Implementing inbound marketing is a necessity in order to ensure your company stays relevant in the 21st century. After all, the buyer’s journey has changed and outbound marketing tactics are no longer effective. Now, consumers expect to be able to find your business and your content online. You have to use an inbound marketing strategy in order to be in sync with the new sales process. You have to use inbound marketing in order to match the way buyers shop today.
But what you might not realize—what you might not have heard or been told—is that an inbound marketing strategy on its own isn’t enough.
That’s right—inbound marketing is only one piece of the puzzle. You need to include sales enablement to make your strategy whole. And to close the loop.
Complete the Cycle
Don’t get me wrong—an inbound marketing strategy is critical to increasing your revenue. It’s a necessity for lead generation during the awareness stage, where customers first become aware of the need they want to fulfill. You want them to find your company during this stage by getting on their radar and offering helpful information that will answer their questions. It’s also required during the consideration stage, where the customers start to evaluate solutions. You want to be able to give them marketing content that will showcase how your offerings will be able to meet their needs.
But what about the purchase stage? What’s the point of generating leads and nurturing them until they’re sales ready, with quality content, if you can’t close the deal and convert them into paying customers once they’re ready to purchase?
You see, your inbound marketing strategy alone has a big gap in it—a missing piece. You need to be able to close these inbound customers. And this is why you need to include the inbound selling methodology into your inbound marketing strategy.
The Inbound Selling Methodology
If you’ve drastically transformed your marketing department to focus on inbound marketing but you haven’t turned your outbound sales team into inbound sellers, you’re going to have trouble getting a return on investment.
The fact is outbound sales people shouldn’t be given inbound leads. They’ll likely just ruin sales opportunities because they won’t understand how to connect with inbound customers.
Before they take on this new type of customer, your sales people need to learn the inbound selling methodology and change their sales process and selling techniques. They need to learn to focus on the buyer, not the sale. They need to learn how to gain trust and credibility. They need to know how to use social selling and how to become thought leaders. They need to know how to bring value to the table. They need to learn to stop being pushy and aggressive and start being helpful and nurturing.
On your own, these teachings could be an uphill battle. It can be difficult to get sales people to change their ways.
You Need Sales Enablement
To ensure that you build a sales process around the buyer’s journey, that you successfully coach your sales people to be inbound sellers, and that you give them the inbound tools, technologies, knowledge, and best practices they need to succeed, you need sales enablement.
Engage an inbound marketing agency that offers sales enablement and you’ll get the best of both worlds. You’ll get an agency that can help you refine and perfect your inbound marketing strategy. But you’ll also get an agency that understands the importance of adapting your sales process to the new buyer’s journey. Your agency will be able to get your sales people on board, teach them their new roles, and set them up for success by giving them everything they need to become inbound sellers.
When you include the inbound sales methodology into your inbound marketing strategy, you’ll have a closed loop from end to end.
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.