What Is The Difference Between Inbound Leads And Outbound Leads?

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Outbound lead generation can produce results quickly when done right. Inbound lead generation usually takes longer to implement but can potentially lead to more opportunities over a longer period.

Here’s a quick guide to inbound and outbound lead generation techniques, and what each approach can bring.

What Is Lead Generation?

It’s the process of attracting potential new customers in hopes of converting them into customers.

There are different methods for generating leads, so it’s important to know how to develop an effective lead generation strategy.

Knowing whether to approach a prospective customer or have them come to you first can be the difference that leads to increased sales.

What Are Outbound Leads?

Outbound leads are sales leads that you contact first or actively pursue.

Attracting these leads often requires paid campaigns to highly targeted groups, primarily through social media marketing and search engine advertising platforms.

This means that when relying on an outbound strategy, the vast majority of people you reach out to will show no interest in your product or service.

Yet, this doesn’t mean that the strategy is flawed or inefficient.

So what is the best outbound lead generation strategy?

You may also pursue outbound leads by researching specific prospects and directly contacting them through methods like:

  • Cold calls

  • Direct mail

  • Display advertisements

  • Events

  • Mass emails

Outbound leads allow your company more control over your leads.

In this scenario, you, not the prospect, choose the time and place of the interaction — hence the term “interruption marketing.”

How To Generate Outbound Leads

SDRs generate targeted contact lists and then cold call prospects on that list. They aim to organize a meeting or demo with the prospect.

SDRs need to research the best times to call and be well-versed in pitching your product or service to do cold calling right.

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Outbound Marketing Team

Each business has groups of marketers that serve a different function to generate leads.

  • Content Marketers: Create engaging content for your target audience

  • Campaign Marketers: Run promotional campaigns through email, television, radio, print, and social media platforms

  • Performance Marketers: Manage paid advertising and brand marketing

How Does Data Impact Outbound Marketing Techniques?

Sales intelligence solutions like Cognism allow organizations to access all the data you need – leaving your outbound strategies open to bigger and better opportunities.

Data can help you identify new business opportunities, establish your total addressable market and take full advantage of buyer intent.

When you take a data-driven approach to outbound lead gen tactics, you’re better able to consistently meet and beat your competition.

Campaign Marketing

A campaign can be run online, on social, via email, or even in print. It’s a form of B2B marketing that increases your brand’s reach.

A B2B marketing campaign aims to target audiences who may not have heard of your company before.

What Are Inbound Leads?

Inbound leads are also known as warm leads.

They are pretty interested in what you offer, and are ready to take action; they are emotionally warm and engaged with your brand.

Accordingly, the majority of them will convert.

Inbound leads usually have a specific set of requirements for the product. Show them how the product can meet the requirements best.

As a salesperson, you know the product/service very well, and you know how to present it to a potential customer to see the benefits of using it. Do that.

Help them achieve their goals with your product to feel the value you’re offering to them. Once they do, they will be eager to buy from you.

Inbound leads contact the sales team most of the time.

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Inbound Lead Generation Strategies

This is when you allow your prospect to come to you through SEO practices and the provision of valuable content.

Unlike outbound lead generation, the prospect decides when and how they will reach you.

The best example of inbound marketing is content marketing, where you publish relevant content to attract your target audience to your brand’s website.

Content marketing strategies include blogs, social posts, adverts, videos, and SEO.

This method gives you the chance to create evergreen content that will continue to attract leads and drive traffic to your website.

Brands that help buyers define, research, solve problems, and make better purchase decisions are more effective at reaching buyers earlier in the decision-making process, building trust, and creating the ability to positively influence purchase processes.

Inbound lead gen also costs less than an outbound lead generation as traffic is generated organically with the right content.

Think of inbound as laying out a trail of information and incentives that prospects can follow towards your brand and, hopefully, to the bottom of your funnel.

Inbound lead generation leverages search engines and social media platforms to put prospects in contact with your content.

One of the main challenges of inbound lead generation is standing out from the crowd.

Even if you provide compelling content and utilize paid ads, it can still be challenging to remain visible amidst the competition.

You can help combat this challenge by prioritizing organic traffic.

Inbound And Outbound Leads

From the sales perspective, the main difference between outbound and inbound leads is that they are at different buying cycle stages.

Hence, they require different communication strategies from a sales rep.

An inbound lead not only acknowledges the existence of your brand but also has had some previous interaction with it; has some connotations with your brand and product; has done some research of the market you’re in, and has some beliefs and expectations about your product.

