Table of Contents
Creating and implementing an effective inbound sales strategy requires a deep understanding of the buyer’s journey. Only by fully understanding the buyer personas and buying process can inbound sales teams create an inbound strategy that targets customers at each stage of the buying journey, resonates with the target audience, and drives conversions.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about the inbound methodology, the buying journey in the context of inbound sales, and how to create an inbound sales process and strategy that will help you and your sales team accelerate the sales cycle and close more deals.
If you’re new to inbound sales and want to learn about the difference between inbound and outbound sales and which sales strategies are a better fit for your company, be sure to read our Inbound Sales 101 article.
Inbound methodology focuses on generating inbound leads via content marketing. Sales and marketing teams use inbound sales methodology to lower customer acquisition costs and improve buying experience. Inbound salespeople focus on nurturing long-term relationships and advising rather than upfront selling.
How to create an inbound sales strategy
To create an effective inbound strategy the sales team needs to map out the buyer’s journey and build the inbound sales process and strategy around it.
Follow these 5 steps to create an inbound sales strategy:
Step 1. Define your ideal customer profile (ICP).
Defining the ideal customer profile is a critical first step in inbound sales methodology. The ideal customer profile (ICP) is a clear and well-defined description of your target customer, based on market research and real data. Your ICP should include information on who your ideal customers are, what their needs and pain points are, and how your product or service can help them.
Once you have defined your ICP, you can use it to create your inbound marketing strategies and shape inbound sales techniques, ensuring that you are targeting the right people with the right message.
Step 2. Map out the buyer's journey.
The traditional outbound sales methodology of cold-calling, cold-emailing, and interruptive selling is no longer as effective as it once was. Modern buyers are more informed, have more ways to find the information they need, and have more choices than ever before, which means they are less likely to respond to traditional outbound sales tactics.
To truly understand your customers your inbound sales team needs to map out the buyer’s journey. By mapping out the buying journey, the sales team can develop a sales strategy and a sales process that meet the potential customer where they are in their decision-making process and guides them toward a purchase.
While mapping out the buyer’s journey may seem like a daunting task, it is essential for creating inbound marketing strategies that can generate inbound leads effectively.
Step 3. Content marketing strategies should support each stage of the buying journey.
With a clear understanding of how customers make purchase decisions, the inbound marketing teams can create helpful marketing content that follows the buying journey.
The buyer’s journey is the process that potential customers go through when making a purchase decision, and marketing teams need to align their content with the buyer journey. This content should help buyers to become aware of their problems or need, consider their options, and make a decision.
By creating content that helps potential customers at each stage of the buying journey, marketing teams can support the sales process and expand the sales funnel by generating more marketing-qualified leads for the inbound sales team.
Not sure what sales enablement content to share with new customers, check our articles on sales enablement content types.
Step 4. Build inbound sales process around the customer journey.
The most successful inbound selling teams always build their sales process around the customer journey. This allows their inbound sales reps better understand each step of the buying journey and tailor their sales process to fit each step.
For example, at the awareness stage of the buying journey, the customers are just becoming aware of their problem or need. In this stage, it’s important for sales teams to provide educational content that helps prospects understand their problems and how your product or service can help solve them.
As buyers move through the consideration and decision stages, sales teams need to provide more targeted information that helps them compare different options and make a final purchase decision.
By understanding and catering to the needs of buyers at each stage of the buyer’s journey, your sales team can build and maintain sales momentum and drive more sales.
Step 5. Focus on turning existing customers into product champions.
Product champions are customers who are so enthusiastic about a company’s products or services that they voluntarily spread the word to their friends and colleagues.
For inbound selling teams, product champions can be an invaluable asset. Not only will they help to generate inbound leads and amplify your company’s sales strategy, but they will also provide valuable feedback that can help to improve the product.
To turn clients into product champions, sales teams need to focus on creating an outstanding buying experience and customer experience. By making the extra effort, your sales team can turn clients into product champions, create loyalty, and amplify company’s sales strategy outcomes.
What are the 3 stages of the inbound buyer's journey?
The buyer journey is the key to inbound sales methodology. By understanding the buyer journey, inbound marketing teams can create relevant content that supports a potential buyer at each stage of the buyer journey and move them closer to a purchase.
