Sales organizations often purchase lists of leads. They hand these off to their sales people and tell them to start calling. Other sales people simply trawl their LinkedIn networks in order to create their own similar lists of generic names. These tactics might seem like proactive ways to generate new business. But there’s one very big problem with these strategies: sales people have no idea whether or not these leads are a good fit for their solutions or if they’re even active in the buying cycle.
As a consequence, sales people spend their days trying to reach out to people who will likely never buy. They’ll waste time, resources, and efforts on the wrong leads. And they’ll miss their quotas because of this.
Spending time trying to get in front of the wrong buyers is not only frustrating but it’s inefficient, too.
So how can you eliminate the problem? Switch to the inbound sales methodology.
The Right Buyers
The best leads are those who are currently active in the buying journey and who match your ideal buyer profile. These people are in the market for a solution to similar challenges and all have similar goals. It’s more efficient to reach out to these types of leads than to those that you know nothing about—those who probably aren’t even looking to buy anything. Prioritizing these active leads over passive leads will help you close more sales.
Identifying the Right Leads
The first step of the inbound sales methodology is to identify the right buyers. To be able to do this, inbound sales people need to define exactly which ones are a good fit for their solutions and which ones aren’t.
To create the ideal buyer profile, you need to ask yourself whether or not there is an ideal company size, whether you need to define this company size as revenue, customers, employees, or other metrics, whether or not there are ideal industries to pursue, whether there are ideal geography locations, and whether there are any other attributes that will make the company ideal.
This profile will guide you in only reaching out to the people who are a right fit for your solutions.
Using the Buyer Profile
Once the buyer profile has been created, you have to put it to use to ensure that you’re only getting in front of the right buyers. To do so, only search for people online who match the profile. If you are cold calling leads, then ask appropriate qualifying questions to see if they match your profile.
Identify Active Buyers
Then second part of the puzzle is to make sure your leads are active in the buyer journey. Your marketing team will be using content marketing to generate leads. You should configure your website to send you these inbound leads when visitors complete contact forms or visit specific web pages, like the price page, which signals their intent to buy soon.
Check out the leads you receive to see if they match your buyer profile. If they don’t, move on. If they do, then you have an active buyer who fits your profile—you have the ideal buyer at your fingertips, one that’s worth your time. And this is who you should be pursuing.
Get in Contact
Once you’ve gone through all of this effort, though, you shouldn’t ruin it all by cold calling the leads and giving them a generic elevator pitch. At this stage, you must build trust by participating in their online conversations, whether by commenting on their blog posts or sharing or liking their social media posts. Kickstart the conversation by sharing personalizing advice unique to the buyer, based on what you know. The messaging should relate to his industry, role, and contact preferences. The key to the inbound sales methodology is to offer content to the right buyer, at the right time, in the right place. This is how you’ll close more deals once you start prioritizing the right leads.
Posted By Author Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist
Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.