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minute read
December 29, 2019

The Evolution of Inside Sales for B2B Companies

Written by
Noel Hooban

For many decades, the structure of the typical sales organisation treated inside sales as a supportive role. These reps made calls and executed tasks to equip their field sales colleagues to close as many deals as possible.

In recent years, the importance and responsibilities of inside sellers has grown dramatically. This sales evolution of inside sales is blending more and more with the field sales reps with SBI reporting that almost 75% of your customers don’t want face to face meetings anymore. Why aren’t you paying attention to them?

Shifting Sales Structure

Primary tasks of the historical b2b inside sales role included the following: make initial calls to prospects, setting appointments and turning the sales meeting over to the field rep. Additionally, inside sellers would update prospect records and maintain notes.

A 2013 Harvard Business Review article indicated that 46 percent of companies have shifted to a more pervasive inside sales strategy in the last two decades. Rather than developing prospects and supporting field reps, more organisations have inside sales rep and departments that carry out all stages of the selling cycle.

Changing with Technology

One of the primary reasons that selling has moved more inside is the evolution of technology. Historically, inside reps were limited to telemarketing interactions with prospects that intrigued them enough to agree to a meeting.

At present, sales organisations benefit from a huge supply of high-tech lead generation, nurturing, presentation, closing and relationship management tools. From their PC or laptop, an inside rep can identify potential prospects, make calls, take notes, articulate value, deliver visual support and often, close deals.

Even in companies with a large outside team, many of the field reps have moved much of their initial selling activities inside. Web conferencing solutions are another major technology that aids inside selling. Tools like WebEx and GoToMeeting allow your sellers to present strong sales pitches to an off-site buyer.

inside sales b2b companies

Present-day inside sales is different than scripted “telemarketing.” Top inside sales consultants implement an engaged experience with technology that rivals what field reps deliver.

Dominant Industries

While inside sales has grown across the board, it is especially prominent in B2B, high-tech, software service and some B2C industries. These industries involve interactions with buyers who often prefer to conduct much of their initial research independently and online.

Inability to articulate clear value on the phone was a reason inside sales was mainly supportive in the past. Modern technology equips talented sellers with powerful real-time communication tools, inside sales training, digital demonstration platforms and deep prospect data.


Simply put, the ability to communicate value more efficiently with technology has propelled the movement of sales activities from outside to inside. Companies can potentially expand their geographic reach by targeting more accurate prospect profiles through telemarketing activities.

In many cases, companies turn to firms that specialise in inside selling support, such as lead generation, appointment setting, content syndication and data acquisition. Outsourcing these tasks frees your internal reps to focus on selling value through robust sales presentations.

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