The buyer’s journey consists of three phases:
- Awareness – Top of the Funnel (TOFU)
- Consideration – Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)
- Decision – Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU)
To build effective inbound strategies, inbound sales teams need to take into account all three of these stages. Too often, legacy salespeople and outbound sales teams focus only on the last stage, Decision, and try to close the deal as quickly as possible to hit sales targets and sales quotas. This results in missed sales opportunities and a bad buying experience for a potential customer.
In many cases, during the buying journey, the only time a buyer will engage with a sales rep is when the sales rep can offer value that the buyer cannot find on their own.
To avoid running into this issue, the sales team always needs to put the buyer’s journey first. Inbound selling teams’ priority should be creating an inbound sales strategy and sales process around the buying journey.
1. Awareness Stage - Top of the Funnel (TOFU).
The awareness stage is the first stage of the inbound buyer’s journey, and it’s when the customer becomes aware of a problem or need. During this stage, customers will start to look for information about potential solutions.
To reach customers in the awareness stage, inbound sales and marketing teams can use educational content like blog posts, infographics, social media pages, paid advertising, ebooks, and whitepapers. By providing helpful resources, businesses can build trust with potential customers and position themselves as experts in their industry.
Inbound marketing efforts should be focused on creating compelling content that is audience-centric and value-driven. These are some of the questions they should be asking when creating inbound marketing content:
- How do customers become aware of these challenges?
- How do they address these challenges?
- Are there any alternative solutions that may take more time but cost less compared to your solution?
- How can you create a sense of urgency?
For example, our solution, DeckLinks, allows sales and marketing teams to create professional-looking video PDF presentations that they can share with prospects and existing clients.
Our goal is to attract people to our website that are looking to create video presentations to share with prospects and clients, or internally. One of the ways to do that is by using Microsoft PowerPoint. So we created a guide on how to add a video to a PowerPoint presentation.
In this article, we are providing value to our potential customers and also making them aware of an alternative solution that is not only more efficient but also provides many benefits that a video presentation created in PowerPoint will not, like the ability to track video engagement analytics.
2. Consideration Stage - Middle of the Funnel (MOFU).
We can all attest to the mental struggle that comes with making a purchase, especially when it’s an expensive item or a decision that will impact us long-term.
In the consideration stage, buyers have already identified their problems and are actively researching their options and comparing different products or services. They are starting to narrow down their choices and are beginning to develop a preference for one brand over another.
Buyers in the consideration stage are getting more informed and are looking for more detailed information about the products or services. In most cases, they will be considering multiple vendors at this stage and will be looking for reasons to narrow down their list of vendors. As such, inbound selling teams need to create a strong sense of transparency during the consideration stage to persuade buyers to choose their product or service.
For example, inbound marketing teams can create blog posts or product comparison sheets that show how your products stack against the competition. In this day and age, your competitors are one Google search away.
Many inbound salespeople avoid mentioning their competitors altogether, but there can be real benefits to bringing them up. By addressing the competition directly, inbound sales rep can put themselves in a very strong position. Sales rep can show that they are aware of what other companies are doing and that they have considered how they might impact their offerings. This can help to build rapport with potential customers and partners.
Moreover, mentioning your competitors in the consideration stage can help to put your products and services in perspective. If you’re able to show how your offerings stack up against those of your competitors, you’ll be in a much stronger position to close the deal.
Additionally, at the consideration stage, inbound sales representative needs to identify all the decision-makers. In many cases, they won’t be able to connect with every decision-maker. So if you’re dealing with the gatekeepers, do not try to go around them. These are the people who control access to the decision-makers. By going around them, you’re not only being disrespectful, but you’re also likely to damage your relationships with these gatekeepers. Instead, take the time to build a rapport with them and provide sales collateral in a format that is engaging and easily shareable. This will ensure that your messaging will not get lost in translation.
The best way to share sales collateral with decision-makers is through video-narrated PDFs or video emails using DeckLinks.
Be sure to read our article on how to increase effectiveness of sales collateral.
3. Decision Stage - Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU).
At the decision stage, the buyer has done their research, has decided on their solution strategy, and narrowed down the list of vendors. At this stage of the buyer’s journey, the inbound sales rep is working exclusively with the decision-makers.
The decision-makers may still have some doubts or questions that need to be answered before they can commit to a purchase. Find out about their interests and learn more about their goals and targets. The better sales reps understand what drives the decision-makers, the easier it will be to tailor your pitch to address the needs of each decision-maker.
