THE STATE OF INBOUND 2016: INBOUND AS PART OF THE SALES PROCESS
What are the next big challenges for all of us working away in Inbound marketing?
This question provokes an immediate lightbulb to Inbound marketers; the release of Hubspot’s State of Inbound Marketing has come around once more. In it, Hubspot evaluate the Inbound methodology as a whole, across the world.
The figures tell us exactly what we at Increnta were already thinking: The intelligence gathered from automated marketing should be (and is) being passed across into the sales process. Which frankly, is a logical conclusion. Over the last few years we’ve been testing the effectiveness of the Inbound methodology to capture leads and develop opportunities, now we’re up to the point of looking at its potential to make sales and assure profitable campaigns.
Brian Halligan, the CEO at Hubspot assures us in the new report that the world is “ever more Inbound”, and that over the next ten years Inbound marketing will grow uninterrupted (teehee!).
“The world is becoming more Inbound. It’s growing more authentic, less interruptive. And with the findings of this year’s report, I think it’s safe to say that over the next ten years we’re going to see an even more inbound world”.
So looking squarely at the figures in the report, which you can download at the end of this post, these are the standout findings regarding the switch towards the sales process.
Inbound marketing sales: The challenges ahead
Marketers today are very much focused on converting contacts into leads and customers. Specifically, 74% of companies asked have flagged this up as their main priority over the next 12 months. So it doesn’t surprise us that of the six priorities most voted for – 5 are related to sales.
Increasing revenues from existing clients (46 %); Demonstrating ROI through marketing activities (42 %); activating sales (32 %); and reducing the cost of acquisition and opportunities (27 %).
The future goals of inbound sales
The “door to door” strategies which for years have been the staple of marketing activity no longer exist. This is a good thing. As salespeople we now have tools to close leads through personalised assistance, rather than the insistence that always characterised the world of sales.
As salespeople we have also managed to reach a point where we aren’t desperately searching for clients, instead we are making contact through a better, more qualified strategy: Inbound Marketing.
There are 7 key areas that salespeople must try to maintain t remain relevant to modern day businesses.
1. Investment in social sales
Fully 42% of buyers in the Hubspot report said that they make business communication through social channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter. More than 50% is a valuable tool for their connections and sales.
Salespeople and purchasers participate on social networks and in group. Make sure your company is part of that conversation.
2. Audit your sales prospecting processes
The sales prospecting process gets more complicated every day for sales forces. We have more information about user behaviour and more of their related information.
Hubspot’s report show the need for a new type of thinking on prospecting. Get alignment on prospecting departments with the way users want to make purchases, and give some special attention to signs of interest from clients, as well as working with the marketing department to increase the flow of inbound leads.
3.The death of cold-calling
If you limit yourself to little tweaks on your pitch script or emails, you aren’t facing your real problems.
There are many other ways to get in touch with people. The friendliest ways create the best atmosphere of trust, generating more confidence in your brand, so your company gets brownie points and better results overall.
4. Promise (upon your heart) to align your sales and your marketing departments
Sales departments and Marketing departments should be working closer than ever. Working with your marketing department will help to define your target client, the marketing department has spent many hours on building buyer personas, buyer legends and segmentations, they are in a great position to single out the best businesses, so sales can concentrate on hitting potential clients’ key pain points.
5. Determine how customers want to engage and engage them
Despite email being the preferred communication channel in Hubspot report, every buyer has a different preference.
It’s important to diversify between channels according to your customers’ preferences: events on networks, Google searches, traditional phone calls, or even Whatsapp messages. Whatever, just use them and get in touch in the way the client wants you to.
6. Get a CRM
In many companies the CRM acts as a very true window to performance and interaction with clients. A good company knows how to put processes in place using the CRM so that prospects are contacted at the right time by different departments.
7. Train your sales teams
Sales teams are trying out some radical experiments. Salespeople need adequate training to stay up to date. Investigate your team’s training to give them the skills they need to best service current customers. Such as:
- Social Sales
- Prospecting based on consumer interest
- Set up research frameworks
- Communicate through personalised messages
The sales team is the most important link to the marketing team. At Increnta, the goal is to convert leads to clients, and to hit our targets we supply the sales team with our intelligence. The advantages are two-fold; sales have a better chance of a worthwhile conversation, and the communication between sales and marketing are improved.
If you don’t know us and you are looking for an agency to help grow your brand in the marketplace, call us. We get lifetime results. You in?