Today, it’s impossible to imagine the world without the internet. Think about it. We pay our bills, file taxes, go shopping and research blog posts all from the comfort of our own IP address.
But life wasn’t always this easy. Imagine for a moment, if you will, what purchasing a product was like before the internet—millennial gasp. Buyers needed face to face contact with actual sales people in order to make decisions; they were the only ones with the answers to questions like:
- How much does it cost?
- How does it stack up next to your competitor’s product?
- Who else uses your product? What do they like about it?
Then the internet came along and changed everything. All the information your buyer’s need nowadays is only a click or screen tap away. The power shifted to the buyer and so salespeople have had to transform their selling methods.
That’s where inbound selling comes in. To keep the playing field level with today’s empowered buyers, we believe it’s important to take advantage of the six inbound sales tips below.
Transform How You Sell
- Get everybody on board with inbound marketing and sales. Ask anybody who’s switched to an inbound strategy and they’ll tell you it brings both your sales and marketing departments closer together.
Getting everyone onboard with an inbound strategy is the first step to attracting more leads, converting those leads, and closing customers. Having everyone on the same page will allow you to collaborate and be more productive.
- Be a thought leader. Would you take advice from a stranger or buy a product from someone you don’t trust? Um, no. So we can’t expect our target markets to do that. The buying process is a complicated web of emotions, trust, education and so on.
Solidifying yourself and your company as a thought leader can help you avoid some sales land mines in the future. Future customers will become more aware of your brand and your company will remain top-of-mind with your target market.
People will trust you and come to you with questions and concerns when you work to establish yourself as a thought leader within your industry. And it’s one of the most important factors in maintaining a successful inbound sales strategy.
- Use mobile devices. It’s 2016. If your sales team isn’t equipped with smartphones, tablets, and laptops at this point, what are you waiting for? These devices are crucial for communication but they’re pretty critical players when it comes to research too.
Your sales tools should be mobile friendly as well. For example, is your website mobile responsive? Are you utilizing email campaigns, landing pages, and downloads?
Meet your buyer’s where they’re at: online, most likely on an iPhone or Android device. Make yourself and the information they’re seeking accessible on mobile if you want them contacting you with the intent to buy.
- Get social. Your company is straight killing it on social media (at least they better be) and that’s awesome. But where are you? If you are not on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or whatever social platforms your company uses it’s time to get social my friend.
You don’t have to be on all the social networks so don’t panic. The best approach is to pick two or three (like the one’s your company sees the most action on) where you know your potential buyers are.
Whatever you do, don’t create an account, leave a faceless egg profile pic, and then start spamming people with “Buy my product” messages. Put some effort into it and upload a business friendly profile pic, write up a bio, and share compelling content with your social network buds.
- Provide value. There’s a lot of contextual lead intelligence through the inbound marketing process besides basic contact information. With tools available today like Mouseflow for example, you can see things like web pages a prospect has viewed, the places they’ve clicked on your site, or what information they’ve provided.
Collaborate with your marketing team and use these insights to provide some real value to your buyers. This can provide you with a huge advantage when reaching out to customers and redefine “cold” sales pitches.
- Define the buyer journey. Tying into our previous point, if salespeople can’t add value beyond what buyers can find on their own the buyer has no reason to engage with the salesperson. That’s just a harsh but true fact of life.
Inbound sales teams can avoid running into this problem by defining the buyer’s journey. There are three stages to the buyer’s journey it’s important for salespeople to understand: the awareness stage, the consideration stage, the decision stage.
In the awareness stage, buyer’s are looking to resolve a challenge they have identified. During the consideration stage, buyer’s are looking to achieve a specific goal and at the decision stage, they’re comparing solutions to find the perfect fit for their needs. For inbound sales to be successful, salespeople have to be able to meet potential buyers every step of the way with a firm understand of what problem they are looking to solve and how well your company’s solution can meet the needs of the buyer.
Remember, an inbound sales mentality is all about providing value to your customer. It’s not about interrupting anymore; it’s about giving, giving, giving to get.