With the emergence and rise of the Internet, consumer behaviour has changed considerably; shoppers now have the option to browse and compare a product with a myriad of options before making a choice.
That is why the way you sell must adapt to these new habits, otherwise, it will be your company that will lose important sales opportunities. Conventional models can no longer respond to this need, and not changing them means losing space in the business. If you have not yet created an inbound sales plan for your business, it is time to rethink it. But first, you must understand what it is all about.
what is Inbound Sales?
Inbound sales is a methodology that uses technological tools and valuable content to focus your sales efforts based on your buyer persona. It allows you to listen and understand what each potential customer is saying and looking for about your brand. It is a subtle and valuable way to reach your customers, as the sales experience is created in a personalised way.
When the user has access to all the information about our product or service, it is important that the company adapts to the user's new buying process and not that this new customer adapts to the sales processes of the companies. They want to be guided, advised and accompanied in their research and decision phase to be an active part in the resolution of their needs.
In fact, implementing the Inbound Sales methodology is more than an option, it is a necessity that responds to the new way of buying by building trust and appropriate feedback attached to the context of each buyer persona.
what should you take into account to implement inbound sales in your business? There are several elements to consider, as each brand will have its own goals, but we can talk about some that are key to all cases.
Inbound Sales Methodology
There are three steps that are essential to carry out an inbound sales methodology:
- The buyer's journey: A good analysis of the buyer's journey becomes an efficient classification when it comes to identifying passive and active buyers. To understand the Inbound Sales methodology, it is important to have perfectly identified the stages that the buyer goes through in the user's journey: Awareness, Consideration and Decision, because depending on these, the corresponding actions that make up the Inbound Sales methodology will be carried out:
- Discovery: Once a potential customer is in Discovery, this is when your inbound sales team can recognise active buyers, as they have already opened a contact channel (e-mails, a Messenger conversation, etc.) to follow up with them. Focus on those who have already seen the prices in your online shop, who have shared their data or whose information shows that they are your ideal buyer.
- Consideration: this is when the buyer will compare between your offer and the rest, consider prices, advantages, convenience, promotions. Your team should contact a promising lead with a message created for their particular case. This is achieved, of course, after finding out what type of industry they belong to, what their interests are, common connections, among others. You define their personality by understanding the perspectives of each of those you want to reach; then you determine the channels they want to be contacted on (phone, mail); finally, you choose the content you have to give them.
- Decision: sometimes the difference between buying from one place and another comes down to how easy it is. By engaging in a conversation you can identify the challenges the person wants to overcome, make a connection between those challenges and your lead's goals, share plans that match the buyer's expectations and discuss budget (which should include funding, time and human resources to be invested). If done well, the customer is about to leave the Consideration stage and is one foot away from being in the Decision stage, becoming a Sales Opportunity.
- Inbound sales process: While the potential buyer is in one of the three stages mentioned above, inbound sales actions are carried out by the sales team to follow up the lead that can be converted into a sale.
- Evaluation: It is important that you have a list of measurable and identifiable objectives, which will provide you with key data to improve, maintain or discard actions according to the needs of those who knock or could knock on your door. In this way, in a short time you will have a very rich database that will help you separate the ephemeral visitors from the valuable leads.
Having identified and developed your buyer persona and knowing them in detail through their demographic information, interests, goals and obstacles is extremely important to perfectly understand the information you will have to offer them to educate, guide and advise them to provide them with the solution to their problem/need.
what are the benefits for your brand?
When a brand talks to us, it is noticeable if it is through a generic discourse, which does not even offer anything interesting for our context. That is why the Inbound Sales methodology provides a personalised experience to the user in order to shorten distances with them and have a closer relationship with them.
Moreover, by being aware of where users are in the buyer's journey and how much they have seen of your offer, you also know with whom to open a communication channel that will offer them the right information at the right time. In short, you will have a better knowledge of your potential buyers, which translates into a better investment plan.
With the proximity you have with potential customers who ask you directly about your advantages, having a team of inbound sales consultants is more effective than simply showing prices. Not only do you attract buyers, but you keep them and they become your own network of contacts who will recommend you to their contacts.
By knowing and understanding the buyer persona and buyer's journey that your prospects go through, your sales team will know precisely when to offer them certain information to guide them to the stage where they need to talk to you about how your product/service will help them solve their needs.
The digital era and the changes in consumption patterns demand that companies implement an intelligent marketing system, i.e. based on an integrated strategy in which marketing and sales teams work in coordination towards the same goal, and in turn, define more precisely the action plan to be implemented to improve results.
Thus, the sales team will focus on extracting the relevant information that the marketing team needs to design the path to follow in order to eliminate the prospects' ailment and overcome their challenges within the established timeframe. In this way, both departments will combine their efforts to enhance their reach.