Inside Sales v Outside Sales: Which is right for You?

Inside vs Outside Sales

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What is Inside Sale?

The term “Inside sales” refers to selling products or services over the phone, email, and other digital platforms rather than in person. It has widespread use mainly in the software as a service (SaaS) and technology sectors.

What is Outside Sale?

“Outside sales” refers to selling directly to customers without using any medium. Salespersons are usually active in the field to sell products or services face-to-face to customers; they are primarily in the insurance and consumer goods industries and travel a lot to meet their clients.

What are the functions of an Inside Salesperson?

Inside salespersons work in a shared office environment with other team members – in contrast to the in-person sales strategy adopted by outside sales representatives, which involves visiting their customers in workplaces, inside sales representatives operate from the office, contacting via phone or other mediums.

Inside sales teams generally consist of two subsets: sales development representatives (SDRs) and business development representatives (BDRs). Inbound sales are what SDRs are most concerned with, such as “warm leads” from website visitors who have already taken some action (such as downloading information, requesting a demo, using live chat, or attending a webinar).       

These hot prospects often come from the commercial and small company sectors. SDRs communicate with them and enter data into a customer relationship management system (CRM).

As these leads progress through the sales funnel, they are transferred to a more senior salesperson, an Account Executive (AE).

Business development representatives (BDRs) make cold calls to prospective clients. These sales professionals actively seek out high-value business-to-business (B2B) sales prospects to generate qualified leads, which are then transferred to an Account Executive.

Through these sales cycle stages, SDRs and BDRs can consistently provide leads from the SMB and enterprise markets, respectively. Account Executives track sales opportunities as they go through the sales funnel.

What are the roles and responsibilities of an Inside Salesperson?

Inside sales representatives interact with prospective clients remotely to assist them in choosing the best product or service to address their needs.

  • Showing off an extensive understanding of the goods or services to address any concerns or issues the client may have
  • Establishing a sense of familiarity and trust with prospective buyers.
  • Handle customer recommendations and nurture leads to closure.
  • Completing their monthly targets
  • Sales closures
  • Reporting on relevant sales data

What are the roles and responsibilities of an Outside Salesperson?


It is common practice for sales professionals to schedule their work week so they may meet with clients and prospects as frequently as possible without falling behind. Outside salespeople are responsible for a variety of tasks, including but not limited to:

  • Conducting face-to-face meetings with potential buyers to provide information and make sales
  • Fostering connections with clients
  • Demonstrating products and giving tutorials on how to use them
  • Communicating with clients virtually or in-person meetings
  • Contract Renewal/Negotiation with Existing/Previous Clients
  • Organizing conferences and accommodating customers’ schedules
  • Establishing monthly sales targets and achieving them
  • Advertising at conventions and other

Inside Sales vs. Outside Sales


Traditionally Outside sales have always been considered the best medium for sales. But recently, due to the advancement of technology and the social media boom – the old thinking is shifted and inclined more towards inside sales while attempting to define it. Inside sales representatives spend their days inside an office, communicating with clients by phone, email, video chat, social media, and other electronic means of interaction. They rarely travel to meet with customers.

However, there has been a shift towards a hybrid inside/outside employment model, whereby more organizations are adopting this approach. Outside sales are only needed when required, as opposed to being seen as essential to bringing in revenue. This is helpful whenever there is a need to reduce costs.

Inside sales representatives should be able to sell themselves over the phone without visual aids or prototypes and be at ease making cold calls to potential clients. Because of the proliferation of communication tools, Inside sales have exploded compared to their more traditional counterpart. On average, one hires ten internal salespeople for every outside salesperson.

Since outside sales are often more strategic, they consult C-suite executives in making more significant transactions involving more costly or complicated items. Orders placed via external channels are also greater than those made internally. In practice, the quantity of interactions matters more than the quality of interaction when it comes to inside sales.

Skill set required by a Sales Representative


Professional sales representatives must be equipped with enough skill sets to ensure every lead is converted into a potential client. More importantly, to find a balance between technical knowledge and interpersonal abilities, which leads them toward their success.

For them, “Hard skills” might include sales strategies and in-depth knowledge of the industry in which they work. Almost all people working in sales could use a little bit more of the following soft skills:

  • Product knowledge
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Customer Service
  • Negotiation
  • Organization
  • Attention to detail
  • Problem-solving

AtmsoAI Sales Portal


AtmosAI Sales Portal is the perfect tool for Sales Representatives to organize and streamline their sales process. It helps them keep track of products and customers.

AtmosAI Sales Portal gives you more autonomy over processes and the opportunity to track the productivity of your salesforce on an individual or group basis. Each salesperson is provided with the ability to narrow products using filters, compare products, and lead customers through the checkout process.

The Sales Portal has customizable product views and creates an enjoyable experience for your distribution and prospective client.

To learn more about how AtmosAI can help your business, please schedule a quick discussion here.

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