Which side are you in the internal / external debate? Keep reading to find out how you can differentiate the two and learn how they work.
RELATED: What is internal sales? – Our definition of internal sales
In this article:
- Variety of commercial tactics
- Quality and quantity
- Sales cycle and conversion
- Qualifications and skills
- Calculation of costs
Differences between internal and external sales
Definition of internal sales: Internal sales are sales made from work behind a desk or "remote". It is also known as "distance selling" because the representatives who practice it communicate virtually with their customers (for example by phone or email).
Definition of external sales: External sales are sales made outside the office. The representatives who practice this activity meet their customers in person to present and conclude the contract.
1. Variety of commercial tactics
When you compare internal and external sales, you will find that each of them uses commercial tactics that align with the nature of their work.
Sales Representatives for External Use displays, presentations and examples of products whenever they interact with prospects and customers face to face. These are very effective because it is easier for people to treat visual references to text based presentations.
This preference for visual presentations gives an advantage to external sales representatives. Since they meet their customers in person, they can use this type of tactic to attract the attention of their prospects and persuade them.
Although internal sales people engage their prospects and customers remotely, their methods are also catching up with external sales. " Meet people through web conferencesfor example, reduces the distance between all parts.
Through this and online meetings with screen sharingBusinesses can present their offers without meeting prospects and customers in person. Other tactics useful for external sales are: telesales, Hosted CRM and Social Media.
Although salespeople use different business tactics, they have only one goal. All this should lead to agreements and revenues for the company.
2. Quality and quantity
In terms of quantity and quality, what are the arguments of each in the internal / external debate?
In-house sales representatives generally more time to sell as they stay in the office for most of the day.
They can contact and sell to more people every day because they do not have to move to reach the ones they target. It also allows them to target a specific number of people for sale each day.
Although transactions through internal sales are not usually what you would call "big ticket", this does not mean that you will only deliver poor quality customers. What often happens is that the orders received by the internal sales representatives are: smaller in quantity compared to those produced by external sales representatives.
There is a reason why external salespeople must meet their prospects and customers in person. This is because they typically sell complex, high quality products and services at very high prices. They must properly explain their offers so that their target market understands that they need them.
Due to the length of their trip, and considering that they are supposed to connect to a specific target market, outside salespeople can sell to fewer customers.
In summary, you can distinguish internal sales from external sales from the following sales:
- Internal sales – Reaches more people, but each client's income may be smaller
- External sales – Reaches fewer people, but each client's income is usually higher
3. Sales cycle and conversion
You will also notice differences when you compare the sales cycle and the conversion of internal and external sales.
Naturally, internal sales have a shorter sales cycle. It's because of the limited personal interaction between the seller and the customer.
On the other hand, field sales representatives for external sales have longer sales cycles. They are also doing more work. For example, if they sell in a physical retail store, they have to manage inventory, set up displays, and visit the store regularly.
External sales representatives are more likely to build stronger relationships with their customers because of the amount of personal interaction that they have.
In terms of lead conversion, field representatives have the upper hand. They are able to convert leads into customers more often than internal sales representatives.
Yet, internal sales are growing faster than external sales because of its convenience.
RELATED: How to create a cultural transformation for your internal sales team
4. Qualifications and skills
Given the nature of their work, there are some qualifications and skills that the representatives must possess. Just as internal and external sales are different, their representatives also require different skills.
An internal sales representative must:
- To be articulated – They must be able to express themselves well. In-house sales representatives sell behind the phone or the computer screen. They must therefore be convincing and convincing enough to encourage people to buy at home. They should be able to explain their products and services in an understandable and understandable way.
- To be collaborative – In-house sales representatives work in the office and interact daily with their colleagues. They should have a collaborative attitude to be able to work well with the rest of the sales team.
- Have administrative skills – Selling is not the only thing that internal sales representatives do. They also take care of daily administrative tasks in the office. So they have to balance things out.
An outside sales representative must:
- To be able to work independently – External Sales Representatives are also referred to as "field representatives" because they are the ones who meet with customers to bid and bid. To maximize their time, they should be able to work independently and manage their own schedule and appointments.
- To be able to adapt well – They meet new people and often visit new places. Outside salespeople must therefore be able to easily adapt to these new environments. This quality allows them to do their job better.
- Always look their best – Compared to internal sales, working in external sales means that sales representatives need to be more attentive to the way they present themselves. They must always look and be at their best every time they face prospects and customers.
Cost differences between the two and their impact on the company's expenses should also be taken into account.
Outside sales are often more expensive. This is because field representatives have higher wages at entry level compared to internal sales representatives.
They also need additional work allowances to cover their travel and meeting expenses with their clients. That, and pay the representatives on the ground through commission it's a bit harder for the company to pay a fixed income and overhead.
In-house sales, on the other hand, have more than stable salary scale as they have fixed hours and working hours in the office.
Internal sales also work on profitable platforms, which reduce the cost of acquisition. These include commonly used CRM databases, web conferencing platforms, and analytics software.
As different as internal and external sales are, you can always find ways to incorporate both strategies into your business. It does not have to be internal or external to sales – you can create your own strategy to get the best of both worlds.
For example, your field representatives do not always have to spend the whole day outside the office. They can make calls and appointments from the office, and then visit customers to present and finalize the transaction.
This will help you determine whether collaboration between internal and external sales is convenient for your sales team and your company as a whole.
Which side are you in the internal / external debate? How does this help your business? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below!