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Inside Sales: The Benefits and Keys to Success

Updated: February 23, 2023

How can you generate leads or sell products in the comfort of your home? Inside sales is the key. Without having to bother potential customers at their home or spending time and money to travel, you can effectively promote your products remotely over the phone or through email. With more and more shopping taking place online, customers appreciate having an easy way to buy, and inside sales might be your solution. This article goes over what inside sales are, the benefits, and how to do it successfully.

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    • Inside sales professionals are highly skilled sales representatives who work remotely selling high-priced products and services. 
    • The inside sales model requires an important set of tools to perform its work effectively. This can include CRM databases, web conferencing tools, automated dialers, and more. 
    • Inside sales are often more cost-effective, scalable, and enable better collaboration compared to outside sales.

    What Are Inside Sales?

    Inside sales utilize remotely based personnel to contact customers by phone, email, or over the internet to sell a product or service. For this reason, it’s often referred to as “remote sales” or “sales in the cloud”. The term was first developed in the 1980s as a distinction between highly-skilled remote salespeople and telemarketers. 

    While many people tend to confuse inside sales with telemarketing, it bears a few key differences. Telemarketing is usually scripted and has the goal of selling small-ticket products. Making it more of a numbers game, not a skilled endeavor. 

    Inside sales are never scripted. These are highly-skilled sales personnel who’ve been trained to pursue high-ticket clients. Many times this sales process means getting in contact with incumbent customers multiple times to close the sale. They might also be involved in conducting virtual product demos or presentations. And they’re able to do all of this remotely. 

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    Understanding Inside Sales

    Inside sales might be remote but that doesn’t mean they lack effectiveness compared to outside sales. Inside sales professionals proactively reach out to potential customers and are mainly employed in the business-to-customer (B2C) or business-to-business B2B sales model. They often operate as part of a larger sales team and many times they work under the guidance of a sales manager and other sales leaders. 

    They focus on selling high-ticket services and products over the phone or online. Often they’ll even partner up with field sales reps or other sales personnel to collaborate on sales appointments and lead generation. In some cases when they’re not closing the main sale, they’ll cross-sell additional products and services the client might be interested in.

    In addition to partnering with other sales reps, inside sales personnel use a variety of sales tools to support them on business calls. 

    These sales tools help them increase productivity, manage relationships with customers, and present the products they’re selling as professionally as possible. They don’t rely solely on tools though. Just in case the sales call requires a little something extra, inside sales reps are prepared to take a hybrid approach with their sales skills and make an in-person visit to their prospective customer to close the sale. 

    What Are The Benefits of Inside Sales?

    There are several benefits to using inside sales. One of the biggest ones became apparent in 2020. Due to the limitations brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, the majority of salespeople have made the transition to inside sales. Businesses began to recognize inside sales as a very effective source of client sales with a more cost-friendly method. Making it the more dominant sales model.

    It’s More Cost-Effective: 

    The average outside sales call costs up to six times more than an inside sales call according to a study by PointClear. When doing remote sales over phone calls you eliminate the need for travel expenses that come with the outside sales process. Effectively lowering the cost of sales.

    Customers Prefer Remote Sales: 

    Today’s target audience is more likely to respond to a targeted marketing email campaign rather than a business appointment that takes up their lunch hour. The convenience of learning about a new product or service you need with someone who’s just as professional, knowledgeable, and skilled as someone in person is a big-time saver. 

    Enables Better Collaboration And Coaching: 

    Most facilities that house inside sales representatives allow easy collaboration with other sales team reps due to close proximity. This enhances the opportunities for coaching and is noted to reduce onboarding times for new sales reps. 


    Another benefit that comes with remote sales is the fact that it’s extremely scalable. So business growth is easier to achieve. Inside sales are adaptable to most conditions including the opportunity to scale the business up. Since there’s low overhead associated with inside sales, entering a new market doesn’t come with hefty relocation costs. 

