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.

Practical Cold Emailing tips for Entrepreneurs

Cold emailing is one of the powerful tools in an Entrepreneur’s arsenal. If used well, it can do wonders for a startup. You can use it for sales, getting deals, getting investments, getting mentors and many more. But the fact is most often cold emails get ignored. If your approach is incorrect, you may rarely get a reply from the recipient. 

In this post, I would like to share some tips to make your cold emails more appealing. This shall surely help you get more replies to your cold emails.



1. Personalize and Customize

The most important element of any cold mail is personalization. People won’t even bother to read any email from an unknown person let alone reply to it, unless it is relevant to them. You can make your emails relevant to the recipient by personalizing your email. 

Remember, sending cold emails is different from a mass email campaign. Since cold emails are sent to a limited set of people, you should be able to do a bit of research about your prospect before sending them a cold email. 

You may look out for publicly available information on company websites, their social media profiles in Linkedin or Facebook, any newspaper articles, etc. In your email, you may cite such instances such as you liked reading their article on Linkedin or liked reading their thoughts on media publications, etc. This will help you warm up your prospect.


2. Keep it short, quick and easy to read

When you are sending your first cold mail, ensure to keep it short and concise. Avoid sending any detailed business proposals in the mail content when you are just trying to initiate the conversation. A short and to the point content is faster to read and act. The easier it is for the reader to understand and act, the faster you tend to get replies.


3. Talk about solving a business pain point

If you are selling to a B2B client, then everyone’s goal is to solve some or the other business challenges in their organization. Instead of selling the features of your product you will be required to talk about solving a business pain point being faced by your prospect. This will generate more interest and will help you improve your reply rate.


4. Don’t sell anything in the mail 

Many beginners tend to make mistakes by trying to sell their products within the first cold email itself. This approach is bound to just worsen your brand image and you may never get a response. The purpose of a cold email is to get a meeting or an appointment with the prospect. The best approach is to ask for a short discovery call to begin with. The first discovery call will give you enough information to decide whether it is a qualified lead worth pursuing further or not.


5. Avoid describing product features

As I wrote earlier, avoid describing your product features in your first cold email. This is because, in the beginning, even you will not be aware of your lead having any real requirement for your products or services. Additionally, you should avoid pushing any unsolicited information to the lead such as product features and specifications without gauging the level of interest from the leads.


6. Avoid sounding like a template

Many beginners tend to make the mistake of using cold email templates available on the internet. While it is not wrong to use templates, often they send the same email contents to the prospects without modifying as per their context. While you may feel confident with that, the fact is people can smell templates because those are so common. People want to hear from People instead of Machines. So you must bring out your personal tone in your emails. This shall help build a connection and a relationship to initiate a conversation. 


7. Follow up till you get a reply.

Success in sales lies in timely tracking and follow-ups. Many research suggests that salespersons tend to get replies after the 8th follow-up. You may not need to wait till the 8th one if you do a timely follow-up. It is highly likely to get a reply in your 3rd or 4th email. So always ensure to follow up with your prospects. Ideally, you should follow up within 2-3 days otherwise the prospect may forget.


Hope you found these tips useful. If you are interested in trying out CRM software for Cold Emails and Lead tracking, Do check out ToolsonCloud Sales CRM. It’s Free!

 How to generate B2B Leads organically?

If you are into a business involving B2B clients, then you have landed at the right post. In this article, we will explore how you can generate B2B leads for your business via organic approaches.

Here is what you can do to get organic B2B leads…

    


 

1. Linkedin Outreach

Join Linkedin groups in your similar domain or groups having people with similar profiles as your ideal customer profile. Next, send them a connection request to add to your network. After a few days of the connection, you may send them a cold message for a short discovery call. You may be required to warm up your connection a bit for a few days with your LinkedIn posts to avoid getting ignored when you send a cold message.


2. Business Marketplace/Forums

If you sell a known B2B product that is not too complex to understand and doesn’t require an elevator pitch, then you may try this. Look out for joining various online marketplaces and forums dealing with B2B businesses. You will find B2B buyers and sellers in these marketplaces who are genuinely looking for both buy and sell business opportunities.


3. Join professional networking platforms

If you are a startup or building any B2B products for startups, then you may join professional networking platforms such as angel.co or other startup networking platforms. Try to network with various startup founders and executives to create a connection and get business opportunities.


4. In-person Business conferences

You may look out for various offline/In-person business conferences being organized in your Industry domain by various media houses, industry bodies, trade unions, government, etc. These conferences are attended by the leaders and executives of various companies with the sole motive of networking with fellow business leaders for business opportunities.


5. Cold Outreach like Cold Emails, Cold Calling

You may reach out to various businesses via Cold emails and Cold calls. If you are dealing with small and medium businesses, then you may get their contacts from various online business directories as well as their websites. If you are dealing with a large organization, then you may have to work a bit more to get the contact details of their stakeholders. 


