We don’t have to tell you that the buying process has changed. You are out there experiencing it every day. Decision makers have unprecedented access to information about you, your company, your products or services, and your competitors. They are better equipped to navigate through the plethora of solutions to find what they want. And that means they are well-equipped to negotiate on costs.
What does that mean for your sales reps? How will your sales team continue to engage with prospects and convert them into customers? The answer: use inbound sales methods to leverage lead generation.
Let’s first examine what a modern salesperson should look like before we outline inbound sales tips.
In a recent article on Inc.com, Brian Halligan, CEO, and co-founder of HubSpot, explained the 5 traits of the modern salesperson.
Smart. The modern salesperson has to be smart enough to know what information their prospects are searching for. They must be armed with the best information out there to prove that they are trusted, experts.
Motivated. Sales leaders have always been motivated, so there is no exception for the modern salesperson. Motivated sales leaders are motivated not only to close more deals but to reward customers with excellent service and expert information and solutions.
Ambiverted. The best salespeople used to be extroverts, but in today’s sales landscape they are a blend of introvert and extrovert. They are outgoing and friendly, but also understand when to be reserved and perceptive.
Helpful. We couldn’t agree with Halligan more on this one. Sales reps who are “always helping” are infinitely more successful than those that are “always closing”.
Transparent. Decision makers are smart. They want honest facts. Be as transparent as possible when presenting information to your prospects so that you are perceived as “always helping”.
The modern sales leader will leverage these inbound sales tips to improve lead generation.
To reiterate some of our previous posts, the way that decision-makers navigate the buying process has changed. The frequently quoted study from CEB shows that buyers are 57% of the way through the buying process by the time they have their first interaction with a sales rep. Because of this, sales leaders can no longer leverage information in the traditional way that they have before. They have to adapt, just as their prospects have. They need to leverage information as part of their inbound sales strategy.
The way we see it is you have two options for LeadGen:
1. Target decision makers that are so far into the buying process that they only care about negotiating price, or
2. Get in front of decision makers by driving traffic to your website through informative, remarkable content.
We don’t need to tell you which one is going to win you more business.
Leveraging content marketing for lead generation
Yep, we said it: content marketing. Sales leaders make the mistake that content marketing is something that Marketing does that has little to no impact on their sales growth efforts. Wrong. Content marketing is a strategic part of inbound sales and can be used throughout every stage of the buyer’s journey. If you don’t believe us, let’s take a look at the facts (from HubSpot):
- B2B companies with 101-200 website pages generate 2.5x more leads than those with 50 or fewer pages.
- Companies show a 55% increase in leads from increasing landing pages from 10 to 15.
- B2B companies that blog 15 or more times a month get 5x more traffic.
We’ve spoken with clients who say that the information provided in their blog helped them to not only generate more inbound leads, but to help close more deals. Blogging is so impactful because it helps you get found by the right prospects. More blogs = more SEO opportunities. SEO opportunities = more traffic to your website. More traffic to your website = more opportunities to convert leads into customers. The more blogs, web pages, landing pages, etc. that you have, the greater the chance that your prospects will find you. That is, after all, the goal of inbound sales. Create enough remarkable content that your prospects will come to you. Need some help to start your business blog? Read our post about creative B2B blogging ideas here.
Arm your sales reps with the tools they need to combat the complicated buying process. Ensure that they are trained to be a modern salesperson. Encourage sales leaders to work hand-in-hand with Marketing to develop lead generation strategies that work. Prospects are only getting smarter. Is your sales team?