2B, in particular, it also makes sense for inbound sales reps to have a solid understanding of the industry and stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends. 

According to a Salesforce study, 87% of business buyers expect sales reps to act as trusted advisors. With in-depth product/ service and industry knowledge, inbound sales agents can better understand potential challenges and pain points prospects might be facing and engage with them on a more meaningful level, ensuring customer satisfaction.

Empathy and emotional intelligence

Empathy and emotional intelligence are fundamental skills an inbound sales representative should master and use when interacting with prospects. Demonstrating empathy and emotional intelligence helps build rapport and trust with prospects and connect with them on a deeper level. It also enables inbound sales reps to understand prospects’ needs, concerns, and challenges better and contributes to providing positive experiences by making prospects feel more valued.

Handling objections

Objections are inevitable throughout the sales process, whether inbound or outbound. Even though your prospects might be genuinely interested in purchasing your products or services, they might still be considering several alternative options. Or, they might just not be ready to buy at this stage of their journey. Being able to handle common sales objections professionally can help inbound sales representatives address barriers that prevent prospects from making that final purchase decision and drive more successful sales outcomes.

Book a demo call now to learn more about VoiceSpin’s call center solutions for inbound sales teams and how they can help you handle inbound inquiries effectively, increasing your team’s productivity and driving your business growth.

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Share this article:

  • Inbound Sales Representative
    1. Who is an Inbound Sales Representative?
    2. What Does an Inbound Sales Representative Do?
    3. Key Duties and Responsibilities of Inbound Sales Agents
    4. Software Tools Used by Inbound Sales Agents
    5. Inbound call center software
    6. Omnichannel contact center software
    7. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system
    8. Productivity and collaboration tools
    9. Essential Skills for Inbound Sales Representatives
    10. Excellent communication 
    11. Active listening
    12. In-depth product and industry knowledge
    13. Empathy and emotional intelligence
    14. Handling objections
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