How To Create An Inbound Sales Strategy
Inbound Sales are sales where you sell to customers who are already interested in buying from you.
You already know about the importance of having a sales strategy. But, most business owners don’t know where to start or how to implement it. We’re here to help. So, in this article, we’ll give you a step-by-step process for creating an inbound sales strategy so you can finally see your sales funnel and revenue growth.
If you’re in any sales, and you’re not making inbound sales, you’re doing it wrong.
Why? Because if you want to build your business and make sure you’re using the best strategies, then you need to think inbound. But it’s not easy. It’s the hardest thing you can do. But it’s the best thing you can do.
So today, we’ll go through everything you need about inbound sales. You’ll discover how to think about your business and how to position your business so that you can get the best results.
So let’s get started.
What is Inbound Sales?
Inbound Sales refers to selling directly to your prospects or clients without the assistance of an outside salesperson. The term was coined by Brian Halligan, co-founder of Hubspot, and is now often used as a reference for modern marketing strategies.
What does Inbound Selling mean to you?
It means you sell to people interested in you and your products/services. This is a more cost-effective approach to generating leads and converting them to customers.
Inbound sales can take many forms, including email marketing, social media, webinars, content marketing, and telesales.
Inbound is the best approach for smaller businesses, such as those with five or fewer employees and those in the early stages of a sales funnel. Smaller companies often lack the budget to hire a full-time marketing team to promote themselves online. Inbound marketing enables them to leverage the internet to attract and convert potential customers, saving them money on advertising.
Smaller businesses can also use inbound marketing to target a specific audience. For example, if you own a restaurant, you might market to families with children via a newsletter or blog.
Pros and Cons of Inbound Sales
- Low cost
- Ease of implementation
- More direct leads to customers
- Small companies may lack the resources to implement inbound marketing
- No one person can handle all the marketing tasks
- Not a complete marketing strategy
It’s important to consider all these points when deciding whether inbound marketing is right for your business. For example, generating leads and interest in your business can be great, but it’s also vital to ensure that the leads are qualified and interested in your services.
If you launch an inbound campaign, it’s essential to ensure it aligns with your business goals and objectives.
If your business needs a more hands-on approach to marketing, a good starting point is to look at the activities performed by a traditional marketing team. It’s possible to create a hybrid campaign that includes both inbound and traditional methods.
How to Choose an Inbound Sales Strategy
It’s essential to choose an inbound sales strategy that is right for your business.
When planning your inbound strategy, consider the following:
- Do you want to generate more leads?
- Does your business focus on a niche market?
- How do you measure results?
- Does your business need more sales or a different type of marketing?
- What are your goals?
Do you want to:
- Increase website traffic
- Improve search engine rankings
- Generate more leads?
- How will you measure the success of your efforts?
- Will you outsource specific tasks?
- Are there any limitations on your budget?
Before you commit to launching an inbound campaign, it’s a good idea to get a better understanding of your current marketing strategy.
This may be the first step in a more extensive marketing overhaul that can include changing the type of marketing tools you use or outsourcing some of your inbound activities.
Why Inbound Sales Matters
Inbound sales matters. If you’ve ever tried to sell a product to someone you’ve never met, you’ve probably noticed a few things.
You may not have known much about the person. You might not have had much to offer them. You might not have wanted to spend time with them.
But if you knew anything about this person, you could still get them to buy from you because of a simple truth: they want your product. They’ll always want your product.
But what if you’re selling to customers who already know you? They’ve done business with you, so they’re familiar with your brand and products.
You probably have a relationship with them. They want to buy from you. And they’re willing to buy from you again and again.
That’s why inbound sales are so important.
How Inbound Can Help You Reach More Customers
When selling to an existing customer, you’re reaching out to people who are likely to buy from you. You’re doing something that makes sense for them, and it makes sense for you.
Plus, you’re doing it in a way that allows you to communicate clearly and confidently without feeling like you’re pitching to them. It helps to establish a personal connection.
You’re doing the right thing for your customers and you, so it’s likely that when you’re talking to them, you’ll have more success than when you’re talking to people you’ve never met.
Think of it this way: if you’re an experienced salesperson approaching someone you don’t know, you will feel nervous and awkward. Even if you’re great at what you do, your body language will betray you, and your anxiety will show.
That’s not how it works when you’re talking to someone you’re comfortable with. Instead of feeling nervous or awkward, you’re more likely to feel like a confident, relaxed sales professional. You might even start to enjoy it.
Inbound sales can indeed be more work than traditional outbound sales. That’s partly because inbound sales require more time and partly because it takes more planning.
But inbound sales are also the best way to sell. It allows you to focus on what matters and increases your chances of making sales.
You’ll find that inbound sales are easier to track and measure. That means you’ll know exactly which channels to focus on and which ones to drop.
Inbound sales are less expensive and the most efficient way to reach your target market. That’s because you’re working with your current customers, who are more likely to buy from you again.
