A simple guide to building strong inbound and outbound sales strategies

Inbound and outbound sales strategies contrast in approach, but you don’t have to choose just one. Find out how you can incorporate both into your sales strategy to improve conversion rates.
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A simple guide to building strong inbound and outbound sales strategies

Choosing between inbound or outbound sales as a way to generate leads doesn’t have to be an ‘either-or’. While both strategies contrast in approach, it doesn’t mean you have to pick sides. 

As much as possible, you should use both methodologies to help you acquire more customers for your business.

The issue that comes in is determining how to incorporate both to develop a well-coordinated plan to get more leads and convert them into paying customers. 

Well, fret not because this article will help you take the best qualities of inbound and outbound sales tactics and meld them into a sustainable and scalable strategy.

Contents

How to build a strong inbound and outbound sales strategy

Determine which is your primary and secondary strategy

While we’re not trying to get you to pick a side, not all businesses are the same. Some thrive using inbound sales, while others are better off with outbound sales techniques.

In this case, you must decide which sales method you should prioritize as your primary strategy — you should then use the other process to complement your primary strategy.

To get this out of the way, inbound sales refer to tactics where people come to you. This is in complete contrast with outbound sales, in which you reach out to your people and convert them into customers.

Ideally, you want to go with the strategy that’s already getting you the most customers. For example, if your main source of customers is cold calling, which is an outbound sales tactic, you should go with this approach as your primary strategy and develop it using inbound sales as your secondary strategy. 

The same goes if inbound sales generate the most clients for your business, you should then develop your outbound sales in a way that boosts the performance of your inbound sales and not be in conflict with it. 

💡 Additional read: Inside vs outside sales: Which is better for your business?

Observe the best SEO and content marketing practices

If you decide on going with inbound sales as your primary strategy, SEO and content marketing are two of the best tactics to implement here. The former helps your website appear on top of search engines for increased visibility and traffic. 

Content marketing allows you to educate and provide useful resources to your audience. In fact, content marketing is one of the best tactics for B2B sales due to its ability to develop content that helps build trust with your audience.

You can roll SEO and content marketing together to form a unified strategy since you can’t rank on Google SERPs without creating good content. In the meantime, you should also focus on a good competitor monitoring roundup to see what other businesses are doing and do it better.

The most crucial factor to consider first here is the keywords you will optimize on your website. To help you narrow down your search, you must find keywords often searched by your audience and are relatively easy to rank for. 

You can find these low-hanging fruit keywords using Ahrefs. Optimizing them will help you appear on top of search results faster, so you can reap the benefits sooner than later.

An example of how Novocall’s article was able to rank on Google. Source: Novocall
An example of how Novocall’s article was able to rank on Google. Source: Novocall

You need to know the type of content that resonates with your audience when it comes to content. While articles and blog posts are the most common types, there are others out there that you can try creating for your website to attract more of your audience. 

Visual content like infographics and videos have always been popular because processing information from these content types is easier. And, while creating them is much more complex than articles, tools like Canva and Lumen5 make creating images and videos a breeze.

Another form of visual content you can use is video testimonials. This is where you encourage customers to send over their honest thoughts about your product and how it benefitted them.

Determine which outbound channels to use

For those planning to develop an outbound sales strategy, you have to determine which channels will effectively help you gather more leads.

Firstly, if you’re planning to use social media platforms to reach out to your audience, you should determine which platform your audience frequents. 

For example, if your audience consists of business professionals, LinkedIn and Facebook will be your best bets. If you’re targeting a much younger demographic, using TikTok or Instagram makes more sense.

The platform you choose will then dictate the kind of outreach strategy you have on social media. While the purpose of social media is to build relationships with your audience, the approach you use for each channel should be different.

If you’re going with LinkedIn, sharing educational content in the form of posts can be part of your initiative. You should also regularly engage with your audience through the comments section. On the other hand, if you’re using TikTok to generate sales, you’d have to convert your content into short, attention-grabbing videos. 

Secondly, email outreach. While it’s a great outbound sales strategy, the biggest obstacle that will get in your way is by finding qualified leads to reach out to.

Vetting the right prospects requires you to deal with various factors. First, you need to know if the organization you’re reaching out to needs the products or services you’re offering. Also, you have to know the right person to reach out to in the company. Finally, you have to find the best email address of that person to whom you want to reach.

Once you have all these things ironed out, you need to create your sales emails for each. Most email platforms have templates you can just edit, so you don’t have to start from scratch. 

Another essential component of sales emails is the headlines. Since every prospect responds differently to each headline, you should at least use time-tested subject line formulas to get started. This way, you can set a baseline for your open and response rates and work your way up from there.

