Traditionally, Sales and Marketing have used inefficient, outdated, outbound methods to monotonously relay their “message” about their products. These methods rarely ever listened to prospects’ pain points or found solutions that fitted their needs.
Now, when a buyer identifies their problem, they have access to an abundance of information — finding the solution online in a matter of seconds. To adapt to this new age of informed buyers, it’s crucial for Sales and Marketing to work together, so customers know their product is the right fit.
Inbound Selling Defined
Here’s where inbound selling comes in.
Essentially, inbound selling is the way to sell so that prospects will buy. It’s a modern sales process method that adapts to the buyer journey by looking at prospect’s pain points and then acting as their trusted consultant.
Where does marketing fall into the equation? Both sales and marketing enable each other to achieve inbound selling. When each team’s resources work together, it creates a better, more tailored customer journey for initial prospects to become clients.
Where Inbound Selling Becomes Cross-Departmental
Considering that the power has shifted from seller to buyer, it’s inherently essential for every member of your organization—in both marketing and sales—to know your buyers. When both teams have a common understanding of who your buyer is, it’s easier to keep messaging consistent and provide your prospects with a more personalized experience.
Buyer personas are an effective way to keep track of who your organization is marketing and selling to. Most people believe buyer personas were created for Marketing to target their content at the right prospects. But in fact, Sales should also leverage buyer personas, as they are proven to have several benefits throughout the Sales process.
Sales can take advantage of buyer personas beforehand, in preparation for the sale. Sales reps should review buyer personas to refresh themselves on the pain points, goals, and common objections to prepare for any questions that might come up. Most importantly, buyer personas allow Sales to spend their time the right way, on the right leads. By continually attracting potential buyers who fit into your personas, you will inevitably generate more qualified leads.
Empowering Sales Processes
In reality, there isn’t enough time in the day for Sales to spend hours prospecting for the right leads. Inbound selling enables Sales to lean on Marketing for some of the heavy lifting. Marketing can provide pertinent prospect information, including details about when and how inbound leads convert. With this information, Sales can then work with Marketing to learn more about why the lead converted and then tailor their sales process accordingly.
Monitoring Leads’ Engagement
Marketing and Sales can closely monitor how a lead is engaging with their prospecting efforts with marketing automation software. Using these insights, they can then better align their strategies and move leads further through the sales funnel. For example, say a prospect downloaded a case study about how practice management software increased efficiency. This prospect is most likely at the bottom of the funnel, which triggers Sales to move forward in reaching out to initiate a meeting or discussion.
Connecting with Prospects
When a lead comes in, it’s essential to engage with them right away. However, your efforts will only be successful if they strategically align with positioning yourself as a trusted advisor and expert in your prospect’s industry.
Thankfully, Marketing can provide materials meant to educate, inform, and engage with prospects for each stage of the buyer’s journey. With these available resources, Sales can develop an understanding of which content should be used in which situations.
For instance, it wouldn’t be practical to present a prospect who is just researching their problem with a case study. With the knowledge of content marketing, the sales rep would know to instead send them an email that includes an eBook describing a broad theme in their industry.
For inbound selling to work, Sales and Marketing need to speak the same language. When both teams understand their roles in finding, engaging, and converting prospects into leads, inbound selling is sure to be successful.
Learn more about how SmarkLabs can help you align your sales and marketing teams.