The Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Telesales

Both inbound and outbound telesales play a key role in customer acquisition. However, while similar, there are some key differences to bear in mind. We've put together all you need to know in this guide.

Both inbound and outbound telesales play a key role in customer acquisition. However, while similar, there are some key differences to bear in mind. We've put together all you need to know in this guide.

What are Inbound and Outbound Telesales?

There are several differences between inbound and outbound telesales, but both have a valid place in the modern B2B sales operation. Before we get into the key differences between inbound and outbound telesales, let’s look at what each is.

Inbound Telesales

Inbound Telesales are when a company contacts customers who have already enquired about or shown interest in the company. This is typically done by filling out a form on the company website or by already contacting one of your representatives, but can be done in many ways. These forms are all designed to get the prospect interested enough to want more information about the product/service you're offering.

An example of this would be when you call someone after they attended one of your seminars. This would be considered inbound telesales since the prospect has already shown interest in your products via attending one of your events, therefore you're simply following up with them to see if they require any additional information about what you're offering.

Outbound Telesales

Outbound Telesales are those that are usually made through cold calls, targeting people that have not already heard of your business. Data can be gathered for this in several ways, for example through a telephone directory or company list where you're calling people who have no knowledge of your business, but it’s typically done by telephoning individuals at home on their landline. Outbound telesales can also be done via cold emailing and through SMS.

You Might Like: Five Crucial Ways Telemarketing Drives B2B Lead Generation

Key Differences Between Inbound and Outbound Sales

Source of the Lead

Perhaps the most obvious difference between inbound and outbound telesales is the source of the lead:

Lead Function

Another key difference is the function of inbound and outbound telesales within the sales process:

Prospect Frame of Mind

As a result of their different function with the sales process, inbound and outbound telesales are likely to encounter prospects who are in a very different frame of mind:

This is why you need to work with highly-professional telesales teams who have the skills and charisma required to build rapport with B2B buyers and the knowledge needed to take prospects through a discovery process, to ensure they are fully-qualified as a sales lead. This process could involve other forms of outbound communication, such as email.

Cost of Leads

Given their very different nature, there can be a significant difference in the cost of leads generated by inbound and outbound sales:

Skills Needed 

Some people imagine that inbound telesales is more like customer service than outbound telesales, but in reality both inbound and outbound telesales require strong relationship-building skills. At Pace we believe that, while inbound may be perceived as ‘easier’, we see a benefit in training inbound telesales professionals in the ‘harder’ skills required for outbound:

Why Outsource Inbound and Outbound Telesales?

In our view both inbound and outbound telesales have a place in a modern B2B sales strategy, and it can make sound strategic sense to outsource either one or both of these functions. But what is the key reason you should outsource inbound and outbound telesales?

The B2B sales journey is complex, not linear. 

Your investment in both inbound and outbound telesales will be more productive if each discipline forms part of a strategic approach to sales and marketing activity.  

The B2B sales journey is no longer a smooth linear process (if it ever was) but can jump around between inbound and outbound channels, as buyers gather the material they need to make a buying decision. 

For example, your outbound telesales may approach a prospect who is not currently in buying mode but can be added to a nurture programme. This allows you to build a long-term relationship with your customers, so that you stay in mind and your inbound sales team is their go-to when they are ready to buy.

Alternatively, your inbound team may receive a call from a buyer who is doing some research for their boss as part of a larger procurement process. An outbound call from a knowledgeable sales professional might develop the relationship with a key member of the buying team. 

It is well-known that the B2B buying process these days typically involves a team of individuals, often from different departments in your organisation. This is why modern sales require sales automation systems that allow you to keep track of all the individuals within an organisation that may be involved with a purchase from your company.

Helping your Inbound and Outbound Telesales Work Together

We are passionate in our belief that a modern sales outsourcing company should use a modern sales and marketing approach. If you are looking for a telesales team to make hundreds of calls a day in isolation from the rest of your sales and marketing activity, then you are missing out on a lot of the value that we can deliver.

 For example, we will only call prospects that we believe fit your ideal customer profile and deliver the financial ROI that your company needs to grow. That means we invest time in research and building a discovery process that means we can hand over qualified leads to your sales team.

 And we can take an objective look at your sales strategy, helping you to develop clear objectives and KPIs for both inbound and outbound telesales, with a consistent approach that ensures you will reach those targets.

 In a world where consumers and business professionals alike are used to seamless communication, moving between channels and devices at a pace that suits them, it makes sense for your inbound and outbound telesales to work together seamlessly too.

 Enquire Today To Find Out More About Our Inbound and Outbound Telesales Services!

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