In the complex, multilayer world of sales, we tend to differentiate between the two branches of sales – inbound and outbound. Inbound sales involve the prospects coming towards the business, perhaps due to their own interest or a referral. One way or another, they are already interested in what you have to offer.
On the other hand, outbound sales are the complete opposite – it’s when sales reps proactively go toward potential customers to initiate a dialogue and try to get them interested in the product or service.
Both have their advantages and challenges, and in an ideal world, businesses should focus on both these sales tactics.
Outbound sales is not a technique of its own, but rather the name given to all the different sales techniques where sales reps make the first step towards building a relationship. The good news is that you do not need a huge budget or manpower for outbound sales, and you can begin at any given point.
Outbound prospecting in the form of cold emailing and cold calling are the first techniques that come to mind. They are cold because the prospects are not expecting to be contacted by those companies. Unfortunately, many firms abused these sales methods over the years by spamming or not respecting their prospects and their time, creating a negative stigma around cold calling and emailing.
However, it remains one of the most powerful tools companies can use to engage with potential customers, only the rules have changed. The simple logic is if you don’t believe your product or service can be of true value to the prospect – best not to contact them. If you truly believe that your firm could potentially be a solution to their problems or pain points – outbound away.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the average customer is not interested in spending their time replying to a cold email or call if they feel like another name on the sales rep’s list. Outbound sales simply don’t work without personalizing your message at least a little.
And this isn’t some trick to get your prospects to reply, this is a way of showing them that you’ve taken the time to look into them before disrupting their day by contacting them out of the blue.
The main objective of modern outbound sales is to initiate a dialogue, provide value, and create long-term relationships. If your goal is simply to sell – perhaps outbound sales are not for you.