Inside And Outside Sales – 5 Unique Differences
Samuel Darwin
Posted in: Tips

Inside and Outside Sales – 5 Unique Differences

Inside and outside sales are two different ways of approaching leads and converting them into clients. Not all leads can be convinced through calls, some may not want to answer calls from unknown numbers. Others never read sales emails. Some would avoid spending time in person, but may look at an email or advertisement when they find the time. 

In this case, you must not stick with one method, and should be open to adopting a multichannel approach. You are also responsible for analyzing which strategy might suit better for which type of audience, and approaching them accordingly. 

Understanding inside and outside sales and their features can help you figure out the differences and scenarios that suit you well. This article will take you on a tour off the following: 

  1. Inside and Outside Sales – Two Different Sales Modes
  2. What Is Meant by Inside Sales?
  3. What Is Meant by Outside Sales?
  4. 5 Differences Between Inside and Outside Sales
  5. Frequently Asked Questions
  6. Wrapping Thoughts
  7. Related Posts

Inside and Outside Sales – Two Different Sales Modes

Both Inside and Outside sales function with the same motive of establishing your brand awareness and converting your audience into customers. But, the techniques differ by means of their communication modes. 

If you are utilizing inside sales, you would work from an office location and reach out to people through technologies. The modes of communication may be phone, email, or advertisement campaigns.

On the other hand, in outside sales, you take the chance of going out and meeting the prospects in person and urging them to become your customers. You can do things, like awareness programs and demos in public places, like malls. 

What Is Meant By Inside Sales

Inside sales refers to the practice of leveraging technology to help connect with, and get new clients. It also offers the opportunity where it does not require either side to travel. In this digital era, most communication is made online. 

Many inside sales teams make use of various technologies and communication channels to boost sales. Here are some of the most commonly used communication channels by most of the inside sales teams:

  • Social media
  • Emails
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools
  • Phone calls
  • Video conferences

In the past, inside sales teams used cold calling or email marketing as the only channel of communication. But today, it has become more common for inside sales teams to use a combination of various strategies.

Generally, the inside sales team deals in services and products with lower annual contract value and sells to an individual buyer or a single small buying committee. As inside sales do not require a physical presence, geographic growth can create a stronger emphasis on global markets.

What Is Meant by Outside Sales

Outside sales refer to the practice of traveling to connect with and acquire new clients. Outside sales are also known as field sales. In outside sales, prospective and current clients have the opportunity to have a personalized sales experience.

The face-to-face interactions and in-person meetings offer sales representatives the opportunity to offer more detailed product demonstrations to the prospects. It also gives representatives the opportunity to create more personal relationships with their potential clients. Before the global pandemic, one of the most commonly used outside sales strategies was trade shows.

Now that you know what inside and outside sales mean, let’s discuss some of the differences between the two.

5 Differences Between Inside and Outside Sales

Here are 5 differences between inside sales and outside sales that you should know:

5 Differences Between Inside and Outside Sales
5 Differences Between Inside and Outside Sales
  • Sales cycle
  • Metrics
  • Skillset
  • Tools
  • Sales models

Let’s dive into the details.


The sales cycle refers to the process of converting a prospective client into a buyer, or a paying customer. The sales cycle is defined as the average time taken from the initial point of contact with the lead to closing a deal.

Here are some of the differences in the sales cycles of inside sales and outside sales:

The complexity of the sales cycle is less The annual contract value is high
The annual contract value is low More stakeholders are involved
Annual contract value is low Fewer stakeholders are involved
Sales cycles are short Sales cycles are long
The difference in the sales cycles of inside and outside cycles


Metrics play a vital role in helping both the inside sales team and outside sales teams analyze what works, and what is not working for them. Sales metrics are used to measure the performance of various aspects. 

Here are some of the metrics used to measure inside sales and outside sales.

Measured daily, weekly, and monthly Measured monthly, quarterly, and annually
The performance of emails and phone calls is measured Attainment of quotas is measured
The performance of new logos is measured Revenue generation is measured
Pipeline management Attainment of quotas are measured
Metrics used to measure inside and outside sales


When hiring an inside sales representative or an outside sales representative, the skills required for both roles vary. Before you hire a sales representative, you should assess the skill sets and personality traits of the individual to find the role that best fits their skillset.

Here are some of the skill sets required for both inside and outside sales representatives.

Focus more on prioritization  High situational awareness
Less experienced High emotional intelligence (EQ)
Repetition at scale Business-oriented negotiation
Ability to follow instructions Strategic
Skill sets required for both inside and outside sales representatives

Apart from these, there are a few skills required for both inside and outside sales teams, including:

  • Perseverance
  • Good confidence levels
  • Excellent communication skills


Both inside sales and outside sales make use of various sales tools. Sales representatives make use of different sales tools to achieve their quotas and close more deals. 

Here are some of the sales tools that are commonly used in inside sales and outside sales.

One-to-many digital automation tools are used Physical, in-person tools are used
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools
Video Conference (Google Meet, Zoom) Video Conference (Google Meet, Zoom)
Email Email
Phone calls Phone calls
Social media Social media
Commonly used sales tools in inside and outside sales

Due to the involvement of cloud computing and mobile devices, some sales tools and technologies used in inside sales have created a great impact in the workflow of outside sales teams. Outside sales teams also make use of tools and technologies that are being used by inside sales teams.


Here are some of the differences between the sales models for inside sales and outside sales. 

Digital channels are used to establish relationships with potential clients Travel to connect with prospects and connections are made face-to-face
Try to close a deal within 90 days or less Can close deals within 90 days or more
Remote selling In-person interaction prospects
Get qualified leads In-person product demonstration to potential customers
Scale with less efforts Scale with more efforts
Must spend less Can spend more compared to inside sales
Differences between the sales models for inside and outside sales

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Why is inside sales better than outside sales?

Here are some of the reasons that make inside sales better than outside sales:

– Inside sales does not require the sales representative’s physical presence. 
– Inside sales representatives make about 45% more dials than outside sales representatives. 

2. Is inside sales harder than outside sales?

Being into inside sales is a bit hard compared to outside sales. The annual quota attainment that is reached by the sales representatives in inside sales is less compared to that of the outside sales representatives. By implementing the right strategies, and by using the right tools inside sales can be made achievable and easy.

3. What are examples of inside sales?

Some of the examples of inside sales are as follows:

– Does not require the sales representative to travel to meet clients, and close deals.
– Prospecting and selling the product, or service, is done via emails, phone calls, text messages, LinkedIn, or video calls.

4. What is an example of outside sales?

Some of the examples of outside sales are as follows:

– Requires sales representatives to travel to meet clients and close deals.
– Sales representatives cold call prospects to schedule meetings.
– Sales representatives must have face-to-face interaction with prospects.
– Sales representatives must perform product demonstrations to prospects in person.

5. What are the benefits of inside sales?

Here are some of the benefits of inside sales:

– Reduced sales cost.
– Spend more time on selling.
– Increased teamwork.
– Faster response time to prospects.

Wrapping Up

If you have been meaning to learn some of the differences between inside sales and outside sales, this article should have helped you. As you now know the difference between the two, you may also have an idea of what works best for you. Make sure to implement the one that works best to boost your sales and grow your business.

If you have been looking for services that can help you boost your sales opportunities, and take your business to the next level, make sure to reach out to us to learn more about our services.

Related Reads

How to Close Deals with Question-Based Selling? – 4 Tips

A Comprehensive Guide to the Appointment-Setting Process

What is a Sales Pipeline? A Comprehensive Guide

Illustrations by Storyset


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