Inbound Sales: The Power of Tracking & Following Buyer Signals
By Kyle Bento
A few months back, I wrote this article outlining the success and basics of running an Inbound Sales conversation. Today, I’m going to share a technique that will help you better align with your prospects.
Imagine how much your sales efficiency would skyrocket if every outreach you made delivered the right message to the right person at the right time. You could say goodbye to annoyed recipients, wasted outreach, and that pesky feeling of rejection.
"As with any relationship, the market favors those who give more value than they ask for." - Leslie Bradshaw
Now, I can’t promise you inbound sales perfection, but by understanding how you can monitor and react to buyer behaviors, you can increase the effectiveness of every outreach attempt.
There are great sales tools out there.
I’ll just come out and say it - most of the sales tools on the market are pretty lame.
We’ve all gotten calls or emails that missed the boat. Here’s one Tom received the other day:
So a couple of things - Tom’s not in Human Resources, and we aren’t The Branding Company Inc. Not to mention, a quick look on our website would tell you what positions we are currently hiring for, which would have actually made this a conversation. This email was clearly sent to a list by a shitty sales tool.
If you bring yourself back to a similar moment, did you feel like you were getting reached out to by a human?
The good news is there are sales tools that have the opposite intent. They are built to help salespeople be more intelligent, not more robotic.
While I use a lot of tools to manage the sales process (and feel free to tweet at me to get the whole list), this article focuses on the basics of using buyer signals.
For that reason, I’m just going to recommend two awesome and completely free tools!
Sidekick’s an invaluable tool which allows you to gain visibility into when, where, and how your emails are being opened and engaged with. Beyond that it allows you to delay emails so they get sent when it’s right for your prospects and it provides valuable insight into the person on the other side of your message.
Beyond that, the paid version adds a slew of functions that further allow a salesperson, or any businessperson, to communicate smarter. More on that here.
If you aren’t using any lead tracking software and don’t have the budget for one, stop right now, call your web developer and have them install Leadin. You are missing out.
Described as an “introduction to inbound”, Leadin enables you to you create and gather lead information through a form and allows you to track the activity of those leads on your site.
While tools like Google Analytics are great for looking at your sites performance as a whole, Leadin will show you how each individual is engaging with your site. Not only is this data is invaluable in customizing your sites experience for your target persona, but it gives you real time visibility into where your prospects are in their journey.
How can we best use sales tools?
Remember right person, right message, right time? I picked the two aforementioned tools for a reason: they give you the insight needed to fulfill those requirements.
Let’s break this down.
The Right Person
A sales email is as good as wasted if it’s sent to the wrong person. So, instead of sending out bulk emails with hopes of crossing the path of someone who is interested, why not let people's actions dictate your outreach.
Below is a view of what I can see in HubSpot (the experience would be similar with Leadin):
Here’s what I can extrapolate from that visitor’s recent journey through our site:
He uses Twitter and is interested in sales enough to click through to our site.
He most likely read my Improve Your Sales Emails With These Outlines article (notice the 3 minutes spent on the page).
He viewed our ABCs of Inbound Marketing eBook, but didn’t convert on it. He may already have inbound marketing experience, or he may not know enough about inbound to find value in it.
He downloaded our 10 Areas of Focus For Your Next Website Redesign eBook. Bingo! He was willing to share his contact information for this offer; That says a lot about it’s priority to him.
From there, this visitor(let’s call him John) left our site. Generally speaking, I wouldn’t send John an email. Here’s why: while he showed me his pains (website and sales outreach), he showed no interest in IMPACT’s actual services.
The Right Message
Now, let’s pretend John came back to our site. How he reconnects with us will dictate how I craft the right message.
His re-engagement shows that he found value in our site or it’s content. The question that I still need to answer is: where is he in the buyer’s journey?
Is he still understanding his problem? Is he learning about solutions? Or is he picking between possible solutions?
Let’s run through two different scenarios and how they would change my outreach message.
Scenario One: He returns to our site and continues to gather information regarding website design.
My message: Here is content that helps you better understand how to approach the web design process.
Scenario Two: He returns to our site and starts looking at pages about IMPACT.
My message: Here is content that helps you choose if IMPACT is the right fit for your web redesign.
Craft your outreach to your prospect’s location in the buyer’s journey.
Timing is Everything
You may be thinking, “What if John never returns?” Well, that’s where timing comes in.
My goal is to always work on the schedule of my prospects. If John never returned to the site, nine out of ten times I would just let him go. Now, some people would disagree with that so I urge you to explore what works best for you. This is in no way a “one size fits all” solution.
For me, timing is all about one big thing: working in the now. If someone is doing research about your service, that is the time to reach out to them, not when they haved moved onto their next task.
If a prospect is on our site, I send the my outreach right then, when the idea is fresh in their head.
This can be a bit difficult to do with Leadin, but, if you have HubSpot (Professional or Enterprise) and Sidekick, you can get lead revisit notifications delivered in real time.
We have found engaging people with this method to be incredibly effective, so be sure to take advantage of it if you are using HubSpot.
Don’t have HubSpot? When prospecting sort your outreach by recent activity. This way you are reaching out to people who have engaged the most recently without any fancy tools!
Another way to correlate your timing is by sending tracked emails with Sidekick. By paying close attention to when your prospects are viewing your emails you can deliver the next email at exactly the right time.
Commit to selling better
Remember the email Tom got? That was the easy way out. It was poor sales, but that email was probably send to thousands of business of owners.
These techniques are more work, but they allow you to greatly increase the efficiency of your outreach. In short, send less emails to get better results.
In the end, I want to be sure that my sales technique projects a positive impression on IMPACT. What type of impression does your sales outreach process project?
Wondering where to begin?