Sales has changed. It is important to be realistic about this and address it head on. Resources such as the new Inbound Sales Methodology help SMBs remain relevant in their modern buyer’s journey and keep ahead of other competitors.
The Inbound Sales Methodology accounts for all the changing factors in the modern buyer’s journey. The methodology is all about transforming the way sales professionals sell to align with today’s empowered buyer.
The new sales methodology includes four steps:
- Identify: strangers to leads
- Connect: leads to qualified leads
- Explore: qualified leads to opportunities
- Advise: opportunities to clients
Adopting the Inbound Sales Method
Today, the buyer has all the control and salespeople are no longer in the driver’s seat. The internet’s rise in prominence caused a shift in power from the salesperson to the buyer.
This is a tough pill to swallow if you have been doing this for a long time and have been in sales for decades. However, once sales realizes this, it makes all the difference in the world.
To shift to the new sales method, sales must figure out:
- Who their buyers are
- What their buyers are searching for
- How they can add value to their buyer’s journey
If you cannot answer these basic questions about who your buyer personas are and what they care about (the consensus) or are unable to segment your content and efforts, it is essentially an uphill battle. You need to have a way to add value to all of this, so you are perceived as a subject matter expert and trusted advisor.
If your business cards, email signature, LinkedIn profile or conference badges still say “sales” or “business development,” I challenge you to come up with a better synonym.
The synonym should reflect the actual value you add as opposed to the value you are demanding. Synonyms may include:
Many sales professionals push back from this advice claiming they are not specialists or experts. Give yourself the following reality check: Go to a family function this weekend and talk to a family member that works outside of your current industry about what you do every day for a living. Now, watch their eyes glaze over. You will very quickly realize you have a lot of valuable expertise to share.
It is not just about having expertise; it needs to be inherent in everything you do to position yourself going forward.
This process takes a lot of time, and, of course, sales still must hit their quotas. You may find yourself saying, “I simply don’t have time for this.” Don’t fall into this trap. Sales productivity is paramount to enabling a company to grow.
What sales method does your team use to connect with prospects? Is it aligned with your modern buyer’s journey? Let us know in the Comments below.
To learn more about positioning your sales team or adopting the new sales methodology, watch our webinar recording on "How to Use LinkedIn Social Selling to Attract Great Clients and Grow Revenue."