Outside Sales Reps Now Spend 89 Percent More Time Selling Remotely Than in 2013


Inside Sales Stats Show the Number of Reps Working Remotely Has Grown 89% Since 2013

The gap is closing between outside sales reps who once sold in the field by traveling to a customer’s location and those who sit back at the office and contact a client remotely. Outside sales reps who once took those trips now seem to work remotely 89 percent more than they did in 2o13.

The data comes mostly from larger enterprise firms but should also be of interest to small businesses without the resources to spend on expensive sales trips all over the world. Better technology may be evening the playing field allowing them to do more selling remotely with a relatively small team.

The State of Sales 2017 study by InsideSales.com revealed remote selling by sales reps has increased to 44.5 percent in 2017, up from 24 percent in 2013.



According to the study, the biggest driver for this growth is technology, which is quickly blurring the lines between traditional field and inside sales. Some of the solutions include contract e-signature, gamification, forecast management and phone and voice tools.

Advances in communications technology have practically removed the differences between inside and outside sales. Inside sales reps can now carry out the same demos and presentations as field representatives without having to leave the office.

For many small businesses looking to save on the cost of travel and associated expenses, remote sales offers an affordable option and more reach. Sales demonstrations can be carried out with multiple potential customers at the same time no matter where they are located thanks to these new technologies.

And this approach represents a dramatic increase in efficiency with fewer sales people able to handle in one day what several outside sales people might have had to once accomplish with individual trips to visit each client.

The study was conducted in collaboration with the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP), Top Sales World, and the Association of Professional Sales (APS). They surveyed 1,151 companies in 28 countries around the world to determine the state of sales.

“The results of this study should be eye opening for most sales organizations, especially within enterprises that often wonder if the extra investment in sales technologies is worth it — and it undoubtedly is,” said Dave Elkington, CEO of InsideSales.com in a release on the study.

InsideSales.com is an AI-driven sales system employing technologies to help sales teams acquire new customers faster and improve cross sell and upsell conversions while improving sales rep performance, the company’s release states.

Saleswoman Photo via Shutterstock

2 Comments ▼

Michael Guta


Michael Guta Michael Guta is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends focusing on business systems, gadgets and other small business news. He has a background in information and communications technology coordination.

2 Reactions

  1. Given how crazy travel was for many salespeople, I’m glad they’re finding ways to stay closer to home more of the time. More efficiency, less spent on travel and they can actually have a life outside of work.

  2. Aira Bongco

    This shows that there are now so many ways to sell products. Also, people are becoming more open to buying items remotely. They don’t even need to see the seller and still trust them.

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