Inbound vs outbound sales: What’s the difference and how to connect them both

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Inbound vs outbound

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There is a big debate out there about inbound VS outbound sales.

Some companies swear by their inbound strategies, while others fight for their outbound sales approaches.

But even the diehards in both camps are coming around to a new philosophy.

Called all bound by some, it involves executing both inbound and outbound sales strategies simultaneously to draw in even more potential customers than either could do on their own.

Allbound is not just a fringe idea. Hubspot, the great champion of inbound and coiners of the term “inbound” sales now, also does outbound.

And Growbots, a company built on making outbound sales work, also does inbound.

If both of these companies are doing it, it is pretty clear that you should make inbound and outbound sales work together.

Of course, it is not enough to simply run both an inbound and outbound sales strategy in parallel without connecting the two of them.

So, is all bound the right sales strategy for your business?

Read on to discover the difference between outbound and inbound sales and how combining those two approaches helps sales professionals effectively promote any product or service.

What are inbound and outbound sales?

The inbound or outbound sales strategies are like yin and yang – they have completely different KPIs, goals, and metrics. Yet, combining the two together might work wonders for your business.

So what sets inbound and outbound marketing apart? Let’s dive deep into the key differences to see how your sales team can elevate the buyer’s journey and reach better results.

Inbound sales

What’s the first thing that pops up in your head when you hear about inbound selling? Content making. While it’s not entirely off base, content creation is just a drop in the sea when it comes to the inbound sales process and achieving its goals.

Here is how the inbound sales team usually works:

  • Boosting brand exposure and targeted outreach
    It all starts with speaking to your potential customer and raising awareness of your brand and the product or service it provides. Modern digital-age buyers dedicated their time to learning about your company values and products to determine if they want to purchase or cooperate with you. Inbound content is where they find the answers.

  • Building trust
    You can’t expect to win clients’ hearts over with a single sales pitch. The best strategy is to educate your target audience on your brand and services easily and engagingly. The content relevance and quality will build stronger relationships with your buyer, stimulating them to purchase from you.

  • Offering freebies and advice
    Most prospects look for unique solutions to their issues and only stumble on ordinary and unremarkable content that’s not helpful anyhow. Therefore, creating inbound content with helpful, concrete solutions will set you apart from the competitors.

Outbound sales

While inbound sales focus on how potential buyers perceive your brand, the outbound sales teams work on putting your company on the map. The outbound sales process is not always easy, as it involves reaching out to prospects who haven’t yet expressed interest.

Here is what you can do with outbound sales:

  • Let the buyers know your brand
    No matter how competitive the industry is, you can’t just blindly believe that clients will magically find your brand among all of the rival companies out there. Introducing your company and informing the targeted audience about your services through cold calling or emailing will help your company to secure a position on the market and get high-quality leads before others reach them.
  • Engage with the audience
    Outbound selling is a strategy for the long run. Therefore, your sales reps should keep the brand on the radar for qualified leads. B2B outbound sales teams close the deal by interacting with the audience by email, social media account, or cold calling.
  • Boost your results
    You can get instant feedback on what outbound marketing tools are working and which don’t by communicating directly with the potential client via email, phone, or web platforms. This helps you better understand the buyer’s journey and tailor the sales strategies according to a prospective customer, ensuring your brand is moving in the right direction.

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What's the difference between inbound and outbound sales?

Your sales teams must understand the strength and differences between outbound sales VS inbound sales.

Unlike buyers or quality leads generated with inbound marketing efforts are warmed up for your brand, the outbound prospects are coming in the cold with the slightest idea of what your company does.

Knowing this key difference helps a sales rep tailor the right approach on how to handle leads and prospects to guarantee the best outcome for the company.

Which one is right for your business?

After learning more about each approach, you might still be questioning what to choose between outbound VS inbound sales.

Selecting which sales process works better for your brand depends on your business model, clients, budget, and willingness to invest more.

Ask yourself the following question to clear your head and make the right choice:

  • Who is my target client?
  • Do I have a lot of time to execute one or another sales strategy?
  • What audience do I want to target?
  • Which approach aligns with the credibility and reputation of my brand?
  • Can I invest more to straighten my marketing efforts?
  • Which method will have a higher ROI?
  • Were my outbound and inbound selling strategies successful previously?

However, we will let you on a secret: you don’t have to choose! Combining outbound and inbound sales approaches will help your sales representative team to reach greater success with sales prospecting.

Moreover, it allows you to merge the entire marketing funnel and help the sales team laser-focus on high-quality clients while attracting a broader audience.

Outbound vs. inbound sales: Sales strategies

As both methods are different at their core, inbound and outbound strategies create a completely different sales cycle.

For your understanding of how you can combine both approaches, we suggest first learning how exactly inbound sales vs. outbound sales strategies work and what sales automation tools the team can use.

