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The difference between inbound and outbound sales

The difference between inbound and outbound sales

Many companies are still confused about the sales methods to use for their business. The battle between inbound and outbound sales and which would bring customers to your business better still goes on. The two methods, however, have their pros and cons within them that should be worked out.

But what sales method works better? Let’s define what are inbound and outbound sales, how they work, and what would a business get if the two are combined.

What is inbound sales?

Inbound sales methodology, or simple inbound sales, refers to sales methodology that focuses on solving problems and providing solutions for interested buyers. This aims to answer inquiries and provide more information for customers about a company’s products and services.

Customers from inbound sales are leads generated from digital marketing efforts, whether through content marketing, social media, broadcast media, or pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements.

Inbound sales follows the four-part process of identifying, connecting, exploring, and advising.

What is inbound sales?

Inbound sales process


The first thing to do to be successful in inbound sales is to identify a company’s prospects and the problem they’re struggling with. Companies should be proactive in thinking about the problems and coming up with solutions for them. 

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Identified individuals that the company sees fit with their offerings, meanwhile, will become leads.


The inbound sales team should then connect to these leads to determine whether they should prioritize the leads’ goals or challenges. They will help educate their leads on their problems and connect them with the solutions tailored to them.

Connecting is important when it comes to developing trust with their prospects. Leads, meanwhile, who go on with their goals will be called qualified leads.


The inbound salesperson will then explore the qualified lead’s goals and assess whether their offers will fit their needs. They should mainly focus on the challenges they face that slow down their progress on reaching a goal.

Once they see that the lead is a good fit, they will now be considered as opportunities.


Lastly, the inbound salesperson will advise the lead on their offerings and how this will address the lead’s goals and context. This aims to show the lead how their product will address their concern and make their life easier. This is where the initial sales transaction will start.

Once the lead accepts the advice and proceeds with the transaction, they will then become a customer.

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What is outbound sales?

Outbound sales, meanwhile, refers to the methodology where the company reaches out to their generated leads and initiates sales engagement. This usually involves cold calling, emailing, video calling, or texting. 

Outbound sales teams maximize methods of communication when reaching out to customers. Unlike inbound sales, they also have to be determined since leads won’t come to them. They have to be knowledgeable of the products they offer since most of their leads have little knowledge of the company and its products.

B2B and B2C outbound sales

Though almost similar in process, B2B and B2C outbound sales have distinct goals, strengths, and benefits for a company.

In business-to-business (B2B), salespeople sell to the representative of their prospect company. This usually involves a longer sales cycle and closing a deal involves multiple touchpoints. This is due to the prospective businesses still having to undergo several processes in approving and proceeding with the sale.

On the other hand, business-to-consumer (B2C) offers a more direct approach since they go directly to the consumers. A salesperson or an agent usually has more leads to call than their B2B counterparts, since the latter needs to be more strategic in targeting their prospects.

What is outbound sales?

Using inbound and outbound sales to grow your business

A company may choose to focus on either inbound or outbound sales to its advantage. However, successful ones utilize both to maximize their growth.

Inbound sales help them attract customers, manage costs, and scale employees more effectively. Meanwhile, outbound sales can maximize generated leads, build trust, and close bigger deals. 

In the end, both sales methods will work depending on the plans and strategies a company use. These can even be improved by outsourcing them to a sales firm or a BPO company.

An outsourcing partner like 123Employee, can help a business in knowing what method they should focus on and hire experts to do the rest of the work for the company. 

With this, they can maximize their growth in a cost-efficient way and even expand their market over time.

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About Derek Gallimore

Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.