Some might think that inside sales and telemarketing are two words for the same job. While both are customer-based sales techniques, each has its own specific way of gaining a new customer.
When it comes to telemarketing vs inside sales, here is what sets each one apart from the other, as they are both a specific type of sales call with different ways of approaching and securing customers.
What is a telemarketer? Telemarketing has been around since the early 80s. While there were only about 50 telemarketing service agencies in the United States in 1985, there were over 900 a decade later.
The top 10 telemarketing agencies now have the capacity to make millions of calls each hour. Telemarketing works off of the idea of volume – call enough numbers and you’ll get a sale.
These types of calls are what is known as cold calling. In the past, when telemarketing jobs were still new, telemarketers would simply call people using the phone book. Now, however, they will often use a list of numbers they purchased for a certain demographic.
So you may be asking: what is the difference between cold calling and telemarketing? Telemarketing is the overall sales strategy of making a high volume of cold calls, but cold calling is used in inside sales as well. In other words, all telemarketing calls are cold calls, but not all cold calls are telemarketing calls.
Inside sales are different because the inside sales representative finds their own prospects instead of relying on a list. These sales leads are more of an intimate relationship with trust formed over time and research. Inside sales, by definition, have a longer sales cycle as this sales model takes a more thoughtful approach.
The sales representative has researched the customer and has a specific solution to a specific problem. For instance, a sales rep who works in the phone, cable and internet sector may see that a customer already has cable and offers them a bundled package that includes internet as well – or all three services.
The inside sales rep might also look up potential customers on social media or consult demographic marketing research before placing a phone call, in order to tailor their sales pitch to that customer. While this is a longer sales process than blindly cold calling prospective customers, it increases the likelihood that the sales rep will be able to sell their product or service.
Potential customers often have a better view of inside sales because the salesperson already knows your needs and isn’t just calling out of the blue. As such, conversion rates are usually higher and people are more likely to pick up the phone when called by an inside salesperson.
It is also worth noting here that outside sales representatives are, in a sense, the counterpart to inside sales reps. Outside sales reps, or field sales reps, typically sell by booking face to face meetings with potential customers as opposed to calling them from a call center.
An easy way to remember the difference is that inside sales means sales reps are inside the office when they are selling, whereas outside sales reps go outside of the office to meet with prospects.
Inside Sales Statistics
- According to PointClear, an inside sales call costs around $50 while outside sales are over $300 so the savings are significant.
- The level at which calls convert into a sale is 93% by the sixth call, which showcases that building a relationship is important.
- According to Harvard Business Review, 46% of high-growth tech companies are growing via inside sales vs. 21% using outside sales.
Tools for Effective Sales
One of the most important tools in sales is a telephony system that is reliable, has numerous features and is user-friendly. With a system in place, the reps have an easier time focusing on their sales instead of worrying over whether their equipment is working.
Whether your company takes a telemarketing approach or an inside sales approach – or somewhere in between – tools like local presence, voicemail drop, and CRM integration are a few examples of features that can save your company time and money.
Having a sales dialer with advanced features increases productivity and ensures that the sales team is more efficient in getting sales and increasing numbers. The easier it is for your team to use their phone system, the faster they can get set up and make sales for your company.