Outbound Vs Inbound

Outbound vs inbound sales is a battle that’s still ongoing in 2021. We’re putting the two against each other in this article and listing their pros and cons.


Outbound vs inbound sales is probably a bigger battle than Marvel and DC, as both sides will tell you that their way of marketing is the ‘right’ way of doing it. Obviously, by now you know what each method of selling is all about and even though it sounds straightforward, both employ different channels and have their own pros and cons.


So, here’s a friendly battle between the pair to help you implement the right sales tactic.

Outbound Sales Advantages


Outbound is usually seen as the ‘traditional’ sales strategy which sales teams have been using for years to reach out to prospective customers.


  • Some of the traditional channels include:

  • Trade shows

  • Cold emails

  • Cold calls

  • Mass media - television, radio and newspapers

  • Social media advertising

  • Outdoor advertising - hoarding, billboards etc

Reach a Wider Pool of Prospects


A big advantage of outbound sales is that sales teams are able to reach people who may not be aware of the product or service being offered. Although it can take the right person to answer the phone, outbound sales teams can see some success if they’re able to engage the customer enough to make a sale.


If that’s something that works for your particular business, then great. Picking up the phone and offering to help potential customers that might be interested in your services is a risk, but it depends on the type of business you are and how much success you’ve had. If you’ve found that it’s working perfectly for you to this day, then you might benefit from sticking to the method.


Although, outbound sales does have its fair share of disadvantages.


Outbound Sales Disadvantages


Before we dive into why outbound sales might not be the best approach for your business, check out these stats which speak volumes:


  • Eighty-six percent of people are skipping television adverts

  • Forty-four percent of direct mail isn’t even opened

  • Paid search is clicked on average two percent of the time

  • Sixty-one percent of people research products and services online

  • Forty-six of people read blogs more than once a day


Inbound leads have a close rate of 14.6 percent compared to outbound leads close rate being 1.7 percent.


This should tell you that the customer is now more empowered than ever and isn’t persuaded by interruptive and aggressive sales tactics. Thanks to the internet, buyers now have the power in their hands so they can research to find what they want and when they want.


Prospects Get Irritated


With outbound sales using the cold calling method commonly, it’s something the customers find irritating. In fact, customers are now beginning to ignore these types of calls altogether as they don’t want to waste time listening to a generic message that’s been used for multiple calls that day.


It’s Not Sustainable

Outbound sales result in your team having to call hundreds of prospects each day before they can find the right person - if they can at all. There’s no guarantee that a customer will be positively responsive or even show any genuine interest in what you’re offering.


It Can Affect Your Reputation


In turn, that can damage your reputation as outbound sales basically distracts buyers from whatever they’re doing. They don’t want to be enticed to purchase something and then those callers also become rude because of these aggressive tactics and they spread the word, ultimately affecting your reputation.


More Time-Consuming = Less Success

Outbound sales take a lot more time and it’s a very slow and exhaustive process. Prospects have become wise to the pesky outbound sales tactics and as they have content available on the internet, they’re going to be looking for answers themselves.


Now, it takes a lot more time for outbound sales teams to reach decision makers or even keep their attention.


Difficult to Educate


Through outbound sales, it’s also difficult to educate. Explaining a product or service over a phone call isn’t going to work that well as it’s challenging. Prospects want visuals, body language and even emotional cues in person rather than false promises.


Technology Advancements


Outbound sales teams don’t have that access to the latest technology they can actually use. Alternative methods like inbound are steamrolling ahead with automation platforms, content management systems and more. At the same time, more and more prospects are now technologically advanced and would relate to companies that are more digitally-driven too.


They’ve implemented caller ID, call blocking, spam filters and more. Outbound sales are far behind in terms of technology and it’s going to take a serious effort to ever catch up.


Plus, communication is only one way and customers aren’t always ready to buy when the message is received, so it’s not the most effective sales tactic for your team to adopt.


Inbound Sales Advantages


Inbound sales is the more modern approach to sales where sales teams can acknowledge and leverage the fact that today’s consumers have free-access to plenty of information online. Inbound sales place an emphasis on the buyer’s requirements and aims to establish trust and a personal connection by offering relevant content the buyer is looking for.


Rather than your sales team aggressively pursuing prospects, inbound sales is about attracting interested consumers and then offering them quality content to convert them into leads.


The channels that are commonly used include:


  • SEO

  • Content marketing

  • Email marketing

  • Social media marketing

  • PPC

  • Growth-Driven Design (GDD)


Higher Level of Engagement


The most impactful sales tactic possible is a human one-on-one interaction, which is achievable with inbound marketing thanks to the ability to personalise each piece of content. It allows inbound sales teams to engage with buyers and build a strong connection which lets them move down the buyer’s journey seamlessly through the right type of content.


Focus on Better Leads

Outbound sales are all about guesswork as some days, nobody might be willing to converse on the phone. With inbound marketing, there’s technology available, such as HubSpot, where features like lead scoring can be used.


This way, inbound sales teams will know exactly which leads are a good fit and which aren’t, allowing to close sales more efficiently by only focusing on the relevant ones.


Increases Brand Visibility and Awareness


Buyers need to actually know your inbound sales team and the company they could be buying from or working with. By creating great content to share with prospects, they’re likely to be satisfied as their challenges have received suitable answers and in turn, they could end up sharing that on social media to raise further awareness.


On the flip side, a poor outbound sales experience can also find its way online which can damage a company’s reputation.


Build Long-Term Relationships


Modern buyers are different now as the power has shifted massively. Inbound sales team can adapt to keep prospects more informed and in the know. By helping them with their pain points, prospects and leads are more likely to keep you in mind.


And with this customer loyalty comes increased sales.


Inbound Sales Disadvantages


As good of an approach as inbound sales is, there are some drawbacks that need to be highlighted:


  • Sales teams might not be able to close leads because of poor-quality content

  • Sales and marketing teams are focusing on their own goals which can hinder progress

  • Inbound sales teams might pursue leads at the wrong time and fail to secure them. Although, there are ways around it


For example, having a shared goal and aligning both teams can play a big role in making inbound sales a success. By implementing technology, only the best leads are focused on and with no guesswork whatsoever, inbound sales teams manage to close more leads than those in outbound teams.


Our Verdict


As you can imagine, the inbound sales advantages trump what outbound sales now offer. The decline of outbound sales tactics is a response to a recent and fundamental shift in consumer behaviour. With people now more in control of what information they want and how they choose to digest it, inbound sales can benefit a lot more as they provide more value and education to secure leads.


Even data has shown that 68 percent of companies enlisting inbound strategies feel their marketing strategy is more effective compared to the 48 percent that use outbound tactics.

Initially, there was reluctance from a traditional outbound sales team to embrace inbound and the use of a CRM. However, the change saw their sales and commission increase, while the client's profits continued to rise.


Insight, together with the freedom to work on other things has seen successful deals closed, production elevated and more people hired as profits increase.


If you want a more in-depth look at how automation can help then talk to us to understand how Inbound Marketing can truly scale up your business in the new normal world and how we can help your business to grow in 2021.