Deciding to make the switch to inbound is the best thing you can do for the future of your business. In fact, without it, your company probably wouldn’t exist in five years. But your sales people might not see it that way. They might see this switch as a personal betrayal. They might feel like they haven’t been doing a good enough job. They might think that their jobs are on the line now that you’re going digital. And they might resist your changes.
This could be a big obstacle to overcome. You certainly don’t want your sales people to feel resentful. But with a little bit of explaining, you can get your sales people on board with your new inbound marketing strategy.
The fact is inbound marketing has been perfectly designed to amplify and reinforce successful sales tactics. It is geared towards helping your sales people close more deals in less time, with less effort. And you just need to help your sales people understand exactly how inbound marketing will help them succeed.
Favours Will Be Returned
Sales people have been using the favour bank for years now. They understand that if they give people something, those same people will feel a psychological necessity to return the favour. In the past, this favour bank was used in the form of free samples, gifts, and discounts. Inbound marketing uses the same concept, but in the form of content.
Your sales people will be armed with a wealth of valuable content that they can pass on to prospects in a timely manner. They can share ebooks, whitepapers, testimonials, advice, and recommendations of high value. When this is done, the psychological need to return the favour is triggered. This makes prospects more likely to sign on the dotted line. Sure, they won’t buy immediately just because they were given a blog post, but it’s an effective strategy as part of a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy.
Consistency Will Be Achieved
Sales people are often accused of being inconsistent in their follow-ups. And let’s face it, most are guilty of not following up. They’re so busy with all of their selling activities, leads, prospects, and customers that it often slips their minds to follow up when they said they would. Though it’s common, this inconsistency still really hurts the chances of making sales. It reduces trust and credibility.
Inbound marketing solves this inconsistency problem in two ways. First, inbound involves a lot of marketing automation. This software automates much of the lead nurturing process, so your sales people don’t have to remember to follow up personally. Second, with inbound comes CRM integration. With customer relationship management software, your sales people will be able to easily track their follow-ups, set reminders, and stay up to date on a lead’s progress, making it easier to remember to follow up.
Authority, Trust, and Credibility Are Strengthened
One of the biggest obstacles that your sales team faces is the sleazy, lying sales person stereotype. People buy from sales reps that they trust, sales reps that are credible, and sales reps that are an authority on their subject matter. But it can be very difficult to build any of this.
With inbound marketing, your marketers will do much of the work for your sales people. They’ll take part in lead nurturing to build much needed trust, credibility, and authority to warm up the leads for the sales team. Every piece of content they share with leads helps get them one step closer to trusting your brand and your sales people enough to purchase. This lead nurturing results in a higher conversion rate among your sales people.
Social Proof Is Fueled
Social proof is one of the biggest factors in determining someone’s willingness to purchase. Examples include word-of-mouth marketing and referrals. If someone tells us to buy a product, we’re much more likely to do so. This is especially true when people are faced with a lack of certainty or insight about the company or product.
Your marketers can amplify your sales team’s efforts by ramping up this social proof. By adding testimonials and whitepapers to your website, by providing answers on social media, or by promoting reviews online, they can fuel social proof, which increases the likelihood that your sales team can be the referral of choice.