The inbound marketing methodology is to attract, convert, close. But how does that align with the traditional sales process or your current sales strategy? Although they should be BFFs, sometimes sales and marketing can be more like frenemies. But with a little guidance and some teamwork, you can integrate the sales process with inbound marketing and boost your bottom line.
1. Attraction And Satisfaction
Let’s start with the top of the funnel where you are trying to attract potential clients. Inbound marketers wisely focus on websites, search engines, and social media to attract buyers to their brand. Unlike traditional outbound sales and marketing, this is all about drawing leads to you through information and content. To attract and interest people, your website and other collateral must be visually appealing as well as educational.
It is no surprise that a study by Google and CEB revealed that “57 percent of the traditional sales process has evaporated” and buyers are finding information, previously given out by sales reps, through individual research. Therefore, the sales process has had to evolve to align better with inbound marketing components.
2. It Doesn’t Hurt To Convert
When people are in the consideration stage, you want to keep them interested and move them to conversion. Use automation for follow-up emails to keep marketing and sales aligned and track contact with leads. Create buyer personas, continue to provide relevant content, score and nurture leads. Scoring leads helps you ascertain who is interested in your product or service and how interested they are.
Here is the chance to let your content shine—e-books, white papers, guides, blogs, and more. And, after you have provided prospects with information about your brand, products, and services, pass qualified leads on to sales. It is not the most efficient use of anyone’s time if they are essentially cold calling anyone who has ever been to your website. Conversion can often be a two-step process. Once a person has visited your site and “converted,” you may need to continue patiently nurturing them until they are sales ready.
3. Evolved Traditions
The traditional sales model typically had a sales person reaching out to a prospect, regardless how warm or cold. With the integration of the sales process with inbound marketing, this has progressed. Now, it is important that you not reach out to leads too early or risk turning them off, which is why metrics and lead scoring are so important. Some theorize that it is best to let the client reach out to you, but that can be a risky waiting game. Best to nurture them and build a relationship so that you have an understanding of what they need and when they are ready to take the next step. Remember, you want to create the best possible experience for your customer through a blend of sales and marketing—be helpful, answer questions, provide info, but don’t be too aggressive or insistent.
With a bit of planning, you can easily get more out of your sales process by supporting it with inbound marketing approaches, which will result in better ROI and bigger bottom line.
If you still have questions about how buyer personas can work for you, download this complimentary guide and learn how to boost sales with more targeted marketing campaigns.