‘Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose’
‘The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr said this in 1984, and this is just as true in the 21st century, where there seems to be a constant battle between respecting tradition and embracing change, which can be seen in marketing.
The classic ‘old’ vs ‘new’ debate is epitomised in the question of inside or outside sales.
They can coexist, but as a company, there will get to a point where you have to lean more in one direction, so is there really one objective answer? Well, this blog is here to help you to decide.
Inside sales refers to the online selling of products and services.
This means a majority of communication to both potential and current clients is done remotely via calls, emails, videos etc.
It has never been easier to start a business online and have members worldwide, and a global company like this would benefit the most from this type of sales.
These types of companies are not limited by location when recruiting, but some important considerations have to be kept in mind with this type of sales.
For example, all team members have to be tech-savvy, and communication needs to be clear.
Assuming you have members in different countries, there will be different time zones meaning people will start and end work at different times.
Therefore people need to signpost when they are available to work and respond to messages to avoid confusion and missed opportunities.
Outside Sales refers to face to face selling of products and services.
This means starting and maintaining client relations is done primarily through in-person meetings, events and door-to-door sales.
This is seen as a more old-fashioned form of sales and communication, but it has stood the test of time because it works.
You will be travelling more and be meeting a wide range of people face to face, which requires a level of confidence and charisma which comes easier to some than others.
Now that you are more familiar with what inside and outside sales are, which one is better?
Again this is more complicated than it seems at first.
For some companies, it makes complete sense to lean wholly into one. For example, if you were a fantastic company that specialises in optimising email marketing for clients called SendKoala, you would use inside sales.
Your whole service is centered around online communication, so it only makes sense that your sales process would be an extension of this as well.
However, it isn’t as clear cut for some brands. It can go either way, so what are some advantages they have over each other.
For one, there is research that states inside sales spends more time actually speaking with clients and has a bigger reach, yet research states that outside sales has a better turnover rate.
This makes sense because inside sales involves less travelling and utilise the instantaneous nature of the internet to communicate with a range of people. Still, it is much easier for recipients to label your attempts as spam and disregard them.
Meanwhile, outside sales make it easier to build a rapport with the customers and are much harder to ignore, thus justifying the higher turnover. Hence, these are 2 variables you can weigh against each other and determine which is more of a priority for you.
Without a doubt, it is easier to grow a team when utilising inside sales than it is for outside sales.
Outside sales has more requirements such as being able to travel, being confident talking to many different people, perhaps even talking to a crowd.
While inside does have some baselines as well, such as organisational skills, there are less and the fact that you can hire someone from anywhere in the world means your recruitment pool is much broader, thus meaning your team will grow at a faster rate.
Furthermore, inside teams tend to be cheaper for the company. They may spend money on programs and tools for their remote squad; however, there are usually a large number of them available for use, meaning you can find a cheap or even free alternative.
As a result, they will probably spend less overall than an outside team who will need to factor in costs such as travel, physical spaces and clothes/attires.
Some of these costs can be passed onto worker but as a result, they may demand higher pay than someone working from home might.
As you can see, there are distinct advantages and disadvantages for both team types, so which one is better is up to you to decide.
Be aware, though, which one you choose sends a message about your company’s values as well.
A complete middle route is hard to follow, but you can always choose one side and incorporate some elements from the other to try and get the best of both worlds.
You can’t progress without observing the past and identifying patterns however, the world is changing so adapting is just as important.