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Inside sales support professionals assist other members of the sales team by handling remote interactions with customers. Maintaining customer satisfaction is their primary goal, and they spend much of their time responding to inquiries, helping with issues, and providing updates on requests while looking for new sales opportunities. Traditionally, this role is full time and office-based, but work arrangements are becoming increasingly flexible, allowing for part-time and remote setups. Shifts can take place on evenings, weekends, and holidays, and those in inside sales support must be comfortable with a fast-paced, high-pressure environment.
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Inside Sales Support Duties and Responsibilities
The organizations that inside sales support professionals work for determine the exact roles and responsibilities they take on. Based on job listings we analyzed, an inside sales support’s duties typically include:
Maintain Customer Relationships
Inside sales support professionals build relationships with customers by proactively following up on their satisfaction with company services and addressing inquiries and concerns. As the customer's main point of contact with the company, they're responsible for relaying information and coordinating with internal teams to solve issues.
Create New Sales Opportunities
Inside sales support professionals often reach out to potential buyers through cold-calling or by contacting inbound leads, as well as by replying to phone calls, emails, and social media messages. They can further create new opportunities with existing customers by pitching relevant products or services.
Ensure Handling of Requests
Beyond updating customers about ongoing requests, it's the job of inside sales support professionals to ensure that these requests are implemented on time. Depending on the industry, they may handle logistics, such as filing purchases and tracking shipments, or work with other employees to ensure quick delivery of services.
Contribute to Documentation
Since they interact with customers and leads regularly, inside sales support professionals must update information in the company's customer relationship management (CRM) software. This includes account details, sales history data, and profiles of inbound leads.
Inside sales support professionals have a hands-on understanding of the company's target market. Because of their role as the bridge between the customers and the company, they can pinpoint risks and opportunities, which they consolidate into summaries and forecast reports for management. To widen the scope, they may extend their research to market trends and local competition.
Inside Sales Support Skills and Qualifications
Inside sales support professionals are good communicators who adapt to the changing needs of customers and provide creative solutions to complaints and concerns. Data entry skills and attention to detail are also important. Most employers require a bachelor’s degree as well as the following abilities:
- Customer service - inside sales support professionals are sensitive to the needs and concerns of customers, remaining courteous at all times while swiftly responding to requests
- Data entry - logging data is a vital part of this job. Inside sales support professionals must take note of important details in all customer interactions and update the company database accordingly
- Interpersonal skills - those in inside sales support need strong interpersonal skills to cultivate long-term relationships with customers. Aside from maintaining customer satisfaction, they must listen well and establish rapport in order to sell successfully
- Strong memory - inside sales support professionals keep track of several accounts, which have different preferences and requests. In addition, they must know the company's products and services thoroughly, down to the smallest details
- Organization skills - given that this role involves a wide variety of tasks, from handling logistics to answering inquiries, it's ideal for organized multitaskers who manage their time well
Tools of the Trade
Inside sales support professionals work regularly with the following tools:
Customer relationship management software (such as Zoho CRM, Pipedrive, or Agile CRM)
Microsoft Office (especially Word and Excel)
Inside Sales Support Education and Training
Most employers prefer candidates who have at least a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or a related field. However, those with only a high school diploma may still get accepted as long as they have at least two years of experience in sales or customer service. Familiarity with the relevant industry is another advantage. There may be initial training on using the company’s software, but most of the knowledge required for this position comes through on-the-job training and direct experience.
Inside Sales Support Salary and Outlook
According to PayScale, the median salary of inside sales support professionals is around $45,000 annually. Those in the bottom 10 percent make less than $31,000, and those in the top 10 percent make more than $67,000.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that this sector will grow 5 percent through 2026. Because companies that specialize in customer service are increasing, there will be greater demand for inside sales support, but automated systems may fill in this role instead, reducing the need for professionals.
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Are you interested in exploring the career path of an inside sales support professional? If so, the following resources may be helpful:
businesses not only have to acquire new customers, they also have to maintain their longterm satisfaction. This book goes one step further by distinguishing between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, and shares practical strategies for converting prospects into advocates
support professionals can connect with their peers through this extensive online community, which mainly holds discussions over Slack. Its website is full of useful resources, from blog posts on a variety of topics to a frequently updated job board
The 5 Rules of Megavalue Selling: How to Communicate Customer Value and Differentiate from Competitors
as members of the sales team, it's crucial for those in inside sales support to communicate the value of company products or services to potential customers. Written as a fable, this book illustrates five rules for sales professionals to close sales based on value rather than price
a customer service expert who holds the title of chief amazement officer, Shep Hyken is the host of Amazing Business Radio, where he talks to leading professionals every week about their experiences with delivering great customer service
handling complaints from customers is a challenging aspect of inside sales support. This guide takes into account the difference between direct and online critics, providing tools and insights for dealing with them along with relatable anecdotes