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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistFri, Jan 20, 2017 5 min read

Sell the Way Customers Buy: 3 Techniques for Selling Inbound

{}You’ve no doubt noticed that people today aren’t buying the way that they used to. The reliance on sales people to guide them through the buyer’s journey is dwindling. The control that you used to have on buyers is gone. Buyers today are more informed and knowledgeable than ever before. And they’ve taken control of the sales process. They want to buy on their terms, when they’re ready. They don’t want to be sold to. So, naturally, using old-school sales strategies that revolve around pressure and aggression isn’t going to be effective anymore due to these changes in buyer behaviour.

If you want to close more deals, meet your sales targets, and increase revenue at your company, you need to start using techniques for selling inbound. This is how you’ll sell the way that customers now want to buy.

Here are some techniques for selling inbound that should replace your outdated, ineffective outbound sales tactics.

1. Qualify Leads Properly

If you’ve ever cold called as part of your sales job, then you know that a lot of outbound selling strategies don’t rely on qualifying leads. You buy lists of leads you know nothing about and try to sell to them. But to sell inbound, you need to focus on active and engaged buyers instead of reaching out to people at random. Active, engaged buyers will be willing and able to purchase. They’ll have a need that your company’s products or services can solve. It doesn’t mean they’ll be ready to buy immediately, but it increases your chances of closing deals considerably.

Today, marketers and sales people have a wealth of data intelligence at their disposal. Using this data, you can qualify your leads based on their budgets and pain points, eagerness to buy, decision-making power, and other relevant factors. Then, you can stop wasting time chasing down leads who will never buy and start selling to those who will.

2. Define the Buyer’s Journey

Providing value is more difficult than ever before thanks to the internet. Buyers can now find virtually all of the information they need online (think about how much valuable content they can consume just on your website). They don’t want, nor do they need, to be prospected, pitched to, or closed. In order to sell to today’s customers, you have to understand what they need from you, so you can add value. Otherwise, they’ll have no reason to engage you at all.

Before you pick up the phone to call a prospect, make sure you understand your buyer’s journey and what stage the client is currently in. People at the beginning of the journey are going to need vastly different information and content than those in the middle and at the end of it. Once you know their place in the buyer’s journey, you can have more valuable and meaningful conversations, which ultimately leads to more closed deals.

3. Focus on the Customers’ Needs

You’re under pressure to meet your targets. We get it. But it’s very important not to focus on yourself or on the sale when you’re selling to inbound customers. One of the most important techniques for selling inbound is focusing completely on the customers’ needs. That means listening to your buyers, thoroughly answering their questions, going at their pace, giving them advice and recommendations, helping them make the best decisions for their needs, and supporting through the entire buyer’s journey. If you treat a buyer like a number, if you try to pressure them into a sale, or if you’re trying to sell something that doesn’t solve their problems or challenges, then you’re not selling inbound effectively.

Inbound sales and outbound sales are drastically different. In order to sell the way customers buy today, you must use techniques for selling inbound, like the three described above. 


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.