10 Sales training topics to revitalize your team
If you’re a sales leader, your team relies on you to lead them to the next level. Make use of the best sales training topic ideas to boost your training’s effectiveness.
While everyone’s use of technology in the workplace is on the rise, many client relationships continue to be best served by face-to-face interactions. Outside sales professionals spend their days traveling to clients to introduce and promote products or services.
Read on to learn more about what it means to work in outside sales and what you’ll want to be mindful of if you’re building an outside sales team.
<a href="#outside-sales-overview" class="anchor-link">Outside sales overview</a>
<a href="#compensation-for-rep" class="anchor-link">Compensation for a rep</a>
<a href="#before-hiring-rep" class="anchor-link">Before hiring a rep</a>
<a href="#structure-sales-team" class="anchor-link">Structure sales team</a>
<a href="#stay-organized" class="anchor-link">Stay organized</a>
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Outside sales are sales that happen “in the wild”— at industry events, during meetings at a client’s office, at someone’s front door, or even on the golf course. They are made live and in-person.
You may have also heard them referred to as “field sales.” Outside sellers take a high-touch approach, often by providing a higher level of personalization and individual attention to clients than they’d receive from an inside sales team. An outside selling strategy is most effective in industries where relationships drive decision-making.
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An outside sales rep meets face-to-face with potential clients to close sales in person. The rep typically invests a great deal of time in building a relationship and demonstrating the value of their product or service.
While an outside sales rep may have an office, they spend most of their time on the go, serving clients within their designated territory. The schedule of an outside sales professional is often different from the typical 9-5, thanks to both travel requirements and the need to meet with clients during their availability. They may need to be on-call late hours and during the weekend, ready to support clients whenever they need assistance.
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Outside and inside sales each have an important and distinct role in a strong sales strategy. Outside sales happen in person, in a location that’s convenient to the client. Because they’re a bigger investment of time and resources, outside sales are usually dedicated to accounts with a higher value.
Inside sales take place remotely, through email, video calls, and phone calls. Inside sales professionals often target a broader audience, since communication takes place virtually. The sales cycle for inside sales is shorter than outside sales because rep-to-buyer interactions are more direct and streamlined, and inside sales typically promote products and services that are relatively straightforward.
Estimates suggest that most organizations have a balance of 10:1 inside sales professionals for every one outside rep.
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As we’ve established, an outside sales professional spends most of their time on the road, meeting with clients. However, outside reps also do typical office work, like completing necessary forms and paperwork and staying in communication with team members and managers.
More specifically, these responsibilities look like:
The best outside sales professionals work closely with other teams to design a targeted sales strategy and coordinate travel plans.
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An outside sales rep’s compensation typically includes a baseline salary, variable compensation based on quota attainment, and benefits. Of course, all of these things will vary from organization to organization, but those are the most common three elements of an outside seller’s comp.
According to Glassdoor, the average salary range for an outside sales rep in the U.S. is $85k to $151k. However, reps across the board often earn an additional ~$41k in commission, tips, cash bonuses, and profit sharing, bringing total pay up significantly.
Common benefits outside sellers enjoy include:
Because outside sales professionals travel and communicate with potential clients so frequently, they are often provided with benefits that cover those costs as well, such as:
<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="before-hiring-rep" class="anchor-target"></div></div>
The extensive travel and relationship building required of an outside sales professional means that the role isn’t a good fit for everyone. Here are a few factors to consider as you decide if and how to add the role to your organization.
Compensation for an outside sales rep is typically higher than compensation for their in-office counterparts. If you’re considering hiring an outside rep, you need to account for all of the costs associated not just with their compensation, but with travel and client entertainment, including:
While the costs associated with an outside sales rep are higher, this model of sales also brings in deals of a substantial size.
There are two ways to scale an outside sales team. The first strategy is to grow your team headcount-wise. If you find that your outside representatives are experiencing success, you may add more members so that you can target a greater area or allow each member to focus on a smaller territory.
You may also consider keeping your team the same size, but expanding your offerings. For example, you could enter new markets or introduce new products. Your existing sales professionals could then offer the new options to clients in their current territories.
When you’re hiring an outside sales rep, look for individuals who offer a combination of hard and soft skills. You may find that hard skills — like knowledge about your industry or a specific product — can be taught. Soft skills, on the other hand, are qualities that top sales professionals should already have in their toolbelt.
Successful outside sales professionals are strong communicators and natural self-starters since they’re working outside of typical office hours and structure. Additional helpful skills include attention to detail, organization, and a commitment to quality customer service.
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The way you structure your outside sales team can have a strong impact on their effectiveness, efficiency, and overall success. Here are some steps to take as you set up your team.
With the increasing role that technology plays in our workforce, many outside sales roles have transitioned to a hybrid model, with employees acting as both inside and outside sales reps. If you’re thinking about building an outside sales team, consider if it truly makes sense to establish a clear divide between inside and outside selling roles, or perhaps design your positions to follow a hybrid model.
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An on-the-go sales workforce needs an on-the-go mobile solution. That’s why there’s Streak.
Streak is a CRM built right into Gmail, and it’s available on both iOS and Android mobile devices because we believe outside sales reps should have instant access to their pipeline no matter where they are.
With the Streak app, you can handle business from a mobile device with features and functions including:
Do your sellers need a simplified, efficient way to create and manage their pipelines? Streak is here to help.