Inside vs Outside Sales: There are two main options when it comes to sales: inside or outside sales. Each has its pros and cons. Which one is best for you? Let’s take a look at each option.
What is Inside Sales?
Inside sales is selling by email, phone, and other digital channels rather than face-to-face. It is very popular in B2B, especially in SaaS or tech.
Learn the differences between outside and inside sales and how they can be combined to grow your business.
Sales Inside vs. Outside
Inside sales reps usually sell from their office or home. Outside sales reps travel to meet with prospects face-to-face. While outside sales reps may have a physical office in their area, they meet prospects at trade shows or conferences.
According to 2019, 45.5% are inside sales professionals. 52.8% of outside sales representatives are employed.
How can inside and exterior sales work together?
The strategic level is where inside and outside sales can come together to improve your bottom-line. As I have mentioned, you can avoid missing out on opportunities by drawing from both models.
- Inside sales focuses primarily on small- and medium-sized businesses.
- This allows outside sales reps the freedom to focus on larger accounts with a higher ACV.
But, this isn’t the only way the two branches could work together. They can also work together tactically.
Mark Kosoglow was our contact and he explained:
“Inside sales teams work together and share best practices with less friction than those outsiders. You can observe how a peer overcomes an objection during a live conference call by sitting next to them.
You can understand how to position value to the persona that you are about to jump on a call with by having a brief conversation while you wait for them join the meeting.
Once they reach a critical mass, the ideas that reps like are spread to other reps.
It is important to remember the changing expectations of your customers about your company.
Although your customer may prefer to meet you in person to make the initial sale, they may be more comfortable buying online if they feel they can trust your company.
It could be the reverse. Their preferred communication method may change during the same sales process.
Both inside and out sales must work together. Only then can they pass leads to the right people so that you can interact with customers in the most effective manner possible to make a sale.
You will need the right skills and qualifications to work in inside sales
It can be difficult to describe a product in sales. Sometimes the salesperson will need to describe the product via email or telephone without visuals. This is becoming much easier thanks to video conferencing and other tools.
To counter this, they must be skilled in research and communication. Inside sales requires someone who can simplify complicated subjects into simple terms that are easy to understand. They must also be able to communicate with customers via words.
They should be persuasive as all salespeople. They should be persuasive in writing just as much as they are in speech.
Building strong relationships is key to inside sales. Even though inside sales is not as important as outside sales, it is still important to have some type of relationship. It is difficult to establish a relationship with someone you don’t like over a short period of time.
This role requires social listening and a friendly demeanor to overcome the problem.
Inside salespeople need to be persistent and have thick skin. Inside sales is often a numbers game. They will have a low closing ratio and hear “no” a lot. They must be able to bounce back and sell with the same enthusiasm as the first sale.
Selling is all about convenience. Flexibility in terms hours and methods is a big plus.
Other skills that are valuable include technical sales skills like:
- Set up an appointment
- Tracking and email templates
- Predictive analytics
These are some of these business development skills you should have.
- Contact sourcing
- Coaching and training
- Content engagement
What does an Inside Sales Rep do for you?
Potential customers can get help from remote sales representatives to navigate the sales process and find the right product.
Both inbound and outbound sales activities
These are the main responsibilities for an inside sales rep.
- Demonstrating superior product expertise to answer customer inquiries and questions
- To build trust and rapport with potential clients, you must establish relationships.
- Nurture leads are aimed at converting them into clients and managing referrals from current clients.
- Attaining their monthly goals in sales
- Closing customer deals
- Reporting on relevant sales data
Inside sales reps don’t meet face to face with prospects very often so they use tools like email, phone, and video to connect with potential clients.
Their schedule is more predictable. They may have a daily goal of how many activities they complete (e.g. Number of calls, meetings, or proposals that are sent.
It is essential that you are able to understand your product well in order to become an inside sales representative. Inside sales reps must be able to explain the functionality of their product to customers in cold calls. This is in contrast with field sales reps who can only demonstrate the product in person.
Inside sales is more suitable for remote salespeople and teams.
What is an Outside Sales rep?
Outside sales reps spend most their time traveling to meet prospects and build relationships with clients.
The 2021 Xant.ai Report showed that outside sales teams engage in 25% more phone calls and more email activities than they do in the past.
They are often able to sell at industry events or conferences. This job is ideal for those who enjoy managing their own time and working independently.
The tools used by both inside and outside sellers are very similar (e.g. CRM, email, social networking). It is easy to see why CRM, email, and social networking are so similar. Both inside and outside salespeople use CRM, email, as well as social networking.
It’s all about sales.
Sales Statistics – Inside and Outside
Xant.ai conducted a survey in 2017 that revealed that outside sales reps dominated large businesses (revenue > $500M).
Small businesses with revenues less than $50,000,000. The highest percentage of inside sales reps are 47%
HubSpot’s 2021 survey to sales leaders, which had more than 500 respondents showed how far things have advanced in five years.
