Is Your Sales Team Ready For Inbound Marketing?
I'll never forget the time when our Lynton Web inbound marketing band of brothers (and sisters) helped a client achieve a 900% increase in leads over the course of a few months. We literally took them from roughly 100 leads a month to 1,000 leads a month through a variety of inbound, email and digital PR efforts. We were happy, our client was ecstatic, and it was, well, time to eat cake!
No so fast, kimosabe. The client's sales team was frozen like a deer in headlights. Stunned. Shellshocked. Staggered. Stupefied. It's like we were the Mike Tyson of inbound leads. And they were some amateur welterweight sheepishly somehow chosen to be in the ring wih Mike Tyson.
"What in the world are we supposed to do with this influx of marketing qualified leads..." they mused.
It's a valid question. And for many marketing agencies the buck stops with the marketing - naturally. Fortunately, in our case, we were able to offer our client support and expertise from Frank Belzer, one of our go-to inbound marketing sales gurus.
Success scenarios like these, when inbound marketing is done properly, are not uncommon. So what's a sales team to do? There's no simple answer of course - a full paradigm shift is required if you've previously invested in a classic 'hunter-gatherer' sales team. If you're considering an inbound marketing model - be sure to consider the inbound marketing methodology holistically. As a start, here are some things you might want your sales team to do.
- Get Edu(ma)cated - be sure your sales folks understand core inbound processes. HubSpot offers a variety of resources for this. You'll probably want your sales peeps to focus on lead intelligence and the consultative selling process. Our friend Frank Belzer, has also written a very useful book on the inbound sales shift.
- Get On LinkedIn - depending on your sales culture and sales team evolution, most of your folks might be on LinkedIn. Be sure that everyone on your team has optimized LinkedIn profiles and be sure they are consistent across your team.
- Get Signals - I've written about Signals previously and I think it's a very useful tool to help introduce salespeople to some very basic inbound techniques. Signals tells you when your emails are opened and what links in your emails are clicked on. It's a very nice way to start using some very basic marketing automation data to customize your pitch or tune any additional sales content you send to prospects. And if you do move to the full HubSpot platform, Signals will integrate with it. Another similar tool you may want to review is Yesware.
So, like I said, these are good places to start. You don't want your sales team see 1,000 leads come in and (after soiling themselves) think they have to call each one of them that day. It's a nice problem to have (not the soiling themselves part) - the leads part. And if you approach the leads methodically and strategically you'll likely be able to close some solid deals.
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