Inbound sales representative

Inbound sales representatives stand at a business’ front lines, informing their customers’ first impressions (and second, and third, and fourth).

A business could have all its other external elements working smoothly—its brand, its website, its customer support, its policies—and then crash and burn if the wrong people represent it.

Any point of contact, even those that don’t overtly fall under the sales umbrella, should be considered inbound sales and should be staffed by sharp inbound sales representatives. Customers contact businesses for plenty of reasons—for advertising campaigns or marketing initiatives, order processing and e-commerce checkout, product support and customer feedback—all of which are opportunities for strengthened leads and closed sales.

“Sales,” to a lot of customers and companies, is shorthand for “outbound sales,” including cold calls and telemarketing. From a business perspective, that’s myopic. Every point of customer contact is a potential sale. Companies manning their gates with their best inbound sales agents intelligently close the sales loop that began with an outward push.

Not to beat a dead horse, but people expect human interaction. At one of their most basic roles, inbound sales agents give that interaction. They receive calls from customers, respond to live chats about support or e-commerce questions, explain products and sell new products, all while strengthening customer relationships.

Inbound sales don’t always follow 9-to-5 schedules. Given that sales teams can only manage so many calls, chats or emails in a working day, and given that the vast majority of customers prefer talking to a human than a machine, establishing a system that staffs real, live people on a round-the-clock basis pays off, especially for companies with a strong online presence.

At their best, these sales consultations with customers benefit both parties. Inbound calls transform into increased revenue, and companies enhance their brand. Customers feel taken care of. That’s a pretty important role to play at any company.