So while it may seem like more work and expense to make inbound sales, you’ll find it’s worth every bit of the extra effort.
What is the Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Sales?
Inbound sales refer to the marketing campaigns that generate leads and sales. Inbound sales often generate leads through content marketing and SEO (search engine optimisation), including creating content and posting articles on relevant topics instead of direct email marketing.
Outbound marketing refers to the process of contacting potential customers directly. This usually involves cold calling, and a sales funnel to move prospective customers to the next stage. It’s considered an active strategy and requires much more effort to see results.
Inbound and outbound marketing have their place, but depending on your business goals, you may find that one is better suited to reach your goals than the other. For instance, if you want to build your customer base quickly, inbound marketing is more effective than outbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is much less expensive and simpler to implement than outbound. It also doesn’t involve a considerable marketing budget or the time investment to contact potential customers.
On the other hand, outbound marketing is highly time-consuming, expensive, and difficult to scale. It requires a large marketing budget and plenty of resources to ensure the process is thorough and systematic.
The biggest challenge with inbound marketing is getting people to sign up for your content. It’s easy to create great content, but it’s hard to get people to read it. That’s where SEO comes into play. SEO (search engine optimisation) is a form of inbound marketing.
So which is better, inbound or outbound? Ultimately, it depends on what your business is trying to accomplish. For example, if you’re starting your business and you don’t have any sales to make yet, then inbound marketing is likely the better option.
However, outbound is better if your goal is to generate enough sales to support your business. By focusing on an active, time-intensive marketing strategy, you’ll be able to generate more revenue over time.
How to Use Outbound Sales Tactics in An Inbound Way
Most companies rely heavily on outbound sales tactics such as cold calling and email marketing, even though inbound generating leads (such as content marketing) offers far greater efficiency and lower costs.
Outbound sales tactics are very effective and highly scalable but don’t scale well in efficiency and cost-effectiveness. It takes more time and resources to generate an inbound lead than it does to generate an outbound lead, and outbound leads are typically less qualified than inbound leads.
Here’s why it’s crucial to invest your time and resources into inbound marketing instead of relying on outbound methods of lead generation.
Inbound Lead Generation Leads to Higher Quality Leads
One of the most significant advantages of inbound marketing is that it generates quality leads. Outbound leads are usually low-quality leads and often aren’t ready to engage with your brand. For instance, a lead generated from a cold call or an email might have never visited your site or read your content.
This lack of engagement often means that these leads don’t turn into customers. That’s because you need to make it easy for people to understand and engage with your brand.
Outbound Marketing Tends to Be Less Scalable
Regarding outbound lead generation, scalability is one thing that sets us apart. We can increase our lead volume by increasing the number of people we contact and decreasing it by reducing the number of contacts.
That’s not the case with inbound marketing. A lead generated from inbound marketing isn’t going to come from a particular source, so we have to be much more efficient with our efforts.
Inbound Marketing Tends to Be More Cost-Effective
While there’s no definitive answer, it’s safe to assume that inbound marketing will be more cost-effective than outbound marketing. It’s much easier to generate leads through inbound marketing than through outbound methods.
Additionally, inbound marketing provides a high level of customer engagement, resulting in a higher ROI. The more engaged the customer is, the more likely they are to buy from you, which results in increased profitability.
With that being said, many businesses do it both ways, and many have found inbound leads far more cost-effective than traditional outbound methods.
What is Easier, Inbound or Outbound Sales?
The answer depends on the person selling and selling to. Some sellers find the inbound sales process more challenging, while others prefer outbound methods.
Inbound sales occur when someone makes contact with you. This could be through social media, an email, a direct phone call, a cold calling approach, or a visit to your office.
Inbound sales are most effective when the potential client is ready to buy. If they are looking for information or are not interested in buying from you, an inbound approach will not work.
The inbound sales process often requires you to do more work and research than traditional outbound sales. It’s the salesperson’s job to find the prospect, qualify them, set the agenda, and compellingly present the product. This means being prepared and having the right tools, and it also means having an interest in meeting the buyer where they are.
On the other hand, outbound sales is a more passive sales process, and it occurs when prospects reach out to you. This could be through a website or a social media campaign that leads to a sales opportunity.
The difference between the two sales processes is often more of a mindset than a tool. An outbound salesperson is usually more willing to spend time finding the prospect, while an inbound salesperson is more focused on getting to the sale.
Which Process Is Right for Me?
So which approach is right for you? If you like working with people, the inbound approach is excellent. With inbound sales, the salesperson researches and identifies the right target audience, then goes to that audience and asks for help.
On the other hand, if you like structure and control, the outbound sales process is more appealing. You set up a schedule, know precisely who you are targeting, and are more comfortable with a plan.
Most sellers are better at one another and must balance their sales methods to best suit their personalities and skill set. Which process you prefer is probably more about your personality and what feels best for you than what is best for everyone.
