Inside sales vs Outside sales: 10 solutions to motivate your sales team

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Sales motivation: 10 solutions to motivate your sales team

You know the value of your salespeople: they are at the heart of your company’s development, they directly participate in growth. Without them, no business and therefore no turnover! It is therefore essential to engage them so that they are at the top of their motivation, always with the same desire to perform and to close as much as possible!

And this is the problem: the sales profession is particularly trying with ups and downs, dynamic periods when everything works, contracts are signed and prospects drop out and other phases of depression, of doubt where it is. is more complicated…

How do you motivate your sales teams effectively and sustainably?Here are our 10 solutions to make your sales representatives happy employees and motivated winners even after years of practice in the field!

inside sales vs outside sales

1. Get to know the personal motivations of your salespeople

Each salesperson on your team gets up in the morning with the desire to perform, but for different reasons depending on the individual. When some are motivated to compete, others seek recognition or pay.

As a manager, you need to know the personal motivations of your sales team members.

Ask yourself the question: what motivates my team to do this job every day? What excites my salespeople about their job?

Several types of commercial motivation are possible:

  • The bait of gain ;
  • The desire to surpass oneself;
  • The need to progress;
  • The need for recognition;
  • The need to participate in the adventure; Etc.

Adapt your management to your commercial to promote its commercial results : the more you use the right levers, the more it will flourish and be efficient.

For example, one of your collaborators is stimulated by the spirit of competition and the desire to win more contracts than the others, to feel that she is successful. Offer him commercial challenges in his daily life!

On the contrary, another member of your team prefers to be in contact with customers (follow-up, relationship and customer loyalty).

What matters most to him is building a relationship and helping for the long haul. You can tell because he happily spends his time solving all his clients’ problems, he easily builds relationships and spends hours on the phone with them. Give him the accounts of your salespeople who are moving or leaving the company, and set ambitious goals on the development of the portfolio!

For a sales manager, the key to the performance of his team is to adapt his management to his employees. The goal is for everyone to find their way around their missions. When we love we don’t count 🙂

2. Value the efforts made

Recognition is one of the main motivation levers for employees. This is even more true for salespeople who participate directly in the business of the company with sometimes thankless work face-to-face with demanding customers.

Value the efforts made with:

  • Real-time monitoring of their results. Analyze the number of calls, prospecting meetings, contract signatures from each of your employees … Be a good sales manager. Monitoring your team’s results in real time will allow you to quickly notice an improvement in performance and you will be able to recognize the successes of your employees. Monitor without coping: you need to manage effectively by providing your support and experience. Be ready to talk one-on-one with one of your salespeople to re-motivate them if necessary.


  • Rewards commensurate with the objectives achieved or even exceeded. Each success deserves recognition! Do not wait until the following month to mark the occasion… Congratulate your sales forces in an official manner (a post on the corporate social network (CSR) , the posting of a “best seller” rating in the office… ) at the right time. Reward the best with a bonus or a motivating gift, proportional to the commitment, graduated in relation to the results achieved, exceptional if the objectives are exceeded. As a manager, this will show your involvement in the success of your team … Who believe me from experience, is essential for their motivation 🙂

Good to know: do not count only the turnover obtained. Also highlight involvement, effort, customer satisfaction … Your salespeople are people, not machines. If one of them prospected less this month, it may be because they deepened certain relationships with clients and generated business in other ways.

The valuation of work is a real motivation lever .

In addition to the “group” thanks via your company messaging, it is sometimes essential to go personally to the salesperson in question to show him your gratitude if he has achieved a very good performance.

These thanks or this recognition towards its teams can also be expressed by celebrations: it is important that the entire company celebrates the progress of each team, whether it is customer renewal, product launches, or new deals.

3. Measure progress and tailor rewards

To motivate your troops, adapt your rewards to the progress of your salespeople. In this way, you will be more fair and relevant. This is one of the key motivators for your salespeople, especially beginners!