Most often than not, decision-makers at this stage will evaluate your commitment and willingness to go the extra mile. Your solution may be superior to your competition but if the buying experience is sub-par and you don’t demonstrate a genuine willingness to help potential customers succeed the chances of closing the deal will shrink dramatically.
It’s also important to keep in mind that when you’re selling to businesses, the decision-makers are not only trying to find a solution for their current problem but also looking ahead for a long-term business partner who they can rely on. If the sales rep is more focused on hitting their sales quota by trying to force a sale, they will pick up on that and be turned off.
How to build an inbound sales process around the buyer's journey
After mapping out the buyer’s journey your inbound sales team can start building inbound sales framework around it. By understanding the steps that your potential customers take on the buyer journey, your sales team can develop valuable content and inbound marketing strategies that will resonate with new customers at each stage. Additionally, this knowledge can help your team better qualify inbound leads and help improve your inbound sales techniques.
To build an inbound sales process around the buyer’s journey follow these 4 steps of the inbound sales methodology:
- Identify qualified leads.
- Connect with marketing-qualified leads (MQLs).
- Explore sales opportunities.
- Advise sales-qualified leads (SQLs).
Step 1: Identify potential buyers and qualified leads.
Before connecting with potential buyers, inbound salespeople need to prequalify and identify the buyers they can help and which buyers they cannot help. By referencing the ideal buyer profile, inbound sales rep can save a lot of time by focusing on high-quality inbound leads that have a high chance of closing.
Inbound leads can come from various channels:
Website visitors who fill out a contact form on the company’s website.
Anonymous website visitors
Inbound marketing teams can identify which companies are visiting your company website.
Social media platforms
Track activity on social media platforms, and look for any mentions of your company.
Step 2: Connect with marketing-qualified leads (MQLs).
The connect step for inbound sales is completely different from that of outbound sales methodology. Outbound sales teams doing cold calls aim to start an exploratory conversation with the potential buyer by using a very high-level sales pitch about their products or services. Oftentimes, the prospects they contact have never heard of their company and may not know there are solutions to the issues they’re experiencing.
Inbound salespeople on the other hand are connecting with buyers who are generally better informed. These buyers have a specific problem they want to solve, they are more open to making a purchase, and in many cases, they would like to connect with trusted advisors that can help them understand the product or service on a deeper level.
To create the best buying experience for customers, inbound selling teams need to create playbooks for each type of buyer persona. Buyer persona playbooks enable sales reps to quickly and easily personalize their messaging and move inbound leads to the next step of the inbound sales process.
Step 3. Explore sales opportunities.
The explore stage of inbound sales is when sales representatives use the buyer’s initial interest to identify their targets and goals and start building trust. This stage is all about building rapport and getting to know the buyer so that the sales rep can sales-qualify the lead.
Remember at this stage, the lead is marketing-qualified and not sales-qualified lead yet. To effectively sales-qualify leads, the sales rep needs to ask probing questions and be transparent about their intentions – buyers are more likely to trust an inbound sales professional if they feel like they’re being open and honest with them.
The goal of the exploration stage is to get a deep understanding of the buyer’s needs and challenges and explore sales opportunities. This stage is critical for setting a strong foundation for the next step in the inbound sales process – the Advise step.
Step 4: Advise sales-qualified leads.
Once the inbound sales rep has sales-qualified the inbound leads and understands their needs, they can then advise them on the best solution for their particular situation.
This is the decision phase of the buyer’s journey, your sales-qualified leads have narrowed down their list of vendors and are evaluating their options and trying to determine which product or service is the best fit for their needs. As their trusted advisor, it is your job to provide the decision-makers with the information they need to make an informed decision.
The best way to share information with decision-makers is through video-narrated PDFs using DeckLinks.
By providing guidance and support during this critical stage of the buying process, inbound salespeople can greatly increase the chances of making a sale and solidifying a long-term relationship with their customers.
Top 20 inbound sales strategy tips and tactics
Now that you have a good understanding of the inbound sales methodology, it’s time to jump into our Top 20 inbound sales tips and tactics. The following tips will help you nurture leads more effectively and improve your inbound strategies.
1. Define the ideal customer profile (ICP).
Before jumping into the content creation process, it is essential for the inbound sales and marketing team to clearly define the ideal customer profile. This will help ensure that the inbound marketing efforts attracting and engaging the right target audience at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
When defining the ideal customer profile, teams should consider factors such as demographics, psychographics, needs and pain points, purchasing behavior, and other relevant criteria. Once the ideal customer profile has been clearly defined, inbound sales and marketing teams can begin developing content that speaks directly to this target audience.
