New Report Offers Insight into Sales Strategies for Senior IT Salespeople

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

What strategies are sales leaders employing to overcome their top sales challenges? How does sales cycle complexity impact the structure of the sales organization? What is the truth about the migration from field salespeople to inside sales? What are the latest key sales performance metrics? 

The answer to these questions are exactly what Steve W. Martin, author of Heavy Hitter Sales Linguistics: 101 Advanced Sales Call Strategies for Senior Salespeople and sales organization researcher set out to find. To do so, Martin conducted in-depth interviews and extensive surveys with more than 100 top sales leaders at leading high technology companies and business services providers. 


The resulting research, The Truth About the Field Sales to Inside Sales Migration Trend, provides detailed insights about the evolutional nature of sales organizations along with key sales performance metrics by sales category (software, cloud, hardware, telecommunications, and so forth). 

Key findings: 

  • Over the past two years, 46 percent percent of study participants reported a shift from a field sales model to an inside sales model, while 21 percent reported a shift from inside sales to a field sales model. More than twice as many study participants reported moving to an inside sales model.
  • The overall average for percentage of salespeople that achieved 100 percent of quota last year was 60 percent. However, the number of salespeople who achieved 100 percent of quota varied greatly by sales organization.
  • Seventy (70) percent reported an average sales cycle length of 60 days or less for inside sales while 54 percent reported an average sales cycle length of 90 days or more for outside sales.
  • Sixty-four (64) percent of study participants have vertical sales specialists on their sales force (calling on verticals such as public sector, finance, healthcare, manufacturing, and so on). Seventeen (17) percent are planning to add vertical sales specialists in the future, while nineteen percent do not have any plans to do so.
  • Sixty-three (63) percent responded that they have specialized inside salespeople that are dedicated to SMB (small to medium business) or mid-market sales. Twenty (20) percent of these inside sales representatives are allowed to make field sales calls when necessary.
  • Eighty-three (83) percent of participants thought their outside field sales teams were equipped with the sales strategies, tools, and skills to exceed their numbers, compared to 57 percent for inside sales and 40 percent for channel sales. 

To learn more, download the free 29-page report at 

About the Author

Ryann K. Ellis is an editor for the Association of Talent Development (ATD). She has been covering workplace learning and performance for ATD (formerly the American Society for Training & Development) since 1995. She currently manages ATD's Community of Practice blogs, as well as ATD's government-focused magazine, The Public Manager. Contact her at 

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