Traditionally, inbound marketing has been viewed as a sales funnel-filler – sending lots of leads to a website through SEO, social media, blogging and the like. However, the truth is, when deployed with the right strategy and technology it can be a sales funnel-usher as well – ushering leads swiftly through the steps of a company’s sales process so that the sales cycle is considerably shorter. Delivering the right content to the right person at the right time on the right channel is how to combine a sales funnel-filler campaign with a sales funnel-usher campaign. This can result in increased funnel velocity and an overall widening of the middle and bottom of the sales funnel. Below are five ways to usher leads through the inbound marketing sales funnel.

*TOFU – Top of the Funnel / MOFU – Middle of the Funnel

Inbound Marketing Sales Funnel Widening

  1. Advanced Lead Generation Analytics – This is not your run of the mill Google Analytics type system. In fact, advanced lead generation analytics reports and tracks visitors based on their IP address, name, email and even social media profiles while feeding data to a CRM. It not only tracks what they click on and where they go, but it reports on which content is accessed throughout the buying cycle. This defines the exact paths which converted prospects took prior to becoming a customer and after becoming a customer while reporting which content was consumed. The important thing to remember is that website visitors actually have a name, picture and contact information in the reports. These more personal reports are great assets for good sales professionals.
  2. Cross-channel Lead Nurturing – Many are familiar with email lead nurturing campaigns. What if email wasn’t the only channel to nurture a lead? With the help of the right software it’s possible to send tweets, text messages, Facebook posts, etc. in order to nurture leads. This approach can not only keep prospects on the path to becoming a customer, but accelerate their journey down that path with velocity.
  3. Multivariate Testing – By having multiple variations of landing pages, calls to action and content webmasters can experiment over time as to which versions of the above cause the most visitors to take the most profitable actions.
  4. Multi-channel Behavior Tracking – Lead nurturing on multiple channels, as mentioned above, is great for moving leads down the funnel, but what triggers a campaign? No longer do webmasters have to rely on just the behavior on their own websites. Activity in social media, mobile, billing, support systems, CRMs, etc. can be used to trigger multi-channel lead nurturing campaigns. Thus, delivering the right content to the right person at the right time on the right channel.
  5. Behavior-centric Content Deployment – The best example of this is They do a really good job at analyzing someone’s behavior in order to deliver the content (products) that is most likely to cause an action which leads to a sale. A website doesn’t have to be ecommerce to deploy this tactic. A webmaster can determine through advanced lead generation analytics which behaviors and consumed content lead visitors to become customers on a non-ecommerce website. Once this data is mined it can be used to deliver the right content to the right person at the right time based on the behavior of the visitor.

It is no longer good enough to just optimize an inbound campaign for lead capture. With today’s technology webmasters can also widen their website sales funnels while shortening the sales cycles. Tactics like the ones mentioned above can make sales processes more streamlined by being cheaper and faster while widening the sales funnel and converting more leads into sales. For more help in delivering the right content to the right person at the right time on the right channel watch this video.

Read more: Integrate this List into your sales strategy.