The study found that 68% of sales professionals intend to adopt a hybrid or fully remote selling strategy by 2021.
63% believe that virtual meetings can be just as effective as in-person meetings
We found that 64% sales leaders who switched from traditional sales to remote sales in 2020 were able to exceed or meet their sales goals.
This research shows that sales teams should have both insiders and outside salespeople. Each structure could be advantageous depending on the company’s goals or priorities.
Inside Sales Team
These are the key roles you need to fill in for an inside sales team:
- Qualifies for the Lead
- Account executive (AE) – Closes deals.
- Manages customer relationships.
- Customer success manager – Oversees customer support.
When it comes to sales, one SDR should be assigned for every two to three AES.
Are you looking to outsource sales personnel?
You will need to evaluate your current situation in order to determine the best arrangement for your company.
You may be able to outsource your inside sales staff if you are a small business or startup. This will help you keep overhead costs low and overhead expenses down. An in-house sales team might be a better option for larger companies.
Let’s say your sales team focuses their efforts on closing deals and acquiring new leads. Sales teams spend a lot time prospecting, nurturing relationships, qualifying leads.
Outsourcing might be a good option to help your internal sales team concentrate on qualified leads that can be bought-ready.
While outsourcing can have many benefits, it is not possible if you don’t have the right vendor. The vendor must know your brand, product, pricing, messaging, and messaging.
Transparency should also be a priority for your vendor’s company.
- Their sales process
- They will deliver: Pipeline construction, qualified leads per months, etc.
- Progress reports
Inside vs. Outside Sales Rep Salary
Companies must pay top talent the market value to retain them.
Glassdoor reports that by 2021, the average inside sales rep salary will be $43,712 in the United States. An inside sales account executive’s base salary is below $80,000
According to The Bridge Group, the base salary for a sales development rep (SDR), is $50K in 2021. Xant.ai reports the SDR average on-target earnings have increased by 3% to $90,434.
Field reps are often believed to have more experience than sales leaders, so they demand a higher salary.
Our 2017 data shows that outside sales reps earn 36% more than inside sales. Outside sales had an OTE 9.2% lower.
OTE should be used for indicating expected earnings so that inside sales positions earn nearly the same as outside sales.
Inside vs. Outside Sales Quota Attainment
According to data from The Bridge Group, only 66% of those who reach quota each year by 2021 will be able to do so, according to The Bridge Group.
Spotio reports that inside sales reps have a 10% average field rep ratio.
These aren’t terrible results, but there’s still a lot to be done before salespeople can reach their full quota.
Based on their role (inside or outside), salespeople may be assigned territories. Companies often allow inside salespeople to close smaller deals and support other people when they are working with strategic accounts.
Improved collaboration and communication between insiders and outside sellers, marketing and sales, as well as productivity, will significantly improve future sales performance (thanks in part to AI).
Outside vs. Inside Sales Models
This is a breakdown to help you understand the structure of the outside and inside sales teams.
Inside Sales Model
- Sales teams can communicate with clients, prospects, leads, and other users via digital channels.
- Focuses on acquiring leads.
- Faster sales cycle (90 Days)
- It is cheaper and more scalable
Another Sales Model
- Sales teams travel to meet clients face-to-face.
- Focuses on nurturing and converting leads.
- Slower sales cycles (>90 days)
- It is more expensive and less scalable.
When you choose a sales structure, you will always be available to your customers. What is the best way to reach your customers? What can they do to make it easier for them to close deals? Can you close a $1m contract over the phone? Only you can make this determination.
I don’t believe that any vertical industry or product requires a field-sales model. Yes, there are some industries that use a field-sales approach. However, this does not necessarily mean that it is the best model for the marketplace.
Today’s buyer has a greater tech-savvy than ever before. They’ll continue to shop on Amazon.com for personal use, and they’ll expect the same model to work in the B2B market.
You must have a solid digital model for sales. This includes adding inside salespeople to your team.
There are no rules regarding inside and outside sales. To find the best fit for their product, companies test many models and different sales organizations. Find the right fit.
Which is better?
One of the most important decisions when setting up your sales team is whether you want to focus on inside or outside sales. Because of the pandemic, almost all salespeople are selling remotely. We look forward to a world that feels more normal. But to which model will companies return?
They seem to be at odds. The one focuses on clients with high acquisition cost and high ACV (annual account value), while the second focuses more on high sales velocity.
Both are just two sides of the same sales coin. You will likely need both if you want to be successful. We’ll talk about the strengths of each type and how they can be used within your company. Finally, we’ll show you how to find the right balance.
Then, we’ll go into detail about what you should be looking for when hiring salespeople.
Wrapping Up: Inside vs. Outside Sales
We have seen that most companies can find a balance between inside and outside sales. It is easier to build a smaller, more scalable team of salespeople. If you have long sales cycles or enterprise clients, an outside sales team may be more suitable for your business.