If you do outbound sales, can you stop inbound efforts? It's not that simple. Our Human-to-Human Framework explains why.Jul 21, 2023
Inbound vs. outbound – is this the right question?
I’ve given workshops and trainings to more than 1,000 business owners and sellers in the last several years. One misconception I often hear is the idea that you must choose between inbound and outbound sales strategies. Or that if you’re doing one, you can stop the other.
This notion is not only misleading but can hinder the growth and success of your sales efforts. Inbound and outbound strategies should coexist and complement each other – it’s a necessity in today’s business environment.
Inbound leads are those that find you via content on your website, PR, social media or word of mouth. People learn about you, visit your website for information, show interest in your product, and request a meeting or demo (or make a purchase if your offering can be sold that way). Inbound is a long game.It takes time to build up the content and have it discovered.
Not only does it take time, inbound often attracts a mix of qualified and unqualified prospects that you need to prioritize and sort through. If you’re trying to be strategic and sell only to your ideal customer profile, inbound alone can deliver disappointing results.
On the other hand, outbound sales is most often thought about as the traditional method of reaching out via cold calling, email campaigns, direct mail, and pitch-slapping on LinkedIn.
Outbound is often seen as intrusive, interruptive, and less effective in terms of ROI compared to inbound sales. And I agree. Sales tactics that blast out spammy pitches are less and less effective. In fact, many go-to-market and commercial business leaders are declaring that this old concept of outbound is dead.
The key is to understand that inbound and outbound strategies are not mutually exclusive. They can and should be used together to get results.
In today's noisy world, building influence and new relationships (and winning new deals) isn’t about choosing inbound vs. outbound, but rather understanding how to start conversations and become a trusted advisor to your ideal prospects.
This is where our human-to-human framework comes into play. It’s how I pivoted our business into a new industry, built trust, and closed over $400,000 in a new market using LinkedIn for prospecting.
With this framework, we teach you how to build relationships, not just pitch people. We guide you on how to post and engage on LinkedIn to attract your ideal customers. We help you update your profile so that when your ideal prospect views it, they immediately understand how you can help them and are more willing to connect and have a conversation.
The human-to-human framework we teach is a mix of inbound and outbound strategies.
In the end, it's not about inbound vs. outbound, but rather about creating meaningful connections and building relationships with your audience of ideal customers. And that requires a deep understanding of your customer’s needs and goals.
Importantly, it won’t be effective if you don’t embrace each component – the inbound and outbound aspects – of the framework. And it requires effort and consistency.
If you're interested in learning more about how to effectively use LinkedIn to consistently and predictably book sales meetings and win deals, I invite you to check out our blog post on Social Selling on LinkedIn.
And if you're ready to take your prospecting to the next level, consider enrolling in our Prospecting Mastery course.
The LinkedIn Prospecting Accelerator will help you supercharge your effectiveness on LinkedIn through live group training and coaching with like-minded colleagues. Each session focuses on optimizing a particular skill to improve your effectiveness on LinkedIn. It is particularly beneficial for those who enjoy being part of a community and need accountability to stay on track.
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