Inside Sales vs Outside Sales
Traditionally, sales organizations were primarily dependent on their outside sales team, who work on face-to-face sales model, to engage with existing clients and prospective customers. In turn, the inside salespeople used to merely assist them in completing their daily tasks and other back-end operations. But, today, with increasing competition and tremendous pressure on the sales team to deliver, companies are feeling the requirement for a more structured and target-oriented inside sales department.
The question here is…Can the inside sales rep ever produce the same results as that of an outside or a field sales person ?? Will he/she be able to match up to the level of relationship that an outside sales rep develops with customers??
In my opinion “YES”.
According to a recent study, inside sales is growing 7.5%, compared to outside sales at only 0.5%.
With the boom of sales acceleration platforms and digital selling techniques like web-conferencing, CRM system, sales leaderboards, social media, and analytical tools, the inside sales representatives have undoubtedly got a competitive edge. The availability of sales engagement hubs have made inside sales processes even more competent. Also, there are scenarios where inside sales approach can prove to be more efficient for an organization than the field sales -the reasons primarily are:
- It is easier for inside sales team to handle certain accounts that don’t require a personal visit and can be dealt via virtual meetings.
- An inside sales representative can work on a lot many opportunities in a very short span of time as compared to an outside sales representative.
- Outside sales representatives are often expensive than inside sales representatives.
- It takes lesser time and cost for an inside sales team to penetrate new markets.
According to a study conducted by David Mitchell, Gartner Research Group, “Inside Sales was the sales team type that was most likely to deliver their sales quota or over-achieve against those targets. Their sales cycles were shorter and they had a better win: loss rate than other sales colleagues” in outside sales capacities.
To stay ahead of the competition, organizations need to plan their sales operations process and engage the departments depending on the selling stage and the type of products or services sold by the company. There is not a single sales formula that work for every company. Depending on the size and volume of sales, a company can even decide to get rid of one of these departments. SME’s and Large enterprises, who need both the teams, can define customers and territories for both inside and outside sales team or work with a blended approach. In a hybrid or blended pattern, the inside sales team can focus more on lead generation, business development, follow ups and so on whereas the outside reps can be utilized to close a deal in case a customer asks for a face-to-face meeting or there are other constraints that can’t be handled via virtual platforms.
Every organization needs to figure out the best sales process for their business and hire salespeople catering to their specific needs.
Inside Sales vs Outside Sales. Cast your votes in comments below.