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Everything is changing. From the way we buy to the way we sell, and everything in between.

We’re living in a revolution, a sales revolution, and it’s time to adapt our strategies. Unlike in the old days, when salespeople served as gatekeepers, tempting potential buyers into conversations with the allure of information, buyers are now hold all of the power. The internet has provided buyers with the opportunity to research every aspect of every product and service on the market—even yours.

And yet, there is still hope. Salespeople are not extinct, and are still imperative to the survival of business. However, they must fill a slightly different role. They must fill the role of the inbound salesperson.

In a phrase, inbound selling is solution selling. Rather than pushing your products or services onto your buyers, salespeople should be offering a wealth of knowledge and information in following the “always be helping” sales methodology. Inbound selling is all about selling the right solution to the right prospect at the right time–the time that is right for the buyer, not the sales rep.

Salespeople now sell the solutions to the problems they know their buyers have, often better than the buyers themselves, because they are trusted advisors and have proven themselves experts in their prospect’s business and industry.

To expand on this, there are a few guidelines that your sales team can keep in mind in order to grasp this.

First, your sales team must always know, understand, and empathize with your buyer. Who is your customer? What is their name, their job title, the size of their company, the challenges they face? An easy way to learn all of this vital information is to do some basic research. Check out their company website, their LinkedIn and Twitter profiles, or maybe even their personal Facebook page. By taking the time to do this preliminary research, your sales pitch will be more tailored, more personalized for each buyer—a telling sign that you know and care about your customers.

Building on this background information you gather on buyers, and with the use of marketing automation software, you can also collect information on the actions these potential buyers have taken on your own website. How have they shown interest in your product or service? How many times have they visited? How many blogs have they read or shared? This is another way to add a much more personal touch to your sales pitch. This is also where Sales and Marketing communication is critical. Enable both teams to communicate about what is working and what isn’t so that each team can tailor their approach more efficiently and effectively. True smarketing is achieved when both Sales and Marketing work together towards a common goal.

With all of this customer information in mind, your approach will be much more personal, much more customized. This will encourage potential buyers to open up more than they would on a traditional cold call.

Then, when these potential buyers do open up, be an active listener. What are they telling you? What problems or challenges are they facing? Do they know what the problem is, or is this an area where you, the expert, can help shine a light on the problem? Listen, listen, and then listen some more. This is the most effective way of learning about your customer.

So now that you know your customer, you can fulfill your new role of an inbound salesperson. Remember, inbound selling = solution selling. Can your product or service solve your buyer’s problem? Do you have remarkable content readily available that you can send to buyers in a follow-up email? The only way you’ll know if you can offer a solution, is if you know your buyer’s goals, plans, and challenges.

The revolution we are living in is ongoing. Buyers don’t need to be pressured into sales, and they know it. Rather, buyers need customized outreach, personable sales teams, and positive experiences with companies.

The good news is that this revolution works in favor for both buyer and seller. Now, instead of having your sales team waste time on unqualified leads, trying harder than ever to push sales on people who aren’t ready to buy, they can use a more personal approach on leads who have shown explicit need or interest in what your company provides. Furthermore, by delighting your customers with this personalization and education, they grow to be promoters, marketing your own company for you. So embrace the revolution and adapt and encourage your team to succeed with inbound selling.

Learn more about inbound selling LeadGen tips. Attracting leads with inbound tactics works differently than traditional lead generation. Arm Sales with the tools they need with the LeadGen eBook.

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