Online sales have become much more important than face-to-face meetings (inbound). It may act as a seed for your new business. So, it seems like an effective strategy is to combine these methods into one plan. Or, in other words, integrating both inbound and outbound methods.
But, what does this signify for your business? You may be wondering if there is an optimal sales method for every type of business, but in fact, some businesses may perform better by only using one kind of sales strategy at a time. Face-to-face meetings are also the main part of outbound sales strategy. Email contacts and social media interactions comprise a major portion of the inbound sales strategy.
While there are many benefits to both sales approaches, each has its strengths and weaknesses. So, it pays to understand them before making any decisions regarding your sales strategy. It is also beneficial to have some knowledge about the difference between inbound and outbound sales approaches.
In this article, we are going to cover inbound and outbound sales. Read all to know how it can work in the favor of your business and tips to help ensure success.
What are Inbound sales?
Inbound sales focus on attracting customers through search engines, social media, and content development.
For the progression of the business, you can use social media to create buzz about new products. You can also seek special promotions that would encourage customers to make purchases online instead of in the store where they live and work. A good rule of thumb is to create an offer that’s worth sharing as online content.
What are Outbound sales?
In this, sales reps search for the list of possible leads within a region. They will contact you by email, phone, or in person to assess your interest. To put it another way, the corporation acquires consumers by persuading prospects to make a purchase. Sales teams will develop quotes for products and services whenever leads show a strong interest. They’ll also assist customers with the buying process and provide first customer service.
What is the key distinction between inbound and outbound sales?
The following points will assist you in fully comprehending the differences between these two strategies:
- Inbound sales focus on attracting leads that are interested in the variety and type of services and products you offer. These leads come from marketing, advertising, content marketing, and other channels such as events or associations, but they all lead to the same place. In other words, they are in the decision stage of buying. They have already done their research by visiting websites and by reading blog posts and looking at reviews online before deciding. While in outbound sales, there is a primary goal, and the goal is to meet these prospects at their level of interest.
- Inbound Sales use an entirely different approach and focus on finding prospects who have already shown some type of interest in what you offer. Inbound Sales are compatible with social media marketing. Brands and businesses are spending more time focusing on developing strategies. These strategies include social channels and consumers more than ever before, including video content, blogs, webinars, and much more. Whereas, Outbound sales involve a unique strategy. In this, contact with leads is made by sales reps to regain their interest in the products and services you offer.
- Inbound sales are considered to define the target audience or market segment. For instance, if you are selling online courses, then you must target students. If you have an existing customer base, find out which customers are not buying what they need. Furthermore, you should try to understand why they are shopping elsewhere. However, in outbound sales, the purpose is to educate potential clients about your company’s offerings. Cold emails are sent by the sales rep at no cost as they are looking for an easy win, rather than trying to close a deal.
Different stages of awareness
There are five stages of awareness from which a customer generally goes. The stages are-
1. Unaware – At the unaware stage, the consumer has no idea about the problem, and the customer is not conscious enough to deduce it.
2. Problem awareness – Sometimes, the customer is aware of the issue but tries to ignore the problem. Problem awareness means consumers have acknowledged the issue.
3. Solution aware – At solution awareness, the customer is looking for ways to solve their problems or find solutions to them and is ready to purchase products and services.
4. Product awareness – They have identified the products and services.
5. Most aware – At the final stage, the lead gets closer to making a buying decision. The consumer is typically in the decision-making process and begins interacting with companies through email, phone, or even social media—and files an order from that point.
Different qualification KPIs and metrics
Lead qualification, KPIs, and metrics are utilized in both inbound and outbound sales. These get used for marketing, where the objective is to drive more leads or prospects into an organization’s sales funnel. The main difference between these functions and their associated activities is that outbound sales involve selling a product or service to a prospect.
A salesperson must learn how to identify qualified opportunities. They should know how to close deals with them once they get identified as potential customers or clients (inbound) or when seeking new business through networking and other methods (outbound).
How inbound & outbound sales can influence each other?
In the recent era, few businesses and firms have realized that inbound and outbound sales need to get integrated. Product development firms supported by first-party data depend on inbound information. inbound and outbound sales how their products work and what problems they solve, but these clients also provide valuable insights into other features.
They might want or need to enhance product performance in Customer service departments. They can use this data to direct call center agents when an issue is getting addressed. It can also get used to providing better customer service in general with more personalized communication channels like chatbots and self-service options. Microsoft 365 is the perfect example.
Sales examples and best practices of Inbound vs outbound sales
1. Inbound sales
The sales may deviate from lead to lead in the inbound sales process. The first step is to have the right content to help them solve their problem or answer their questions. It will make them want to give you more information about themselves and ultimately become a qualified buyer (a warm lead). Then you need to know how to turn that potential buyer into a customer, which requires great sales skills and the ability to keep them coming back for more.
Example- By running a pizza giveaway by a pizza company on social media. It will eventually lure consumers, and they will share information in hope of winning the giveaway.
2. Outbound sales
Outbound sales can be viewed as cold calling in the sense that you are trying to generate interest in an opportunity, but not necessarily establish rapport with the prospect. These leads are followed up by phone calls to begin the lead nurturing process. It typically includes automated email campaigns to help the buyer become familiar with the product. It can also familiarize them with the service before they speak with someone from the organization about it.
For example- a wireless carrier is looking forward to targeting schools to render high-speed internet. First, the sales rep will have to gather the information and lists of school districts in the specified radius. Then they will have to decide whom to contact.
Also Read: Why Getting an Inbound Website Redesign is Awesome
The Bottom Line of Inbound vs outbound sales
There must be differences in the approach between inbound and outbound sales perspectives. But both Inbound and outbound sales are necessary for the proliferation of the business. It is the case with many other roles in the sales function as well. Marketing/Advertising Sales, Lead Generation, Product Management, Sales Development, and Customer Service- all of these roles are critical to growing your business, and all require a solid foundation in sales fundamentals.
The whole concept has proven to work well when done correctly. It still has its place today as an effective sales strategy in B2B sales, where it is often easier to get access to decision-makers or influencers.
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