Inbound-Outbound Tactics for Manufacturing Lead Generation

Inbound-Outbound Tactics for Manufacturing Lead Generation

Is lead generation the Achilles’ heel of manufacturing sales?

Obtaining qualified leads is what drives manufacturing sales and revenue growth. While closing deals seems to be the ultimate goal, for some manufacturers, the real challenge begins much earlier in the attracting stage of lead generation

In fact, 65% of businesses say that generating traffic and leads is their biggest challenge.

But, what if you could attract potential customers and build lasting relationships with them before they even think about buying? What if you could also reach out to exactly the right people at the right time to boost your sales quickly? Sounds like a dream, right?

Well, it’s not anymore. In this blog, we’ll dive into the powerful combo of inbound and outbound tactics to boost your manufacturing lead generation. Let’s explore how these strategies can work together to help you attract, engage, and convert more leads.

Understanding the Manufacturing Buying Journey

As a marketer, you must know that it is necessary to understand how prospective clients progress from awareness to decision-making. This knowledge will help you customize your lead generation strategies effectively.

list of outbound marketing and inbound marketing

The inbound-outbound strategy: should you push or pull?

Let’s break down the differences between inbound and outbound lead generation and how they can work for you:

Inbound lead generation (The pull marketing strategy)

Inbound lead generation attracts new clients and potential customers by creating high-quality and valuable content that positions your company as a trusted industry expert. Think of it as pulling customers towards you with engaging resources like webinars, blog posts, and industry reports.

Optimizing your website for search engines (SEO) with relevant keywords can also help your website rank higher. This way, potential customers can easily find you when they’re looking for solutions.

Recent data states that 61% of inbound marketers believe improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority.

Source: WifiTalents

Additionally, make sure to participate in industry forums and social media groups like LinkedIn. This not only helps build relationships but also establishes your presence in the industry.

Discover the benefits of inbound marketing for your business.

Outbound lead generation (The push marketing strategy)

Outbound lead generation, on the other hand, proactively reaches out to potential customers to generate interest in your products or services. This approach is more about pushing your message out to a targeted audience through methods like cold calls, targeted emails, and trade shows.

According to MarketingProfs, 64% of marketers believe that outbound lead generation methods are still effective.

Why Do You Need Both for Your Manufacturing Lead Generation Strategy?

Combining inbound and outbound tactics creates a powerful synergy that enhances lead generation efforts. This dual approach allows you to cover all bases, ensuring no potential lead is missed. Here’s why combining these strategies is so effective:

  1. Broader Reach: While inbound strategies attract leads actively seeking solutions, outbound strategies proactively engage those who may not yet be aware of your offerings.
  2. Enhanced Engagement: Use inbound content to nurture leads generated through outbound efforts, keeping them engaged and moving them down the sales funnel.
  3. Diverse Touchpoints: A mix of inbound and outbound tactics ensures multiple touchpoints, increasing the likelihood of converting prospects into customers.
  4. Ideal for targeting specific decision-makers: Outbound efforts can focus on specific, high-value targets, while inbound strategies cast a wider net to attract a broad audience.

Uncover winning strategies to boost your manufacturing leads.

Generational Differences in the Buying Journey

The buyers span multiple generations, each with unique preferences and behaviors. Understanding these generational differences is important for customizing your manufacturing lead generation strategy effectively.

Baby boomers (Born between 1946 to 1964)

illustration for baby boomer

Baby Boomers tend to exhibit a lower propensity for early adoption of new technologies and demonstrate a stronger preference for traditional sources of information, such as trade publications, industry events, and word-of-mouth referrals.

Additionally, they display greater comfort with traditional communication methods, including phone calls and in-person meetings. Building and maintaining relationships hold significant value for them, often relying on established business contacts for recommendations and placing trust in the guidance of industry experts. 

Lastly, their purchasing behavior typically aligns with a more traditional approach, starting with online research or perusing industry publications before engaging with a sales representative for further information. Decision-making processes often occur either independently or within a small team.

Explore traditional marketing techniques that remain effective today.

Generation X (Born between 1965 to 1980)

image for generation X

Unlike Baby Boomers, Generation X clients are more at ease exploring multi-channel information. They frequently use Internet resources, social media, and personal networks to collect information. Their communication style incorporates a broader range of channels, including face-to-face meetings, phone conversations, email, and even text messaging, and is frequently more casual than their predecessors. 

However, Gen X is cautious of marketing promises and performs extensive independent research.  Moreover, recommendations from trustworthy peers and acquaintances are highly valued in their decision-making process. 

Lastly, when it comes to solutions, they prioritize clear, succinct information and a well-defined way ahead.

Millennials (born between 1981 to 1996)

graphic for millennials

Millennials represent a major force in B2B buying decisions, with an estimated 75% actively involved. They are technologically adept and self-sufficient, excelling at conducting independent product research across different digital media.  

