Inbound Marketing inbound sales

In Part 1 of this blog series, we discussed how the traditional salesperson’s role has changed amid this revolution of buyer behavior. Since buyers are acting differently today, by definition we have to change our marketing and sales processes so that we can attract, convert and close prospects into new customers.

Most businesses rely heavily on their sales teams to create their own opportunities from scratch and many of these tactics (such as cold calling and direct mail) are no longer as effective as they once were. Business owners have to adapt their sales strategies to increase sales or, if not, lose the game of revenue growth.

Inbound Marketing inbound sales

Balance and the right approach: every successful football team has both of them. Each player has his role and it’s the coach’s job to come up with a sound game strategy. But what happens if a player decides to do his own thing during a key play? Or, what if the coach completely ignores conventional wisdom and “goes with his gut” when drawing game strategy for an important game? It can end in disaster.

Many business owners today do the same thing. Their sales department tries to generate leads through cold calling and other outdated, highly interruptive tactics. While some sales methods like networking and events will likely have a place in the sales process, many of the traditional methods are becoming largely ineffective in producing expected results.

Today’s digital marketplace requires a new sales strategy, so you’ll have to be receptive to change if you want to maximize sales efforts and grow revenue for your business.

Inbound Marketing

In a capitalist world, we expect — with a sigh and an eyeroll — the perpetual drones of traditional marketing. Immersed in a culture in which advertisements broadcasted for a sport’s championship game compete with the event itself, tuning out the siren songs of corporations turns into common practice. The fight for our,the consumers’, collective attention becomes increasingly fierce and more desperate in an era where information is ubiquitous, courtesy of the internet.

But while some companies continue to shout in a noisier world (just as they always have), many more now listen — and respond accordingly. What was once a one-way blasting of the megaphone is now a civil, albeit still biased, discussion between companies and their prospective consumer 

Enter Inbound Marketing, the digital successor of traditional marketing techniques.

Inbound Marketing inbound sales

Football coaches often get frustrated when their team is stagnant on offense or defense. It’s like their players suddenly forgot all the strategies they worked on in practice all week. Don’t they remember all the time they spent evaluating game film, plays and different scenarios? Before they know it, the other team is running all over them.

If you’re a business owner, you might feel the same way about the performance of your sales team. Their sales tactics aren’t performing like they used to and they aren’t closing leads into new customers like they have in the past. No matter how much training, coaching or support you give them, results continue to diminish. Why? What’s causing this sales stagnation? There are five reasons this happens, each of which you must address to grow leads, increase sales and become more profitable.

Inbound Marketing

Did you know that, according to Bent but not Broken, an official resource from the NFL’s Football Operations department, there used to be a rule that a quarterback couldn’t throw a pass unless he was at least five yards behind the line of scrimmage? Did you also know that player substitutions used to be prohibited? What about the old rule that players from both teams could grab their opponents’ facemasks at will? All of these rules have changed, obviously, but it’s interesting to imagine what the game would be like today if the rules never changed.

Similarly, when you think about how quickly we have changed and displaced the traditional sales and marketing model, it’s truly mind-boggling. Just think about some of the marketing tools we use today that we didn’t have ten plus years ago: Smartphones, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, Craigslist, AngiesList, Yelp, etc.

It’s a marketing revolution. It’s also changed the way we behave in the buying process. Think about how you purchase products and services today. If you don’t get a recommendation from a friend or colleague, where is the first place you go? Google, right? Your prospects aren’t any different.

Inbound Marketing

In case you haven’t heard, Peyton Manning announced that he’s retiring from the NFL a few weeks ago. While people might one day (hopefully) forget the fact he starred in a variety of Papa John’s commercials, he’ll always be remember for changing the game of football. His hurry-up offense forced the NFL to implement a rule change and his knack for reading the field and calling his own plays is legendary.