Sales are the crux of any business. Small or large, it doesn’t matter, sales are the reason you succeed or not. As a B2B business, you are already aware that your process has different challenges than a B2C business. With the Inbound Methodology you can meet those challenges, grow your qualified leads and convert them to sales.
What is Inbound Sales?
Inbound Sales is the process of focusing on individual buyers and their specific needs. As an Inbound salesperson, it is imperative to your success that you put the buyer's needs above your own.
The Inbound Sales methodology follows the Inbound Marketing process and philosophies very closely:
Identify, Connect, Explore, Advise. By basing your entire sales process on the needs and context of the buyer, and moving away from the focus on the seller, you will find the quality of leads, and the number of leads that convert to sales, grow exponentially. Read on to find out why and how Inbound Sales work for B2B companies specifically:
1. Today’s Buyers Are Different
And so today’s selling strategies MUST adapt. The days of cold-calling are over. We are in the age of information, and buyers are more informed than ever.Armed with self-education, they are shielding themselves from traditional hard sales tactics which are inherently intrusive, interruptive, and can be negatively perceived. Ultimately, the power has shifted from the seller to the buyer.
As buying behaviours change due to buyers having access to limitless information, salespeople need to find new ways of adding value beyond what the buyer will most likely already know. Traditional, or ‘legacy’ selling, took advantage of ill-informed buyers, and exploited that gap in knowledge to sell their product. Now, you must genuinely want to be interested in helping the buyers solve their problems. Inbound Sales works because it has adapted to this change in behaviour, and provides buyers with the personalized process they need - and respond to.
2. Sales Are Not About You Anymore
It might be a hard piece of information to absorb, but sales were never about you. If you’re thinking about sales in terms of hitting targets, closing deals, and advancing your career - you’re missing the most important aspect of sales: the customer. Your potential customers don’t care about your sales goals, they care about how YOU can help them solve a problem. The Inbound Sales methodology forces you to approach your sales through the lens of helping.
Building rapport with potential customers in the Explore stage of the Inbound Sales methodology will help to establish trust. Once the buyers trust you, and you are deeply familiar with their pains, problems, frustrations, and goals, you can customize a pitch meant for them - not you.
3. You Have a Better Understanding of Your Customer
Legacy sales methods rely on making sweeping assumptions about your potential customers, without knowing (or caring) where those buyers are on their buyer journey. We now know that someone in the awareness stage will not be as receptive to a sales pitch as someone further down the line.
Before you start even thinking about jumping into the Inbound Sales process, you have to understand who your potential customers are, and stop making assumptions. (We all know what happens when you assume…)
If you’re familiar with Inbound Marketing, you will be aware of Buyer Personas. It’s important to realize that when trying to generate leads, one solution will not fit every type of buyer. Just the same, you have to know who you are selling to in order to customize the sales process for that person. Creating and getting to know your Buyer Personas will prepare you for whatever comes up in the process. Addressing concerns and objections, describing specific benefits, and building value, all become streamlined with Buyer Personas. And as a B2B company, this becomes even more important as the needs of the buyer changes depending on their position within their company. Inbound Sales works because you suddenly know exactly who your buyers are, and can solve their problems accordingly.
4. Aligns Perfectly With Inbound Marketing
Inbound Marketing and Inbound Sales go hand in hand. The gap between marketing and sales at one time felt as though you may as well have been on the opposite sides of the Grand Canyon. Now, that gap is coming together - and it makes sense - especially with the Inbound Sales methodology.
The sales process technically starts at the same time the marketing process starts. They compliment each other, and one naturally evolves from the other. It makes no sense to generate qualified leads through the use of Inbound Marketing, only to throw out all the hard work and valuable information by making assumptions about that lead, ignoring their specific needs, and potentially turning them away with hard-sell tactics that don’t work. Let the sales and marketing teams create a dynamic that nurtures the right leads and “advises” them at the right time - which will lead to more sales.
5. Inbound Sales Creates Brand Ambassadors
After all is said and done, if you’ve followed the process and built a genuine relationship with your buyer, that buyer will be enthused about your product. They will deeply understand its value, and want to to tell their contacts about your company. Creating brand ambassadors as a B2B company is even more valuable, as these clients often have a larger network and more clout.
In order to create these ambassadors, we have to give the client a good experience. Engage and support them at every step of the process. The clients that have exceptionally good experiences with your business can be continually engaged with, so that they will highly recommend you to their networks, clients, and partners. This is what Inbound Sales allows for.
If you’re at the stage where you’re using Inbound Marketing effectively to generate leads, it’s time to take the next logical step and implement Inbound Sales to help grow your business’s sales success. Get your training here.
THE BRIT AGENCY is a B2B Inbound Marketing Agency providing SEO, Website, Social Media and marketing automation conversion services to small and medium sized businesses. We're focused on generating traffic, leads and sales and we're experts in the B2B Inbound Marketing, lead generation process and how to increase website traffic, leads and website conversion rates. THE BRIT AGENCY is a Gold level Hubspot Partner, a certified HootSuite Ambassador agency, and a certified Google Badged Agency Partner.