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.

À l'époque de vos grands-parents, le mot "vendeur" évoquait généralement l'image d'hommes se présentant à la porte des gens avec une gamme de produits cachés dans leur mallette ou sous leur manteau anormalement grand.

Ce type de vendeur en porte-à-porte contraste fortement avec les représentations plus récentes des vendeurs, comme les personnages de la série The Office. Ces vendeurs restent la plupart du temps dans leur bureau et vendent aux clients à distance par téléphone ou par courrier électronique (quand ils ne font pas de farces, du moins).

Il se trouve que ces deux types de vendeurs représentent une stratégie de vente réelle - la vente interne et la vente externe, pour être plus précis. Mais qu'est-ce que la vente interne et la vente externe ? Lisez la suite pour le savoir.

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Qu'est-ce que la vente interne ou la vente externe ?

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.

Vente interne

La vente interne fait référence à un processus de vente qui se déroule à distance, sans contact direct. Les vendeurs internes réalisent des ventes en travaillant à domicile ou dans un bureau, et ils communiquent avec les prospects et les clients en leur parlant virtuellement.

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.

Les ventes internes se chevauchent souvent fortement avec le marketing, car les entreprises cherchent à faire progresser les prospects dans le pipeline et à les convertir. 

En lien : 6 choses que les vendeurs doivent savoir sur l'inbound marketing

Ventes externes

La vente externe, comme son nom l'indique, fait référence aux processus de vente qui se déroulent en face à face. Bien que peu d'entreprises fassent encore appel à des vendeurs en porte-à-porte, la vente externe repose encore largement sur les déplacements et les rencontres en personne avec les clients potentiels.

Les vendeurs externes interentreprises (B2B) se rendent souvent directement dans les bureaux de leurs clients potentiels pour les rencontrer. Toutefois, les vendeurs externes fréquentent également les conférences, les congrès et d'autres événements du secteur pour trouver des clients potentiels.

Le recours à la vente externe est plus ancien que la vente interne, mais le pouvoir de la communication en personne lui permet de rester d'actualité, de sorte que de nombreuses entreprises y ont encore recours.

COMMENT VENDRE ?

Nutshell est suffisamment souple pour s'adapter à tous les modèles de vente.

Choisissez le modèle qui correspond le mieux à votre entreprise et découvrez comment nous aidons des équipes comme la vôtre à conclure davantage de contrats.

 

ALLONS-Y !

Avantages de la vente externe par rapport à la vente interne

Maintenant que nous avons expliqué ce que sont les ventes internes et externes, voyons comment chacune d'entre elles peut être bénéfique à votre entreprise.

Vente interne

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

Ventes externes

L'avantage le plus important des ventes externes est leur caractère personnel. Envoyer un courriel à quelqu'un ou même l'appeler au téléphone manque d'un certain élément de proximité et de familiarité - ce qui est compréhensible, puisque la personne à qui vous parlez se trouve souvent à des kilomètres de chez vous.

Mais avec les ventes externes, vous avez l'avantage de leur parler face à face. Les interactions en personne encouragent la confiance et la convivialité de la part du client, ce qui le rend plus enclin à acheter chez vous.

Un autre avantage de cette personnalisation est qu'elle vous donne l'occasion de présenter les produits physiques que vous pourriez vendre. Si vous vendez un objet physique qui remplit une fonction particulière, il est beaucoup plus facile de démontrer cette fonction en personne qu'à distance.

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

Ventes internes ou ventes externes : Laquelle utiliser ?

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.

Lorsque vous vous demandez quel type de vente utiliser, veillez à prendre en compte des facteurs tels que votre budget et votre secteur d'activité. Cela dit, il faut garder à l'esprit que les deux types de vente fonctionnent souvent bien lorsqu'ils sont associés.

Merging inside sales and outside sales

Lorsqu'on parle de vente externe et de vente interne, il faut savoir qu'au cours des dernières années, la distinction entre les deux a commencé à s'estomper.

Les années 2010 ont déjà été marquées par une augmentation de l'utilisation de la communication numérique dans le domaine de la vente. Mais l'arrivée de COVID-19 en 2020, qui a entraîné une augmentation massive du travail à distance, a encore changé la donne. D'un seul coup, il est apparu qu'il était possible de gérer de nombreuses réunions en face-à-face de manière tout aussi efficace par le biais d'appels vidéo.

Cette prise de conscience a conduit de nombreuses entreprises à transférer le travail de vente externe dans des environnements à distance, en organisant des réunions autrefois en personne sur Zoom ou d'autres plates-formes vidéo. Techniquement, ces réunions se déroulent toujours en face à face, mais elles n'impliquent ni les frais ni les tracas d'un déplacement.

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.

Utilisez Nutshell pour revitaliser vos efforts de vente interne et externe.

Que vous ayez recours à la vente interne ou externe, vous devrez assurer le suivi des données relatives à vos clients. Il est important de savoir qui sont vos clients potentiels, à quels types de personnes s'adresser et dans quelle mesure vous avez réussi à générer des ventes.

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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