Breaking into Medical Sales

Choosing Between Types of Medical Sales Jobs: Inside vs. Outside Sales

There are endless possibilities when it comes to the different types of medical sales jobs out there. It’s critical you understand all your options so you can make an informed decision about the future of your career.

To narrow down your options, you must fully understand the difference between inside and outside sales roles. At a quick glance, the distinction doesn’t seem huge. But it’s knowing the unique characteristics of these two types of medical sales jobs that could make or break your success.

Here are the key differences between inside and outside sales roles you need to know:

Inside sales rely on phone and email communication

Inside sales reps are just that — inside. Their sales calls happen from within an office, which means their sole forms of communication are phone and email.

The use of these two styles of communication is part of a larger sales strategy. Companies are looking for faster ways to connect with more prospects. Inside sales reps have the power to contact customers or their staff much faster via phone and email than attempting to schedule an in-person interview.

And the strategy is working. In fact, according to a Hubspot report, 72 percent of respondents said inside sales reps reported a faster speed of quotas or proposals than outside sales reps.

Inside sales roles are perfect for those who easily connect with others over the phone or in written communication. If you’re someone who craves that on-the-go sales life, though, there are other types of medical sales jobs that will be a better fit for you.

Outside sales reps go out in the field

Outside sales reps are the ones you see in doctor’s waiting rooms. They’re waiting to meet face-to-face with the doctor or their staff members. The previously mentioned Hubspot report shows 64 percent of outside sales reps and managers say they have better relationships with customers.

While their one-on-one interactions give them an advantage in the relationship-building department, they do sacrifice the number of daily customer interactions. The combination of hours driving, waiting for meetings, and actually sitting down with customers takes up an immense amount of time.

Some would argue the difference in the number of interactions isn’t negative. It’s the age-old argument of quality over quantity. Outside sales reps may not be contacting as many prospects. However, they’re forming deeper bonds which increased opportunities for sales and customer retention.

Outside sales is a job for those who love being outside of office walls. They have the discipline to stick to their own schedule and remain productive.

Inside sales reps have time to pitch a mass volume of products

Because inside sales reps aren’t spending time on the road, they have more time to pitch products. They can email pitches to an endless number of prospects in a matter of minutes. This puts them in front of a larger number of potential customers than outside sales reps could ever imagine.

The flexibility in time also gives inside reps more time to prospect. An increase in time to find more customers may not result in large-ticket sales, but it does present the opportunity to pitch their products to however many customers they want.

Outside sales reps focus on selling higher-priced products

As previously noted, being on the road doesn’t give outside reps time to reach hundreds or thousands of customers a day. So, instead of focusing on the number of people they meet in a day, they look more at the cost of the products they’re selling.

In fact, respondents in the Hubspot report said 57 percent of outside reps report a higher average revenue per sale than inside sales reps.

Selling large ticket items is appealing on the surface. However, it’s important to note that it also means customer turnover will take a bigger hit to your sales goals. It’s easier to fill the loss of a small account than one that makes up for a large percent of your sales goal.

Consider the difference in these two types of medical sales jobs. Be honest with yourself about your personality type, sales strengths, and career goals. Once you understand where you’ll excel, it’s time to start the job search process.


What are your favorite aspects about inside and outside sales? Let us know.

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