Inbound sales is all about the buyer. Outbound sales is (or was) mainly about the seller. We are living in the digital age, meaning the way sellers and marketers reach out to potential customers has evolved due to a change in the buyer’s behavior. This transformation in the buyer journey has sparked a change in marketing and sales from outbound to inbound, meaning the old ways of selling, including cold calling, are no longer successful at achieving the best results.
The bottom line is that buyers just don’t want to be sold things. And they’re also aware of the tactics sales and marketing reps use in order to sell their products and services. So marketers and sellers have to adapt to this change, which is where inbound marketing and inbound sales come in. Inbound sales supports the buyer journey to match how the buyer purchases.
So how can a salesperson become an expert at inbound sales? There are four things a sales rep needs to do in order to achieve success in inbound sales:
- Prioritize active buyers over passive buyers
- Engage online to build trust
- Focus on personalized messaging
- And personalize your presentation to each individual buyer
If you want to learn more about the change in the buyer journey, take a look at our previous blog-post. But let’s go into more detail about how you can become an inbound sales expert and ditch the old ways of outbound marketing and sales!
1. Consider the inbound sales methodology:
- Identify: know who the active buyers are
- Connect: engage by sending personalized sales messages rather than generalized ones
- Explore: start a conversation in which you remain in control but the customer feels empowered to make their own purchase decisions
- Advise: let them know how your product or service can help them and their business specifically
Once you keep this methodology in mind, inbound sales will be a piece of cake. Make sure you use this methodology throughout the different stages in the buyer journey. These are predominantly made up of: the Awareness stage, the Consideration stage, and the Decision stage. At the end of the day, it’s all about making sure you’re prioritizing the buyer and their specific needs and addressing those needs within your sales message, which brings us onto our second tip…
2. Prioritize the buyer and their needs, challenges and goals:
When it comes to inbound marketing and inbound sales, it’s important to remember who your priority should be: the buyer. Yes, you want to sell your product or service, but in order to do that, the buyer needs to know that your product will fulfill their needs and offer solutions to the challenges they face.
Inbound sales is all about guiding the buyer to the right purchase decision, rather than merely selling to them. They need to WANT your product and in order for that to happen, they need to feel as though they NEED your product. When it comes to solutions, make sure you are using the term “challenges” as opposed to “problems” as it’s best to stay away from using the most negative and pessimistic terminology wherever and whenever possible. This will ultimately make the overall deal more positive and more promising for both you and the buyer.
Make sure you are selling to each individual customer. Don’t think of them as one type of person with one type of need. Your customers are going to be different and are going to have different challenges which require different solutions. Keep letting them know how you can help them specifically and you’ll be well on your way to becoming an inbound sales expert!
3. Alignment between inbound marketing and sales teams
Marketing and sales alignment is important if you want to achieve inbound sales. Marketing and sales once seemed like completely separate entities that had very little engagement with one another. It’s become much clearer that inbound marketing and inbound sales must align in order for both to function efficiently. Both marketing and sales should work together in order to obtain the best quality leads. This is done through lead nurturing via inbound strategies and tactics. The leads generated are coming from these inbound strategies implemented by both marketing and sales, so you can’t have one without the other!
Coming up with quality content is also important for both marketing and sales, especially when it comes to alignment. The content you create should benefit your audience specifically, and if it doesn’t, there’s no point in publishing it. Marketing and sales need to align in order for the content to be relevant to your customers because they both need to be on the same page as to the type of customer you are targeting. This all depends on the subject matter of the content, so make sure you have a content marketing strategy in place.
If you want to find out how you can best align marketing and sales, check out our previous blog-post.
Inbound sales is all about prioritizing the customer and their needs. In the past, outbound sales was about the seller and their needs. Due to the change in the buyer journey, marketing and sales reps are now adjusting their strategies to a more inbound approach so that they are providing individual prospects with solutions that are best suited to them. Qualified prospecting is an important part of inbound sales as generating the right leads is now more important than generating lots of leads. Hopefully this blog-post helped you and your inbound marketing and inbound sales teams to become inbound experts!