We all want more, right? Be it leads, clients, profit or anything. We as humans are never fully satisfied. However, nothing more comes with less efforts. So how do we drive more leads? Best way to work is with what we already have always. Then the next step is the lead generation, once your own contacts or network is exhausted.
The question with both b2c or b2b lead generation is the same. Should we do it inbound or outbound? Inbound leads help initiate contact directly with the company or through referrals. It is like people finding you through social media like Facebook etc., reading your content available on the internet or a direct referral from an acquaintance, friend or family member.
Outbound leads are created by active initiation by you. These are cold leads. The lead does not know about you, they have not subscribed to any communication from you. You found them through your b2b lead generation tactics. Even pre-existing lists of dream accounts are outbound leads. Choosing between inbound and outbound is not a simple decision.
The answer to this dilemma largely depends on things like your customers, your business model and your bank balance. Let’s discuss some details inbound and outbound leads:
- Execution: Inbound lead generation is a very slow process if you rely on organic channels like referrals and Google search. Inbound lead generation includes a lot of content creation, which is time consuming and needs to be adequately distributed to get noticed. There is a lot of competition today with social media for attention. Promotion is a lot of work. Outbound campaigns are easy to execute, honestly, just stop reading and go execute. If you can manage a good email copy and tools then you can have a great outbound campaign. If you want immediate results, outbound marketing is the way to go. It is faster with lower costs.
- Targeting: In inbound targeting most of your concepts like account-based marketing, demand generation, demographic targeting does not provide any kind of assurance. It does not provide complete control. The control is in the hands of other people. I can control my content and its placement but not the lead generation itself. However, with outbound marketing the targeting is highly focused, sophisticated and powerful like a laser. Especially, with the new tools like the sales navigator by LinkedIn. You can focus your marketing efforts on specific titles like director of marketing. It is perfect for a laser campaign You can also do account-based marketing with this one. Instead of targeting a title, you can target your dream account list. You can start by having individual conversations as well. This will help attract the right audience.
- Timing: We all know that timing everywhere is crucial but in sales it is extra important. If your product or service is like high-end it can take the customer months to decide. The bigger the business the longer the sales cycle. So, timing plays an important role in choosing which way to go with inbound or outbound lead generation. In theory and practicality, the inbound cycle is comparatively shorter as in this the customer already is aware of their problems. In outbound, it’s you who has to reach out and make them see why it is important for them to buy your product or service and why you are better than your competition.
- Awareness: Knowing your customer is the most important part of sales. Is the person aware they have a problem, are they aware that a solution exists? The less aware your potential customer is the longer the sales cycle. In inbound, a customer who is aware of you through a referral or social media will connect with you. In both situations they are aware they have an issue that needs to be solved and that you may be able to provide them with a solution. However, in outbound lead generation campaigns the level of awareness is usually unknown and immeasurable.
There are many other aspects to look and choose but the best is to look at your business and run both strategies together once to compare the results and then choose the best one for you.