Many companies battle between generating qualified sales leads through outbound or inbound marketing efforts. The two philosophies contrast different methods companies can take to build a sales pipeline that is sustainable, scalable, and valuable. While the choice will vary based on the industry and product/service your company sells, both should be aligned around the common goal of customer acquisition.
Modern marketing and sales teams can now target individual accounts with a high degree of accuracy across multiple channels. Creating the right segments from this targeting is more important than ever in achieving a valuable flow of qualified leads that generate appointments and more deals. With new technology and data available, there exists an easier opportunity to align marketing and sales, which can result in an average annual revenue growth of 20%.
The Sales Pipeline
Without the right target segment, leads coming from outbound or inbound strategies will clog the sales pipeline with unqualified leads or fail to deliver leads at all. This causes salespeople to waste a lot of time that could be better spent on more qualified leads. Even leads generated in your target segment can eat up salespeople’s time if they are not ready to buy.
The firmographic characteristics of the company and role you are targeting needs to be clearly defined to ensure you’re adding valuable leads to your sales pipeline. Aligning outbound and inbound strategies helps streamline this process by acquiring leads that are both qualified, producing a more efficient sales pipeline.
Data-Driven Customer Acquisition
One asset of using highly targeted segments is the ability to measure, test, and improve the value of your B2B lead generation efforts. Broad target segments have less wiggle room for improvement and reveal fewer insights on how to increase sales performance.
The key is targeted segments. By using a combination of firmographic characteristics such as industry, company size, or revenue, your segments become measurable and optimizable. Target segments bring rich, data-driven information that can be used by sales and marketing to optimize your customer acquisition strategy.
The Conclusion of Outbound vs Inbound
Technology and data allow you to align marketing and sales around the core goal of customer acquisition. The effective collaboration of outbound and inbound efforts around focused target segments enables you to generate a steady supply of qualified leads. Rather than isolating one method, customer acquisition leverages well-defined target segments to develop deals with high-value accounts by using a data-driven and precise lead generation strategy.