Inside Sales Vs. Outside Sales: How They Can Work Together For Pharma

July 1, 2022


When you add inside sales to your existing outside sales team, you can really boost the amount of success your pharma sales team has. This can result in exponential growth for your product.

The inside sales team generally focuses on making appointments, generating leads, and building relationships with prescribers. Meanwhile, the outside sales team is free to focus more on closing sales and customer service.

The two teams can work together by sharing information which leads to boosting revenues and improving customer satisfaction. Let’s look at how inside and outside sales can be used together in the pharmaceutical industry.

Insides Sales Vs. Outside Sales For Pharma: A Comparison

It is important to know the difference between inside sales and outside sales before learning how a combination of two can help you in the pharmaceutical industry.

Inside sales representatives work in an office environment using the phone and internet to communicate with customers. Inside sales teams focus on building relationships and generating leads.

Their job is to introduce new products, offer discounts, and close deals. Therefore, they need to be excellent communicators and have strong people skills.
Inside sales can be managed by field sales managers. This allows them to be in charge of a specific geographic region and supplement the sales reps’ work in that area.

On the other hand, an outside sales representative works in the field. They meet with customers face-to-face to provide product information and education.
They also answer customer questions, provide after-sales support, and close deals. Therefore, outside sales reps need to have strong product knowledge and be able to think on their feet.

The main difference between the two is that outside sales reps are customer-facing, while inside sales reps are not. However, both play a vital role in the success of a pharmaceutical company.

Which Of The Two Should The Pharma Industry Use? conducted a study in 2017 to determine how inside and outside sales were used in organizations. Interestingly, the study found that larger organizations with over $500 million in revenue had more field sales reps than inside salespeople.

Meanwhile, smaller organizations with revenues under $50 million used more inside sales reps. However, things have changed a lot in the past few years.
The Sales Enablement Survey by Hubspot in 2021 showed that 68% of the 500 leaders surveyed plan to use a hybrid or remote selling model in the future. Likewise, 63% of the respondents believed virtual meetings to be more effective than face-to-face meetings.

Considering this shift, the pharmaceutical industry should also focus on a hybrid model of inside and outside sales.

How Inside and Outside Sales Can Work Together In Pharma

The key to success for any pharmaceutical company is to have a solid sales strategy. The best way to do this is by using a combination of both inside and outside sales representatives. Here’s a look at how these two types of sales can work together to help your company succeed.
Hold Inclusive Meetings

Rather than hosting separate meetings for inside and outside sales representatives, try to include both groups as often as possible. It will help foster a sense of cooperation and camaraderie between the two teams. It will also allow you to get feedback from both groups about what’s working well and what could be improved.

Make Use of Technology

There are several tools pharma sales reps can use to enhance their activities and reach new customers.
These include mobile phone apps and CRM systems that allow them to record customer information, send follow-up emails, set reminders for appointments, and even automate communication with customers.

Pharmaceutical companies can leverage these same technologies to improve the communication and coordination between inside and outside sales teams.
For example, you can use a CRM system to assign leads to specific reps and track their progress. It will help you see which reps successfully convert leads into customers and which ones need more assistance. It will also provide transparency into each others’ efforts to ensure that customers do not receive overlapping efforts.

Run Multi-Channel Marketing Programs

Single-channel marketing programs often limit the collaboration between inside and outside sales teams.

For instance, if you’re trying to promote a new product or service and only focus on seminars or social media marketing, your efforts may be limited by the lack of coordination between sales teams.

Using multi-channel marketing programs that include both inside and outside sales reps can help ensure that your messages reach a large portion of your target audience.

Use Shared Incentives

Employees are more motivated when they are compensated for their efforts. It is especially true of sales reps, who can be encouraged to work harder by offering incentives such as bonuses or prize drawings.

When you offer shared incentives, both teams will have a reason to work together. They’ll know that their success depends on efficient collaboration with the other sales team.

Using these incentives will also help reduce turnover rates among your employees, saving you a lot of money in recruiting and training costs.

Unify Management

Instead of having separate managers for inside and outside sales reps, try to have a single manager oversee both groups.
It will ensure a consistent management style and allow both teams to work together towards common goals. It will also help you identify problems early on and take corrective action before it’s too late.

Gone are the days when you’d either focus on the outside or inside sales. Today, using a combination of both is the key to success. Why? Because, as you’ve seen from the above, each has its own unique benefits that can be tapped into to help your business succeed.

Sales teams need to be more strategic than ever before to identify which opportunities are best suited for an inside or outside sales approach. By getting the two to work together, companies can expect better results in terms of customer satisfaction, employee performance, and sales revenue.