Inbound - The Blog: The Secrets Behind Click To Close


Prediction #7 — Inbound Sales Still Stuck In Neutral

Businesses Are Attacking Marketing First And Putting Improvements In The Sales Process As A Secondary Priority

A lot has been written this year about improving the alignment between sales and marketing. But what are the challenges to making this a reality? Sales teams have historically been much less likely to change, much less accepting of new processes and present much bigger risks for organizations when it comes to introducing new methodologies.

Regardless of how many new sales enablement software tools roll out and how much people talk about sales enablement services, if company leadership isn’t ready to tackle this typically underperforming area, then there’s little to be done.



Why Inbound Marketing And Inbound Sales Should Never Be Separated

Inbound Leads Are Great, But Revenue From Inbound-Generated Leads Is Much Better

The world still thinks about sales and marketing as two separate functions. Only a handful of companies have a revenue team led by a chief revenue officer, and some of those CROs are really just VPs of sales with a fancy title.

Most business leaders continue to look at marketing as something you do to generate demand for your products and services, while sales is responsible for getting new customers. Most people continue to incorrectly think that while the two efforts are closely related, they don’t need to be seamlessly integrated. Marketing does what it wants to do and sales does what it wants to do.

If this sounds like your company, you couldn’t be more wrong, and the impact of being wrong is definitely pushing down your ability to realize revenue and hit your company’s goals.



How An Inbound Sales Scoring Model Qualifies Prospects In 30 Minutes

Inbound Marketing Drives Leads, But You Want To Make Sure They're The Right Leads

Marketing has become so scientific that we can score the inbound marketing leads we generate. There are complex scoring models and there are simple scoring models. You can use software tools to score leads, or you can create your own basic scoring model to help your salespeople prioritize their efforts and focus on the best leads first.

If that's what you want to do, start simple, with a basic Lead Scoring 101 approach. If the basic model shortens the sales cycle and helps you close more new customers, then consider moving to something more automated and potentially more complex.



How Account-Based Marketing Is Already A Part Of Inbound Marketing

This New Type Of Marketing Isn’t So New, Just Getting A Lot Of Attention

Account-Based Marketing, or ABM, is getting a lot of attention these days. Some people are discussing whether it’s inbound marketing or outbound marketing, but ABM has been part of our Inbound Philosophy for a long time.

It's hard to fault an approach that targets specific buyer profiles (the company) and buyer personas (the people); directs helpful messages in the form of educational content to help each prospect; and then continues the conversation with nurturing activities that shape the prospect’s buyer journey. Just listen to that description: It oozes inbound.

The only questions are: how do you execute this type of tactic, who executes it, what tools do you need and what should you expect from an ABM effort?



How Context, Not Content, Makes Inbound Sales Exponentially Powerful

Content Is Interesting, But Content In Context During The Sales Process Equals Revenue Growth – PART 2

Part 1 of this article addressed context within the inbound marketing part of the process. In Part 2, we’ll talk about context within the inbound sales part of the process. Enjoy!

To recap for those following at home, here’s a link to the back story of the company we’re using to describe how context fits into the sales and marketing process. To back up just a bit further, the sales process kicks in when prospects hit the bottom of the funnel and request to speak with someone on your team.



How To Use Video To Make Your Inbound Sales Process Come Alive

Inbound Marketing Assets Like Video Improve New Customer Close Rates

In yesterday’s blog, we talked about how important it is to create a remarkable experience during the marketing part of the buyer journey. Lead nurturing emails are one way to do that. But, your prospects view the pre-customer experience with you as one single experience, while you view it as two: marketing and sales.

You need to consider matching your perspective to your prospect’s perspective, which means making sure the experience is remarkable from click to close. Video is one way to take your ordinary sales process and turn it into an interactive, multimedia experience that helps your prospects get to know, like and trust you faster.  We all know that this means more new customers and shorter sales cycles.



Your Sales Process Is Repelling Great Prospects

Inbound Sales Removes All The Barriers To Saying 'Yes'

I’m a huge movie fan and one of my favorites is "Tommy Boy." Not because it’s a classic (we all know it’s not), but it’s the classic honesty bumbler makes good at sales, and there are a number of truly poetic scenes in this movie that ring true in today’s hyper sales environment.

Tommy is sitting with his pal in the customer’s office. The customer has a model car on his desk and Tommy picks it up to explain how he keeps ruining their sales opportunities because he’s trying too hard. What looks like a great opportunity is spoiled because he asks the wrong question, pays the wrong compliment or tells the wrong joke — he’s trying to sell, instead of just being himself.

While this is a classic scene and a funny movie, it gives me the opportunity to talk about your salespeople, your sales process, your sales experience and how right now it’s causing your prospects to run for the hills. Inbound sales might be the answer.



What's The Impact On Revenue From Inbound Marketing And Inbound Sales?

If Inbound Marketing Doesn't Generate Leads And Revenue, Why Do It?

The reality we’ve found from working with hundreds of clients over the past 10 years is that leads are not enough to impact revenue. Salespeople are notoriously bad at picking up inbound leads, as opposed to leads they’ve created on their own. This is where inbound sales plays a critical role.

Once you couple inbound marketing with inbound sales you create a seamless experience for your prospects that has the potential to differentiate your business from your competitors. Once you deliver a remarkable and educational experience to your prospects you see an immediate lift in conversions, sales-qualified leads, sales opportunities and new customers.

The key question is how to measure the quantitative impact. Or, in simpler terms, what level of revenue growth should we expect if we implement both inbound marketing and inbound sales?



What Is Inbound Sales?

If You Can’t Close Your Inbound Marketing Leads, What’s The Point Of Marketing?

If youre hip to inbound marketing, you’ve probably heard about inbound sales. While I write mostly about inbound marketing, we have had an occasional article about inbound sales. So, what is it? What makes it different from regular sales, and how should you be thinking about sales in the future?

The main difference between inbound and the sales strategy you’ve probably been working with is the approach behind the methodology. Instead of trying to sell something, convince your prospects to buy from you or try to control the sales process, inbound is designed around the new way buyers want to buy.



Inbound Marketing: Data With Inbound Sales Vs. Data Without Inbound Sales

Inbound Marketing Should Be About Revenue

I’ve been talking a lot about how inbound marketing needs inbound sales in order to make the kind of impact that people are expecting. It’s not enough to simply get leads: You must be able to convert those leads into revenue.

Over the last 13 years, we’ve rarely seen a company accurately reflect the true situation in their sales department. While most of them tell us how great they are at closing deals, very few actually have a defined sales process that matches how people want to buy today.

This is why we need to expedite the move to a single revenue team who is accountable for driving leads and turning them into revenue.