Outside Sales

Updated on May 3, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What Is Outside Sales?

Outside sales mean the sale of goods or services by a company with the help of sales representatives engaged by the company, who visit the potential customers and enter into sale transactions with them. Thus, instead of reaching out to customers from the front office, they move out of the office and meet the prospective customers.

What Is Outside Sales

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The representatives meet the prospective customers face to face by generating their own leads, taking appointments, and converting them into customers. Good communication and sales skills, proper understanding of the product or service, ability to negotiate, and willingness to travel are important for achieving this objective.

Key Takeaways

  • Outside sales mean selling goods or services by a company with sales representatives who help involve the company, meet the customers, and enter into sale transactions with them. Therefore, rather than approaching customers from the front office, they move out and meet anticipated customers.
  • The external sale process components are finding the target audience, approaching the customers, conducting the meeting, meeting the potential customers, and finalizing the terms & conditions.
  • A company must strategize outside sales after researching and understanding potential customers’ needs. In this method, the representatives can pitch the customers concerning the company’s products and services.

Outside Sales Explained

Outside sales refers to the method adopted by retail stores to sell their products and services to customers through direct visits. This is unlike the usual method in which the prospective customers walk into the physical stores to select the goods and buy them.

In this method of sales the stores have their own outside sales representative who either collect their own leads and fix appointments for this work is done by another department. However, these representatives visit the clients on the appointed date and time to pitch about the product or service to convert them into actual customers.

Strong interpersonal skill and interest to travel is very important. In this way companies can cater to a wider range of customers that include even those who are not able to visit the company offices purchase what they need. These client get the facility to access and fulfil their requirements within the comfort of their home, office or any other comfortable location.

A company shall plan outside sales after researching and understanding the potential customer’s specific needs. In this, the representatives have better opportunities for pitching the customers about the company’s products and services.

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An outside sales process follows the following steps: –

#1 – Find Target Audience

Research is carried out, and a list of potential customers is prepared based on market needs. However, it is important to understand the market conditions and factors to reach a correct target audience.

#2 – Approach the Customers

If the representative feels that they can meet the potential customer’s requirement, they connect with them and arrange for a meeting.

#3 – Arrange Meeting

If the representative feels that they can meet the potential customer’s requirement, they connect with them and arrange for a meeting.

#4 – Meet the Customers

The outside sales representative meet the customers and discuss the company’s products and services. Then, they pitch to potential clients about the products and services and encourage them to buy the same.

#5 – Enter into Transaction

The last step is to finalize the terms and conditions and enter the deal.

Outside-Sales - components

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Job Description Of Sales Representatives

Sales representatives arrange to meet potential customers to have face-to-face discussions with them them about the products. They explain to them the benefits and features of the goods and services of the company. In outside sales jobs, it is extremely important to have strong product knowledge and the ability to explain it in clear and easy to understand manner.

They try to sell the company’s products and services to prospective buyers. by understanding the customer’s requirements, profile, affordability etc. If required, these representatives may opt for multiple visits so that the process is done with proper clarification, research and completed with the necessary paperwork.

However, keeping in touch with the existing customers is also necessary to maintain good relations with them and cater to their needs. After-sales service matters a lot in outside sales jobs since such customers are primarily those who cannot visit the company office in case of any query or complaint due to lack of time, health issues, or other valid reasons. Therefore, the sales offices should ensure good relations after selling the products so that the company can retain these clients for the most extended period and increase the customer base.


Some of the advantages of outside sales experience are as follows.

  • The representatives are better positioned to explain the goods and services and can also provide a demonstration since they have a good product knowledge.
  • When the customer feels excited about the goods or services, he may involve other persons, such as his friends or neighbors, and thus, clientele may increase.
  • The customer relationships that develop during outside sales are stronger and better. This happens because the clients get the facility of accessing the products at their own choice of place and time and thus they are ready to interact with the sales representatives to check out the goods.
  • It is easier to understand customer requirements face-to-face. The representatives are smart enough to explain the product details clearly after taking note of the client’s needs and profile, which is easier if done face to face and the client is comfortable enough to discuss the details at that point of time.


  • The higher cost is involved as compared to internal sales. The representatives need to visit the clients which involves travelling expense.
  • The coverage of clients is limited due to time limitations and geographical limitations.
  • It is not easy to get customers to meet these days. This is due to the fact that many customers might be interested in the services but are travelling for official or personal purpose. They might also be too busy due to their own work pressure.
  • Nowadays, companies tend to advertise their products and services online, reducing the need for outside sales. . This is an alternative to outside sales in which the clients get the same service at their doorstep even without meeting the outside sales executive.

Similarities Between Inside Sales Dnd Outside Sales

While outside sales experience involve representatives meeting prospective customers and entering into deals with them, inside sales representatives involve representatives reaching out to prospective customers from the office through telecommunication media such as phone calls, emails, Skype, etc. Both involve sales representatives reaching out to potential customers rather than clients approaching them to bring in clientele. Both of them arrange to reach the customers for the sale of products and services of the company.

Outside Sales Vs Inside Sales    

Let us try to understand the differences between the two types of sales given above.

  • Customer Reach: Inside sales representatives can reach out to many clients through different media types such as email, phone calls, etc. Thus, they have access to a larger clientele. On the other hand, outside sales executive has to meet the potential customers in person, and thus due to the limited time in a day, they have access to less clientele.
  • Cost Involved: Outside sales involve more costs due to traveling and expenses incurred on clients than inside sales, which are limited to internet and communication expenses.
  • Geographical Coverage: Outside sales limit the geographical coverage since the representatives need to visit the customers. However, there are no geographical barriers in the case of inside sales as clients can be reached in any part of the globe too easily.
  • Sales Cycle: The sales cycle is shorter in the case of inside sales because lesser communication is involved. At the same time, the sales cycle tends to be longer in the case of outside sales since a lot of communication and other ancillary work is involved.
  • Skills Required: The representatives must possess good people skills in outside sales. They should be able to deal with different people and present the company well. In the case of inside sales, the representatives need to have good communication skills and prompt replies.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is an outside sales consultant?

An outside sales consultant conducts sales for potential and present customers. In addition, their responsibilities may differ, but typical duties involve:
Traveling to visit likely and existing customers.
Frequently arranging meetings with customers.
Instructing customers on the products and services advantages.

What does an outside sales representative do?

Outside sales representatives are liable to close important transactions by meeting face-to-face with capable or existing customers in the designated territory. Moreover, they retain connections with different customers to make sales frequently.

What does B2B outside sales mean?

B2B outside sales is a method where reps visit potential customers face-to-face. They are typically designated territories or regions to cover and create leads.

Are outside sales dying?

No, it is not dying as it conducts face-to-face sales meetings to build stronger, more profitable, and longer-lasting business relationships than any inside sales technology can initiate to imitate.

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