Outside Sales: An In-depth Guide for 2024

Learn about outside sales. This 2024 guide covers tips for outside sales, outside sales vs. inside sales, outside sales examples, etc.


In today’s highly competitive and rapidly changing business world, understanding the ins and outs of outside sales is essential for any successful business. As technology continues to advance, so too do the expectations and responsibilities of those who work in outside sales. 

Most firms will eventually have to choose between inside sales and outside sales, which is a paradox. Besides tactics and strategy, this divide is also about philosophy. Choosing an approach is a crucial milestone in the career of any sales specialist and has a big impact on one's company.

Despite this distinction's significance, many salespeople cannot distinguish between inside and outside sales. The demands of inside salespeople differ from those of outside salespeople, and understanding these differences will greatly increase your personal and professional effectiveness.

What Are Outside Sales? 

Outside sales are a type of sales role in which the individual works outside of their office or store. This type of sales role allows the salesperson to work in the field, visiting customers and prospects in their own homes or business. To simply put it, the conventional sales model, which evokes images of the zany salesman who does door-to-door sales is known as "outside sales."

The outside sales role is different from that of an inside sales representative because the outside salesperson will travel to the customer’s location and meet with them directly. An individual must be able to develop relationships with customers and prospects, negotiate deals and contracts, and close sales to succeed.

An individual must develop a comprehensive sales strategy to ensure that they are meeting their goals and objectives to succeed in outside sales. This requires research into the customer base, market trends, and competition. The salesperson must also have excellent communication and negotiation skills to succeed in this role.

Outside sales can provide many benefits to an individual, including earning a high salary, traveling, and meeting new people. For those who are driven and have an entrepreneurial spirit, outside sales can be a very rewarding career.

Outside Sales Vs. Inside Sales

Outside sales refer to selling products or services directly to customers at their place of business or residence. This sale typically involves a salesperson visiting the customer’s location, presenting the product or service, and closing the sale. On the other hand, inside sales involve selling products or services remotely. It includes activities such as phone calls, emails, and chats.

The key difference between outside and inside sales is that outside sales are more personal and involve face-to-face interaction with the customer. This allows the salesperson to build a relationship with the customer and establish trust. This is especially important in complex sales, such as technology products, where a salesperson needs to have a deep understanding of the customer’s needs and be able to explain the features and benefits of the product.

In contrast, inside sales are more impersonal and often involve cold calls or emails. This means that the salesperson must be able to quickly identify the customer’s needs and recommend the right product or service. Inside sales are often used for simpler sales, such as commodities, where the customer does not need to have an in-depth understanding of the product or service.

Overall, the key difference between outside and inside sales is the level of interaction with the customer. Outside sales are more personal and require a deeper understanding of the customer’s needs, while inside sales are more impersonal and require a salesperson to identify the customer’s needs quickly.

A Typical Day in an Outside Sales Rep’s Life

A typical day in the life of an outside sales rep can vary depending on the industry they work in and the specific job they have. Generally, an outside sales rep will spend the day meeting with customers and potential customers, attending networking events, conducting research, and developing presentations and proposals. 

Sales reps also spend time on the phone and online, making cold calls, responding to inquiries, and managing their customer accounts. They may also spend part of their day traveling to and from appointments, attending tradeshows and conferences, and training. Outside sales reps should be prepared to work long hours, often in unfamiliar and challenging environments.

Elements of Outside Sales Process

The outside sales process consists of several elements that must be considered to be successful.

  • The first element is prospecting, which involves finding potential customers who may need your product or services.
  • Once you have identified potential customers, the next step is to build relationships with those customers. This can be done through cold-calling or other forms of outreach, such as emails or direct mail.
  • The third element is the sales presentation. This is where you pitch your product or service to the customer and explain its value. During the presentation, you want to be able to answer any questions the customer may have and position your product or service as the best solution for their needs.
  • The fourth element of the outside sales process is negotiation. This is when you work with the customer to come to an agreement on the price, terms, and other details of the sale. You want to be able to come to an agreement that is beneficial to both parties.
  • Finally, the fifth element is the close. This is when you have the customer sign the agreement and officially become a customer. You want to make sure that there are no last-minute objections or hesitations from the customer.

