Inbound Leads Versus Outbound Leads: What And How Are They Different?
Inbound And Outbound Marketing
When we want to generate leads for our brand, we can use inbound marketing or outbound methods. Both methodologies can complement each other, but they generate very different results. Do you know the differences between inbound leads and outbound leads and how to treat each of them? We will explain it to you!
What Are Inbound Leads And Outbound Leads?
The inbound leads are the users who come directly to you to solve their problems. For example, they may visit your website after a Google search, sign up to download content or sign up for a free trial. In short, they are the ones who find you and decide that they want to interact with your content, your services, or your products.
These are some of the most critical characteristics of inbound leads:
- They know your brand exists and have interacted with it before.
- They have some previous ideas about your brand and your product.
- They have researched the market in which your solution is located.
- They urgently need to solve a problem related to your brand and are actively looking for solutions.
- They have specific questions about your product or service.
On the other hand, outbound leads are the users you get in touch with, usually through channels such as social networks, cold emails, or phone calls. They do not know your brand and have never visited your content, and you are the one who finds them and encourages them to interact with your content, use your services or try your products.
Some of the elements that define the outbound leads are the following:
- They haven’t interacted with your brand and often don’t even know it exists.
- They have no previous ideas about your brand, products, or services.
- They haven’t researched solutions in your industry recently.
- They have general doubts about your product or service since they still don’t know how it works and how to help them.
- They may be aware of their problem, but they are not in a hurry to fix it and are not actively looking for solutions.
Main Differences Between Inbound Leads And Outbound Leads
- Execution speed: Generating inbound leads is a long process based on organic channels. On the other hand, we need to launch recruitment campaigns to obtain almost immediate results if we are looking for outbound leads.
- Brand awareness: Inbound leads have a much higher level of understanding, as they are aware that they have a specific problem and that our brand could be the solution. In contrast, when we generate an outbound lead, we do not know what their level of brand awareness is, and most likely, it is not too high.
- Segmentation: With inbound marketing, segmentation is done implicitly, creating content that responds to the needs of a specific audience and hoping that the right people will find us. In contrast, we can be ultra-precise with outbound marketing, for example, launching social ad campaigns targeted at particular audiences.
- Trust and credibility: To achieve a conversion to sales, we have to make the user trust our brand. In this case, the difference between inbound and outbound is when trust is generated. Usually, this process is already done when an inbound lead reaches us. On the other hand, outbound leads don’t know us yet, and we have to earn their trust before becoming customers.
- Sales cycle: By the time an inbound lead reaches us, they’ve typically already gone through the initial stages of the conversion process. You have researched your problem and possible solutions and are interested in our brand. All this results in a shorter sales cycle. Instead, we have more work to do with outbound leads to get closer to conversion.
- ROI: In inbound marketing, we make a solid initial investment of time to create a series of resources, for example, a website and a blog full of relevant content and well positioned in Google, but later we can reap the benefits for years. On the other hand, outbound marketing can obtain much faster results but requires constant investment.
- Lead quality: In general, inbound leads are considered higher quality since the user is later in the sales cycle and has proactively sought you out. But we can also generate high-quality outbound leads if we work well with segmentation and messages.
How To Treat Inbound And Outbound Leads
To finish, we will see some quick tips on approaching lead nurturing with inbound and outbound information to achieve the best results.
These are the recommendations for inbound leads:
- Personalize interactions as much as possible. Even if you use an automation system to manage your leads, it is essential that you know how to convey that you are talking from person to person. And if you work with a small number of high-volume leads, do your best to contact them personally.
- Focus on helping, not selling. Inbound leads come to you to solve a problem, so the key to converting them is helpful.
- Answer questions accurately. Inbound leads often have particular and technical questions about your product. Try to resolve them as clearly and thoroughly as possible, and don’t be afraid to ask for time to investigate if necessary. Remember that you may be asked about the competition, so you have to be up to date with their solutions.
And to outbound leads, point this advice:
- Use Storytelling to make your brand known. In most cases, outbound leads don’t know the context of your solution, and Storytelling is a practical resource to help them get to know you better.
- Focus on your particular case. Find the specific needs of your leads and focus the information on them instead of trying to present all your solutions at once.
Guide them Step by Step. Outbound leads typically require more tracking and monitoring than inbound leads. After each interaction, be sure to inform them of the next step fully.