How to Build a Sales Team: Inside Sales vs. Outside Sales

Be it an early-stage startup or a big MNC, their success depends on their teamwork. Building a team is like laying a strong foundation for your business. If it is done right, then success follows. A sales team is the face of your business and the salespeople are the ones who bring your products to the customers. There are two types of sales – inside sales and outside sales. Even though the main aim is to sell a product/service, these two types of sales differ in the ways followed to achieve it. Depending on the type of product you sell, customer locations to cover, and other such factors, decide on the type of team you want to form. We will discuss in detail the difference between inside and outside sales and  the ways to build a strong sales team for your business.

What Are Inside Sales?

Inside sales is the process of selling a product or service with the help of technology from a remote place. The methods of reaching customers are through:
  • Cold calling
  • Video conferencing
  • Social media platforms like LinkedIn
  • Emails
Or any other similar methods. The inside sales reps work from an office location to reach their prospects online. Inside sales techniques are mostly used in B2B sales. This virtual method of reaching the prospects has certain advantages like time and cost savings which maximizes your ROI. Not only fuel and transportation costs, but also you can reach more people in a given time compared to outside sales. Also, while reaching through demo calls, it is easy to reschedule if your client has any sudden business plans. Hence, overall inside sales is a cost and time-effective sales process to reach your customers.

What Are Outside Sales?

Outside sales is the process of traveling to client locations and explaining your product and services with the help of visual presentations, product brochures, and testimonials. These face-to-face meetings create strong customer relationships and thus increase sales. Outside sales is also known as field sales. In field sales, your sales team finds prospects online and initially there may be an introduction call via video conferencing. Then, at the client’s convenient time, the meeting will be scheduled. Outside sales are more effective in customer-facing products as it gives a more personalized feeling to customers. Outside sales professionals require skills like maintaining a positive attitude, body language, a good dressing sense, good communication skills, etc. as they meet clients directly. They need to earn a good impression to close the deal.

Inside Sales Vs Outside Sales

To compare inside sales vs outside sales, we must first understand that these two have their own set of pros and cons.

Pros and Cons of Inside Sales

If a product is simple, inside sales work best as the representatives can reach more customers at a given time. A few minutes of explaining your product benefits have the power of selling. Also inside sales reps are easily accessible through a phone call. And as discussed earlier, it is a cost and time-effective way to sell. Inside sales reps can work from the office locations at ease without much hustle. Now, the cons of inside sales are the lack of strong customer relationships which in turn causes high customer churn. Also, reports say that inside salespeople have a low success rate comparatively and is estimated around an average of 18%. Also, as they reach most customers through cold calls and emails, it is difficult to analyze the reasons for customer churn, success rates, and other details for report generation.

Pros and Cons of Outside Sales

The main advantage of outside sales is the personalized experience through which you can build strong customer relationships. High success rates are another reason to opt for outside sales. If the product you sell is a bit complex, you need to have a direct conversation with your customers to explain it in detail and clear their doubts and queries. In such cases, outside sales is the most effective way to close deals. Cons of outside sales are it is more time-consuming and involves fuel and transportation costs. Limited access and difficulty in arranging meetings without getting delayed or rescheduled are the other downfalls you need to face in outside sales.

Wrapping Up

Nowadays, businesses are even considering a hybrid workforce that consists of both inside and field sales teams. Every business is unique and the same technique may not work for all. Hence, depending on the type of product, budget, and other factors, you can choose between inside or outside sales teams. In general, outside sales reps are paid higher than inside sales reps. But, remember whichever team you are choosing, make sure you build a winning sales team

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