If your inbound marketing team creates a poorly defined ideal customer profile, the content team will run the risk of creating content that does not speak to your target audience. As a result, you may end up with a stream of inbound leads that have a very low chance of converting, wasting the inbound sales team’s time. Therefore, it’s crucial that the inbound marketing team invests the time to develop a detailed ideal customer profile before the content creation process starts.
Maximize your Account-Based Marketing impact and stand out in your industry by discovering these 25 most effective ABM tactics that have been proven to work.
2. Create relevant content.
The foundation of effective inbound marketing strategies is helpful and relevant content. By providing potential customers with valuable content, companies can build rapport and establish themselves as experts in their field.
This content can take many forms, from blog posts and e-books to infographics and webinars. The common thread is that the content should be designed to educate prospective customers about the issues your products or services are addressing and how your company is solving them. By providing valuable information, you can spark customers’ interest, and build trust and credibility with your target audience.
Increase Sales Engagement
Record and share video sales presentations and proposals and WOW your prospects and clients with the most personal customer experience. Access engagement analytics. Learn more.
3. Have a solid content distribution strategy.
One of the biggest mistakes many inbound sales and marketing teams make is neglecting content distribution. No matter how great your marketing content is, it won’t be generating inbound leads if your potential customers can’t find your content. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to ensure that your content gets seen by the potential prospects.
First and foremost, ensure that your content is optimized for search engines (SEO optimized). You can have the most helpful content out there but if it’s structured in a non-SEO-friendly way, search engines will have a hard time indexing it properly.
Second, make sure your inbound sales and marketing team is posting and reposting the content in a variety of places, including social media channels, forums, and Slack channels related to your industry.
Third, reach out to influencers and other thought leaders in your field and ask them to share your content with their followers. Another way to do this is to do an industry-specific podcast or host webinars.
For example, at DeckLinks we run a mini-show for B2B sales and marketing teams called SALES RUSH. On SALES RUSH sales leaders and sales influencers get to answer 20 questions in 2 minutes. The goal of the show is to provide helpful sales tips, show the human side of salespeople, and start conversations with sales professionals.
Finally, don’t forget to track your progress and analyze your results so that you can continue to improve your content distribution strategy over time.
By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your inbound sales content has the visibility to generate marketing-qualified leads.
4. Focus on warm leads.
Inbound salespeople should focus their efforts on inbound leads who are actively engaged in the buying process. By focusing on the inbound leads that are at the later stages of the buyer’s journey, inbound salespeople can increase the chances of starting relevant conversations with the leads.
There are several ways to find out where your inbound leads are in the buying process. One way is to look at their online activity or digital body language. If they’ve been visiting your website, reading your blog posts, and engaging with your social media posts regularly, they’re likely further along in the buying journey than someone who just got on your radar. By analyzing leads’ digital body language, sales rep can ensure they are focusing their time and effort on the right inbound leads.
Inbound salespeople can also look at the lead’s job title and company size. For example, if the lead is in a senior-level position at a large company, they’re more likely to have budget and decision-making power than someone in a junior-level position at a small company.
So if you’re looking to improve your inbound sales strategy and shorten the sales cycle, make sure to focus on inbound leads that are showing genuine interest in your products or services.
Learn how to increase sales engagement and how to turn cold leads into warms leads.
5. Establish personal brand and thought leadership on social media channels.
In today’s competitive business landscape, inbound salesperson needs to stand out from the crowd and differentiate themselves from their competitors. One way to do this is to build a strong personal brand on LinkedIn.
A strong personal brand helps amplify the overall effectiveness of your inbound marketing strategies. LinkedIn is a great social media platform for sales reps to build their personal brand, establish thought leadership, and connect with potential customers and identify passive buyers.
By regularly sharing helpful articles, unique content and valuable insights, inbound salespeople can position themselves as thought leaders in their industry. This will not only help them to attract new leads but also build rapport and credibility with potential clients.
Want to build your personal brand on LinkedIn but don’t know where to start? Then look no further, check our guide on how to easily build a personal brand on LinkedIn with Chat GPT.
6. Do not try to force a sale.
Inbound sales representative should focus on building relationships with potential customers and helping them find the right product or service for their needs. The worst thing they can do is to try to force a sale. Inbound salespeople need to keep in mind that buyers usually have different timelines than the sales rep, and these often conflict with each other.
