When most people hear the word “sales” they envision a man wearing a suit with slicked back hair trying to sell them a vacuum cleaner at their door. While that stereotype might be a little bit over the top, that is a somewhat accurate representation of Outbound Sales. The of outbound sales is to reach out to potential customers through face-to-face contact, calls or emails and move the sales process forward.
Inbound Sales is the new kid on the block. Rather than actively reaching out to others, the goal with Inbound Sales is to have others find you. When someone is looking for a product/service like what you do, good Inbound Sales techniques will deliver them to you.
So, which one is better and which one should you spend your time on? The answer isn’t black and white. Let’s break things down a little bit.
Outbound Sales – Misconceptions
- Traditional Outbound Sales techniques are the best/only way to generate sales.
- Outbound sales consists entirely of cold-calling and hoping for the best.
Outbound Sales – The Reality
The days where aggressive Outbound Sales techniques are the only way to garner interest are long gone. There a multitude of approaches that can be beneficial and highly effective that stray from that methodology. When people approach sales now they need to get that image of Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street out of their heads. Sitting in a room making call after call is not an effective way to spend your valuable time.
There are Outbound Sales techniques that still hold a lot of value, however. They should not be simply cast away. Going out to events and user’s groups is still a highly effective way to make contacts. Being able to engage with potential customers in person really elevates the chances of doing business with them. For the time that you do spend on Outbound Sales find some meetups in your area that targets the market niche you’re looking to delve into, make some great contacts and push the sales cycle forward.
Inbound Sales – Misconceptions
- If I simply build a website people will find me.
- Inbound Sales techniques are not as commonplace or effective as Outbound Sales ones.
Inbound Sales – The Reality
Having a website is awesome. It’s a necessity today without a doubt. However, just because you have a website doesn’t mean that you should assume people will automatically find it.There are a LOT of websites on the internet. Creating a website that people will find with organic searches needs to be done through a well developed content strategy.
It’s not something that can just be set up and forgotten; it requires consistent time and effort to make work. The other avenue to take is something like Google AdWords where you can set up ads that are triggered by potential customers searching for relevant keywords. This can give your website instant visibility, but again it requires monitoring and tweaking to make it effective.
Time spent on content and digital marketing is time well spent. I think if you had told Ian here at TheCodeFactory that we would be generating the vast majority of our sales through Inbound Sales techniques eight years ago he would have called you crazy. Today that’s a fact for us. Nearly every Virtual Office sale we generate is via our online sales portal. Inbound Sales techniques work and they work well when properly done.
What Should You Take Away From This?
The sales technique that works best for you will depend on a lot of factors. It’s for the best that you don’t ignore either Outbound or Inbound Sales techniques as they can both be beneficial. Use a dual-pronged approach and keep track of sales metrics so you can measure what’s effective for you and what isn’t. At the end of the day you want to be using techniques that cost you the least and generate the most value. With that being said, keep a very close eye on Inbound Sales techniques because they’re going to become more and more prominent as time moves forward.