Many companies rely on the support of successful outside sales professionals. They generate revenue by selling products and services to customers over the phone or online.
We all know that the type of business we are in can have a significant impact on our lives. It doesn’t matter if we are surrounded by like-minded people or how well-dressed we need to be for work. This article will explain what outside sales are, and why it is important to understand them.
You can find sales jobs anywhere, from being a manager at a large corporation to being an insurance agent. It is a fact that most sales jobs are centered around selling products.
What’s outside sales?
When you hear the phrase “outside sales”, the first thing you think of is cold calling or making calls from home. This may be true in some cases but not always.
Outside sales are generally anything that takes place outside of the regular hours you spend at work. It does not include meeting customers on-site with a sales team.
You could attend tradeshows, expos, seminars, or networking events. Online businesses without physical stores are sometimes considered ‘outside sales’ by some people.
This applies only if you are promoting products/services to customers and not to a company’s main office or retail store.
Outside sales are more than closing a sale over the phone, or online. You must be able to pitch products and services, build new relationships with clients, and follow up on leads.
Sometimes, it involves even developing your leads (e.g. by cold calling/emailing companies who don’t use your products).
It’s not an easy task due to the time it takes. Especially since many companies don’t want employees spending too much time following up on potential customers who might not be interested in your products (i.e. this would be called ‘cold calling’).
It’s crucial to schedule a time and create leads to make this work for you.
Many companies have ‘inside sales’ personnel who can handle the prospecting and only give you leads that might be relevant to your products or services.
It involves primarily reaching out to customers to build new businesses. Outside-sales work is usually commission-based so it can be a great way to make extra money if it’s done well.
Outside sale is a continuous process. Clients who are satisfied with their services become repeat customers.
Outside and Inside Sales
Outside sales require many of the same skills as inside sales (e.g. confidence, communication skills, etc. However, you will need to be able to work independently and under pressure.
Outside sales might be for you if you are self-motivated and can think up creative ways to market your products/services.
This line of work can be done even if you don’t enjoy talking to people.
Outside sales allow for more freedom as there aren’t any restrictions on how you can interact with customers.
This flexibility comes at a price, however. You will get different support and access to company resources than inside sales reps.
Outside sales might be a good option if you are looking for greater independence and a commission-based job. Even if it isn’t for you, you should know what outside sales mean so that next time someone mentions it to you, they’ll be able to tell you how “outside” outside sales are!
Success Tips for Outside Sales
1. Know Your Numbers
Knowing where you are is the foundation for a successful sales process. It is important to understand your goals for each month and year before you can devise strategies to help you reach them.
Understanding your receivables, understanding how long it takes to close one deal, and determining which deals will not close are all important aspects.
Make sure you know your numbers and that the people with whom you work are aware of them. Sharing information allows everyone to stay on the right track and helps them to succeed together. Strive for excellence and not mediocre results.
2. Ensure That Your Pitches are Credible
Credibility is the first thing you should do when pitching. This means that everyone listening should know that you are knowledgeable about the company, their needs at this time, and their weaknesses. These are all factors that could affect your ability or ability to offer a solution.
Credibility is knowing to answer any questions about the client’s needs.
3. Watch Your Clients’ Financial Budgets
Companies are always trying to do more with less. Companies have to cut back on travel and reduce advertising budgets for printed media and online marketing campaigns. They also need to hire salespeople who offer lower-cost alternatives to their current products.
As a sales representative, your job is to find creative solutions to help your customers save money and still get what they need.
If they can’t save money and not hurt their business growth, then it is pointless in helping them. Know your clients well to keep track of any cuts to their budgets.
4. Make an Action Plan
Plan your day so that you get there, but also be open to new opportunities.
Make a list of potential leads and determine what it will take to close them. This means knowing the products or services they are most interested in. However, you should also be prepared with backup options in case the lead is not willing to listen.
You should also research each prospect before you meet with them to ensure that you can show how your product can benefit them, depending on the type of company they work for.
5. You must learn to take risks to succeed.
There aren’t the kinds of risks that could lead to bankruptcy or serious debt. But there are calculated risks that may allow you to make that next sale. If a lead isn’t interested in attending a first sales meeting, send them information about the company and wait several days.
If they don’t respond within a few days, you can call them and ask to speak directly with the person who will make the final decision about whether or not to purchase your services. Perhaps all they need is one person in their office that is willing to give you a chance.
6. Keep track of your time
It is easy to lose time while talking on the phone with clients or working on a project. Make sure you have someone at your office who can help you keep track of everything you do every second of the day.
This person should keep track of how long it takes between activities, as well as where each call was made and which emails were sent.
You should ensure that they have uninterrupted access to you at all times and that they know that you will not be bothered if there is an emergency.
Relying on them can give you confidence in times when it seems everything is against you.
Many businesses rely heavily on their sales team to get products through distribution channels to customers.
These distribution channels could include anything from online platforms such as Amazon and Marketplace to physical stores that sell your product, to trade shows and vendor booths.
In the past, many sellers sold their products from small shops or kiosks in malls. Today, however, it is more common for them to take their products to large trade shows or events so that people who are interested in learning more about their products can visit and speak with them.
This type of selling is known as “outside sales” because the sellers often go outside of companies owned by them to make the sale.
Most sellers refer to “going out” as if they are going into the lives of consumers, rather than just selling within their business walls.
Sales reps may start their own company to help them develop new sales. This can lead to huge success, as all the seller’s attention is on selling!
This is a more labor-intensive task than inside sales. You could work with existing internal teams, such as your employees, or coordinate your efforts with third parties like wholesalers or brokers.
Although sales might seem similar to inside sales in appearance, it requires a different skill set to be able to sell effectively.
The conversation cannot take place in the business’s office or within their building. Sellers must talk to people who aren’t necessarily interested in the product they’re selling.
These sellers don’t want to be able to sell immediately but to find out if the product is something they would like to purchase in the future.
Sellers need to understand that selling requires patience, dedication, and a lot of knowledge.
Although you may not be comfortable with cold-calling people who do not need your product right now, it is a great way to establish lasting relationships with clients and customers.