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Sales model: Self Service, Inside or Field Sales? 4 tips on how to choose the most suitable one

sales model

Do you know what the main types of sales models are?

The sales model chosen by a company will depend on a number of factors. One of them, and perhaps the main one, refers to the complexity of the product or service that one intends to market.

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A sales model for simpler solutions is usually not the most suitable for other types of products or services of a more complex nature.

Choosing the best type of model, due to the degree of complexity of the solutions offered by the company, will directly impact the commercial performance of the business.

With this in mind, and in order to guide you on this topic, we have created this content that will explain what types of sales models you can adopt in your business.

Read on to also check these 4 aspects to observe before defining the sales model that best matches your value proposition and your entire commercial structure:

  1. solution complexity;
  2. average ticket;
  3. target audience profile;
  4. Market presence.

What is a sales model?

We can define a sales model as the methodology used to market a particular solution. It is a set of strategies that will define how products and services will be sold.

Choosing the right model helps to optimize the entire commercial operation and helps to achieve better profitability in the business.

The definition of the sales model is linked to some factors, which we will detail in the next topics.

But we can say that the organizational structure, the value proposition, the average ticket and the target audience profile are among these factors.

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Basically, there are 3 types of sales models that you can choose to implement in your company and market your products and services.

Check out the characteristics of each of them below:

1. What is self-service sales?

The proposal of the self-service sales model is to allow the customer to go through their entire purchase journey without the intervention of a salesperson.

The purpose of self-service sales is to give the customer complete autonomy to assess the value proposition, the benefits it can bring to him and how the product or service offered is able to solve his pains.

In the self-service model, the company does not need a team of salespeople to contact customers in order to try to convince them to purchase the solution offered.

But how the customer is led to make a decision that favors the company; i.e. to purchase?

Prospecting strategies in the self-service sales model are generally inbound marketing or attraction marketing.

The potential customer is attracted from:

  • Content that educates you about matters related to the company’s product or service;
  • Campaigns on social media with viral marketing or influence;
  • SEO Techniques ;
  • E-mail marketing;
  • Paid ads and sponsored links etc.

In an autonomous way, the customer seeks to find out about the solution offered by a certain company and, alone, purchases the product or service.

In the B2B market, the companies that most often work with this sales model are those that sell management software. That’s because they are products with a clear value proposition, not too complex, with affordable prices and easy acquisition.

2. What is inside sales?

The inside sales model, or inside sales, differs from self-service in that the salesperson interferes in the customer’s purchase journey. However, this interference is done remotely, at a distance.

Through technological resources, the salesperson makes different contacts with the lead in order to guide him through all stages of the sales funnel and convert him into a customer.

When prospecting, the seller contacts the potential customer by email or by phone to present the product or service. Then, the now lead is qualified from various other contacts (email, phone, videoconference, chat).

Without leaving the company, the seller helps the customer to go through their entire purchase journey, clarifying doubts and offering content that helps them to decide favorably.

The volume of interactions can be low (low-touch) or high (high-touch) depending on the nature of the solution sold, the customer profile (there are customers who do not like to interact with sellers and prefer to act more independently) and number of available sellers.

3. What is field sales?

In field sales, the salesperson goes into the field to prospect and close new deals. Also known as external sales, the field sales model applies to solutions that are more difficult to market.

Therefore, a face-to-face follow-up by the salesperson is required to present the product or service, explain the benefits, make demonstrations and closely clarify any doubts the customer may have.

Companies that opt ​​for the field sales model generally sell solutions with a high average ticket. They know that the seller’s travel costs and all the time dedicated to preparing the visits will be worth it if the sale goes through.

In the field sales model, it is common to use the ABS method, or Account Bases Sales. In this approach, the salesperson chooses in advance which companies he believes are more likely to become customers.

He then directs all of his strategies to those specific accounts and goes straight to the decision makers.

How to choose the best sales model for my company: 4 aspects to consider

To choose the best sales model for your business you must analyze these 4 factors: the complexity of the solution; the average ticket; the profile of the target audience and its presence in the market. Based on these factors, you will decide whether you need a model with greater or lesser interference from the seller in the purchase process.

Well, now that you know what the main types of sales models are, see below what aspects you should consider when choosing the most suitable model for your company.

1. Complexity of the solution

The first aspect that must be taken into account when choosing the most suitable sales model is the degree of complexity of the solution offered.

As mentioned in previous lines, more complex products often require the presence of a salesperson to guide the customer along their journey.

In more complex sales, the customer tends to have more doubts about the features and benefits of the product or service.

Therefore, if your value proposition has a low degree of complexity, the self-service sales model may be an option. Otherwise, inside sales or field sales are more suitable.

2. Average ticket

Another aspect to be considered when defining the most appropriate sales model for your business model is the average ticket.

If the average value of each sale of your products or services is very high, the customer may take longer to make a purchase decision. In this case, relying on the intervention of a sales representative can be a good idea.

If the customer needs to decide for himself on a purchase with a very large value, it is very likely that he will choose not to purchase. However, with the presence of a salesperson to guide him and convince him that this would be an advantageous solution, the customer may change his mind and decide to close the deal.

On the other hand, if your ticket is too low, it may be unfeasible for your company’s cash to bear the costs of maintaining an entire commercial structure with several vendors working internally or externally.

Therefore, the recommendation is:

  • High ticket: inside sales or field sales
  • Low ticket: self-service sales

3. Target audience profile

The chosen sales model will also depend on the profile of customers to which your solutions are targeted.

There are certain types of customers who are more “distrustful” and who prefer to have face-to-face contact with the seller throughout the journey.

However, there are also those customers who like to have some autonomy and make their purchasing decisions without much interference from a sales representative.

In other words, it is important to carry out research on the company’s target audience profile, in order to understand how they behave during a purchase.

4. Market presence

Does your product have great market penetration?

The answer to this question will also help you define the best sales model for your company.

Little-known products, new ones and with low market share hardly sell themselves. In this case, the self-service sales model would not be a good option, but the inside or field sales would be.

When this is not the case, the self-service model can work very well. A good example of this are successful startups such as Trellis and Slack. These companies often market their solutions without needing a vendor to sell subscriptions.

How do you get it?

Because they offer a Freemium plan, free forever. Thus, you experience the functionality of the software, but without some more robust functionality, or with its reduced memory capacity, or still accepting a small number of users.