Comparing Inside Sales vs. Outside Sales: Which Process Should You Use?

When determining the best sales model for your business, conducting a thorough inside sales vs. outside sales comparison may be helpful.

En la época de sus abuelos, la palabra "vendedor" solía evocar imágenes de hombres que se presentaban a la puerta de la gente con una gama de productos escondidos en sus maletines o bajo sus abrigos anormalmente grandes.

Este tipo de vendedor puerta a puerta contrasta con las representaciones más recientes de los vendedores, como los personajes de The Office. Estos vendedores permanecen en su oficina y venden a sus clientes a distancia por teléfono o correo electrónico (cuando no están gastando bromas).

Resulta que ambos tipos de vendedores representan una estrategia de ventas en el mundo real: las ventas internas y externas, para ser más específicos. Pero, ¿qué son las ventas internas y externas? Siga leyendo para averiguarlo.

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¿Qué es la venta interna y qué la externa?

Inside sales happen remotely, where communication occurs via digital channels, while outside sales occur in person. 

But let’s dig a little deeper by defining each of our key terms and explaining what they might look like for a company.

Ventas internas

Las ventas internas se refieren a un proceso de ventas que tiene lugar a distancia, sin contacto cara a cara. Los vendedores internos realizan ventas mientras trabajan desde casa o en una oficina, y se comunican con los clientes potenciales y los clientes hablando con ellos virtualmente.

As you might imagine, inside sales relies on many different tools. Phone calls are one of the oldest and most common methods of making inside sales, but video calls are growing more prominent. Many inside sales reps also frequently use digital mediums like email.

A menudo, las ventas internas se solapan en gran medida con el marketing, ya que las empresas pretenden hacer avanzar a los clientes potenciales a través del proceso y hacia la conversión. 

Relacionado: 6 cosas que los vendedores deben saber sobre el inbound marketing

Ventas exteriores

La venta exterior, como su nombre indica, se refiere a los procesos de venta que tienen lugar cara a cara. Aunque son pocas las empresas que siguen utilizando vendedores a domicilio, la venta exterior sigue dependiendo en gran medida de viajar y reunirse con los clientes potenciales en persona.

Los vendedores externos de empresa a empresa (B2B) suelen viajar directamente a las oficinas de sus clientes potenciales para reunirse con ellos. Sin embargo, los vendedores externos también frecuentan conferencias, convenciones y otros eventos del sector para encontrar clientes potenciales.

El uso de la venta exterior es más antiguo que el de la venta interior, pero el poder de la comunicación en persona mantiene su relevancia, por lo que muchas empresas siguen confiando en ella.

¿CÓMO SE VENDE?

Nutshell es lo suficientemente flexible como para adaptarse a todos los modelos de venta.

Elija el modelo que mejor se adapte a su empresa y vea cómo ayudamos a equipos como el suyo a cerrar más acuerdos.

 

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Ventajas de la venta exterior frente a la venta interior

Ahora que ya sabemos qué son las ventas internas y externas, veamos cómo pueden beneficiar a su empresa.

Ventas internas

One of the most significant benefits of inside sales is convenience. Inside sales enable you to stay in your office, saving you the hassle of traveling. Similarly, since you don’t have to spend hours traveling from place to place, you have more time to make sales.

Another way inside sales benefits you is through your budget. Travel is expensive, particularly when you have to shell out money for it regularly. But those expenses are nonexistent when you make all your sales from your office. That frees you up to invest that money in other parts of your business.

Related: How to transition from outside sales to inside sales

Ventas exteriores

La ventaja más significativa de las ventas externas es su carácter personal. Enviar un correo electrónico a alguien o incluso llamarle por teléfono carece de cierto elemento de cercanía y familiaridad, algo comprensible, ya que la persona con la que hablas suele estar a kilómetros de distancia.

Pero con la venta exterior, tiene la ventaja de hablar con ellos cara a cara. Las interacciones en persona fomentan la confianza y la amabilidad del cliente, lo que, en última instancia, hace que sea más probable que le compre.

Otra ventaja de la personalización es que le da la oportunidad de mostrar los productos físicos que vende. Si vendes un artículo físico que realiza una función concreta, es mucho más fácil demostrar esa función en persona que a distancia.

Typical inside and outside sales models

Although the result is the same for the customer and company, the sales processes for outside and inside sales team members are somewhat different. The following is what you can expect to find when exploring inside and outside sales models:

The outside sales approach

Once the sales rep makes first contact with the customer, usually by phone, you can expect the following:

  • The rep will meet with the customer in person.
  • They will work towards nurturing those leads, primarily through meetings.
  • The sales process will usually take much longer.
  • This approach typically costs more and is more challenging to duplicate when the business expands.

