Using inbound marketing techniques will allow your sales team to make the most out of their leads.
Marketing and sales have traditionally been two separate entities. Many companies have begun refocusing their marketing efforts on inbound marketing in order to adjust to the evolution of the consumer and their buying cycles. However, a mistake that many companies are making is not adjusting their sales efforts as well.
Many sales teams are continuing to use sales strategies that are becoming quickly outdated- especially if those same companies have already switched to inbound marketing strategies. If you are making use of an inbound marketing strategy, then you need to establish an inbound sales strategy for your sales team.
The following are some training tips that will help your sales team close more qualified leads based on inbound sales strategies.
Using more traditional outbound sales strategies meant that your sales team was cold calling consumers and sending both direct mail and emails out based on a purchased list of leads. The success rate of a strategy such as this is maybe 1 percent.
With the use of inbound marketing techniques, only consumers who have a problem that can be solved by a solution offered by your company enter the top of your sales funnel. These leads are converted through your website, by the free downloads that you offer. However, just because a consumer has downloaded a free eBook does not mean that they are a qualified lead. These leads need to be nurtured before they are handed off to your sales team, otherwise they will be speaking with leads that are not qualified.
If you are making use of an inbound marketing strategy, then your leads are most likely more than halfway through the sales process already by the time your sales team gets into contact with them. However, the problem is that many sales people will communicate with the lead as if they are at the beginning of the buying cycle. To avoid this, sales team members should:
- Research – Your sales team needs to be informed about the leads that they speak to. For example, where did a specific lead originate from? What content have they viewed on your website? What phrase was used in order to find your website on Google? What emails were used to nurture them as a lead? What free offers did they download when they were captured as a lead? This is all important information to determine who the consumer is and what stage of the buying cycle they are in.
- Monitor engagement – Your sales team needs to be able to monitor your leads so that they can track what they are doing on your websites or social media pages. This way, you can reach out to a lead when it becomes apparent that it is appropriate to do so.
- Use context in communication – Inbound sales is much different than outbound sales when it comes to calling the lead. Whereas outbound sales pitches are exactly that – sales pitches, inbound calls should provide the buyer with context. For example, telling the consumer that you noticed he or she downloaded an eBook about a certain topic. You can then offer to email them additional content (such as tips or guides) based on that same content.
Communicating With Prospects
Traditionally, sales people would cold call prospects and provide them with an entire pitch on what their product or service is, why the prospect needs it – and then end by closing hard in order to make the sale. This type of selling is completely outdated in an era of inbound marketing.
This is because prospects are already informed about the brand via the company’s website. Instead of trying to sell the prospect on your products or services during a single interaction, your sales team should be more focused on being advisors to the prospect. In order to do this, the sales person needs to be able to understand the prospect and to be able to put themselves in the shoes of the prospect.
Your sales team can accomplish this by participating on your blog or in your social media conversations. It’s no longer about trying to make the hard sell over the phone. Your sales team is responsible for developing a relationship with the prospect, in gaining their trust and in advising them and providing assistance when they need it. This helps to set them up for the sale, which is an infinitely more effective strategy than the traditional sales pitch.
If you are using an inbound marketing strategy for your brand, then don’t let your sales team fall behind – adjust to an inbound sales strategy and use these tips to train your sales personnel.