July 5, 2018

Inside Sales Vs. Outside Sales: Which is Best?

Chart showing ways inside and outside sales work together
How Inside and Outside Sales Support Each Other

Companies have many options when it comes to how to build and structure their sales strategies and approaches, and one important decision they will have to make will be whether to invest in inside sales or outside sales. To weigh the benefits and advantages of each sales approach, it’s important to clearly identify what each option entails.


Inside sales are generally done “inside,” from a single location. Inside sales do not take place in person, and they can include interactions ranging from phone calls to emails, chats, social media, and even texts.


Outside sales refers to situations in which a sales rep makes in-person, face-to-face contact with the customer. This can include door-to-door sales, sales made through visits to customers’ homes, offices and local businesses, or retail sales.


Both inside and outside sales can offer advantages to companies wanting to maximize revenue and keep costs manageable. To achieve the absolute best sales and customer acquisition results, companies should pursue a mixture of both. When optimized, inside and outside sales can support each other, helping companies acquire more customers, improve their overall conversion rate, earn greater revenue from customers, and build stronger relationships with the customers that could support better customer retention.

Both inside and outside sales can offer advantages. To achieve the absolute best sales and customer acquisition results, companies should pursue a mixture of both. Share on X

How do inside and outside sales teams work together? Customers who are first contacted by an outside field rep, for example, may have some interest in a product or service, but he or she may ultimately decide against making a purchase. In cases like this, an inside sales rep may be able to follow up with this customer by phone or email to find out why he or she decided against the product or service, and by offering additional information, the sales rep may be able to change the customer’s mind. The inside sales rep may also be able to present alternative products to the customer, such as a different service package, that might better fit the customer’s needs.


Alternatively, the inside sales rep might be able to refer customers to outside sales reps after making initial contact. This customer now has some awareness of a product or service and has built a relationship with the brand. The outside sales rep may then be able to work one-on-one with the customer to find a product or service solution that fits their needs.


These are just a few ways inside and outside sales teams can work in partnership to drive better overall sales results for your company.


Other ways inside and outside sales may be able to work together are:

  • Appointment setting for in-person visits
  • Ensuring overall customer satisfaction
  • Seizing up-sell and cross-sell opportunities
  • Ensuring successful product or service installation
  • Sharing and exchanging customer referrals
  • Catering the sales experience to the customer’s needs and personal communication style


Customers are individuals, and not all customers will respond the same way to the same sales approach. By enlisting both inside and outside sales, you give your company more flexibility to communicate with the customer at a variety of touchpoints and in a variety of ways. By incorporating both sales channels, you can acquire more customers, more easily address weaknesses in your sales funnel, gather more valuable data and customer insights, and boost revenue by giving the customer more information and more options.

By enlisting both inside and outside sales, you give your company more flexibility to communicate with the customer at a variety of touchpoints and in a variety of ways. Share on X

Below is a breakdown of the advantages each sale method offers:

  • Outside Sales are Highly Effective: Because outside sales reps make personal, face-to-face contact with customers, they have a great chance of converting them. In fact, research shows that field reps convert leads into sales an impressive 40% of the time. Outside sales reps can make full product presentations, share collateral and other visual aids, and can take advantage of eye contact and other body language techniques for building rapport. Simply put, they can make a strong interpersonal connection, which helps them build confidence the customer needs to make a buying decision.


  • Inside Sales are Efficient: While limited to making only phone or online contact, inside sales can be conducted from anywhere, anytime. Inside sales reps can contact customers across the country—or even across the world. They can quickly move from customer to customer without losing time traveling between customer locations. Inside sales reps can all be managed from the same location, which may make for a simplified hiring and staffing process.


  • Outside Sales Feel Personal: Outside sales reps have an opportunity to build a relationship with the customer, which is invaluable when it comes time to close a sale. They often interact with the customer in their home or at their business, and their face-to-face interactions leave greater room for trust building. This stronger customer bond results in a quality sale, where the customer feels that he or she knows the person they have purchased from; they may feel more personally committed to going through with the sale because the customer feels they have given the sales rep their word.


  • Inside Sales Reps Can Reach Many Customers Quickly: While outside sales reps may sometimes need to contact a prospect several times before making a sale (which could involve long trips to the customer’s location and long, in-person discussions) inside sales reps can get to the point quickly and efficiently over the phone or via digital contact. While the inside sales rep may not convert customers as often, he or she can do so quickly and efficiently, so the rep can contact a higher volume of customers in less time.


Both inside and outside sales offer major benefits, and a winning strategy for sales revenue growth is one that combines the two, allowing them to work in partnership to deliver the best possible results. A sales program that includes both inside and outside sales can interact with the customer at multiple stages of the sales cycle, building product knowledge, strengthening the relationship with the customer, growing trust, fostering interest, and gaining valuable insights about what the customer needs and wants.


To reap the advantages of both inside and outside sales, the smartest organizations are partnering with companies like Cydcor, a leader in outsourced sales and marketing. Cydcor has experience building full-service sales and customer acquisition programs that combine effective outside sales, with inside sales techniques. Cydcor drives high sales volume using traditional feet on the street sales methods, and it supports these efforts through multi-channel and tele-sales techniques to capture, retain, or upsell leads with which the outside sales team has already made contact. By entrusting a company like Cydcor, with expertise and experience in both outside and inside sales tactics, companies benefit from a tested, disruptive, and winning formula that consistently delivers results.


To find out more about Cydcor, check us out on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.


We are Cydcor, the recognized leader in outsourced sales and marketing services located in Agoura Hills, California. From our humble beginnings as an independent sales company to garnering a reputation for consistently exceeding client expectations and driving outstanding revenue growth, Cydcor has been helping Fortune 500 and emerging companies achieve their customer acquisition, retention, and business goals since 1994. Cydcor takes pride in the unique combination of in-person sales, call center, and digital marketing services we offer to provide our clients with proven sales and marketing strategies that get results.