The inside sales method

 An inside sales rep might make first contact with a prospect or lead through email. After that, the process generally includes these elements:

  • The salesperson will reach out to the lead through email or set up a call or virtual meeting.
  • They may employ more automated messaging and marketing tools that help nurture leads through the pipeline while focusing on gathering more leads.
  • An inside sales cycle often involves closing deals faster than an outside sales model.
  • Inside sales are more cost-effective and allow for scalability when your business grows.

Vital tools for inside and outside sales

Whether you’re involved in outside sales or inside sales, a few crucial tools are needed to bolster your sales efforts. These include:

  • Contact management tools: A good CRM lets you organize customer information, communications, and other data in one easily accessible system.
  • Lead generation tools: Today’s CRMs comprise powerful lead generation tools, including intelligent web forms and information gathering from third-party sources to capture lead and prospect information.
  • Engagement tracking tools: With a great CRM by your side, you can track every customer interaction, from calls to emails and more, with the ability to view this engagement history with ease.
  • Collaborative tools: Your CRM helps you retrieve and share critical customer information with your marketing and customer service departments to elevate your customer’s overall experience.
  • Marketing tools: The ideal CRM comes with built-in email marketing tools, allowing you to nurture prospects, leads, and customers and develop stronger relationships through drip sequence emails or broadcast messages.

Nutshell provides a broad spectrum of tools to reinforce and streamline the sales process, including all of the above and more. Regardless of whether you use it for all sales activities or merely track deals and email communications through it, your CRM stands as an essential tool for more efficient sales and increased revenue.

Looking for an easy-to-use CRM with all the features you need to boost sales?

Nutshell has what you’re looking for.

Explore Nutshell’s Features

Ventas internas frente a ventas externas: ¿Cuál debe utilizar?

Both inside and outside sales have the potential to drive up your company’s revenue, and both are very effective when done well. Therefore, it could be a good idea to try using some of both. However, it really depends on your situation.

If your company doesn’t have a very large travel budget, you’ll naturally want to stick mostly to inside sales. On the other hand, let’s say you have a decent travel budget and you also sell specialized physical products that sell better when people try them out themselves. In that case, outside sales could really help you.

A la hora de decidir qué tipo de ventas utilizar, tenga en cuenta factores como su presupuesto y su sector. Dicho esto, tenga en cuenta que ambos tipos suelen funcionar bien cuando se combinan.

Merging inside sales and outside sales

Cuando se habla de ventas externas frente a ventas internas, un punto que hay que tener en cuenta es que, en los últimos años, ambas han empezado a diferenciarse cada vez menos.

La década de 2010 ya fue testigo de un repunte en el uso de la comunicación digital para las ventas. Pero cuando llegó COVID-19 en 2020 y provocó un aumento masivo del trabajo a distancia, la situación cambió aún más. De repente, se hizo evidente que se podían mantener muchas reuniones cara a cara con la misma eficacia a través de videollamadas.

Esta constatación ha llevado a muchas empresas a trasladar el trabajo de ventas externas a entornos remotos, celebrando reuniones que antes eran en persona a través de Zoom u otras plataformas de vídeo. Estas reuniones siguen siendo técnicamente presenciales, pero sin los gastos ni las molestias de los desplazamientos.

Some sales prospectors in the COVID era have even experimented with cold video calls instead of traditional phone calls—but use that strategy at your own risk.

Transitioning from outside sales to inside sales

Among B2B companies, using inside sales reps has exploded in popularity. According to one Salesloft study, inside sales reps are hired more frequently than outside sales reps by a ratio of 10:1. It’s where the tide is turning due to higher productivity and the ability to reach more prospects.

What that means for field sales reps is that they’ll likely find themselves moving to inside sales at some point in their careers, resulting in a transition in their workplace environment and lifestyle. Transitioning from outside sales to inside sales is a major move—but it can be much less disruptive by following these practices:

1. Familiarize yourself with the technology you’ll be using

Sales reps use an average of six enablement tools, according to Sales for Life. That number is naturally higher for those in inside sales. This category includes CRMs, intelligent dialers, social media selling tools, messenger programs, web-conferencing programs, etc. Obviously, the number and type of tools will vary from company to company.

