Outbound sales is the process of selling products or services to clients who are not currently in your customer base. It involves reaching out to prospects through cold calls, emails, or social media to convince them to buy what you’re selling. Let’s discuss outbound sales meaning and how it can grow your business and increase revenue.
Inbound sales vs outbound sales
Sales is a never-ending battle right now. What is the difference between inbound and outbound sales? What is the best strategy for your company?
Inbound-only sales reps prefer to sell inbound because it allows brands scale well, attract customers, and is cost-effective. Outbound sales techniques can be a powerful way of building trust and closing big deals while still maintaining control.
Both approaches have their pros and cons. Both should be used to reach the target audience and get results.
Your sales machine setup, sales goals, target audience, and other variables should all be considered when deciding on the type of sales strategy for your sales team.
Let’s start by comparing these two sales strategies.
What is the difference between inbound and outbound sales?
The fundamental difference between inbound and outbound sales is who initiates it. Inbound sales are initiated first by the prospect. Outbound sales are initiated first by sales representatives who contact them.
- Prospects come to the company seeking information to solve their problem, need or pain point.
- The prospect searches the Internet, visits blogs and attends webinars. He or she then schedules a consultation.
- Prospects can enter their email address to get a free eBook, infographic or tool.
- Cold calls and emails are made by sales reps.
- Inbound prospects are often more informed and more interested in the sales process.
- Prospects are approached by sales reps to offer the product/service.
- Cold calling, cold emailing, and cold messaging are all sales techniques that sales reps can use.
- Outbound leads are less informed and less engaged.
Each approach is equally effective. Both can be very effective in growing a company and increasing revenue. The strategy you choose will depend on the type of business, the size of your deals and the knowledge of customers about the solutions that you offer.
Let’s take a closer look to each sales strategy so you can better determine which one is right for your business.
The inbound sales process is broken down into four stages
Inbound sales allows companies to “pull”, or acquire potential customers. Then, they qualify them to determine if their product is a good fit. Inbound sales is a sales strategy that focuses on the customer’s requirements. Sales reps are trusted advisors and adapt to the buyer’s journey.
There are four stages in the inbound sales process.
1. You can identify prospects. This allows you to interact with strangers who come by your showroom and convert them into leads. You can obtain their contact information and give them permission to send product information via content downloads or webinars.
2 You help leads to become more aware of their needs. They now see your solutions as part their goals.
3 Trust. This stage is where you can build trust and understand your leads’ challenges. This stage allows you to determine if your products are suitable for their needs and identify sales opportunities.
4. Offer a solution. Once you have established that your offering meets their needs, and gained their trust, you can offer advice (this is your sales pitch) about how your product can best serve their needs. The leads become customers.
Inbound sales can be very cost effective, since you target and engage only those who are interested in your company.
Although it can be time-consuming to create content and build quality leads, it is possible.
Five stages of the outbound selling process
Outbound sales allows companies to pitch prospects and push their message through cold calling, email marketing, social selling, and email marketing. Outbound sales allows sales reps to contact leads rather than waiting for them to contact them as inbound sales.
Cold calling and intrusive methods such as cold calling make it difficult to sell outbound. Some even claim that outbound sales is dead.
In many cases, outbound sales are still very important.
- Targeted outreach
- Instant feedback and results
- Phone contact with prospects
- You have control over the speed of marketing and selling
The outbound sales process consists of five stages.
1. Identify prospects. Prepare your team to reach out to them.
2. Generate leads. Once you have identified the target audience, you will need to obtain their contact information. This can be done by your in-house team or by purchasing a database.
3. Qualify leads. The sales team will reach out to them by phone or email to find out if they are a good match for your product. The next step will be taken if they are. It will remove them from this list if they are not.
4. Show the solution. The sales team arranges a meeting to show all the benefits of your product to leads.
5 Sign the contract with the customer if everything goes well.
Many people mistakenly believe that outbound sales are about cold calling. Although cold calling can be a way of capturing leads through random calls and outbound sales is the result of data-driven research.
You get the best of both!
Is it necessary that you choose one or another? It doesn’t have be!
You can mix inbound and outbound sales to grow your pipeline. Inbound marketing has been a popular way to capture leads online.
Once you have inbound leads, outbound sales techniques can be used to follow up with them, qualify leads and close the deal. Call leads who have downloaded your content, but have not replied to your follow up emails.
Outbound sales can be very helpful to supplement your sales funnel if you don’t have enough leads.
Now that you know the outbound sales meaning, it is up to you to turn it into a very successful way to grow your business and increase revenue. Try using them if you have the time and resources, but also don’t feel pressured into it either because they can be more expensive than traditional lead generation methods.