Internal and external sales are often seen as completely contradictory. According to InsideSales.com’s survey of sales in the US and Europe, the Middle East and Africa, field sales accounted for 71.2% of sales staff, and internal sales accounted for only 28.8% of 2017 sales. The situation is changing rapidly because the sales model is mixed and the differences between the two models are less obvious.
Internal and external sales play an important role in ensuring the safety of new customers. However, depending on the business model and product, one sales model may be more appropriate than the other.
This article is intended to explain the meaning of each term and how to interpret the differences between the two terms.
Internal and external sales differences
Internal and external sales can be easily defined. External sales means meeting customers directly on site. Internal sales are remote sales that occur when the salesperson sits in front of the computer. Ultimately, the difference is in addressing the location of the sales process.
Creating a personal connection is a bit difficult because internal salespeople cannot access the customer directly. External salespeople can talk directly to customers, but they spend a lot of time and energy on face-to-face communication, knocking on doors, collecting business cards during the event, and attending presentations and conferences.
If technology does not occupy the modern world in the storm, it is impossible to conduct internal sales. In the past, most of the sales were face to face. The public generally understands that the sale and purchase needs to satisfy the goods of the real salesperson. But now internal sales are as effective as external sales. However, before deciding your company’s best-selling method, consider the following factors:
External and internal sales professionals use CRM as their primary operating tool. Sales representatives use online calls and video conferencing, and external salespeople use equipment to accelerate sales. On-site sales of demonstration equipment and software for on-site training materials require a variety of intuitive and non-portable tools.
Salespeople use a very structured sales process that prioritizes lead ratings rather than long-term relationships, thereby shortening the sales cycle. Unlike an internal sales representative, an external sales representative needs to understand everything from numerical calculations to technical details to an external sales representative to provide the best presentation for the product.
External sales are expensive. Not only do you have to pay unpredictable commissions, but you also have a lot of expenses involved in the sales process, such as airline tickets, golf members, restaurants and corporate car fares. On the other hand, the salesperson only needs a desk and a work computer to complete their work. With the right mix of tools and strategies, you can compromise between cost and efficiency, reducing the cost per purchase for internal salespeople.
Internal staff can easily manage multiple interactions simultaneously. These CRM features enable you to personalize your approach with hundreds of potential customers through features such as email automation and simple data retrieval.
External sales are limited by the capabilities of one person. An external salesperson can only designate one customer at a time. If the external salesperson does not pay enough attention to the customer, there is a risk of losing the transaction, so the external representative will try to focus on one project or customer at a time.
External salespeople need to maintain greater pressure on their appearance. Because gestures and facial expressions are part of the sales armory, they are clearer and more expressive. External experts, not sales professionals, can rely on products because they can only be sold if they display good products and do not need other technology.
On the other hand, sales people mostly work by sound. In general, it is more difficult to explain the product’s advantages because you cannot show the actual product to potential customers. Internal sales representatives get more support from colleagues. They can share ideas and learn new skills. External salespeople usually work alone and rely heavily on self-development.
Internal sales representatives typically perform good prospects well, but external sales representatives are good at terminating transactions. Unfortunately, many companies want sales representatives to lead and shut down at the same time. This is not very effective.
The sales method you choose will affect the extent to which you forecast your earnings. The widely accepted knowledge is that the more leads you generate, the more income you can earn. When external sales require people to use technology that people cannot collaborate and quantify with a customer, revenue projections are difficult.
Seeking a balance between internal and external sales
In any way, internal and external sales complement each other, enhance the quality of customer relationships, and create the perfect balance to have a positive impact on the company’s revenue. But there is actually no single sales model. The company is testing various models, testing various structures, and looking for specific needs.
Internal and external sales are currently undergoing conversions. Most companies use a hybrid model that combines the advantages of both models.
When deciding which sales model is right for you, consider the business model and the type of product or service you are selling. In some cases, internal sales may be more effective than external sales, and vice versa. For example, short-term online courses can usually be sold remotely, but complex training programs and services require personal access. Your budget is also important in choosing a sales model. Large companies can pay for travel expenses and provide cost-effective solutions for external sales representatives and advanced business tools for startups and SMEs, such as internal sales advantages. Finally, make sure the buyer is in the sales cycle. They don’t know how convenient it is to contact them by email before you are about to see yourself to dispel doubts and finally approach the purchase decision stage.
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