SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

Aberdeen Group

March 08, 2011 10:00 ET

Streamlining the Top of the Funnel

How Inside Sales Teams Source, Qualify and Close Business

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - March 8, 2011) - Inside sales teams in 2011 are part of a more general business eco-system, and, in most companies, are successful only when closely partnered with marketing, field sales, account management and other customer-facing teams within the enterprise, according to a new research study on sales training published by Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS).

"Streamlining the Top of the Funnel: How Inside Sales Teams Source, Qualify and Close Business," which examined 319 organizations' sales effectiveness, found that 84% of inside sales reps in top-performing companies currently achieve their annual quota, compared to 39% for sales teams in other companies.

"The sales organizations that are most successfully increasing the quality and flow of leads presented to their 'closers,' as well improving their overall revenue and sales effectiveness, are deploying well-supported and carefully structured inside sales teams to handle the top layers of the corporate sales funnel," says Peter Ostrow, Research Director, Sales Effectiveness, Aberdeen Group, the report's author. "With the ultimate goals of beating quota and improving their lead conversion/closure rates and profit margins, top performing companies are going far beyond the simple act of employing low-value staff to 'dial for dollars' into aging, purchased contact lists, and instead showing demonstrable return on their extensive investments in advanced processes and enabling inside sales technologies."

The report reveals what leading companies have been able to achieve through deployment of inside sales initiatives, such as:

11.5% average year-over-year increase in sales lead conversion rate; compared to 0.5% decrease for other companies

11.4% average year-over-year increase in overall company profit margin; compared to a 2.3% increase for other companies

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: netFactor Corporation and American Association of Inside Sales Professionals ("AA-ISP"). To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?spid=30410182&cid=6691&camp=2.

Find out where your company's inside sales capabilities rank among the top performing companies. Take our Inside Sales Assessment Tool: http://assessment.aberdeen.com/qZstz0IZ0d/index.aspx.

Visit Research.Aberdeen.com for additional access to complimentary Customer Management Research.

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen provides fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having queried more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen or call (617) 854-5200, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748.

(C) 2011 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
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