Outside In: The Rise of the Inside Sales Team

Chad Albrecht, Anneke Seley, Kyle Heller

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In high-tech, inside sales is hardly an outlier—according to new research from ZS and Reality Works Group, inside sales professionals at high-tech companies will be generating an increasing percentage of sales over the next two years.

The research reveals that although inside sales make up only 22% of headcount at large tech companies, 40% of these large companies plan to increase their inside sales headcount by 2016. Meanwhile, smaller high-tech companies and startups already generate 55% of sales from inside teams.

As the industry moves toward inside sales models, it will have a ripple effect across high-tech companies, changing how they motivate and reward sales teams, determine and align sales territories, and even how high-tech companies’ sales operations are configured.

This executive summary of the research presents the findings from the study, offers insights about what these findings mean, and provides a look into the future of inside sales at high-tech companies.

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About the Experts

Chad Albrecht is a Principal with ZS in Chicago. Chad leads ZS’s B2B Sales Compensation practice. He has helped numerous clients create and implement motivational sales incentive plans and set fair and challenging sales quotas. Chad’s clients include companies in the high tech, medical device, hospitality, manufacturing and business services industries.

Anneke Seley

Anneke Seley, founder and CEO of Reality Works Group, is recognized as a pioneer and thought leader in the field of inside sales. She is the designer of Oracle’s global multibillion dollar inside sales organization and coauthor of Sales 2.0: Improve Business Results Using Innovative Sales Practices.


Kyle Heller is a Manager at ZS Associates in San Francisco, and is the Sales Compensation leader in ZS’s High Tech practice. He is a Certified Sales Compensation Professional (CSCP) whose expertise includes plan design, goal setting, plan administration and plan health checks. Kyle is a frequent speaker at sales compensation conferences and previously co-chaired ZS Associates’ Compensation Conference. In addition, Kyle has authored several articles on incentive plan design best practices and trends.