Outbound leads don’t have prior knowledge or interest in your product.

Decrease Website Bounce Rates

Unless your website is seamless, fast-loading, and highly responsive on phones, many high-quality leads may bounce back from your website!

A study by Google shows that 53% of mobile users leave a website after three seconds (or less) after they click, and the landing page isn’t loaded yet.

In other words, it’s inevitable to use a powerful CMS like Drupal, and an advanced website builder like Varbase to help you personalize your website.

Track Your Performance

Use key performance indicators (KPIs) to understand what’s working and what isn’t.

Even if your new outbound strategy seems to be working, getting too comfortable may be the kiss of death.

Customer pain points, communication methods, and industry trends are constantly changing, so keeping up with tracking your results is essential.

Google Maps

Many people search for products or services they want by writing the name of the product/service followed by ‘near me.’

By putting your brand on Google Maps and Apple Maps, and leveraging structured data to increase visibility, more leads expect to find you and, contact you, visit your website or your physical store.

Start filling your sales pipeline today

Social Media Ads

Probably the most used outbound marketing efforts come from social media advertising.

This technique is very efficient because billions of people spend trillions of hours every day scrolling their feeds.

You simply pay these platforms to show your products and services ads to your potential leads.

Optimize Your Outreach Methods

Making sure you optimize all your content and marketing assets for search engines and online platforms can also prolong your team’s work on them.

Whether you’re cold calling prospective customers or emailing them, perfecting your message is crucial to your success. Test out different methods and CTAs through good old A/B testing.

Let your efforts build upon each other, too. Cold outreach through phone calls or emails takes multiple efforts before engagement.

Studies show sending 4-7 emails in a lead generation series can triple your engagement compared to only 1-3.

Search engine marketing, or SEM, a form of paid advertising, is becoming more popular for lead generation.

Which Platform Should You Use For Social Selling?

In B2B, LinkedIn is the number #1 platform for conducting social selling. Here, sales reps connect with and nurture customers by building personal brands.

This includes sharing content and adding value to potential buyers.

Inbound vs. Outbound Lead Generation

Both inbound and outbound lead generation exists to help you generate leads. They help you attract potential customers and create a demand for your products or services.

The difference between inbound lead generation and outbound lead gen is that inbound marketing is purely organic, while outbound requires perseverance and effort.

Outbound leads who engage with your sales and marketing teams might not know who you are or what you sell.

Education and information are therefore critical to successful outbound lead generation.

Outbound can get you there if you need to generate hundreds of new leads fast.

Inbound takes longer to get results, as content takes time to rise in visibility and since prospects need a lot of interaction before they take action.

Both approaches understand the need for incentive and segmentation of the target audience, and, regardless of which method you use, every initiative requires some form of lead nurturing.

Which Lead Gen Method Is Right For Your Business?

While the tactics synonymous with outbound are not dead in the water and still have a place in the B2B marketing and sales mix, inbound has become a better foundation for B2B growth.

Inbound lead gen is cheaper and easier to get started with, is lower risk, and delivers compounding returns that further lower cost over time.

Many companies rely on inbound and outbound leads to convert new clients. However, each type of lead offers unique benefits.

Factors like your business model, budget, and customers may affect which type of customers you prioritize.

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Hop-On The Kennected Train

According to HubSpot, 61% of companies name their top marketing challenge is generating traffic and leads.

If you’re part of that 61%, keep reading because what you’re about to discover could be a game-changer for you and your business (like it has for thousands of people before you).

So many business owners & sales professionals that come to us are struggling to get ahead because they’re stuck relying on referrals, lead lists, or manual prospecting.

This is taking up too much of their time and isn’t creating the consistent income they’re looking for to fund the lifestyle they want for themselves and their families.

Four years ago, the founders of Kennected had the same struggles. They found that lead generation was way too complicated, expensive, and time-consuming, knowing there had to be a better way.

So they developed a new way of getting qualified leads that turn into new customers on the #1 platform for B2B lead generation… LinkedIn.

In the four years since we developed this lead gen strategy, we’ve earned a spot on the Inc. 5,000 list of Fastest Growing Companies in America.

And more importantly, it helped over 17,000 businesses get new leads and sales for THEIR businesses.

Want to see how it works?

Click here to see how you can use Kennected to fill your sales pipeline with qualified leads in less than 10 minutes per day.

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