7. Try to uncover or create a sense of urgency.
If you’re struggling to meet your sales quotas or your sales cycle is taking too long, try to uncover or create a sense of urgency with a potential customer. This could be a need for your product or service right now or an upcoming deadline that they are trying to meet. By uncovering the sense of urgency, you can tailor your sales pitch and offerings to close the deal faster.
In some cases, you may need to offer a discount or special pricing to get the customer to commit. If they are using a product similar to yours and are unhappy, but already paid for the year, how can you convince them to switch? If your LTV (Life Time Value) to CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) is high enough, you may be able to include a buyout clause in your contract. If you can successfully uncover or create a sense of urgency, you will significantly increase your chances of closing more deals faster.
8. Recap all your meetings.
One of the most important aspects of the inbound sales process and inbound sales methodology is maintaining clear and consistent communication with potential buyers.
After each meeting, inbound salesperson should take a few minutes to recap their exploratory conversation and share the valuable information with the potential buyer. This helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that there is no miscommunication. Additionally, it provides an opportunity for inbound salespeople to reinforce their key points and build rapport with their potential buyers.
The best way to share meeting recaps with decision-makers or product champions is via DeckLinks. By sharing a meeting recap in a form of a Video PDF, you can ensure that your message will not get lost in translation when shared with other decision-makers.
Increase Sales Engagement
Record and share video sales presentations and proposals and WOW your prospects and clients with the most personal customer experience. Access engagement analytics. Learn more.
9. Prioritize inbound leads based on their engagement.
In the past, legacy salespeople had to rely on intuition and experience to figure out the best inbound sales strategy and how to prioritize deals. Today, thanks to modern sales engagement and sales enablement tools, inbound salespeople have access to a lot of buyer engagement data.
Inbound sales professionals can track things like email open rate, email click rate, website visits, see how potential buyers engage with your sales collateral, etc. This data gives inbound salespeople a better understanding of how buyers interact with their brand, what kind of content they’re interested in, and what messaging resonates with them the most. Armed with this knowledge, inbound salespeople can uncover a lot of insights, identify warm leads and strategically approach their sales funnel.
Are you still using email opens to determine prospect engagement? See why using emails opens is not a good metric to measure prospect engagement.
10. Ensure potential buyers know the next steps.
Just as in any other sales process, in inbound selling the goal is to take the potential buyer through the buyer’s journey that will lead them to become a paying customer. By ensuring that each step in this journey is carefully planned and executed, inbound salesperson can reduce any friction that can slow down the sales cycle and create the best buying experience.
One of the most important steps in this process is making sure that potential buyers know what the next steps are. At each stage of the buying journey, inbound salespeople need to ensure that buyers know what they need to do to move on to the next stage and what to expect. Without proper guidance, buyers often get stuck, which can lead to the sales reps losing deals entirely.
11. Create collaborative inbound sales strategies with companies in your niche.
Inbound selling teams work to attract customers by creating helpful content and offering personalized assistance. One way to further boost inbound sales efforts is to team up with other non-competing companies in the same industry.
By co-hosting webinars, for example, companies can reach a wider audience and position themselves as thought leaders in their industries. Additionally, partnering with companies that complement your product or service offerings can help to round out your inbound strategies and attract even more potential customers.
By working together, companies can greatly improve their inbound sales process and chances of success in highly competitive markets.
12. Personalize the buying experience and all communications with potential buyers.
In inbound sales, the goal is to build relationships with potential buyers to earn their trust and business. The key part of this strategy is a personalized buying experience. Inbound sales representative has to consider the buyer’s needs, pain points, and objectives. What type of information will be most relevant to them? How can you position your product or service as the best solution to their problem?
By tailoring messages to the individual buyer, inbound sales professionals can show that they understand the buyer’s needs and are invested in helping them find the right solution. This approach helps to build rapport and establish trust, two essential ingredients needed to create the best buying experience.
13. Get the decision-maker involved early in the sales process.
One of the biggest mistakes inbound salespeople make is not getting decision-makers involved in the early stages of the sales process. The sooner a sales rep can engage with them and start building rapport, the better. By doing this, they’ll be in a better position to understand their needs and sales objections and identify whether or not the company has the budget for your products or services.
