Which Gets Better Leads? Inbound vs Outbound Prospecting

We take a new look at an old debate in lead generation: inbound marketing vs outbound prospecting.  This two-part series looks into the pros and cons of each.

The Question

Should you focus on inbound marketing or outbound prospecting to generate the highest quality leads? Many companies use inbound marketing, outbound prospecting, or both.  Let’s look at Inbound Marketing to start.

Inbound Marketing

Many businesses make the investment in inbound marketing. The goal is to have your prime, highly targeted prospects find you before you find them.

So how does it work, in essence? First, you identify your ideal prospect profile. You build a persona and learn about how your customers buy. Then you offer content that speaks and educates prospects according to where they are in their buying process.

For example, a prospect who is just beginning their purchase process may be interested in material about the company. A prospect who is further along in the decision process may be looking for pricing information. The trick is to offer the right content to the right prospect at the right time.

Pros of Inbound Marketing

The pros of this lead generation method is that prospects find you instead of you seeking them. This is why Inbound marketing is sometimes considered a less expensive method than outbound prospecting. However, it may not always deliver your ideal prospects. Not all who subscribe are good leads.

Cons of Inbound Marketing

The cost to capture your ideal prospects through inbound marketing includes investing to create or get the content to attract, inform, and educate your prospects.

Also there is the cost of time. It takes time to build an inbound lead generation machine and for your prospects to find you. Results depend on whether you have targeted the right prospects in the right places. As you build, you hope you’re on target.

More Considerations About Inbound Marketing

What about the time it takes to attract these ready buyers? What if your net is not attracting your ideal prospect?  Do you sit and wait for adjustments to be made and take effect? Or do you try an additional strategy or variation to fill your pipeline?

Finally, even if these inbound leads are finding you, you still need to reach out to them.

Up Next: Pros and Cons of Outbound Prospecting

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series. We’ll look at how outbound prospecting may help your lead generation efforts and compliment your inbound marketing strategy.

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