Inbound sales develop a sales process that supports the prospect through the buyer’s journey. Along the bottom are stages that buyers move through (Awareness, Consideration and Decision) that buyer move through during their purchasing process. Along the top are four actions (Identify, Connect, Explore, and Advise) inbound sales teams must implement in order to support qualified leads to become opportunities and eventually customers.
Due to the proliferation of marketing materials on the internet, the modern buyer is no longer dependent on salespeople to access information to make purchase decisions. Inbound salespeople recognize the need to transform their sales experience to be personalized to the buyer’s context. Inbound sales teams recognize the need to transform their entire sales strategy to be based on serving the buyer, rather than the seller.
Most buyers are already in the awareness stage of the buying journey before they engage with salespeople. Inbound salespeople prioritize active buyers ahead of passive buyers. Active buyers may have recently visited the company website, filled out a form or opened one of the salesperson’s emails.
Do your research. Talk to good fit customers, ask for introductions on LinkedIn and set up Google alerts. Use the data from 19 million businesses in the free HubSpot CRM to search for good fit prospects.
Begin contacting inbound leads and companies. These are website visitors that provide their contact information via a conversion form and are from a company that matches your ideal buyer profile.
Start contacting leads based on behavior. Leverage triggered events technology to understand which of your prospects are visiting your website, opening your emails and even viewing your pricing page!
Legacy salespeople use cold emails and voicemails with the same generic elevator pitch and entice the buyer with a discount. Inbound salespeople lead with a message personalized to the buyer’s context. This context could be the buyer’s industry, role, interests, common connections, etc.
Define personas. Understand the unique perspectives of the individuals you’re attempting to reach. First, segment your market by the types of companies you target. Then, define the personas of the different types of people you target.
Define the sequences for each persona. Determine which mediums you’ll use to reach out to each persona. Does your persona prefer being contacted via phone or email? How many times will you reach out before you give up? We refer to these outreach strategies as your “sequences.”
Define the content for each sequence. Most of these buyers are in the “awareness” stage of their buying journey. Therefore, your goal is not to sell them on your product or even see a demo. Instead, your goal is to educate them on the problem or opportunity they are exploring.
Guide an exploratory conversation so that you’re in control, but your prospect feels like they’re being empowered to make the right decisions. Unlike traditional qualification frameworks like BANT, this new exploratory framework is something you’ll openly share with your prospects.
Focus on the prospect’s challenges first. People generally don’t make changes unless they have a challenge that impedes their progress. Use the small yet powerful wording adjustment of “challenges” instead of saying “problems.”
Connect goals with those challenges. Talk about the prospect’s goals and listen for an acknowledgment that they don’t have a good solution and are afraid they won’t achieve their goals.
Share plans that fit the prospect’s timeline. Introduce how your product can help with the buyer’s goals and challenges. Ideally, your strategy is uniquely positioned to help that competition can’t match.
Then, discuss budget. The final thing to understand is how the prospect will fund any investment they must make to implement their new plan. Consider all costs involved including financial, time and human resource investments.
Inbound salespeople advise prospects on why their offering is uniquely positioned to address the buyer’s context. By sticking to a generic script, legacy salespeople fail to represent their strategy as a solution to their prospect’s specific needs. Prospects want to know how features are specifically going to help them and their situation. As an inbound salesperson, you serve as a translator between the generic messaging found on your company’s website and the unique needs of your buyer.
Here are three steps to advising your prospect through a presentation, and turning opportunities into customers:
Provide a recap of what you’ve learned. The beginning of the presentation is all about restating where the prospect is now and the insights you’ve gleaned from your earlier conversations, such as a challenge your prospect has or a goal they want to achieve. Impress upon your buyer that you are uniquely suited to help them.
Suggest ways to achieve their goals. Now you’re ready to suggest different ways to make the change you both agree they need. Craft a customized presentation that connects their goals and challenges to your offering, and shows exactly how they’ll benefit with your service.
Confirm budget, authority and timeline. Based on what it takes to set up their account and implement your solution, work backwards to determine when they need to sign your contract. Outline a timeline that meets the buyer’s deadline.
The Inbound Sales Methodology covers every step of the buyer’s journey traveled on the road from stranger to customer, and each corresponding salesperson action. The new methodology acknowledges that Inbound Sales doesn’t just happen -- you do it. And, you do it using tools that help you personalize the sales process to appeal to precisely the right leads, in the right places, at just the right time in their buying journey.
Goals: A central heading helps keep everything on the right course. Without a goal, the organization has no heading to aim towards. The goals we establish must be S.M.A.R.T. to unite the organization as well as any outside help that is complimenting the existing internal strengths.
Process: We always begin with what the current process looks like for great customers to onboard. Reverse engineering each step to make sure there is a logical, scalable flow to these steps. Then we make sure that it is documented and the whole team is bought in on what they need to do.
System: Process helps us understand the big picture, where the system helps us understand the W's:
Moving from the W's we begin to discuss what agreements are in place between departments. Is there a Service Level Agreement between the Marketing team and the Sales team? What happens if that agreement is not met? Consequences and rewards will help the group unite and form a very strong bond.
Technology: Everyone wants to jump to technology immediately becuase of the belief that it will solve all of their problems. Technology without a process or systems will only make matters worse, and it will be almost impossible to utlize a data feedback loop. However, once we complete the other steps, technology helps us automate and scale the process and systems that we have put in place. This tends to be the most exciting phase, because things are working, the teams are getting results, and now we get to turn up the volume.
We don’t just want to get your company amazing results. We want you to understand why our methods work and help you learn to love them as much as we do. Start now and request a consultation to get a free inbound marketing plan for your business.