When it comes to sales, there are two main types: inside sales vs outside sales aka field sales. Both have their own set of challenges and rewards. So which one is right for you? Let’s take a closer look at the difference between inside sales vs outside sales

Inside Sales vs Outside Sales

Inside sales is the process of selling products or services over the phone or internet, typically to customers who are already familiar with the company.

Outside sales is the process of selling products or services in person, usually to new or potential customers.

Outside sales reps typically travel to meet with clients, whereas inside sales reps typically work from a central location.

What is the distinction between inside and outside sales?

The distinction between inside and outside sales teams is how they sell their product or service. Outside salespeople meet with customers face to face, while an inside salesperson sells over the phone or via email.

Sales reps who sell products in-person through traditional mediums like conferences and trade shows are usually considered outside sales professionals.

This even includes door-to-door sales and bar work. As you can probably imagine, this requires a lot of traveling.

Some companies, especially those that sell tech, use inside teams to sell. Others, however, prefer the traditional method of using an outside team. You’ll have to decide which is best for your product.

The difference between inside and outside sales has become rather acute. The inside world has become a collective bubble, the outside world one we only venture into for exercise and essentials.

As a sales professional, it’s important to carefully consider which approach – inside or outside sales – will best suit your career and business goals. The impact of this decision can be tremendous, so it’s not one to be taken lightly.

Inside Sales – The Essentials

To be successful at this job, you have to be comfortable with using tech tools to find your own sales opportunities. You also have to be able to work on your own and manage your time to get results.

A solid internet connection, knowledge of social media platforms, and an ability to research are all important.

Social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin, can be a great way to advertise your business and find new clients.

When you’re reaching out to new contacts, it’s vital that you do your research and understand their business needs. This will enable you to offer them your solution in the best way.

Sales reps need good writing skills, but they need to be good at picking up on subtle hints and subtext.

This field requires a lot of flexibility and a willingness to be flexible.

Since you’re an “inside” sales rep, you’re available at all times, whether it’s through your mobile phone, laptop, or tablet.

To sell a product, you must be thoroughly knowledgeable about it. When answering tough questions from customers, be ready and confident in your responses.

As a sales rep, you’ll need to work well with others. You’ll be working with other sales reps, so it’s important that you get along and work well as a team.

Learn from your sales reps, and teach them to be great salespeople. This is how to be an amazing sales manager.

How to Be the Most Successful Outside Sales Rep

If you want to become the best salesperson, you need great interpersonal and communication skills. This is even more important in industries such as manufacturing, where personal interaction is key. In addition, confidence in yourself is crucial to success in any industry, but it’s especially important in an outside sales force.

As a salesperson, you won’t always have the luxury to take your time with a customer. Your clients will expect immediate answers, so it’s important to be quick on your feet.

If you enjoy challenges, then you’ll enjoy working outside. While traveling, you should dress appropriately and be prepared to work on your own. If a meeting runs long, don’t get too frustrated.

This especially applies to countries like China and Russia where business relationships are based more on trust than on hard facts.

To make sure that your meetings are scheduled on the correct time, use these three easy steps in revenue inbox:

Share your calendar with your prospects

Your next step is to send your Hot Leads a “BookMe” link to schedule meetings on their own.

Next, sync your GmailOutlook Calendar with your customer relationship management system.

If you follow these steps, you’ll be sure to never miss an important meeting and keep your schedule up-to-date.

How to organize an inside and outside sales team

How do you get inside sales and outside sales to work in tandem? How do you ensure that both departments are working in concert and not at cross purposes?

Inside and Outside Sales: The Pandemic

The coronavirus has required companies to rapidly shift from face-to-face sales to virtual meetings. In fact, according to a survey by Linkedin, 34% of respondents will be increasing their number of Inside sales reps.

Sales have definitely changed during the pandemic with digital channels now being twice as important.

This is evident in how 90% of companies now employ a virtual sales force.

The coronavirus has forced many companies to restructure their sales force, with some organizations even moving exclusively to inside or outside hybrid models. This could become the norm for the next few years. When considering restructuring your teams, keep this trend in mind.

Three Ways to Organize Inside and Outside teams

There is no one size fits all approach to sales team structure. It will depend on your market and your company’s needs.

  1. Have separate teams for inside sales and outside sales
  2. Sales teams working with each other
  3. Hybrid sales reps work both as an inside sales rep and an outside rep.

