There are many different types of sales roles, but traditionally there have been two main divisions in selling: those who sell to the people that come to them (inside sales, aka in-house sellers, aka inbound) and those that go out and hunt down their own prospects then close the deal (outside, those who sell on the outside, or outbound). Now as sales evolves and the economic conditions demand that more sales are done on the phone rather than in person, the lines of inside vs outside sales are blurring.

Why Are Sales Hunters So Hard To Find?

These days, even B2B companies employ large inside sales teams to work on driving new business. In some cases, there are sophisticated organizations with lead gen and cold calling teams that seek deals, nurture them and then hand over larger deals to senior reps who close them as well develop strategic accounts. Are these inside or outside?

In the sense that they travel very little, and work in-house for the most part, they are inside sales, however the fact that they hunt and close new business makes them outside in the true sense of the word.

As we have previously written the personalities for outbound vs. inbound sales are completely different. Trying to get someone to make cold calls when they lacks the DNA to do so can be very frustrating.

The Distinction Between Inside and Outside Sales Are Definitely Blurring

But there are also slight differences in the type of person that enjoys face to face selling vs phone selling. Some people communicate with their hands and this isn’t that simple on the phone.

Today many outbound sales roles are 90% phone based and 10% in person selling, which demands a rep who can both influence a prospect on the phone and sell in person. In smaller companies reps manage a territory and will be responsible for both fielding incoming calls and making cold calls, so this demands skills in both hunting and lead conversion. These factors combine to demand a multi-skilled rep with a unique DNA.

To your success!


Eliot Burdett

CEO at Peak Sales Recruiting
Before Peak, Eliot spent more than 20 years building and leading companies, where he took the lead in recruiting and managing high performance sales teams. He co-founded Ventrada Systems (mobile applications) and GlobalX (e-commerce software). He was also Vice President of Sales for PointShot Wireless.

Eliot received his B. Comm. from Carleton University and has been honored as a Top 40 Under 40 Award winner.

He co-authored Sales Recruiting 2.0, How to Find Top Performing Sales People, Fast and provides regular insights on sales team management and hiring on the Peak Sales Recruiting Blog.

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