This may or may not be surprising, but many companies have a hard time describing exactly what it is they offer and who they should sell to. No wonder some salespeople feel like they’re grappling in the dark.
Companies with strong Inbound Marketing teams have already thought of almost everything and have a clearly defined value proposition. They’ve also developed personas which realistically outline ideal customers. This essentially provides salespeople with the tools to sell with maximum effectiveness.
Have you ever had someone try to sell you something, but after a sentence or two it becomes clear they aren’t even sure what they’re really selling? Or maybe someone has tried to sell you something that would actually only be useful to your retired grandfather?
With smart sellers taking advantage of the work their company’s inbound marketing team has done, those blundering sales attempts could be entirely avoided.
Also, cold calls (or more likely these days, email blasts) shouldn’t be as awkward or difficult. Since buyer personas have been defined, Sales should already have the feeling as though they’ve spoken to this particular person many times before.
Although great salespeople should be able to instinctively formulate these targets on their own after some time, they should definitely start by following the Marketing team’s lead so that the entire company is in alignment.
2. Warming Up Leads
Sellers dream of their phone ringing or an email popping up into their inbox that says “I want to buy!”
That dream may not be as entirely unrealistic as one would initially think.
Inbound Marketers spend endless hours, days, months, and even years creating, testing, tweaking, perfecting, and then doing it all over again, to find ways to generate quality leads.
They create content on carefully designed landing pages, on their search engine optimized website, to attract and educate inbound sales prospects they’ll then cultivate and segment even further through personalized email marketing or other offers.
These leads that Marketing generates are already prepped and seasoned even before Sales touches them.
Picking up the phone to call that person is now much easier because they’ve already heard of your company, you have a gauge of their interest level and a clearer direction of where you can take the call.
3. Creating Content
Marketing probably spends about 65% of their time creating content. (That’s actually a complete guess, but it definitely seems like more than half of an Inbound Marketer’s day is spent brainstorming, researching, and creating some piece of content.)
These blog articles, eBooks, infographics, webinars, podcasts, posts, tweets, whitepapers, and case studies are all created with the goal of targeting prospects at various phases of the buyer’s journey to help entice and educate while moving them down closer to the “Purchase” stage.
Sales should make use of these thoughtful and deliberately created items to help progress the sale.
It makes the desperate thought of “I’ll just send them a proposal!” after an initial call fade away.
Content created by the Marketing team gives sellers many more options for next steps and follow ups with prospects.It also serves the purpose of delighting existing customers with valuable information. This helps build stronger customer relationships and when it’s time for a renewal or upsell, Sales has a better shot of retaining business.
Sellers need to open their eyes to the endless opportunities that Inbound Marketing provides. By establishing clearly defined targets, a stream of warm leads, and quality pieces of content Marketing is constantly helping Sales be more effective and successful.