A force multiplier: Why you need a sales strategy using both inbound and outbound tactics.
Pros in sales know that a solid strategy is needed to win the game. A core piece of sales strategy is your mix of inbound and outbound sales tactics. These are necessary for your sales reps to achieve success.
Like carbohydrates and protein, you may prefer one over the other, but when eaten together they activate your body with a healthy, nutritious energy. Your body and health need both to thrive. Viewing your company like you view your body’s health, you’ll see you need leads from both inbound and outbound to have a healthy sales funnel.
It is rare for a business to depend solely on inbound opportunities – depending on the line of business you are in, inbound leads may only make up 20-25% of your total leads. If you can outperform on this metric, you are doing well! However, in order to drive the revenue, you need to succeed, your outbound sales engine is crucial to propel sales growth.
What do we mean by inbound?
An inbound lead is someone who has an interest in your product or service. There’s a high chance that they have a need for it as well. Inbound leads find your business in a variety of ways: news articles, mentions by influencers, your blog posts, and key search terms that lead to your website.
When a sales rep receives interest from an inbound lead, the rep’s focus will be on readjusting their sales game to connect with the buyer where they are at. It’s imperative to meet the buyer where they are – if you come in at the wrong level, you may be missing out on converting the sale.
Zero in on the prospect’s pain and needs, using your powers of empathy, and be their confidante. They’ve already voiced interest and most likely have done prior research, now you just have to seal the deal. Your sales rep will want this inbound lead to eventually become a long-term, trusted relationship. Make sure they’re prepared to do so with patience.
A typical inbound sales strategy
Prospects who are self-educating about your product are more likely to become an inbound lead. By researching your company and product, the prospect may see quotes or case studies from your customers, say on your website. You need to have content that speaks to customers wherever they are in their journey.
There are three stages from a buyer’s perspective: awareness, consideration, and decision making.
Awareness and consideration stem from content strategy. In fact, the sales rep should be involved as little as possible, allowing the content to bring this prospect in more than anything else. Inbound strategy is all about making content discoverable and a helpful resource for prospects to find answers to their questions, before even reaching the sales rep. Decision-making is when the sales rep comes in, answering any further questions and negotiating an agreement to close the deal.
What do we mean by outbound?
An outbound lead is a prospect who may or may not be interested in what you’re selling. These are leads who have likely never heard of you before, but this doesn’t mean your sales reps can’t win them over. When your reps are taking the outbound approach, they are thoughtfully looking for and actively reaching out to prospects.
In B2B sales, it is common for 50% or more of your leads to come from outbound activities. This is done through cold calls and emails, and then follow-ups, demos, and so on. Once your reps have sparked a connection with an outbound lead, they work with them until the lead realizes there is a need for your product or service. Outbound sales is a full-on commitment that few businesses have the luxury of missing out on. It can be a grind for reps, but almost everyone needs or eventually needs outbound sales.
You need a thorough and intentional mix of both In order to maximize the impact of your sales strategy, you need a way to multiply the impact of your existing resources. We’ve discussed what we mean by “inbound” and “outbound” components of your sales process – but these don’t exist in a vacuum.
By combining these tactics with the right mix, you can provide your team with a tool more powerful than just talking to inbound leads or just making outbound cold calls. Faster time to close with inbound leads enables sales reps to develop skills and rapport more quickly, which in turn can be leveraged on the outbound calls.
That new rapport makes outbound easier and leads to faster close times – a virtuous cycle from force multiplication. This is why inbound and outbound prospecting tactics are so incredibly important.
Taking the long view in B2B sales
If you’re wanting to quickly add numbers to your pipeline or rapidly generate thousands of new leads, you may be prioritizing short-term gain over long-term benefit. In B2B sales, selling can take time and you must build this into your strategy. In other words, you must construct a longer view of how your sales reps are communicating and growing relationships with prospects.
Having a long view means your sales reps are creating a game plan for what they want to accomplish, and when. This plan doesn’t have to be a bible, but you don’t want it to be a shotgun blast either.
In order to close a deal, the way your sales reps convey your brand and product offering to prospects must be done in an effective and thoughtful way. Embrace the fact that multi-persona buying is today’s reality and that selling by relationship to a single point of contact will not work. It is common to have multiple decision-makers in B2B sales. It may take 13 or more touches to deliver a sales-qualified lead. Tell your reps: Be. Patient.
What comes next
Using inbound and outbound sales tactics begins with making a cohesive plan. A cohesive plan means great revenue can be right around the corner. At RaaStr we believe in the importance of leveraging inbound and outbound sales strategies to deliver results. We use a mix of these tactics to increase the revenue health of any company that might need a boost. We offer comprehensive plans that are tailored to each client and their needs. Our dedicated, sales professionals will work relentlessly to deliver exceptional execution for you.