Understanding inside sales
Inside sales, as is indicative from the words, mean sales initiatives other than those which require physical presence before the intended client. In its most basic and original form, it is indicative of tele-sales though not as simple and uncomplicated.
What differentiates inside sales from other forms of telephone based initiatives is that it is meant not as a support activity for other forms of sales but is a separate category in itself ending in a sales closure over the phone. And it is growing.
What was earlier mistaken for a tightly scripted tele-marketing activity has now come on its own to an extent where it is in direct competition to outside sales with more and more sales executives preferring to sell remotely. Also called Remote-selling, it involves selling complex services and products to a well-defined target market over the phone. Unlike traditional tele-marketing which is a one-phone call activity, inside sales (or remote sales) may involve quite a few phone calls and where the business is finally closed over the phone.
Every kind of product from FMCG to computers to complex software are open to be sold remotely ie it cover the entire spectrum of B2B or B2C sales.
The term “Inside Sales” was itself coined in the 1980s as a way to differentiate it from Telemarketing. In the 1990s and 2000s, it gained a step further when it was used to differentiate it from the more traditional face-to-face sales. It started an adjunct to outside sales with executives calling up would-be clients over the phone before moving to the next step of meeting the client in person. This, to some extent is no more the case with inside-sales totally removing the need for a face-to-face meeting with the client. As of today, both the function of inside and outside sales is looked after by one single entity (can be an individual or a team) who uses them in the best possible way to close a deal.
Technology has come to the assistance of Inside salesmen in a big way though what still remains a mainstay is the ubiquitous telephone.