The Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Sales

August 10, 2023
6 minutes to read
Inbound vs. outbound sales
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Inbound vs. outbound sales is a topic that many people have strong opinions about. Some believe in the power of inbound marketing, while others say it’s better to focus on outbound sales. The truth is, there isn’t just one right answer for everyone. In this blog post, we will discuss the difference between inbound and outbound sales strategies so you can make an informed decision.

What Is The Difference Between Inbound vs. Outbound Sales?

Inbound sales are lead-generation strategies that seek to pull customers through various forms of communication rather than making unsolicited contact with potential clients. Inbound marketing is creating content for your company’s website, social media profiles, and blog posts that spark interest in your product or service among frequent users visiting these channels. This form of promotion is often seen as a cost-effective way of increasing sales since your business can focus on building relationships with potential customers.

Outbound sales are marketing strategies that attempt to reach potential clients through contacts, such as phone calls and email. Outbound marketing is using advertising mediums like TV commercials, billboards, and radio ads to get your product or service noticed by a wider audience. This form of promotion can be very effective if you want to reach a lot of people all at once, but it can also be expensive and less targeted than inbound marketing.

When Is Inbound Strategy Right For You?

Now that you know the difference between inbound vs outbound sales, let’s understand which option is right for you. Following are the situations when inbound strategy may be the right choice for your company:

#1 If You Are a Start-Up Without Much Capital 

If you are a start-up without much capital, an inbound strategy can work wonders for your company. You need to build trust first with the audience and then sell them something once they recognize you as a trusted brand. This will help save on marketing costs which is one of the many benefits of implementing an inbound sales process at the early stages of your company’s growth.

Furthermore, if you are a local business and operate in the same neighborhood as other businesses, an inbound strategy is ideal for attracting new customers without spending much on marketing. It will help establish trust with potential clients, and at the end of it all, they would find themselves purchasing from you rather than your competitors.

#2 If Your Target Product Is Searched A Lot Online

If your target product is searched a lot online, then the best way to reach new customers is through inbound sales. With more people looking for products on Google or social media platforms like Facebook, you are more likely to capture their attention with an attractive blog post and informative videos about your business and how it can help them solve their problems.

If you’re looking to get your product in front of the people who are most likely to buy it, then outbound sales are what you should focus on. You can do this by cold calling or emailing potential customers and offering them a free trial of your service.

#3 If The Purchasing Decision Does Not Take Much Time

The decision-maker has not spent much time mulling over the purchase. This is common if you are selling a low-priced product or service that does not require significant research on the buyer’s part to make an informed decision. Maybe you are selling a product or service that is very easy to understand, needs few features to be effective, and/or does not require much research on the buyer’s part. This can make it easier for your customer to justify their buying decision.

When To Use Outbound Sales Strategy?

#1 When You Are Selling Expensive Products or Services:

When selling expensive products or services, the outbound sale is a good choice. You can use it to reach more people than you would if you used inbound alone. It costs more money but has better results for your business. For example, if you are a real estate agent and need to sell a house worth $300,000 or more. You can reach many people by placing an ad in the local newspaper, but it will cost you money for each potential customer reached.

#2 When Your Product Has a Long Sales Cycle

Some products need a long sales cycle before they get the actual sales conversion. These types require one to be patient and persistent with their prospect to avoid losing them in between. And since there is no direct communication, you must work extra hard on your marketing campaign and research these prospects while waiting for them to convert.

#3 When You Pay Hefty Commission To Sales Reps

When you can afford to pay high commissions to sales reps, it might be a good idea to go for outbound sales. While expensive, an outbound approach might work better when the time to market is important for your product or service.

Pros And Cons Of Inbound Sales:


  • Highly scalable- There is no need to hire an army of salespeople when you use inbound.
  • Applicable to all types of business- Inbound works for all types of businesses, making it highly versatile.
  • You don’t need a big sales team- Business owners are using inbound marketing to increase their sales, and they do not need a big sales team.
  • Fewer sales friction: Sales reps don’t need to cold call or make appointments with prospects, resulting in fewer opportunities for them to drop the ball.


  • A lot of initial efforts- Blogging, social media posting, and content marketing takes a lot of time at first, and it will take time before you’ll begin to see results.
  • Time-consuming- Inbound sales do not happen overnight, and it takes a lot of time to start seeing results.
  • Not suitable for expensive products- If you sell big-ticket products, inbound sales will not be the best way to sell them.
  • You need a versatile sales team- if you want to take this route, your sales team must be able and willing to do more than pitch products.

Pros and Cons of Outbound Sales


  • It works even in the digital world- The practice of outbound sales works even in the digital world, which is constantly changing. This is because it can be used in tandem with digital marketing.
  • It is predictable- Outbound sales are predictable since it uses a consistent approach. This means the marketing team knows what to expect and can adjust accordingly or be prepared for emergencies.
  • The results are immediate- The results of outbound sales are immediate and tangible. The team knows if they succeeded or failed because the numbers don’t lie.
  • Much better lead generation- Outbound campaigns can pinpoint which leads are worth pursuing and which aren’t, making them successful in generating more revenue for your company.


  • The bad reputation of outbound sales- Outbound sales have a bad reputation and are often compared to cold calling. This only discourages potential customers from buying into your brand, which can affect the company’s revenue in the long term.
  • You’ll also be interrupting people- You’ll also be interrupting people, which is not the best way to have a conversation. Most of your leads are less likely to engage with you if they feel like you’re constantly bugging them.
  • You need the right sales tools- You need the right sales tools to have a successful outbound campaign, which can be costly. A wrong approach will fail you and cost you money that could’ve been invested in something else.

Setting The Right Inbound and Outbound Sales Teams

Setting the right inbound and outbound sales teams is important for your business. The former should be well-trained to handle any inquiries that come their way, while the latter must have a strategy to back up their efforts to maximize results.