Wednesday night is volleyball night for this guy, and like many people in their mid-20s in a new city, my team consists of people in the same work field, in my case salespeople. After our domination (or lack thereof) on the court, we started discussing the things salespeople talk about: prospecting, leads, how much we hate cold calling, etc. While talking about what my company does with my new teammate, Ben, we started in on a long conversation about inbound marketing and what it means to a salesperson. Here are the benefits I outlined for Ben…
There’s a Way to Limit COLD CALLS!?
I joked about it earlier but yes, it’s true: sales people don’t like cold calling. Those that don’t mind it are my heroes, because I know sales people who 10 years into their career still hate cold calling. One of the beauties of inbound marketing is, when done properly, it limits the amount of traditional cold calls and changes the nature of a cold call.
Today’s consumers are using the internet more than ever to find solutions to their problems. They are able to gather tons of information on products/services by accessing web-based content, more specifically my company’s content. After viewing and downloading our free content, consumers have a better understanding of who we are and what we do. This gives me an edge with prospects that have already familiarized themselves with the brand I represent- an edge that is especially useful when making initiate contact.
Best of all, because our marketing analytics software gives me an opportunity to see exactly where they’ve been on our site, I feel a familiarity with the consumer as well. I can better understand what their problem may be, what pain points they have, or what solutions they are looking for based of what they’ve viewed. This two-way street of familiarity essentially eliminates the idea of a traditional cold call and makes communication much easier.
Turning Sales People from Pushers to Teachers and Consultants.
Traditionally, consumers think of sales people as those awful guys on the used car lot. Sales people are just there to push their product and don’t care about the consumer’s needs. Inbound marketing changes all that; it recognizes the consumer is now in control. As a site visitor turns into a lead, I am not here to push anything onto them.
Using the information gathered from the content the consumer viewed, I am able to decipher what problems they may have so that I can help teach and consult with them about their needs and our potential solutions through content, online engagement, and direct conversation. In other words, I can add real value.
I can tailor my customer service to fit the wants and needs of each lead, building stronger relationships. The content I use while teaching and consulting turns me into a trusted advisor. I am no longer the guy at the used car lot. Consumers are more likely to come back to me as return customers because of this relationship.
More Money in our Pockets
If asked what drives them, most sales people would say money. Fair enough. Inbound marketing best practices allow me to offer more value and a better experience to my prospects and customers.
If I do this, it’s a sure bet I’ll walk away with more money in my pocket when all is said and done.
Analytics is the Key
By using data to analyze the sales cycles of previous and current consumers, I can better understand what’s needed to create a sale.
I gather information during the entire sales cycle. By averaging data from all sales made, I can understand that it takes X site visits, Y clicks, and Z pieces of content before a visitor is ready to buy. Why don’t you go ask McDonalds how many commercials it took before you went and purchased their latest McWhatever? This data is incredibly valuable in shortening the sales cycle timeline.
Because all the information can be easily tracked and averaged, I know which visitors are ready to consider purchasing; this kind of information saves a lot of time chasing down site visitors who aren’t ready to purchase. It also shortens the sales cycle. Why do I care? A shortened sales cycle timeline means more sales over a given period of time, which means more money in my pocket.
Inbound Marketing is a salesperson’s dream; it helps limit those pesky cold calls that we all dislike so much. It moves us from pushers of products and services and turns us into teachers and consultants to prospects and clients. And as long as you are willing to properly review the data analytics, it shortens the sales cycle timeline, allowing for more conversions and more success.
I dare you to find a salesperson who would complain about any of the three benefits I just listed. I know my teammates couldn’t.