Inside Sales vs Outside Sales: Difference and Comparison

Sales representatives play a pivotal role in the growth and promotion of the products and services of any company. The representatives have excellent skills in customer service.

The two most common types of sales that operate within any company are Inside Sales and Outside Sales.

Key Takeaways

  1. Inside sales representatives conduct sales activities remotely, utilizing phone calls, emails, and video conferences, whereas outside sales representatives interact face-to-face with clients.
  2. Inside sales focus on high-volume transactions and lead generation, while outside sales representatives pursue more complex deals and long-term business relationships.
  3. The inside sales process can be more cost-effective and scalable, while outside sales involve higher costs due to travel and in-person meetings.

Inside Sales vs Outside Sales

The difference between Inside Sales and Outside Sales is that Inside sales operate through calling, emailing, through other forms of Internet media, while outside sales operate through in-person demonstrations and check-ins. The representatives of inside sales work within the office premises while the representatives of outside sales travel to other places.

Inside Sales vs Outside Sales

The salesperson of inside sales does not travel to other places for the promotion of their products and services. Inside sales are also known as “remote sales” or “virtual sales”.

The professionals work within specific office hours and have no flexibility.

On the other hand, outside salespeople have fieldwork and travel from one place to another to meet their customers. They do not work in a formal office setting.

They bring business from outside the office setting for a company. Outside sales are also known as “field sales”.

The sales personnel of outside sales has a flexible work schedule.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonInside SalesOutside Sales
DefinitionInside sales refers to the sale of services or products which are sold by personnel through their office premises Outside sales are referred to the sale of services and products by personnel who meet the potential customers physically
Job location Professionals work inside the environment of the office Professionals travel to other places and do not work inside office premises
SupervisionProfessionals receive supervision throughout the workweek Professionals receive little or no supervision during the workweek
Medium of communicationBy calling, emailing, or through other forms of Internet mediaBy physically meeting and contacting the potential customers
Other namesRemote sales or Virtual sales Field sales

What are Inside Sales?

Inside sales refer to the sale of services or products which are sold by personnel through their office premises. The sales personnel can reach their potential customers by call, email, or other forms of Internet media.

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The salesperson of inside sales does not travel to other places for the promotion of their products and services. Inside sales are also known as “remote sales” or “virtual sales”.

The reach of salespeople through inside sales is proactive and efficient. The term “inside sales” was introduced in the year 1980.

The term was introduced to distinguish telemarketing and telesales from other phone sales of the high ticket with business-to-business or business-to-consumer sales practices.

The people involved in inside sales are highly trained and creative and have a sales strategy for every product and service.

They do not just read from pre-written scripts. The segment of inside sales plays a vital role in the generation of leads.

It is also considered the fastest-growing section of sales.

Inside sales are carried out within the premises of the office. Various AI-powered features help in increasing efficiency and accelerating revenue.

Inside sales may require regular follow-ups with potential customers, and the reps are mostly subtle. Companies also outsource the department of inside sales to a third-party agency and do not conduct the operations in-house.

What are Outside Sales?

Outside sales are referred to the sale of services and products by personnel who meet the potential customers physically.

The sales personnel involved in outside sales have fieldwork and travel from one place to another to meet their customers. They do not work in a formal office setting.

They bring business from outside the office setting for a company.

The sales personnel of outside sales do not work within specific office hours. They are constantly travelling around and meeting new clients.

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They assist the customers with their needs so that they can be built trust and create a bond.

The company bears the expense of outside sales of the sale personnel like car rentals, hotel accommodation, plane tickets, and other related expenses.

Outside sales are also known as “field sales”. The sales personnel of outside sales have a flexible work schedule.

Outside sales representatives aim to sell their product and also to build a relationship with the customer or client. The entire outside sale operates on the schedule of the client and customer.

The customers can have a live demonstration of the product through outside sales.

Outside sales representatives can renew or negotiate contract terms with clients or customers. They are responsible for setting and meeting the sales quotas set by the company every month.

Outside sales can arrange conferences and conventions to display their services and products to potential clients and customers.

Main Differences Between Inside Sales and Outside Sales

  1. Inside sales operate through calling, emailing, through other forms of Internet media, while outside sales operate through in-person demonstrations and check-ins.
  2. Inside sales professionals do not meet the customers directly, while outside sales professionals meet the customers directly face-to-face.
  3. Inside sales personnel work within a team, while outside sales personnel may or may not work within a team.
  4. Inside sales representatives do not travel to other places and work within the office premises, while outside sales representatives travel to other places to meet new or existing customers.
  5. Inside sales promote simple products that can be sold over distant communication, while outside sales promote complex products and services that require demonstration.
Difference Between Inside Sales and Outside Sales
References
  1. https://tiainc.net/InsideSalesArticlefromJohnD.pdf
  2. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/EJM-07-2019-0568/full/html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=rss_journalLatest

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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6 thoughts on “Inside Sales vs Outside Sales: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The depth of the comparison in this article is highly informative. The detailed explanation of the working environments, communication methods, and job responsibilities provides a comprehensive understanding of these two sales approaches.

    Reply
  2. This thorough comparison between inside and outside sales offers clear insight into their advantages and disadvantages. It is a valuable resource for both sales reps and companies looking to make informed decisions based on their specific needs.

    Reply
  3. The extensive literature cited in the references section adds a significant layer of credibility to the content presented in this article. The sources are largely academic and contribute to the reliability of the information presented.

    Reply
  4. The emphasis on the proactive and efficient nature of inside sales underlines its importance within the sales framework. The distinction between the sales strategies employed by inside sales professionals and the travel-intensive nature of outside sales is well-highlighted.

    Reply
  5. I found the breakdown of the key differences between inside sales and outside sales to be quite illuminating. The interactive nature of outside sales with in-person demonstrations offers a deep level of engagement with clients.

    Reply
  6. I beg to differ. The high costs associated with outside sales are not sufficiently justified by this article, particularly when considering factors such as travel expenditure and accommodation. The potential drawbacks of outside sales are downplayed.

    Reply

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