In past years, sales managers often started each day by shooing their teams out of the office and into the streets believing that the best way to make plan was to get in front of customers. Reps who spent too much time in the office were often labeled “office dogs” because they lacked the motivation to spend all day in the field. Today, those so-called office dogs might well be the key to growing your company!
There are two breeds of office dogs—inside and outside. Businesses are increasingly relying on internal sales forces for handling lower complexity and smaller scale orders because it costs them less. According to the Harvard Business Review, companies spend between 40% and 90% less to bring in customers through an inside sales model. This easily explains why inside sales teams are growing 300% faster than outside sales!
The savings from an inside sales force isn’t the only consideration, though. According to SalesLoft, outside reps convert prospects to clients 40% of the time compared to only 18% for an inside team. Outside reps make sense if you are selling high-dollar products to firms with a complex buying process but big lifetime value potential. Nevertheless, even the sales reps who excel at getting in front of C-Level decision-makers spend 50% of their time in the office behind computers and on their phones. The Sales Management Association notes that top reps spend 6+ hours each day using LinkedIn alone to prospect and plan their engagement approaches.
For many businesses, the answer is not relying on one breed of rep or the other but a combination of the two. The key is matching what you sell and the type of prospects to the right type of rep. By figuring out what works best for your company, you can lower costs, increase revenues, and make yourself the leader of the pack.
Quote of the Week:
“Life is like a dogsled team… If you ain’t the lead dog, the scenery never changes.”
– Lewis Grizzard