Inside Sales Manager

CorTalent - Elburn, IL, United States

For over 50 years, our client has been a market leader in the green industry, conducting nursey operations throughout the Midwest. This family-owned business primarily focuses on propagation, growing and wholesale distribution of a variety of plants at over 5 locations.


Objective / Accountability:

Lead, recruit, train and motivate Inside Sales and Customer Service operations to achieve sales goals at a profit and meet customer expectations. Achieve professional and personal goals in the process.


Function / Corresponding Tasks:

Managing Team Members – leads effectively by translating the organization’s vision, mission, and strategic objectives into challenging but attainable goals.

  • Set long term and annual goals for departments and individuals. Provide ongoing feedback, training, coaching, and formal evaluation. Assure positions are staffed to achieve overall goals. Schedule regular meetings for training, operations objectives, problem solving, and decision making.
  • Recruit, select, hire, manage, train, and motivate Inside Sales and Wholesale staff for these areas:
    • Senior Inside Sales (2-3)
    • Inside Sales Representatives (2-4)
    • Customer Service Representatives (Seasonal) (1-2)
  • Act as a key recruiting ground for the company. Attend fruitful career fairs. Develop new staff yearly with a development focus to make them promotion ready.
  • Coordinate with all departments to facilitate sales success, especially Production and Inventory, MT, Finance and Administration, IT, Outside Sales, Shipping, Order Fulfillment, QA, and senior management.
  • Support and enforce company policies.
  • Provide ongoing feedback and formal evaluation for direct reports on at least a quarterly basis in order to support their goal achievement and skill growth. Conduct annual performance evaluations.
  • Manage and develop procedures, rolling calendars, and information technology systems to achieve sales goals and expected level of customer service. Assure documentation.


Customer Focus – strives to create the most value for the customer that results in the mutual long-term success. Demonstrates dedication to meet or exceed the expectations and requirements of customers.

  • Lead the Inside Sales, Wholesale, and Customer Service team to achieve sales goals and department advancement.
  • Manage department budgets. Prepare and report on labor budgets and Inside Sales related budgets.
  • Oversee Inside Sales and Customer Service operational areas serving customers: account management, customer complaint recording and resolution, credits, returns, reporting & development, customer service phone system / call center operations & equipment.
  • Lead department staffing coverage / scheduling, inbound sales call processing / routing, quotes and order entry.
  • Maintain a working understanding of department activities. Actively participate in Inside Sales activities, especially in spring.
  • Oversee the following functions:
    • Order management / will call order management
    • Sales order & booking policies
  • Maintain a productive, positive team atmosphere especially through effective communication to both MG & MT.
    • Report sales results on a weekly or more frequent basis to individuals, company, and management.
    • Communicate to the department information from management and other departments.
    • Communicate general department information at company meetings with Production, Admin, etc.
    • Represent Inside Sales and Customer Service teams at company meetings.


Teamwork – builds constructive & effective relationships with colleagues at all levels. Advises and collaborates with others to develop a stronger team and enhance team spirit. Sees teams as a vehicle for achieving organizational objectives.

  • Achieve department sales goals – assure measurement targets and tools are in place. Track and report progress to individuals, teammates, and management in order to achieve sales goals.
    • Sample Goals
    • Monthly Promotional Sales Goals for Inside Sales
    • Rolling Calendar monthly communications
  • Support Outside Sales. Understand strategic sales goals of Outside Sales and management teams, by market and by customers. Direct department individual activities to support these goals.
  • Responsible for working with Admin on customer order payment for MG:
    • Collecting payment for COD orders.
    • Accountable for assuring COD=AGED orders are paid upon receipt.
  • Maintain a positive relationship with Inventory and Production – understand work flow, cycles and actively communicate those to the Inside Sales team.


Problem Solving – employs analytic abilities and other tools to creatively resolve problems in a variety of contexts.

  • Improve the department’s efficiency and effectiveness to continually improve customer service.
  • Regularly review customer feedback reports (SPROB / SCOMP) to determine improvements, opportunities, bottlenecks and to target the most important areas in which to improve processes to enhance customer service quality, grow sales and increase efficiency. Work in collaboration with Sales Leadership Team.
  • Thoroughly understand the Ross system for MG. Understand system reports, processes, and how to obtain a multitude of information from the system, especially relating to sales results and measurements.
  • Be the lead in developing Ross improvements for the Sales Team. Develop, write, and manage ROSS specifications for increased department efficiency, increased customer service value, and reduced costs.
  • Responsible for determining and achieving individual goals, and working toward personal and professional growth, while supporting the department, company, and industry.

Required Skills:

  • Excellent management and supervisory skills. Excellent communication skills.
  • Excellent customer service skills.
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills with ability to meet deadlines.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills with a positive, action-oriented attitude.
  • Strong commitment to meet customer expectations and teamwork.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and sales related systems.
  • Multi-tasking abilities and flexibility.
  • Understanding of the green industry.
  • Professional standing / accreditation(s). For example: CLT, RLA, CPA, ICN Pro, etc


  • Ability to manage a department with 10+ people and effectively train and develop direct reports.
  • Ability to develop information technology support programs to increase operations efficiency.
  • Ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment and meet deadlines.
  • Understanding of selling perishable products with inventory influenced by factors such as weather.
  • Ability to successfully communicate with diverse coworkers - multiple departments, divisions, and companies.
  • Flexibility given seasonal workload; off season 40 hours / week; high season up to 60 hours / week.
  • Understanding of the seasonality of the green industry.
  • Comfort and effectiveness in working in a family-owned business.

Education / Experience Pre-requisites:

  • Degrees: Bachelor’s degree in business, management, or horticulture
  • 5-10 years call center, customer service, or inside sales management in industry or related industry
  • Experience in the green industry, related industry, or manufacturing environment


  • Did we meet our sales goals? By month? For the year? Did we make a profit?
  • How satisfied are customers? Are we growing customer relationships? Do they value what we offer? Are we doing more for Growth Partners and are their sales growing? What does SPROB & SCOMP reporting tell us?
  • Are we responding to customer requests in a timely manner? Is the department managing customer work and order flow to expectations – for external and internal customers?
  • Is staff functional in skills and well trained? Is staff functional in other sales ops functional areas? Is supervisor functional in department work activities and able to train new hires?
  • Is the inside sales and customer service team functioning as a team? Are they positive and productive? Do they have goals? Are they reaching them? Are we measuring and informing others?
  • Are the outside and inside sales teams collaborating? Are they working together to make successful MG sales?
  • Are there inside sales members who are growing in skill and advancing in career? Have any become outside reps? How many are cross trained in other jobs? Can they function for a day, a week, a month in the other role?
  • How has department efficiency improved? How has customer service improved? What systems have improved? Has productivity increased? Are we using SPROB / SCOMP information to make improvements?
  • What is depth of Ross understanding? What are improvements to system, features, reporting, etc. and how do they benefit sales, efficiency or customer care?
  • Are procedures, calendars and systems adequately developed? What Ross developments have been implemented to increase or support sales? Are budgets well managed and on track?
  • What is the quality of the relationship with inside sales team, shipping & logistics team, pulling & QA team, marketing, production, inventory, finance, IT, senior management? Is there a spirit of teamwork?

Posted On: Thursday, July 21, 2022

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