Inbound leads reign supreme for lead generation. We aren’t here to argue that. They come knocking on your door, are actively looking for your product or service and cost significantly less than outbound leads. What most companies eventually realize is that in order to meet monthly and quarterly sales targets, inbound marketing simply isn’t enough. Inbound lead generation takes time. And most companies can’t afford to wait. Enter outbound lead generation.
Think of it this way: selling door-to-door no longer works for many reasons. Knocking on every door and using the same message won’t help your company acquire any new customers. But what if you knew which doors to knock on, who was going to answer the door and what to say to them?
Outbound Lead Generation
Outbound lead generation is a proactive, integrated sales and marketing approach that focuses on generating qualified leads at a more rapid pace.
How to make outbound lead generation work
Outbound lead generation relies on continuous collaboration between your sales and marketing teams. Your sales and marketing teams work together to identify your target accounts, buyer personas and the overall message to use when communicating with and engaging your prospects.
By using this collaborative approach, you can:
- Select the companies you want to target (which doors to knock on)
- Identify the buyers within the organization (who will answer the door) and
- Address their interests and anticipate their concerns (what to say to them)
Inside sales reps typically own the initial distribution of the message and supporting content to a select group of prospects. They monitor who opens emails, who clicks on links or views content and prioritize their follow up based on the prospect’s level of engagement. Your inside sales reps should then meet with your marketing team to discuss what worked, which types of content prospects found most engaging and what didn’t work. By closing the feedback loop between your sales and marketing teams, you gain a better understanding of which doors to knock on, who is going to answer the door and how to pique (and keep) their interest. If your prospects are interested but aren’t ready to take the next step, that’s OK too. You can still utilize more passive inbound lead generation tactics to further educate and establish a relationship with this audience.
Inbound lead generation allows your target buyers to consume information at their own pace until they are ready to speak to your sales team. Inbound leads knock on your door when they’re ready. But this approach takes time and often requires a lot of resources to get right. It’s not a matter of one approach versus the other though. Inbound lead generation works best when supported by outbound lead generation. Each can help where the other falls short.
Benefits of outbound lead generation
1. You can shorten your sales cycle
Outbound lead generation is best at hyper-targeting the leads you think are ready to purchase your product or service right now. This integrated approach helps clearly articulate your company’s value proposition and provides your target buyers with the information they need. You know which questions will come up and most importantly, how to answer them.
2. You can build brand awareness more quickly
Using inbound marketing tactics to build awareness takes a ton of time. It requires consistently publishing high-quality content, earning backlinks from authoritative websites and establishing relationships with key industry influencers. This doesn’t happen overnight. Outbound lead generation can be an effective way to actively distribute your content to your target audience—which not only increases your content’s overall visibility but also attempts to get it in front of the right people.
3. You can test new markets
Having an outbound lead generation capability is great for testing new markets. Your inside sales reps often contact up to 100 prospects each day, which gives them a unique opportunity to gain insight into what is (and isn’t) working. This real-time feedback can help your company further refine the value proposition for your product or service and strengthen your understanding of who your target buyers truly are.
Outbound lead generation isn’t dead
Inbound lead generation will continues to be one of the top marketing priorities. But just because inbound lead generation is a top priority doesn’t mean outbound lead generation is dead. It’s just no longer the primary focus of your company’s lead generation efforts. The most effective organizations use outbound lead generation tactics to complement their ongoing inbound efforts. With proper targeting and the right approach, you’re far more likely to deliver results sooner through outbound lead generation than inbound.