Do you think your historical tried-and-true sales strategy is still meeting its full potential? Have you attempted to implement digital sales strategies but haven’t changed them for the last few years? You may already be falling behind.
One constant about life is that it’s always changing. The same can be said for technology and Inbound Sales. While Inbound Sales is a relatively new sales process, the constantly evolving technology we use in our day-to-day lives has created many new ways for us to connect with our clients and potential customers.
What Is Inbound Sales?
Before we dig into Inbound Sales and how it’s evolving, understand the difference between outbound and inbound sales strategies. Outbound sales is the process where a business initiates contact with the potential customer from their side. This is normally a one-way street, such as a billboard, TV commercial, or newspaper ad—an attempt to grab the customer’s attention.
Inbound sales, on the other hand, is initiated by the potential customer (also known as a “digital lead”). You’re typically made aware of this digital lead through their own expressed interest in your products or services. This is normally determined by their online search behaviors as they search for solutions you can provide. This trend won’t be changing anytime soon since 88% of consumers now research before they buy, consulting an average of 10 different sources.
This is one of the many benefits of Inbound Sales. Not only can you shorten your sales cycle, you can now follow up a warm lead instead of starting from scratch, trying to win over a cold lead. The older Outbound Sales process still has its place in marketing, but if you want to stand out in today’s busy world, you need to implement some form of Inbound Sales.
What Role Do Lead Generation and Lead Nurturing Play in Inbound Sales?
With the digital world of today, it’s all about data. If you are currently using an inbound sales program or have done your research (while planning your own inbound sales program), you understand the importance of how data leads your entire marketing initiative. It is your window into the mind of your ideal customer.
Inbound Sales boils down to two distinct ingredients: lead generation and lead nurturing. Lead generation is the process of attracting new customers to your business by providing helpful information to get them interested in what you have to offer. Lead nurturing comprises the methods you use to keep those leads interested until they’re ready to buy or talk to your sales team.
It all comes down to proper data management. Use the data you’ve gathered through lead generation to guide your lead-nurturing efforts. Send your potential customer emails, webinars, eBooks, and more that may push them farther down the sales funnel. Continue to pique their interest and keep their attention with the right content at the right time.
How Inbound Sales Is Evolving
Inbound sales is based on the buyer’s journey, and its goal is to fill your sales funnel. From their first search on Google to the final purchase of your product, buyers must first become aware of, then interested in, what you offer.
#1 Contact Is Delayed
More and more businesses are discovering that process now may take place with or without direct contact. Buyers “research solutions, rank options, set requirements and compare pricing – all before they even have one conversation with a sales representative”. This shows the importance of the content you produce. You need to stand out from the rest when helping those with a problem you can solve.
#2 Mobile Searches Predominate
The other area of inbound sales that is shifting is how a user searches. In the past, most would do searches from their home PCs. However, in our current world, most are too busy to sit down and search with their computers. Now, more users make searches on smartphones, tablets, smart watches, smart TVs and more.
Who knows? Maybe tomorrow, someone will search for a product on their “smart toaster” as they prepare their morning breakfast before heading out to the office. Stay on top of popular search trends if you want to stay ahead.
#3 Online Search Is the First Place Customers Go
In a recent study from Think With Google, 86% of respondents said online search is the first place they go when looking for an answer—with 96% of those searches done on a smartphone. The good news is 92% of those who searched for an item on their smartphone made a purchase. It’s also important to note that “68% of people used search to help with things they want to address at some point in the future”, with 97% searching on mobile.
Are you worried about the ever-changing landscape of Inbound Marketing? Are you afraid your content isn’t mobile-friendly? Take advantage of Marketing Essentials’ free, personalized, 30-minute consultation on how best to position your business for inbound digital marketing success!