If your communication skills are on-point or you consider yourself a “people person,” it might be worth checking out the inside sales job description.
Are you prepared to work hard for a great paycheck and possible promotions?
This job just might be the perfect fit for you.
What’s so great about inside sales?
Well, entry-level jobs don’t require extensive degrees or high-level education. Despite this, they tend to offer some room for advancement – depending on the company, of course. Plus, there’s a good chance you might be able to find an entry-level remote position (aka. working from home).
That doesn’t mean a career in inside sales will be a cake walk. It certainly comes with its own set of challenges, just like any job. And let’s be honest, some people simply aren’t cut out for sales no matter how hard they try to fit in. Just look Pam on The Office.
But is it right for you? Let’s take a look.
Inside Sales Job Description and Duties
Working in inside sales requires a great attitude with the ability to let things roll off your back. Some people simply have a great personality for a career in sales while others just don’t.
People who excel at the inside sales job description tend to remember why they’re there: to help people (customers) find the things they want and need.
Success at work (for both you and the company) will involve forming and maintaining trustworthy and genuine relationships with customers.
For inside sales, you’ll probably spend a lot of time in an office setting or even working remotely. This is perfect for any introvert interested in a sales career because you’ll complete almost all of your work from behind a telephone or computer. It’s just the right amount of human interaction.
However, you might also deal with customers face-to-face in a retail or showroom setting – it depends on the job.
In addition to contacting customers, you might have a few other duties including
- Tracking down new leads
- Researching the market and potential competition
- Keeping record of clients and sales data
- Managing customer complaints
There’s a good chance you’ll also work hand-in-hand with the marketing department since, as a sales representative, you’ll have a good understanding of the customer’s buying process. This will give you the ability to offer helpful suggestions in terms of marketing products or services to customers.
Inside Vs. Outside Sales
Outside sales is much different than the inside sales job description.
With outside sales, you would have to spend time managing customer appointments and meeting them face-to-face. In this type of sales, your product is often worth more money – which is why you’ll need to go the extra mile meeting customers on their time.
Outside sales requires a sharp appearance one-hundred percent of the time as well as a charismatic personality and a strong ability to quickly adapt in dynamic environments.
In many ways, an outside sales job is much more high-pressure and stressful than inside sales merely because the stakes are so much higher.
When many people imagine that old-fashioned door-to-door sales person, they’re thinking of outside sales. However, inside sales jobs are growing a whopping 15 times faster than outside sales jobs – likely due to the ease of access from working remotely.
Think about it, how many times in the past year have you seen an outside sales person?
Not many, right?
Now, how many times have you interacted with a live chat sales representative or call center? Probably more than you could count.
Inside Sales Job Description Salary and Benefits
According to Glassdoor, the average inside sales salary is around $50,660 per year for a base pay with an additional $18,286 bonus.
That bonus can fluctuate drastically from just $2,400 per year to over $60,000 per year. Your bonus may come in many forms such as commission, profit sharing, and cash bonuses.
In many cases, you may take home a relatively small base salary because your income will rely on commission from closing sales. It’s definitely possible to develop a lucrative career in sales when you have the right attitude and can land a job at the right company.
Someone working an inside sales job at a large company like Hewlett Packard, for example, can expect to take home over $40,000 per year. Working for a small telemarketing company, however, might only bring you about $10 per hour.
Some companies may offer advancement opportunities as well. Many sales managers got their start working as inside sales representatives – just look at Michael Scott on The Office.
Inside Sales Job Description: Working Hours
By nature, the inside sales job description involves fairly long hours with high potential for overtime.
But those long hours don’t necessarily need to be awful.
If you’re working remotely, you can do your job from just about anywhere through the phone, email, or Skype. Working long hours with overtime isn’t so bad when you don’t have to leave the house.
Keep in mind you’ll always need to put the customer’s schedule first. Failure to do this will likely result in a less than ideal paycheck at best and losing your job at worst. Be prepared to answer leads whenever they come in – whether it be nights, weekends, or even holidays.
Your working hours will also depend on the company you’re working for. Many large companies may have a strict nine-to-five schedule.
Inside Sales Work Environment
Your work environment will vary drastically based on the product you’re selling and company employing you.
Many entry-level inside sales jobs are done remotely. Some companies may require you to show up at an office to use their dedicated phones and computers. Other companies might allow you to complete your entire job from home or anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection.
If you’re working an on-site office job, you might frequently interact with other sales reps to help customers.
Not a fan of manual labor? No problem!
Although the inside sales job description involves a lot of mental and emotional energy, it doesn’t require much in the way of physical strength. This makes inside sales a great industry for anyone with limited mobility.
Education and Training Requirements for an Inside Sales Job
Some large companies might require their entry-level sales representatives to hold a Bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, or general business.
In many cases, however, you should be able to land an inside sales job without more than a high school diploma.
Having a formal education is one thing, but many companies realize attitude and energy are what counts. Well, that and an amazing understanding of the customer and product or service you’re selling.
Expect to go through a decent training period when starting a new job in inside sales.
As a sales rep, you’re on the front lines with customers so the company will want to make sure you understand everything about their product inside and out.
You might also have to shadow an experienced sales person for a few days to see how they answer customer questions and deal with problems. They’ll probably also watch you answer a few calls or emails and offer suggestions for improvement.
Be prepared for lots of constructive criticism in your first few months – and don’t take it personally.
Inside Sales: Job Outlook
The inside sales job description has a fairly good outlook compared to other sales positions.
It’s true that retail sales positions in general are on the decline. However, inside sales is growing 300 times faster than traditional sales, according to a study from Inside Sales.
While retail store fronts shut their doors and move online, this puts more pressure on call center employees and inside sales reps to take on the burden.
Not only that, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects sales manager positions to grow about 7% through 2026. So, if you get into the industry now, you might be able to land a job as a manager in a few years.
Inside Sales Job Description: The Bottom Line
The average inside sales job description involves working long hours with high potential for overtime. Anyone considering a job in this industry should be prepared to take calls and respond to emails on nights and weekends if necessary.
But this sacrifice doesn’t come without a decent payout.
With some experience, you might be able to land a job with a great base salary and possibly even a hefty bonus from commission or profit sharing.
However, your work environment will likely be very flexible and accommodating – you might even have the pleasure of working from home. If not, you’ll likely find yourself working in an office or call center away from the elements and manual labor.
If you lack a formal education but have a strong desire to develop a real career, inside sales is a great choice.
Most of the jobs don’t require a degree because companies tend to focus more on experience and attitude. You might even find yourself in a sales manager position in a few years.