What Is Outside Sales? Outside Sales In A Nutshell

Outside sales occur when a salesperson meets with prospects or customers in the field. This sort of sales function is critical to acquire larger accounts, like enterprise customers, for which the acquisition process is usually longer, more complex and it requires the understanding of the target organization. Thus the outside sales will cut through the noise to acquire a large enterprise account for the organization.

Understanding outside sales

Outside sales representatives conduct sales in the field via face-to-face interactions in a location convenient to the prospect or customer.

The work environment of an outside sales professional tends to be less formal and more autonomous since it is outside the confines of an office setting. While the attractiveness of increased freedom cannot be denied, it is important to note that outside sales reps may be required to work on-demand according to the client’s schedule. This often means ensuring they are available outside of normal work hours.

Each outside sales representative may have a territory assigned to them and be responsible for educating the prospect about a product or service. What’s more, they must make their own travel arrangements and be flexible to scheduling changes or delays. Unlike inside sales professionals, those in outside sales place more emphasis on their physical appearance and need to be in the mood to entertain and network whenever the need arises.

Responsibilities associated with outside sales 

Here is a more succinct look at the responsibilities associated with the outside sales profession:

  1. Establish and nurture business relationships through regular meetings.
  2. Demonstrate the suitability of a product or service vis-à-vis solving customer problems. This can be done with presentations, hands-on tutorials, and case studies.
  3. Set and achieve monthly sales quotas.
  4. Attend events, conferences, and conventions to present a product to service to interested parties.
  5. Monitor the market for new entrants that could become competitors.
  6. Map the various locations of clients using an app for territory and customer mapping.
  7. Set up sales appointments using mobile CRM tools or by visiting prospects in person.
  8. Research a prospect’s pain points in advance or be able to determine them from face-to-face interaction.
  9. Utilize an outside sales app to keep a record of all customers, sales, hours worked, and generate reports based on tasks assigned and tasks completed.
  10. Manage expenses associated with car rental, airline tickets, accommodation, and client entertainment such as restaurants and sporting events.

What traits does an outside sales rep need to possess?

At the very least, an outside sales rep needs to possess a Bachelor’s degree in communications, business, economics, or marketing. Similar qualifications that show experience in customer engagement may also be adequate.

They must also have a strong phone presence and be confident initiating conversations with prospects. Since no day in outside sales is the same as the last, the individual must also be adept at problem-solving in a diverse range of contexts.

Some of the more obvious traits include strong interpersonal skills, extraversion, detail-orientation, and the motivation and discipline necessary to work autonomously.

Key takeaways:

  • Outside sales occur when a salesperson meets with prospects or customers in the field.
  • Responsibilities associated with outside sales include the ability to build relationships, demonstrate products, attend events and conventions, monitor the market for new entrants, and map the location of customers in a sales territory.
  • Outside sales require the individual to possess a strong phone presence and be able to problem-solve in diverse contexts. A Bachelor’s degree in communications, business, economics, marketing, or similar is essential.

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