Sales glossaryOutside sales

What is outside sales?

Busy? Here's the short answer:

Outside sales is when sales representatives meet and engage with customers in person, outside of the company's office. They visit clients' locations or meet them face-to-face to make sales.

What is Outside Sales?

Outside sales is a type of sales approach where sales representatives meet and engage with customers in person, outside of the company's office. Unlike inside sales, where sales interactions are conducted remotely through phone calls, emails, or online meetings, outside sales involves face-to-face interactions. Sales representatives travel to clients' locations, attend industry events, and conduct in-person meetings to make sales and build relationships with potential customers.

Key Takeaways

  • Outside sales involves sales representatives meeting customers in person, outside the company's office.
  • It allows for more personalized interactions and relationship-building with clients.
  • Outside sales representatives often travel to client locations to make sales and conduct business meetings.

The Role of Outside Sales Representatives

Outside sales representatives play a critical role in building and maintaining relationships with customers. Here are some key aspects of their role:

  1. Customer Engagement: Outside sales representatives actively engage with potential and existing customers to understand their needs, preferences, and pain points. By meeting face-to-face, they can establish a deeper connection and gain valuable insights into customers' requirements.

  2. Product Demonstrations: In outside sales, sales representatives have the opportunity to provide live product demonstrations to clients. This hands-on approach allows customers to experience the product's features and benefits firsthand, leading to better-informed purchasing decisions.

  3. Relationship Building: Building strong relationships with customers is a primary focus of outside sales representatives. By investing time in face-to-face interactions, they can foster trust and loyalty, which are crucial for long-term customer retention.

  4. Market Research: Outside sales representatives often act as the eyes and ears of the company in the field. They gather feedback, observe market trends, and report valuable information to the sales and marketing teams.

Real-Life Example: Outside Sales at ABC Electronics

Let's take a look at how outside sales work in a real-life scenario at "ABC Electronics."

John, an outside sales representative at ABC Electronics, is responsible for selling electronic components to manufacturers. His territory covers several states, and he spends a significant amount of time traveling to meet clients.

One day, John visits a potential client, XYZ Manufacturing, which is interested in purchasing electronic components for their new product line. During the meeting, John brings samples of the components and provides a detailed product demonstration, showcasing how the components meet XYZ Manufacturing's specific requirements.

Impressed by John's personalized approach and in-depth knowledge of the products, XYZ Manufacturing decides to place a substantial order. John continues to maintain a strong relationship with the client, visiting them regularly to address any concerns and explore future collaboration opportunities.

In this example, John's outside sales efforts led to a successful partnership between ABC Electronics and XYZ Manufacturing, demonstrating the effectiveness of face-to-face interactions in the sales process.


Q1: Is outside sales more effective than inside sales?

Both outside and inside sales have their strengths and are suitable for different scenarios. Outside sales is beneficial for building personal relationships and conducting product demonstrations, while inside sales offers efficiency and cost-effectiveness in reaching a broader customer base.

Q2: How do outside sales representatives manage their travel schedules?

Outside sales representatives often use sales automation tools and customer relationship management (CRM) software to manage their travel schedules and plan client visits efficiently.

Q3: Can outside sales representatives work remotely?

While outside sales representatives typically travel to meet clients, advancements in technology have enabled them to work remotely and conduct virtual meetings when necessary.

In conclusion, outside sales is a valuable sales approach that allows representatives to engage with customers face-to-face and build meaningful relationships. The personalized interactions and product demonstrations offered by outside sales contribute to building trust and driving successful sales outcomes.

Related terms...

Inside Sales

Inside Sales is a sales model where sales people connect with customers remotely, using phone, email, or video calls instead of face-to-face meetings. It's used to reach more people and handle a larger number of leads efficiently.

Learn more

Lead routing

"Lead routing" is he process of directing potential customers, or leads, to the right salesperson or team in a company. The goal is to make sure each lead gets handled by the best person for the job, improving the chances of turning them into customers

Learn more

Lead qualification

"Lead qualification" is the process of figuring out if a potential customer is a good fit for the company. It involves checking if they're genuinely interested, have the budget and authority to buy, and match the company's offerings. The goal is to focus the sales team on leads with the best chances of becoming successful sales, saving time and resources.

Learn more

Outbound sales

Outbound Sales is when salespeople actively reach out to potential customers, like making cold calls or sending emails/messages, to introduce products or services and create opportunities for sales. The aim is to engage prospects and persuade them to consider making a purchase or taking the next step.

Learn more

Lead generation

Lead generation is the process of identifying and attracting potential customers for a business. The goal is to convert prospects into a qualified leads that can be nurtured and converted into customers.

Learn more

All terms

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