It's the great debate. Should you be investing in a greater inbound sales team or stick with the trusty outbound sales approach? We look at which one costs more and which one drives more sales.
Let's start with outbound
Ok, we already know that old school outbound sales work. Not only do they allow you to choose your own customers, but outbound sales are predictable and scalable. This allows you to construct a business plan that works and produces immediate results. With more customers expecting businesses to make all the effort in the sales process for them, outbound still stands on solid ground.
However, there are a few features that deter us all from outbound salespeople. First and foremost, none of us like to be cold-called or interrupted in our business day. The other important factor to consider is how outbound sales leads stop working as soon as your sales team goes home.
What inbound does differently
Inbound, on the other hand, keeps working and generating leads even when your sales team has gone home for the day. While it takes longer to see results, the chances of closing more leads increases significantly.
As content marketing continues to grow, inbound sales are moving from strength to strength. With a combined product development and marketing plan, inbound can deliver 54% more leads to your sales funnel according to Articulate Marketing.
Hubspot research agrees. Since 2009, their results show that inbound increases leads year on year and costs less year on year too. In 2011, inbound leads cost 61% less per lead. That figure is now almost at 65%.
So which one should you use?
The answer is both. Most businesses currently take an 80/20 split that favours outbound sales. However, with buyers becoming more informed and taking the lead on their purchases, we wouldn't be surprised if this split switched. In fact, inbound sales are becoming more influential every day. Despite the fact that inbound sales should be implemented when businesses can afford to spend more time nurturing their leads, it will be better to specialise sooner than you think.