Inside Sales vs Outside Sales

Inside Sales vs Outside Sales

Before we give an answer to this question, we need to understand the comparison of inside sales vs outside sales. Inside sales, in the simplest terms, is remote sales. In inside sales, personnel does not travel to sell a product or a service. They reach customers via phone, e-mail, or internet. On the other hand, outside sales are face-to-face, and sales personnel physically go out into the field to meet with potential customers.

Basic Differences Between Inside and Outside Sales

While setting up a sales team, it is vital to know the differences between inside sales and outside sales. A sales representative who is good at inside sales may not be good at outside sales. Therefore, if you know the key differences between these two, you can build a sales team that works best for you.

the tools used to close sales

The Tools Used to Close Sales

The most important tool of an inside salesperson is quality customer relationship management (CRM). An ideal CRM offers e-mail tracking, phone calls, and short message service functionality. Outside sales representatives, on the other side, do not rely on CRM only. They need equipment to pitch their product or service on-site.

Sales Cycle

A major difference between inside sales and outside sales is the length of the sales cycle. The former has a relatively shorter sales cycles compared to the latter. Although inside sales follow the same sales process steps as outside sales, it goes through them much more quickly. Outside sales cycles may require weeks or even months to be completed.


Inside sales focus on mid-market buyers, whereas the other centers on big customers. Inside salespeople can get in contact with people from all around the world through their computer. They can contact hundreds of prospects at once via e-mail. However, outside salespeople can only get in touch with one prospect at a time. They may need to spend hours to close a deal while inside sales representatives are closing multiple deals.



Outside sales cost you much more than inside sales. Inside sales representatives only need computers, a CRM system, and an internet connection. The outside sales team needs more: a company car, flight tickets, hotel accommodations, a budget for entertainment expenses, and even golf memberships. Although outside sales are more costly, they bring in more business than inside sales.

Skills of Sales Representatives

Inside and outside sales representatives have a lot of skills in common. Both have good people skills, both are result-oriented, and both do their best to understand the problems of their prospects. One key difference between these professionals is the way they communicate with their clients. While inside salespeople use virtual communication skills on a regular basis, outside salespeople rely on face-to-face communication.

Closing Rates

Outside sales representatives boast a higher closing rate than inside sales representatives due to their different sales strategies. Compared to outside sales, inside sales has a very low customer acquisition cost (CAC). Therefore, when you lose a sale in inside sales, you may only need a couple of days to find another prospect. However, when you lose a sale in outside sales, it means you have wasted weeks or months as well as thousands of dollars.

which sales model is better for your company

Which Sales Model is Better for Your Company?

Traditionally, outside sales are adopted by many companies. However, with the advancements in technology, the industry has changed a lot over time. Now inside sales is growing so rapidly. While deciding which sales model to use, it will be useful to take these points into account:

  • The product you are selling
  • Your target customers
  • The nature of your organization
  • Your sales strategies

The product you are selling is the most important criterion to determine the ideal mixture of inside and outside sales. If you are selling small and inexpensive products, inside sales is an ideal method. Yet, if you are selling large and expensive products, then outside sales will work best for you. With these products, it takes the buyers more time to think through their purchases. Therefore, being there in person, you are more likely to persuade them to close the deal.

As for your prospects, if you are selling to a big company, outside sales representatives can handle it better. They can be good at managing large accounts, which require a constant hands-on presence. If it is a small company, sales representatives might be more practical in terms of remote sales.

On the other hand, if your organization is digital, if it focuses on a high sales velocity and tries to gain as many prospects as possible, inside sales will be a good choice for you. If you sell complex, high-tech products, if you target a more elite market and build long-term relationships with the customers, outside sales are better.

Finally, if your sales model is transactional and if it is automated through digital funnels, inside sales are quite appropriate. However, if it is more relational and requires interaction like demos and meetings, you should go with outside sales.

FAQ on Inside Sales vs Outside Sales

What is the difference between inside sales representatives and telemarketers?

Telemarketers read from a script while selling a product or a service. On the contrary to telemarketers, inside salespeople are highly trained and creative. They do not read from scripts; they determine a sales strategy to sell the product or the service.

Can companies use a hybrid model including both inside and outside sales?

Sure. If your business is selling to both small and big companies, using a hybrid model can be the best solution.

What are some useful tips for outside sales representatives regarding territory management?

First, it might be good to prioritize the territories while assigning to detect the ones with the greatest potential. Secondly, you can collect data to find out which strategies are effective and which are not. Thirdly, by planning the most efficient routes, you can save time and maximize your schedule.

Who earns more: inside or outside sales representatives?

Generally, outside sales representatives have a higher income, much of which comes from commissions and bonuses. Yet, since inside sales have gained more importance lately, the gap between the two is a closing day by day.

Do inside and outside salespeople have to have a university degree?

For inside salespeople, a high school diploma is enough; but outside salespeople must have a degree. The companies accept a degree in marketing, economics, business administration, or communication.

Inside Sales vs Outside Sales in Short

In this article, we have defined what inside sales and outside sales are. We have looked through the differences between these two sales models. They differ in terms of the tools used, sales cycles, scalability, costs, skills of representatives, and closing rates. We have tried to find an answer to the following question: “Inside Sales vs Outside Sales: Which is Better?”. Also, we have provided information regarding the income and education level of the sales representatives. We hope you find this article of use! Once you determine which one to go with, then it’s time to come up with a strategy. Here are some sales pitch examples that might help.

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After working for so many years in the screenwriting business, Ralph decided that he needed to be more involved with the digital world. Therefore he became a content writer by putting his skills into practice after learning about subjects he's interested in, mostly social media.

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