Anyone involved in sales knows that there’s a never-ending discussion surrounding outbound vs inbound techniques and approaches. Especially if you’re representing a small B2B company trying to grow and reach more customers, it may feel at times like you’re the main character in Columbus Deluxe, trying to discover new territories. However, there’s no reason to panic as there were plenty ahead of you in a similar situation, and ways to use both techniques were developed.
From today’s article, you’re going to find out how to use outbound sales to boost inbound leads efficiently. Of course, it may require some extra actions on your company’s side. However, the positive results are confirmed by numerous other businesses that found a way to grow organically through a well-balanced outbound and inbound sales plan. So, we invite you to check out the six benefits of outbound sales we are highlighting below and decide if it’s the way to move forward for your company.
Use Outbound Sales to Define Your Content Marketing Strategy
Because the outbound sales process is focused on a hand-picked audience, it can help you decide on which direction to choose for content marketing. One way outbound sales help you define the marketing strategy is by figuring out what made the contacted customers buy your product or service. This can also be done by adding a short survey or poll at the end of the outbound sale.
Then, using the information gathered from outbound, edit and optimize your content strategy to push on those specific areas and help customers that reach your website organically have a smoother way towards conversion. This is just one of the various advantages of outbound sales that we’re going to explore in the following paragraphs.
Outbound Activity Increases Traffic on Your Website
It goes without saying that the main component of the outbound sales process is actually selling your product or service. However, even if the sale doesn’t conclude in the outbound attempt, there are hidden benefits resulting from this practice. A customer that didn’t decide on the spot to buy will visit your website to get more info or double-check the facts your outbound team offered. This results in increased organic traffic to your website, a better SEO ranking, and an increased chance to reach more leads. So, each time you look at the results of an outbound sales campaign, keep in mind that the effort also produces effects that are not instantly visible, such as increased organic traffic and many more.
Define Your Ideal Customer Profile through Outbound Sales
Gathering lots of data is essential to improve outbound sales and get the best results. However, that’s not the only advantage you get from gathering data during outbound activities. Since you’re interacting with the potential customer directly, you have the chance to learn more about the ones interested in your service or product. Most importantly, the person that deals with outbound sales is in a unique position to shape the Ideal Customer Profile and other lead scoring data.
Often abbreviated as ICP, the Ideal Customer Profile is vital in any sales process. Knowing who you’re addressing will help you optimize your marketing processes to cater to those that have more interest in what you’re selling. The most important factors that contribute to the ICP are:
- Company Size
- Annual Revenue
- Main Customers
- Operation Longevity
Include these in your outbound sales conversations, and you’ll be able to sketch the ICP while attempting a sale and get plenty of useful information for your inbound strategy. As discussed earlier, once you know who you’re addressing, you will be able to optimize your content marketing strategy and take many actions to improve your company’s progress overall. You may decide to add a new section to your website that specifically addresses those customers that were prevalent in the ICP, or even tweak your product or service to appeal to a wider range of potential customers.
Use Outbound to Define the Buyer’s Journey
Another positive outcome from any outbound interaction you get with potential customers is that you can shape the buyer’s journey on your website. Once you get an idea regarding the Ideal Customer Profile, you can start optimizing the journey so that the people within the companies most likely to require your product or service are targeted better. Even though you may think you have a clear idea who is it you’re addressing in a company, most of the time they are not entirely who you’d expect!
Therefore, an outbound sales representative can use specific questions to determine who’s the decision-maker in a company and roughly figure out the process taking place before making the decision. For better results, your outbound sales efforts should try to find out the following details about the buyer’s journey:
- Where do the customers look for more information before deciding to buy your product/service?
- What are the main things they wanted to know before making a decision (what questions did they ask)?
- What were the specific terms searched in the decision-making process?
Once you have some answers to the above questions, you will be able to customize the buyer’s journey and help your inbound sales grow as well. Another benefit that your outbound sales team brings as a side-product from the actual outbound selling process. If you thought outbound processes are yesterday’s news, you will have to think again because we’re going to give you two more benefits this activity brings to your company.
Outbound Sales Can Help Identify Inbound Strategy Inconsistencies
It’s not rare for companies to identify the ICP and also understand the buyer’s journey, but continue having issues with inbound lead generation. And while there are plenty of factors that can play a role in inefficient inbound lead generation, the outbound process helps to narrow down the list.
By asking current and potential customers the proper questions, you can identify the main issue that makes your inbound process inefficient. Use inbound to fill in the information gaps and identify potential problems in your inbound strategy based on the answers you get from current and potential customers.
For this strategy to work, you need to use all the collected data properly. In most cases, you’ll feel that there are lots of different data, not necessarily pointing at anything. However, having a good analyst in your team will help centralize the answers and expose any issues in your inbound strategy. It could be not enough content on the product page or a check-out process with too many steps. Or, you may not have enough payment methods to appeal to a wide list of customers. All these aspects can be revealed by carefully analyzing the data you’re getting during the outbound process with existing and potential customers willing to participate.
If you can’t find enough clients willing to share their experience with your inbound funnel, you can always extend your scope to testers and companies specialized in optimizing this process. Remember, your clients don’t necessarily think the way you do and may find the process too complicated or with too many steps on the way.
Outbound Contacts are Ideal for Retargeting
This is not the case when your outbound sales succeed and you reach your goal. However, besides providing you with lots of useful information, the outbound process comes with an extra benefit for those instances when the sale doesn’t take place. So far we’ve learned that the activity can help you optimize the content, make up the ideal customer profile, adapt the inbound funnel, and even have a better idea of whom to target within a company that’s a potential customer. Well, why not use the outbound contacts for ad retargeting?
You already have a database with outbound contacts, right? This means you’re only one step away from targeting them with PPC online advertising. Not only that they already heard of you since they were part of the outbound sales pitch, but you won’t have to work twice to put together the list for PPC advertising.
Including the unconverted clients from outbound campaigns on a PPC strategy increases the chance for conversion, especially for those that were interested but did not want to decide on the spot or just needed some more information. By seeing your ad, they will access the website (already optimized using the previous tips we gave you) and you’ll get a new chance at turning them into buying customers. Make sure not to push it too further with retargeting, though. It’s a known fact that exposing potential customers to excessive advertising can turn them away for good from your product/service, and you will lose them for good.
Final Thoughts on Outbound Sales Influencing Inbound Results
As you can see, there are numerous ways an outbound sales campaign can influence your inbound results and strategy. We chose to focus on the ones that can really be traced, the outbound activity. However, there are many other positive consequences of running constant outbound campaigns. Now that you have a rough idea of how to boost inbound leads and sales by using outbound techniques, it’s up to you to find the proper context and tools to put these to work to your benefit. It’s not always easy, especially for B2B companies that are at the beginning. But finding a way to add these practices to your everyday processes is a sure way to positively influence the rate of success. Maybe you won’t always find the resources to apply all these, but you should focus on the most that are easily appliable to your company and start right away for the best results!
We invite all our readers that witnessed one or more benefits of outbound sales in their inbound process to join the discussion and share their experiences. Feel free to add any information we may have left out and help others with your input
Thomas Glare is an experienced copywriter and digital marketer with a master’s degree in media studies. He helps his clients identify their brand identity and core message, attract customers, and sell services. Thomas also loves blogging about marketing. It helps him to stay on top of all the emerging trends in the fast-changing world of advertising.
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