Sendspark Blog > What Is Outbound Sales?

What Is Outbound Sales?

Outbound is one of the most important channels and tactics in sales. It refers to contacting leads first, as opposed to waiting for them to approach you. It is popular and effective in niches as varied as SaaS, B2B, and consumer goods. 

What is Outbound Sales?

Outbound sales is when sales professionals reach out and initiate conversations with prospects. Tactics include cold calling, email newsletters, and reaching out to warm leads. An outbound sale starts when a salesperson contacts a prospect - cold or warm - to initiate contact. 

Outbound sales are, arguably, the definitive sales channel. They’re what most people think about when they think “salesperson”. Historically, many success stories - including SaaS giants like Hubspot and Salesforce - were built using outbound. 

Why is Outbound Sales Important?

Outbound sales is a proactive technique that’s fast and easy to use. It lets businesses immediately reach customers who might be interested in their offer. This gives businesses control over narrative, timing, and audience - while giving them an easy way to scale quickly. 

Another important advantage is that outbound is usually cheap. It costs little to find a prospect, contact them, and try to close a sale. 

Differences Between Inbound and Outbound Sales

The goal of both inbound and outbound sales is converting leads into customers. The difference is the approach.

Inbound sales techniques get potential customers to come to a business. It’s all about "pulling" customers in and getting them to come to you. Content marketing, SEO, and social media are all examples of inbound channels. 

Outbound sales methods involve "pushing" your message to potential customers. This is done through direct outreach methods - like calling, writing emails, and sending async video messages (e.g. using Sendspark). 

Outbound tactics are fast, cheap, and profitable. Inbound tactics are expensive and slow - but highly profitable in the long run. Successful businesses tend to use inbound and outbound methods to succeed. 

Is Cold Outreach the Same as Outbound?

The two terms are often used interchangeably - but they aren’t the same. 

Cold outreach is a subset of outbound sales. It refers to contacting prospects who have never heard of your business before. You’re reaching out to them “cold” because you have no prior relationship or connection. 

Cold outreach can be done through various channels, e.g. phone calls; emails; video messages. The goal is to get the prospect’s attention, qualify them as a potential customer, and move them to the next stage of the sales funnel.

Outbound sales are often cold. However, they can also be warm. For example, calling ex-clients or warm leads it still outbound - but not cold. 

Metrics to Measure Outbound Sales Success

To gauge the effectiveness of an outbound sales strategy, there are a few key metrics you should focus on:

  • Conversion Rate: The percentage of leads that become customers.
  • Response Rate: The number of recipients who responded to your outreach efforts.
  • Cost Per Lead: The amount of money spent to acquire each lead.
  • Lead Velocity: The speed at which leads move through the sales funnel.
  • Video Engagement: Video view rates, engagement duration, and call-to-action clicks.

Best Practices for Outbound Sales Follow-Ups

Following up with a prospect requires a delicate balance between persistence and value delivery. Here's how to perfect it:

  • Personalization is Paramount. Every message should resonate with a prospect's unique needs and challenges. This means moving beyond generic messages to tailor-made interactions.
  • Asynchronous Video Outreach. A modern twist to the traditional follow-up is asynchronous videos. A brief, personalized video message can capture attention, convey complex ideas, and add a more personal touch.
  • Measure and Iterate. It’s also important to track the effectiveness of each follow-up. Analyzing response rates and feedback allows you to refine your approach. This makes it easier to move the prospect further down the sales funnel.


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