Set up a system for monitoring the progress made: each salesperson will be all the more motivated to achieve objectives or even exceed them if they can measure their performance in real time. This month, he increased his closing rate by X%: he is extremely motivated to surpass himself next month and boost his sales! A CRM or monitoring tools will help you set up this commercial monitoring.

And to boost the motivation of your sales teams , don’t forget to reward them! Adjust the level of the reward according to each person’s progress. The more you offer innovative and personalized packages or attractive variable compensation, the more you motivate your sales team to improve.

4. Develop the skills to motivate your sales force

Don’t plan to motivate your salespeople if you let them stagnate! Whether they are beginners or seniors, they need to develop their skills and acquire new ones!

Boost the motivation of your sales team thanks to:

  • Regular and targeted training . Set up a precise training plan to meet the expectations of each employee. A senior salesperson will need training in the latest sales techniques while a young hire will wait to be trained in customer relations in the field. And why not offer your seasoned salespeople with the profile a management training course?
  • Exercises, coaching sessions, scenarios. All the opportunities and all the management tools (digital or not) are good for progressing and learning new skills in the sales profession.

=> The sales motivation training program for your salespeople

=> All our upscaling programs to transform your salespeople into champions!

5. Give prospects for development

Do you want your salespeople to be hyper motivated to develop your turnover or your customer portfolio? Give them prospects for development!

It is for you to:

6. Build a strong team spirit

Unite your salespeople around common values ​​and develop a corporate culture: it’s an efficient and inexpensive way to make your sales team want to be the most productive!

To create a real esprit de corps:

7. Listen to your team

Maintain good relations with your salespeople: this is essential to avoid melting their motivation or seeing them leave the company running!

To effectively motivate his team, a good sales manager must:

  • Be open to discussion. Your sales force must be able to give you their opinion! For example, are you changing customer management software? Involve your employees in the choice of CRM for a successful customer experience both from the point of view of customers and sales representatives!
  • Grant autonomy. Encourage initiative-taking to unleash the talents of your salespeople. Trust them and you will not be disappointed with the result in terms of productivity and engagement …

=> Go further by consulting our article on the skills of a manager .

8. Offer motivating compensation

Remuneration is not the only motivating lever for your salespeople , but it remains a capital element that should not be neglected, you know that!

Bet on compensation:

  • Understandable. Let go of subjectivity! On the contrary, adopt a clear and fair compensation based on quantifiable benchmarks, objectives and applicable to your entire team. This is the recipe for increasing the motivation of your employees: the more they sell, prospect, get involved, contribute to customer satisfaction, the more they will be rewarded, and therefore motivated!
  • Motivating. Clearly set the rules in terms of remuneration: the fixed part of the commercial salary must be high enough in relation to the market, an adapted and attractive variable remuneration, an additional premium in the event of quotas exceeded. Do not hesitate to grant exceptional commissions to reward outperformance, it will motivate your team and they will pay you back!

=> 9 signs that prove that your compensation plan needs to be reviewed

9. Stimulate positive competition

Nothing beats a good commercial challenge to re-motivate your troops!

Regularly organize sales or incentive contests (team building, gamification, nature outings, etc.) to stimulate your salespeople’s competitive spirit. It’s also a great way to build team cohesion.

Thanks to these fun events, you wake up your team’s competitors by setting ambitious goals and offering coveted rewards.

Business challenge and motivation are inseparable in your business strategy!

10. Provide good working conditions

It is often forgotten, but the work environment and company policy play an active role in maintaining strong motivation.

Imagine: you are working in a dilapidated office with obsolete computers or in the field with aging vehicles, and without having a clear idea of ​​what management expects from you … This situation would scare more than one off!

