In this internet age, buyers get all the information they need in a couple of seconds. That helps them make well-informed buying decisions. It means that the buyer has more power than the seller, thereby giving a solid reason to change the sales process. There should be a complete transformation in how businesses sell. That is why it is of utmost importance to know all about inbound marketing and sales strategies.
Find out how to improve the inbound sales process and what are its benefits.
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Inbound sales strategy aims at attracting interested potential customers to your brand.
The methodology allows aligning your company’s sales process with how the prospect wants to engage with your business during the sales process. It is an entirely buyer-focused approach.
Inbound sales involve the prospect making the first move and showing interest in a product or service of a company in some way or the other. The prospect might send you an email, request further information over a phone call, and fill online forms. There is a steady flow of prospects coming straight to a company and entering the sales funnel.
Apart from sales, inbound leads depict the company’s performance and can predict the health of the firm.
The main difference between outbound and inbound sales is who makes the first move. In inbound sales, the sales process gets kick-started by the prospect. On the other hand, in outbound sales, the sales rep gets the ball rolling by reaching out to the prospect. In outbound sales, it is the salesperson or company that approaches the prospect.
In inbound sales, the prospect does the hard work of searching for the product or service, reading content related to it, attending webinars, or scheduling demos. The prospect usually starts the process by providing their email id for a free resource, and then the inbound salesperson would reach out to them.
You must be wondering why inbound sales matter so much and why businesses should make them an indispensable part of their approach. According to stats, 62% of salespeople who don’t use inbound social selling tend to miss their sales quotas.
Here are the benefits that inbound sales have to offer,
With inbound sales, your focus is on creating content that attracts leads. As a result, the leads will have a genuine interest in your product or service, giving you the chance to build a long-term relationship with them. This way, you can not only find more clients but the ones who will stay true to your brand for a longer time.
While outbound campaigns don’t last long, that is not the case with inbound campaigns. Content on your website, online forms, and nurturing emails will be there for prospects at any given point in time, and they can access it anytime with the help of search engines. It makes inbound sales and marketing a long-lasting and sustainable approach. It may take some time to reach this level of sustainability, but it is a huge pro for most businesses.
The inbound sales team can find out what customers require and what they are searching for. You can use the marketing team’s first-hand information to create highly targeted content and change the current strategy. Doing so would help improve the approach used by the marketing team and make it revolve around what the prospects need.
Content is of prime importance for inbound marketing. You have to bring content related to your product to the target audience through multiple channels. It can be about how prospects can solve their problems using your product or service. When you educate prospects in this manner, it portrays you as a knowledgeable person and makes your brand seem trustworthy. Such attributes matter a lot in B2B sales. Therefore, inbound marketing and sales will help in creating brand awareness and help your business grow.
Unlike outbound sales that involve costly advertising and lead sourcing, inbound marketing and sales are not heavy on the pocket. A company can build an inbound sales team of like-minded and dedicated individuals who can create high-quality content without spending a fortune. It will fetch good overall results for the business.
Inbound marketing involves creating content and engaging prospects using social media and emails. The team has to present themselves in a pleasant way in front of the prospects. It helps increase the visibility of your brand and your solutions. The prospects are more likely to convert when they can feel the presence of your product or service around you.
For your business to thrive in 2021, you have to leverage the potential of inbound leads, and here are a few strategies and tips that will help you improve the inbound sales process,
Knowing your ideal customer is of paramount importance. Therefore, you have to keep the demographic data aside and get to the psychographics, i.e., prospects’ activities, interests, and opinions. Understand the challenges they are facing and their primary concern.
For instance, an enterprise-level business will not bother about free tools, but that can be a huge attraction for a startup.
You have to research by getting in touch with existing customers. Try to find what they think about your product or service, how it helped them solve their problem, and what made them choose you over other competitors. You will get an idea of improving your inbound marketing and sales strategy and creating relevant content for marketing purposes.
Though inbound sales are impressive, you should not throw outbound sales out of the window. Outbound sales are very much relevant to the current age and have their own charm. It can be crucial for startups in particular.
Businesses that have just started would reach out to more than hundreds of prospects. As there is no sound budget initially, the focus is on using an effective outreach channel that delivers the highest ROI or return on investment on minimum expenditure. Cold email outreach is the perfect fit for that.
Inbound sales are different. It requires your prospects to know about your business and what you have to offer to find you. For that, you have to create targeted content and make it suitable for the target audience. You have to do this over a more extended period to get any results. That is why for your initial days, it is better to choose outbound sales as it is the best option. As your business grows over time, inbound sales will become your primary source of leads.
If you think that you can put your sales process on autopilot with inbound sales, you are wrong. Leads will not automatically keep coming in. It requires hard work from your end to procure and convert leads.
When a lead does come in, you would want to get their data, and that would mean long forms with a long list of questions to answer. That would easily annoy anyone, so most businesses stick to asking just for the name and business email address.
But what about the other details?
You can use a sales automation tool like SalesBlink for that. It enables domain search, which gives you details about the employees working in the company, their phone numbers, and links to their social media accounts.
There are several criteria based on which you can segment leads. The criteria depend on the industry you are in, the company size, and the type of product or service you offer.
When you segment leads demographically, you can include their geographical location, budget, and how long they have been in business. Segmenting can also be psychographic, which involves the opinions and interests of leads. You can do segmentation based on the behavior and action of leads as well. Let’s say you may want to give priority to leads who opened your emails several times or send them different content based on the articles they read on your website.
