Inbound and Outbound Sales – Can’t we all get along?

Inbound and Outbound Sales

Over the past few years, inbound marketing companies seem to have captured the minds and hearts of not only corporate sales and marketing managers, but they also became the darlings of Wall Street. You need to only look at the stock valuation prices of Hubspot and Salesforce to validate this statement.

Driving all this excitement is the fact that inbound marketing companies have adopted the popular nomenclature of “the cloud.” Investors have rained lots of money on any marketing automation or CRM software offering that has adopted a cloud delivery method. However, the silver lining of all this content generation and SEO-enhanced engagement is predicated on an outbound phone call to the prospect. It all comes down to the human interaction to close the deal!

Here’s the lay-of-the-land: Marketing is tasked with generating leads using both inbound and outbound methods. Since email is the most commonly used communications method, lead-gen campaigns focus on the email address as the key data field. For instance, email subscription forms often contain just the first name, last name, and email address. Additional information will be added to the CRM record as the lead converts to a contact and is transferred to a business development rep to qualify.

As the inside sales function grows and companies look for ways to accelerate the sales process, business development reps are often tasked with qualifying (or disqualifying) leads much sooner. In fact, some studies have shown that the earlier an inbound lead is contacted by phone, the better chance the lead will convert to a sales opportunity. However, if the key field is the email address and a telephone number has not been requested or filled in, how is the sales rep supposed to make the outbound sales call to close the lead?

Speaking from a CRM perspective, inbound and outbound sales KPIs must get along to provide the best possible solution. But this is a bit of Hatfields and McCoys love affair…

Hatfield’s (inbound marketing) Ammo:

  • Email opens
  • Click-through rates
  • Form completions
  • Lead to opportunity conversions

McCoy’s’ (outbound sales) Ammo:

  • Dials made
  • Dials connected
  • Quality connects (having a positive conversation or getting a referral)
  • Bad data
  • Length of conversations
  • Number of conversions

CRM systems should be able to track and report on both types of data sets. For businesses that generate high volumes of inbound leads, they often have teams dedicated to the qualification process. These outbound calling data points should also be used to evaluate marketing campaign effectiveness. For instance, if marketing is generating a high volume of leads, but the lead qualifiers cannot connect with them in a timely fashion, the value of those leads diminish over time.

For more, information, please download our 5 Data Insights for Effective Outbound Sales Prospecting Whitepaper.

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