Taking sales productivity to the highest possible level is a worthy goal for any business. Additionally, if all of your competitors are pursuing improved sales productivity, your company risks being left behind unless you adapt to the rapidly changing modern marketplace.
Digital technology has brought efficiency gains and insights for many sectors of society, and that means changes for the way brands do business, both as sellers and buyers. Sales teams face the challenge of adapting to informed buyers who find new strengths in researching solutions and offerings before connecting with a business that addresses their need.
Research by SiriusDecisions claims that buyers invest 67% of their buying process by searching online before they reach out to a company for a solution. And it is not just sales of consumer products that create this challenge for sales teams. According to Forrester Research, 74% of business buyers conduct more than half of their research online before making an offline purchase. All of this means that when business are choosing how to market themselves, they must view their inbound marketing efforts as absolutely critical to success at all stages of the buyer’s journey – including the sales process. The following diagram shows the way buyers research information and the information sources they use.
The concentric buyer's journey diagram from Forrester Research
How does this shift in power from the seller to the buyer offer hope for the value the sales representative can deliver the to buyer in the research and buying process? It requires a shift in thinking by sales. A shift that requires the adept sales rep to deliver value to each person they touch. Value requires content and information, exactly what their marketing partners can provide so long as marketing and sales are working together. This new approach by sales is called Inbound Sales and when partnered with a marketing team that is practicing Inbound Marketing, the result is a well oiled machine!
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In the digital age, just like everyone else, buyers enter keyword phrases into search boxes and receive lists of information sources ordered by relevance in return. Easy access to information has profoundly shifted the relationship between buyers and sellers, and it has transformed the world of marketing and sales.
Traditional sales processes were designed to sell to mass markets in what to the modern eye looks like information desserts. All sellers had to run labor-intensive cold calling and mass mailing campaigns to capture leads because these were the best practices available at the time. In return, sellers controlled the way that clients learned about their offerings.
Now, the vast quantities of information available on the Internet have shifted the balance in favor of buyers. However, change can be a positive thing, and the new digital era can work well for both sides.
Sellers can take heart on behalf of their brands and adapt to the new reality. The refinements of inbound marketing and sales mean that selling is still relevant as a profession, but the methodology has changed.
The Inbound Sales Methodology provides you with proactive responses that leverage the newfound investigative powers available to buyers. The inbound selling approach transforms the relationship with customers in response to these more confident buyers. The opportunity of this modern methodology is that it can be much more efficient and productive than traditional outbound sales.
The abilities for representatives to advise buyers, personalize offerings, and create a buyer-centric experience are vital to inbound sales productivity. While they may have fully developed a rationale for purchasing, it is human nature that buyers still need the process to be a positive experience on a personal level.
It is not a bad thing that prospects have more power in the selling process. The fact is that these more sophisticated buyers tend to have done much of the work for you before you make contact. Of course, this assumes they discover you and before they find the profiles of your competitors.
Tools for the inbound methodology for sales productivity facilitate your selling process and facilitate alignment with the buyer’s journey. Since the defining feature is the set of customer personas, the digital tools that support Inbound Marketing are largely the same ones that will enhance your sales productivity. The difference is that inbound sellers seek to engage with prospects to close sales, based on the positioning set up by a well-coordinated set of marketing and sales resources.
Because buyers are actively seeking solutions, automation and SEO content are excellent tools to engage with your prospects. The right combination of content and automation define the tools to maximize sales productivity. These are the tools for inbound sales enablement, and they compliment the inbound sales funnel, which has evolved to reflect the buyer’s journey.
When you connect with buyers directly as leads, they will be more ready to discuss their questions and objections because of this process. Sales funnel automation captures information about visitors and delivers messages and calls to action as the behavior of visitors triggers predetermined criteria. While there are many different sources of sales productivity resources, Hubspot Sales Software offers a comprehensive set of tools for sales enablement as part of an integrated suite of inbound strategy support.
Bristol Strategy is the inbound services agency to support your decision to implement the inbound sales methodology. We provide the insights to take your sales productivity to the next level and beyond and advise you about maximizing your returns with the outstanding Hubspot platform.
Buyers have changed their behavior; they know more about their options than ever before. Just as the buyers in your marketplace have done, your sharpest brand competitors have already begun the transformation, so there is no time to waste. Contact Bristol Strategy to learn how to develop your inbound strategy today!
Bristol Strategy is a full funnel inbound marketing agency and inbound sales agency offering the full complement of Inbound Marketing services that enable our clients to surpass their business objectives by transforming the way they engage with their buyer on-line. Reach out to us to learn more about how our experience and capabilities can help your business grow.