Inside Sales vs Outside Sales: Comparing Pros and Cons

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Inside Sales vs Outside Sales: Comparing Pros and Cons

photo of a salesforce

After nearly two years of a global pandemic, where nearly all of the workforce worked remotely, things are starting to return to business as usual.

While it might be a slow return in some places, you are probably starting to consider again how you want your sales force to work for your business.

After years of remote sales work, you might be ready to evaluate what formula of salesforce will best meet your needs as a business and as an employee. Inside sales vs outside sales (aka field sales), which is the better model?

How are inside sales and outside sales different?

How are the responsibilities different for each type of salesforce?

Read on as we take a closer look comparing inside and outside sales.

What Is Inside Sales?

A company that employs inside sales reps will have them selling from inside. This means the salesperson is in the office working to sell to leads and customers. In some cases, they might even sell from their home office.

An inside salesperson is likely to sell from their phone or email. They might work directly from a company website or other digital avenues.

It’s their job to connect with customers from afar versus face-to-face.

Inside sales are more commonly used in B2B sales scenarios. They are also commonly used in SasS and other tech-related fields.

Often the role of the inside salesperson will be to work in conjunction with the outside sales rep to cover the customer base.

Census data shows that inside sales make up about 45.5% of the salesforce, and this number continues to grow after Covid.

Don’t forget to read our definitive guides to cold calling and cold emailing to help your inside sales efforts.

photo of an inside sales rep

What Do Inside Sales Reps Do?

Like any salesperson, the inside sales rep’s role is to address the needs of the customer or potential customer from a remote position. They are expected to:

  • Guide them through the sales process
  • Help them find an adequate product or service
  • Help the customer solve potential problems

Inside sales reps have a unique challenge since they don’t meet with the customers face-to-face. They will use phones, email, video, and virtual meetings to make those important connections with customers.

Inside salesperson responsibilities are likely to include:

  • Build important relationships with customers
  • Facilitate and establish trust and rapport with the customer
  • Nurture potential leads with the goal of converting into a sale
  • Manage relationships and referrals from existing customers
  • Meet quota goals
  • Close deals
  • Report relevant sales data

Most importantly, the inside sales rep must demonstrate superior knowledge of the product or service so they can answer customer questions and inquiries.

photo of a female inside sales professional

What is Outside Sales?

Like an inside salesperson is working remotely from the customer, the outside salesperson is out working in the field to meet with the customer face-to-face.

Their role is to travel to meet with clients and customers, connect with potential prospects, and nurture those important customer relationships. This is why outside sales pros are also referred to as field sales reps.

Not only do the outside sales reps sell when they are meeting directly with the customer, but they also commonly work at selling at industry events, conferences, or speaking engagements.

Outside salespeople must be confident and demonstrate strong interpersonal skills. They need to be able to work their way into seeing customers who may be reluctant to make time for them.

Often outside sales reps are faced with customer challenges and must be prepared to help figure them out on the spot, unlike an inside rep who might be able to step away and figure it out.

Outside sales reps should have good time management skills and be prepared to arrange their own schedules and work independently.

Don’t forget to read our definitive guide to field sales.

photo of an outside sales rep using cellphone

What Do Outside Sales Reps Do?

The field sales rep is on the road, so to speak. Their role is to make connections with the customers or potential customers and to turn a lead into a sale.

In reality, their list of job responsibilities might not look that different than an inside salesperson. They will just be attempting to do the work face-to-face.

One of the bigger responsibilities of an outside sales rep might be to go looking for leads.

Who are the potential customers that your company hasn’t connected with yet?

What customers might be using the competition instead of you?

Then the outside salesperson’s role is to find a way to make that conversion so they become your customer instead.

photo of a field sales professional

Comparing the Sales Models of Inside Sales and Outside Sales

As you consider the difference between inside and outside sales, whether as a job or a sales team strategy, you want to look most closely at how the two different sales teams work.

First, consider your inside sales team. This model will:

  • Use digital channels, phone, and email to connect with prospects, clients, and potential leads
  • Focus their work on acquiring leads
  • Faster sales cycle
  • Typically costs less

Now, how  do outside sales reps compare?

  • Meet face-to-face with clients
  • Nurturing customer relationships to convert to sales
  • Converting leads
  • Slower sales cycle
  • Typically costs more

It’s important when you consider your sales model to consider your product or service. Which model will work best with what you’re trying to sell?

Which Type of Sales Model Is Right for Your Business

When you evaluate your sales model, it’s important to consider not only your own business but your product or service and what will work best for your customers.

Customers are relying more and more on the digital world. How does that fit with what your sales force is trying to do?

Consider what format you can best showcase what you’re trying to sell. Most importantly, whether they’re in or out, hire salespeople who know the business of selling and can become experts at your products.

Comparing Inside Sales vs Outside Sales

When considering inside sales vs outside sales, it’s important to consider what model best fits your business needs and more importantly the needs of your customer base.

At Veloxy, we want to help you simplify the sales cycle, whether it’s from inside or outside, and convert it into sales. Let us show you how your sales team can make more sales. Contact us today to get more information and get started.

And no matter which path you take, start a free trial of Veloxy for 30 days. We have solutions for inside sales, field sales, and sales managers.


Samir Majumdar

Samir Majumdar

Samir is the CEO and Co-founder of Veloxy. After spending 20+ years creating corporate systems, boosting revenue, and eliminating inefficiencies, Samir started Veloxy to help sales professionals shorten sales cycles, accelerate pipelines, and close more deals.

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