Inside sales definition
Inside sales is a type of sales where representatives perform regular sales activities remotely rather than consistent face-to-face meetings. Inside sales relies greatly on technology, from mobile devices to CRM software and social media, to keep ongoing communication with customers and leads.
The rise of digital technology has changed the way we do business, including how we sell. Fewer and fewer sales reps are traveling to meet clients on a regular basis, ditching the briefcase and rolodex for a laptop and smartphone. With this shift in sales processes comes the increased popularity of inside sales across B2B organizations.
In this next edition of our Sales Enablement Defined series, we discuss inside sales, how it has developed over time, why it’s important, and how to do it right.
Inside sales vs. outside sales
Inside sales is done completely remotely, whereas outside sales involves traveling to prospect or customer meetings. Inside sales offers a variety of benefits including:
- Saves companies a significant amount of time and money. There’s no need to pay for airfare, hotels, meals, taxis, and other expenses associated with travel.
- Saves buyers time. Buyers are also busy, and having in-person meetings with every single vendor takes a considerable amount of time. Between this and the technology available today, they have become more comfortable having sales conversations and making purchases remotely.
- Offers solutions that improve rep efficiency and productivity. Rather than spending an entire day, or even days, traveling to see one client, inside sales solutions give sales representatives the ability to communicate with multiple buyers in a day through different channels and move them further down the funnel.
How inside sales has evolved
In the early twentieth century, the life of a traveling salesman was the standard, with sales reps traveling frequently to prospects’ offices in order to discuss their products and persuade them to buy. Now, as we continue moving toward a completely digital world, advancements in technology have allowed sales reps to communicate even more easily with customers and prospects.
Using phone, email, mobile devices, social media, and various sales software platforms, having a live conversation isn’t even necessary. This is beneficial as we move further away from a traditional nine-to-five work day; sellers can correspond with leads and perform sales activities from mobile devices, or at home after hours. Even reps who do some traveling are spending more time sending emails and making phone calls from their home or office. All of this contributes to the fact that inside sales is growing at a rate 15 times faster than outside sales.
Inside sales winning strategies
- In-depth knowledge of products and services
Since an inside sales representative’s job is to sell products, it’s vital to be able to talk about intelligently and professionally about those products to potential buyers, especially when they are communicating digitally or over the phone.
- Understanding your buyers on an individual level
Knowing your products and how they help businesses is important; knowing how they can address a buyer’s unique challenges takes selling to a whole new level. Inside sales tools help reps discover and record specific information about a lead, from their industry and history to goals and roadblocks they experience. Going into a conversation with a potential customer armed with background and insights provides an experience buyers will remember.
- Tools that streamline internal and external communications and processes
Inside sales solutions make it easier for reps to access and use the most impactful content, collect and store data, and create personalized experiences for buyers. When sellers aren’t face to face with a buyer, using these tools allows them to connect regularly and stay top of mind. The platform your salespeople use should include email tracking, CRM, project management, call integration, and reporting dashboards to track progress.
Inside sales job description
Since inside sales jobs involve cold calling and communicating remotely, they generally require the following traits:
- Detailed product knowledge
- Strong communication
- Strong customer service
What compensation can an inside salesperson expect? Inside sales salaries largely depend on the industry, the sales representative’s experience, and where the company is located. Determine the average inside sales salary based on your location, experience, and industry using this helpful salary calculator.
Inside sales representatives can form deeper, more trusting relationships with buyers and convert them to customers.