Even though I preach my own brand of outbound marketing Kool-Aid, for the past six months or so I've been drinking some of the inbound marketing variety (the orange kind from Hubspot). Before discovering this particular flavor, we had invested a year or so working on SEO, blogging, social media, and link building. But I didn't start formalizing some of the new marketing ideas I'd been learning until I took a deep swig and discovered the great taste.
Outbound marketers live off of lists. It's like candy to a kid. Companies like Jigsaw, Onesource, and Netprospex provide the candy; the more contacts we have and the better targeted, the greater our success.
What if you had the same size list, but it was on steroids? What if it was comprised of people already researching your offerings, thinking about the issues you solve? These are inbound leads.
Inbound leads come from whitepaper downloads, free trials, blog subscriptions, you name it. From the surface, it sounds like the best lead you'll ever get. However, they don't all show up downloading a whitepaper and then issuing a P.O. And they don't all come calling for appointments with your sales reps. You still have to work them, nurture them, and call them. You still have to get them to engage in the sales process. You can't take the outbound work totally out of the process.
Inbound Leads = Über List = Outbound Success
Outbound marketers should embrace all this and consider the leads coming from inbound marketing efforts as the Über List. Granted, some leads may just be tire kickers or even competitors. Work through them. Use lead scoring. Weed them out a bit. Then use them as the fuel for your outbound marketing efforts.
Consider inbound leads a list source, but a much warmer list than a purchased one. And don't neglect to share the credit. The inbound marketers created the lead. The outbound marketers got the prospects to engage. It's a team effort.