12 Tips on Building a Successful B2B Inside Sales Team (a Growth Team)

Any CMO/VP Marketing worth their salary knows that what worked even a decade ago does not work now.

With the advent of new technology, social media, and savvy buyers, marketing teams have to be able to grow and adapt in ways they have never been challenged before.

This is why many CMOs/VP Marketing are looking to grow inside sales and marketing teams for their brands. These teams are being specifically developed to help brands not only hone their target market and buyer personas, but also understand buyer motivations to ultimately increase revenue.

You can call this (and we do) your “growth team”, too.

You can have an inside sales function within your growth team as a whole.

For marketers who are looking to build a quality inside marketing team, here are 12 steps that can guide you forward.

Tip #1: Consider Your Growth Team As Is Now

It helps here to start with the end in mind, especially when it comes to building your inside marketing team. Not having a well thought out and executed organizational plan for how your marketing team is going to run will put you in the hole before you even begin.

So, consider things like exactly who will be in charge of the process, what the overall marketing and sales cycle will be, and what players will be involved in the process from both a marketing and sales standpoint.

Know before you start not only who will be playing those key roles, but the ultimate goals and outcomes for those roles.

Tip #2: Hiring Practices for Growth and Sales Positions

Once you’ve sat down with the executive team and have mapped out exactly how the inside marketing team will run, you can begin crafting detailed job descriptions for each of the roles.

Be sure to not only explain the roles in depth, especially those parts that are non-negotiables, but also the company culture as a whole. The development of an inside marketing team to your brand is going to be fun and exciting.

Finally, hire with the team in mind. You want to be able to manage the personalities on the team and find people who are committed and able to hit those goals and evaluation points that will be tracked at the team grows.

Step #3: Growth, Sales Team Development

This is a very important and ongoing process. You are going to have to train your entire inside marketing team to be on the same page and deliver the same message throughout the process.

Part of this will be with training, having set policies and practices in training manuals is always a good idea. In addition, personal and people development is another very important process as well.

Brands should always strive to make sure their teams are feeling supported and heard throughout the rest of the company. Bring in speakers, encourage the sales team to take on conferences and education, and give them space to voice their own observations.

Step #4: Coaching on Growth and Sales Processes

Hand in hand with development is also coaching. Here is where you can rely on the combination of personal “feel” and data. Use metrics to track and see how the sales team is performing, and from there personal coaching and mentorship can tweak areas that look like they need improvement.

If there are a handful of members on your inside marketing team who are superstars, let them know it, and encourage them to take an active role in helping others and improving the process.

Step #5: The Growth Process Itself

One of the most vital aspects to running any sort of team successfully, from a marketing team to a sales team, is having the right processes in place. You want to be able to develop a system that is both successful and scalable over and over again.

While it might take some trial and error at first to get there, keep track of everything. If certain steps are proving to be successful use those in the process, and cut the fat out on anything that is stale, slow or just not working.

Once your official process is set, use that as the base of your team, and keep in mind it should be a living document, so revisit it frequently to check for improvements.

Step #6: Growth Campaigns

With your marketing team set, the processes documented and the right people in place, now you can start focusing in on how you are going to approach marketing campaigns. Keep in mind that it’s very important for the inside marketing team to work and communicate well with the sales team.

When both teams are honed in on their tasks and understand the approach, not just through sales, but also incorporating content, social media, product placement and the like, the effect will be much greater than just the sum of their parts.

Step #7: Tools for Enabling Growth

While the inside marketing team isn’t going to be as focused on selling as the sales team will be, the two groups will still have to work hand in hand during the buyer lifecycle process.

So, it’s always a good idea to bring in some companywide tools that both teams can use to monitor sales, track data, and analyze to get an overall great idea of how everything is working.

Consider things like webinars, sales force automation, group chats, screen sharing, and marketing automation just to name a few.

Step #8: Design Matters for Growth

When you are building your team, realize just how important it is to your overall business goals and revenues and design accordingly. If you want to have the best marketers out there, then you will have to pay for them.

If salary is something that might be tight and not give your brand a competitive advantage, then consider what else you can offer. Design incentives around reaching metrics, beating goals and coming up with new ideas that improve return on investment.

Step #9: Using Data for Sales and Growth Opportunities

Data is very important to any business today. The ability to quickly look at metrics and key performance measures certainly can provide a huge advantage to those teams willing to embrace them.

Baking an understanding of data “into the cake” as part of the process and design of the team will ensure that everyone is on board with knowing what their and the overall team’s goals are.

Data can also help identify any glaring weaknesses, missed opportunities and areas for improvement that can be helped with better processes, education or coaching.

Step #10: Growth Team Recognition

A team must work well together in order to really achieve success. At the same time, it’s really important for the company to always pay attention to teams and team members who are doing a great job.

Be sure your company is one of those that is happy to celebrate the success of team members for doing great work. It helps bind the team closer, and employees always feel a great sense of pride when they are recognized by the powers that be.

You can adapt some of these recognition awards into your team design, using them as ways to give out bonuses, or special treats like half days, free lunches, and more.

Step #11: Encouraging Growth Culture

Culture is hugely important not only for a team but within the company as a whole. Most brands find they get the very best out of their employees when they establish a winning culture that works to communicate effectively, have big goals, and gives employees more freedom to take ownership of their tasks.

Give your inside marketing team the freedom and responsibility to quickly address any problems or issues that might arise, and let them know that the executives are behind them every step of the way.

Step #12: Positivity Even with “Failures”

Of course there will inevitably be struggles inside any team and company over time. With a team that focuses on marketing, these can arise after an unsuccessful campaign, or an unexpectedly poor return on investment.

However, it is important to understand that and not let the team dissolve into negativity. Part of that is understanding that everything won’t be perfect all the time, as well as striving to consistently put reasonable expectations on the team.

Also, consistently review how the team is doing, make sure you have the best possible people on the team, allow them to feel supported and reinforce positive behavior whenever possible.

A Final Word On Developing A B2B Growth Sales Team

Use these steps to build your own inside marketing team and when done the right way, you’ll discover an increased connection with your customers, a higher return on investment and increased revenues.