Also important to note: Even if you think you’re already familiar with the technology you’re using from your time as an outside sales rep, relearn it when you move to inside sales. This is because, in outside sales, you were most likely using a mobile version of the program or app. As an inside sales rep, you’ll probably use the desktop edition.

In many cases, the desktop version of a software tool is much more robust in its features and ability to do things because of the greater processing power. And even in instances where the features are exactly the same, the layout and arrangement of mobile-optimized formatting is going to be significantly different from their desktop counterparts. So there’s a learning curve for figuring out where to do something on the computer monitor versus the “wheres” and “hows” you’re familiar with on your phone or tablet.

Video conferencing tools are particularly important, given that many sales teams today utilize them as the primary means of making final presentations

Video conferencing tools are particularly important, given that many sales teams today utilize them as the primary means of making final presentations to save time and money on travel costs. Related technology includes screen-sharing for product demos.

Keep in mind: Not only will you need to learn this technology, but how to create a smooth-flowing online presentation/webinar/etc. around it. After all, being able to use video conferencing is one thing. Using it to deliver a succinct, polished product demonstration in a 30-minute window (as an example) is something else altogether.

For more on sales technology strategies, take a look at these related posts:

2. Learn to play well with others

While teamwork and collaboration are definitely crucial in all aspects of sales, the outside sales model affords some degree of autonomy and independence. That’s not the case with inside sales, where alignment between sales and marketing is critical for creating effective collateral and messaging. As a field sales rep, your personality and in-person presence did a lot of the work of creating impressions and credibility. With inside sales, the content you’re using becomes far more important, necessitating the fusion between sales and marketing.

Related to the theme of teamwork: the transition period of adjusting to having people constantly around you. In outside sales, you’re alone on the road a lot, and just like going from living by yourself to having roommates or moving in with a partner, there’s give and take in the sharing of space and communicating with people therein. You’ll also have to become acquainted with company culture much more intimately than you did as an outside sales rep, and part of that is dealing with the possible bugbear of office politics. The latter is a potential stressor, so it’s something to keep an eye on.

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3. Buy yourself a pair of noise-canceling headphones

Seriously, just do it. You’ll be glad you did. One of the most significant issues that sales reps face is difficulty hearing for either themselves or their clients on a call due to the noise and distractions from things like fans, cell phone notifications, or background conversations (magnified in a call center situation).

It cuts both ways—background noise can also prevent your customer from hearing or understanding what’s said, and some might consider a noisy environment a sign of an unprofessional (and hence not credible) company.

4. Become a better active listener

Somewhat related to the above point, listening will be more critical in inside sales than it was in outside sales (and it mattered then, too). Whereas outside sales has the advantage of other sensory inputs, such as body language and facial expressions, with inside sales, the voice is often the only input you’ll have (video conferencing aside).

To be able to get the reads and tells you had before, you’ll need to be aware of vocal fluctuations, such as volume changes, tone shifts, the nature of pauses, and so on.

5. Refresh your reading and writing

Remember those composition classes in college where you might have skated by on Cliff Notes and Wikipedia? Well, those pigeons have come home to roost with an inside sales job. Because so much of your communication is now text-based—whether email, chat, messaging, or most likely some combination thereof, you’ll need to make sure your grammar and syntax are on point. One of the quickest ways to destroy your chances of converting a client is to have typos, use the wrong tone, or be incoherent. We can’t tell you the number of times we’ve seen these issues come up—especially in LinkedIn messages.

Being skilled at textual analysis also opens a window into a client’s thought process about the sales process

Reading comprehension will also be vital. Sometimes, it’s figuring out the jigsaw puzzle of a prospect’s own writing issues, and sometimes, it’s needing to read between the lines to get what a customer is actually asking for or desiring. Being skilled at textual analysis also opens a window into a client’s thought process about the sales process and where they might be leaning.

Going from outside sales to inside sales involves a bigger leap than most sales reps might realize. But following these best practices can make swimming through the initially choppy waters swifter and safer.

Utilice Nutshell para revitalizar sus esfuerzos de ventas internas y externas.

Independientemente de si confía más en las ventas internas o externas, tendrá que hacer un seguimiento de los datos de sus clientes. Es importante saber quiénes son sus clientes potenciales, a qué tipo de personas dirigirse y el éxito que ha tenido en sus ventas.

To keep track of that information, you’ll want a customer relationship management (CRM) tool—and you won’t find a better one than Nutshell. Not only does Nutshell possess all the essential CRM features, such as sales automation, but it also comes with our top-tier customer service team to help you through any questions or concerns you have.

Want to try out Nutshell? You can start with a free 14-day trial!

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