Outbound Sales vs. Inbound Sales: A Complete Guide for Success in Sales
Last updated on December 25th, 2023
Any business that either sells services or products, must have to plan, organize and effectively execute its outbound and inbound sales strategies. Every company must keep its inbound and outbound sales strategies and efforts in balance to close more deals and win more clients in the desired situations.
However, it is important to understand the difference between outbound and inbound sales methods and strategies before training your sales teams and boosting the output of your sales efforts. To execute each strategy at the right moment, one must have actionable knowledge regarding the benefits and use cases of each strategy in different scenarios, key qualification KPIs and Metrics, real-time market statistics, and tested methodologies used by the industry experts to take your business to the next level.
What is an Outbound Sales Strategy?
In the simplest terms, outbound selling is a sales methodology where a seller pushes its messages directly to its potential buyers. The business or company tries to convey the message directly to its target audience to raise awareness about its products or services and stimulate a desired action that favors the business in one way or another.
In a sales strategy, a sales team leverage different outbound contacting channels and methods like sending emails, cold calling, social prospecting, and more. If executed in the right, strategic, and timely manner, outbound sales strategy can prove to be pivotal in boosting revenue for any business that uses it.
What is an Inbound Sales Strategy?
Inbound sales strategy is a process in which a business qualifies its interested prospects and then sells its products or services. The customers get engaged with the businesses by discovering and learning more about what they offer.
The sales team tries to pull in the prospects, qualify the interested ones, and then sell them the products or services. It is not necessary that customers know about your business beforehand here because, in this process, the customers are already looking for solutions to their specific needs or pain points. During their journey, they resonate with what your business offers, and hence your business adapts to a buyer’s journey to make the whole process customer-centric.
According to research by Retaildive, almost 87% of the customers now start their product or service searches online. This gives an advantage to the marketing teams as they can now leverage inbound sales funnels effectively.
Inbound Sales vs Outbound Sales
Inbound and Outbound sales strategies have many differences but the single most important difference that totally distinguishes them from each other is who initiates the sales process and how a lead is originated.
In the inbound sales process, the process starts from the buyer’s end where he starts looking for a remedy of his needs and wants and ultimately reaches out to a company. The buyer engages with the company in multiple ways (through social media, website, etc.) and tries to know more about what a business offers, what the available options in the products are being offered, and how that business has already served its previous clients. The customers are more engaged with business and are ready to make a purchase with more confidence and trust.
On the other hand, the outbound sales strategy is focused on reaching out to the customers in the first place. Here, a broader marketing approach is usually preferred by the businesses and the focus is more on quantity than quality. Hence, it can be said that the outbound sales process is not a marketing effort but a sales one.
Presentation Strategies for Inbound Sales Process
In the inbound sales process, many presentation strategies can also come in handy. Some actionable approaches are given as follows.
As the inbound sales process is all about the customer itself, businesses can leverage inbound sales presentation strategies to take a consultative and educational approach toward the pain points of the prospective customers and ultimately offer their products or services as solutions to their desires and needs. With the help of an inbound sales presentation template, the presenter can accommodate the sale strategy to target a specific audience and niche.
Leveraging Customer Journeys
Suppose that an issue is being faced by a number of users in your desired target audience and the prospects are looking for different solutions. This means that your audience is already aware of its problem and is now ready to hear about the options that they may have as a remedy for all of their pain points. Meanwhile, a business presents its unique product in a seminar, through an expo, or any event where the desired users are also present. The business can simply describe the benefits of that product through a product presentation or demo and how it solves different issues of the people. In the simplest terms, the company educates its prospects about its product and offers it as a solution to them indirectly without directly asking them to buy it.
This may stimulate an interest in the users and they can further research your product and how it can make a difference in their lives. By engaging with your brand or business through different avenues, the prospect can finally make a buying decision and convert from a prospect to a customer. Hence by leveraging the customer journeys through an effectively delivered business presentation, a customer can be led to make a purchasing decision.
Slide presentations are an effective way to deliver any business pitch. In such slides, you can add infographics, charts, tables, and graphs to highlight specific plus points of your offer. You can use this Free Business PowerPoint Chart Presentation Template to get an idea of how charts are effectively used in presenting any product or service to your target audience.
Presentation Strategies for Outbound Sales Process
Presentation strategies are equally applicable and helpful in the outbound sales process as well. Here is how you can leverage presentation techniques in the outbound sales mechanisms.
By using a combination of a direct approach and effectively designed pitch decks, sales representatives of businesses can reach out to their target audience more proactively. By nurturing the lead generation steps, these direct approach efforts can result in durable connections with potential customers that may result in continuous customer-buyer relationships as well.
One of the most lucrative aspects of the outbound sales process is that you can tailor your desired message to the exact requirements, pain points, and needs of your prospects and pitch them your services or products accordingly.
When coupled with persuasive pitch decks, these tailored messages get supercharged with all the required elements necessary to convert any prospect into a customer. These pitch decks may include specific product pictures, videos, infographics, and researched data and information that can further be presented in the form of charts, graphs, tables, and more. By using slide presentations in your outbound sales efforts, the opportunities can be limitless.
Moreover, you don’t even need to design all the slides of your pitch decks ahead of your presentation delivery process as a sales representative. Our website Free PowerPoint Templates offers a variety of premade PowerPoint Templates for any of your sales or marketing endeavors, 100% free & editable in PowerPoint (also in Google Slides). Just download any premade PPT template of your desire with a single click, make a few changes as per your desired topic requirements, and you are good to go.
