Inbound vs Outbound Sales: What is the right and powerful choice?
Which of the two sales approaches will work for me: Inbound or Outbound?
This is one of the most asked questions regarding the sales efforts of any organization.
Well, not anymore!
This blog post will answer all your queries. Stick with us till the end and you will not return disappointed.
So, first, let’s begin with –
What is Inbound Sales?
Inbound sales is the modern method of selling that revolves around the consumer – their needs, goals, and pain points are prioritized and a marketing strategy is designed based on the buyer-centric philosophy.
Keeping in mind the evolving B2B customer and their increasing preference to self-serve themselves online, inbound sales focuses on building a trust relationship with the prospect. Content marketing, social media marketing are used vigorously to educate the prospects and push them through the sales funnel.
What is Outbound Sales?
Outbound sales is the traditional method of selling that revolves around the sales-reps – influencing prospects to convert into loyal consumers.
Outbound sales require you to reach out to new leads, engage with them, nurture them, and convert. Cold calls and emails are used to establish a link between the prospect and the rep, while either is unaware of the other’s intention and needs.
Key differences between the two
The main difference between these two methods comes down to the initial point of contact.
In the Inbound sales method, it is the prospect who first looks up the firm. The prospect does the research first, engages with your content, subscribes to your newsletter, and shows interest in you.
While in outbound, it is the firm that reaches out to the prospects, to influence him to buy your products. The sales reps use cold calls, emails, and even texts to communicate with the prospects.
It seems like a very subtle difference but has a great impact on your marketing effort and strategy as inbound leads are generally more engaged and interested than outbound ones.
Techniques for Inbound sales
Every organization has a name, but everyone is not a brand.
For a detailed understanding, here’s a quick definition: Branding is the process of getting your company and its products recognized as a highly-valued commodity.
77% of B2B marketing leaders say branding is critical to growth.
This can only be achieved by establishing yourself as a thought leader. When you inculcate and develop a culture of research and leadership in terms of opinions through your content and other marketing efforts, it is a flash for the prospects in your market.
You will generate more leads as your insights and hot topics of the industry will be seen as valuable resources Your firm will be able to carve out a niche of its own, hence increasing your inbound leads.
2. Content Development
Inbound sales depend as much on marketing strategies as your sales techniques. This means that you should have the top marketing tricks up your sleeve to make it big in the market.
In today’s gen where Google is the ultimate problem-solver, there’s no winning without content marketing. Especially, when it costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads!
The B2B consumer prioritizes trust over anything else because unlike B2C consumers, they seek long-term business relationships so that it reduces repetitive groundwork. Content marketing helps build credibility and authenticity.
When you delve into further analysis of your buyers, their preferences, and awareness, you will be able to optimize your content with relevant information. Maintaining consistency in your content calendar is the key to garner success in inbound sales journeys.
3. Social Media
The whole crux of Inbound sales is established on one motto “Let your prospects find you before you go out looking for them!” There’s no better medium than effective Social Media presence to conform to this sentiment.
Millions of sales reps flock on the various networking sites, looking for prospects, and if you establish a voice there, it increases your chances of being discovered. 95% of B2B content marketers use LinkedIn for organic content marketing, making it the top-rated social media platform.
Create company accounts and product pages. Fill them up with content you created and keep improvising according to the interests of your target audience.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are the most widely used sites for engaging with prospects. Present yourself as an educator, a problem-solver, and someone who keeps the interests of consumers at heart through your posts and you are sure to reach the end of the cycle smoothly.
Techniques for Outbound sales
1. Cold Calls
For anyone who tells you otherwise, don’t believe them!
Nearly two thirds 57% of C-level executives say they value information from phone calls with sales reps. The very first thing you need to do before you make an outbound sales call is research about the person you are going to talk to. Ask yourself questions about your end goal – if it is direct selling or setting up an appointment. Segregate the key decision-makers and target them.
Start with catching their attention. You don’t want them to pick up your call and hang up the minute you introduce yourself. Use your research homework to make relevant points, so that they know you’re calling for a reason and it will prove to be of value for them. Address their problems, give your solution, and let them guide the conversation further.
If you are making up a script, make sure you keep it flexible. Be honest with your prospects and as you feel they are warming up to you, set up a meeting with them. Most of your work is done; you just have to send a feedback message or a follow-up email.
2. Cold emails
Although cold emails are claimed to have lost their charm on potential buyers, it is not all a waste. Email beats social by 40x for customer acquisition. The difference between an unanswered call and a successful one is only the framework of the email that you send.
B2B buyers have long given up being moved by the cliché cold emails they get. They want to see something unique and out-of-the-box.
Start with a catchy subject line if you don’t want your email to end up in the bin. Get their attention, flatter them a bit, show actual benefits of your product in easing the pains the prospect faces, and provide a source of credibility.
You could attach a backlink or direct the reader to a super-germane piece of content. When you send the email with an influential CTA without sounding very salesy, there are chances that your wit may turn out just fine.
3. Direct Prospecting
The B2B sector values relationships like diamonds. You make efforts to build a rapport with them, they will acknowledge you. And when you are using social media as a part of an outbound strategy, that’s what you are supposed to do.
Do not sell directly on social media. Engage with your prospects; learn about them – the company, their needs, motivation, interests, and decision-makers. Use this information wisely in your calls and emails to make it more personalized and genuine for them. Personalization increases open rates by 26% while segmented ones increase revenue by 760%.
It takes effort and time, and you do not get results out of every relationship you build, but the insights you get are invaluable and if you actually focus on solving problems, and nurture the leads with care, you are sure to close the deal!
How to choose between Inbound and Outbound?
Now that we have understood the techniques in detail, one thing is certain: In this fast pacing world, Inbound can give you the desired edge making your sales tad-bit easier and smoother.
However, this doesn’t mean Outbound is out of the game. The best can be achieved with a healthy balance of the two.
To achieve a clear picture, the following are the factors you need to consider:
- Buyer’s persona: Analyse their interactions and awareness throughout the cycle. If they like to associate with people, Outbound can serve the purpose. But if they are proud independent researchers, effective inbound techniques will help you achieve your goals.
- Buyer’s Digital awareness: If the person is fond of reviews, feedbacks, and content in general or they want an expert opinion. For the former, only Inbound can close deals while for the later, salesperson solving their doubts on calls will be a better choice.
- Duration of purchase: If the client is taking too long to make up their mind, you need an outbound team to influence them, if they are ready to convert; your inbound is working just fine.
As discussed above, Inbound wins the race with a small margin, but small or big – a win is a win. If you have just begun your sales journey, all this might seem a little too much.
But you certainly can’t afford to be left behind and be devoid of first-mover advantage. To prevent the damage, it’s best to contact expert B2B sales and marketing consulting firms who are aware of all the sales techniques to build a highly convertible sales cycle!
After all, effective sales require both: science and art!
If you still have queries, Contact Us and we will be more than happy to help!