While technology and techniques have changed over the years, the structure of sales teams has remained the same for many decades. Companies typically utilized outside salespeople to hunt for new business, while inside sales teams offered support, conducted account maintenance and focused on growing accounts won and closed by the outside team.
However, there is a sales evolution underway. Many companies are transitioning their outside sales teams into a more “inside” model, where sales pros are primarily stationary–building their books through email, phone and web conferencing. The Harvard Business Review found that 46 percent of sales organizations are making that shift from an outside sales model to an inside sales model.
Factors Driving the Evolution of Sales
According to HBR, there are three factors that determine the type of model a company will adopt:
- The company’s stage of development – The “younger” the business, the more heavily dependent it will be on outside sales.
- The complexity of the products and services being sold – Companies selling complex products with a longer sales cycle are more likely to utilize outside sales teams.
- Company leaders’ views on inside vs. outside sales – Sales leaders often have pre-determined ideas about which type of sales is more effective.
Other factors that can influence a shift from outside to inside sales include increasing pressure to reduce costs and close margins, buyers’ shifting preferences, and the rise of mobile technology. HBR also found that companies find it easier to onboard inside salespeople, and managers believe they see an increase in call volume and sales-related activity when the team is centrally located.
What Does this Mean for Sales Professionals?
The truth is, outside sales will never go away, and many sales teams adopt a hybrid inside-outside approach. In order to find a position that utilizes your unique talents and meets your career goals, you must be able to identify the firm’s philosophies on sales, and you must able to determine whether or not their approach is likely to shift or evolve in the near future. This is no easy task. Unless, of course, you get yourself an “inside man” (or woman).
A niche sales recruiter will work closely with you to match you with the right opportunity at the right employer. They work closely with their clients to understand their exact needs when it comes to sales talent, and they can provide you with the inside info you need to make an informed decision.
If you are a talented sales professional with a proven track record of success, the recruiters at CSS want to hear from you. Our mission is to provide the most professional and efficient recruiting experience for all of our candidates, and we make your success our highest priority. If you’re ready to climb to the next rung of the ladder, contact our recruiting team today.