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About ISM -- Basic Ideas --

ISM - Solutions to chronic problems in sales

The mission of the sales department in any company is to gain new customers, as well as to maintain and increase number of the existing ones. The resulting sales expansion is one important goal. However, in the real-world conditions, sales from a part of the current customers depend on a sole part of excellent sales. Amidst such situation, where no effects beyond expectations can be obtained through conventional sales strategies and efficient improvement action plan, doesn't these all mean that we 'are facing the same problems' over and over again?
The ISM (Inside Sales Management) consists of management techniques using Inside Sales (or 'no field sales at face-to-face'), such as telesales or the Web, to provide solutions to chronic problems in sales, at the same time as to ensure achievement of the company's strategic targets and sales goals.

Funnel - prior index for sales

When a company enrolls in gaining new customers and expanding transactions with the existing one, firstly the sales department will conduct various activities for the long term, before recording orders received and sales. The status and quantity of targeted potential customers will be recorded as sales through contracts, based on the sales activities' final performance/results, regardless of the constant changes due to market conditions. 'Sales' is one of the most important management indicators for a company. Nevertheless, if sales mean results, then there should be various processes to results. Whether a company manages to successfully reach its sales targets, it's all up to the chosen processes.
The processes for achieving sales targets according to the plan is the 'funnel', that is the 'seed' for future sales. It consists of prospective customers and business opportunities adjusted to certain specified status. In the ISM, creation and management of this funnel are seen as major management perspectives. In other words, the 'funnel', namely the seed for far-distant future sales, is the 'leading indicator for sales.'
In the conventional CRM (Customer relationship management), sales targets are achieved by placing the relationship with customer as the standpoint of operations, and maximizing customer lifetime value through building relationships with customers. On the other hand, in the ISM, up-to-date funnel volume and quality are the standpoint of operations, while managing them enables the formulation of strategies for highly certain sales targets. About ISM -- Basic Ideas --

Inside Sales - essential to the creation and management of the funnel

Only in Field sales so far, the most recent case closings and troubles caused sales to easily go down, and thus made difficult to perform long-sustained activities toward constant funnel generation, and even to grasp the real situation of funnel volume and quality.
Besides conventional Field sales activities, there are these 'Inside Sales activities', namely non face-to-face activities, that utilize channels such as telesales, the Web and the like. In the ISM, by implementing the 'Inside Sales', ensuring the up-to-date necessary funnel volume and quality will be considered a top priority. Besides, the fact that it makes maximum use of IT tools (customer managing data base) is also a great feature. Accordingly, by visualizing and analyzing through IT tools the funnel and sales activities' overall processes, a company can manage the funnel as the leading indicator in terms of support for effective execution of management cycle (PDCA), grasping of customer's current situation, recognition of needs/problems, and appeal for more value added in products/service.
Adding Field sales type, Inside Sales activities using IT tools to conventional call sales activities enables the creation of a system for funnel generation and maintenance, and thus setting the leading indicator in anticipation of sales. Creating a framework that allows building always the most appropriate action plan for every product/service and business subject to ever-changing market conditions, or any other associate issue...This is the major purpose of the ISM.
As the economic globalization advances, amidst increasingly uncertainties, companies that reformed their management by introducing the ISM for achieving their business targets, and thus are generating results, are successively increasing their number also in Japan, apart from the leading foreign-affiliated IT-related companies.