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Inbound Vs Outbound Sales: Which Path is Right for Your B2B Business?by@chanakyakyatham
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Inbound Vs Outbound Sales: Which Path is Right for Your B2B Business?

by chanakyakyathamMarch 11th, 2021
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Inbound Vs Outbound Sales: Which Path is Right for Your B2B Business? Chanakya Kyatham is a Senior Digital Marketing Manager at ParamInfo Computer Services Pvt Ltd. Inbound vs Outbound means reaching out to customers, and Inbound means letting customers reach the brand. The major difference between outbound sales and inbound sales is in who starts the sales relationship. Inbound sales are also filled with a lot of advantages, especially when they're focused on medium and small-scale industries.

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To be blunt, many conventional sales strategies no longer work. There’s already so much competition and the ordinary approach won’t cut it anymore. It’s time to start thinking differently about your sales strategy. Customer’s preferences are changing, so your strategies should too. 

Making the switch to inbound or outbound sales can do the trick. But - before you hit social media sites, make sure you’ve got a strong understanding of inbound and outbound sales, and a strong follow-up plan for your sales strategy. 

The big question is how does one excel with LinkedIn outbound marketing? So, we’ve put together all that information and steps you need to be taking. 

Let’s start with the basics:

Inbound Vs Outbound Sales

At the most fundamental level, the major difference between outbound sales and inbound sales is in who starts the sales relationship. Outbound sales processes get started by sales representatives who reach out to prospects first. Whereas, the Inbound sales processes are started by the customers or prospects. 

In other words, Outbound means reaching out to customers, and Inbound means letting customers reach the brand. 

The table below will help you learn more differences:

Let’s be clear, neither of these approaches is inherently better than the other. They both can be powerful tools for boosting revenue and growing a company’s profit. 

Henceforth, the strategy a business puts into motion depends on a number of variables including their average deal size, the type of businesses they run, and how aware customers are about the solutions they offer.

Inbound Sales for B2B: Pros and Cons 

While adapting to inbound sales, marketers come across both pros and cons. Take a look at these advantages and disadvantages of an inbound sales strategy for B2B. They’ll help you figure out whether an inbound sales strategy is suitable for your business. 

Pros:

1. Easy to Convert Modern Leads: One of the biggest advantages of inbound sales strategy is they’re easy to convert modern leads. Since modern buyers are more focused on reading and researching things out before purchasing, inbounding helps convert them faster. 

2. Lubricates Sales Funnel: When a company or product starts solving the pain points of customers, they automatically reach out as hot leads. They just need some nurturing that could convert them into paying customers. 

3. Brand Recognition: Since an inbound sales strategy requires businesses to spread the solution, it increases brand recognition across different online and offline platforms. 

Cons:

1. Time Consuming: Inbound sales strategy takes more time. Before a brand starts this strategy, they need to build brand awareness and set up brand value. This is difficult for start-ups with limited funds. 

2. Stress on Content Marketing Bubble: To get inbound sales, marketers need to focus more on content marketing and produce great content for the website. 

3. Requires Involvement of Sales & Marketing Team: For inbound sales, a content marketing team is needed to support the sales team for making the brand reach the target audience. 

Outbound Sales for B2B: Pros & Cons

Similar to an inbound sales strategy, outbound sales are also filled with a lot of advantages, especially when they’re focused on medium and small-scale industries. But, they’ve got a couple of cons as well. Take a look at both Pros and Cons:

Pros:

1. Quick ROI: Since sales professionals directly reach prospects, they don’t have to wait for prospects to come. This results in faster closure of deals and quick ROI. 

2. Works Best in the Initial Stages: This sales strategy works best for businesses in the starting phase. They help businesses achieve the break-even point and achieve initial milestones faster. 

3. Automated Process: One of the best things about outbound sales is that they can be fully automated. There are tools to help you automate sales-related activities such as cold calls, cold emails, prospect nurturing, social connections, and following-up. 

4. KPI Measurement: Since all the processes can be automated, there are tools to help analyze KPIs as well. Analytics tools can be used by businesses to evaluate response rate, engagement rate, and gain the best results with inbound processes. 

Cons:

1. Requires Big Budget: Outbound strategies are relatively more expensive. This process includes a lot of paid tools and promotional activities such as radio ads, billboards, cold emails, and banners. 

2. Annoying for Prospects: Since salesmen communicate with total strangers who usually have no idea about the product, it creates frustration for the prospects  - they get annoyed with the outreach calls. 

Leveraging an Outbound Sales Strategy

For B2B businesses that are in the starting phase, outbound sales strategy works wonders. Unlike the inbound sales strategy, outbound sales start with an action of a company or salesperson. So, if your business is in the initial phase, you should focus on leveraging this.

Once contact is made, the sales process moves from unaware customers to known prospects in a few short steps. Here’s an overview of the flow for an outbound sale:

1. Prospecting: Outbound starts by building lists of interested prospects. You can use tools such as Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn to build lists of people on the basis of their location and interest. Through social media tools, you can also target people on the basis of geography, company size, job title, and education. 

