Outside Sales – Definition

Cite this article as:"Outside Sales – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated September 19, 2019, last accessed December 4, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/lesson/outside-sales-definition/.


Outside Sales Definition

Outside sales refer to the company’s sales representatives who sell products and services to clients in the filed through face-to-face interactions. The working environment of outside sales representatives is informal, as it is outside the normal office setting. Their work mostly involves traveling in different locations to meet clients and sell products. Each representative has a territory that the company assigns to them for selling the products.

A Little More on What is Outside Sales

Generally, outside sales have an informal working schedule which is flexible. However, the flexibility also means that the salesperson should always be available in case a client needs a product or a service.

The outside sales need to maintain a functional schedule for meetings with clients because the client may delay or cancel sometimes. Also, outside sales must always dress professionally and represent the company well, since they meet with clients of all types face-to-face.

In addition, these professionals have to offer the best customer service to clients and provide all the information about any products in the market. They often have great social skills which allow them to create strong relationships with customers and improve the company’s sales.

However, maintenance costs of the outside sales force can be expensive, as the company caters to food, travel, and accommodation costs. Even though it is costly, most companies combine this strategy with inside sales, instead of using inside sales only.

Besides, outside sales attract more clients, as it is wiser to go to the client, than wait for the client to come and make a purchase.

Outside Sales Responsibilities

Outside sales have a number of responsibilities. They include and not limited to the following:

  • Travel to different locations to meet new customers face-to-face
  • Create and sustain relationships with both old and new customers
  • Educate the customers about the products that the company offers
  • Sale the company’s products and services
  • Survey the market for any new rivals
  • Keep a record of all customers and sales

Comparing outside sales to inside sales

Outside sales provide a platform for managers to meet with salespersons and devise new marketing ideas. Outside sales are the best strategy for self-starters in business, for companies selling complex goods, and for people who like to work independently.

An outside salesperson often manages their schedule and is responsible for setting appointment dates with the clients. The salesperson needs to adapt faster to new environments since their workplaces keep changing. Those working in sales cannot afford to have a somber mood as they interact with clients all the time. Outside sales strategies bring in more sales than inside sales.

Inside sales representatives work in an office setting and communicate with clients through the telephone, skype, email, web conferencing, and social media. Inside salespersons rarely travel to the field to meet clients, so they must be well conversant with the products to explain it over the phone. Inside sales are growing more than outside sales, because of the adoption of better communication technologies.

Tips for Getting Clients

Even though inside sales and outside sales use different strategies, the sales representatives need to follow the same tips to get clients. The tips include:

  • Both parties require an understanding of the products the company is selling so that they can market them better
  • They should be ethical and professional to maintain customer loyalty
  • Keep a record of common customer concerns, and find solutions to these problems
  • Both need to be great timekeepers so that they can deal with many clients in a day.

References for “Outside Sales






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