Sales are undoubtedly the backbone of every business but it’s clear that sales and marketing processes have their fair share of challenges especially with continuing digitalization. Studies show that marketers today find generating traffic and leads to be their biggest challenge, followed by proving ROI and securing budget for marketing programs.
While on the sales side, sales professionals confirm that it’s getting harder to elicit a response from a prospect, close deals, and prospect for leads. In fact, 19% of sales professionals say they’re struggling to incorporate social media in their sales process, and 13% think using sales technologies is now harder than it used to be. As global competition intensifies, so does the need for B2B companies to engage in inbound marketing strategies. Most sales teams agree that prospecting is currently the toughest part of the sales process. Sales teams need help qualifying leads, whether it’s with more robust lead scoring or for marketing to use better lead-qualifying actions to ensure salespeople are given accounts that are most likely to convert into customers. This calls for Inbound Sales or rather Inbound Marketing.
Inbound sales is the process of focussing on individual buyers and their personal needs, pain points, frustrations and goals. It becomes more powerful when implemented with your inbound marketing strategies. Inbound marketing is a strategic method that involves educating and nurturing prospects through the sales process. By identifying individual buyers and their specific needs, B2B brands can tailor their products and services to suit the customers. Businesses often adopt inbound marketing as an ideal marketing strategy since it increases sales and gives them a competitive advantage in the market. On the other hand, some businesses may resist inbound marketing simply because they are unfamiliar with the strategy. B2B may also resist inbound marketing because they lack the resources to hire in-house personnel to implement the strategy or because they just want sales and cannot see the relationship between increased revenues and inbound marketing. But this article seeks to highlight the key benefits that B2B can get from inbound sales.
Simplification of the sales and marketing processes
Inbound marketing requires the marketing and sales teams to work together to create content for prospects. It is worth noting that the sales team is best positioned to understand the customer's needs and wants. The sales team can help identify where the customers are on the buying journey. Furthermore, the sales team is equipped with the knowledge of what customers want hence making it easier to match the products or services with the buyers. Inbound marketing also improves the relationship between your buyers and your business through online and offline sales. This means that the stronger the relationship is, the easier it is to tailor your offer to customers.
Conversion of qualified leads into sales
Another major benefit of inbound sales for B2B companies includes the detailed identification, exploitation, and use of leads to increase sales. After visiting websites and social media, your inbound sales team can identify the best ways to connect with the buyers. Traditional cold calls or unwanted emails are no longer effective due to the increased use of social media. For some marketers, social is a necessary evil. Billions of people “live” on these social networks, so businesses have to participate to expand their reach. With the proper channels for distribution of content, your business will get the attention you desire by remaining engraved in the buyers’ minds.
Meeting the needs of the modern buyer
Today’s buyer is undoubtedly different from the traditional buyer, leading to a shift in power from the seller to the buyer. Therefore, it is crucial for B2B to adapt since buyers today are more informed about products and services. Buyers also want value for their money. Changes in buying behaviors are evident with the main influence being access to information, especially through the internet. Traditionally cold calls, emails, and trade shows no longer work as well for the modern customer. Therefore, the modern B2B brands have to change and at least match the B2C standards to avoid getting left out or underperforming.
Building long-term relationships
Inbound marketing requires your business to put the buyer’s needs as the main priority, before the needs of your own business. In order to understand your customers' needs, the inbound sales teams have to visit websites, visited pages and even social media channels to establish what the customers need, their frustrations, and their expectations too. Inbound marketing may seem to only consume time and money but it rewards your hard work with strong customer loyalty and increased sales. Furthermore, you will need to market your business continually to remain profitable in the competitive market.
Increase brand/product visibility and awareness
For buyers to purchase from you, they need to know what you are selling. Whether big or small, your brand can and should benefit from technologies in the digital world. For this to happen, always ensure that the content generated aligns with the buying journey. If your content pleases the consumers, they are likely to share it on their social media pages. However, ensure that your content comes from credible sources to build your credibility in the market and solidify your reputation in the market.
Selling, as a process, has not undergone the same rapid change that IT departments have. But we are seeing inklings of change and concern from various sales professionals. Salespeople acknowledge that buyers nowadays are more independent and often bypass the salesperson completely and that’s why B2B brands need to embrace Inbound Sales. Inbound sales, as a strategy, builds a long-term relationship between B2B brands and the buyers while increasing sales and profits as well as seller and buyer satisfaction. In fact, data shows that 68% of companies enlisting inbound strategies feel their marketing strategy is effective compared to 48% of those who use outbound. And when inbound sales is well integrated with marketing automation applications, marketing and sales departments can collaboratively generate and qualify leads from various sources such as social media.
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