You may have heard the buzz in the industry lately - there’s a more efficient and effective way to generate highly qualified leads. We’ve already gotten a few calls with questions about it. I hope to answer some of the most commonly asked questions.
When it comes to generating inbound leads, there are a few major elements to master. The first thing you need to understand is inbound marketing itself. On top of that, you MUST understand inbound sales.
With inbound marketing, you create content that people want to consume. When you create trusted, informative content, you will draw people to your business instead of fighting for their attention in a crowded marketplace -- which is how it "works" with traditional marketing.
As buyers have evolved, they’ve begun responding less and less to outbound, interruption-based tactics - cold calling, direct mail, and mass media (when is the last time you watched your favorite TV show in real time? You DVR it and fast forward through the commercials right? So does everyone else). What they do now before making purchasing decisions is look online for answers to their challenges and pains. The magical search bar on Google’s homepage holds more power over whether or not you get invited to the sales party than your sales reps.
Inbound Selling and Inbound Leads
Content is the new currency in the B2B selling cycle. That is NOT to say that inbound marketing does all the work. Sales plays a huge part in the process and they need to know and understand the inbound methodology.
Just because 67% of the buyer’s journey (source: SiriusDecisions) is now done digitally doesn’t mean that sales is not adding value to the conversation, especially if you’re talking about cross selling to existing customers.
Sales owns that relationship. Sales needs to work within the sales process digitally to enhance your inbound marketing efforts. With inbound marketing, much of the knowledge in the head of the sales rep is translated online in the form of educational content. These are things that can be downloaded, consumed, and considered by the buyer.
Sales should know where these folks are in the buying process based upon what they've consumed and be able to reach out and connect at the appropriate time. Timing with inbound marketing is everything. Call too soon and you spook them off. Call too late, and well, you’re just too late.
In a nutshell: Inbound marketing is getting the right content to the right buyers at the right time to inform them, to educate them, and to nudge them in your direction.