Inbound marketing is a highly effective way to generate targeted, warm leads. But there’s just one problem: most sales organisations haven’t caught up. That’s where inbound sales comes into play.
The simple fact is, inbound leads are different to outbound leads. They think, act and behave differently. And they need to be closed differently. All of which means that you need to transform the way you sell. If your sales team don’t know how to work effectively with inbound leads the result is going to be wasted leads, low sales productivity and a disappointing close rate. Not to mention friction between marketing and sales. And that’s not a good place to be.
The Difference Between Old-School Sales and Inbound Sales
The buyer’s journey has changed beyond all recognition. Today’s consumers are well informed and self-educating. They’re profoundly sceptical about brands. And they have a myriad of ways to block unwanted messages that interrupt their day, including spam filters, pop-up ad blockers and call screening. They’re in control of the buying process and they don’t want to be sold to. Instead, they want to be guided to the right purchase decision. Which means that your sales team need to stop trying to close and start trying to help.
And that’s exactly what inbound sales does. Unlike traditional sales which is all about pushing your products and solutions to anyone who might be a good fit, inbound sales focuses on finding the pain first, then qualifying for fit. Once you’ve found the pain you can then craft a personalised, multi-channel sales process that guides each prospect along their unique buyer’s journey. By providing exactly the right content at the right time you can then move them effortlessly from awareness through consideration to an informed decision, all the time building trust and goodwill.
The Fundamentals Of Inbound Sales
Inbound sales starts with developing a in a detailed buyer persona that paints a crystal clear picture of your ideal customer and identifies all of the information and tools they need at each stage in the decision making process. By mapping the sales process to the buyer’s journey your sales reps can have more meaningful and productive conversations.
Inbound Sales CRM
As prospects engage with your content an inbound sales CRM will provide a 360 degree view of the information they have submitted and the actions they have taken. This provides your sales reps with personalised intelligence about their role in the buying process, their interests and pain points they can use to open up the conversation and deliver value straight out of the gate.
With each additional piece of content they consume your leads become more qualified until they either call you or are ready for your sales team to reach out to them. Automated lead scoring ensures that your reps don’t waste their time on speculative opportunities but instead focus on prospects who are both a good fit and have expressed an interest in what you offer. These leads will close at a higher rate and much faster than outbound opportunities.
Social media is a key prospecting and lead nurturing tactic at the heart of inbound sales. It allows your sales team to research your prospects, nurture the relationship and then reach out with the right messaging and helpful, informative content that educates and builds trust at precisely the right moment. Get social selling right and your reps won’t need to sell, just close warm leads.
Sales enablement is all about helping sales reps close more deals, faster. It provides them with all the tools, content and insight they require to have better sales conversations. It also ensures that marketing and sales are fully aligned, so that well-qualified leads are followed up systematically using a defined process. A well-executed sales enablement strategy will boost your sales team productivity and performance resulting in a higher win rate and a shorter sales cycle.
Are you ready to make the shift to inbound sales?
Start by consulting an inbound sales expert on a free 30 minute discussion to assess your sales process.