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Outside Sales


Outside sales refers to the sale of products or services by sales personnel who go out into the field to meet with prospective customers. They engage directly with customers, typically through face-to-face meetings or calls, rather than working inside a retail outlet or office. Their job is often characterized by traveling and networking.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Outside Sales” is: /ˈaʊtsaɪd seɪlz/

Key Takeaways

  1. Field-based work: Outside sales functions are largely field-based. This means that professionals in this line of work spend a significant portion of their time visiting potential clients or customers in their offices or homes, rather than working from a fixed retail location or office.
  2. Goal-oriented: The main goal of outside sales is to close deals. This often necessitates the development of strategic sales plans, presentation skills, and negotiation techniques. Hence, successful outside salespersons have strong interpersonal and persuasion skills.
  3. Flexible Schedule: Unlike inside sales, outside sales often doesn’t adhere to a traditional 9-5 office schedule due to ongoing meetings with potential clients at various locations and time zones. Thus, outside sales professionals often have the flexibility to arrange their schedules around clients’ availabilities.


Outside Sales is an essential term in business and finance because it refers to the sales of products or services by sales representatives who physically travel to meet clients rather than doing business over the phone or internet. These representatives play a crucial role in building one-on-one relationships with potential customers. This hands-on approach can often lead to larger sales volumes, as face-to-face interactions can make clients feel more comfortable and trusting. Additionally, outside salespeople are typically able to adapt presentations to the individual needs and buying signals of each specific client. Ultimately, outside sales can often lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, making it a vital aspect of many business models.


Outside sales play a crucial role in business strategy as it involves sales representatives meeting potential clients in their own workplace or another offsite venue. Their purpose is to attract new prospects, negotiate deals, and ultimately close sales while maintaining robust client relationships. These sales workers champion the task of demonstrating products, listening to customer needs or issues, and presenting them with solutions that effectively respond to those demands. In essence, they act as the point-of-contact between the businesses they represent and the clients, ensuring to prioritize customer satisfaction.In the commerce sector, outside sales serve as an essential tool for market expansion. It is primarily used for business-to-business (B2B) sales but can extend to selected types of business-to-consumer (B2C) areas. What they essentially do is influence the buyers, who are generally business owners or department heads, to purchase products or employ services. Therefore, outside sales methodology is instrumental in boosting the financial performance of a company and aiding its growth by fostering lasting relationships with clients and penetrating new markets.


1. Pharmaceutical Sales Representative: In this role, the salesperson does not sit in an office but rather spends most of their time “outside” traveling to various doctors’ offices or hospitals. Their goal is to promote and sell their company’s pharmaceutical products by directly engaging with health professionals. 2. Real Estate Broker: This is another example of outside sales. Here, salespersons spend most of their time visiting properties, meeting with prospective clients and negotiating deals. They may show homes, commercial properties, or land to potential buyers, aiming to close sale contracts for these properties.3. Food and Beverage Distributor: Sales representatives in this sector often spend a lot of their time out in the market. They travel to different grocery stores, restaurants, and other food-service organizations to sell their company’s food and beverage products. This means directly interacting with buyers, negotiating deals, and establishing long-term business relationships.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What does the term Outside Sales mean?

Outside sales refer to the sales of products or services by sales representatives who physically go out to meet and engage with prospects and clients. This is traditionally done through face-to-face interactions, including meetings, presentations, and demonstrations.

How does Outside Sales differ from Inside Sales?

While outside sales involves face-to-face customer engagement mainly in the field, inside sales is conducted remotely via phone calls, emails, or online meetings from office locations.

What are the typical responsibilities of an Outside Sales Representative?

An Outside Sales Representative’s responsibilities usually include identifying potential clients, generating leads, visiting customers, negotiating contracts, and closing sales deals. They may also provide after-sales services and give product demonstrations.

What skills are required for Outside Sales?

Outside sales typically require strong interpersonal and communication skills, negotiation abilities, self-motivation, resilience, and a results-driven mindset. They also need to have thorough product knowledge and an understanding of the market and customer needs.

How does technology affect Outside Sales?

Technology plays a significant role in outside sales today. With tools such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, outside sales representatives can record customer interactions, schedule visits, track sales progress, and access customer information easily.

Is travel a significant part of Outside Sales?

Yes, travel traditionally forms an integral part of outside sales as the job involves meeting customers at their locations, which can include different cities, states, or even countries.

How are Outside Sales representatives usually compensated?

Outside sales representatives are typically paid a base salary along with commissions or bonuses based on their sales performance. The specific pay structure will vary depending on the company and the industry.

What are the challenges faced by Outside Sales representatives?

Outside sales representatives often face challenges including extensive travel, ensuring they meet sales targets, managing their time effectively, dealing with customer objections, and staying motivated. Moreover, they may have to deal with external factors such as market conditions and competition.

What are the benefits of Outside Sales for businesses?

Outside sales allow businesses to establish personal relationships with their clients, better understand their needs, and provide tailored solutions. They can also potentially reach a wider customer base.

Related Finance Terms

  • Client Acquisition
  • Territory Management
  • Field Sales
  • Account Management
  • Sales Presentation

Sources for More Information

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