What’s wrong with this picture?
The problem is, this approach doesn’t work anymore. The behavior of the buyer has changed. We have uber-educated buyers reading about us and engaging with our websites, Facebook pages, Linkedin profiles, Snap Chat, Instagram… you get it. But sales has not.
What’s the solution? Inbound sales.
Today's sales teams must adapt to remain relevant in the minds of their buyers. Here are four inbound sales tips to help you connect with your prospects.
Inbound marketing means only people who are experiencing the pain you solve enter the top of the funnel. Prospects often look to download your ebook, read your blog post, or conduct a Google search if they have a pain.
Many of the leads generated through inbound, may not be a fit. Some may be students doing research. In order to work with only the best fit leads, make sure to come to an agreement with your marketing team on the definition of a sales qualified lead. The best teams establish a solid Service Level Agreement and have amazing marketing managers that focus on alinging sales and marketing efforts.
When starting the prospecting process, sales needs to leverage the buyer’s context, who they are and what stage in the buyers journey they are at.
There are three things you need to do to transform your sales organization’s prospecting:
Here is an example of the lead intelligence I am talking about. It's like a Facebook feed but instead of earning you likes, it earns you money.
Traditionally sales people were trained to speak to the decision maker. For years we have been taught to speak to the c-suite about what they care about (i.e. reducing cost, growth, improving the bottom line). However, inbound leads are not always the decision makers. The decision makers usually delegate the research to someone on their team. When a traditionally trained sales person reaches out to an inbound lead who is not the decision maker, they usually falter. They blame marketing for giving them a "bad lead." The truth is that this contact is your champion. Your champion determines your success with the decision maker.
In this situation, success is determined by how much you help the champion. Ask questions that will help you build trust, listen to their questions, help them in any way you can. Once you've built some trust, ask questions that will help you solve their problem.
Givers Gain® is the philosophy of Business Network International, an organization that provides business professionals with a medium for both personal and business growth. Givers Gain means if you give, then you will in turn receive. By applying this philosophy to your sales interactions, it will always provide you a direct path to the decision maker.
To Sell Is Human, is the title of a book by Daniel Pink that outlines how we have transitioned from a society of buyer beware to one of seller beware. Today's buyers are well informed with everything they need to make a purchase. A salesperson is there less to educate the buyer and more to facilitate the sales process. As a sales professional, I look to become my clients trusted adviser.
Inbound sales is your opportunity to kill the perception that sales people are out for themselves. Our job is to help the buyer make an educated decision that will solve their problems. Here are two strategies to help you implement Always Be Helping.
Connecting with prospects isn't always easy but if you have the right team, the right tools, and the right mindset, you will successfully connect with the right prospects. Remember to work with marketing to define a sales qualified lead, review the context of how the lead came to you, always look to help first, and be human!