1. B2B Sales – How to Separate Inside and Outside Sales Reps

In this system, your inside and outside sales reps don’t share any lead information. Instead, everyone works on his or her own set of leads to contact.

Each sales team has individual goals that must be met on a daily basis, as well as a weekly and a monthly basis.

If you split up your sales team into inside reps and outside reps, you can ensure that each rep is focusing on what they do best. You can divide your leads into groups based on the size of each deal, which is common for business-to-business (B2B) companies.

Smaller and medium-sized businesses can be assigned to your in-house team. These smaller, simpler deals are ideal for your internal staff. For larger, more complicated deals with longer sales and purchasing cycles, your outside sales reps are better suited.

Larger companies with potential big sales can be assigned for in-person meetings to sales reps who can spend more time on building sales relationships.

2. Your Sales Teams Working Together

By working closely together, the sales and marketing teams can better identify and approach potential clients. This not only improves lead generation, but also increases the likelihood of closing the deal.

Your inside team can reach out to leads that are far away from your offices before an outside sales rep visits them.

While your inside sales team may spend most of their time on the phone, they also spend a lot of time identifying specific problems or potential objections to your product. This helps your outside team prepare for a call, or saves them the trip if the prospect turns out not to be a good fit.

3. Hybrid Sales Reps Working Both Inside and Outside Sales

With more and more companies hiring remote sales reps, many companies are moving towards hybrid teams.

So how do reps with a hybrid sales approach manage their time?

When they’re not out in the field, a hybrid sales rep spends most of their time at their computer.

When they’re out of the office, hybrid sales reps focus on building relationships.They attend networking events and introduce themselves to potential customers.They get involved in their community and build a positive reputation for their company.They work hard to stay top of mind with their contacts and keep them updated on their product or service.

When sales reps meet with potential clients, they focus on the ones that offer the highest potential. They prepare themselves for the meeting by researching the issues that the prospect is facing, and they have a strategy for approaching them. This allows them to get the most out of the meeting and take action that will result in the sale.

They track their on-field job activities just like they do their office work.

The Tools to Empower Your Inside and Outer Sales Reps

Whatever type of sales team you have, you’ll need the right tools for your reps to work efficiently.

As Sales Director for Europe, Mr. Masseuras explains: “The democratisation of productivity tools and communications has been incredible in the past 5-7 years.”

It has never been more simple to connect with customers, no matter where they are, and at a deeper, more personal level.

As the world progresses, so does the way we sell and communicate with customers. Inside sales reps are now traveling to meet customers strategically, while field reps are using modern communication solutions to boost productivity. This change allows for a deeper connection with customers, no matter where they are.

Here’s our list of tools:

Can Inside and Outside Sales Work Together?

No, it doesn’t have to be an “inside sales vs. outside sales team” battle.

When a business first starts out, the leadership has to decide between which type of sales team will be most effective.

They consider:

Sales representatives who are responsible for both inside and outside sales should consider the type of product or service they are selling, the size or scope of the market, and how they will deliver their goods to the end-user. By taking these factors into account, they can develop a sales strategy that meets the needs of both their company and their customers.

If your product or service is computer related, then inside sales are the way to go.

If the product you are selling is complex or high-value, then an outside sales model is a better option.

Some companies have a wide range of products and services, and this often requires a different sales process for each product.

After the COVID-19 Pandemic

Many companies have had to change up their sales processes recently, as many businesses have had to close their doors or restrict their hours.

One industry that relies heavily on sales is the pharmaceutical industry.

It was the norm for companies that peddled medical devices and drugs to amble into doctor’s offices and confer with doctors or practice managers.

With most doctors’ offices and hospitals now requiring schedule appointments, companies have switched to virtual or a hybrid model for selling.

Remote technology

Sales teams are also using video conferences to remotely meet with customers.

If you can’t meet with a client in person, a virtual meeting is the next best thing. This way, you can still provide them with the information and demonstrations they need without having to be in the same room.

Many companies have adapted their sales teams to work remotely, especially when they’re dealing with clients or customers in a different time zone.



If you’re looking to make a career in sales, it’s important to understand the difference between inside sales vs outside sales. Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Inside sales may be more flexible and offer less travel, but you may feel isolated working by yourself all day. Outside sales may require more travel but can also be more exciting and provide opportunities to meet new people. Ultimately, the decision of which type of sale is right for you depends on your personality and preferences.

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
This post was generated for LeadFuze and attributed to Justin McGill, the Founder of LeadFuze.