What is Inside Sales?

5 Dec, 2022

Jesus Malo

Learn about inside sales representatives, including a definition of inside sales, what an inside sales rep does, how inside sales is different than outside sales, and more. 

Over the past few years, inside sales have become the default for more and more companies. But what are inside sales? Read on for a simple definition of inside sales, along with the differences between outside and inside sales reps, and the benefits of each model.

What does inside sales mean?

The inside sales meaning refers to any type of sales that are handled remotely. In the past, this was a specialized type of selling, but in recent years it’s become more common for both B2B  and B2C companies. Most sales organizations now operate remotely, at least part-time.

What is an inside sales representative?

An inside sales representative is any rep who sells products or services online. This can include both sales development reps (SDRs) and business development reps (BDRs). Inside sales reps use a variety of tools, such as a CRM and dialing software. 

What does an Inside Sales Representative do?

The day-to-day responsibilities of an inside sales rep may include cold calling, email,  social selling, and any other method of prospecting online. They may also be responsible for logging information in a CRM software and keeping sales pipeline data up-to-date.

The ultimate goal of an inside sales rep is to make contact with new leads, qualify them, then hand the lead off to an account executive (AE). A dedicated team of inside sales reps can fill your pipeline with qualified leads, leaving your more experienced salespeople to focus on closing.

One key difference between the inside and outside sales models is that inside reps usually take on a more specialized role. For example, an outside sales rep may be responsible for prospecting and closing leads, while for inside sales, those two tasks are split between two roles.

What makes a good Inside Sales Representative?

A good inside sales rep specializes in prospecting. Like any effective salesperson, they are self-motivated and resilient. Strong listening skills are also important. Inside sales reps spend all day talking to prospects, and they should have a genuine interest in and curiosity about the sales process. 

Depending on your ideal customer profile (ICP) and sales process, research skills are also beneficial for prospecting. Good sales reps have a strong understanding of their ICP and conduct research into individual prospects so they can tailor their approach accordingly.

Lastly, inside sales reps need to be adept at lead qualification. It doesn’t matter how many meetings they book if the leads are unqualified. To ensure a smooth handoff, each prospect should be thoroughly vetted before being passed to an AE.

 

What is Inside Sales?

What is the difference between an inside and outside sales rep?

Still wondering what inside sales means? Let’s break down the key differences between inside and outside sales reps. Inside sales reps sell right from their home office, while outside (or “field”) sales reps travel in-person to meet with prospects at their office or industry events.

Because of the associated travel costs, inside reps are much more cost-effective. Inside sales models also have shorter sales cycles and, thus, are easier to scale. Outside sales reps spend longer on the nurturing phase of the sales process, while inside sales reps are focused primarily on prospecting and acquiring new leads.

The goal of both inside and outside reps is to book a sales meeting. According to Hubspot, 63% of sales leaders believe that virtual meetings are just as, if not more effective, than in-person meetings. 

Is Inside sales cold calling?

Inside sales can involve cold calling, but it’s not limited to sales conducted over the phone. Any selling over digital channels qualifies as inside sales. Reps may also connect with prospects over social media, through online events and forums, or via email outreach.

Are Inside sales right for your company?

Inside sales allow for greater scalability, cost efficiency, and specialized sales roles. To determine whether inside sales are a good fit for your business, consider your sales cycle length, as well as how your customers like to be sold to. Buyers in the tech and SaaS industry, for example, expect the sales process to take place entirely online.

To succeed in a remote working environment, you’ll need to craft a strong outbound sales strategy for your team to follow. It’s essential to document your process, so inside sales reps know exactly what to do.

If you need help building your sales playbook, reach out here to book a free discovery call. Our coaches can help you with inside sales sequences, call scripts,  social selling, and more.

Although there are unique challenges that come with working online, there are also a lot of great benefits. This ebook will show you how to make the most of leading a remote team, from the hiring and onboarding process to virtual coaching tips, team building, and more.

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