Inbound leads or outbound… it’s the age-old question that bugs most sales teams the world over.
Every business needs to generate leads for its sales team and convert those into new customers in order to grow.
As the old saying goes, ‘sell or die‘.
But which type of lead generation – inbound or outbound – is going to provide your sales team with a stream of good qualified opportunities and give you the best return on your marketing pounds?
Inbound Leads vs Outbound Leads
It’s probably worth clarifying exactly what we mean by ‘inbound’ versus ‘outbound’ leads at this point. Inbound marketing involves getting prospects to come to you. ‘Outbound’ techniques, like advertising or cold calling, involve you going to them.
Inbound lead generation uses great content to attract prospects, convert them into leads that you can nurture and eventually close. This means that creating good, informative content is the key to making this a successful strategy for your business. This is where inbound lead generation really differs from the more ‘old school’ outbound lead generation. The content for inbound should not be intrusive, pushy or annoying. It should be far removed from the clever slogans and gimmicks created by advertising agencies and the polished scripts traditionally used in telemarketing.
What inbound lead generation content performs best?
In its e-book, ‘The 10 minute Guide to Inbound Marketing Content’, Articulate Marketing states that content such as e-books are extremely effective, with calls-to-action promoting e-books getting almost twice the click through rate as emails promoting webinars. Blogs are also deemed to be an essential element of the inbound lead generation mix. B2B companies that blog find that they generate 67% more leads, while B2C companies generate 88% more leads, than those that don’t blog.
However, having good content isn’t the only factor. Placement of your content is also important. By providing the right content in the right place at the right time, you can engage hard to reach audiences. Going to where people are already active and looking for answers such as on social media and search engines and talking about things that matter to them in their language, will position you as a trusted advisor and give you the opportunity to introduce your products and services to them.
Still not convinced that inbound lead generation is really any more effective than outbound? According to Articulate Marketing, inbound marketing and lead generation can deliver up to 54 percent more leads into the sales funnel and research carried out by marketing automation company Hubspot, showed that inbound leads generated by useful and relevant content cost 61% less per lead than traditional outbound lead generation techniques. Those figures speak for themselves I think!