February 6, 2022
Inside vs outside sales is often at odds with one another. Companies that wish to grow their business find it daunting to decide what type of sales team they should hire. But, both roles are now blending in today's market. You can't opt out of one role for another.
With the lines getting blurred, it's time to wonder which type of sales team your business needs. In this post, we'll compare inside sales and outside b2b sales. You'll also find how each benefits your business.
Let's delve into the sales field.
When you set up a business, you need a sales team to reach your target audience. But which type of team structure should you use? There's no right or wrong answer to that. It solely depends on the type of business, market segment and the location.
Anecdotally, the inside sales structure is growing faster because it allows the sales team to sell remotely from the comfort of their desk. Inside sales structure refers to reaching a prospective audience through email, phone or digital channels. This form of sales structure is popular in B2B businesses, tech industries and SaaS.
So if you're running a B2B company with an inside sales structure, your sales reps would typically generate leads and connect with prospects from the office instead of face-to-face meetings.
Contrary to that, outside sales reps will have physical office space, but they meet new leads in-person at industry events, trade shows, outreach programs and conferences. According to 2019stats, 5.7 million salespeople are in the U.S., of which 45.5% are inside sales reps, whereas 52.8% are outside sales professionals.
Does that mean outside sales reps are more effective than inside sales teams? Unfortunately, that question doesn't have one right answer.
Inside sales teams guide prospects through their buying journey to ensure that their products solve customer problems. In doing so, they undertake several activities. For instance, one of the key responsibilities of inside sales is they demonstrate extensive product or service knowledge to answer any query. They'll guide clueless customers and answer inquiries. In essence, inside sales reps nurture leads to convert them into buying consumers.
Because their role doesn't involve in-person meetings, they are expected to leverage communication via digital tools like virtual meetings, phones, emails and video. You need to have a thorough understanding of what you're selling because, unlike the outside sales team, you'll have to explain product value and functionality instead of a demo.
This type of structure is the best fit for businesses that prefer working remotely but with a predictable target for each day. For example, if you choose inside sales team structure, your sales reps will have a set target of calls, a number of proposals sent or meetings booked for each day.
Outside sales team structure allows your sales reps to spend most time meeting sales leads in person. Despite their time spent travelling, they engage 50% more on email and 25% on-call activities, according to a 2021report.
Their selling points are conferences, industry events, trade shows, and other speaking engagements. This type of team structure is the best fit for businesses that allow independent and flexible working schedules.
Whether you deploy inside sales or outside sales, your team will use similar tools like social media, email and calls. Modern technology has reshaped the team structure.
Conference room meetings were an essential part of the sales team. Especially, outside sales reps used conference room meetings to generate leads and convert prospects into customers. Following the pandemic, conference rooms are no longer a suitable option.
Outside reps need the same visibility without insisting on conference room meetings. As a matter of fact, no buyer has ever liked being cramped in conference rooms. The new challenge is to arrange meetings that assure a similar level of visibility they'd have a conference room.
Outside sales reps are also switching to digital engagement tools because buyers are becoming more digitally available. Similarly, inside sales reps need to stretch their territories. They must manage longer buyer cycles and sell more complex products remotely.
It's high time for sales leaders to loosen up on standard definitions of inside and outside sales and redefine sales structure with an integrated strategic focus.
What does that mean? It means although outside sales reps worked from home during the pandemic, they didn't necessarily become inside sales reps. All they did was polish their unique skills to navigate the digital world.
For B2B companies planning to grow their business, they must consider modern sales structure because the selling landscape won't return to the conventional landscape. Sales teams would need to pick on digital tools regardless of their inside or outside role.
Inside sales structure works best for B2B businesses because it allows them to respond to queries immediately over a phone call or email. Another reason you should consider inside sales structure is due to relatively lower cost of sales because your team would spend more time connecting and generating leads instead of traveling from one prospect to another.
Get inside sales consultancy from The Lead Market (TLM). With our sales and IT background, we help you set up a sales team that is trained by industry experts. You can optimize the return on investment on your sales team and reach highly qualified leads with an inside sales structure.
Save time and cost of traveling and start selling remotely. Our designated inside sales consultants focus on your needs and your target market to devise strategies to build a robust team. We'll set up and align performance metrics with your strategic goals, streamline the process of contact discovery to closing deals and design a customised training plan for your sales team.
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