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 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 space.

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 and via sales calls. 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:

  • Make 50 – 100+ sales calls a day (cold calling)
  • Send 250 cold emails a day
  • 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

Advantages & Disadvantages of Inside Sales

Inside sales, the agile salesforce that thrives in the digital realm, brings with it a host of benefits as well as a few considerations worth pondering. Let’s embark on a journey to explore the vibrant landscape of inside sales.


  1. Cost-Effective Connectivity: Embracing inside sales empowers businesses to dance to the rhythm of modernity without breaking the bank. With no extravagant travel expenses, your budget stays happy.

  2. Wider Reach, Boundless Horizons: In the virtual realm, geographical boundaries become mere whispers of the past. Inside sales representatives spread their wings across diverse territories, soaring high and reaching a broader audience.

  3. Efficiency Unleashed: In the digital dance, inside sales teams tap into a harmonious symphony of efficiency. Seamless management of a myriad of leads, swift interactions, and nurturing relationships propel success.


  1. The Absence of Face-to-Face Magic: In this tech-driven world, some yearn for the enchantment of in-person charm. The warmth of eye contact and a firm handshake lost, building trust may require an extra beat.

  2. Complex Products in a Digital Embrace: For the intricate offerings that demand touch and feel, inside sales faces a challenge. Convincing customers of the intangible requires an artful dance of words.

  3. Remote Rapport Hurdles: Fostering connections without sharing a physical space requires finesse. Nurture relationships carefully, as the digital dance floor may demand more creativity.

So, in the dynamic arena of inside sales, both waltz-worthy advantages and graceful considerations await your business. Choose your steps wisely and take the lead toward sales success.

inside rep wishing he was outside

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 field 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 field 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

Advantages & Disadvantages of Outside Sales

Ah, the world of outside sales, where sales reps don their traveling shoes and venture into the realm of face-to-face magic. Let’s savor the adventure as we explore the highs and lows of this captivating sales voyage.


  1. Personalized Enchantment: In the dance of outside sales, the magic of personal interaction takes center stage. A warm smile, a firm handshake, and eye contact enchant customers, forging powerful connections.

  2. Uncharted Territories Unraveled: With outside sales reps as intrepid explorers, uncharted territories become fertile grounds for cultivating new leads. Conquer new horizons and watch your customer base expand.

  3. Championing Problem-Solving Prowess: In the field, challenges arise like waves in the ocean. But fear not, outside sales reps rise like skillful surfers, ready to ride the tides of customer concerns, providing real-time solutions.


  1. Costs of the Grand Adventure: While outside sales weaves tales of adventure, it comes at a price. The cost of travel, accommodations, and expenses may create budgetary ripples.

  2. Limited Clockwork Hours: The outside sales dance may embrace flexibility, but the constraints of time remain. Scheduling meetings and accommodating client availability can pose a delicate choreography.

  3. Independence and Isolation: On the road less traveled, outside sales reps find themselves solo performers. The isolation may challenge teamwork and require tenacity to keep the spirit soaring.

So, as you embark on the enchanting escapade of outside sales, be prepared for its charismatic allure and the occasional hurdles. Embrace the joy of personal touch and the thrill of conquering new territories, but also heed the call of adaptability and cost management. Happy sales adventures await!

outside rep wishing he was inside

5 Key Differences between Inside and Outside Sales

Welcome to the showdown of two sales titans! Inside sales and outside sales may seem like two sides of the same coin, but they possess distinct charms that set them apart. Let’s unmask their divergent styles and uncover the secrets to their success.

1. The Arena of Interaction:

  • Inside Sales: The digital ballroom is where inside sales thrives, enchanting customers through virtual channels like phone, email, and video conferencing. No face-to-face? No problem!

  • Outside Sales: The outside sales divas shine in the real-world spotlight, waltzing with customers in person. The enchantment of eye contact and personal charisma creates an unforgettable dance.

2. The Reach and Boundaries:

  • Inside Sales: Geographical boundaries crumble in the digital domain. Inside sales reps paint the world with their product prowess, reaching far-flung customers without stepping outside their office.

  • Outside Sales: The globe-trotting outside sales virtuosos take flight, making a beeline for clients’ doors. They conquer sales territories and unravel new leads through on-the-ground exploration.

3. The Tempo and Speed:

  • Inside Sales: Agile and nimble, inside sales keeps the tempo upbeat. With streamlined processes, they boast a faster sales cycle, closing deals with a flourish.

  • Outside Sales: Outside sales is a symphony of patience and rhythm. The face-to-face choreography demands time, resulting in a more leisurely sales cycle.

4. The Cost Curtain Call:

  • Inside Sales: A cost-conscious performance, inside sales waltzes on a budget. Travel expenses take a bow, and the show goes on economically.

  • Outside Sales: The grand spectacle of outside sales comes with a price tag. Travel, accommodations, and entertainment costs sway in the spotlight.

5. The Dance of Personalization:

  • Inside Sales: The digital minuet requires creativity to nurture connections from afar. Inside sales reps wield the power of virtual rapport-building to create personalized melodies.

  • Outside Sales: Face-to-face flourishes lend outside sales the crown of personalization. The magic of in-person encounters weaves a tapestry of trust and camaraderie.

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.

Should You Outsource Your Inside Sales Team?

Deciding whether to outsource your inside sales team is a thoughtful consideration that could shape the success of your business. Let’s explore the factors that come into play when pondering this pivotal choice.