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    More Time For Additional Tasks: 

    When you’re traveling to clients and making in-person sales, there never seems to be enough time in the day to take care of the administrative tasks that come with those sales. Inside sales are more often in the office and can better balance the other sales activities. 

    There are plenty of benefits to using inside sales to fulfill company sales goals. Many of these points have touched on slight differences between inside and outside sales. Next, we’ll take an in-depth look at how inside and outside sales are distinct. 

    Inside vs Outside Sales

    Inside sales and outside sales used to have a ton of differences when the distinction was first made. Inside sales reps were considered the backup to field sales reps and were often given small upsell opportunities rather than the big-ticket sales goals they’re responsible for today. As such, inside sales are typically paid much less than their outside counterparts, but the income differences between the two have lessened over the years. 

    Now, with many field sales personnel making the move to inside sales, it’s all merging as one big sales team for most companies. Do consumers still value face-to-face conversations? Absolutely. The appeal of outside sales is that people are often more willing to open up about a business pain they’re experiencing and trust the sales professional when they’re in person as opposed to over the phone. It takes some extra effort to build the same level of trust online or by phone.

    In addition to these major differences, there are also other notable contrasts between inside and outside sales.

    • Schedules: Field reps typically operate on traditional schedules because that’s when their clients are available to meet with them. Inside sales reps operate outside of normal business hours. Some might even close a sale after hours or on their mobile phones. 
    • The number of leads: Remote sales representatives often contact far more leads on average compared to outside sales reps. Even though they reach out to more people they might experience a lower close rate. 
    • Cost: Outside sales professionals get paid more on average compared to inside sales. According to Indeed, outside sales representatives are paid an average salary of $69,000 annually while inside sales reps are paid about $50,000 average salary. Since they’re visiting potential customers in person, they also have expenses like travel, hotel accommodations, and other expenses associated with the deals they close.

    With more and more people looking to take on remote work, inside sales might be a viable option for those who are skilled in communication, persistence, and computer literacy.

    Steps to Successful Inside Sales

    Being successful with inside sales requires specific skills from the sales professional as well as a good strategy from the company employing them. A successful remote sales employee should embody skills such as: 

    • Strong Communication: Communication through phone and email requires a firm grasp of communication tactics. Being adept at sales means you’ll need to articulate your thoughts clearly, with multiple clients. 
    • Persistence: The first sales call with a customer isn’t always the one that closes the sale. Inside sales calls for multiple touchpoints with each client to achieve the sales goals. Persistence is also needed to overcome a steady stream of rejection during periods of cold-calling. 
    • Tech Savvy: As we mentioned earlier, remote sales come with a suite of tools that help you manage the customers you work with and even present demonstrations for interested clients. There’s no getting away from working with these tools if you want to be successful. You’ll need to know how they work and how to use them. 
    • Sales Strategy: Each sales representative on a team has a specific role and responsibilities that pair with it. You can form a strategy based on the product or service you’re focused on, what stage the customer is at, or make it more data-centered. Find what works and what doesn’t. Then make adjustments. 


    Overall, inside sales offer customers a new way to do business that’s more convenient for them. It also enhances the sales role by removing the extra expenses that come with field sales. Remote sales pairs a high-performing sales team with excellent software to help them manage and organize their client outreach efforts. More people are moving toward this option in recent years and it stands to be beneficial for the businesses that choose to utilize inside sales.

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    FAQs about Inside Sales

    What is the difference between inside sales and customer service?

    Although inside sales will occasionally handle inbound calls, they aren’t customer service. The primary function of an inside sales rep is to reach sales goals, not to handle customer concerns or issues. 

    Is Inside sales cold calling?

    Inside sales may involve cold calling at times. Other times it may involve touching bases with a customer you’ve spoken with before. 

    Why is Inside sales important?

    Inside sales are important because it provides customers with an alternative way to do business. It also allows businesses to be more efficient with their sales teams since inside sales reps tend to reach more customers on average without the expense of traveling to the customer. 


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