Independent Sales Reps vs In-House Sales Teams: Which is Better?


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Independent Sales Reps vs In-House Sales Teams: Which is Better?

Outsourcing parts of your business have become more and more popular in recent years, both because of availability and necessity. You can even outsource your sales professionals, which could save you time and allow you to work with a team of specialists. But some businesses may worry about turning their precious sales over to an outside team. Is there any validity to those concerns?

In this blog, we’ll take a look at outsourcing your sales to independent sales experts or hiring a specialized in-house team for your business. Which is best for you?

Independent Sales Representatives

Outsourced sales representatives are independent contractors, typically those who specialize in sales, that you can hire for one project or on an ongoing retainer basis. These contractors do not need to be given full salary or benefits as an employee might, but you can still get a high quality of sales work from them.


Some of the benefits of working with independent sales representatives include:

  • Cost Savings. With independent contractors, you won’t need to pay payroll tax or offer benefits and full salary. If they work outside of your office, you can also save on office equipment cost.
  • Time Savings. You also won’t have to worry about fully training independent sales representatives. They are already trained and ready for any sales task. All you have to do is familiarize them with your brand and your specific needs. This can save you time as well as cost.
  • As Needed. You can hire independent contractors for one project or for a particularly busy season to supplement your in-house sales team. You can also hire them for a longer-term business arrangement. This will depend on the contractor, of course, but it can be a big benefit to businesses to only pay for the work they actually need.
  • Specialists. Many independent sales representatives have specialities within sales that they focus on. If those specialties align with your needs, you can expect a higher, more focused quality of sales for your business.
  • Wide Talent Pool. With the internet as vast and accessible as it is today, you can find sales professionals from all around the world. This can be handy if you plan to take your sales global and need professionals who work in different timezones.


Before you hire an independent sales representative, consider these disadvantages to determine if it’s truly the right call for you:

  • Control and Trust Issues. When working with independent contractors, you can assign them the work, set deadlines, and give them expectations. But you can’t control their process, which may be a concern for some businesses. You may also worry about trust when turning your sales over to an outside professional.
  • Potentially Higher Commission Rate. An independent sales rep is also a business person, so they have their own expenses to cover. You may have to offer them a higher commission rate than you would with in-house teams, who will instead receive salary and benefits.
  • Competing For Time. Independent sales representatives have other clients. They’re not going to dedicate all of their time and energy to your business. Thus you’ll only be given the time you have to offer them, and if you want to be a priority client, you’ll likely have to pay for it.

In-House Sales Teams

In-house sales representatives are full-time employees of your business. If you have a physical office, they likely work out of that office. The size of your team will depend on your needs, so you may need to grow or downsize the team as your business evolves. These teams will work on salary, but will also get a commission of each sale to incentivize them closing the deal.


There are many benefits to having an in-house sales team, including:

  • Control Over Process and Hours. You are able to set the process for your sales team and the specific amount of hours that they work on your project. If you’re more hands-on, this may be your preference.
  • Dedicated Team. You will have a sales team that is dedicated specifically to selling your products and services. You won’t have to compete for their time with their other clients.
  • Long-Term Relationships. Your in-house sales team can build long-term relationships with some of your most important sales accounts. As they build up this rapport, it will likely improve the satisfaction of those clients. They will also develop relationships with their team, improving their work together overall.


Some of the disadvantages to be mindful of when it comes to hiring your own sales team include:

  • Cost. You will need to pay your in-house team a salary, commission, and offer competitive benefits in order to get good professionals. You will also need to pay payroll taxes.
  • Limited Talent Pool. If your business has a physical location, you will be limited to local talent. Even if you work remotely, you will still be limited only to sales representatives with full-time availability, and you may miss out on some great contractors.
  • Training. Along with that control over processes comes the time-consuming task of training your sales representatives in your process. Whenever you hire a new sales representative, you will need to train them, as well.

A Third Option

Finally, if you see personal benefits to both options, you could consider some combination of independent sales representatives and in-house teams. For instance, you could have a limited in-house team and hire independent sales representatives to supplement your team during a busy time of year. You could also have an in-house sales team that handles local accounts and outsource for global accounts. Find the best option for your business and your budget.

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