According to a study by Keller Research Centre, Cold calling, an outbound selling strategy only has a 2.5% success rate. It is more challenging than ever to “push” consumers to buy something they have never used before or are simply not likely to buy. As the consumers are becoming smarter, the marketers and the salesmen too need to constantly stepping up the game. And it’s reason enough why businesses are adapting the ‘Inbound’ way of sales. Let’s explore the term further.
Inbound sales is mainly focused on:
● Analysing precedent trends
● Studying buyer personas from a sales perspective
● Generating relevant content that the sales team can use
● Creating a personalised experience for the consumer
● Establishing trust as a salesperson
● Comprehensively helping the buyer through his journey
The emphasis is more on establishing trust and creating a relationship with the consumer rather than only focusing on closing sales. Based on the consumer’s behaviour and preferences, the salesperson crafts an approach that is conducive, at the same time personalised for every prospect.
According to Forrester, “By the time an actual salesperson gets involved, up to 90% of the selling process could be over and done with.”
Outbound Sales greatly comprise of making cold calls and orchestrating sales shows. It refers to a push approach of sales where you look for clients, carry out a generalised approach irrespective of the preferences of your prospects. On the other hand, with the inbound approach, a salesperson tries to pull potential clients and then qualifies them on the basis of their interests. With inbound sales, it is more about identifying, connecting, exploring, and advising.
Consumer have a sea of options for every product or service they desire. This also creates a market with cut-throat competition where companies are striving to be seen and recognised by the prospect. In an environment like this, pushing a prospect to use your product or service based on a generalised approach would be more than difficult for conversion. The inbound sales approach gives the opportunity to the salesperson to lead the consumer towards what they need rather than constantly pursuing them in a cold manner.
There has been a massive transformation between how sales used to work traditionally and how it does now. Keeping up with today’s empowered buyers’ needs might be challenging but once you have crafted the sales methods in a way that makes the prospects come to you, there’s no looking back for your business. Let’s understand how the process of inbound sales works:
After having your buying journey in place from a sales point of view, you can build your sales process. The Inbound Sales methodology looks something like this:
The first phase is all about identifying consumers with goals or bars for salespersons to convert into leads. In order to have these as qualified leads, the inbound salesperson helps prioritise the goals. Next is exploring whether the offer is fit for the qualified leads’ context. If it is so, then these qualified leads turn into opportunities. Ultimately, the inbound salespersons put forth how these offers are relevant and specifically positioned in accordance to the buyer’s context. In case of an agreement between the buyer and the salesperson, the opportunities then become customers.
The key difference between inbound and outbound sales is that in case of inbound sales the focus is only placed on the active buyers who would potentially be interested in buying what you have to offer. This saves a great deal of time. Salespersons can identify the active buyers by checking if they have previously visited the website, engaged with the content, filled out a form or opened the email sent to them. Out of even those buyers, there would be the ones that salespersons can help or cannot help with their offerings. They need to further classify such buyers to be able to finally craft an ideal buyer persona.
In case of inbound sales, the salespersons craft personalised messages to address the buyer’s specific challenges or goals. This could include anything from common connections to interests or buyer’s industry and role. The emphasis is to help the buyer through their journey by making offers like free consultation or proactively answering the buyers’ queries based on their search. This would drive the buyers to engage with your business on their own.
Once the buyer expresses interests and engages with the content you are putting out, it is now time to leverage that into building trust and establishing a long-lasting relationship. It is only then that an inbound salespersons would understand the buyer’s interest in his offering and establishes whether or not they have what the buyers demand. Is they do, then they would further invest time in tailoring the perfect content offer for them, thereby achieving the sales or customer goals.
There has been a disruptive transformation in sales and marketing with the progression of technology and the ease of access to information. Inbound salesperson provide more than just what buyers have access to. They create a personalised experience by helping them through their journey and identifying their goals. Their prime focus is not to push the buyer to become a customer but to invest time and effort in building trust and relationship. That’s when the salespersons can design the most suitable experience and convert that opportunity into a long-lasting commitment.
If your inbound marketing team is fully stacked with personalised content and messaging for leads, why wouldn’t your sales team have the right tools to convert them?
Are you making the most of inbound sales? How are you doing it? Let us know in the comments below.