Inbound Calls Vs. Outbound Calls: What’s the Big Difference?

inbound call handlingRecently, we’ve been talking alot about the value and importance of inbound calls. But we haven’t talked much about outbound phone calls. And with the state of the digital world, phone calls often get overlooked or aren’t used to their full advantage.

(Looking for information about inbound marketing and outbound marketing? Check out some of our other blog posts!)

Because phone conversations are one of the most powerful tools your sales team wields, it is important you understand the different types of calls and how marketing and sales can come together to drive more of your desired phone calls. 

Inbound Calls

An inbound call is just that: a call that comes in from an outside source. Typically, a potential lead or a current customer is calling for a specific purpose. Perhaps they have a question about a product or service you offer, maybe someone recommended they call your company to resolve a specific problem, or they may just want to know the status of their project. Whatever the case may be, an inbound call is powerful because the caller is actively getting into contact with your company. 

Tips for Driving Inbound Calls:

There are several ways you can drive more inbound calls from both your website and other offsite marketing opportunities. Here are a few tips to drive more inbound phone calls:

  • Promote your phone number at the top of each page on your website. 
  • Include a click-to-call feature on your webpages. 
  • Provide your number on all marketing materials (ebooks, brochures, infographics, etc.)
  • List your business and phone number in important online directories. 

Outbound Calls

An outbound call is the opposite of an inbound one. Your salesperson reaches out over the phone to a potential lead. It may be a cold call, or they may be following up with a lead who expressed interest on your website or from another source. 

These types of calls give your sales team the added advantage of prep time. You have time to research the company they work for, if applicable. You also have time to look up any information you might have about them, such as marketing emails they’ve opened and clicked, events or webinars they’ve attended, or blogs they read and shared with their social following. 

Tips for Driving Outbound Calls:

Outbound calls require a totally different approach than inbound calls. Here are a few tips for gathering possible leads for outbound phone calls:

  • Collect phone numbers when website visitors fill out forms. 
  • Use contact information after events or trade shows to follow-up.
  • Research contacts who interact with you or your brand on social media. 

Which Would You Rather Have?

The answer is both. While inbound phone calls are extremely powerful, outbound calls also have a time and place. The key is to train your sale’s team to handle both types of calls in an appropriate manner. Then gather your own data. Which calls convert better for you? The answer is most likely inbound, but not always. And that doesn’t mean your company can grow and thrive off of only inbound calls. 

For a more detailed guide about how your business can use the phone to increase your bottom line, read our blog A Guide to Inbound Calls, Outbound Calls, and Call Tracking!