2. Outreach: Once you have the list, you can start targeting them with phone calls, ads, emails, and get prospects to respond to your messages so you can start the real sales process. 

3. Qualifying: After winning a prospective customer’s attention you need to assess whether it’s a qualifying lead and if you can move them toward the buying decision. 

4. Pitching: Once there's a qualifying lead, you should start making a pitch. Create a strong pitch in the prospect's mind on how your product or service can benefit from the solution. 

5. Closing the Deal: Based on the customer response to your pitch, you can close the deal after handling their objections, queries, and providing a suitable discount. 

Social Media Outreach: What Makes LinkedIn a Great Outbound Tool? 

LinkedIn currently boasts of having more than 500 million users. So, needless to say, this platform has taken the business world by storm. It has become one of the best marketing tools for sharing content, closing business leads, and creating connections. 

LinkedIn is now seen as an essential tool for lead generation. So, many marketers are using it as an effective outbound tool for marketing purposes. 

If you’re still not convinced, these numbers can give you an estimate of how LinkedIn has become the largest professional network on the web:

If you’re wondering how to do massive outbound on LinkedIn, you’ve come to the right place. In this section, we’ll share with you the how-tos of LinkedIn outbound marketing. 

Once you start following these key strategies, your growth opportunities will expand exponentially. This means, your next sale is just around the corner! 

Outbound Sales Strategy - Make the Most Out of these Strategies 

Modern marketers who’re using outbound sales strategies are more efficient and smarter - they work on their profile, improve messaging, qualify leads, and take a more advanced approach with their outreach efforts. If you want to boost your B2B business through LinkedIn outbound, we’ve got you some useful tips:

1. Optimize Your Company Profile

First thing’s first, you need to optimize your company profile in a way it stands out. Only when you create an impressive profile that people would want to connect with it, send connection requests, and respond to your outreach messages. 

Companies with a complete, active LinkedIn Page see 5x more page views.

Your page should look professional enough. So, include these:

  • Profile picture 
  • Cover photo
  • Headline and description 
  • Recommendation

2. Post Unique Content Regularly

Once you’re done with the basics, start getting traffic to your profile through high-quality content. This will help you build up your image in the industry.   

Companies that post weekly on LinkedIn see a 2x higher engagement rate

So, focus on becoming a relevant voice for the target audience. So, when it comes to posting relevant content, you should do your research, see what the audience wants to watch or read. 

3. Post Images & Videos

Use interactive images, Infographics, and videos for higher engagement. They’ll not only make your profile seem more engaging but also build authority.

While posting these images or videos, or any post for that matter, make sure to ask questions your audience cares about. Use the insights you’ve learned from your work experience, a book you read, or talk about anything important you discovered lately. 

LinkedIn posts with images get 2x higher engagement

LinkedIn users are 20x more likely to re-share a video post

4. Use Advanced Search 

LinkedIn’s advanced search is pretty handy when it comes to finding the right people. With the search function, you can choose from different filters including company, job role, location, and filters. 

Use advanced search well and you’ll be able to filter down your search. The search results will show you people who’re your direct, 2nd degree, or 3rd- degree connections and help you fine-tune your list.

5. Make Connections in Groups 

A great way of connecting with people is by participating in LinkedIn groups. Join as many relevant groups, make connections, and post links to your latest blogs or ebooks. But make sure not to act like a spammer. 

Approach groups with the strategy of being helpful, listening to people, and focus on building a reputation as someone knowledgeable. Get conversations going in a group

6. Send Messages to Connections

Now that you’ve built some authority, it’s time to send messages to the connection. While sending connections, make sure to take a calculated approach to create a message that generates a response. Few tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep your message short and to-the-point 
  • Make the first message about your customer’s problem, not your product 
  • Instead of features, focus on a specific problem your users are facing 
  • Avoid rambling about stuff they don’t care about 
  • Ask a question they’ll care about

Your goal should be to limit your first messages to five sentences. You can use a sentence like this in your first message:

We helped [similar size company or their competitors] increase their [KPI]"

A message like this will help you to communicate the value you can offer without boring them to sleep.

7. Personalise, Personalise, Personalise   

I’m sure you’ve heard this word a hundred times. And yet, it doesn’t lose its relevance in the B2B world. While writing messages to prospects or contact them for sales, always remember to personalise your message. 

Don’t just add their name - it’s not enough. Check out the recipient’s profile, note down some relevant information, and find some common ground. For example, if a user uses funny references or members from a TV show, find a way to mention it in your message. 

Similarly, you can mention education, mutual connections, articles, blog posts, and employment to show you’ve shared interest. 

8. Compelling CTA 

To make your outbound sales approach more effective, you need a clear, obvious, and enticing CTA at the end of your message. So, it’s wise to use a good CTA button (with the link, of course). Few words you can use:

  • Try 
  • Reserve 
  • Join 
  • Register 
  • Confirm 
  • Download

Over to You Now 

When it comes to B2B sales, Linked-in comes in handy and has the potential to become a major part of the process. It’s a tool that every B2B business should leverage, and by implementing the above-mentioned practices, you’ll be worrying less about LinkedIn outbound sales tactics, instead of closing more deals than you initially planned for.