We’re always learning around our office! Recently I took a hubspot course on inbound marketing. We learned about “drawing business in,” rather than going out and hunting for customers. It’s a key shift that affects all our clients. The aspect of inbound that most interested me was inbound sales: how inbound marketing affects the selling process.
How sales has changed
Over the last few decades, the sales process has changed entirely. Before the internet, salespeople were the guardians of information. To learn about a product, potential customers would have to go through the salesperson, and the seller would give general information to everyone. They had all the control during this process. It was all about the seller. We’ve moved to being all about the buyer.
Now that the internet is everyone’s best friend and first source of information, sellers can no longer hold onto all the information. If they skew stats, the clients will know, and look for service elsewhere. Often buyers have made 60% of their purchasing decision before talking to anyone. Inbound sales informs us that it has become the job of the seller to craft a sales message directly responsive to the needs of the individual. The more information that hits the “reasons to buy,” the better. Every sales pitch becomes custom made, unique. Centering the information to the specific needs of someone helps build credibility and shows the purchaser that ultimately, it’s all about them.
Bringing in the right people
Inbound marketing helps with sales by attracting the right potential customers to connect with the right company or product. By providing compelling content that is related to matching potential clients’ needs with your products, website traffic (and sales!) will be generated by people who are looking for what you have to offer.
Context is key. If you want the right people to connect with you, you need to know your customers! By using social media to interact with them you can learn about what they want and what they find useful. The more you can learn about your clients, and find ways to genuinely meet their needs, the more you can build a trustworthy reputation. Trust is one of the biggest pieces of making a sale, so it should be a focus throughout all interactions with everyone you connect with about your business. Listen diligently to their questions and concerns, educate whenever you can, choosing to become a trusted adviser, before directing potential customers to your product.
Marketing and inbound sales are incredibly connected; your marketing process affects your sales process, and your sales process affects your marketing process. It’s important to work collaboratively with a consistent goal and in a consistent style. Choosing inbound marketing means having a very inbound-centric sales style. Always focus on the customer and their experience. The customer really is king, it turns out. Provide information and become a trusted adviser. With these goals in mind, sales can be transformed to draw more and more business in – and ultimately, be more rewarding for everyone involved.
Online Marketing Assistant
Inbound Marketing Certified