How to Develop Top-notch Inbound and Outbound Sales Strategies?
In order to maximize your exposure as a sales team and ensure more agile inbound and outbound sales efforts, a number of best practices are recommended by the sales specialists that can lead any sales team to their desired goals and targets.
Quick Tips for Inbound Sales (3 Actionable Tips)
There are numerous techniques and tips that can be followed to further nurture your inbound sales process however some of the most useful tips are given below.
1. Always qualify your leads
In the modern business landscape, traditional sales and marketing tactics are getting outdated. Now, consumers resonate with that brand more effectively providing something of value to their needs and wants. If you are selling something to someone who may not get anything of value from it, it may result in a negative review or sentiment that may affect your brand’s reputation, especially your brand’s online image.
Therefore, it is always useful to qualify your prospects before selling your products to them. You need to understand the actual needs of your target users and hence sell them the only solutions that are beneficial for them.
2. Instead of pushing, guide your audience
Don’t be a sales professional who tries to close their deals as soon as he gets in touch with their customers just to push his numbers up. You need to guide your target prospects by using a sales funnel (learn how to create a funnel in PowerPoint here) and then let them make more informed and effective purchasing decisions.
By doing so, you will not only close more deals and establish personal relationships with your audience but also receive repeat business in the longer run.
3. Enhance the buying experience of customers
Your buyers will be a source of continuous income stream for your company if they keep having memorable and pleasant buying experiences. One of the best ways to enhance the buying experience of your users is to personalize it.
Your sales team must treat your customers like humans, not numbers or robots. By engaging with them emotionally and resonating with their needs personally, you can lay the foundations for long-term customer-company relationships.
Quick Tips for Outbound Sales (3 Actionable Tips)
Outbound sales, if not done correctly, may result in a lower brand reputation and a decrease in the revenue of your business. Therefore, a sales professional must be aware of the best practices and dependable tips related to the outbound sales process.
1. Target the right audience
Instead of just selling everything to everyone, you need to think about your strategies related to targeting your desired audience. You need to make sure that your sales or marketing efforts don’t result in spamming or loss in the marketing budget. Therefore, you need to research your ideal target audience and develop an image of your desired customer in your brain.
By having an ideal customer profile in your mind, you can be more confident while pitching your offer to your target audience knowing that they are likely to have more interest in your products or services. This is not a one-time process. In order to remain relevant and effective in your target market, you need to be constantly aware of the desires, wants, and requirements of your prospects.
2. Humanize the process
You need to understand that your target customers are people with actual feelings and emotions. By humanizing your outreach efforts, you can convert more prospects into buyers.
For example, if you are reaching out to a customer through a cold email, you can use a video in the same email response to reinforce your textual content and ultimately, your desired offer. Moreover, you can offer your target prospect to have a video chat as well to make them realize that you are willing to learn more about their needs in person.
3. Persistence is the key
In the outbound sales process, you need to have a strong, willful spirit to never give up on your target audience. For example, if you are reaching out to your prospects through cold emails, the chances are that your emails may end up in their spam or junk folders and may not get opened as well. In fact, according to Klenty, only 23.9% of cold emails are opened by customers this year.
This does not mean that you should give up. You need to send follow-up emails to your customers to stimulate their interest and get replies. You may or may not get a reply but the chances of getting a fruitful response become brighter if you stay consistent in the entire process.
4 Tools to Supercharge Your Inbound and Outbound Sales Teams
By combining its inbound and outbound sales efforts, a business may achieve wondrous results. In order to market their collaboration more effectively, some tools can be proven to be very beneficial and may result in a higher ROI when it comes to your overall business strategies.
Some of these tools are mentioned as follows.
If you are looking to create top-notch and swift workflows for your marketing and sales teams, Salesmate is your good-to-go tool.
It can automate your customer journeys, provide a collective team inbox, and also offer a power dialer that can prove to be very time-saving for your outbound sales professionals when it comes to calling your prospective customers.
While using a combination of marketing and sales tools, a lot of data and information can be aggregated which may complicate the sales workflow system. In order to overcome this issue, Outfunnel offers integrating marketing and sales tools to make the communication process among different teams easier.
Moreover, it also helps in simplifying and understanding the required data and information more effectively and speedily.
When it comes to automating tasks in the sales process, HubSpot may appear as a very lucrative option to many sales professionals. It also assists the sales teams in getting insightful information and data regarding their target users and also offers a sales CRM that makes the entire mechanism very handy.
Salesforce is a good tool for businesses that are leveraging both inbound and outbound sales strategies and want to close more deals. Just like HubSpot, Salesforce also offers a built-in CRM that allows sales professionals to automate many crucial tasks and prioritize the most important ones.
Inbound and outbound sales may differ from each other regarding a number of aspects but both of them are crucial for sustainable business growth. Where inbound sales strategies are more customer-focused, outbound sales strategies give an edge to businesses by reaching out to those users who don’t know about your services or products yet.
Where the inbound sales process generates more durable and long-lasting customer-business relationships, outbound sales professionals ensure that speedy conversions are received in order to reach the desired business targets with more active control over the sales process. Where outbound sales offer a wider range of prospects, inbound sales ensure more qualified leads to enhance the entire sales mechanism.
Where inbound sales teams gather, clean, and verify useful data regarding their target audience, the outbound sales professionals can use this already verified data to close more deals effectively. Therefore, in the ever-changing market dynamics of the digital business landscape, a company can efficiently survive and grow if it leverages both inbound and outbound sales strategies.