A sales representative is a popular job for highly ambitious people who love hitting challenging targets. It is never easy to achieve a quota, but these experts do their best to help their companies thrive.
Before we dive into an in-depth description of the popular profession, it’s essential to understand the difference between inside and outside sales experts. Although both types ensure efficient client acquisition and have particular sales goals to pursue, the two positions are somewhat different.
In short, B2B outside sales representatives are more focused on face-to-face meetings with their targets, while the inside ones make numerous calls, rarely leaving the office.
It’s crucial to align your natural character traits with the roles assigned by each position. Thus, explore the following factors to find out which type suits you best.
Difference between job types in B2B outside sales
Focused on achieving the company’s financial goals, both kinds of sales professionals strive to convert leads into dedicated clients. However, they do it in different ways since their scope of work includes specific tasks.
Outside Sales Representative’s Tasks
This type of salesperson is a soldier on the battlefield, fighting for the company’s wellbeing. They are responsible for monitoring the market, following the latest industry trends, finding new business opportunities, and closing deals. Their core duties include:
- setting appointments with potential and existing clients;
- doing lots of business traveling;
- arranging in-person meetings;
- using their charisma to present the company’s services in the best light;
- maintaining and developing good relationships with the company’s leads and clients;
- actively selling to the most interested people.
A good outside sales representative keeps a finger on the pulse of pressing issues their prospects might come across. Such an expert can address their most disturbing pain points, offering a solution to their problems.
Business executives are highly interested in employees that are good decision-makers and care about each sales lead in their department. In fact, people performing this role apply a successful strategy of having meaningful interactions with the organization’s prospects, investing in solid B2B relationships. Moreover, advanced professionals, such as Belkins experts, use state-of-the-art technology to ensure excellent B2B lead generation services. Such salespeople are also aware of the latest trends, implementing the best practices to enhance the customer experience.
Employees who want to work in outside sales are supposed to have a Bachelor's degree in economics, business, communications, or marketing. However, it’s essential to also possess a set of personality traits to feel comfortable in this position. They include:
- advanced people skills;
- conflict resolution skills;
- problem-solving skills.
These traits allow experts to adjust to changing circumstances and fulfill the company’s expectations regarding the quota. An outside sales professional should be able to work independently without losing focus on their goals.
The salary for this position ranges from $48,000 to $64,000 in the U.S.; however, it can sometimes reach even $100,000, depending on the expert’s skillset and the state they live in.
Inside Sales Representative’s Tasks
This kind of expert is also called an SDR (sales development representative.) SDRs are highly skilled at qualifying leads and building long-term relationships with them. Employees performing this role use strategies that ensure remarkable B2B lead generation. They are talented content makers offering the materials their B2B customers are eager to receive. Sending interesting and engaging articles, presentations, and ebooks is the right strategy to enhance interactions and productivity. SDRs apply it to facilitate b2b outside sales.
The main responsibilities of inside sales experts include:
- identifying qualified leads for their organization;
- reaching out to potential customers (calls, emails);
- sending follow-up emails;
- applying the latest technology to learn the leads’ preferences and needs;
- determining new sales opportunities;
- replying to prospects’ questions and supplying them with quality content;
- communicating with existing clients;
- keeping track of the industry updates;
- reporting to executives on competitors’ offers;
- managing the customer base in the sales department;
- selling and upselling the company’s services/products.
As you can see, SDRs focus on helping leads move through the sales pipeline rather than on closing business. For instance, Belkins experts genuinely care about the customers’ needs, taking them into account while planning the next steps. Such employees are keen on productivity, and their efficiency is figured out by comparing the number of closed deals with their quota. This is what makes Belkins an established market leader in inside sales, outsourcing lead generation services to B2B companies all over the world.
SDRs need a Bachelor's degree in business, marketing, communications, or economics, just like their counterparts. However, some companies accept candidates with a high school diploma.
Salespeople are expected to have particular qualifications to cope with day-to-day challenges at work:
- outstanding verbal and written communication skills;
- strong ability to negotiate;
- advanced organizational skills;
- ability to focus on several projects simultaneously;
- proficiency in active listening;
- target-oriented approach;
- good customer service skills.
A salesperson dealing with inside sales should also have the following experience:
- proficiency with CRM software (e.g. Salesforce.com);
- good command of Microsoft Office.
Additionally, recruiters might ask whether an SDR has previous work experience in a call center or any other related position. However, it is possible to obtain the job without one. Listing effective sales strategies and demonstrating excellent presentation skills is usually enough to get hired.
The average salary of an inside sales professional in the U.S. is about $64,000. It might range from $44,000 to $84,000, though.
What Job Type Is Most Suitable for You?
If you want to figure out which job will suit you best, imagine both sales representatives' daily routines.
Consider the following benefits of working more independently:
- create a schedule and stick to it;
- travel often;
- look good to create the right impression on potential clients;
- stay organized and focused without supervision.
If the above-mentioned characteristics describe your perfect day at work, don’t hesitate to select this job!
Contemplate working as an SDR if you enjoy these routines:
- work from office;
- have a particular schedule to follow;
- know your product inside-out and present it to the right people;
- confidently communicate using the phone/email.
You should definitely become an inside sales representative if such duties make you excited.
No matter which job you choose, don’t stop growing professionally and take advantage of all the career opportunities that come your way. Belkins is an excellent workplace where SDRs can constantly enhance their inbound sales skills and increase their income, using top-notch strategies.