When researching lead generation solutions, you may come across the terms inbound and outbound marketing. They’re important to know and understand, and you’ll also come to find that they’re both quite different. So, what makes the most sense for your business? Or is a hybrid solution truly the best option?
Sales development is the department within your organization that is responsible for directly feeding leads to your sales team. This team focuses on the beginning parts of the sales cycle: prospecting, identifying, connecting with, and qualifying leads. By consistently working and sustaining a sales pipeline, your sales development team frees up your sales reps to focus solely on delivering sales pitches and closing deals.
While most organizations believe that a sales development team should only consist of sales development representatives (SDRs) who perform traditional sales activities, these teams can also have inbound reps—SEO content writers and email marketing specialists, for example.
Outbound marketing, also called “interruption marketing” is any type of promotion for a product or service in which the salesperson at a company initiates the first conversation with a potential customer. Instead of letting customers find you through organic methods, outbound marketing is when you find the customers and use strategies to convert them into leads on your own terms.
An outbound SDR is responsible for initiating relationships with prospects and making the first contact through a cold touch. Most prospects are found through large data sources, while a few are found through manual prospecting. Once a list of prospects is created, an outbound SDR is responsible for cold calling to cleanse data, qualifying the lead, and then nurturing that lead until they’re ready to have a buying conversation.
Since an outbound SDR has to call prospects who have no prior knowledge or context regarding the sales conversation, they face a lot of rejection. Several top salesperson skills—grit, resilience, ambition, and active listening, to name a few—are required to be successful in an outbound SDR position. But building an outbound team is essential if you want to market your products and services successfully.
Inbound marketing techniques, unlike outbound marketing, focus on drawing customers to your products or service organically. This can be done through different marketing activities such as SEO content writing, social media marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization, and more.
An inbound SDR focuses on engaging with warm leads that were generated using inbound marketing activities. Website development, email marketing, and social media are just a few marketing activities that can help you generate warm, qualified leads. If a user finds your website through an organic search and engages with a chatbot or fills out a contact form, this is an inbound lead. The SEO content writer who helped your company’s website rank organically for a search term is technically the inbound SDR in this scenario.
Although inbound leads are already interested in your business and therefore are easier to close a deal with, inbound SDRs still require an entirely different set of skills. It isn’t easy to generate inbound leads—it requires an entire team of marketing professionals, from digital strategists to content writers and professional social media strategists. Using proven tactics and consistently measuring results helps these teams determine what is working so they can drive more inbound leads.
When you evaluate lead generation strategies, you shouldn’t weigh the pros and cons of outbound vs. inbound. Instead, you should think about how these two strategies can work together.
Here are three key reasons why sales development teams should use both inbound and outbound marketing strategies:
Inbound activity gives your SDRs more chances to pitch warm leads. The more opportunities your SDRs have to deliver a sales pitch, the better they’ll get at it. They can practice their delivery of the pitch while they also practice handling common objections. Outbound teams can also help inbound teams by telling them what objections they’re commonly hearing. This can help inbound SDRs create more targeted content that prospects might be searching for.
The job of an outbound SDR isn’t easy—with an inbound SDR team, they’ll have more confidence because they’ll have the opportunity to pitch warm leads. If an outbound SDR is dealing with too much rejection from cold outreach, they’ll get burnt out quickly. But if your website and social media pages are generating leads for you, your SDRs will have more confidence from being on high-quality sales pitches with warm leads.
Oftentimes, businesses generate inbound leads without even realizing it. They’ll get a contact form submission from their website and treat it as a one-off, making sure it gets in the right hands. This can get messy quickly. The most successful sales teams have one group dedicated to generating inbound leads and another group of SDRs that generates outbound leads. Why not actually try to generate both and build a seamless process that converts any type of lead, inbound or outbound, into a long-term customer? At the end of the day, all SDRs are working toward the same goal: to generate qualified leads and help the sales team sell more. Make your sales development department collaborative, with both inbound and outbound teams working together toward common goals.
Outbound and inbound SDR terms shouldn’t be held to the same standards because they execute completely different responsibilities. Instead, you should have an allbound team where you focus on generating both inbound and outbound leads. More lead generation strategies mean more opportunities to convert leads into long-term customers.
Are you ready to discuss how an all-encompassing B2B lead generation solution could grow your business? Let’s talk → schedule a meeting with Abstrakt Marketing Group today.