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Inbound vs Outbound Lead Generation. Which is Better?

Updated: Jun 14

Author: Justin Franklin

When it comes to lead generation, inbound and outbound are two different games. Both inbound and outbound leads have their advantages and disadvantages, but each work well together to earn your business revenue.

Instead of simply concentrating on one or the other, a smart marketer and business owner should concentrate on ways to cost effectively use both.

This is because, while putting your eggs in one basket can generate results, if you can get more leads using multiple touch points for little to no money it can only help your business grow. To help you on your business journey, I have broken down the advantages and disadvantages of inbound vs outbound leads and how you can effectively use both to generate more sales.

Quick Summary: What are the Main Differences Between Outbound and Inbound Lead Generation?

While getting inbound inquiries is always ideal, there are some disadvantages to solely relying on inbound lead generation. Waiting on prospects to find you organically can take a really long time.

Additionally, using ads to generate traffic can be really expensive depending on your industry. This is due to high levels of competition and high keyword costs.

Some of the highest average cost-per-click keyword terms in 2020 included:

  • Business Services: $58.64

  • Bail Bonds: $58.48

  • Casino: $55.48

  • Lawyer: $54.86

  • Asset Management: $49.86

A full list can be found on Social Media Today.

Another disadvantage of inbound lead generation is relying on the competitive market to determine if customers are in need of your services. This means, even if you know someone is in need of your offering, you still have to wait for them to come to you!

Outbound lead generation solves this because it allows you to determine the exact demographic you want to go after. Often times this can even be more accurate than inbound inquiries depending on how good your data is.

Outbound Leads. What are the Advantages and Disadvantages?

Outbound Lead Generation Advantages:

  • Can browse and target the exact market you want to make prospects more qualified.

  • Have direct control over the volume of leads you want to generate.

  • Have multiple methods of attacking leads.

  • Can reach qualified prospects, often times more quickly, than inbound leads.

Outbound Lead Generation Disadvantages:

  • Have to have a large volume to work with.

  • Costly and time consuming.

  • Can take multiple attempts to reach a prospect.

  • Prospects can be all over the buying cycle, so even when you contact them they might not be able to purchase.

  • Many of the methods used for outbound have been limited because of technology, requiring even more volume.

Inbound Leads. What are the Advantages and Disadvantages?

Inbound Lead Generation Advantages:

  • Prospects are further along the buying cycle than outbound leads.

  • Leads are coming to you, which means less time chasing and more time selling.

  • Leads have at least some kind of idea of your product or service before you talk to them.

  • Are more likely to talk to you when you reach out to them.

Inbound Lead Generation Disadvantages:

  • Prospects may not be qualified or in your target market more likely than outbound leads.

  • Might just be price shopping to lower their own costs or steal ideas.

  • Still might require chasing despite being an inbound lead.

  • Far fewer lead frequency than outbound leads, especially for smaller companies.

  • Takes longer to implement than outbound.

What Should I do About These Leads?

Given the hassle and time it can take to reach both outbound and inbound leads, it makes sense to research your prospects to see if they would be a good fit for your business model.

Check out your prospects on LinkedIn, look at their website, check out reviews, read content posted by them, etc. After reviewing, ask yourself these questions:

  • Can they afford my product or service?

  • Are they in the industry that I serve? If not, is their industry close enough that I can understand and help them?

  • Is this a competitor trying to steal ideas from me?

  • Do they have a policy or are an industry that I disagree with morally?

What is my Next Step?

Even after asking yourself these questions, it’s still best to actually talk to the person before eliminating them completely most of the time. I am a firm believer of not judging a book by its cover. However, even if I know that they aren’t going to be a good fit I still talk to them if I can.

I do this because, if you just ignore them, there is a possibility they will be upset and have a bad view of your company.This can lead to negative reviews and bad word of mouth, both of which can cost you actual clients down the line!

Over all, instead of basing your criteria on the above questions and eliminating them all together, just use them as guidelines to keep in the back of your head while talking to them. If it sounds like it’s going to be a bad fit, don’t push further than you have to. This way you don’t waste your time or your prospects time. Are you a B2B business owner looking to generate more customers with outbound and inbound services like SEO, Call Services, Email Marketing, Ads, or LinkedIn? Feel free to book a free consultation with us to learn the best approach for getting you more customers: JNF Marketing

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