If you have excellent communication skills or think of yourself as “people person”, the job in the inside sales might be the right choice for you.
If you are ready to work hard for a great salary and high chances of promotion, this job is for you.
So what are the advantages of the inside sales job?
You don’t need advanced degrees or extensive education for an entry-level job.
Regardless, you may have a chance to be promoted.
That, of course, will depend on a company.
Additionally, in the entry-level position, you can work remotely (from home).
It doesn’t mean though that making a career in the inside sales is easy.
Just like any other job, this career has its challenges.
And the truth is, not everybody is fit for sales, however hard they try.
So, read on to find out if you are a good fit for this profession.
Article Table of Contents
Overview and Responsibilities
The inside sales industry requires a great attitude and being able to withstand stress.
Some people have the perfect personality for the job in inside sales, while others simply don’t.
People successful in the inside sales job focus on the main reason why they are there: to help customers find what they need and want.
To be successful in this position and bring success to the company, you need to create and maintain trustworthy and reliable relations with customers.
Those employed in the inside sales spend a lot of time in an office or work remotely from home.
This is a great sales job for introverts because you can complete your tasks from behind your computer or phone.
It’s a little amount of human interaction.
However, depending on the job, you may need to meet with customers face-to-face in a retail setting.
Besides contacting customers, your duties may also include:
- Researching the market and potential competition.
- Tracking down new leads.
- Managing customer complaints.
- Keeping records of clients and sales data.
You may also have to work closely with the marketing department, since, as a sales rep, you need a good understanding of the buying process of customers.
With that knowledge, you can give helpful advice and suggestions related to marketing products or services to customers.
Inside Sales vs. Outside Sales
There is a vast difference between inside sales and outside sales.
Working in outside sales, you would have to spend a lot of time meeting with customers face-to-face.
With this type of sales, the products are a lot more valuable and expensive, so you would need to put extra effort while meeting with customers at their convenience.
For outside sales, you need to look sharp at all times, be charismatic and quickly adapt to a dynamic setting.
In outside sales, the stakes are much higher than in the inside sales area, which makes the job a lot more stressful and high-pressure.
When imaging the old-fashioned door-to-door sales, many people think of outside sales.
However, today, the inside sales industry is developing 15 times faster than outside sales.
The reason for this is the ease and efficiency of remote work.
Salary and Benefits
According to Glassdoor, inside sales reps have the starting pay of $50,660 per year and get additional bonuses of $18,286.
The annual bonuses can range drastically from $2,400 to $60,000.
The bonuses can be earned as a commission, cash bonuses, or profit-sharing.
Often, a paycheck can be low if your salary is based on commissions from closing sales.
But with the right attitude and the chance to land a job in the right company, you can build a successful career in sales.
Working in a huge company like Hewlett Packard, an inside sales rep can expect to make over $40,000 per year.
While working at a small telemarketing company, your wages may be only $10 per hour.
In some companies, you can also benefit from the advancement opportunities.
Many successful sales managers started their careers as an inside sales representative.
Naturally, working in the inside sales, you can expect long hours and potential overtime.
But it doesn’t have to be awful.
With the remote work, you can perform your duties virtually anywhere through email, Skype, or phone.
Also, long hours and overtime aren’t so bad if you work at home and don’t need to leave it.
Remember that first off you will have to keep up with the schedule of your customers.
If you fail to do that, in the best-case scenario, you will get a low paycheck, and in the worst-case scenario, you can lose your job.
You should be ready to answer leads at any time when they come in, whether its at night, on the weekends, or on holidays.
The working hours of an inside sales rep also depend on the company.
The majority of large companies usually have a strict nine-to-five schedule.
The work environment of an inside sales representative can vary greatly depending on the company they work for or the product they sell.
Many entry-level jobs in the inside sales are remote.
Some companies want their reps to work from the office to use their dedicated equipment.
Other companies prefer you to do your job anywhere where you have a Wi-Fi connection.
If you are working in an office, you may have to interact with other sales representatives to assist customers.
The job in the inside sales requires a lot of mental and emotional energy.
However, it doesn’t require any physical labor and strength.
Therefore, the work in the inside sales can be a great fit for people with limited mobility.
Education and Training
Some larger companies may require that the entry-level sales reps hold a Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, or general business.
Most frequently, though, inside sales reps need to hold only a high school diploma.
Formal education is one thing, but many employers consider attitude and energy.
Also, they pay attention to an excellent understanding of the product or service you’re selling as well as a customer.
As you only start a new job in the inside sales area, you will go through a decent training period.
Sales representatives are the first line in the company, so they want to be sure that you understand everything about their product from A to Z.
For a few days, you may have to shadow an experienced employee to see how they handle customer questions and requests and solve problems.
They will also monitor you as you answer calls or emails and offer suggestions to improve.
For the first few months, you will encounter a lot of constructive criticism.
Don’t take it personally.
Compared to other sales positions, the job in inside sales has a positive outlook.
The positions in retail, in general, are in decline.
However, employment in the inside sales is growing 300 times faster than regular sales.
Many retail stores transfer their business to e-commerce, which increases the workload of call centers, and inside sales reps take on the scope.
Additionally, the BLS projects a 7% growth for the sales manager positions by 2026.
So if you enter the field now, you have all the chances to become a sales manager in a few years.
The job in the inside sales involves long hours and overtime.
If you consider entering this industry, you should be prepared to return calls and emails at any time of the day and week.
But the hard work can be paid off by a decent paycheck.
With experience in sales, you can get a higher starting pay and possibly a significant bonus from profit-sharing or commissions.
Your work environment will be accommodating and flexible with the possibility to work from the comfort of your home.
Otherwise, you will work in an office or call center.
However, the job doesn’t require any manual labor.
You can land a job in the inside sales without any formal education.
You just need to have a strong desire to build a career in inside sales and work hard toward your goal.
Most employers don’t require a degree as they consider experience and attitude.
You can also advance to the position of sales manager in a few years.