What Are the Differences in Inside Sales and Telemarketing?

28 February 2018
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What Are the Differences in Inside Sales and Telemarketing? | Telephones for business

What Are the Differences in Inside Sales and Telemarketing?

Some might think that inside sales and telemarketing are the same job. While both are customer-based sales techniques, each has its own specific way of gaining a new customer. Here is what makes each one an individual type of sales call with varying ways of securing customers.


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 was 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.

Inside Sales

Inside sales are different because the sales rep makes their own prospects instead of relying on a list. These contacts are more of an intimate relationship with trust formed over time and research. 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. 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.


  • 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. This increases production 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.