Incorporate outbound calling in your strategy

Some would assume phone calls have been rendered obsolete by email, instant messaging, and other advancements in technology and communications. However, outbound calls remain a viable option to integrate into your outbound sales approach.

There are three types of outbound calls you can implement in your strategy:

  • Cold calling: Initiating a call to prospects who don’t know who you are to increase brand awareness. The rejection rate is high, and chances of making a sale are low.
  • Warm calling: Making a call to prospects with whom you have an existing relationship or already know about your business. As a result, the chances of conversion are much higher than cold calls.
  • Hot calling: Hot calls are made when your prospect is highly interested in your product or service and is ready for direct contact to make a sale. Conversion rates of this approach are very high.

Again, you should always go with tactics that your audience appreciates. This is why a multichannel strategy for prospecting leads is the best approach to ensure that you get the best prospects in the market.

If you’re looking to scale your outbound outreach, you can try Novocall’s autodialer feature, as it lets you set up a virtual outbound call center from anywhere in the world. 

Novocall’s auto dialer allows your sales reps to upload long lists of contacts and create automated cold calling campaigns.
Novocall’s auto dialer allows your sales reps to upload long lists of contacts and create automated cold calling campaigns.

Using the call recording functionality, easily capture feedback from your outbound calls to provide insights to your sales team on improving their sales strategies. Novocall also comes with rich analytics that allows you to track your team’s performance.

💡Additional read: What’s the difference between Inbound and Outbound call centers?

Refine your sales funnel to accommodate both

Now, it’s time to incorporate your inbound and outbound tactics into your overall sales strategy. And the key to doing that is with the help of your sales cycle.

The 7 main stages of a sales cycle
The 7 main stages of a sales cycle

From here, you should be able to organize which tactics and strategies belong in which stage.

Most tactics can be placed in different parts of the sales cycle. In regards to SEO for inbound sales, you need to organize keywords according to search intent. Some people want to search for information about a topic you cover (informational), while others search to help them make a purchasing decision (commercial). 

Keywords with informational search intent may appear in the Prospect, Approach, and Qualify stages since you want people in this stage to learn more about your business. 

For those aware of your business and want to learn more about your solutions, create content optimized for keywords with commercial intent. Using your content in the Pitch stage should help bring them down your sales funnel and closer to becoming your clients.

Aside from outbound emails, inbound emails allow you to send them emails upon signing up to your email list. From here, you can send them a wide variety of emails, from newsletters to gated content. 

You can include them in your sales funnel to qualify prospects who want to learn more about your business and potential customers waiting for a sale before buying from your site.

To help you facilitate the movement of prospects in your sales cycle, you must implement lead scoring using your CRM software of choice. This involves using artificial intelligence (AI) to help identify your prospects’ stage of your sales cycle. This way, you can launch your campaigns on different segments of your process until you close them.

Track campaign performance

Over time, you should have enough data from your campaigns that you can measure. 

Analytics is arguably the most crucial part of your sales strategy. It is where you find out if your campaign was successful or not. From here, you can determine what led to these results and find insights you can use to improve your upcoming campaigns.

Before launching your campaigns, you need to know the key performance indicators (KPIs) for each. You want to look at how many qualified leads you acquired over time, demos scheduled, and deals closed. 

Other metrics such as the number of followers, engagement, and the like aren’t as important. Although they could eventually lead to a sale soon, you want to first look at variables that impact your sales and revenue. 

Focusing on sales opportunity tracking gives you direct data to work with to improve your sales efforts.

You can then trace your way back to why and how this happened. For campaigns that yielded positive gains, figure out which aspect in your strategy has set the results in motion and replicate them in your next campaign. 

For techniques that didn’t draw any results, determine the issues that led to their failure. Most of the time, the cause is because you used an incorrect tactic or you’ve wrongly set up a campaign. Chalk these up to experience and make the necessary adjustments to get better results from these tactics.

It’s also possible that the solution has nothing to do with the actual strategy. For example, remote work challenges play a factor in why your plan didn’t work. If you’re managing call centers overseas, consider improving your internal communication and workflow, which should remove roadblocks in your process.

What’s next?

We hope that this guide has shared how you should approach building sales strategy from the ground up.

If your goal is to develop a sales strategy that works, you need to use the best tactics applicable to your business. In this case, it doesn’t matter if they’re inbound or outbound techniques. As long as you can close more sales with these methods, that’s all that matters.

If you’re looking to improve your inbound and outbound sales, why not use Novocall? Its suite of call management features such as click-to-call, outbound autodialer, and call tracking support both inbound and outbound call-driven lead generation efforts. 

Give Novocall a try with its 7-day free trial today!

Christopher Jan Benitez
Christopher Jan Benitez

Christopher is a freelance writer for hire who specializes in the digital marketing field. His work has been published on SEO and affiliate marketing-specific niches.

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