What Is The Difference Between Inside And Outside Sales?

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Read our in-depth guide on using Close as an inside sales software here.

Inside sales is also known as remote sales because it is conducted entirely inside the office, from the sales representative’s desk. Instead of selling face-to-face, inside sales makes use of all of the contact methods available to modern salespeople: Phone, email, VOIP, CRM networks, and much more. Inside sales can be used by any sales team, but it is one of the most popular sales models in B2B, especially in SaaS and technology.

Inside sales is often misunderstood as telemarketing, but this misunderstanding is gradually dissipating. What is the difference between inside and outside sales? The distinction is that telemarketing is pre-scripted. Anyone, even a robot, can do it. Inside sales, on the other hand, necessitate the services of a professional salesperson. It can be done by phone, Skype, email, or web conference. Inside sales are sales conducted remotely by a professional salesperson using a CRM platform and outbound software.


What Is Outside Sales?

Outside sales are ideal for individuals who enjoy working professionally and maintaining their schedules since they arrange their appointments with prospective customers. They should also be able to quickly adjust to new people and cultures since they are constantly visiting new prospects and travelling. Since they meet clients face to face, field reps are expected to look and act their best, even when they aren’t feeling well. Outside sales can be demanding due to the amount of travel, autonomy, and emotional intelligence needed.

Sales representatives frequently have a lot of preparation work to do. For example, selling in retail locations necessitates outside representatives visiting the store to set up product displays and ensure a constant supply of items is in stock. However, research reveals that field reps turn prospects into clients 40% of the time, while inside reps only convert prospects 18% of the time. Outside sales reps are often regarded as the company’s superstars because they usually deal with larger and more costly accounts and goods versus inside sales reps.

When combined with today’s sales enablement tools, Skype, Zoom, and other video calling software contribute a significant portion of the work that cannot be performed from the workplace.

However, what distinguishes outside sales is their adaptability and willingness to be present in person whenever and wherever it is necessary to make the sale.


Should You Use Inside Or Outside Sales?

What is the difference between inside and outside sales when it comes to revenue? Companies have traditionally concentrated mainly on outside sales, but the market is shifting. Inside revenue is rising at a 15x higher pace than outside sales. Most companies are now aiming for a 50/50 split for their teams. Data from 2019 indicated that it will take around four years for inside selling to become the norm, but this trend is expected to accelerate in 2020 and beyond. This is partially due to the internet changing the way most people purchase goods. Fewer people want to be sold to in person than ever before.

Having said that, Face-to-face transactions are still important. People choose to spend large sums of money or make large transactions in person, but more and more virtual sales are just more convenient for all parties. The combination of inside and outside sales that you can use in your company will be determined by your goods, organisation, and sales strategy. The vast majority of technologies, programmes, and apps have been designed with the inside sales process in mind.

Because of this lack of usability from a few mobile versions of CRM software, reps are expected to spend additional hours after their day is completed to correct prospecting and client details from their day in the field.

Inside Sales, on the other hand, has an array of tools and technologies at their disposal, all of which are designed to streamline their day, increase their productivity, and foster further sales.

Learn more about and how it can help you decide which sales strategy to choose from.


What Is The Difference Between Inside And Outside Sales?

A quality CRM is the most valuable weapon in an inside sales professional’s arsenal. The ideal CRM would include email management and monitoring, phone calls, and SMS capabilities (all things that offers). 

Although the best outside sales professionals almost certainly use a CRM, they do not depend solely on it. Outside sales professionals also need equipment to pitch their product or service on-site, perform on-site training, and set up a booth at a conference.


Sales Cycle

The sales time for inside sales is usually much shorter. It follows all of the same steps as outside sales, but you go through them much faster. The inside sales process prioritises lead scoring and monitoring, enabling salespeople to concentrate on developing meaningful relationships.

Furthermore, inside distribution focuses on SMB and mid-market customers. The goods are usually much less costly and do not necessitate as much consideration and decision-making on the part of the consumers. Since your profit margin is already razor-thin, you can’t afford to spend a lot of money and time acquiring these customers. Inside revenue, as a result, is a numbers game.

Outside sales, on the other hand, focuses on large consumers with higher annual contract value or ACV. As a result, the consumer needs more time to make this important decision. To create the confidence and relationship required to move the prospect through the sales process, you must offer a personalised experience and lots of face-time.

Outside sales have a much higher CAC than inside sales because of this, even when you take into account the cost of travel. As a result, the focus is on high-quality, high-value accounts.

An inside salesperson could complete the entire sales process in a matter of hours, if not minutes. Whether they’re doing a webinar or a group call, they can sell to a large number of potential customers at the same time. Outside sales, on the other hand, may have a week- or month-long sales period.


Various Scaling Capabilities

An inside salesperson can create and nurture relationships with people all over the world from their computer—and they can do it with hundreds of prospects at the same time thanks to email automation and great technology like, which allows you to handle many relationships at the same time.

When an outside sales specialist pitches a client in person, he or she is only able to pitch one client at a time. While an outside salesperson is securing their prospect or spending hours to close a single deal, a successful inside sales professional might be closing several deals.


Business Strategies

Since outside transactions are mostly performed by face-to-face meetings, they have an advantage in terms of the variety of business approaches used to entice consumers. Field sales are more strategic. Meeting with C-level executives and creating strategic business innovation to help them expand business, as opposed to inside, which is more quantity and not as in-depth the majority of the time.

Presentations, exhibits, and supplying samples are some of the techniques used by outside sales representatives. These items work well for them; according to HubSpot, visual elements are processed 60,000 times faster than text.

Inside sales, on the other hand, is quickly catching up. Web conferencing enables inside sales representatives to show their goods without having to contact the customer in person.

Social networking, hosted CRM, screen shares, and integrated telephony tools are some of the other techniques.

There are also low-cost and user-friendly Software-as-a-Service tools that have increased inside revenue and reduced costs.


How Do Inside And Outside Sales Interact?

The most visible way that inside and outside sales collaborate to improve your bottom line is at the strategic stage. Inside sales concentrate mainly on small and medium-sized companies — the more transactional accounts. This frees up outside sales reps to devote the time and resources needed to bring in large accounts with far higher ACV.

However, this isn’t the only way the two branches will collaborate. They can also provide tactical support to one another. Inside sales teams cooperate and exchange best practices with far less pressure than outsiders. When you sit next to a peer, you can naturally hear how someone overcomes an objection during a live call. 

Understanding how to place importance on a specific identity you’re about to call can be accomplished with a simple conversation as you wait for the individual to enter the meeting. As a result, once a critical mass of effectiveness is reached, the ideas that reps like will spread and be rolled out as sales enablement to outside reps.


Final Thoughts

Since we’ve already discussed what is the difference between inside and outside sales, it’s important to note that your client’s preferred method of interaction with your business isn’t fixed. Your customer may prefer the in-person sales pitch the first time they buy from you, but once they trust your business, they may prefer the ease of buying remotely.

Their preferred mode of communication with the sales team can also change throughout the sales process. Both inside and outside sales must collaborate. Only then will they route leads to the appropriate department to ensure you’re engaging with customers in the most efficient way to close the deal.