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How to Structure a Sales Team: Inside vs. Outside Sales


7 Mar, 2021

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sales team structure

How would you structure a sales team? Would you prefer having inside or outside salespeople? Why?

There are pros and cons to each approach. For example, inside salespeople tend to be more focused on their individual accounts, whereas outside salespeople focus on selling to multiple clients at once.

However, both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we’ll look at the differences between these two types of sales teams.

The Pros & Cons of an Inside Salesperson

Inside salespeople are typically hired by companies that sell products directly to customers. They work in-house with one or more customer accounts.


They can dedicate themselves 100% to their accounts.

They’re usually paid per sale.


They may not get as much exposure to new business opportunities as outside salespeople do.

If they don’t make enough money, it’s difficult for them to leave their job.

Outside Salespeople

Outside salespeople are often hired by companies that sell services to other businesses. They work for a company like Accenture, IBM, or Deloitte Consulting.


Their job is to generate new business opportunities.

They get paid based on how many deals they close.


You need to find good candidates who want to move into sales.

It takes time to train them up.

How Do You Choose Between These Two Types of Teams?

There’s no right answer here. It depends on your needs and preferences. If you want someone who will stick around for a long time, then you should hire an inside salesperson.

On the other hand, if you want someone who can hit the ground running, then you should consider hiring an outside salesperson.

In either case, you’ll need to decide what kind of person you want to fill the position. This decision has a lot to do with your company culture.

What Kind Of Person Should I Hire?

Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding whether to hire an inside or outside salesperson:

Do you want someone who will stay with your company for a long time? Or do you want someone who will come in and start making sales immediately?

Are you looking for someone who will be able to sell to large numbers of people quickly? Or do you want a slower ramp up period?

Is there a specific type of product or service that you want to sell? Or does your company offer a variety of different products/services?

Is your company structured so that everyone works together? Or do you have separate departments within your organization?

These questions help you determine which type of salesperson you’d like to hire.

Now let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each approach.

Inside Salespeople


They’re dedicated to their accounts.

If they don’t make enough money, it’s easy for them to quit.


It takes a while to build trust with your customers.

They might feel isolated from the rest of the company.

Outside Salespeople


They get paid based off of the number of deals they close.

They get to know a lot of new prospects.


It takes a while to build relationships with clients.

Sometimes they won’t be able to close all of their deals.

Which Type Is Better For Me?

This really depends on your situation. Some companies prefer having inside salespeople because they can devote themselves entirely to selling. Other companies prefer using outside salespeople because they can bring in new business opportunities.

Either way, you need to figure out what kind of person you’d like to hire before you start interviewing candidates.

The next step is to narrow down your search.

How To Find The Best Candidates For Your Position

Once you’ve decided which type of salesperson would best fit your needs, the next thing you need to think about is finding qualified candidates.

To find these candidates, you’ll need to use social media. There are several online platforms where you can post jobs and recruit potential employees. Here are three of the most popular ones:

LinkedIn – LinkedIn is one of the largest professional networking sites on the web. Anyone can join, but only professionals can create profiles.

Monster – Monster is another popular site for recruiting workers. It also allows users to create their own profiles.

Indeed – Indeed is similar to Monster in that anyone can apply for positions. However, unlike Monster, Indeed doesn’t require users to pay a fee to create a profile.

When posting job openings on any of these sites, include information about what kind of person you’re looking for. You should also describe the responsibilities and requirements of the position. If possible, provide a link to more detailed information about the role.

You may also want to consider hiring a recruiter if you don’t have much experience doing this sort of work. A recruiter can help you identify the right candidate for your position.


There are many factors that go into choosing the right type of salesperson for your team. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, you can begin searching for qualified candidates. Good luck!


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