Inbound Sales or Outbound Sales – What’s Best for B2B?

Inbound Sales or Outbound Sales – What’s Best for B2B?

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If you’re wondering whether outbound or inbound sales is the right approach for your business, you aren’t alone. This is a question many B2B business owners struggle with.

Each approach requires a different method of channels to acquire new prospects, so each will have a different impact on your business’s bottom line.

Let’s explore the differences between inbound and outbound sales so you can decide which is the best approach for your business.

A Look into the Inbound Sales Process

The biggest difference between the inbound and outbound sales approach lies in who initiates the sales process. The inbound approach helps draw prospects to a business. It relies on the prospect educating themselves on a business’s products and services through reading content such as blog posts and articles, downloading content like white papers and case studies, and signing up for webinars.

It’s a very hands-off approach compared to a more aggressive, traditional sales process. There is no cold calling—all contact is initiated by the prospect. For the inbound method to be successful, your business must have marketing materials that cater to your target audience and entices them to learn more.

Once your prospects download content that interests them, they can be entered into a lead nurturing campaign. This enables you to send automated emails that include more information that is pertinent to each of your buyer personas.

The inbound sales approach is a cost-effective method of enabling businesses to attract customers. This approach allows prospects to get the information they need, when they need it, rather than relying on waiting for a sales representative to get in touch. In a time where many consumers are expecting instant gratification, this capability is critical.

The inbound process effectively:

1. Helps You Build Brand Awareness

Content is a driving force in inbound marketing and sales, and it helps to increase visibility into your organization. This attracts new prospects over time and helps get your brand noticed by a larger audience.

Activities like blogging and posting on social media help expose your brand to potential buyers and enable them to engage with you before they head to your website.

2. Nurtures Trust with Prospects and Customers

B2B buyers are more likely to purchase from organizations that they trust.  The inbound process helps establish a relationship with your prospects by providing them with content that addresses their business challenges.

3. Provides Value by Educating Your Target Audience

The inbound approach is very focused on the customers’ needs and in providing valuable information. Buyers are perusing the internet daily to find solutions to their challenges.

Rather than talking about products or services outfight, the inbound approach takes about the challenges that their target audience is facing and the value their brand can provide.

All About the Outbound Sales Process

The outbound sales approach takes a more hands-on approach to sales. Rather than relying on prospects finding you, the sales representative is in control of the process, from first contact to nurturing those prospects.

This is done through methods like cold calling and cold emailing prospects and other methods that rely on the sales team reaching out to a prospective buyer.

The outbound approach:

1. Provides Highly Targeted Outreach

With outbound sales, you have control over who you contact and when. The sales team will qualify prospects at this stage and remove those that are not likely to become a customer. This is unlike the outbound approach that guides buyers through the journey toward becoming a customer.

3. Enables Personalized Contact 

One of the biggest benefits of the outbound approach is that it offers the opportunity for building a relationship with your prospects quickly. Getting them on the phone helps to start building a relationship faster and can help spread the word about your business, without relying on brand awareness.

3. Provides Faster Results 

Outbound sales teams can reach their target market directly, without waiting for prospects to find them. This method also provides immediate feedback from your prospects. Businesses can use this data to make changes to their process and refine their sales approach.

What About Taking a Hybrid Approach?

Now that you’ve seen the difference between inbound sales and outbound sales, there are likely aspects of both that appeal to your business. The good news is you can benefit from incorporating both methods into your organization.

More and more B2B companies are finding success by taking a hybrid approach to their sales process, rather than choosing just one approach to sales. By incorporating the inbound methodology and complementing it with traditional outbound sales processes, brands are better able to reach a wider audience.

You still get the benefits of building brand awareness, providing valuable content, and taking prospects through the buyer journey. However, you can align these efforts with direct outreach to reach your target prospects quickly and start building faster relationships, and begin building trust from the first point of contact.

Ensuring Sales Success in B2B Businesses

While traditional outbound sales has its place in the workforce, the inbound methodology is effective at attracting high-quality prospects and helping to nurture them and turn them into loyal customers.  

Combining the two into a hybrid strategy helps B2B businesses reap the benefits of both approaches and provides a well-rounded approach to sales.

Interested in learning more about taking an inbound sales and marketing approach in your business? Learn more about our services today and how we can drive high-quality leads to your business.

B2B marketing services

SeeResponse is a full-service B2B marketing agency and a HubSpot Solutions Partner offering a range of marketing services through its team of marketing and demand generation experts. Our focus is on helping startups and larger companies grow through a combination of strategy, email marketing, demand generation, and marketing automation.