No one is ever happy with their company’s sales. It’s kind of like Congress, or the current cast of Saturday Night Live: you have various different complaints about it, it’s never good enough, and you always wish it could perform better. This is mostly just the nature of sales. It’s a very fickle process, with many ups and downs, and it puts constant pressure on your sales staff. And no matter how great your sales may be, we always want more. You can’t close every deal – in fact, you’ll probably fail to close the vast majority of them – but sales managers and CEOs would sure like you to.
If you’re tired of your sales process, or just want to find a way to jumpstart it, then you should consider adapting inbound principles. We mostly apply inbound strategies to marketing, but marketing and sales always go hand-in-hand. Plus, there are many ways that inbound practices can help your sales process reach new levels. Let’s go over how:
Using content for lead nurturing
Inbound marketing utilizes content to attract visitors to a company’s website, as well as to turn visitors into leads, but that’s not the only place content can be useful. Giving your sales staff access to content can help them entice leads whenever they contact them. Make some content offers accessible to your sales staff, and coordinate with marketing so that a lead is never exposed to the same content twice. Remember, content helps exhibit your business’ credibility and expertise, so flaunt it whenever possible.
Working in conjunction with marketing
As mentioned above, coordination between your sales and marketing teams can be a boon to your sales process. There should be free-flowing communication and exchange of information between your sales and marketing people, which can be easier said than done; it’s fairly common for sales and marketing to bump heads. But remember that you all have the same goal in mind: to drive sales and increase revenue. The two departments should have joint meetings on a regular basis, in order to better coordinate their efforts.
Taking advantage of marketing tools
Marketing will also have plenty of information at their disposal, especially if your business is using marketing software, and sales should take full advantage of it. Make sure your sales team has full access to your analytic information like page views, time spent on site, content offers downloaded, etc. If sales can understand how a particular lead is interacting with your business or your site, it will give them a better idea on how to approach that lead during a sales call.
Approaching a lead in a consultative manner
One of the key principles of inbound marketing is providing value to your potential customers before you ever attempt to make a sale. Even when it is time to push for the sale, you should still strive to provide value. How do you accomplish this? By using a consultative mentality when talking to leads. Instead of bringing a sales pitch, try to help the lead. Ask what their business problems are and help them find a solution (a solution that involves your products/services, of course). You should spend as much time listening as you do talking during a sales call, so that the lead feels like you are genuinely concerned about their issues.