Inside Selling vs. Outside Selling

by: Stratford Group Ltd.

Let me start by saying I’m NOT talking about the difference between the Inside Sales and Outside Sales functions. Instead, let’s acknowledge the importance of having a sales team that is effective at selling inside its own organization. This is often an under appreciated and overlooked sales skill.

You might ask what needs to be sold internally, since everyone in the company is on the same team and should be pulling in the same direction. Well, as any experienced sales person knows, the list is surprisingly long:

  • Selling themselves. This is essential for remote sales staff to foster internal relationships that are vital for field support and timely responses.
  • Selling new product ideas. Whether suggestions from customers, partners or sales staff themselves, product ideas from the field are often pitched by Sales to Product Management.
  • Selling customer forecasts. Fighting to ensure the company meets customer demand is essential to maintaining client relationships and is particularly critical when manufacturing leadtimes extend or products are on allocation.
  • Selling market directions. Sales are “in the market” picking up knowledge of real-time purchasing trends, competitive intelligence and economic indicators that should be acted upon by Marketing.
  • Selling growth opportunities. An inspired sales team has the capacity to rally an entire company around a new opportunity.  Selling growth opportunities is also key to maintaining or increasing sales investment when required.

Successful sales managers will coach their staff on the important role played by the sales organization in guiding the deployment of corporate resources.  They realise that sales professionals must wear two selling hats – their external one and their internal one. High performing organizations have sales teams that are masters of both the external and internal sale.

So let’s give a tip of our hat to those talented sales people who are always selling – whether they’re with a client or inside corporate headquarters!

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