Every business has a sales strategy. But is your sales strategy as effective as it could be? If you’re not using both inbound and outbound sales strategies, it’s time to rethink your plan. In this article, RisePath helps you to draw the picture between inbound vs outbound sales and shows you how dong both can maximize results.
No, we’re not talking about “inbound marketing” versus “outbound marketing.” Instead, we’re talking about inbound sales vs outbound sales. The difference may sound small — but it can have a big impact on how many deals you win.
What are Inbound and Outbound Sales Strategies?
Imagine two approaches to selling: one where the customer comes to you and one where you go to the customer. Those approaches represent inbound and outbound sales.
In an inbound strategy, customers contact your business after they’ve already decided they want or need your product or service. They contact you because they are ready to make a decision. The primary job of an inbound salesman is to answer questions, close the deal, and provide exceptional customer service that turns customers into loyal brand advocates (and future repeat buyers).
In an outbound approach, the opposite occurs: You reach out to customers through cold calls, emails, or other direct contacts before they have decided whether or not they need your product.
Sales is the most important part of any business. If no one is buying what you’re selling, then you’ve got a problem. In fact, many businesses fail because they are unable to get enough customers to purchase their products or services.
There are many methods of selling and some companies swear by one method over another. Some argue that inbound sales is the best way to get customers while others argue that outbound sales is more effective.
Inbound and outbound sales have different priorities, strategies, and processes.If done correctly, each can be effective in its own way. But the best results come from combining the two and using each to its strengths.
Inbound sales is all about attracting people to your business and then nurturing them until they become customers. Outbound sales is just the opposite: you approach people directly with an offer that solves their problems.
Inbound is a longer-term strategy that’s used to generate consistent leads over time. Outbound is a short-term strategy that’s used to get quick results by landing customers fast. Inbound sales focuses on creating value through education, while outbound focuses on closing deals.
The traditional sales funnel is dead.
At least according to a lot of marketing experts and bloggers.
They say that inbound is the new outbound, etc.
Marketing and sales departments have been divided into two camps for quite some time now. On one side, you have the inbound marketers who are focused on being found by prospects through SEO, content marketing, and social media. On the other side of the table sit the outbound marketers who use tactics like cold calling and buying lists to find new prospects.
The truth is that both sides can work if they’re done right, but doing both at once is key to maximizing results.
We think of these two approaches as being on opposite ends of the spectrum. But in actuality, the majority of businesses need to do both outbound and inbound marketing to hit their revenue goals.
Outbound sales is a lot like dating. You have to cold call, send emails, make connections, and hopefully, after multiple attempts, you’ll get a date. If you’re lucky enough to have a spark, it could turn into something more serious.
With inbound, you’re waiting for your dream girl or guy to come and find you. They come across your profile online and reach out to you because they’re interested in what you have to say and the solutions you can provide them. Then, if all goes well, they fall madly in love with you and your brand.
Instead of waiting around for potential customers to find us (outbound), we know exactly who our buyer persons are and we go out into the world (inbound) to find them!
Inbound vs outbound is a false dilemma
For the last few years, marketers have been fixated on inbound. And for good reason: inbound marketing works. But we’re now starting to see a backlash against inbound that has some truth to it.
Inbound is not always the best way for your business to grow. There are many situations where outbound is more effective than inbound, like selling high-dollar enterprise software or selling to small businesses.
And there’s another problem with inbound: the more successful you are at attracting customers through content marketing and SEO, the harder it will be for you to later switch your leads over to a sales process and close them as customers.
In our experience, your best bet is usually some combination of both: outbound tactics like cold emailing and cold calling combined with an inbound strategy built around content marketing and search engine optimization.
Outbound marketing is the traditional form of marketing where a company initiates the conversation and sends its message out to an audience. Outbound marketing includes advertising, cold calling, direct mail, email blasts, trade shows and other tactics.
Inbound marketing is a modern approach focused on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content and adding value at every stage in your customer’s buying journey. With inbound marketing, potential customers find you through channels like blogs, search engines, and social media.
So if inbound marketing is so great, why do companies still use outbound marketing? Because it works! Outbound marketing can be very effective when done right (and expensive when done wrong). It’s not an either/or decision; you need to have a well-rounded strategy that includes both inbound and outbound marketing tactics.
Today, there’s a lot of buzz around “inbound” marketing. It’s the idea that by creating content that helps people solve their problems, you can attract them to your product or service.
And it’s true! Inbound marketing has changed the way we think about sales and marketing and is one of the most effective ways to grow your business online.
But this rise in popularity has led many people to believe that inbound is the only way to go. That if you’re not using inbound techniques, you’re doing it wrong. In fact, some people have gone so far as to say that inbound marketing means outbound sales is dead.
Outbound sales is not dead. And while inbound marketing can be a great addition to your toolkit, relying on it exclusively will limit your growth potential.