Finding out which sales model is superior between outside and inside sales is one of the fiercest debates among sales managers and representatives. Well, there isn’t a clear-cut conclusion to this debate because either model has its strong points.
Companies that focus on the inside sales model benefit from its high velocity and volume sales. Those that focus on outside sales appeal better to high acquisition costs and annual account value (ACV) clients.
Here are the main differences between inside and outside sales:
In this model, sales reps don’t travel to meet their clients. They pitch products to prospective customers over the phone. Because they don’t spend hours on the road, inside sales reps have more time on their hands compared to their outside sales counterparts.
This means that inside sales reps usually follow more market leads, appeal to more customers, and make higher volume sales than outside sales reps.
However, high volume sales don’t necessarily represent high-quality sales.
Most customers who make over-the-phone purchases order low-cost items in small quantities, so they aren’t too keen on face-to-face price negotiations. For such reasons, inside sales have a significantly shorter sales cycle than outside sales.
Outside sales is simply a longer, more complex sales cycle. Sales reps in this model spend a significant amount of time attending to customers’ questions and giving clients the service they need.
Prolonged face-to-face interactions with prospective customers develop strong, intimate relationships that can improve brand loyalty.
Another advantage of long sales cycles is that field reps have the time and freedom to try out multiple sales methods. They can engage prospects with presentations and displays, or choose to give out samples when necessary.
As you know, customers are more likely to purchase an item if they can see and touch it compared to items they only hear about over the phone.
If you are a self-starter sales rep, an outside sales model is for you! As an outside salesperson:
You work independently, so others don’t slow you down.
You are your own supervisor. It feels better to work without the bosses breathing down your neck, doesn’t it?
Every new day comes with a new workplace and a new challenge. That makes your job a little more interesting than sitting at a desk the whole day.
Traveling to multiple appointments in a day can be motivating, plus it trains you to easily adapt to new environments, situations, and people.
Outside sales requires optimal situational awareness. You have to pick up on social cues fast to keep conversations flowing. That builds you as a person, as face-to-face interactions also boost your emotional intelligence (EQ).
Technology has created many avenues for businesses to communicate with customers and build their brand reputation. However, technology isn’t a suitable substitute for face-to-face interactions when brand reputation is involved.
Outside salespeople build trust and rapport with customers when they talk with them and address their pain points in person. We all appreciate it when companies care and listen to our suggestions firsthand.
That’s not all though. Explaining the functionality of a product and making face-to-face demos can also convert ordinary users into “expert users”.
These expert users become the go-to consultants and advocates for your products. They answer questions from newbie users within their social circles, and that makes them your unpaid brand ambassadors/sales reps.
4. There are products whose market demand outside sales
Buyers of large and expensive products crave the satisfaction that comes with the traditional “deal-closed” handshake. They crave the personal touch and respect that only an outside sales rep can provide.
Big expenses also require lengthy face-to-face deliberations and negotiations. Buyers want to think through their purchase before committing to a life-changing expense. Wouldn’t you appreciate having someone to guide you during a process that can be tedious and daunting?
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Pitching products or services that fit those specifications
Closing any deals made on the spot
All while maintaining professionalism at every turn.
If you don't know where to find one, look no further than PEO services. Partnering with PEO Canada will benefit your business as they will make sure to find the right fit for your outside sales.
To succeed as a salesperson, you must adapt your products to the target customer’s pain points and add value to their situation with every interaction you make.
You also need to tailor your approach to consider these tips:
1. You can use both face-to-face and virtual presentations. After making the initial face-to-face connection, you can then continue engaging prospects over Skype or Zoom. You can then schedule in-person follow-up meetings upon qualifying buyers. That saves you money and time.
2. Get a strong full-featured mobile app Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Record your notes and activity in your CRM so that you don’t lose crucial sales and/or appointment details when on the road.
3. Always have your travel documents ready because you never know where your next call of duty will come from.
4. Invest in a route planning app to cut the busy work out of your day and give you optimized routes at the press of a button. Route planning apps, such as Badger Maps, can save you 8 hours a week by helping you drive 20% less.
Outside sales still hold significant relevance in today’s world of marketing. If you have to use inside sales in your industry, perhaps the best idea would be to create a balance where inside and outside sales work together. Drawing from both models is a guarantee that you won’t miss any opportunities.
All in all, based on the aspects that we covered here, it’s hard to deny the value of outside sales as the key aspect in your business and sales approach.