When people think of the differences between legacy salespeople and inbound salespeople, many times, people generalize based on the age of the person.

They will think something along the lines of, “This person has been in sales for thirty years. They must be old school, and their playbook must not have been updated in decades.” However, there are plenty of people who are boomers and understand inbound sales and inbound marketing. There are also plenty of millennials that get up in the morning, make sixty cold calls, and hope one person will not hang up and actually talk with them.

It is a belief system. It is the philosophy of trying to be helpful and using content and context to attract the right people into your funnel.   

Content Creation

Your inbound sales goal should be to be seen as a trusted advisor and provide helpful educational resources. Content creation is simple. Think about any question you have ever been asked:

  • In-person
  • In an email
  • On social media
  • At a conference
  • On a sales call

It is fair game to assume any question you have been asked in the past may be the same question another person is asking on Google, Siri, Bing, or Alexa. Instead of answering that question on a one-on-one basis, create a piece of content that addresses it. The following content can be produced to provide answers to the questions your business is asked:

  • Blog posts
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Webinar
  • eBooks
  • Checklists
  • Guides

Two-Pronged Emotional Reactions

When someone lands on a piece of your content, the goal is for them to have a two-pronged emotional reaction:

  1. “Wow, I have been looking for something just like this for hours, days, or weeks. I cannot believe I finally found this; this is really helpful!”
  2. “Who are these folks? Why are they creating this, and what else do they have to say?”

Getting a two-pronged emotional reaction helps to deter someone visiting your website from hitting the back button and leaving a few seconds later. When a visitor hits the back button, they are not coming back. What’s even worse than them not coming back is Google knows they left.

Do you think Google is going to continue sending visitors to your website if they have a tendency to leave immediately? Without this kind of reaction to your content, you are sabotaging your business in many ways.

Inbound sales works by identifying buyers who are a good fit for your business and interested in your content. It uses landing pages and call-to-action buttons on your content to entice visitors to convert to leads. Inbound salespeople look for those who have already signed up for their premium content, such as eBooks, reports, white papers, and webinars, and use that context to personalize their buyer’s experience.

Inbound sales is very different from picking up a phone book and making two-hundred outbound calls, hoping one person out of two hundred does not hang up on you. The same goes for mass email blasts. Renting lists and soliciting is the opposite of effective -- and inbound salespeople know this.

Inbound sales professionals also know better than to export their LinkedIn connections to their email service provider. Do not assume every LinkedIn connection wants to receive a weekly newsletter—or even be contacted, for that matter.

To understand the difference between inbound sales and outbound sales or legacy sales, simply think about helpfulness versus harassment.


Is your sales team practicing inbound sales tactics? Let us know in the section for comments below.

To learn more about how legacy salespeople differ from inbound salespeople, enroll now in our free 7-day eCourse: Go-to-Market Strategy 101 for B2B SaaS Startups and Scaleups.

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