By the time a customer contacts a supplier, statistics show they’ve already completed at least 57% of their purchase decision. So before contacting an inbound marketing agency you might be wondering – is inbound marketing going to make my sales teams obsolete? Not at all. In fact, quite the opposite. For as much as we may talk about inbound being a tremendous source of organic leads, sales teams are just as important as they’ve always been for your business – but they’ve got new opportunities to be a part of the inbound marketing process. In fact, if anything, inbound marketing might make having a group of killer closers even more important as you try to deal with all of the incoming leads.
What Should The Sales Team Be Doing?
Your inbound marketing channels serve as amazing lead qualifiers; when you’ve created content addressed at specific customer personas and mapped it to the buying cycle, you’ve got potent content for driving conversions.
That means you’ve got a steady flow of warm, highly-qualified leads coming in. Now’s the sales teams’ moment to swoop in and do what they do best – close!
But in addition to being expert closers, it’s vital that the sales team be an integral part of the inbound marketing process because they can contribute in one way nobody else in your organization can:
Sales teams deal directly with the customers and are pros at overcoming objections. Because of this, they’ll be intimately aware of the most common questions, pain points and fears of your buyers, all insights that can make your content, user experience and conversion numbers even better.
There’s one other really important role the sales team will play: The human element.
Sales teams are the most human part of your sales process. Software can track and monitor, websites can communicate a message and so on, but for as hard as you will work to personify your brand through your voice, tone, videos and other content, sales is often the first point of real human contact someone may have with your brand. Their attitudes and approaches need to reflect everything else you’ve been saying online; they need to be the embodiment of all the values you profess through your content.
Team Up – and Keep Them Connected!
As you move into inbound marketing, keep sales in the loop and listen carefully to everything they’re sharing with you. They can help you test your strategies, find out if the leads generated by your campaign are actually qualified and – best of all – can add a happy ending to the purchase process. Establish open lines of communication and check in frequently – you’re better together.