When trying to reach new customers there are a variety of different methods to go about it. Two of those methods include inbound and outbound sales. These are two distinct approaches to selling products or services, each with its own strategies and techniques.
Inbound sales consist of a customer-centric approach that involves attracting and engaging potential customers through valuable content and personalized interactions. It focuses on understanding the customer’s needs and providing solutions that address those needs.
What Makes a Sale Inbound?
Inbound sales are initiated by the customer. Customers actively seek information or solutions and willingly engage with a company’s content or website.
Techniques in inbound selling include content marketing, SEO, social media engagement, business directories and email marketing. It often involves creating informative blog posts, videos and other content that educate and inform potential customers. Kind of like the article you’re reading now.
Inbound sales strategies can be less pushy and more consultative. Sales professionals aim to build trust and rapport with customers by providing value and solving problems.
This type of sales is a proactive approach where sales representatives or teams reach out to potential customers, often this consists of cold calling, emailing or direct messaging. The goal with this type of sales is to generate leads and close sales.
These are initiated by the seller. Sales representatives reach out to prospects who may or may not be actively seeking a solution.
Outbound sales tactics include cold calling, email outreach, direct mail, and social media outreach. The focus is on initiating contact and generating interest.
The approach to outbound sales strategies can be more assertive, as salespeople need to capture the customer’s attention quickly. It often involves making a compelling pitch or offer to generate interest.
Inbound Sales vs Outbound Sales?
The inbound sales strategy relies on customers coming to you, whereas outbound sales involves actively seeking out potential customers. Inbound sales often caters to customers in the later stages of the buying process who are actively researching solutions. Outbound sales can target prospects at various stages, including those who might not yet be aware of their needs.
Inbound sales rely heavily on content marketing and educational materials to attract and engage prospects. Outbound sales leans more on direct communication and persuasive messaging. Inbound sales prioritizes understanding the customer’s needs and providing tailored solutions. It focuses on identifying leads and initiating contact.
In practice, inbound sales can typically have higher conversion rates because it engages with prospects who have already shown interest. Outbound sales conversion rates can vary widely and often require a larger volume of outreach to secure sales.
Many businesses use a combination of both inbound and outbound sales techniques to create a well-rounded sales strategy. The choice between these approaches depends on the nature of the business, the target audience, and the product of service being sold. Ultimately, successful sales strategies align the preferences and behaviors of the target customer base.