Inbound sales, much like inbound marketing, is a counter to traditional sales techniques — many of which no longer recognize the shift of power from the seller to the buyer. While mass media and traditional marketing methods still maintain their place, the inbound sales concept seeks to create solutions for individual buyers based upon their pain points or interests. Better understanding buyers and their behavior is what makes inbound sales tick. The data you gather can help you create sales solutions.
Developing Buyer Personas
Inbound marketing and inbound sales alike rely on the creation of buyer personas. Buyer personas are not the definition of a target market, but the development of the profile of a prospective buyer. Buyer information doesn’t end at demographics, but includes potential buyer pain points, goals and backstories. Buyer personas for a B2B manufacturer, for instance, can include high-level CEO types whose concerns revolve around managing their business and cutting overhead costs. Another buyer persona could include an engineer/designer who’s primary goal is to find a manufacturer that can make their design come to fruition and finds it challenging to partner with a company with the right equipment.
Creating Solutions for Your Personas and Leads
While the development of buyer personas is important to the inbound methodology, these are generalized theories of potential buyers. They serve as a starting point, only to be refined over time as more data and behavior information is acquired. They can be sources of information when you’re creating assets for a promotional event or sharing a piece of content that assist them with their pain points. The key to inbound sales, though, is agility. You will likely gain not only a lead’s contact information, but also how they interacted with your content, their company, role in the company and purchasing goals. This can give you a head start when creating a personalized experience for the buyer when you contact them.
Work Closely with Your Marketing Team
The inbound sales methodology encourages and generally requires that you develop a sturdy relationship with your inbound marketing counterparts. The inbound marketers will be creating, distributing and promoting content to potential buyers so that buyers can find the solutions to their pain points. You will be handed leads (how nice!) to close and, if your bond with marketing is strong, have the information you need to launch a successful sale. Not every lead will be at the same stage of the buying process, so lean on inbound marketing to inform you which leads are on the verge of converting to customers. You’ll be all the better for it.