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Inside Sales vs. Outside Sales: What You Need to Know

There are many factors to consider when setting up a sales team. These factors include the industry, product type, target audience, pricing, etc. There is also the issue of inside sales versus outside sales and which one is more critical. One focuses on clients with high acquisition costs and high annual account values, the other focuses on sales velocity. It is often argued that both types of sales are distinct, but today, you need both to succeed and will need to find the right balance between them.

In order for your business to master outside sales and inside sales, you will need to understand the ins and outs of both.

What is inside sales?

An inside sales or a remote inside sales approach is a sales approach that takes place directly from the sales representatives' desks, in the office premises. There is no face-to-face sales involved. The sales take place through the effective use of available communication tools, such as:

In B2B selling, inside sales teams have emerged as one of the top sales models for SaaS and tech companies. In contrast to telemarketing, inside sales is completely scripted. Sales reps combine CRM platforms with outbound tools to conduct these inside sales, which require skilled professionals to carry out sales on the phone, Skype, email, or any other cyber-communication medium. Inside sales are conducted using CRM platforms and outbound tools.

What are outside sales?

Sales outside the company are conducted by stepping out into the market and meeting with customers. This method offers your current and prospective clients a personalized sales experience. Sales reps do not need to work in-house in this type of sales.

Since it involves a lot of travel, autonomy, and emotional intelligence, outside sales reps are often more proactive sellers. In addition, they deal with larger and more expensive accounts than their inside counterparts. 

Several of these sales can now be conducted right from the office due to advances in technology and the Internet. However, what sets this outside sales process apart is their flexibility and willingness to meet in person whenever and wherever needed to achieve sales.

Key differences between inside and outside sales

The difference between inside sales and outside sales goes beyond remote and face-to-face selling. Here are some ways they differ:

Sales tools

One of the most significant differences between outside sales and inside sales is the technology used to conduct sales. Technology like CRM systems that offer seamless client management, email functions, reporting, and team management is used more by inside sales teams. 

The outside sales team does not heavily rely on CRM software, however. Rather than conducting on-site demonstrations, outside sales representatives organize conferences and manage booths, participate in virtual trade shows, and communicate with clients proactively.

Online platforms offer features such as voice, video, messaging, email, and virtual meetings that make inside and outside sales work together today.

Sales cycle

Inside sales and marketing teams have a shorter and more predictable sales cycle because they work methodically and on well-defined paths. With the help of dedicated software, the reps are able to nurture more leads without wasting time by automating and reporting lead scores. However, outside sales do not work this way. The results of outside sales are often full of surprises since they rely on face-to-face interactions to make sales.

Scaling capabilities

Because inside sales uses new and upgraded tools to automate inside sales, they are able to scale better than outside sales. In spite of the significant differences in scalability between inside sales and outside sales, both teams are able to scale. Besides connecting with thousands and hundreds of potential customers at one time, the reps work diligently to develop meaningful relationships with them. Because of this, outside sales representatives can only meet with a few potential buyers at a time. 

Skill sets

The skill requirements for inside and outside sales differ. The inside sales team structure is built in such a way as to require excellent skills in using virtual communication tools and platforms, even though both teams are required to be highly customer-focused and results-driven at every point in their work. A text message, a messaging app, a message on social media, an email, or a live chat are among them. In addition to this, they must also be able to follow instructions, be focused, and use sales strategies based on the process. In comparison, outside sales reps must have a high level of situational awareness, emotional intelligence, and the ability to think quickly and keep the conversation flowing.

Which one is right for you: inside sales or outside sales?

Sales-led organizations have always relied on both inside and outside sales to achieve success. It is impossible to use a single specific strategy simultaneously, and the approach must always be objective. It is crucial to measure the performance of the business, regardless of what strategies it has been using. The following strategies are the best to use:

It is most common for businesses to have the necessary performance data, but they lack the ability to use it to learn from it. Depending on the technology implementation, sales teams can learn these tactics, and that would determine how well they close deals.

There are many factors to consider when deciding between inside sales and outside sales. These factors include the target audience, business model, industry occupied, etc. High-involvement products, for example, always require reps to demonstrate to clients personally to increase effectiveness. Low-involvement products, on the other hand, often require virtual conversations for conversion.

Smaller companies may not necessarily benefit from a digital approach in the SaaS or B2B industries.

Discussions about the best approach are based on the cost and scalability of the business.

Who is a sales rep? Why is he so crucial in inside and outside sales?

External or internal sales executives, commonly known as sales representatives or sales reps, are responsible for selling their organization's products and services. Business products can be moved directly to consumers' shelves. Manufacturers and wholesalers rely heavily on these individuals since they are responsible for promoting and merchandising their products as part of their job role.

The following are some of the important responsibilities that come with an inside sales role:

Outside sales positions in most companies require the reps to meet the following responsibilities:

The following responsibilities are assigned to each team, and each is vital to the future of the company.

Skills necessary for inside sales

The following skills are most critical to implement inside sales strategies flawlessly:

Skills needed for outside sales

The following skills are required to outperform in field sales because there is very little outside sales software available.

What do inside and outside sales reps do?

Due to the fact that inside sales reps work predominantly remotely, they are increasingly focusing on social selling as a result. Outside sales reps are required to spend a quantifiable amount of time on the field by attending conferences, exhibiting at trade shows, engaging with customers, and conducting personal engagements. The times are changing, and remote selling is becoming increasingly important.

Sales strategies for inside and outside sales teams

The appropriate applicable strategies for inside sales vs. outside sales are:

Considering that both inside and outside sales methods are equally unique and effective, businesses must be explorative enough to recognize their full potential. It would not be possible for the sales teams to achieve notable success if they followed the strategies blindly. Furthermore, agencies can scale up their results and find out what works best for them by using other popular and effective marketing and sales tools. A large and efficient sales team is also necessary for the implementation of sales tools.

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