Wondering if you should leverage inbound or outbound sales? In reality you should be utilizing both to generate leads. Years ago, sales efforts from a B2B standpoint consisted mainly of outbound calling, supported by sales and marketing efforts including trade shows, events, sponsorships, mail-outs, newspaper, radio and TV. It was these efforts that were supposed to drive leads back to the company, and in many cases they still continue to. Today, these efforts are still a valuable component of the mix, but one also has to look heavily at content marketing efforts to drive inbound sales. Using search engines to look for solutions to business pains has increased substantially.
Here are some highlights of Inbound and Outbound Marketing and how they support sales:
I can honestly say that we are finding it harder and harder to catch prospects by phone and or email. People are busy either screening their calls or answering emails, which makes it difficult to get your message heard. Traditional sales and marketing tactics are also not converting leads like they used to and they are generally expensive. The price of trade shows, cost of travel, price of stamps, cost of a newspaper/tv/radio ad all continue to increase. Using these more traditional channels may still make sense to some, but one needs to be very focused on the best option for your target audience. You definitely can’t stop trying and leveraging these tactics. Some of our largest wins even today come from traditional outbound sales and marketing efforts.
On the other hand, the power of letting yourself be found easily on the web is the most cost effective way of generating new leads. Let your website and online content be your sales person. A consistent effort to create great content that is relevant to your prospects and customers is important. Over time this strategy will help you drive new leads – we can attest to this. It has taken years to accomplish this, but we are generating over 50 leads per month just from our website. We have also helped a large industrial client acquire 10 to 15 qualified leads per month just from their website. It doesn’t matter the space you are in, most people today when searching for information are leveraging tools like Google and Bing to help them find relevant content. A few keys to consider when building an inbound sales strategy include:
A consistent effort over time is what will win this race. You will most likely not see huge success within the first 6 to 9 months of work because it takes time to drive search engine results.
We recommend that you produce new content pieces at least once or twice per week. This should include a variety of items including blogs, infographics, videos and white papers.
Inbound lead generation and content marketing is not just about creating content for your website. This content should also be shared on your social media platforms that are relevant to your business. LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and up and comers like ComLinked may be a good fit.
I think the key to success is not just leveraging outbound sales or inbound sales (inbound lead generation), it’s important to use a combination of both. Also, don’t be shy to get your sales team supporting the inbound sales and lead generation efforts. It will only benefit them as leads from their specific territories or markets will propel them to achieve greater sales success.
If you are in need of inbound lead generation or strategic and ongoing part-time sales and marketing assistance, feel free to contact me. I would be happy to see if we can help. Alternatively, if you are simply looking for a source of excellent sales and marketing information, please feel free to sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Twitter.