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Below we list the best resources about managing the sales process for leads obtained via inbound marketing activities.

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In traditional outbound sales, the sales team identifies possible prospects, researches them, then reaches out cold via email or phone to gauge interest. Though this has been a successful technique, it struggles in two ways:

  1. Efficiency. Though with modern sales tools, reps can have a good understanding of prospects needs and pain points before reaching out, these are still “cold” leads. They have no current interest in your product and are therefore unlikely even to reply to an email or call, let alone get involved in a conversation.
  2. Knowledge. Outbound sales fail to take into consideration that most buyers are now highly informed about the tools and products in their space that they could use. If they want to switch, the buyer know has as much knowledge at their disposal as the sales rep and can drive the conversation.

Inbound sales was designed to temper these two problems. The inbound sales process is driven by the buyer. Instead of the sales rep reaching out and assuming interest, the buyer comes to a product website and starts to interact with the content, company, and product. Over time they build up the knowledge they need to make an informed decision about what their needs and goals are. They then make the decision about whether to take the relationship to the next stage and reach out to the sales team.

The sales team now have only “warm” leads to deal with—people who already have an interest and have shown a specific intent to consider purchasing the product. This increases overall efficiency of the sales process.

Though this may seem like an easy way to run the sales process, it still requires a focused understanding of the company's customer: their concerns, frustrations, and goals. Whereas in outbound sales, this understanding is shown after the contact through the sales team, with inbound sales understanding is shown before sales contact through content on the marketing website.

This content will be focused around helping customers and prospective customers solve their current problems. These solutions might or might not include the product. What is more important is to show the understanding of the challenges the prospect faces in their role, and to offer valuable insight into how to address these. As the prospects begin to trust you as an expert in the field and as someone that understands what they need, they will then sign up through a lead capture form for more information or to be contacted by the sales team, when a shorter sales process can then take place.

Key Topics

Perspectives on Inbound Sales

Examples


Further Reading

  • Sales Prospecting and SDRResources about the Sales Development or Appointment Setting function within sales, discussing the importance of this part of the sales process, techniques and best practices.
  • Sales Pipeline ManagementResources about building and managing a sales pipeline - a concept which helps sales teams track the progress of prospects through stages of the sales process.
  • Sales MaterialsResources on sales materials, such as slide decks, demo scripts, email templates, and more.
  • Inbound SalesResources about managing the sales process for leads obtained via inbound marketing activities.

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