Inside Vs. Outside Sales: Which Is Right For Your Business?

Setting up a business might seem easy for many, as you’ll only need funds and a good plan. However, to survive in the cutthroat world of commerce, you’ll need more than just these two.

Inside sales vs. outside sales

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Making sales every day is what will keep your business running, and this is where most companies struggle. While others have a marketable product, some lack the skills to sell it, or they just don’t know the best way to approach a customer. Will they rely on cold calling or do direct marketing?

In the business world, there are two types of salespeople: inside and outside. While both have the same goal, which is to get a sale from a customer, their approaches are entirely different. Follow this guide below to help you determine the difference between the two and know which is right for your business.

What Is Inside Sales?

Inside sales is where a business uses its existing resources to make a sale. This approach typically involves phone calls or emails. The person responsible for the task is called an inside salesperson.

They concentrate on existing clients or potential customers already in the database of the business. Their job may involve the following:

  • Cold calling clients in the database to promote a product or service. They would need to prepare a compelling pitch, and they would also need to create a call list with contact information and a follow-up schedule.
  • If a potential customer is interested in a product or service, the inside salesperson would handle the order remotely and ensure the sale goes through.

What Is Outside Sales?

Outside sales, also known as field sales, entails going out to meet customers and make a sale. Businesses who chose this approach make sales by talking with potential clients as they go door-to-door or sell to people in public places.

Many believe that to be successful in this approach, a business’s sales teams must be social, diplomatic, and have a good sense of humor. And since they’re the public face of every business that chooses this approach, most of them always try not to be pushy when selling. Outside sales representatives might be more discreet instead. They ask questions about their client’s needs, which allows them to recommend the right product for them.

Inside vs. Outside Sales: Advantages And Disadvantages

Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of both inside and outside sales.

Inside sales

Inside Sales: Advantages

Inside sales is great for businesses that can handle their existing clients remotely. This approach is ideal for dealerships, financial institutions, and companies that sell products or services that don’t require the salesperson to meet their clients.

1. You’ll Be Reachable Anytime, Anywhere

Most inside salespeople work from a company office, where they have both a computer and a phone. It allows them to make calls whenever they want and ensures that they’ll never miss a call from a potential customer.

2. You’ll Be Able To Pitch Your Product Directly To A Vast Number Of People

It’s easier for inside sales representatives to reach many customers remotely over the phone than outside sales representatives. Choosing an inside sales approach also means reaching local and international clients from your desk, which widens your market.

3. Save On Travel Costs

Since inside salespeople work on the phone or laptops, they don’t have to travel far to reach potential customers. Their meetings are made by phone, email, and video conferences which means companies don’t have to spend on gas, parking, and other travel expenses.

4. Employees Can Work From Home

Since inside sales concentrate on reaching out to customers remotely, employees can work from their homes. This setup can save a lot on office space, plus the employees can also save on commuting costs going to and from work.

Inside Sales: Disadvantages

Although inside sales have many advantages, there are also some disadvantages to consider.

1. Lack Of Personal Interaction

Since inside salespeople work remotely, they lack personal interaction, which can be vital in some types of businesses such as those in automobiles, those selling medical devices, and all other types of business where personal interaction is a must to sell a product.

2. Lower Sales Volume

Potential clients are often reluctant to purchase in bulk over the phone without seeing the product in person. That’s why inside sales is often associated with shorter deals.

3. Bigger Competition

Businesses that choose an inside sales approach should expect a lot of competition from similar companies that offer the same product or service. You might be competing not only with businesses in your area but also with competitors worldwide who also operate online.

Outside sales

Outside Sales: Advantages

Outside sales is perfect for businesses whose products and services require face-to-face interaction.

1. Higher Sales Volume

There is often more room for negotiation with outside sales representatives. As they approach potential customers in person, they’re able to sell more products at once. They can easily demonstrate the product, which entices potential customers to purchase on the spot and in bulk.

2. The Ability To Build Stronger Client Relationships

As outside salespeople interact with customers physically, they can establish a more personalized relationship. This relationship can build trust, which may turn a potential customer into a loyal buyer.

3. Less Competition

Since outside sales teams focus on one geographic region, they’re able to target local clients. Targeting local clients may narrow the number of competitors. Outside sales reps may reach potential customers in rural areas where there may not be many businesses nearby that offer the same product or service.

Outside Sales: Disadvantages

Below are some of the disadvantages that are associated with outside sales.

1. Lengthy Sales Cycles

Since outside sales primarily focus on selling in large quantities, the sales cycle is usually more prolonged because of the number of meetings and negotiations the customers need to purchase in bulk.

2. Outside Sales Rep Must Travel

Since outside sales teams need to visit potential customers in person, they need to be on the road regularly. Thus, the travel expenses can be costly for businesses that operate on a tight budget.

3. Your Salespersons Need To Have Good Problem-Solving Skills

If the potential customer happens to have an issue with your product, it’s up to the outside salesperson to figure out a solution right then and there. In this case, your salesperson needs to have the right problem-solving skills before they can successfully close a deal. Unlike inside sales reps, they don’t have the opportunity to look up the solution online before the sale.

Which One Is Right For Your Business?

Although both inside and outside sales have their benefits, it ultimately comes down to the type of product or service you’re selling. For products that require less personal interaction, an inside sales approach might work better for your business. This way, you can save on travel expenses and other costs associated with outside sales.

However, if you provide a high-end product or service that requires a face-to-face meeting, you might benefit from an outside sales approach. This way, you can build stronger connections with your clients and close more deals.


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