Grow revenue more cost-effectively and faster
“Cold calling, mass mailings, generic emails, printing ads are dead.” Well, that’s actually not the case. Many of these lead generation techniques that used to work are just not as effective as they once were. Only 28% of cold calls result in a conversation. Plus these vehicles are expensive. The introduction of inbound marketing and sales enablement has created a better, more customer-centric approach to building relationships that result in a 38% higher sales win rate.
What’s happened is that the buyer’s journey has changed. 67% of younger buyers tend to do a lot of research before they engage with sales. HubSpot, (the #1 “All in One” sales, marketing and service platform for small and mid-sized businesses), with whom we’re a certified agency partner, realized this shift and created the Inbound Marketing approach. So now the focus is on developing content that provides value and information and, in turn, enables the buyer to find you.
That doesn’t mean that a CEO should abandon their struggling sales department and devote all of their resources to inbound marketing. Inbound should be used to help power the sales process and support the company’s sales goals. To achieve greater success, sales and marketing must be aligned through the entire buyer’s journey.
Inbound Marketing Creates Omni-channel Sales Process
So, why are buyers conduct online research before engaging with a salesperson? There are many reasons ranging from:
- They are trying to identify their problem
- They want to know about new or better solutions
- They want to educate themselves so they can have a more in-depth conversation when talking with a salesperson
However, you can still get them to engage during the early stage of their journey through blog articles, social media, gated content such as white papers, and nurturing emails that offer them additional resources and guidance.
The key is that these additional touch-points are not meant to replace personal communications with sales but instead, are intended to add to and enhance them. By the time the prospect is comfortable enough with your company to start talking with sales, they have already built up a relationship with your company through educational content, emails, social media, and other channels.
Add Content Marketing
Content marketing works best when it continues to provide value throughout the sales process. Unfortunately, 70% of executive-level buyers say salespeople aren’t prepared for the questions they ask and 75% say sales reps don’t have relevant examples or case studies to share.
Content analytics give sales valuable insights into what content a prospect has read and what searches they’ve performed. This gives sales an indication of their main pain points before ever getting on the phone. It also tells them how familiar the prospect might be with your solution so they don’t waste time rehashing research the prospect already conducted. Also, keep in mind that content marketing resources can be used for the inbound marketing effort, as well as by sales to accelerate prospects through the pipeline.
Sales and Marketing Need to Be Aligned
It’s also important to know that an effective sales and marketing strategy doesn’t put all its egg in a single basket. Sales shouldn’t just work the leads that inbound marketing generates. They need to continue to work their own leads that they develop from trade shows, conferences, as well as from online resources like LinkedIn.
Alignment also means sales should provide constant feedback to marketing on the effectiveness of their content and the quality of their inbound leads. In turn, marketing should have a clear idea of what the ideal lead looks like, what content they respond to the most, and when in the buyer’s journey they should be contacted.
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