So it’s all you, huh? You’re pulling strings night and day to get leads. You’re wheeling and dealing, attending all sorts of local events to network with prospective customers. You’ve been doing this for a long time and you know the tricks of the trade. You’ve given so many seminars and deck presentations, you could teach a Harvard class on the subject.
There’s only one thing — you know you can network for customers, but not for time.
The obvious challenge to a one-man sales gig, no matter how well-oiled, is that you can only distribute your energy and time in so many places. Attracting leads requires tremendous effort, not to mention closing them. If you haven’t already taken a hard look at inbound sales (or marketing for that matter), there’s something you should know:
Whether you have too many leads and not enough time to close or you don’t have the time to dedicate to get enough leads in the first place, there’s hope on the horizon!
Each one-man sales team is unique in the challenges they face. The most common are as follows:
Too many leads – Either through your marketing team or your own efforts, you’re getting plenty of leads that you don’t have nearly enough time to close. More sales personnel might not be in the cards.
Leads are too rare – When you get a lead, you’re closing the deals. The only problem is your lead faucet isn’t exactly flowing.
Stagnation – There might come a period where you aren’t getting many leads or closing the few leads you do have. These are desperate times indeed.
Burn Out – You’ve being going strong, but the job has given you all you can take. If you’re doing your own marketing too, bless you.
If you suffer from any of these ailments, it might be time to give inbound sales (or marketing) a try.
Inbound Sales as Your Solution
If you haven’t heard about inbound marketing (also known as digital marketing in some circles), there are plenty of resources, like our blog, out there to help you learn more about it. There’s a good chance you might already be implementing some aspects of inbound marketing already.
In a nutshell, inbound marketing uses tools such as HubSpot to attract leads and nurture them to become more knowledgeable about your company before sending them off to sales. This is achieved through a combination of email marketing, social media campaigns, blogs/e-books, graphic design and collecting information on contacts as they interact with your website. The information you gather through this process is invaluable (not to mention how much information the lead will know about your company before talking to you).
Inbound sales, the partner-in-crime of inbound marketing, is the closing of the loop. By setting up a CRM that integrates with your inbound marketing platform, the information gathered on your leads (their interests, persona, company, role in the company, social media engagements, etc.) will be readily available at your fingertips. Not only will your lead gathering be streamlined with inbound marketing, but inbound sales will let you know exactly where each of your contacts stand in the sales process.
The Benefits of Inbound Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
The most common inbound marketing software is HubSpot, but they also offer a CRM that automatically closes the sales/marketing loop for you. There are agencies that can not only run your digital marketing, but also help you integrate and maintain your CRM so you can focus on what you do best — closing the deal.
Here are just a few of the benefits of integrating a CRM through HubSpot:
The ability to add and manage as many as 1 million contacts
Logging emails, account creation and lead data (where they are in the sales cycle) is updated automatically
Gain context and valuable information about each lead right at your fingertips
Receive all of your sales information straight to your email (integrates with Gmail, Google Apps and Outlook)
So, even if you are a one-man Swiss Army Knife, there’s a chance to add a few more tools to your kit to make your job easier. While you will still have to make the calls and send the emails to seal the deal, much of the heavy lifting — from lead gathering to data collecting — will be done for you.