Terms like Inbound Marketing and Inbound Sales have been the darlings of entrepreneurs and sales leaders in recent years.
In fact, this model in which the potential customer reaches the sales team attracted by relevant content and after being nurtured along the sales funnel usually presents low cost and high conversion rate.
But that doesn’t mean that the more traditional sales model, known as Outbound Sales, should be left out. On the contrary, there are many cases in which it can bring more profitability and ensure the best results for a business.
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In this article, we are going to:
- Introduce the Outbound Sales concept
- Talk about when this strategy becomes more relevant
- Explain how it can be combined with Inbound Sales to accelerate sales.
What is Outbound Sales?
Outbound Sales, also known as Active Sales, is a business model we’ve known for a long time.
In it, a company maps potential customers through different forms of segmentation and approaches these leads with
- Telemarketing actions
- Cold emailing
- Door to door
- Face-to-face visits
- Among others.
Vendor teams dedicated to Outbound Sales have in their routine the prospection of potential customers inside and outside the office, using segmentation tools, participating in events and business meetings and seeking referrals.
Although it may refer to the business practices of years ago, Outbound Sales is far from being an outdated or even outdated model. Recently, new tools and approaches have made strategy more relevant than ever and an important source for ensuring short-term results.
When does Outbound Sales make sense?
Just as there are ideal scenarios for Inbound Sales to bring the best results, there are others in which the most effective bet is on Outbound Sales, structuring actions to win over customers through proactive work and efficient approach to salespeople.
Know what they are:
Companies with a niche segment
Organizations that operate in a very specific market, with low volume of potential customers and that can be easily identified, can accelerate results when they contact these leads and build a long-term relationship through visits, events and phone activations.
In this case, it makes more sense to go after potential customers than to wait for them to enter the sales funnel through Inbound Marketing strategies.
Companies that sell high value-added solutions
Likewise, companies that sell high value-added solutions, such as enterprise-level IT solutions, business consultancies, among other cases, can get better results by focusing on Outbound Sales.
This is mainly due to the behavior of the potential customer when they need any of these products or services – they usually use referrals or companies with which they have already built some kind of relationship.
Companies with the ability to manage multiple acquisition channels
Outbound Sales also makes a lot of sense for companies that are able to manage multiple customer acquisition channels simultaneously, with teams prepared to perform all functions related to both Outbound and Inbound Sales.
In this case, usually, salespeople and commercial consultants are exclusively dedicated to each channel, ensuring specialization in the types of approach, which are usually quite different from each other.
The Benefits of Outbound Sales
We say that Outbound Sales is an effective model for companies that operate in niche markets, market solutions with a high average ticket value, or are capable of managing multiple acquisition channels simultaneously.
For businesses that have any of these characteristics, there are also three main advantages to adopting an active sales model:
1. Short term results
The main advantage of working with Outbound Sales is being able to reap results in a short term, which will depend on the average time of negotiation of your product or service.
While in Inbound Sales the results start to appear around six months, with Outbound, in a few weeks it is already possible to close the first sales.
This way, even working with both models, it is possible to ensure the commercial pipeline while the Inbound Marketing actions are consolidated.
2. Close contact with the potential customer
If in Inbound Sales the relationship between lead and seller only starts at the final stage of the funnel, in Outbound Sales this relationship takes place from the initial stages, when the potential customer may not even know their needs.
This close contact with the lead in all phases of their buying journey allows for a very in-depth knowledge of the potential market, the important factors for the decision and the main existing demands.
In this way, valuable insights are generated for different areas involved in commercial strategy: product, sales, marketing and finance, among them.
3. Customize communication
As much as in Inbound Sales it is possible to understand a lot about the profile of the potential customer through information captured during the interactions and analysis of this data, it is in Outbound Sales that personalization really happens.
For longer business processes, this can be the point that will close the deal, even.
This personalized service can even speed up the Outbound Sales funnel, which is generally longer than Inbound Sales.
Cautions when implementing Outbound Sales
Outbound Sales, however, has very critical points of attention, which must be anticipated and monitored by you during the execution of campaigns and prospecting and approach actions.
Otherwise, this model could end up becoming a drain on resources, both human and financial.
By activating prospects at different stages of the purchase journey, Outbound Sales tends to have a lower conversion rate than Inbound Marketing, which already delivers leads to sellers very close to the acquisition. In this way, the cost per lead can also become higher.
That is, when investing in this business model, you need to be very aware as a sales manager about the ideal conversion rate and cost per acquisition so that this strategy is profitable for the organization.
Of course, these factors can always be improved through training for sellers, special offers and conditions to facilitate the purchase, among other initiatives.
Cold customer contact
There are profiles of potential customers who flee from any commercial approach, especially those considered invasive.
For this reason, keep in mind that betting on a model where the first contact is usually a cold call or cold email, it can happen.
To avoid a very low acceptance rate, knowing the audience that buys your product or service is an essential first step.
Thus, it will be possible to understand what is more or less acceptable in an initial contact made by a seller, as well as the best channel for this to occur. The key will always be to make this approach as cold as possible!
See also: Winning Customers by Email: Everything you need to know about cold email
Difficulty measuring results
While Inbound Sales and Inbound Marketing are easy to measure results and identify campaigns that are more or less effective to lead to results, in Outbound Sales the risk is that this may not happen.
In this commercial model, it is necessary to carry out more structured records that cross the profile of the campaigns with the activity of the seller. This, in turn, must have the CRM system as a daily ally to record everything he did in the relationship with the customer.
Only then will it be possible to look at a significant volume of data that can be interpreted in groups, in order to understand which the most effective measures were within a given period.
If the commercial management is not very well structured, it is possible that these data and impressions are restricted to each salesperson, preventing decision-making based on accurate analysis.
What is the best model for your sales team?
As you reach the end of our article, the main question may be: should I choose between Inbound Sales or Outbound Sales? And this, in fact, has been a very common question among sales team managers.
The truth, however, is that, increasingly, it will not be necessary to choose between one model or the other, especially with the specialization and advances that both have been experiencing in recent years.
On the one hand, we have the growing importance of Inbound Sales, with the consolidation of Inbound Marketing to capture leads. On the other hand, we have significant advances in Outbound Sales, which guarantee the flow of trades even in periods of downturn in your market.
In other words, ideally, you look at your Sales planning in detail and understand which results can come from Inbound Sales and which will need to come from a more proactive approach, combining the better of the two and anticipating the investments needed to reach their maximum potential.