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Inbound vs. Outbound sales prospecting: What's best?

Savannah Muñoz 11/17/22 7:30 AM

Sales prospecting, a tactic to generate new business through qualifying potential clients, is an often underrated process for most businesses. Without prospecting first, you'll spend all your time talking to the wrong people for your business. Check out this article if you aren't sure what sales prospecting is.

There are two different types of prospecting. I'm sure you've heard of inbound and outbound marketing, but did you know you can also apply this to prospecting?

Every business has different needs and, therefore, can benefit from other tactics. We're here to help you decide whether inbound or outbound sales prospecting is best for you.


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Inbound Sales Prospecting

Inbound prospecting is where you generate new business by qualifying potential clients through marketing efforts. Think of inbound sales prospecting as a more "introverted" way to navigate your sales processes. This means your strategy is to do things to attract your prospects to you like a magnet. This can be in the form of the following:

  • Inviting someone to download a free guide on your website.
  • Using social media creates relationships with people and content for them to engage with.
  • Writing blogs on topics that will entice potential clients to your site.
  • Sending emails to "warm" prospects (engaged users with your content).

This personal approach can lead to greater success in the long run. This personalized tactic means you have a better chance of truly engaging and connecting with your prospect.

Remember, the most successful salespeople are the ones who help their prospects find a solution, not just try to sell them one.

Although this approach isn't as "loud" as outbound prospecting, it doesn't make it any less effective. However, don't let yourself get too comfortable waiting for a prospect to come to you magically.

If you've tried it before with not much luck, ensure you know who your audience is and adjust content as needed before deciding to switch gears.


Outbound Sales Prospecting

Outbound sales prospecting can be seen as the "outgoing" route, meaning you'll need to put yourself out there directly in front of prospects. This tactic provides old-school sales techniques that are still effective to this day. This strategy may include the following:


  • Cold calling and emailing: Reach out first to potential customers with your sales pitch through phone calls or emails.
  • Sifting through social media and contacting prospects. Figure out their likes and dislikes through what your prospects share online. This takes a bit more digging into each person, but the insight you'll receive gives you a huge advantage.

The significant part of outbound sales prospecting is that you'll know sooner rather than later whether a prospect is a good fit for your business.

There's a reason these techniques are still around today - because they work! However, no strategy will work properly unless you put the effort in place today.


Which is better?

Inbound prospecting tends to be easier on the budget and requires less time actively searching for potential prospects. The downside to inbound is that you're letting your prospects come to you - something which you have little control over. 

Outbound prospecting creates a higher chance of a strong bond through personalization. Although outbound tactics are seen as the more "aggressive" approach, depending on your products and services - this may be the best decision.

Which is better? This depends heavily on your budget, the size of your team, and your services. If you're tight on money but have a lot of content, try inbound practices first. If you're ready to put yourself out there and confident in your sales pitch - give outbound prospecting a go!

Sales prospecting is not a quick task, but with the proper techniques, it can be much easier to tackle. Not sure how to start? Send us a message with any questions, and we'll gladly help you!

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