Successful marketers are always on the lookout for new ways to stay ahead of the pack; keeping fresh with their approach and not over-relying on tried and tested methods – well at least that’s the idea. When performance begins to stagnate and the sales flow is running dry, the best way to improve things is to review your approach, something that is definitely true when weighing up your outbound and inbound strategies; but which is the best approach?
It used to be very simple, with outbound being the number one method to increase leads and generate instant results. However, recent years has seen inbound lead generation make huge gains, especially when compared in a pre and post-internet age. Yesterday’s newspaper, radio and TV ads have been joined by online equivalents, and more crucially, search engines. The fact a consumer can find what they’re looking for in an instant means an effective inbound strategy is vital, but still needs an effective outbound strategy to truly work.
Should a Company Still Have An Outbound Sales Process?
The benefits of outbound marketing still ring true, with its ability to shorten a sales cycle and its more proactive approach appealing to many sales and marketers. Successful outbound marketing will also impact the sales funnel much lower down to directly affect sales and customer brand loyalty. In 2018, just 18% of marketers admitted outbound practices provided the highest quality leads for sales, whilst 75% of inbound organisations believed their marketing strategy is effective, clearly showing the preference for inbound marketing.
This doesn’t mean outbound strategy is on the way out. There needs to be a balance between inbound and outbound and it’s about finding what works for your company, but what is clear is neither approach will be successful if the right strategy and planning are not in place. Both methods require a good understanding of their target audiences. This is where EngageIQ can ensure that companies are approaching the outbound part of this in an intelligent way that will drive success. The intelligence picked up from it will also help to generate content for an effective inbound strategy.
Inbound or Outbound Marketing for the Future?
The way to look at the outbound versus inbound conundrum is not as two separate processes, but as one whole approach to effective sales and marketing campaigns. They both cannot be approached in a lazy fashion; content creation and engaging campaigns are still needed to ensure that visitors turn into customers, whilst effective cold-calling and lead follow-up will ensure the rest falls into place. SEO plays a huge part in this as it will help to make your brand more discoverable and actively attract visitors providing ongoing communication between your brand and its target audience.
However, outbound sales processes are very much still the key to making it all work; it’s a very good reason why most sales teams approach it in the same way they did a decade ago. Working smarter doesn’t mean forgetting past processes as outbound strategies will help your team take control of the sales process by being able to engage with your prospects early in the decision-making stage, helping to create relationships with prospects that would be difficult in any other way.
What makes inbound marketing different to outbound is discovery; creating the right environment for your brand to be found, rather than actively approaching potential leads. Therefore, one can’t completely work without the other; outbound marketing needs inbound marketing and vice versa. Inbound marketing can provide a long-term strategy whereas outbound can create short term gains. But together, they build a powerful strategy, finding a delicate balance that will ultimately provide huge rewards when implemented successfully.
Talk to us today to find out more about EngageIQ and how we can positively impact your outbound sales and marketing approach for the better.