By understanding and successfully executing these five elements of the outside sales process, salespeople can be successful in closing deals and growing their businesses.

Examples of Outside Sales

Outside sales examples refer to sales activities that take place outside of a traditional in-store or office setting. This typically involves sales representatives visiting potential customers at their place of business or home, as opposed to meeting them in a store, office, or other public places. This type of sales is often more effective than traditional in-store sales, as it allows salespeople to establish a more personal relationship with the customer.

Common outside sales examples include door-to-door, field sales, and telesales. Door-to-door sales involve a salesperson going to customers’ homes to discuss certain products and services. Field sales involve salespeople traveling to customer businesses and meeting with representatives to discuss products and services. Telesales involves salespeople making cold calls to potential customers to discuss products and services.

Other outside sales activities include trade shows, exhibitions, and conferences. Trade shows are a great way for companies to market their products and services to many potential customers in one place. Exhibitions and conferences are great ways for companies to showcase their products and services in a more intimate setting.

In addition to these activities, outside sales representatives may also do research, attend networking events, and participate in promotional activities. Research involves gathering data about potential customers and their needs, while attending networking events allows salespeople to make connections with other professionals in their industry. Promotional activities involve activities such as distributing brochures and flyers, as well as giving presentations and demonstrations.

How to Use Automation to Successfully Make the Most of Inside and Outside Sales?

Automation can be a powerful tool for both inside and outside sales teams. It can help them work more efficiently and effectively, allowing them to focus on what matters most – closing deals. Automation can also provide insights into customer behavior and preferences, helping sales teams to target their efforts better and ensure their messaging is tailored to each customer. 

Automation can also make it easier to manage large amounts of data and effectively track customer interactions, such as emails and calls. Through automation, sales teams can also stay on top of their prospects, find new leads, and keep their pipelines full. By taking advantage of automation, sales teams can maximize their time and resources and achieve better results.

Outside Sales Success Tips

The following outside sales success tips are essential for sales professionals who conduct their business outside of the office. This can include door-to-door sales, trade shows, or sales calls. These tips will help sales professionals maximize their efficiency and effectiveness.

  • First, being well-prepared before conducting any outside sales is important. Research the customer and their industry, develop a plan for the sales call, and practice what you preach. This will help ensure that you’re well-prepared and have a better chance of making the sale.
  • Second, make sure you have the right tools and materials. This includes samples and documents, a laptop or tablet, and a phone. These tools will help you make a strong connection with the customer and show them the value of your product or service.
  • Third, tailor your approach to the customer. Every customer is different, so take the time to get to know them and understand their needs. Once you understand the customer well, you can create a tailored sales presentation that’s sure to be more effective.
  • Fourth, be confident and don’t be afraid to ask for a sale. Don’t be afraid to be assertive and ask for the sale once you’ve made your pitch. Be professional and courteous, but don’t be afraid to close the deal.
  • Finally, make sure to follow up after the meeting. Follow up with the customer after the sales call to thank them for their time and reiterate the value of your product or service.

These tips for outside sales success can help sales professionals maximize their success and increase their sales.


We hope this blog helped you learn everything you wanted to know about outside sales, which have come a long way over the past decade, and the future looks even brighter. As technology advances, sales teams can take advantage of new tools and strategies to better engage with customers, optimize their sales processes, and measure their success. Outside sales automation can help businesses greatly as the world moves towards Machine Learning and AI. Zorp is a drag-and-drop app builder platform that can allow you access to fully scalable, native mobile applications and management platforms to take your outside sales to new heights.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is an example of outside sales?

An example of outside sales is a sales representative visiting a customer's premises to demonstrate a product or service and make a sale.

2. What is outside sales vs. inside sales?

Outside sales are when a sales representative visits a customer's premises to demonstrate a product or service and make a sale. Inside sales are when a customer contacts a business over the phone or via the internet to inquire about a product or service and make a purchase.

3. Does outside sales mean door-to-door?

No, outside sales do not necessarily mean door-to-door. It can also include visiting customers’ premises, attending trade shows, or participating in other events to demonstrate a product or service and make a sale.

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