1. Budgetary Considerations:

Outsourcing your inside sales team can present a compelling financial advantage. By entrusting this function to an external partner, you can potentially reduce overhead costs and administrative burdens, allowing you to allocate resources more strategically.

2. Expertise and Efficiency:

Outsourcing opens the door to a pool of specialized talent. By partnering with experienced professionals, you can tap into their knowledge and industry insights, revitalizing your sales strategies and bolstering your team’s performance.

3. Adaptability and Scalability:

The flexibility offered by outsourcing can be a valuable asset. You have the freedom to scale your sales force based on market demand, adjusting team size during peak periods and optimizing efficiency during quieter times.

4. Preserving Brand Identity:

Be mindful of maintaining your brand’s identity. When outsourcing, selecting a partner that aligns with your company values and vision is paramount to ensuring a seamless extension of your brand in customer interactions.

5. Balancing Control and Trust:

Outsourcing requires finding the right balance of control and trust. While it grants operational support, it’s essential to establish a transparent and communicative relationship with your chosen partner.

In this critical decision-making dance, consider your business’s unique rhythm. Evaluate your needs, weigh the benefits, and make a confident choice that will orchestrate success for your inside sales endeavors.

Should You Outsource Your Outside Sales Team?

Ah, the captivating prospect of outsourcing your outside sales team – a decision that could shape the destiny of your business. Let’s embark on this thrilling exploration and uncover the wonders that outsourcing may bestow upon your sales symphony.

1. Embracing Cost-Effectiveness:

Outsourcing your outside sales team can be a strategic move to waltz into cost savings. Imagine trimming the expenses of travel, training, and logistics. The budgetary benefits may create a harmonious symphony for your business.

2. Expanding Talent Horizons:

Envision a world where the stage is graced with top-tier talent. By outsourcing, you gain access to a wider pool of skilled professionals who can gracefully charm your potential customers and turn leads into loyal patrons.

3. Finesse in Flexibility:

The dance of outsourcing offers a graceful rhythm of adaptability. Scale your outside sales force in tune with fluctuating demand, and effortlessly adjust the team size to synchronize with market dynamics.

4. Cultivating Market Expertise:

A harmonious partnership with an outsourcing provider can be a gateway to market expertise. The amalgamation of their industry knowledge with your vision empowers your business to conquer new sales territories.

5. Balancing Autonomy and Collaboration:

But beware the intricacies of the dance! As you tango with outsourcing, maintaining a balance of autonomy and collaboration becomes paramount. Nurturing a symbiotic relationship with your outsourcing partner ensures seamless harmony.

In this grand spectacle of business decisions, consider the melody that resonates with your goals. Weigh the pros and cons, and when the final note plays, make the decision that orchestrates a standing ovation for your outside sales performance.

Comparing Inside Sales vs Outside Sales

As a sales manager, it’s important to compare inside vs outside sales. Ask yourself which 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Inside Sales Harder than Outside Sales?

Ah, the eternal sales showdown! Determining which dance is tougher – inside or outside sales – is akin to asking if taming a dragon or riding a unicorn is more challenging. The truth is, both sales styles have their unique trials and triumphs.

Inside sales may seem less daunting since it embraces the comfort of virtual channels. But don’t be fooled by its digital finesse! Nurturing customer connections from afar demands creativity and eloquence. Overcoming the absence of in-person charm is a dance of its own.

Outside sales, on the other hand, is a captivating symphony of face-to-face interactions. Building trust and rapport in real-world encounters requires charisma and adaptability. But navigating the unpredictable terrain of the field requires tenacity and time management.

Ultimately, the difficulty lies in the eyes of the beholder. Embrace the dance that aligns with your strengths, and you’ll twirl to success like the star of a grand ball!

What is the Difference between Inside and Outside Sales in Saas?

Welcome to the tech-savvy waltz of SaaS sales! When it comes to inside and outside sales in the enchanting realm of Software as a Service (SaaS), the differences can be as captivating as a digital fairy tale.

Inside sales in SaaS unfolds like a virtual adventure. With just a few clicks, inside sales representatives can connect with potential customers, showcasing the wonders of SaaS solutions through online demos and webinars. The digital realm is their playground, and they tango through CRM software, nurturing leads like digital gardeners.

Outside sales in the SaaS realm embarks on a quest to conquer the offline territories. Armed with laptops and charisma, outside sales representatives traverse the land of in-person meetings, gracing trade shows and conferences with their presence. The one-on-one enchantment weaves personal connections that linger in the hearts of customers.

In this SaaS ballroom, both inside and outside sales shine in their distinct ways. The digital magician and the real-world charmer together paint a mesmerizing portrait of SaaS sales success!

What is the Ratio of Inside Sales to Outside Sales?

Ah, the balance of yin and yang in the sales symphony! The ideal ratio of inside sales to outside sales dances to the rhythm of your business model and objectives.

For some businesses, the inside sales melody takes center stage, with a higher ratio of inside sales representatives. This is especially true for industries where products or services can be effectively showcased and sold through remote channels.

In contrast, other businesses find harmony with a higher ratio of outside sales representatives, especially if their offerings thrive in the face-to-face spotlight. For complex solutions or industries where personal touch seals the deal, outside sales takes the lead.

The ratio ultimately depends on the interplay of factors like target audience, product complexity, geographical reach, and budget. Embrace the dance that complements your business’s unique rhythm, and your sales orchestra will hit all the right notes!


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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