According to Hubspot’s State of Inbound Report, the biggest challenge for companies around the world is generating traffic and leads.
This problem likely stems from the marketing division, which is typically responsible for generating leads for the sales team.
In turn, the buying stage the sales department struggles the most with is the very beginning. This likely stems from the marketing department passing poor leads to the sales division or from the sales division approaching the prospect too early in their buyer’s journey.
The most effective ways to counter these problems are:
- Develop buyer personas to tailor content specific to your audience
- Create content for every stage of the buyer’s journey
- Respect your prospect’s timeline
Abiding by these inbound practices will help your marketing and sales departments alike.
Develop Buyer Personas
One of the first steps in inbound marketing is developing buyer personas. A buyer persona is a model example of your business’s ideal client. Personas help companies tailor their content for specific demographics and should be verifiable through research.
A buyer persona is developed by studying previous, current, and possible clients. Conducting interviews is part of the process of developing buyer personas. Previous, current, and possible clients should all be accounted for when conducting interviews.
When interviewing clients, be considerate of their time and do not bog them down with irrelevant questions. Each question asked should play a specific role in determining who your buyer personas are.
Important categories to consider when conducting interviews are:
- Information about their role and their company
- Some goals they have and the challenges they face reaching them
- What resources do they use when they seek information or networking (social media, blogs, organizations, etc.)
- Information about their personal life (age, marital status, kids, etc.) and their buying process (preferred method of contact, how they gather information about products, etc.)
The key to conducting interviews is getting in-depth and specific answers without being intrusive. The more detailed an interview is, the more accurate your buyer personas will be.
Content for Every Stage
Consider the way you felt when you last made a big purchasing decision. Did you feel ready to buy right away? Did you need more information about the product? Did you shop around to make sure you were getting the best deal?
These are practices most people engage in when considering a purchase. Picture this: a stranger is receiving content aimed at converting leads into customers. How do you think they receive this content? Probably not well.
The material in the consideration stage should focus on education. In this stage, the prospect is still determining whether or not they have a problem. Prospects in the consideration stage require much different content than someone in the decision stage.
In the decision stage, prospects are likely scouting the competition and determining the value of your product. The bottom line is marketers should create content for every step of the buyer’s journey.
Respect Their Timeline
The buyer’s journey varies from client to client. The more variables a sale includes, the longer the process is likely to be (think of buying a phone vs. switching phone providers). Sales professionals should always respect their prospects’ timelines and allow them to dictate their journey.
Be aware, educating an audience is the best way to approach the sales process. The more knowledgeable your staff is, the more the prospect will learn and trust them.
To learn more about using inbound marketing and sales strategies, enroll now in our free 7-day eCourse: Go-to-Market Strategy 101 for B2B SaaS Startups and Scaleups.
Topics:- Inbound Marketing