Building a Sales Process Around the Buyer’s Journey
A buyer’s journey is a framework that describes a sequence of steps a potential customer must go through before making a purchase decision. These steps can be divided into three categories, beginning with awareness, interest, and decision. Each step educates and influences the buyer, ultimately convincing them to purchase your product or service.
What is the best strategy you can use to sell to the people you’re trying to sell to? Understanding where your potential customers are on the buyer’s journey is crucial, so you know how to influence their decisions.
Awareness means the potential customer knows about your company or your offering through the media, a referral, or a website. At this point, your goal is to increase the likelihood that the potential customer will become interested in what you offer.
When someone becomes interested, they decide to learn more about your product or service, whether from a friend or through your sales message. They start thinking about what they might need and consider whether to buy your product or service.
Your potential customers are actively considering whether to buy from you, and they start thinking about what your offer is worth to them. This is where the buyer decides to make a purchase or not.
How do you know if someone is ready to purchase? If you want to make sure your audience is interested in buying from you, ask yourself:
- What do they need to do next?
- What should they do next?
- What will help them make a decision?
- What information can you give them that would help them make a decision?
- Is Your Offer Fit for the Buyer’s Journey?
These questions about your product or service can help you identify your buyer’s journey steps. Is your offer helping people to decide to purchase? What are they deciding?
Is it possible to connect your business with people in the steps of their journey, whether through online content, in-person events, or other marketing tactics?
What other ways to help people decide to buy from you?
The buyer’s journey is a robust framework for understanding your audience; you can apply it to various sales situations. From a blog post to an event to an e-book to a webinar, it helps you to focus on the right messages and content.
The buyer’s journey can also help you sell to people on social media. Are your posts creating interest and awareness? What are people deciding about your products and services?
The same questions apply, but the social platforms are different. On Facebook, your posts can help people decide to buy from you. On Instagram, your posts can help people decide to follow you.
Common Mistakes Sales Reps Make with Inbound Sales
People in sales roles often get overwhelmed by the work that comes with being in business. One of the sales reps’ most significant mistakes is not managing their time well. When sales reps do not prioritise time management, they often neglect necessary tasks and spend their time on the wrong things. This can affect both your income and your job satisfaction.
A survey of sales professionals in North America found that lack of time management is the number one reason sales reps aren’t achieving success.
Here are five common mistakes people make in their sales role:
1 – Spending Too Much Time on Outbound Sales
Outbound sales are the traditional sales method of cold calling, where sales reps call potential customers and request an appointment to present a product or service. While this type of sales activity has been around for decades, it is still popular today.
Even though outbound sales tactics are effective, spending too much time on them is a mistake. For one thing, if you spend more time on outbound sales than inbound sales, you miss out on an opportunity to build relationships with your clients.
The right approach to sales includes building trust and rapport with your customers to nurture a relationship. Focusing on inbound sales can create opportunities to introduce new products and services, provide customer support, and learn more about your client’s needs and preferences.
2 – Not Allocating Enough Time to Inbound Sales
When you focus on inbound sales, you mustn’t allocate all of your time to one communication channel. In other words, you shouldn’t spend all your time on email or phone calls and expect to close deals. Instead, it would help to allocate a certain percentage of your time to each communication channel.
Doing this ensures that your contacts will get your messages and respond promptly. Additionally, you’ll have a better chance of closing deals.
3 – Not Setting Deadlines
Deadlines are essential to completing the most critical projects, and setting them helps you prioritise your time and energy. You don’t want to leave projects until the last minute, but that’s how many salespeople work.
You must set a deadline for yourself and make sure that you stick to it. Setting deadlines and staying on track ensures that you meet your sales goals.
4 – Ignoring Social Media
You probably already know that social media is a powerful tool for reaching your target audience and growing your business. However, you may not realise that it can also be a time waster. It’s easy to fall into the trap of frequently posting on social media without thinking through what you’re going to say or your strategy.
Spending time on social media can distract you from other activities, negatively impacting your sales performance. Focus on social media when you have a clear plan in place.
5 – Being Unprepared
No matter your industry, there are always opportunities to improve your skills. You can improve your skills through self-study and formal training.
However, it would help if you also had the right mindset. You’ll be more likely to succeed if you’re not afraid to make mistakes and ask for help.
For example, if you’re selling software, you must learn how to use the software. You can also invest in courses like this one that teaches you how to market your products and services.
Inbound sales are the best way to market yourself and your products online. It’s also a great way to make money from home.
There are many ways to market yourself. You can write articles, blogs, and other content. You can also participate in online forums and ask questions. You can also join groups and make friends.
If you’re looking for ways to make money online, I recommend trying these strategies first. They’re proven to work, and I’ve used them myself.
The idea behind inbound sales is that you focus on solving people’s problems instead of pushing your agenda. The goal is to make people happy, so they’ll keep returning for more.
That means you need to listen to what your audience is saying and try to solve their problems. Once you know what they need, you can start marketing to them.
Want to learn more about creating a successful inbound marketing strategy? Join this exclusive group of people who get access to all my resources!