Inbound and Outbound Relationship Counseling

Alan Beck by Alan Beck on October 15, 2014


Recently, Marge wrote about the marriage between inbound and outbound marketing and the relationship which they share. So we know these two can co-exist but, in reality, do they always function well together?

Sometimes inbound and outbound need to go to “couples therapy” and seek counseling. As we all know, there can certainly be areas of disconnect between sales and marketing. With outbound and inbound efforts taking place simultaneously, this gap can actually be worsened unless rules of engagement are put in place on how to manage the newly generated opportunities. The same areas which might need improvement in any relationship might apply to our marketing marriage.                                                                          

I work mainly in the outbound environment and I can attest to the value of the feedback that can be provided from inbound marketing. I am not simply talking about receiving warm or hot leads on which to follow up. I am also talking about the business intelligence that can be gained through inbound efforts. By sharing the information garnered through lead scoring and marketing automation, the outbound message can be modified and honed to a sharper focus. Conversely, the outbound teams have an obligation to make the inbound team aware of what they are hearing and learning. At the end of the day, sharing what is being expressed throughout the marketplace is a tremendous key to growth. In a relationship, communication goes both ways and both parties should be listening to one another. The same should apply to the inbound and outbound relationship.
Good communication only takes place if both sides are listening and listening carefully. If one party is trying to dictate, the recipient is more apt to ignore the message. Reciprocally, if both parties are talking and no one is listening, the message gets lost as well. We have worked with companies that generate significant inbound data in the form of product inquiries or CTA’s that originated on their website. The inside sales team responded to the question and that was that. In other words, they only responded to the question the prospect asked but weren’t “listening” to the other clues that inbound side had available for them. These clues could have created the opportunity for more open ended discussion regarding their application, use or need. These prospects were showing interest in their products or services and the outbound/inside sales team was not taking advantage of the vertical opportunity the inquiry presented. People had found them and were ready for a conversation which never came. “Listen” to all the information that is available for the prospect. These insights can result in greater opportunity for the company.
Everyone enjoys a compliment or a gift. I am not saying that you need to order flowers for the entire department but teamwork can go a long way to show that you value what the other department brings to the relationship. Share your successes. Tear down boundaries and eliminate territories. True teamwork stems from acknowledging that, with the assistance of another colleague or department, great results can occur. Meet regularly to discuss your challenges and share your information. Let them know you value their input and seek their help and they have a stake in the plan and subsequent success. You just might find you have common ground regarding your challenges. Trust for each other will grow and lead to appreciating what can be done when working together.
This marriage between inbound and outbound marketing doesn’t have to be viewed as a marriage of convenience. It can be a great blending of ideas and nurturing that can work towards both department’s successes.
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Topics: Omnibound Marketing


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