Inside Vs Outside Sales

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The Evolution of Sales: Exploring Inside and Outside Sales Strategies

The traditional view of inside and outside sales as opposing strategies is quickly fading in today's market. Instead, these roles are merging and both play a crucial role in modern sales organizations. But how do inside sales and outside sales differ? Let's take a closer look at these strategies and how they fit into the modern sales landscape.

Understanding Inside Sales

Inside sales involves selling remotely through phone, email, and digital channels, rather than in person. This approach is popular in B2B industries like SaaS and technology. Inside sales representatives typically work from an office or home, connecting with potential customers from their desk.

Understanding Outside Sales

In contrast, outside sales involves traveling to meet with clients and close deals in person. These salespeople may have a physical office, but they spend most of their time at trade shows, conferences, and other industry events. According to recent data, approximately 45.5% of U.S. professional salespeople are inside sales reps, while 52.8% are outside sales reps.

The Role of Inside Sales

An inside sales rep's key responsibilities include demonstrating in-depth product knowledge, building relationships with potential customers, nurturing leads, meeting quotas, closing deals, and reporting on sales data. As remote workers, these reps use tools like phones, email, and virtual meetings to connect with prospects and clients. They also have specific targets for daily activities, such as calls made and meetings booked.

The Role of Outside Sales

Outside sales reps spend most of their time meeting with clients, connecting with prospects, and nurturing relationships. They may also sell at industry events or through speaking engagements. This type of sales role is ideal for those who prefer to work independently and manage their own schedule. In fact, according to a 2021 report by, outside sales teams engage in 25% more calls and over 50% more email activities compared to inside sales teams.

Inside vs. Outside Sales Statistics

A recent study found that 64% of sales leaders who transitioned to remote work in 2020 met or exceeded their sales goals. This data suggests that both inside and outside sales structures can be effective, depending on a company's goals and priorities.

Building an Inside Sales Team

If you're considering an inside sales team, there are key roles you'll need to fill:

  • Sales Development Representative (SDR) - Qualifies leads.
  • Account Executive (AE) - Closes deals.

Inside vs. Outside Sales Salary

The average base salary for an inside sales rep in the U.S. is $43,712, while an inside sales account executive earns just under $80,000, according to Glassdoor. As of 2021, the average sales development rep (SDR) earns a median base salary of $50,000, according to The Bridge Group. Additionally, found that the average on-target earnings for SDRs increased by 3% from 2018 to $90,434.

Inside vs. Outside Sales Quota Attainment

Research from The Bridge Group shows that only 66% of sales reps reach their quota each year. Interestingly, outside sales reps tend to have a 10% higher quota on average than inside sales reps, according to Spotio. While there is always room for improvement, these are promising results.

Choosing the Right Sales Strategy for Your Business

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to inside and outside sales. Companies are experimenting with different models and organizational structures to find what works best for their product, target audience, and market. Ultimately, the key is to find what is most effective for your business.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in April 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness. Don't forget to share this post! We're committed to your privacy. HubSpot uses the information you provide to us to contact you about our relevant content, products, and services.

Unsubscribe from Communications at Any Time: How to Effectively Train and Onboard Your Sales Team

Creating a comprehensive sales training and onboarding plan is crucial for the success of your business. With the use of this template, you can efficiently equip and prepare your sales team to increase productivity, build strong customer connections, and support the growth of your sales organization. Streamline the process and ensure a smooth transition for new hires with the help of powerful and user-friendly sales software.

The First 30 Days: During the initial 30 days, focus on providing your sales team with essential tools and resources for success. This includes in-depth knowledge of your products and industry, as well as training on your sales software. Encourage them to shadow experienced reps and attend sales meetings to observe and learn.

Next 60 Days: In the following 60 days, it's vital to provide hands-on experience for your team. Assign individual or team sales projects and let them take the lead in closing deals. This will help build their confidence and apply the skills they have learned in real-life scenarios.

Last 90 Days: At the 90-day mark, your sales team should be comfortable and confident in their roles. However, it's crucial to continue their development. Offer ongoing training and support, such as advanced sales techniques, customer retention strategies, and effective communication skills. This will help your team continuously improve and reach their full potential.

Remember, a successful sales training and onboarding plan is an ongoing process. Regularly evaluate and adjust your plan as needed to meet the changing needs of your business and your team. With the right tools and strategies, you can create a strong and successful sales team that will drive your business towards growth and success.

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