Inbound - The Blog: The Secrets Behind Click To Close

 

Is Your Sales Pipeline Constipated?

Full Funnel Analysis Is The ONLY Way To Find Out For Sure

You’re looking for revenue growth, we get it. Most business leaders equate revenue growth with a need to generate more leads for your sales team to attack. But did you know that revenue growth can come from all stages of your current sales funnel? You don’t necessarily need more leads to drive up revenue.

You might have a jammed-up sales funnel. It’s possible that it's clogged up with potential customers who are not flowing through to the bottom. Instead of needing new leads, which would just join the backup in your funnel, it might be better to try and move those qualified prospects through the funnel and out — either as sales opportunities or unqualified leads. Inbound marketing can help.

Either way, your funnel will feel a lot better, and if you keep it clear it will be a lot easier to hit your revenue goals going forward.

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Don't Fear Your Sales Funnel, Attack It With Inbound Marketing Metrics

You Can’t Really Move The Needle On Revenue Unless You Know These Numbers Cold

Ask any CEO or business leader if they want more leads and the answer is going to be a resounding "yes!" But ask them to give some of the marketing metrics behind their lead generation efforts and the answer is almost always going to be "I’ll have to get back to you on that."

That has to change. If you have a "C" or "V" in your title, or if you have anything to do with marketing or sales, you have to get intimate with your funnel, your funnel metrics and all of the data that goes into helping you understand the health of your revenue funnel.

With the click of an app button on my smartphone I can tell you we’ve generated 17,865 visitors to our website as of yesterday morning (when I wrote this article). I know that’s down from last month and up from a year ago last June. I also know how many leads these visitors produced — exactly 290, also as of yesterday morning. This is the ultimate top of the funnel, and if you don’t know those numbers in this way, you’re not really using inbound marketing to its fullest potential.

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How Many Different Kinds Of Inbound Marketing Leads Are There?

Inbound Marketing Leads Come In All Shapes And Sizes; Does It Matter?

It used to be a lead was a lead. But today there are all different types of leads. Does it matter? Should we care? Should a salesperson ignore certain types of leads to focus on other types of leads? Are some more valuable than others? Who knows?

Good news, we know. Since it’s the Friday before Memorial Day weekend and at least most of you are looking past today’s work and toward either the beach, BBQ or backyard beer, let’s keep today’s article short and on the light side.

Inbound leads come in a variety of flavors. Here are a few of the most popular types of leads and what you should consider doing with each type.

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5 Steps To Optimize Your Sales Funnel With Inbound Marketing

Most marketers and sales professionals already understand the idea of the sales funnel. First, potential customers learn about your business, entering the top of the funnel. Then, your sales team guides them down the funnel with the goal of converting them into new customers.

Buyer behavior has changed, though, and this calls for a re-imagining of the sales funnel – one that applies inbound marketing strategy to the process of converting prospects into leads.

The key to this new vision of the sales funnel is content marketing.

Buyers no longer want sales people to contact them as soon as they enter the funnel. This kind of aggressive sales approach simply turns leads away, making them all but impossible to convert.

Today’s buyers want information that addresses their pains. By creating and publishing valuable educational content, sales and marketing teams attract leads like flies to a honey pot.

So, exactly how does an inbound marketing-optimized approach to the sales funnel work? To answer that question, let’s break down the process into five easy steps.

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Inbound Marketing Only Works When It's Aligned With The Buyer’s Journey

Why is inbound marketing so dependent on the buyer’s journey?

What difference does it make? Can’t we just create content, publish it and drive results without this extra step?

Of course you can, but getting good at inbound marketing includes understanding the nuances that help you turn average results into awesome results.

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What Is An Inbound Marketing Lead?

Inbound marketing can generate leads. That’s not a theory; it’s a reality. Clients who have never gotten a single lead from their website – or from their marketing in general  are now getting 10, 20, 50 or more leads a month from it.

Regardless of the numbers, we find people every now and then who like to "grade" these leads, letting us know that they were bad leads or the wrong kind of leads.

To be clear, I’m not talking about people who fill out job applications, SPAM bots or those random requests to get you on the first page of Google. That’s not what these people are complaining about. If it was that, I'd get it. What I’m saying is that real people are completing forms on your website and requesting information on your business  people who fit the persona we all agreed that we want the marketing to attract  and you're telling me these are bad leads.

How does that happen? How does driving leads become a bad thing?

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Sales School 301: Are High-Quality Leads Overrated?

No matter your industry, the growth and success of your business depends on your ability to widen your sales funnel and close sales quickly. Through our Sales School series, we're offering tips to help you optimize your lead generation strategies, sales tactics and marketing processes. In Lesson 2, we covered the basics of developing a buyer profile based on the five W's. Lesson 3 focuses on expanding your reach to new, uncharted and unsaturated markets.

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Why Today’s Sales Funnel Doesn’t Look Like Yesterday’s Sales Funnel

I read an amazing article in the Harvard Business Review that supports an inbound marketing perspective on the state of sales and, specifically, the sales funnel.

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Why Inbound Marketing Requires Multimedia Storytelling

You’ve probably heard it over and over again: The best way to connect with your customers is through storytelling.

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How Inbound Marketing And Content Increase Your Close Rate And Help You Hit Your Sales Goals

If you’ve been following our blog and actively implementing an inbound marketing program at your business, you may have a decent inventory of educational content by now. This includes all of your e-books, whitepapers, tip guides, infographics, videos and podcasts.

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