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Sell More Effectively: Growing Sales With Inbound Marketing

By Jan Beery, - September 5, 2013

One of the biggest obstacles in implementing inbound marketing, is getting your sales management and sales teams on board. This is extremely important in the successful shift to selling more effectively with an inbound business model.

Educating your entire organization to be a part of the process will provide the largest opportunity for success. Everyone has a stake in your organization’s success: Without sales, customers, orders, etc. there are no need for employees.

78% of research is being conducted online, when and where your prospect is interested. This happens anywhere...even on a pier (see picture).

1. Why Are Sales Prospects Going Inbound?

The buyer has changed and they are seeking information when they need it, and where they need it. Understanding this seismic shift is the first step in adopting an inbound strategy for your organization.

You’ll surely want to be where your prospects are seeking information, when you consider these statistics:

  • 78% of research is being conducted on line.

  • 78% of businesses use their mobile devices to check email.

  • 57% of businesses acquired new customers through their business blog.

  • U.S. inbound marketers spending more than $25K per year saved $14 dollars for every new customer acquired vs. those relying on outbound strategies -- $254 vs. $268.

2. Educate your team to sell more effectively:

What exactly is Inbound Selling? It starts with a traditional methodology of selling, believe it or not: Listening.

Instead of trying to get in touch with your prospect cold, calling, emailing, calling, cold calling, calling, then calling again, then emailing again, take a different approach. Your prospects don’t want to be bothered with your agenda. The cold call is dead!

Take a different approach and start with social media. I understand that you feel you don’t have time to engage in social media. Think of it as a prospecting tool, and part of the updated tools in your tool box.

Go on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc, and create some topic lists. For the healthcare industry, on Twitter, check out healthcare hashtags. Here you’ll find clinicians, patients, and healthcare professionals discussing, collaborating, and sharing on various topics. Now you are listening and can see what your prospects' pain points are.

3. Open the Lines of Communication Between Sales and Marketing

Sales needs to talk to marketing. Why?

Sales can share a lot about:

  • Who are the potential buyers?

  • What are their needs/pain points?

  • What kind of information will help educate the potential buyer?

  • What are case scenarios your sales team has experienced? (Sidenote: Write them down. That’s a blog that could help solve a problem.)

Marketing can then develop and share selling tools to attract prospects and leads.

4. Prospecting

One of the greatest tools in the bag for sales and marketing, is the HubSpot Prospect Tool. This is a tool we spend a lot of time educating our clients on. It provides intelligence about your prospects' needs and interests. You're able to see how you can help, by identifying pain points they are experiencing. This is critical to your inbound implementation and growth.

When training a sales team, we hone in on what is important to them. They are looking at:

  • What organization was doing research on the website?

  • What are they interested in?

  • Are your sales teams already speaking to this account? If so, they will have a good idea of who this is and how they can help further the information gathering.

  • Map your buying cycle.

Your management team should understand the vital intelligence this provides, and be well-versed in navigating the tool, sorting by geography, and sharing with the field.

All this prospecting information, in the old selling playbook, meant a lot of research over an extended period of time.

The Prospecting Tool, alone, will help shorten your selling cycle and enable you to sell more effectively.

5. Marketing: Are You Communicating with Sales?

With the tools in place (Blogs, ebooks, checklists, infographics, etc.), how do you engage sales to use these great marketing tools? Katie Gutwein shares some tips in this blog post, and I've included some of them below.

  • Develop a password protected landing page, that lives within your website.

  • On this landing page, include all blogs for the week, prospect reports, ebooks, and also recommended ways to share blogs and ebooks with prospects.

  • Put an email template in place to make it easy for your sales team to copy and paste, with active links for turning prospects into leads.

  • All of these tools give a clear picture to marketing and management on how the tools are being utilized. This isn't meant to micromanage, rather it's a way to track and then addresswhy the tools aren’t being used. If they aren't being used, then you need to ask yourself:

    • Is the content relevant?

    • Do you understand how to use it?

    • Do you understand how to use via social media?

    • How can we help?

Adapting an Inbound Strategy is not just a shift in how we do business, it’s a proven pathway to building a sustainable relevant business.

KBK Communications helps organizations navigate inbound strategies, website design and lead generation implementation. Looking to increase your lead generation? KBK will help you assess where you're at, what it will take, and how you’re going to get there. Click here to contact us.