Strategy and implementation of an inbound sales process is a new concept for many organizations. HubSpot, a pioneer of the Inbound Marketing methodology, began teaching and offering tools for Inbound Sales in 2016. It’s a natural next step for businesses already embracing Inbound Marketing and for those that are seeking to modernize their sales strategy.
For anyone new to the topic, Inbound Sales is an approach that addresses the way the modern buyer makes decisions. The Inbound Sales process is focused and personalized for the buyer, their context, and their timeline. Therefore, the inbound salesperson’s primary goal is to solve the prospect's problems and help them make the right decision for their business.
The focus of today’s article is to demonstrate ways marketers can help sales team members delight prospects with sales collateral and communication that shines. At the core of the Inbound methodology is content – so let’s dive into the categories of content Inbound salespeople use to sell, and how marketing can help make it better.
Filling Content Holes
In a perfect world, the sales team leverages content that addresses each of their buyer personas at each stage of the buyer’s journey. But in reality, this is not always the case. Marketing can help fill content holes in two ways.
- Create new content to close the gaps. For example, does Sales have access to case studies and customer stories for potential buyers in the Consideration Stage? How-to articles or tip sheets for prospects in the Awareness Stage? If you recognize a need, say something! Chances are, if Sales identifies a priority, Marketing can make it happen.
- Content shared does not need to be owned. Identify thought leadership pieces published by relevant third party sources that address the challenges your prospects are facing. Personalize the content by framing it in your company voice. Marketing can help with this too!
Instead of reinventing the wheel every time, have Marketing create email templates for common tasks. Email templates can be created both in terms of the design and the actual content within the body of an email.
- Email content – Create recyclable email templates that can be used for everyday sales activities. Identify these activities and have Marketing help with the language and flow of the content. Then simply customize it for your contact and context when you are ready to communicate. Why rewrite the introduction to a piece of content each time you send a prospect a message?
- Email design – Chances are, your marketing team already has lovely branded templates they're using for marketing activities. As recently expressed in another PMG article, 3 Sneaky Ways to Help Your Salespeople with HubSpot, Sales can use these design templates and take advantage of automation via workflows. Discuss with your marketing team how to best implement a strategy to take advantage of this cool tool.
PowerPoint & Proposal Templates
Branded PowerPoint presentations and proposal templates are must-have sales tools. Ensure what you are using has your current company branding including colors, fonts, logos and messaging. As these details evolve, so should your templates.
Social Media Interaction
As you dive into Inbound Sales tactics, personally engaging in social media becomes more of a priority. Engaging for business is both a reflection on you as an individual, but also a reflection on your company as its representative. For this reason, and others, it’s important for companies to have a Corporate Social Media Policy.
A Corporate Social Media Policy typically covers rules for engagement, definition of roles, legal issues, safety issues, and brand voice. Hootsuite wrote a recent article about writing a social media policy which includes examples and sources. This is a task that would typically fall under the marketing umbrella, but could also involve HR or your legal team.
The sales and marketing partnership continues to evolve, with the common goal of a successful organization meeting business goals. As an agency, we have seen this collaboration help make ourselves and our clients more successful.
We invite you to grow with us on this path of optimal sales and marketing integration. Let us know what’s working for you in the comments below! As always, we are here to help.