For so long knocking door to door was the primary (if not only) method of effective sales. But with the increase of digital tools, that has shifted. Inside sales is a more new and experimental form of sales for companies that sell face-to-face, but with its recent growth you might wonder—is inside or outside sales a better option for me? The answer isn’t so cut and dry, find out why down below.
The Difference Between Inside and Outside Sales
The difference between inside sales and outside sales is clear: Inside sales reps typically sell right from their office or home desk. Outside sales reps, on the other hand, travel and broker face-to-face deals. While outside sales reps likely have an employer with physical office space, these salespeople are meeting with prospects at trade shows, conferences, and industry events.
Responsibilities of inside sales reps:
- Building customer relationships
- Reaching monthly quotas
- Be available for customer calls, texts, emails, etc
- Consistent hours of operation
Responsibilities of outside sales reps:
- Flexible traveling schedule
- Good in-person communication
- Industry event participation
- Reaching monthly quotas
In reality, whether you’re an inside or outside sales rep, a lot of your responsibilities overlap. The major difference is whether you prefer to sell customers in-person or over the phone.
The Different Sales Models:
Inside sales model:
- Rep contacts client via phone, email, or zoom
- Remains in contact and nurtures the opportunity
- Quick sales cycle typically lasts 90 days or less
- Is done completely remote without human interaction
Outside sales model:
- Rep travels to clients door
- Follows up with lead via phone or email
- Longer sales cycle lasting upwards of 90 days
- Costs more become rep has to travel to and from clients
With the use of strong internet presence, marketing, and digital contact outside sales isn’t the only option anymore and can often waste time. If you’re not ready to start including inside sales to your company, that’s fine. Outside sales is still lucrative and shouldn’t be discounted, but might not be your best option anymore.
So is Inside or Outside Sales a Better Fit for You?
It’s been found recently that inside sales is growing at a massive rate — 15x faster than outside sales. Most organizations are now trending toward a 50/50 divide for their teams. This is largely to do with the internet changing the way modern buyers purchase things. Fewer people than ever before want to be sold in person. It’s now more common for a customer to look you up online and wait longer to make a purchase rather than commit to something while you’re at their door. This doesn’t mean outside sales is a dead practice, but inside sales is becoming more and more popular.
So which type of sales is a better fit for you? The answer doesn’t have to be so black and white.
Many companies are finding success with hybrid options rather than only inside or only outside sales reps.
Hubspot conducted a survey of over 500 sales professionals that revealed “68% of sales leaders say they’ll adopt either a hybrid or fully remote selling model in 2021. In fact, 63% of leaders believe that virtual meetings can be as, if not more, effective than in-person meetings.”
So it’s not longer a matter of inside vs. outside sales, but more learning how to use both methods to your advantage. If you’re wondering where to start if you only have outside or inside sales reps, here are some tips:
- Evaluate where your company stands, what goals you want to achieve, areas of failure you might be experiencing.
- Consider outsourcing the other side of sales you don’t currently have.
- Create a plan to implement a handful or less (depending on the size of your company) reps to try the new method.
- Possibly have a customer survey on whether they prefer in-person or over the phone sales to see what is desired in your field.
- Research common salary, quotas, and practices of the sales method you don’t practice.
- Be open to the possibility of change.
What’s Your Next Move?
Whether you’re an entirely outside or inside sales team, you should explore the possibility of a mix. It can be daunting to change courses especially when you’re achieving success but by using inside and outside sales practices you could expand your reach farther than your current goals can imagine. Let us know down in the comments what you think of this comparison and if you’ll give it a try. As always, schedule a demo with us and we can give your sales reps the tools they need for immediate success.