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Leads: Inbound vs Outbound

Jul 24, 2014 by Ryan Bohn

The only good leads, at least anymore, are inbound leads.

The world of sales has changed. I am in sales at Service Direct, and even though this may seem obvious, I can tell you first hand that no one ever wants to be cold called and asked if they could use a product or service. In this day and age technology has provided us with very convenient ways to inform a customer so well about a product or service that it has changed our understanding of sales, not to mention its also changed the way a customer reacts to a sales call. Yet, there are still so many companies that embrace the old school model of hitting the phones and bugging the heck out of people.

This is why “cold calling” or even “warm calling” a list of leads can be a waste of time. If you have ever been provided with a list of leads to call, you will almost certainly find that those you reach out to have already been contacted by someone and they’ve already made a decision. Or lets say you do contact the lead in time only to find you’re now in a bidding war between you and the other 4 service providers that were given the same lead to call on. And lets not forget there is always the hurdle of bad lead quality. How many times have you called on someone and they have no idea why or how you got their information?

It is almost for this sole reason I joined our company this past Spring. It has become very apparent that the sales world now has the tools to funnel the appropriate targeted audience to their particular products and services. In my opinion, there really is no reason to call on people to ask if they are interested in your services when there are so many ways to find customers that will call you.

With that, here are a few tips to get more of the right customers to come to you rather than you going to them:

Expand your online footprint without breaking the bank - Today customers have a wealth of knowledge right at their fingertips through their computers, laptops, and tablets. They search for products and services on via a wide variety of platforms including search engines, customer review sites, social media, and more. It is free to create a blog, a local listing on Google, a company Facebook page, or a listing on Yelp. Asking your customers to write reviews about your services, writing an informative blog, or uploading photos of your best work doesn't cost you anything upfront and helps give you a well rounded online presence.

Dont put all your advertising eggs into one basket - Besides having a professional, informative website, there are many different products and services that can help you get your company in front of more customers such as direct mail, local publications, SEO/SEM marketing companies, social media software tools, and so on. Do your research but don’t just rely on one... try several out and then stick to the ones that work for you.

If you are purchasing leads, be sure of how companies source their leads - While there are many reputable lead generation companies, there are some out there that do anything they possibly can to get someone to just fill out a form. Some less than savory tactics include things like getting customers to enter their personal info via a contest in order to win a prize. These types of things are often the culprit of your most common unqualified leads.

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