Inside Sales vs Outside Sales Jobs

Inside Sales vs Outside Sales Jobs- To be completely honest, trying to define sales using a couple of words and a few well-thought-out lines may not be as simple as most people may want to believe. Sales refer to a dynamic term that covers a wide spectrum of duties and profiles. When most people think about a salesperson, they see an individual who moves from one place to another knocking on doors trying to persuade people to buy products and services. While this is correct, the truth is that sales encompass several other factors in addition to selling products and services from door to door; what most people know as sales are only one aspect that is known as ‘outside sales’ while there is another aspect known as ‘inside sales’.

Understanding Inside Sales vs Outside Sales

On one side is independence while on the other side we have interdependence; on the one side, you will spend time sipping cold glasses of water from the office dispenser with your peers while on the other side you will be meeting new people in person every day. These are some of the factors that show the difference between an inside sales job and an outside sales job. While both are sales jobs, they have typical daily routine differences that you need to get a handle on. Many sales representatives will fall into one of these two sales jobs at different times in their career life but in some cases, some end up in a hybrid system.

Knowing the difference between inside vs. outside sales jobs is important because it helps people know what kind of sales opportunities that may want to take advantage of. Both positions have their own mix of advantages and disadvantages that one must weigh when considering what career line they may want to take. One mode of selling involves meeting prospective customers one-on-one and making presentations while the other one involves conversing on phone and sending emails etc. This article will give you a brief description and an inside sales vs. outside sales comparison.

What are Inside Sales

Inside sales jobs require that the person mostly stays in the office where they communicate with their leads on phone or through the internet. They may also handle customer questions and complaints regarding products and service. Some of the main characteristics of this type of job include:

Mostly considered an entry-level sales job Salesperson makes their sales via telephone and internet Performance will be determined by the number of connections they will successfully introduce to the company

For one to succeed in this job, they need to have developed exceptional interpersonal and communication skills in addition to convincing abilities. It is the responsibility of an inside sales representative to provide prospects with detailed product descriptions. Besides, they also need to be able to retain old businesses even as they look for opportunities to rope in new ones.

What are Outside Sales

Just as the name suggests, outside sales representatives ply their trade outside the office and in most cases, they are the more experienced people in the team. The almost always manage themselves and they have to work without supervision; they deliver results without direct supervision. Also known as field reps, they physically visit new prospects and old customers to discuss client needs even as they suggest to the new products and services. Their main characteristics include:

Unlike inside sales who convince through the phone and internet, outside sales reps must talk to customers directly and physically exhibit their products.

In most cases, success and remuneration will depend on the amount of revenue they generate for their employers, the volume of sales they achieve in addition to the new contacts they develop. They need to learn how to maintain a calm demeanor since they must meet customers face-to-face.

An outside sales rep must learn to dress appropriately in addition to being optimistic, patient and have excellent communication and people-to-people skills; they learn to highlight the best of their products in order to get and retain clients.

Some Differentiating Factors Between Inside Sales vs Outside Sales

Work Environment

As an inside sales rep, you will mainly work in the office sitting behind a desk; you will be expected to attend to calls or work online and, as such, you must be well versed in using the computer, the telephone, the fax and other related essentials.

For the outside sales rep, you will mainly be working outside the office and in most cases, you may not have a fixed place you can call your workplace. This type of job involves travelling from one place to another selling the company’s products to potential customers.

As an inside sales rep, you have a tightly fixed work schedule that may involve daily meetings, appointments etc.

Outside sales reps learn to manage their own schedule. Even though you have to report to your boss about your progress if you are working for a company; otherwise you decide what places to go and which persons to visit and when. You plan your own appointments; this makes it very easy to get distracted if you don’t stay focused.


Inside sales reps don’t have to physically meet or see their clients and, as such, their appearance doesn’t really matter; you only need to learn how to sound courteous and keenly attentive to your prospects and customers.

As an outside sales rep you are judged by your appearance; you must appear clean, happy and presentable at all times. This means that no matter how you feel, you must stay on your toes throughout the working day.

The Product

For the inside sales rep, it is your product description that will make the entire difference; it must be precise since your customer will not be seeing it physically. You must know how to give a positive description to win.

Having the physical product can give you a huge advantage as you try to convince an undecided customer but you must know how to highlight the strong points.


There is a very thin line between what is better when choosing between inside sales vs. outside sales since both are equally important for the success of any product. Perhaps the best approach is to try and strike a balance between the two because both are equally important for every organization.

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