The relationship between the marketing and sales team can be fractious at times. Marketing can feel like their efforts are not being embraced by sales, “they don’t use our marketing materials!” is a common refrain. While on the other hand sales teams complain that marketing doesn’t produce the right leads and they’ve got an uphill struggle converting them into customers.
Sound familiar? If that’s the case, inbound marketing might restore peace and love between your sales and marketing professionals. If your organisation is not using inbound marketing (also known as content marketing) as a strategic way to attract prospects, convert leads and close sales, here’s why your sales team is going to love it.
BTW if you’re using inbound and not getting the results you hoped for, maybe it’s time to get a fresh perspective from Grow+…
5 reasons why your sales team will thank you for inbound
- Customers come to you
Inbound marketing uses content to attract customers to your organisation and convert them into leads. On behalf of our clients we use a combination of different content (blog posts, video, social media, infographics, case studies, whitepapers etc.) to move prospects through a funnel so we can deliver marketing qualified leads to the sales team. This means that sales professionals can focus all their efforts on quality leads rather than working with prospects or unqualified leads.
- Leads want to speak to you
It’s tough being a cold calling sales professional and getting the cold shoulder on a daily basis. So when leads genuinely want to speak to them it makes their day. If you, as a marketing professional, can deliver them high quality leads day-in-day-out, expect to be put on their Christmas card list at the very least! The beauty of inbound is that only leads that are ready to buy are passed on to sales. All they then have to do is close the deal.
- Sales teams get lots of customer insight
It becomes much easier to close a sale if you understand your customer. Inbound marketing allows us to track prospects and leads to get fantastic customer insights. We know if they’ve read a blog post about a common challenge that your products or services provide a solution to. We can see whether they’ve read follow up emails having downloaded a whitepaper or ebook, or if they’ve clicked on links to more content such as case studies or explainer videos. Based on the content they’ve read we can target them with more relevant content to find out more about their interests and key drivers. All this insight helps sales team close deals.
- Customers are better educated too
You’ve probably read something along the lines of “B2B buyers are 70% through the sales process before they engage with a sales rep”, exact figures seem to vary according to the source but most agree that they’re around 2/3s through the buyer journey. This time is spent researching brands, products, solutions and educating themselves about their options. By the time they speak to your sales team they’ll already have got the answers to many of the questions they may have, and will be actively engaged with your brand. Sales teams don’t need to cover all this ground, instead they’ve got a lead that actually wants to work with them.
- Attract, convert, close and repeat
Inbound marketing creates a lead pipeline that can be refined to deliver better quality leads on an ongoing basis. For example, when sales teams actually speak to real-life customers there are opportunities to find out how the organisation can give them more value and help them make a buying decision. This input can be used to create relevant content and streamline marketing automations to make them more effective and provide sales with even better leads.
Do marketing teams love inbound?
In my experience it’s a love-hate relationship. In-house marketers love what inbound can do, but it’s content hungry and that can be burden for a small team. Writing blog posts (a key tool in any inbound marketing strategy), creating infographics, writing content for downloads, creating video content etc. etc., is all time consuming and often requires specialist skills. However, when sales are on board there may be opportunities to collaborate and produce content together, or alternatively outsource some content creation to freelancers or your marketing agency.
An inbound marketing strategy takes some initial investment in time and resources, and an ongoing commitment, but once established really delivers ROI and makes your sales team happy.
Want to make friends with your sales team? If you would like to discuss inbound marketing in more detail or get our perspective on your current marketing activities, please get in touch.
Call 0845 652 0356 or email email@example.com