Inside Sales vs. Outside Sales: Knowing the Difference


Have you always argued about inside sales vs outside sales? Well, you are not alone because it is a common question, especially for those who work in sales. These two are different from each other, but often, they can be combined too. This is because both are crucial when it comes to sales organizations.

According to statistics, out of the 5.7 million professional salespeople in the United States, there are approximately 45.5% inside sales professionals. On the other hand, for outside sales professionals, it is 52.8%. With so many in this profession, it can be confusing which sales model to follow.

Thus, if you want to understand it better, you need to learn what both terms mean.

Inside Sales Definition

Based on HubSpot, “Inside sales occur when reps prospect, nurture, and convert leads to customers remotely, instead of face-to-face. This method of selling is dominant in B2B, SaaS, technology, and high-ticket B2C transactions.”

Outside Sales Definition

The Department of Labor in the U.S. defines an outside salesperson as someone who “regularly engaged away from the employer’s place or places of business.” This means going door to door, attending or speaking at events, and even setting up booths at conferences, among other things.

What are their Differences?

When you think of inside sales vs outside sales, the basic difference that can be seen from them is the process. As can be seen from their definitions above, inside sales professionals deal with turning leads into customers remotely. In contrast, outside sales professionals do their best to close the prospects face-to-face.

For a more in-depth, comparison, here are some of the things that you should consider:

Tools Used for Closing Sales

The most crucial tool that most inside sales professionals use is CRM. This will help them with a lot of things, from email management and tracking, SMS functionality, and phone calls, among other things. For outside sales professionals, they do not rely on this tool exclusively. They also use things such as equipment to pitch their products or tools for conducting on-site training.

Sales Cycle

With inside sales professionals, they have a substantially shorter sales cycle than outside sales professionals. This is because of the systematic and well-defined sales process that they utilize. In comparison to outside sales, inside sales emphasize lead reporting and scoring. Thus, resulting in improving relevant relationships.


When it comes to costs, inside sales are cheaper. This is because outside sales will make use of more expenses. With inside salespeople, they will rely on computers, CRM, and internet connection. For outside salespeople, they will spend on company cars, lunch and dinner costs, flights, and more.


As opposed to outside sales, inside Sales effectiveness can establish relationships with several people all over the world using computers. They can have hundreds of prospects at once by using email automation or other software. They can manage multiple relationships at once. But, with outside sales, this is not possible. These salespeople can only pitch clients in person and one at a time.

Communication Skills

Although both inside sales professionals and outside sales professionals have many skills in common such as excellent working performance and determination, among other things, they can differ when it comes to virtual communication skills. Inside sales heavily rely on this type of communication as opposed to outdoor sales who prefer talking in person. They make use of these skills regularly.

You might find yourself being confused by the two, but just remember to keep in mind these things mentioned above, and you are good to go. Everyone also has their preferences, so choose the sales model that would work best for you.