In nearly every industry today, market competition is at an all time high. It is fierce, for smaller companies, it is frightening, while for everyone, it constantly evolving. Making consistent sales has now become a serious concern as there are several companies offering similar products or services.
To stay afloat and maintain profit, companies now invest a lot of money in sales representatives. By creating a dedicated team, a company is able to focus on other important aspects like, creating new products and services, or improving on existing ones, without worrying about where the next check will come from.
Presently, there are two types of sales representatives that help businesses make and grow profits. These are outside and inside sales representatives, and in this article, we’ll look at how they both differ from each other.
Outside Sales Representative
They are also commonly called field representatives. They are employed by companies to sell products and services to customers in person. As their name implies the are mostly outside in the field literally, selling and gathering leads for their company.
They work within and around a specific location where the company aims to sell their products or services and most often, you’d find them behind a wheel heading to meet with new and existing clients. An important part of their job is maintaining records on every lead and surveying new market conditions to position their company for maximum profitability through consistent sales.
On average, an outside sales representative earns $26.7 per hour, totaling a yearly income of $55,543. Generally, they earn between $34,000 and $90,000 annually, leaving a whooping $56,000 margin between the top and low earners.
- Travel within assigned territory to meet new and existing customers
- Hold in-person meetings with clients and customers daily
- Monitor and study industry competitors, market conditions, and new, emerging related products and services.
- Build and maintain deep relationships and connections with new and existing clients
- Maintain accurate and detailed records of new leads
- Build company brand
- Sell company products and services within and around assigned territory
- Customer service
- Sales goals
- Account management
- Sales process
- Negotiation skills
- Interpersonal skills
According to a study, about 64% of field reps have a bachelor’s degree and about 5.1% have acquired a master’s degree before entering the profession. However, one can still join the space with a high school diploma as one in every seven of them has only a high school education.
Inside Sales Representative
An inside sales rep works remotely, typically from an office to generate new leads, nurture, and convert them into paying customers. They work within the walls of an office selling through calls, and sending out emails to prospects. This method of selling is common in large B2C, B2B, and SaaS transactions. Click here to learn more about SaaS.
As of May, 2021, these reps earn between $20 to $27 per hour, and $48, 380 annually. Earnings vary significantly depending on many factors like education, number of years spent in the profession, and other additional skills. Generally, the lowest 10% earn about $35,000 yearly while the highest 10% earn around $63,000 annually.
- Communicating with potential and existing customers through outbound calls, emails, and virtual video meetings.
- Answering all questions relating to company products and services
- Identifying sales opportunities
- Staying up-to-date with new company products and services
- Keeping customer accounts and records of all leads
- Selling and upselling company products and services
- Generating, nurturing, and converting new leads into return customers
- Meeting sales goals and targets
- Excellent communication skills
- Customer service
- Product knowledge
- Time management
- Problem solving
- Technological skills
- Closing skills
Making a Choice
In business generally, deals are closed at a higher rate in-person than over calls or through email. This is because in many businesses, there are several people involved in decision making. Due to this fact, closing deals in-person is more effective and time saving because all the decision makers can be gathered in a single meeting, hence the need for field reps. Visit https://work.chron.com/facetoface-negotiation-advantages-3209.html#: to learn more about the advantages of face-to-face negotiations.
That said, inside reps tend to have more time handling customers and generating leads because they work from an office, unlike field reps who spend half their time on the road, and only have a limited number of face-to-face meetings with clients. As a result, inside reps are able to make hundreds of calls with the potential of turning new leads into paying customers.
In the past, most companies focused on field reps to drive profit, however, that has changed. Today, a lot of companies are striking a balance between both as they both offer unique benefits. If you’re on the fence about which to go with, you may want to consider having a sales team made up of both professionals; this way, you’ll get the best of both worlds. That said, you should have in mind that you are likely to spend more acquiring experienced field reps because of additional costs from frequent travels.