6. Inbound Marketing/Content Marketing

Create the content on the topics around your business. This will attract readers who might be interested in your business. You may create content on Blogs, Social Media, Youtube, write Industry research papers, Whitepapers, Case studies, ebooks, etc. Ensure to write content that is useful to the readers having your ideal customer persona. 

Also, an important element of content marketing is to build distribution. If you do not plan out distribution well, then you may create high-quality content, but there won’t be anybody to read those contents immediately. This creates a longer feedback loop. So, whenever you create content, try to distribute it at more and more channels in order to reach more readers instantly.


7. Short Video Marketing 

In recent years, usage of short video apps such as Tiktok, Reels, Youtube shorts has skyrocketed making them yet another largest marketing channel. Short video platforms were initially apt for B2C products, however, in the recent past, it is becoming equally good for B2B business opportunities. You can make short video clips about your products to attract more B2B leads.

Also, read- Instagram Reels Ideas for Small Businesses


8. Tender Marketplaces/Portals/Blogs

There are some marketplaces that regularly publish tenders of government as well as public companies. This brings you a good opportunity to directly go ahead and bid on existing business opportunities without going through the hassles of business development efforts. 

Also read one of our case studies on How to get Organic leads using Social Media


I hope you liked reading this post. If you are interested in trying out CRM software for your business to track your leads, do check out ToolsonCloud CRM. It comes with a free plan for startups.



How to give a Perfect Sales Demo?

Giving a perfect sales demo always helps you close deals quickly and shorten your sales cycle. But often many Entrepreneurs and Sales teams struggle to give a perfect sales demo to seal the deal. 

In this post, we shall explore some handy tips to help you give a perfect sales demo every single time.

Photo by MART PRODUCTION from Pexels


1. Research about the prospect

Sales demo is yet another form of a meeting. To make best use of the meeting, you should do your homework right. Before the meeting, try to spend some time researching your prospect and understand the context. Try to learn more about the company where the prospect works, the industry in which they work, the types of customers they have, their business, their long term and short term goals, their pain points and how your solution is going to help them.


2. Inform the agenda of the demo beforehand

While scheduling a demo, always ensure to inform the agenda and give a brief outline of what you plan to cover during the course of the meeting. Having a pre-planned agenda helps you to avoid any surprise questions during the course of the demo and the prospect would have come prepared. 

Some demos tend to be detailed while some tend to be very short depending upon the solution you are trying to sell. When prospects are aware of the expectations, they are well prepared to focus longer or shorter as per the plan.

In addition to that, this also gives an opportunity to the prospect to suggest any additional topic in advance, which they would like you to cover during the demo.


3. Before starting the demo, establish trust/rapport:

Before you start the demo session, spend a few moments to warm up your prospects. You can ask about what's happening, try to make them feel comfortable with you. This helps to bring a sense of connection and helps to establish trust and rapport. This way they would be attentive and interested during the course of the demo.

 

4. Personalize the demo

Instead of trying to give a plain and generic demo about the product, try to personalize the demo based on their expectations and pain points. You would be already familiar with their pain points based on your previous discovery call or lead qualification call. If you are unaware, then you can also take some inputs from the customers on their pain points during the course of the demo and try to personalize the presentation.


5. Focus on Solution selling than Feature selling

Remember that prospects are more interested to know how your product will help you solve their pain points rather than knowing the nitty-gritty of each and every small feature of your product. Try to sell solutions instead of doing a feature list dump during the presentation.


6. Pause regularly and seek questions/feedback during the demo

A good demo is the one that helps to keep the prospect engaged. Prospects are well engaged if you involve them in a two-way conversation instead of doing a one-way presentation. During the course of your demo, you can pause at regular intervals and prompt them to ask any questions or give feedback during the demo. Making them talk keeps them interested throughout.


7. Note down any specific query to be addressed later

When you are selling a solution, you are bound to get certain queries that you may need to explore further to answer them better. Instead of blabbering any wrong facts to the prospect, you may make notes of the queries in your meeting notes or in a CRM like ToolsonCloud to come back on it later. 


I hope you will find these tips useful.

If you are looking for a Sales CRM to manage your sales process, Feel free to check out ToolsonCloud Sales CRM. You can also schedule your sales demo meetings directly from your CRM application. 

Glossary of important Sales Terms

Hey folks, I keep hearing from newbie sales professionals that they get stunned hearing some new sales jargon every day and are sometimes left blank when they get asked about those from their bosses.

So, Here is the compilation of some Important Sales Acronyms that came to my mind instantly.

What is an Invoice and how to prepare one?

If you are a seller, you might often come across the term “Invoice”. If you are still unaware of it or have an iota of doubt on this topic, read on to know more.