Direct Sales VS Indirect Sales. And Which Route Should Your Company Choose?

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In the realm of B2B sales, companies have two primary routes to engage customers and drive revenue: direct sales and indirect sales.

These approaches represent distinct strategies for reaching target clients and building a market presence.

Direct sales involves a company’s internal sales team engaging directly with potential customers to present products or services, negotiate terms, and close deals.

On the other hand, Indirect sales involve partnering with third-party distributors, resellers, agents, or other intermediaries who interact with customers on behalf of the company.

So what are the key differences between these two routes and which one should your company choose?

Let’s find out

Difference Between Direct Sales & Indirect Sales

When to Choose Direct Sales Route?

1. Complex Solutions

If your products or services are complex, requiring in-depth understanding, customization and more specialized knowledge to sell, direct sales route is the more appropriate one.

2. Strategic Accounts

For key accounts with high revenue potential, direct sales enable building strong relationships and tailoring solutions to their specific needs.

3. Control on Brand Identity

If maintaining control over the sales process, brand image, and customer interactions is crucial to your company’s strategy, direct sales offer the highest level of control.

4. Large Deal Sizes

Direct sales is suitable for larger deals where negotiations, customization, and close engagement with decision-makers are essential.

5. Small Target Market

If the target market you’re trying to enter is small and concentrated, a direct sales route may be more effective.

As it allow you to educate potential customers, establish your presence, and gather market insights.

6. Long Sales Cycles

If you’re in an industries with longer and complex sales cycles, direct sales can maintain personalized communication throughout the process, building trust and addressing evolving needs.

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When to Choose Indirect Sales Route?

1. Cost Efficiency

It requires huge investment in recruiting sales talents and managing the sales team.

So, if reducing operating costs is a priority, leveraging existing partner networks can be more cost-effective than maintaining a large direct sales force.

2. Broad Market Reach

If your target market is large and dispersed, indirect sales can allow you to quickly access a broader audience through partners who already have established relationships and market presence.

3. New Geographical Expansion

If you’re planning to enter new regions where you have no presence, local partners can provide valuable insights and connections needed to quickly expand

4. Resource Limitations

If your company lacks the resources or expertise to build and manage a direct sales team, partnering with experienced distributors, resellers, or agents is a prudent choice.

5. Volume Sales

If your goal is to achieve high sales volumes and market penetration, leveraging partners’ networks can help you reach a larger customer base more fast and efficiently.

6. Channel Flexibility

If your product/ service can be sold through a variety of channels, then indirect sales makes sense.

As it allow you to tap into different distribution channels through the partners and caterer to various customer preferences.

7. Volume Sales

Sharing the sales burden with partners can mitigate risks associated with market fluctuations and economic uncertainties.


In conclusion, the dynamic nature of B2B sales mandates adaptability.

Success isn’t singularly tied to choosing between direct and indirect sales.

It rests in choosing a strategy that aligns with your company’s product/ service, goals and aspirations.

As markets evolve and customer expectations transform, maintaining an open-minded approach and a willingness to experiment with both approaches will undoubtedly position businesses to thrive.


About the Author

Sales & Profit
Sales & Profit
We're a B2B Sales Performance Improvement company focused on improving Sales Metrics of our customers.
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