While segmenting works for both inbound and outbound leads, you shouldn’t go overboard with it. If the segmentation process turns out to look so complex that you have difficulty putting it into action, it would be of no use. You can determine whether you require more segmenting or not by asking yourself if it would make your messages relevant to the prospects. If the answer to that is yes, it is better to go in for segmentation, and if the answer is no, it is better to stop right there.
As inbound sales and marketing are buyer-centric, the concentration is on the prospect. Also, the salesperson can’t behave as they used to in the past. You no longer can win just by being helpful to the prospect. Today, sales reps need to play the role of an advisor that can take them through the buying process.
As an advisor, you have to ask meaningful questions to make the prospect know what they need. Try educating prospects about strategies that they can implement to achieve their goals. Guide how your product or service can help them save money and time. Once you turn into advisors, you become capable of building valuable relationships with prospects. It is because they feel you are genuinely interested in them and the success of their company.
Each time you get to connect directly with a prospect doesn’t mean that you have to sell. The aim should always be to take the first step and start a conversation that gives you enough information to qualify the lead. Try to get in touch with the leads based on their actions. If they are in the initial stage of the buyer process, you can share a helpful blog post with them or a free resource such as an ebook.
Don’t be too happy when you see leads coming in because not everyone will convert. The percentage of leads that don’t convert is between 90 and 95. It may not sound good, but you have to accept that. However, don’t let them go away so easily. You can always re-nurture those who have turned into paying customers.
Although re-nurturing is something that not too many sales teams do yet, it is effective. You can try sending around 4 to 5 emails to those prospects and finding out why they don’t want to buy your product or service. Send them relevant content and stay in touch with them on social media.
You can learn about your leads and customers with the help of the inbound process. Based on the type of inbound leads coming in, your marketing team must decide the content they should create and market to similar leads. Doing so would help in improving your inbound sales process. But it would be best if you did not stop here. Use what you gathered to make your marketing and social media presence better. If you see inbound leads coming from markets you never expected, try to pass on that information to your marketing team so that you can target better and even make the most of new markets. You can even share what you learned with the outbound sales team to improve its performance.
Building your inbound team is essential when you want to enjoy a good outcome. You require several team members such as a content writer who creates content for you that attracts leads, a designer to enhance the aesthetics, sales reps to nurture leads and convert them to customers. Apart from these, you need a person to handle your inbound campaigns, review the progress, and fine-tune future campaigns. You can add more members to the team as you expand. However, one person can play multiple roles if you are a small company that has just started. It is even possible to get tasks outsourced if you don’t have sufficient team members.
While hiring team members, you should look for certain qualities in them to decide how good your outcome would be. Find the right team members and build a team that aligns well with the visions and goals of your company.
Handling inbound campaigns manually can be a tedious task. You would need software to assist you with your inbound campaigns. It is, in fact, a cost-effective investment as you can save considerable time, and your team members can focus on tasks that require direct human intervention.
You have inexpensive tools like SalesBlink for automating email campaigns and following up with prospects. It has an inbuilt CRM to help manage your prospects and take a look at the conversation history in one place.
Choose the right tool by drawing comparisons, and it will help you get excellent results while saving considerable amounts of money.
Keep the entire experience simple for the prospect. There has to be no obstacle in the path when prospects want information from you to make a buying decision. The process of the sale should also be easy. Find out what doubts can come in prospects’ minds at every stage and be prepared to answer them or make the answers available to them.
Find out what information users are looking for on your website and conduct surveys and live chat to get details directly from them.
Ensure that buying your product or service is super easy and free of glitches. It is highly likely for the prospect to abandon you if they find the whole experience cumbersome.
Try giving prospects valuable content. However, even other websites are doing the same. To outshine them, you have to do something extra and unique. To do things differently, you can create genuinely unique content that relates well to the prospects’ thinking and opinions. Your content development also has to be consistent to fetch you good results.
You can even create detailed guides and video tutorials related to your niche that help the prospect understand complex concepts and techniques quickly.
This is the age of personalized videos in which you can talk about how to use the product and its features, just like how you speak to prospects in person. Don’t keep such videos too long; 30 seconds would do. Anything longer will make prospects lose interest.
Another activity to make your presence felt online includes writing guest posts. It certainly helps in promoting your brand.
The bottom line is that it has to add value to prospect’s life. As long as it can do that, you will win.
1. In inbound sales, the prospect begins the sales process, while in outbound sales, the sales rep gets connected with the prospect.
2. Inbound sales is a sustainable approach that helps build long-lasting relationships with prospects.
3. It helps increase brand awareness, improves visibility, and doesn’t involve a lot of expenditure.
4. Use the right strategies for inbound marketing and sales but at the same time, don’t avoid outbound sales as you need that approach too if you are a new business.
Inbound marketing and sales revolve around buyer behavior, and this attribute is making it the pillar of modern-day businesses. The conventional outbound sales strategies are no longer working as the power now lies in the buyer’s hands.
Using conventional outbound sales methods alone may not be quite effective in the present age (though it still works well to a certain extent). The reason can be the amount of readily available information to buyers that make them enter each stage of the sales journey by themselves.
However, inbound sales require a lot of effort from the sales team. It is not a click-of-a-button kind of an approach and you have to put in the effort to improve the inbound sales process. Also, it takes time for it to work, which means you have to constantly work towards building your presence on various channels to attract prospects.
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