How much of your sales strategy focuses on inbound sales leads? Since inbound sales are all about bringing in prospects who are already interested in your product instead of reaching out to prospects and trying to convince them that they need what you’re selling — probably not enough. Not sure what the inbound sales process steps are? Mark Roberge, writing for HubSpot, offers some insight on providing the incomparable value you need to break into these sales.
The Inbound Sales Process Steps
This is the beginning stage of inbound sales when you identify companies and individuals who could become leads. You may be asking yourself how that’s different from outbound sales. The answer is that inbound sales leads are aware that they have a problem that needs to be solved and are actively considering what action they should take to solve it. Sales reps can gather this information through their company’s website’s data. Roberge says that active buyers such as these, “may have recently visited the company website, filled out a form, opened one of the salesperson’s emails, or left a clue of their need in some other way.” If you pay attention to who has been visiting your website or opening your email campaign messages, you’ll get a list of leads you can sift through to identify who you believe your product or service is a good fit for before moving on to the next stage.
Instead of cold calls and emails, salespeople practicing good inbound sales lead management reach out to have a conversation. During the identifying stage, you learned that your lead has already researched your company and has learned about your product or service. Now is your chance to start a conversation with them through an offer such as a free consultation or links to sources with more information about the research they are doing. Roberge recommends varying your outreach between calls, emails, and outreach via social channels.
Once you’ve successfully connected with a lead and they decide to take action based on your offers, they become qualified inbound sales leads. At this stage of inbound sales, you’re beginning to explore a possible business partnership with the qualified lead by identifying the lead’s goals and challenges. “Through proper value positioning and a strategic questioning process,” says Roberge, “inbound salespeople guide prospects to draw their own conclusions about whether a product is right for their needs.” Discuss their plans, timeline, budget, and the negatives and positives of taking action. By addressing each of these topics, you’ll know all the ins and outs of not only the qualified lead’s current situation, but also the process they’ll need to go through to make the purchase needed to fulfill their needs. Once you have that information, you’ll know without a shadow of a doubt if you’re the person who can best help them on this journey, as well as if you’re talking with the person you’ll need to address to close a future deal. Even if you’re not, at this point you’ve built enough rapport with the person you’re currently talking with for them to introduce you to the decision maker.
What’s the final step in the process? Check out Roberge’s article to find out.