Finding cold calling and traditional outbound sales models ineffective, more and more businesses are moving away from the BANT model of selling (Budget, Authority, Needs, Timeline) to the digitally driven method of Inbound sales.
B2B buyer behaviours have changed. Today, buyers are following a different route to purchase; self-educating via their own online research, and progressing at least part of the way through the purchasing journey as a result of marketing content, product comparisons and related research. For B2B companies to make the most of this new behaviour and reverse sales trends from interruptive to adding value, here are five reasons to adopt an Inbound sales strategy.
61% of organisations that are engaged in social selling are reporting a positive impact. - Sales For Life
5 Reasons Inbound Sales Works for B2B Companies
1.Sales Teams Prioritise Good-Fit Buyers, and Understand Their Context
In order to know who your ideal prospect is and what they want, Inbound marketing and sales activity is centered around data-backed buyer personas - profiles of your organisation’s best-fit, ideal customers formed through your customer, and industry data.
While Inbound marketing activity will aim to generate best-fit leads to that persona profile, Inbound sales teams will still need to qualify the leads they receive, and understand the prospect’s context (the lead’s challenges and position in the purchasing funnel) to be successful.
However, as Sales and Marketing teams are better aligned in an Inbound process, Inbound sales teams will have access to business intelligence and the lead’s interaction history with the company site and marketing assets. This allows sales execs to assess the prospect's unique challenges, establish their position in the purchase journey, and ultimately prioritise conversations with best-fit active buyers.
Initial qualification of a lead to an MQL may be based on:
Company size by turnover or number of employees
Job title/ seniority
2. Leads Are Better Qualified
Inbound sales is the process of managing and nurturing leads through the conversion funnel to sale. Inbound leads will typically have entered your database after expressing an interest in your content - content designed to address their pain points and challenges.
But there are multiple qualifications a lead must go through before they’re ready to buy. Not all leads are immediately sales-ready! Based on a lead’s qualification stage (below), Inbound sales reps can then prioritise contact with best-fit opportunities.
A prospect who has entered your database is a lead. They will need additional qualification to ensure they are a good-fit for your business. This is the Identify stage of the Inbound Sales Methodology.
A lead who is a good-fit opportunity (who matches your persona profile, and has a challenge you can help with) can be considered as a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL). This moves the lead into the Connect stage of the Inbound Sales Methodology.
Sales teams should conduct additional research on the MQL (reviewing BI) to enrich the lead’s profile, and Explore their challenges and context further. If the lead is still a good fit and there is a potential opportunity attached, they can be considered a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). Sales reps should then continue to Advise and nurture the lead from a prospect who is sales-ready, to a customer.
3. Inbound Sales Reps Become Trusted Advisors
By providing relevant information and advice at all stages of the Buyer’s Journey, Inbound sales reps will position themselves as trusted experts in their niche.
Conducting social selling activity and nurturing leads with timely Buyer’s Journey mapped content will encourage higher quality conversations with prospects, build strong relationships, and enable sales execs to explore detailed information and guide leads efficiently through the sales funnel.
4. Sales Proposals Will Match Lead Expectations
Helping and advising prospects through their sales journey, sales exec will gather in-depth detail of their GCPT (Goals, Priorities, Challenges and Timelines). This ensures any proposal provided will be highly targeted, and sure to match the lead’s requirements.
This in-depth knowledge will not only build trust but will help to close complex high value B2B sales faster by ensuring GCPT and stakeholder considerations are addressed early in the process.
5. Change is Good!
Many B2B organisations have noticed that their traditional marketing strategies and outbound sales approaches are becoming ineffective, Customer Acquisition Cost is increasing and sales teams are becoming disillusioned.
But by moving away from an outdated, traditional outbound sales approach, embracing change and aligning Inbound sales with an Inbound marketing campaign, companies can drive new life into their business, see increased revenue and profitability, and achieve greater ROI.