Outbound sales strategies

First, let’s focus on the outbound sales automation techniques:

  • Customising content
    The part of outbound selling is cold emailing. Yet, the content you’re sending should be relevant, informative, and engaging in spiking interest. The outbound sales language is customization, uniqueness, and personal touch. Tailor the content to your ideal customer profile to guarantee a higher conversion rate, including unique solutions to the specific pain points the prospect might face. That way, you have higher chances of attracting high-level clients and succeeding in retargeting.

  • Sales onboarding
    Instead of wasting time recruiting the best sales rep out there, dedicate some time and effort to training your team members in outbound selling techniques. You can create sales professionals ready to represent your brand in the product in the best way possible with a clear understanding of the company’s goals, values, and specifics.

  • Don’t overthink
    The best way to target interested prospects is by keeping it simple. Identify the platform your potential clients use daily to ensure you don’t waste your resources. Consider what methods of outbound sales work better for different individuals and stick only to those to guarantee your cold calling or emailing efforts lead you to satisfying results.

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Inbound sales strategies

Some of the popular and effective inbound sales strategies techniques include:

  • Using testimonials to improve brand awareness
    Encourage your customers and partners to leave feedback to build credibility in the eyes of your target audience. Building your testimonials record places you higher among competitive brands and creates a professional and trustworthy reputation. Testimonials are an excellent way to boost your inbound sales process and ease B2B buyers through the sales funnel.
  • Interlinking
    Link-building is a must-have for your inside sales and content marketing, not an option. With interlinking, you create reliability for your brand and help potential buyers better navigate your content to discover as much as possible about the brand, product, and services. Link-building helps interested customers to find the exact answer or solution they were looking for.
  • Keep the content coming
    It’s a golden rule of inbound sales methodology. The audience is always hungry for the latest updates and insights. A sudden interruption in content creation and online silence signals prospects that the company is no longer available or going through a rough patch. Hence, your inbound sales efforts will go to waste. Therefore, sales professionals must stick to the content production schedule to keep the machine running.

Read also: 5 Reasons To Use Sales Outreach Tools + List of Best to Use

Why should you combine inbound and outbound sales?

Because while both are independent sources of leads, they can complement each other.

Not only can they bring in a separate stream of high-quality leads, but your inbound strategy will also enhance your outbound strategy, causing it to perform better.

There are a few different ways that inbound VS outbound sales link up with each other.

Documents like ideal customer profiles, buyer personas, and job stories

While some of these, like buyer personas, have been mainly linked to inbound in the past, you will find that all of them can be used for targeting both your inbound sales and outbound sales strategies. This means that you only have to create one set of targeting documents that you can apply to all your lead-generation channels.

Blog posts

The blog posts that you use to generate inbound leads can be attached to your outbound campaign. This way, you don’t just ask for something from your prospective customers. You give them value by providing them with useful information to present your product or service in the best way possible.

Landing pages

Instead of just linking your outbound campaign back to your home page, set up specific landing pages for each of the buyer personas you target.

Since your sales team knows a lot about the kinds of people you are targeting, they can tailor your landing pages to appeal to each persona.

By doing this, you can increase your conversion rate.

Important: Landing pages should be a natural extension of your emails and part of a content marketing campaign.

When creating the landing page, think about what you told your prospect in the email and what they can expect by clicking through to the landing page.


The success of outbound sales relies heavily on timing.

It doesn’t matter how good your pitch is; if your prospect is too busy to deal with what you are proposing, they won’t respond to your sales representatives.

This doesn’t mean that you should give up on them or that they wouldn’t be receptive to what you have to say.

To keep you at the top of your prospect’s mind, sales reps should attach a tracking code to your landing page. You should then run retargeting ads so that they are eventually brought back to your website.

Lead nurturing

As we said above, timing is important with outbound sales.

Sometimes you have outbound leads who don’t move forward in the buying process for whatever reason. To remind them of the value you provide, initiate a lead nurturing program using inbound blog posts.

Reinventing your sales strategy has the potential to bring a number of customers back to you whom you would have lost otherwise. Moreover, nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.

Read also: How to Create a Sales Deck that Wins (Plus Examples to Get You Started!)

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Inbound and outbound sales serve to strengthen each other

A number of the materials and techniques your sales team use for inbound will strengthen your outbound campaigns and improve lead generation.

It is easier to set up and start seeing predictable results from an outbound campaign.

However, once that is set up, consider adopting an inbound strategy to strengthen your outbound campaign.

If your sales team is still having trouble with making outbound predictable, talk with us first before starting anything else, and we will help you get the results you are looking for.

You can trust our experts to navigate you and help you launch innovative sales strategies that can finally make a breakthrough for your business.

Schedule a demo and learn more about combining outbound or inbound sales strategy.

Picture of Maciej Skoczyński

Maciej Skoczyński

Account Executive Team Leader at Growbots

no prior experience & time required

Find your winning outbound formula with Concierge

no prior experience & time required

Find your winning outbound formula with Concierge

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