In my previous sales roles, I was told many times that in order to be successful, I shouldn’t be afraid to reach out to people. I was to go out and find prospective leads. Outreach was key and I should call as many people as I can every day. I needed to put myself out there and be recognized…
OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT
This word is instilled in our brains as salespeople, but is this outbound method really the most effective way to sell a service? Am I being productive by calling hundreds of cold leads in an attempt to gain interest? Should hunting for customers be a primary goal? Although outreach is always going to be an important piece of the sales puzzle, there has got to be a better way to create touch points with contacts. This interruptive approach can be invasive and has the potential to alienate prospective customers rather than gain attention.
Out with the Old, In with the New
When I first joined the Synecore team last year, it was mandatory in my sales role to be Inbound Certified. I was unfamiliar with this strategy. The Inbound Methodology by definition is meant to be customer centric by empowering leads with information. But what does that mean?
As Lindsay from HubSpot Academy explains, “Instead of interrupting people with television ads, they might create videos that potential customers want to see. Instead of buying display ads in print publications, they could create a business blog that people would look forward to reading. And instead of cold calling, they create useful content so that prospects can contact them when they want more information.”
The point of inbound marketing is to shift the goal from looking for customers to getting found by them instead. And to do that, a salesperson needs to create content that answers a question or solves a problem for their target audience.
The Inbound Methodology in a Nutshell
There are four parts that make up the sales process when using the Inbound Methodology. A salesperson’s aim is to Attract, Convert, Close and Delight. This intuitive approach can still be somewhat foreign to those who have only used outbound sales tactics their entire careers.
Using the Inbound Methodology, the first thing a sales team would need to do is concentrate on attracting newcomers. The most common way to do this is by blogging and using social media to talk about the problems their target audience of potential customers cares about.
Related Article: Inbound 101: 3 Major Inbound Components
Once these strangers evolve into frequent website visitors, the goal is to convert them into leads by obtaining their contact information. To receive this, there must be an information exchange. This most often comes in the form of an offering that requires a landing page and form fields that the visitor is required to fill out before downloading the free content.
The biggest advantage of the inbound process over the outbound is the greater ability to close on a deal. If the sales team is using a CRM to track conversions, such as HubSpot’s CRM, knowing the particular type of content the prospect engages with offers insight into what their specific needs are. Because a salesperson is privy to this information even before initial contact, it allows for more meaningful sales conversations; with conversion tracking, a lead’s specific interests can be understood and touched on immediately.
Unlike other methods of outreach, the sales team won’t be wasting as much time working over cold and uninterested leads with an effective inbound marketing strategy in place. Incorporating the Inbound Methodology into the sales process will create a more productive sales team that is focused on talking to prospective customers about the subject matter and content they (the customers) really care about. This in turn will drive higher sales conversions from a satisfied customer base.