Buyer behavior has changed and the way you sell to your prospects has to catch up quickly. Your prospects don’t read your unsolicited emails, they don’t answer your phone calls and they definitely don’t read your mail. So what do you do?
The answer is inbound sales: an approach that perfectly matches a sales methodology to the way buyers want you to work with them. Here’s a collection of challenges with today’s sales playbook and how inbound sales fixes them.
Cold Connections Are Virtually Impossible
Your prospects have their defenses up. They don’t answer their phones and they don’t respond to unsolicited emails. I delete emails like this every single hour. Stop wasting time pushing the boulder uphill and start thinking differently.
Instead, work on a system that enables a warm connection through social media or through your existing extended contact network. Once that warm connection is made, then you’re ready to show that you have something interesting to say.
You Have To Educate Instead Of Sell
Don’t start with the appointment or the pricing. Instead, earn the prospect’s attention by being smart. Share your existing content, help them out with a question and ask them what you can do for them. The result is going to be a new contact who views your relationship as helpful.
Use your company’s thought leadership to bring your new contact into your community. Provide them with a steady stream of helpful information or invitations to participate with your company. Think about it like dating. You don’t ask someone to marry you on the first date. Get to know your prospects, go on a few dates and then see if you’re compatible enough to work together.
Like it or not, your prospects are controlling the buyer journey today, so you have to go at their pace, not yours. Be helpful and let them lead.
You Need Tools To Enable The New Process
Making the change from the traditional sales playbook into this approach is going to take new tools, new technology and a commitment to change. Today, there are tools that provide behavior insight into what your prospects are doing on your website right now. There are tools allowing you to create email interactions that include content to nurture a prospect in a very personal way.
Consider your CRM, does it help the prospect as much as it helps you and your sales team? If the answer is no, then it might be time to look into a new CRM, like the tools HubSpot is rolling out at Inbound 2015. You’re going to need new, easy-to-use and easy-to-configure software to make this new process a reality. Good news: Those tools exist today.
You Need To Know Everything About Your Prospects
Knowledge is power. Knowing that a prospect you talked to last week is now on your website viewing your pricing page is very powerful. Being able to score your prospects based on actual conversion data allows your sales reps to spend their precious time with their best prospects – those ready to buy today.
Being able to mine your own contact networks and social networks to create warm connections allows you to expand your list of potential prospects who might be ready to buy today. Knowing those connections is powerful in this new model. One email to a friend could unlock a single, multimillion dollar deal. If only you knew that connection existed.
It Needs To Be Easy
Having worked with sales teams for my entire career, I know that if it’s not easy, no one is doing it. I also know that we’re talking about changing behavior that has been ingrained into their muscle memory for years and years. Today, the tools to make this new approach easy are readily available. No more excuses.
Pull all this together and you’re looking at revolutionizing your entire sales process. That sounds like a lot of hard work and something that’s going to take years. Nope. This can all be done in weeks, not years or even months. Better yet, the result is a much more engaging, prospect-focused sales process that creates raving fans for your business. Fans that close more quickly, fans that refer you more often and fans that buy more from your company than ever before.
Start Today Tip – If you want to change the way you sell at your organization, the first step is recognizing that your buyers don’t want to be interrupted. Then, you need to start building a new sales strategy that perfectly matches the new buyer journey. Around that new process, add the tools and the content to create a remarkable experience based on your prospects' requirements – not your requirements. You’ll see results immediately in the form of shorter sales cycles and higher average revenue per client. The time is now.
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