Business owners, CEOs, CMOs and VPs of Sales are hypnotized by the promise of leads from inbound marketing. But, "getting leads" isn't really what they want, is it? What they actually want is revenue. They want new revenue, revenue growth, new customers – and a lot of them.
Meeting after meeting, prospects tell us stories of their 50% close rate: “Just get me the leads, and we’ll close them.” Then, the leads start coming in, and they’re not prepared to take them through any reasonable process.
Worse yet, we’ve created this amazing educational experience for prospects, which gets them to WANT to talk to your sales people, and then all you want to do is pressure them to buy. That approach doesn’t match how people buy today.
Say hello to inbound sales. It's a defined sales methodology, just like inbound marketing is a defined marketing methodology. Inbound sales and inbound marketing are connected in a way that sales and marketing have never been before.
A Single Planned Experience For Prospects
Think about the last time you visited an attraction at Disney. As soon as you approached it, you were bathed in the experience – the sounds, the visuals while you waited in line. Once you entered the building, you were part of the story.
You need to think about your prospects' experiences in a similar way. When people hear about a business, their first move is to visit the website. Then, the experience has begun. Does the site deliver? Does it make an emotional connection? Does it draw the prospect in? Does it educate and make them feel safe enough to reach out for personal contact? If not, you need to be working to deliver this kind of experience.
If the marketing and nurturing work correctly, the next step is contact. If your sales team is overly aggressive, doesn’t follow a process and doesn’t foster feelings of trust and safety, but rather makes the prospect feel anxious, you're actually wasting any valuable lead that marketing delivered.
Inbound done correctly continues the remarkable experience from marketing into sales. It helps your prospects move seamlessly through a defined sales process, transforming them into new customers for your business.
A Defined, Step-By-Step Process For Both Sales And Marketing
To do this effectively, you need a defined sales process. While inbound marketing creates that process for prospects before they ask for contact, inbound sales creates the process once the prospect is ready to personally connect.
The inbound process transforms the communication, information-sharing and ongoing education required to turn prospects into customers. This process needs to be mapped out. It needs to be documented. It needs to be learned by your sales team. It needs to be reinforced by management and leadership. It needs to be mandatory and not optional for anyone.
It also needs to be incredibly detailed. People have to know what to do and when. They have to know what email to send at the perfect point in the process, what attachment to include, what link to add into the copy, what questions to ask and what stories to tell.
If you execute a defined sales process, you will finally be sure that everyone is saying the same thing to prospects at the same time in the process. Consistency of the message and of the experience in the sales process is finally a reality. This is very important when marrying sales and marketing with today’s buyer behavior.
Click-To-Close Revenue Generation
You’ve been searching for a repeatable, scalable, predictable way to ensure that marketing is delivering the perfect amount of leads right into your sales funnel. You’ve also been searching for a way to ensure that ALL of your sales reps are telling the perfect story at the perfect time and sending the perfect piece of educational information so that your prospects say, “Yes, I’d like to hire you right now.”
Finally, inbound offers the promise of a “click-to-close” methodology that’s perfectly aligned with how people want to buy products and services today. Businesses that choose to ignore this approach and continue with old-school tactics do so at their own peril.
Start Today Tip – It’s actually not difficult to add a few inbound tactics to your existing sales process. Creating email templates for the sales team is a great one. Write the emails, and include links and PDF educational content from the marketing engagement you’re currently executing. Another idea is social selling. Add a few training classes to teach your sales guys how to use social media to nurture leads and connect with potential prospects. While you’re at it, teach them how to share the content you’re creating within the marketing engagement, too. Before you realize it, you’ll be executing a complete “click-to-close” sales and marketing effort.
Square 2 Marketing – Leading The Reality Marketing, Inbound Marketing And Inbound Sales Revolutions!
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.