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Why Inbound Marketing Won’t Work Without Inbound Sales

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Jun 15, 2015 2:00:00 PM

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Inbound_Marketing_and_Inbound_Sales_2For those of you who’ve got eight to ten inbound marketing engagements under your belt, you might have heard this once or twice. “I know you’ve gotten us more visitors to our website and leads from our marketing effort but we haven’t seen the increase in revenue you promised us.”

First, you see an inherent challenge in the Inbound Agency path we’ve chosen. Despite having NEVER promised anyone anything, almost every client hears revenue increase when you say leads from inbound. Next, you realize that most of these businesses are as weak in sales as they are in marketing.

Meeting after meeting prospects tell us stories of their 50% close rate. “Just get me the leads and we’ll close them.” Until the leads start coming in and they’re not prepared to take them through any semblance of a sales process. The outcome of this misalignment often boomerangs frustration back on us in the form of “you didn’t do what you said you were going to do.”

Say hello to Inbound Sales. A defined sales methodology, just like inbound marketing is a defined marketing methodology. Inbound sales and inbound marketing are connected in a way that sales and marketing have never been connected before.

One Single Planned Experience For Prospects

Think about the last time you visited an attraction at Disney. As soon as you approach the attraction, you’re bathed in experience. The sounds, the visuals while you wait in line, once you enter the building you’re part of the story. You need to think about your client’s prospects’ experiences in a similar way.

When people hear about a business, their first move is to visit the website. Now the experience has begun. Does the site deliver? Does it make an emotional connection, does it draw the prospect in, does it educate and make them feel safe enough to reach out for personal contact? If not, you need to be working with them to deliver this level of experience.

If the marketing and nurturing work correctly, the next step is going to be contact. If sales is overly aggressive, if they don’t follow a process, if they don’t grow trust and the feeling of safety, but instead make the prospect feel anxious, they’re actually wasting that valuable lead marketing delivered.

Inbound sales done correctly continues the remarkable experience from marketing into sales; helping the prospect move seamlessly through a defined sales process transforming them into a new customer for your client.

Defined Step By Step Process For Both Sales and Marketing

To do this effectively, you need a defined sales process. While inbound marketing creates that process for the prospect before they ask for contact, inbound sales creates the process once the prospect is ready to personally connect.

The inbound sales process transforms the communication, information sharing and ongoing education required to turn prospects into customers. This process needs to be mapped out. It needs to be documented. It needs to be trained. It needs to be reinforced by management and leadership. It needs to be mandatory for everyone.

It also needs to be incredibly detailed. People need to know what to do when, what email to send at the perfect point in the process. what attachment to include, what link to add into the email copy, what questions to ask and what stories to tell.

If you help your prospects execute a defined sales process then your clients will finally be sure everyone is saying the same thing to prospects at the same time in the process. Consistency of message and consistency of the experience in the sales process is finally a reality. This is very important when marrying sales and marketing with today’s buyer behavior.

Twice As Much Engagement Potential for Prospects

The good news for agency owners is inbound sales provides an entirely new area for you to use when building your strategic engagement recommendations. Five-thousand dollar engagements become $10,000 engagements. Single year engagements become multi-year engagements. But perhaps the most important change is the elimination of the issue discussed in the beginning of this article. Once revenue improvements are realized, your client is going to want to work with you and your team forever.

Inbound sales doesn’t need to be an all or nothing scenario. Your $5,000 engagement can become a $7,500 engagement if you add a few inbound sales tactics like sales process redesign, sales email template creation, creating sales funnel analytics, training on the HubSpot CRM and deployment of Sidekick for Business alone would change the way your client drives revenue.

Click To Close Revenue Generation

Your clients have been searching for a repeatable, scalable, predictable way to ensure their marketing was delivering the perfect amount of leads right into their sales funnel. They’ve also been searching for a way to ensure that ALL their sales reps are telling the perfect story at the perfect time and sending the perfect piece of educational information so that their prospect says “yes, I’d like to hire you right now.”

Finally, inbound marketing and inbound sales offer the promise of a “click to close” methodology that’s perfectly aligned with how people want to buy products and services today. Potential clients who choose to ignore this approach and continue with old-school tactics, do so at their own peril.

Start Today Tip – It’s not difficult to add a few inbound sales tactics into your portfolio of services. Start with tactics that you’re comfortable with. Creating email templates for the sales team is a great one. Write the emails, include links and PDF educational content from the inbound marketing engagement. Another idea is social selling. Add a few training classes to teach your client’s sales team how to use LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to sell more products and services. While you’re at it, teach them how to share the content you’re creating within the marketing engagement too. Before you realize it, you’ll be offering full click to close services.

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Topics: inbound marketing strategy, inbound marketing engagements, inbound sales, client results

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