What does an Inside Sales Representative do?

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  • Written By: Luke Arthur
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2019
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An inside sales representative performs a number of activities in relation to selling products within the establishment in which he or she works. As opposed to an outside sales representative, the inside salesperson stays at the business and handles customers as they come in the door. These individuals have to be good at dealing with people as well as developing lead generation systems. An inside sales representative has to be able to perform a number of tasks such as cold calling, using technology to prospect, and researching new products.

Many businesses rely on these individuals to provide the bulk of sales for the company. Retail industries are one of the most popular avenues in which an inside sales representative works. These retail establishments advertise their products and drive traffic into the stores. Once customers are in the stores, they will be handled by one of these representatives. The inside sales representative is one of the most important individuals in many businesses across the world.

These individuals must be very good at handling people. This means that an individual has to be comfortable talking with other people and determining their needs. Once the needs are discovered, this sales representative must do his or her best to find a product that will fill those needs. These sales representatives have to be able to help the customer through the sales process. Eventually, the process should end in a closed sale.


In addition to handling customers who walk in the door, an inside sales representative has to be able to generate his or her own traffic as well. Many times, traffic that comes through the door is not enough to keep the inside sales staff busy all the time. This facilitates the need for the inside sales representative to prospect for new customers.

Prospecting can be done in a number of ways. One of the most common methods that many salespeople use is cold calling. This involves getting a list of prospects and then calling them on the phone to try to sell products. Salespeople in today's markets are also expected to be able to prospect using technology. By using social networking sites, online advertising, and e-mail campaigns, they can increase effectiveness.


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Discuss this Article

Post 4

@Cupcake15 - I always tried to think of all of the possible objections that a potential customer would have in order to be able to maintain control over my call.

For example, if I got an objection on the price, I would always talk about the premium features of the product and offered testimonials to establish credibility with the customer.

It didn’t always work, but when it did I was thrilled because once a customer likes you they will usually buy more from you. I think that building a rapport is critical too especially if you want repeat business.

Post 3

@Cafe41 - I agree and I also think that product knowledge is really important. When I used to work in the cosmetic industry I was always sent to various product seminars in order to be able to understand what I was selling.

When you understand your products really well, you will be able to find the product in your line that will work for the customer. You will also be able to handle objections really well and your expertise might also add to your credibility and get the customer to consider what you are selling.

I also always try to listen to the customer over the phone and offer them something for their time. If I was booking appointments for an event, I always offered a free sample lipstick in order to entice the customer to book their appointment with me.

Post 2

@BrickBack- I know what you mean. I felt that way until I read a book called, “Sales Power” by Jose Silva. He really addressed the fear of rejection head on.

He told readers to determine what their own statistics were for calls vs. appointments. He explained that if the average was nine calls for every appointment you should realize that about eight or nine people will probably reject you right off the bat.

This allows you to relax a little because you have changed your perspective because you now anticipate the rejection as part of the job. I starting looking at my sales calls differently and it really helped me perform better on the phone.

Post 1

I think that dealing with rejection is the hardest thing to overcome in inside sales because unlike when you work in outside sales, you don’t have the luxury of reading the customer through facial cues so your delivery has to be even better.

I know that I always used to get a little nervous during my first few calls, but after a few hours I felt right at home. I think the fear of rejection is what keeps people from being successful with inside sales.

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