It can be helpful to ask the lead to introduce you to a decision-maker within their company. This type of request accomplishes two goals. It allows you to assess whether the lead is truly interested in your product or service. If they are unwilling to make an introduction, it’s likely that they are not serious about making a purchase or not fully convinced that your product or service is the right fit for their company. Try to uncover the roots of hesitation and address any concerns that the lead may have.
If you’re not sure how to handle certain sales objections then be sure to read our article on how to use Chat GPT to overcome any sales objection.
If you’re facing the gatekeeper, then your task may become trickier. Your goal is to provide the gatekeeper with all of the relevant information they need so that they can pass it on to the decision-makers. Sounds easy in theory but you need to ensure that your messaging does not get lost in translation.
The best way to do this is via Video PDFs. Video PDFs allow inbound sales reps to video narrate any PDF document or presentation and share it in a trackable link. Video PDFs ensure that your messaging will not get lost in translation when shared with decision-makers.
Increase Sales Engagement
Record and share video sales presentations and proposals and WOW your prospects and clients with the most personal customer experience. Access engagement analytics. Learn more.
Showcase your brand.
Create company profiles with custom banners and info-packages tailored to different industries.
Show your contact info easily accessible by your prospects and clients.
Add custom CTAs to drive prospects or clients to your calendar, sign up form, etc.
Collect feedback from prospects and clients. Feedback and reactions are not publicly visible.
Share any existing PDF presentations and documents.
14. Spend more time on pre-qualifying leads.
Inbound salespeople often make the mistake of spending too much time on inbound leads that have a low chance of closing. This can be a huge waste of time and resources, and it can result in missed sales quotas and targets.
To avoid this problem, inbound salespeople need to spend more time pre-qualifying leads before committing fully. The goal of qualifying leads is to determine whether a lead is ready to buy the product or service. Several factors can be used to pre-qualify a lead, including a budget, company size, need, timeline, tech stack, etc.
For example, if you’re selling a SaaS product that requires the customer to use HubSpot CRM, you can use SimilarTech or BuiltWith to determine if the lead is using HubSpot or not.
This extra step can help an inbound salesperson weed out the bad leads so that they can focus their efforts on the inbound leads that have the highest probability of closing. By doing extra research to pre-qualify inbound leads, sales reps can save a lot of time by avoiding wasting time chasing leads that have a low chance of closing.
While pre-qualifying leads does require to invest time upfront, it can pay off in the long run by helping inbound salespeople focus their efforts on the leads that have the highest chance of closing.
15. Always be helping (ABH).
Inbound sales methodology is about more than just selling a product – inbound strategy is about providing value to potential customers throughout the buyer’s journey. By equipping prospects with the information they need to make an informed purchase decision, you can create the best buying experience and create a loyal customer base that understands the full value of your product.
Moreover, the most successful inbound salespeople understand that in many cases the value they provide doesn’t need to be linked to their product or service. These inbound salespeople position themselves as trusted advisors, sharing knowledge and information even when it’s not connected to their core offerings.
These inbound salespeople tend to find greater success with inbound sales strategies compared to those inbound sales professionals that preach the Always Be Closing (ABC) mantra. Always Be Closing is better suited for outbound sales methodology where the sales process is initiated by the outbound sales teams targeting passive buyers. Inbound selling process is initiated by the active buyers.
16. Analyze the effectiveness of your inbound sales strategy in a CRM.
Inbound sales teams need to meticulously track their sales activities in a CRM to have a clear understanding of their inbound sales funnel and help forecast future sales. In addition, well-maintained CRM will ensure that every sales rep on the team is on the same page. Not only that but properly set up CRM will enable your sales team to track the effectiveness of their inbound strategies over time.
By keeping track of your inbound sales activities in a CRM, your inbound sales team will be able to optimize their inbound strategies and nurture leads more effectively.
17. Sell the benefits. Do not sell features.
In any sales process, it’s important to focus on the benefits that the product provides, rather than focusing on the product features. Inbound sales professional needs to be able to quickly articulate the benefits of their products or services and how they can solve the customer’s problem.
In many cases, inbound salespeople will be dealing with decision-makers who only care about the bigger picture and not the details. They want to know how your product or service can help them solve their specific issue on a higher level.
18. Share helpful and compelling content at every stage of the buying process.
The goal of inbound sales is to attract potential prospects, turn them into leads, and then paying customers. To do this, inbound salesperson needs to share helpful content at every stage of the buying journey.
