With all of the hype around inbound sales and marketing, outbound appears to have fallen out of favor. Inbound activities like content marketing and social media marketing do certainly work to bring in leads, but they need to be balanced by a strategic, targeted outbound approach – especially if you are a new, relatively unknown name in your industry. After all, if you’re not recognizable, you’re going to have to fight an uphill battle to develop the reputation you’ll need to run a successful inbound campaign.
That’s why, for most B2B companies, the best strategy is to incorporate both inbound and outbound into your sales and marketing efforts. This way you can build a presence (and the bottom line) more quickly.
Here are three tips to help you get the most out of both strategies:
1. Create different targets for inbound and outbound
Your sales team should have a clear idea in their heads about what inbound success looks like, compared to outbound success. Each should have their own unique targets to hit, and they should be measured in ways that make sense based on the activities your team is doing.
For instance, inbound efforts could be measured by how many downloads per day your latest white paper is seeing, while outbound might be measured by the number of demos set up in a given time period.
2. Measure conversion rates across both inbound and outbound
Be sure that you are taking into account all activities across inbound and outbound efforts when measuring success – and pay attention to when they overlap.
Conversion rates of an inbound campaign promoting an ebook will be different than the conversion rates of cold emailing. However, that ebook might be promoted using paid Facebook ads (which fall into the outbound bucket), and some leads that you reach out to via cold emails may have already heard of your brand on social media (through inbound methods). Be clear with your team when measuring conversion rates for all of your campaigns, and identify when and where they overlap.
3. Embrace flexible prioritization
At times, you may find that your outbound efforts are far surpassing your inbound. That latest blog post might not be getting much traction, but you’ve set up 50% more demos this week compared to last week. However, that can change quickly – next week, your inbound team might launch a killer ebook that goes viral in your industry.
In this case, you should shift your resources to back up the ebook, possibly de-prioritizing outbound efforts. You want to prioritize what’s working, and be flexible and fast enough to switch between methods as the results change.
Inbound and outbound strategies are highly complimentary, and they can work in tandem to bring in leads and close sales. Be sure to balance the two when developing your sales and marketing strategies, so that you maximize the efforts of your team.