Unlike earlier generations, they frequently value communication channels like chatbots or social media above conventional salesperson encounters.  Peer ratings and social media suggestions play a key role in their decision-making.   

Moreover, millennials are recognized for their collaborative purchasing habits, wanting to engage others along the process. This joint study may result in firms being rejected based only on internet data, even before contacting a salesperson.

Generation Z (Born between 1997 to 2012)

illustration for generation Z

As the first generation to grow up entirely immersed in the digital world, Gen Z surpasses even Millennials in their digital fluency.  They seamlessly utilize the internet and social media for learning, connection, and collaboration.  

For product research, Gen Z gravitates towards visually engaging content like videos, infographics, quizzes, and bite-sized “snackable” content. Social media platforms are their go-to research tools for vetting products and services.  

They expect user-friendly websites and often leverage chatbots for initial inquiries. While Gen Z isn’t averse to face-to-face interactions, they prefer them to be brief and to the point. Mirroring Millennials, they favor a collaborative buying style, involving a group in the decision-making process. However,  traditional sales pitches fall flat with this generation.

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Should You Keep Your Manufacturing Lead Generation In-house or Outsource?

When it comes to manufacturing lead generation, businesses often face the dilemma of whether to handle it internally or outsource it to external agencies. Both options have their pros and cons, and the decision depends on various factors such as expertise, resources, and budget constraints.

In-house lead generation

According to a report by HubSpot, companies that manage their marketing internally save an average of 13% compared to those that outsource.


  1. Control and Flexibility: Managing lead generation internally provides greater control over strategies, tactics, and the overall process. You can tailor your approach to suit your specific needs and make adjustments in real time as needed.
  2. Deep Industry Knowledge: In-house teams possess intimate knowledge of your products, services, and target audience. This insider understanding can lead to more effective lead generation efforts and better alignment with your business goals.
  3. Cost Efficiency: While outsourcing may seem like an attractive option, especially for small businesses, in-house lead generation can be more cost-effective in the long run. Once your team is trained and processes are established, the ongoing costs tend to be lower than outsourcing fees.


  1. Resource Constraints: Building and maintaining an effective in-house lead generation team requires significant resources, including hiring skilled personnel, investing in training and development, and allocating time and budget for ongoing optimization.
  2. Limited Expertise: Unless your team comprises seasoned professionals with diverse skill sets, there may be limitations in expertise, particularly in specialized areas such as digital marketing or outbound sales tactics.
  3. Risk of Burnout: In-house teams may experience burnout due to the constant pressure to meet lead generation targets, especially during peak periods. This can lead to decreased productivity and morale over time.

Learn the 5 common lead generation mistakes that In-house marketers make.

Outsourced lead generation


A study by Deloitte revealed that 59% of companies use outsourcing to reduce costs and access specialized expertise.

  1. Access to Specialized Expertise: Outsourcing lead generation allows you to tap into the expertise of specialized agencies or professionals who are experienced in various lead generation strategies, including inbound and outbound tactics. This can result in more effective and efficient lead generation efforts.
  2. Cost Savings on Overheads: Outsourcing eliminates the need to hire and train internal staff, saving you money on salaries, benefits, and overhead costs associated with maintaining an in-house team. Additionally, you only pay for the services you need, making it a more flexible and scalable option.
  3. Focus on Core Competencies: By outsourcing lead generation, you can free up internal resources to focus on core business activities, such as product development, customer service, and strategic planning. This allows you to leverage external expertise while staying focused on your strengths.


According to a report by Statista, 27% of companies reported dissatisfaction with their outsourcing partners due to missed deadlines and quality issues. 

  1. Loss of Control: Outsourcing lead generation means relinquishing some degree of control over the process and outcomes. You may not have direct oversight of day-to-day activities, which can lead to concerns about quality, communication, and alignment with your brand values.
  2. Dependency on External Partners: Relying on external agencies for lead generation means your success is dependent on their performance and availability. If the agency fails to deliver results or experiences disruptions, it can negatively impact your business operations and revenue.
  3. Risk of Misalignment: Outsourced lead generation providers may not fully understand your business, industry, or target audience, leading to misalignment in strategies and messaging. This can result in wasted resources and ineffective lead generation efforts.

Learn more about the pros and cons of outsourcing outbound lead generation services.


Deciding whether to prioritize inbound or outbound lead generation depends on factors such as your target audience, industry trends, and business goals. Some businesses may find success with a balanced approach that leverages both inbound and outbound tactics, while others may prefer to focus on one strategy over the other based on their specific needs and resources.

Lastly, by carefully evaluating the pros and cons of each option and considering factors such as expertise, cost, and control, you can make an informed decision that maximizes your chances of success in generating high-quality leads and driving business growth.