The buyer’s journey has 3 stages:
- Awareness – Top of the Funnel (TOFU).
- Consideration – Middle of the Funnel (MOFU).
- Decision – Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU).
In the awareness stage, buyers are first becoming aware of their problem or need. In the consideration stage, they are evaluating their options for solving their problem or need. In the decision stage, they are ready to choose a solution.
In inbound sales, helpful content comes in many forms.
For example, in the awareness stage, a blog post about the buyer’s problem can help them become aware of your company as a possible solution.
In the consideration stage, a case study can help them understand how your company has helped other customers with similar problems.
Finally, in the decision stage, a demo or free trial can help them better understand how your company’s product or service can meet their specific needs and requirements.
19. Leverage social media marketing.
Building and maintaining relationships with inbound leads is essential for any inbound sales process and strategy. After all, even the most qualified lead won’t buy from you if they don’t trust you. And one of the best ways to build trust is to connect with inbound leads on social media platforms. By engaging in conversations on channels like LinkedIn or Twitter, inbound sales professional can get a better sense of leads’ needs and pain points.
Inbound salespeople can also position themselves as thought leaders in their industry by sharing valuable content. The key is consistency. By consistently posting helpful content on LinkedIn and other social media channels, you can start relevant conversations with potential buyers in a non-intrusive way.
Want to start posting on LinkedIn but don’t know which content types get the most engagement on LinkedIn? Then check our LinkedIn content types list.
20. Continue building trust with the client post-sale.
After inbound sales representatives close a sale, their job isn’t done. In any inbound sales strategy, the goal is to establish a relationship with the customer that lasts beyond the initial sale. To do this, inbound salespeople need to continue the conversation with clients post-sale.
Inbound sales representatives who maintain regular contact and offer helpful advice can develop strong relationships with their customers. The key is to make sure that the client feels valued and appreciated, and that their needs are still being met. These loyal customers are invaluable because they can provide great testimonials and create new sales opportunities through referrals.
Additionally, continuing the conversation post-sale provides an opportunity to upsell or cross-sell complementary products. Furthermore, it allows inbound inbound salespeople to collect feedback that can be used to improve the product or service.
For all these reasons, inbound salespeople should make sure to stay in touch with their clients even after the sale is complete.
- The inbound methodology focuses on generating inbound leads via content marketing.
- Inbound sales professionals position themselves as trusted advisors nurturing these warm leads throughout the entire buyer’s journey.
- To turn existing customers into product champions, inbound salespeople continue providing support and focus on building lasting relationships beyond the initial sale.
- To create inbound strategies, the inside sales manager and the team needs to 1) define the ideal buyer profile, 2) map out the buyer’s journey, 3) create a content marketing strategy that supports the buyer persona through the customer journey 4) build inbound sales process around the buying journey 5) inbound salespeople need to focus on turning existing customers into product champions.
- Inbound sales strategists map out the buyer’s journey and build the inbound sales process and inbound strategies around it.
- There are three phases of the inbound buyer’s journey: Awareness phase, Consideration phase, and Decision phase.
- To build an inbound sales process around the buyer’s journey, the inside sales manager needs to follow four stages of inbound methodology: Identify stage, Connect stage, Explore stage, and Advise stage.
The following tips will help you improve your inbound strategy and accelerate the sales cycle:
- Start by clearly defining the buyer persona.
- Create relevant and unique content for your target market and audience.
- Create a solid content distribution strategy.
- Establish your personal brand and thought leadership on social media platforms.
- Avoid trying to force a sale.
- Uncover or create a sense of urgency to accelerate the sales cycle.
- Share recaps of all your meetings alongside helpful information with interested prospects.
- Pre-qualify leads and focus on the most engaged leads.
- Ensure potential buyer always knows the next steps.
- Collaborate with non-competing companies in the buyer’s industry.
- Personalize the buying experience and share helpful information with a potential buyer.
- Identify people involved in the decision-making process as early as possible.
- Dedicate more time to the pre-qualifying inbound lead.
- Always be helping (ABH).
- Monitor the effectiveness of the inbound sales strategy in a CRM.
- Focus on selling the benefits of your products or services.
- Create content that is helpful to your buyer personas.
- Take advantage of social media marketing.
- Continue building lasting relationships with the client post-sale.
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TIPS FROM SALES LEADERS
VIDEO SALES TIPS
Quick Video SALES TIPS from Sales Leaders and Sales Influencers in the B2B space.