Fortunately, the ball is in your court, you have the means to act:

  • Offer optimal working conditions to optimize the performance of your employees in return. Give your sales reps the means (equipment, budget, etc.) to do their job well and establish a real quality of life at work.
  • Adopt a dynamic sales policy and share it with your teams. Explain the strategic choices, the changes of course… Give meaning to the work of your salespeople to motivate them over the long term and make them want to get involved in the future of your company!

11. Vary the tasks of your teams

It’s no secret that salespeople tend to change companies quite easily . This problem is known to all leaders of B2B sales teams.

However, several solutions to counter this turnover: ensure that each of your sales representatives can find diversity in their tasks, challenges and changes in their position.

For example :

  • Make sure that your salespeople can intervene throughout the sales cycle and are not limited to just one part of it.
  • Avoid locking your salespeople into a sector . Boredom does not promote motivation! Obviously, you can segment by sector, but make sure that the latter is large enough so that your salespeople do not have to do business with the same companies, having the same problems, the same needs … , each salesperson will have the opportunity to talk to different players and therefore vary the issues and subjects discussed.
  • Also avoid locking them into a product , or give your teams the opportunity to be able to sell similar products.

For example at Uptoo, we recruit salespeople, but we also offer sales training. Our sales teams are therefore trained to be able to sell these two products which have one thing in common: sales and sales representatives.

These few examples among many others will allow you to promote the long-term commitment of the teams, an element so important for the motivation of your sales forces and in the success of their objectives.

Inside sales vs outside sales: understanding the difference

Until the emergence of technologies and sales tools, selling was primarily a practice outside the office (i.e. outside selling). Inside the office (i.e. inside sales), the goal of the sales team was to provide interesting leads to the agents in the field to close. Inside sales and outside sales were two divisions of the sales process. The two roles gradually merge over time and the distinction between outside sales and inside sales is blurring more and more.

Inside sales professionals represent approximately 45.5% of the 5.7 million sales professionals in the United States. Outside sales represent 52.8% of total sales professionals.

In this article, we will help you understand the difference between the two based on several factors, which common problem is crucial for both and which one is best for your business.

inside sales vs outside sales

What is inside sales?

The process of selling to a consumer over the phone is known as inside sales. To reach new leads, inside salespeople use phone calls, emails, and other digital methods. Depending on the structure of the business, they may also receive inbound leads generated by marketing. If your business is selling something that can be offered remotely, such as software, there are many benefits to having an in-house sales team.

What is outdoor sales?

When sales professionals visit customers in person, it is called outside sales. Outside salespeople spend little time in the office. They have to travel to meet clients in person. As a result, outside sales representatives typically focus on high-value customers who can bring significant contracts to the business.

Commercial tactics

Outside sales have the upper hand over the range of business strategies used to captivate customers as they are usually conducted in face-to-face contact. Outside sales representatives are more strategic, engaging with senior executives and establishing strategic business innovation to help grow their business. Whereas inside sales generally includes a generic approach to attracting more leads.

Presentations, demonstrations, and free trial offers are some of the techniques employed by outside sales professionals.

Inside sales professionals use webinars, social media, hosted CRM, screen shares, blogs, and paid ads.

Quality vs Quantity:

BOFU vs TOFU Quantity versus quality can be compared to inside sales versus outside sales.

Inside sales representatives operate from their desks. They work to fill the top of the funnel (TOFU) and have access to all the necessary sales tools. Many of their activities are automated. As a result, they can reach a large number of people every day.

They also don’t have to worry about traveling by reducing their available time, allowing them to use as much time as possible to reach as many prospects as possible. However, the conversion rate is quite low because the approach is widespread.

Outside sales focus on quality because they have to be on the ground and invest more time and energy. They’re nearing the bottom of the funnel, qualified leads. All of their efforts are focused on generating income and closing deals.

That’s why field representatives like to meet with their clients in person to explain the intricacies of their offering and make sure the potential client understands them. Outside sales reps may contact fewer customers, but they are more quality driven with their approach.

