Every company has to come up with effective sales tactics that provide the best probabilities of moving merchandise. Over the years, sales strategies have evolved to adapt to the everyday consumer. Selling a washing machine to a homeowner in today’s market requires a lot more than it did two decades ago. One of the biggest pains for entrepreneurs is gauging inside sales vs outside sales. These two models have been providing businesses with revenues for the longest time.
Both inside and outside sales have their strong suits, and are suitable for achieving different objectives. Before you pick one over the other, though, understand what each one offers. The type and size of enterprise you run will determine if you should invest more in inside or outside sales. Traditionally, outside sales took the larger piece of the pie. But with the increased use of electric devices today, inside sales are demanding just as much attention. A study puts inside sales at a 7.5% annual increase compared to 5% of outside sales.
What Are Inside and Outside Sales?
When looking at inside sales vs outside sales, consider what each concept entails.
- Inside sales refer to the selling of products remotely, without leaving the office.
- Outside sales, on the other hand, require the salespeople to meet face-to-face with clients.
Inside sales were originally conducted via telephone (telemarketing). But the internet and modern devices have opened new techniques to reach consumers. Remuneration is another aspect you have to factor in when weighing inside sales vs outside sales.
Outside sales representatives typically earn more than those who handle inside sales. It means that if your company is going to concentrate more on outside sales, then it will need to allocate a substantial budget for the staff. Note that some products/services sell better through outside sales while others are most suited for inside sales. The door-to-door nature of outside sales may not be as popular now. But it still has a role to play in business.
Who Needs Inside and Outside Sales
Determining which company can benefit most from inside sales vs outside sales can a bit tricky. However, inside sales are suited for small businesses and startups that don’t have enough funds to pay outside sales reps. Outside sales are appropriate for companies that sell complex or high-end products. When you want to convince a hospital administration to buy a $100,000 medical device, it is best to convince them face-to-face.
Sales people also have a better chance of explaining how certain products function when interacting with the customer directly as opposed to calling. It is not to say, though that inside sales cannot close large purchases. Sales reps have the power to negotiate with quality customers and come to an agreement.
Inside Sales vs Outside Sales: 4 Major Differences and Similarities
1. The Finances They Control
The distinction of inside sales vs outside sales is what managers look at when selecting the most efficient tactics to use. For one, outside sales include a lot of travel. Outside sales workers have to go where the customers are, and that means planning trips to different regions. Depending on how extensive your business is and how widespread your customers are, your enterprise can spend significant amounts on travel expenses.
Add that to the high base salaries that inside sales reps demand and your budget goes up considerably. Inside sales only require you to invest in excellent connectivity. Besides finding a broadband and phone service provider with top-notch connections, you have to provide reliable equipment to minimize technical issues as much as possible.
2. The Matter of Perspective
Inside sales come with structured schedules where representatives know what they are going to do from one day to the next.
With outside sales, your employees have to be ready to head anywhere and at any moment, depending on a client’s convenience.
3. The Outside Influence
Over the years, outside sales have remained largely unchanged. It is true that salespeople now use subtler and more sophisticated approaches than before like taking prospective customers to lunch or a round of golf.
However, inside sales have seen tremendous improvements. Your employers can easily contact customers through social media, mobile apps, and web conferences. These modern communication options allow companies to access a very broad target market. Your inside sales team can communicate with clients halfway across the globe without any trouble.
4. What You Need
When looking at inside sales vs outside sales, consider the type of skills necessary for each model. Outside sales require people who can handle changing environments almost on a daily basis. Your hires should be capable of adapting to new cultures as their roles dictate. In some instances, they may have to learn a foreign language. If you do considerable business in China, you need salespeople who can express themselves in Chinese when out in the field.
Field reps also require good grooming skills and etiquette. If your rep is taking an executive to dinner, he/she must look the part. For inside sales teams, patience works wonders. When you are on a social network or the phone trying to explain to a client why they should purchase your product, you must be patient.
Some qualifications and skills are necessary for both outside and inside sales. Representatives in both areas should know how to articulate themselves in a way that convinces customers. Inside salespeople, need to be more communicative because they don’t have the luxury of sitting down with a potential client to clarify stuff. Interpersonal skills are useful in both models because employees have to engage with clients.
Listening skills are other similarities when measuring the inside sales vs outside sales pros and con. A sales person must be able to dedicate proper attention to a client. Whether you are on the phone or the racing tracks trying to close a deal, a customer shouldn’t have to keep repeating himself/herself because you are too distracted to keep up with the conversation.
Making the Decision
The inside sales vs outside sales debate keeps raging on as the similarities and difference keep blurring. It is up to a company to decide which model would bring the biggest returns.
Most entrepreneurs have a hybrid of both inside and outside sales strategies to leverage the pros of each concept.