One of the early choices a new start-up or small business needs to make is whether to adopt an inbound sales or outbound sales model. And in order to make the right decision, business owners need to understand what the difference is between the two sales approaches.
Inbound Sales vs Outbound Sales
Businesses vary in the type of products and services they offer as well as how they make sales. Some rely on interested prospects or website visitors who reach out to the company to make a purchase. While others rely on reaching out to potential target customers to sell the product to them. This, essentially, is the key difference between inbound sales and outbound sales.
Inbound sales and outbound sales—or inbound and outbound calling—differ based on the origination of the lead. Inbound sales refer to sales made when interested customers take the first step. On the other hand, outbound sales refer to selling attempts made by the company where they reach out to potential customers.
Often referred to as “warm leads,” inbound sales occur when an interested party initiates the selling process. That is, they’ve come across your product or service through ads or your website, and have now contacted you to make an inquiry or a purchase. Sales representatives have an advantage with inbound sales because they have a general idea of the customer’s need as well as their interest. And so, inbound sales have a better conversion rate.
At the same time, it should not be assumed that every inquiry or call will convert immediately. Interested individuals want more information or are in the market to research and compare products, and may not move forward in the buying process. The way to increase inbound sales is by making it easier and convenient for interested customers to call you. Toll free business numbers give callers a free way to call while click-to-call widgets on websites let callers connect with you with fewer steps.
Inhouse and outsourced sales teams use outbound sales to reach out to a predetermined list of individuals, in an attempt to sell your product to them. This list is usually created based on market research and in collaboration with marketing and sales teams. Individuals included in the list represent the ideal customer or buyer persona for your product. And so, it prevents your employees from connecting with weak leads.
Outbound sales take longer. Reps have to engage with clients over and over again, educate them about your services and present your business as the solution they need. Outbound sales are much harder to achieve than inbound sales and so are often underrated. Outbound sales do, however, help your business and sales teams expand their network and tap into new markets. Most businesses use an outbound calling solution to boost their sales calls. Outbound calling is a cloud-based communication service that lets an organization call local and international contacts in an inexpensive way.
Which is More Suitable for Your Business?
While one may seem better than the other, the general consensus is that having both inbound and outbound sales proves more beneficial. But which do you need and when do you need to implement it? The structure of your sales approach depends on your business’ growth stage. Have you promoted your business enough? Do customers know it exists and can easily understand the products and services offered? Could they use a guiding hand?
It helps to have a variety of communication channels that support both inbound and outbound sales. To encourage inbound sales, use social media, content and email marketing, and paid ads to attract viewer attention. For outbound sales, purchase local numbers in the cities and states you plan to target. Individuals are more likely to answer calls from numbers that are familiar, as opposed to unknown, random numbers.
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