What is Inbound vs Outbound Sales? – Meaning, Stages and Strategies

March 8, 2023

6 mins read

Table of Contents

In order to understand what exactly is the difference between Inbound and outbound sales. All you need to know is:

Who made the first call?

Leads are the lifeblood of most organizations and receiving them in various ways paves the way for more business.

What is Inbound Sales?

In very simple terms, inbound sales is a personalized helpful, and modern sales methodology. Inbound sales are when prospects come to you, searching for you. They are often referred to as “warm leads” because the prospect has actively shown interest in the product or the service which is being offered by the organization. It starts with attracting qualified leads using various strategies. In this, the companies pull interested prospects and check if they are a fit for their product.

Stages in inbound sales:

There are 4 stages in inbound sales.


Stages in inbound sales | Inbound vs Outbound Sales
  1. Identity:
    It begins with generating qualified leads through inbound marketing channels like blog posts, social media, and so on.
    To obtain relevant information, salespeople must take advantage of all available tools and techniques. These hints might be discovered in blog posts, forums, tweets, and LinkedIn groups, among other places.
  2. Connect:
    The buyer’s pain points, plans, objectives, and difficulties are the focus of the second stage of the inbound sales process.
  3. Explore:
    Now, once the salesman starts to truly understand the customer, his needs, and preference it’s then the exploratory conversation is guided to develop deep goals of the buyer through the conversation.
  4. Advice:
    This is the stage you need to win your customer’s trust by delivering customized rather personalized presentations based on the needs of the buyer and how the company can help solve their problem.

Remember, nobody wants you to force sell them, people want choices and love to choose. However good it might seem, it’s not free from challenges.

Undoubtedly, Inbound often brings in more relevant, higher ticket-size customers that are ready to listen to you but it takes a lot of time to build a reputation and status to get people to come to you.

Thus, it works best when you have the time and resources to build a presence in the market that will make the customers come to you.

4 strategies to Succeed in inbound sales!

  1. Track the lead’s journey
  2. Build lead integration
  3. Learn to listen
  4.  Make it Easy for Customers to Close Deals

Also Read: 4 Effective Strategies to Win at Inbound and Outbound Sales

What are Outbound Sales?

Outbound sales are basically the door-knocking technique, wherein the salespeople reach OUT to the prospects with the intention of selling the product or services.

There are a lot of people who are a good fit for your solution but haven’t heard about you, so you need to go out, find them, and explore whether their pain is severe enough for you to be fit.

In outbound sales you don’t need for the right customers to find you, instead, you choose your customers. Make a list and be specific. All you need to do is go out and start instead of waiting for the right people to click your ad or read your article.

Stages of Outbound Sales

With any outbound sales process, here are the steps you need to work through:

Stages of Outbound Sales | Inbound vs Outbound Sales
  1. Prospecting and Lead Generation:
    The first step in outbound sales too is recognizing who your target audience is and prospect them on platforms like LinkedIn.
  2. Outreach:
    This stage involves reaching out to your prospects. It could be via any media, via SMS, Emails, or phone calls. While using emails, integrate an SPF checker to protect your email domains and ensure their deliverability. You can also use tools like ai email sequence generator to create sales email sequences.
  3. Follow-ups and Demonstrations:
    It’s one of the most crucial parts of your sales process since no sales close in the first instance. The prospect might be busy or might forget. It becomes crucial to take regular follow-ups.
  4. Closing the Deal:
    Closing the deal is a very critical aspect of sales since it’s at the last minute the maximum doubts and uncertainties come up.
  • Key challenges in outbound

You have to build the conversation from scratch. You have to create a requirement,  And you have to patiently educate the user and guide him through the journey before he is ready to make a decision!

  • When does outbound work best
    When you don’t have the time to create demand. But you have a team that can talk to customers and creates demand one-to-one over phone calls or meetings.

This is just a bird’s eye view but it’s super important to understand the differences between the two and pick/implement the right sales flow for your business. 

4 secrets to succeed in outbound sales?

  1. Call the relevant leads before they cool down
  2. Stay in touch with the leads
  3.  Build an Outreach Plan (using your CRM database)
  4. Segment and tailor personalized emails/WhatsApp messages/SMS.

What is Inbound vs Outbound sales 

BasisInbound SalesOutbound
MeaningIt begins when a lead comes from a potential customer reaching out to your organization to inquire about the product or service. Outbound sales begin with a potential customer who expressed interest in a product or service offered by the company.
GoalDeveloping strategies to ‘pull’ customers towards you.Directly reaching out to prospects for selling a product and service.
Lead StatusLeads are highly interested and educated.Leads are less engaged and aware.
ChallengesRequires a well-designed website, reliable analytics and long-term commitment.Requires time and resources to educate and guide potential customers in their initial stage.
ExampleSEO, E-mail marketing, content marketing, social media marketing.Cold-calling, Email outreach, Social- selling, Paid media


Whether it’s inbound or outbound sales, it’s important to have the systems in place to help your prospects understand and follow their role throughout the sales cycle. 

A system will not only help the employee to easily understand and execute the process correctly.

It helps you to do things efficiently, save time and get the most out of each team member’s time

A lot of these things can seem daunting for a business owner who is just starting out or building a sales team from scratch, but in the Sales CRM, we have most of these processes built to automate so that you can start a solution within a couple of days.

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Article Author

Afnan Haroon is Sr. Marketer, Creative Content Strategist, and handles TeleCRM branding. She has been crucial in growing TeleCRM from scratch to a successful startup. Known for crafting engaging campaigns and impactful content. Afnan's work helps sales teams excel with TeleCRM's innovative solutions.