Sales cycles

The internal sales cycle is often shorter due to the lower likelihood of face-to-face interaction. However, because field reps focus on higher incomes, their cycles are generally longer and more complex. External sellers are inevitably more likely to develop stronger and more lasting relationships with their customers.

Outside sales can be demanding, with reps typically spending a lot of time preparing. For example, selling technology to banks and other companies requires external representatives to visit the company, understand their challenges, the current infrastructure (with help from the technical team) and ensure that the customer is satisfied with the configuration. Although sales cycles are shorter in inside sales than in outside sales, the conversion rate is higher in outside sales.


As outside sales reps receive higher base salaries, outside sales tend to be the more expensive of the two. They also travel frequently, which increases incidental costs and can lead to inefficiencies in the workplace.

On the other hand, inside sales representatives use cost effective technologies such as web conferencing platforms, CRM databases, and analytics tools to reduce acquisition costs.

Internal salespeople also have set working hours and schedules, which means they have predictable monthly pay. Field representatives are often paid on commission, making it difficult for the organization to forecast overhead and income.

Transactional vs relational sales

Now, before you think about firing your external sales force because of the cost factor, keep in mind that they are the result of sales actions taken in specific sales situations.

Some sales models, such as transactional sales, lend themselves to an inside selling approach because they have low value offers and short sales cycles. Having outside salespeople on your team will benefit from a relationship selling strategy with high value offers (over $ 35,000) and extended sales cycles.

Transactional sales

  • Without trying to establish a relationship, the seller wants to close a deal.
  • There are only a few decision makers (1 to 3).
  • The sales cycle is short (90 days).
  • Small-scale transactions (less than $ 35,000).

Relational sales

  • Suitable for companies with a high number of employees (greater than 100).
  • A solid working relationship with a large number of decision-makers (4+).
  • Sales cycles longer than 90 days are considered slow. Offers valued at over $ 35,000.

Finally, you will always be at the mercy of your customer when choosing a business organizational structure. How would you like to be reached by your customers? How do they get you to make a deal? Is it possible to close a million dollar purchase over the phone? Only your customer counts in making this decision.

While one can easily tell the difference between the two, there is one thing that plays a vital role for sales professionals inside and out: data.

Data is central to both

We have seen some of the factors that differentiate inside and outside sales. But, using data is the key to success for both. Data helps internal and external sales professionals to:

Prepare Before Approaching Prospects: Both departments need contact and corporate data such as firmographic, technographic, and intent data before approaching customers on and off the field .

Identify the potential audience (individual and group): Both departments need to find the potential audience to target their reach, whether they are targeting a single company or an industry. They cannot approach prospects at random. Intent data helps them reach potential audiences who are ready to buy.

Personalize Their Message and Sales Pitch : Even though internal salespeople approach prospects using mass emails, personalization is still key. For external salespeople, personalization is at the heart of their approach. Data can help their sales pitch by backing up their research with technological and demographic data. Additionally, intent data enables sales reps to understand the type of content their prospects are consuming for a personalized approach.

Which one is right for your business?

Inside and outside sales reps are more alike than different, which is one of the most important things to remember. They are all experienced salespeople with one goal in mind: to sell.

Inside and outside sales are two separate tools in your sales kit, and you should use them both to make sure you convert as many potential sales as possible.

In your organization, there shouldn’t be a black and white distinction between inside and outside sales. It’s a slider, and you’ll need to figure out the right mix for your business.

Perhaps you are among various CEOs, or sales managers, who have not yet transitioned to Social Selling, and who have not really explored the possibilities of LinkedIn Sales Navigator. However, if you have a btob business, LinkedIn Sales Navigator is surely the best tool to find new customers, nothing less … (And yet, I have no shares at Microsoft, owner of this professional network!)

prospects with the Lead Builder tool. It allows you to filter Linkedin members according to different criteria: keywords, location, relationships, function, company, groups, etc. You can save them in your prospect list.


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