Female team members in meeting

Telemarketing Versus Inside Sales: What’s the Difference?

Conducting Phone Sales

With the tremendous advancements in technology (video conferencing solutions such as IOCOM, WebEx and GoToMeeting) and organizations unquenchable thirst for more sales at a lower cost, more and more organizations are turning to opening and closing sales via the phone. Phone sales can be conducted through both telemarketing and inside sales models. Although both sales models are conducted via the phone, there are definitely differences between the two models.


  • Typically a very cost-effective solution for appointment setting and very short/transactional sales
  • Can be project work (great for seasonality in business) but prefers longer term engagements
  • Typically works off scripts and needs high volume of leads to call through (sales is a numbers game!)
  • Typically not great for more strategic sales


  • Can be more expensive than telemarketing, but typically more cost effective than traditional outside sales teams
  • Works well in full cycle sales (cradle to grave) and higher level/strategic appointment setting (partnering with outside sales representatives to work territories)
  • Very strategic approach to selling (use of tools such as LinkedIn and Data.com)
  • Typically holds a high aptitude for technology regarding lead generation/scoring, connecting with decision makers and presentations

Both models of phone sales can be effective, but it depends on what your organization is trying to accomplish. After reading about the pros and cons of each model, which sales approach makes the most sense for your business? Share in the comments below.

Happy Selling!