Tenfold Sales Blog

What is Inside Sales?

What is Inside Sales?Phone reps facilitate inside sales

What is inside sales? Here’s a definition

A simple definition of inside sales would be: “any sales done remotely.”

To really answer “what is inside sales,” it needs to be contrasted with outside sales. Outside sales refers to sales made through face-to-face meetings. While outside sales personnel traditionally got more resources and power, inside sales is quickly catching up.

In the past, phone calls were responsible for most inside sales activity, but now inside sales involves many forms of communication including web, email, and phone.


What Has Driven the Rise in Popularity of Inside Sales?

Technology and desire to reduce expenses have been the primary drivers.

In the 1970s and 1980s, telemarketing was the best-known form of the tactic. It was used for business to business and business to consumer sales; in the latter case the frequency of calls at dinnertime kept the practice from endearing itself to consumers, although the cost savings over placing a sales force in the field were undeniable.

By the turn of the 21st century, inside sales had been revolutionized by the ease and convenience of communicating and performing research over the web. Customers no longer needed a salesperson to visit to explain a product in detail; instead, emailing a PDF followed by a call to or from an inside sales rep proved to be just as effective and far less expensive for the company selling the product.

What is Inside Sales Today?

As consumer behavior has changed in the wake of the internet revolution, companies have followed suit and adapted their sales practices to keep pace. The result has been an increasing emphasis on hiring inside sales reps. This trend has not replaced outside sales reps entirely, however, it has redirected their activities to include using a number of techniques previously reserved for inside sales reps such as closing sales over the phone or via email. At some firms, the two positions have converged, with sales reps expected to cover both roles to one degree or another.


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Patrick Hogan

Patrick Hogan

Patrick is a Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Tenfold.

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