Difference between Inbound and Outbound Sales

Hey friends, if you have been hearing about Inbound and Outbound sales and feeling confused about these two terms, then you have landed up at the right post. In this article we shall explore what exactly is Inbound and Outbound sales.

Inbound Sales:

As the name suggests, in this sales approach, customers will approach you first, in order to make a purchase.

In this case, customers tend to do their research well in advance and are well informed about the product or solution before they approach the seller. 

After doing initial research, customers shall reach out to you if your product or organisation is having a good brand image or reputation in the market.

In the case of online search, they may land up on your website in case you are ranking better on the search keywords being used by the prospective customer.

These types of leads tend to have a high conversion rate since they are already aware and can be termed as Hot leads. 

Inbound leads shall contact you directly or may leave their contact details requesting for call back. As a sales person you shall be required to reach out to the lead to do a quick lead qualification call and move the lead through the purchase process.

Marketers can also improve the number of inbound leads by having lead magnets in their website. Some of the examples of lead magnets are free ebooks, whitepapers, reports, etc. If the lead is genuinely interested in the lead magnets, they would be willing to share their contact in exchange for any valuable insights.

This type of sales approach works well if your product is easy to understand, needs less handholding and customers tend to be well aware of the product or brand

Outbound Sales:

As the name suggests, Outbound sales is more about going outside to find a customer. In this case sales people shall try to find qualified leads by trying to cold email or cold call leads. 

In case of outbound sales, the sales team may get an initial database of leads either from a directory, social media or from any database provider.

Salespeople shall do cold outreach either on social media, emails or calls and try to initiate a conversation with the lead. This helps them to qualify the lead and understand if the lead is a good fit for the solution they are selling.

If the lead is qualified, it will be taken forward by the Sales executive through the regular sales process involving further discovery call, product demo, negotiation, etc.

Since this method involves cold outreach, the conversion rate in this case tends to be low and the initial leads are mostly top of the funnel leads, say Cold Leads.

This sales strategy is mostly used when your organization is relatively new or unknown in the market and you do not want to wait forever for inbound leads.

This sales strategy is also used in case of large and complex B2B deals which is done by reaching out to only targeted leads who are key stakeholders at big organizations.

Early stage startups tend to use a lot of outbound sales in initial days. This helps them to get some interested leads quickly and they are able to get first hand feedback from their prospects. This helps them in early validation of the product market fit and helps them to iterate and improve their product based on feedback.

Having said that, modern sales organizations tend to sell using a hybrid approach by combining both inbound and outbound sales strategies to maximize its benefit.

Let's say you got an inbound lead who downloaded a research paper on your website. But he or she may not be the right person for you to sell a complex solution. In that case you may do an outbound cold outreach to certain key stakeholders in that organisation to pitch your solution.

Hope you liked reading this post. Let me know your thoughts.

By the way if you want to track your inbound as well as outbound leads, feel free to try out ToolsonCloud Sales CRM software for free.

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