Inbound vs Outbound Sales: What's the Difference?

Inbound vs Outbound Sales: What's the Difference?

5 minute read

For every business, the art of selling is key to their success. Without an effective sales strategy, chances are you are leaving lots of potential profits on the table. When it comes to selling online, outbound and inbound sales are two opposite strategies that form the base for many successful businesses.

If you are struggling to reach your revenue goals, it's time to discover the difference between inbound and outbound sales and how to choose the right strategy.

Inbound vs Outbound Sales: What's the difference?

Imagine you are trying to sell a new piece of software that your company just released. You cold-call a list of potential prospects, send out emails to a list of subscribers to a newsletter, run advertisements on Facebook, or even run an ad in the local newspaper in order to get customers to notice and buy from you. That's outbound marketing

What if, instead of doing the above, you change your tactics and decide to create informative content that shows how your product could solve your customers' problems. You could share this information with your audience through a company blog or your social media platforms. Your potential customers may do a simple Google search for solutions to a problem they are having, find your content and learn about your offering independently. In this scenario, your customers discover you on their own instead being on the receiving end of hard sell tactics. When this is the case, it's inbound marketing.

“Nearly 40% of marketers say content marketing is a very important part of their overall marketing strategy."

(HubSpot, 2020) (Source:


The disadvantages of outbound sales marketing 

Outbound sales have been the traditional marketing method that most businesses adopt. The advantage is that it allows you to reach a wider audience in a short amount of time. However, as studies have shown, people are growing more and more annoyed by common outbound tactics. A whopping 86% of people skip TV adverts, and 44% of all direct mails end up in the trash, without getting opened. 

Put yourself in the shoes of your customers. Will you get annoyed by unsolicited cold calls or out-of-the-blue emails? If a business annoys enough prospects with its cold-calls and unsolicited materials, it will end up getting complained about, which will eventually damage its reputation. This a major reason for companies adapting their sales process to feature both inbound and outbound sales. 

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Why is inbound marketing powerful?

First of all, inbound leads have a close rate of 14.6 per cent compared to only 1.7 per cent of outbound leads. Thanks to the Internet, people now have the power to choose what type of content they want to read and when.

Given that 61% of people research product information online before making a purchase, inbound sales can be your powerful channel if you manage to capture these searchers' interests. Instead of having your sales team aggressively pursue potential prospects with outbound calls, you create high-quality content that attracts those prospects to your site and convert them down the buyer's journey.

Better lead quality

The reason why inbound leads convert better is that they have better quality. Your content is created with a perfect customer in mind. That's why the people attracted to your business will be the ones with the best match.

“75% of marketers use their reports to show how campaigns are directly impacting revenue."

(HubSpot, 2020) (Source:


Higher level of engagement

With inbound marketing each piece of content is personalised to the intended audience, your prospect will feel more connected to the brand because they feel like you are speaking to them personally. As a result, they tend to engage in the conversation and can easily move down the buyer's journey when presented with the right content.

“Almost 30% of marketers surveyed use audience segmentation tactics to improve email engagement."
(HubSpot, 2020) (Source:


Build authority and brand awareness

By creating high-quality, relevant content that helps solve your customers' problems on a regular basis, you are positioning yourself as a top expert in the niche. Your readers may not have an immediate need for your product at the moment, but whenever such a need arises in the future, they will immediately think about you.

“Search is the number one traffic source to blogs across all industries.
(SEMrush, 2019) (Source:”


Form long-term relationships

If you are interested in turning regular customers into loyal fans, inbound sales marketing is the way. Through quality content that addresses their pain points, you are forming a personal relationship with them.

How to adopt an effective inbound sales strategy

As you can see, inbound sales marketing is not just about putting your product out there for the whole world to see. First, you need to understand  inbound sales methodology well, then learn to apply it to your business. With inbound sales, every step is modelled around the buyer's journey

Depending on where your prospect is on that journey, you will present them with the most appropriate content. By helping your potential customers solve their problems, you are building trust, a kind of trust that helps close sales and turn them into loyal fans.

The power of inbound as a sales strategy is its effectiveness in generating a predictable and scalable model for growing your monthly recurring revenue (MRR). The close relationship between your sales team and marketing, who will be generating lots of high-quality content. 

For those who don't know how to get started with inbound sales marketing, we are here to answer your questions and help you through the process. Don't hesitate to contact our experienced marketing experts to get started in transforming your business with the most powerful marketing strategy.

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