Did you know that online buyers go through roughly 57% of the buyer’s journey without ever talking to sales?
The digital age has radically shifted the way that customers engage with your sales team. In effect, your sales team isn’t in the driver’s seat anymore — the customer is.
Customers go through too many brand impressions a day to be swayed over by old-school sales tactics. The days of convincing customers that they need your product out-of-the-blue are over. No more phone calls trying to sell the latest vacuum, and no more random email campaigns trying to push customers into using your software. Those days are dead.
Today, sales teams have to rely on inbound marketing strategies if they want to convert prospects. Your sales team needs to work on a granular level and leverage inbound marketing insights if they’re going to push leads down your funnel.
In fact, inbound marketing not only empowers your sales team, but it also makes their jobs easier. There’s a misconception that inbound marketing and sales are driving in two different lanes when in reality they’re riding in the same car. Both of them are critical in customer acquisition.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways that inbound marketing can empower your sales team.
Lead Generation Tools
If you have a sales team that hasn’t utilized inbound lead generation tools, you’re behind the times. A technology stack of lead generation tools that are tailored towards your business’s needs makes gathering leads easier, faster and more streamlined.
Sure, a good stack of lead generation tools will significantly benefit your marketing efforts, but your sales team are going to be reaping the bulk of the rewards.
Lead generation tools funnel high-quality leads directly to your sales team. These are leads that have been gathered based on parameters that you’ve set as a business. Do you want to collect the emails of users who are engaging with your rich creative video content? Great! Do you want to gather information about people who downloaded that sweet white paper? Fantastic!
Lead generation tools shove all of those juicy leads right into your salespeople’s laps — with little to no effort. There’s a reason that companies that have mastered lead generation and lead nurturing have salespeople that meet their sales quotas 9% more often — lead generation works!
Not only are inbound leads easier to acquire, but they also cost around 62% less per lead than traditional outbound leads.
We all know that developing a buyer’s persona is critical for inbound marketing, but did you know that it’s also vital for your sales team?
Without a buyer’s persona, your sales team is going to be walking into most sales cold. A well-defined buyer’s persona — that’s developed in a way that applies to both sales and marketing — teases crucial information about prospects (pain points, challenges, etc.).
There’s a reason that developing targeted personas can lead to 124% more sales leads; they send critical prospects to your salespeople.
Not only do buyer’s personas give your sales team a leg-up when it comes to actually making a sale, but it also helps reduce some of the friction between sales and marketing — namely unqualified leads.
Having a buyer’s persona helps filter out some of those unqualified leads, which gives your sales team more time to focus on getting those SQLs and MQLs down the funnel.
So, inbound marketing has given you this really cool new buyer’s persona that helps qualify your leads for you and this great toolset that’s delivering those leads to your sales team in a streamlined, efficient way.
But, not only is that buyer’s persona great at developing an architecture that gives your sales team insight into your customers, but it’s also a growth pillar that will drive your content strategy.
You want to create content that not only sets you up as a thought leader; latch onto that buyer’s persona and create content that engages your audience on a personal level. In short, you want hyper-relative content that appeals to your buyer’s persona.
Did you know that 78% of U.S. internet users say that content that is personally relevant increases their purchase intent?
If you use inbound marketing strategies to develop content that sets you up as an authority, your sales team will be empowered when making sales. Your prospects will view your content before they talk to your sales team, so it’s vital that you use content that positions your sales team as experts — something that inbound marketing is fantastic at doing.
Did you know that the average buyer views 13 pieces of content before they make a purchase decision?
They Come to You
While your buyer’s persona, lead generation tools and well-positioned content are all inbound marketing strategies that will set your sales team up for success, it’s important to remember that inbound marketing empowers your sales team by nature.
Customers will be coming to your sales team, not the other way around. So, unlike outbound marketing, prospects that have gone through your funnel are already vetted. These are people that are interested in purchasing your product or service — they just need your sales team to work their magic and get rid of those last-minute fears.
If you’re having trouble getting your sales team to adapt to inbound marketing strategies, ask them this simple question — do you want to talk to more qualified leads?
Still Need Convincing?
Trying to get your sales team on board with inbound marketing is easier than it sounds. Sure, your marketing team and sales team may never be frictionless, but it’s important to remember that they are working towards the same goal — increasing your bottom line.
So, next time your sales team asks you “why do we need inbound marketing?”, try out this answer:
Inbound marketing will streamline your highly targeted prospects who have viewed critical content that positions you (the sales team) as an authority.
If you’re still having difficulty getting your sales team adjusted to inbound marketing, try these tips:
- Have a brainstorming session between your sales and creative team.
- Invest in training tools that explain the benefits of inbound marketing to your sales team.
- Reduce the friction between your sales and marketing teams by scheduling regular meetings between them.
Remember, inbound marketing and sales aren’t in opposition — they’re best friends.
If you’re looking for inbound marketing strategies that help streamline your leads, position you as an authority and literally shove leads down your funnel, let us know.