Inside Sales Article - Old School Phone

Inside Sales Versus Outside Sales – Which is Best?

So exactly what is Inside Sales?

This powerful question has gargantuan implications.  Sure, you think it’s simple, but for anyone who has built & run Inside Sales teams, we know better.  So this blog will explore this critical question.  But I won’t stop with explaining what Inside Sales is.  I’ll also compare Inside Sales with Outside Sales.  This will provide you with some killer knowledge about which path to take for your business.  Many founders in start-ups ask:  should I create an Inside Sales team or an Outside Sales Team?  After you read this blog, you’ll have a much better command of the right answer.

Don’t Mess This Up!

If you’re thinking of building a sales team, the question of whether to build an Inside Sales or Outside Sales team should be top of mind for you. Why?  Because done right, a well oiled Inside Sales Machine can help you achieve pretty powerful results. Conversely, if you sink hundreds of thousands of dollars into an Outside Sales team, you could could destroy your business.

Questions You Should Consider Before Building Inside Sales Teams or Outside Sales Teams

  1. What is my Average Revenue Per Deal?  If it’s greater than $1,000 per month, and if you have good margins and a PBP (payback period) of less than 12 months, outside sales may be an option.  
  2. Do my customers buy other products online?  If so, you may be able to do your selling using Inside Sales
  3. What are the Costs for Inside Sales versus Outside Sales reps?
  4. Can I afford the high costs of a traveling sales team?
  5. What is the benefit of having reps in the office or an office in a way that I have more visibility into their productivity?
  6. Would the higher close ratios in Outside Sales justify the higher costs?

How Has the Internet Strengthened Inside Sales?

How hasn’t it? We all fully appreciate how much the internet has changed business. Ironically, 20 years ago Inside Sales wasn’t even an after thought outside of maybe a select few companies in Silicon Valley. Why? They didn’t have the tools necessary to close business remotely.  The tech. tools like Gotomeeting and Uber Conference didn’t yet exist. This means that to demonstrate a software product, you had to go to the customer using planes, trains and automobiles.  Fast forward to today.  We now have a plethora of online tools that make it SO MUCH easier to not only manage a pipeline, but also to close deals remotely using phone, text, email.

Why Build An Inside Sales Team?

  1. You can BOOST qualified opportunities by 60X by being fanatical about how quickly you call & email new leads.  An Inside Sales team laser focused on making calls all day will be much faster to reply to new leads. Conversely, an outside sales team stuck on a plane can’t call new leads quickly or easily so this will reduce close ratios.
  2. Higher Productivity.  With an Inside Sales team, you’ll also be able to count on way higher productivity such as 60 – 100 calls per day, or many meetings/demos per day.
  3. Metrics & Business Intelligence– you’ll have access to excellent metrics when your Inside Sales team uses your CRM and other sales software applications.  It’s difficult to get an outside sales team to log calls and use CRMs, so you typically don’t get as good of metrics.
  4. Round Robin Lead Distribution.  Leads can be feast or famine. This means Suzzie the outside sales rep might get 5 leads in January, then 50 in February.  By definition, this means you cannot count on the best utilization for outside sales reps because leads are locked into specific territories.  Inside teams can round robin leads to make sure each rep’s capacity is maximized giving the company a better ROI

A Great GetApp Article

I was recently featured in this fantastic article written by GetApp which you can find by clicking here.  Author Karen McCandless does a terrific job of providing an overview of Inside Sales. In the article, you’ll find the professional opinion from many leading Inside Sales experts. You’ll also learn about some of the following topics:

  1. What is Inside Sales?
  2. How do I know if it’s right for my business?
  3. What are the benefits and challenges?
  4. What software applications should I acquire for my Inside Sales team?

My Best Inside Sales Experience

At one company, I grew revenues from $100K to $40 million in Annual Recurring Revenues.  During my 8 year tenure there, our only sales mechanism was an inside team. Eventually, one of my managers hired an outside field sales rep, and to be fair, the close ratios were higher with field sales reps. The inside team I created was like a legal version of the Wolf of Wall Street.  I was lucky enough to have a killer budget and we were giving away 50″ TVs, $500 American Express Gift Cards, and other awesome spiffs.  This created a powerful inspiration and team spirit that’s not always easy to replicate with an Outside Sales team.  For this reason I’m probably biased, but the industry data I’ve been following indicates that Inside Sales teams are growing 2x – 3x more rapidly than Outside Sales teams, so I presume this trend will continue.

Need to Learn More?

If you feel like this article was helpful, but you still need more assistance, give us a shout.  We can help you walk through all of the litany of potential ramifications you need to think through before building your sales team.  Click here to fill out a contact form, and we’ll reply within 24 hours.

 

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