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Inbound Marketing Insights

Why the Decision-Making Journey is Essential to Inbound Sales Success

Posted by Elyse Flynn Meyer | 2 Minutes to Read

The way a company markets to their prospects has changed. Marketing needs to reflect the way consumers buy. Similarly, the way the sales team engages with prospects needs to change to match how buyers desire to connect and engage with the company. The modern buyer is no longer dependent on sales for the information they need. In fact, 68% of B2B buyers prefer to do their research online to gather information before they even consider talking to sales. For this blog's examples, we will focus specifically on the B2B sales process. If you are a B2C business, you can also adapt these processes to your sales strategy.

According to HubSpot, the inbound sales process is a personalized, helpful, modern approach to the traditional sales methodology. Inbound salespeople focus on their prospect’s challenges, act as a trusted consultant, and adapt their sales process to the buyer. Organizations that adopt an inbound sales approach develop a unique sales process that supports the buyer through their decision-making journey. An organization that embraces inbound sales does not force the buyer down a specific path or force them to purchase before they are ready. Companies that are most effective with inbound sales understand precisely where their prospective buyers are in the process and the content they need to help guide them in their decision-making process. An inbound salesperson also acts as a strategic advisor rather than a salesperson just trying to close a deal. (We have all experienced sales reps who are just trying to close a deal!) So, where should you begin building your inbound sales process?

Revisit Your Decision-Making Journey

First, you need to create your buyer personas and complete your content audit. From there, you can determine the best content for the three phases of the decision-making journey, which are: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision. This same approach is also incredibly helpful for inbound sales. During the inbound sales process, you will be evaluating your content from a different lens. These sales-ready contacts have graduated in your pipeline from a contact that marketing is nurturing to a prospect that your sales team is working with directly. Determine the most helpful content for the sales prospect based on their persona, where they are in the buyer’s journey, and the information to help move them through the sales funnel.

Practical Application:

When a professional services firm connected with a prospect for a sales call, the salesperson can see the following information from their marketing automation tool:

  1. Specific pages on the website that the prospect has viewed
  2. Content offers they have downloaded
  3. Emails they have engaged with
  4. Forms they have filled out

Based on the initial sales meeting, the salesperson will now understand the prospect’s challenges and identify the most helpful content to guide the prospect’s decision-making process. For example, the prospect is a start-up looking for leadership development training for their senior team. In this case, the professional services firm has a great case study about business growth for start-up organizations that connects directly back to training and development programs. This case study would be a great piece of content to share with the prospect and is an example of the personalized buyer’s experience.

As you can see, the inbound sales process is very similar to the inbound marketing process. It's all about leveraging the helpful content you have already created to help guide buyers through the decision-making process. By using the data you have to qualify prospects, and matching that with content that will help them, you will begin to optimize your sales process and win more deals resulting in more revenue for your organization.

Are you looking for ways to optimize your inbound strategy? The "book "Mastering Inbound Marketing: Your Complete Guide to Building a Results-Driven Inbound Strategy," written by Elyse Flynn Meyer, Owner & Founder of Prism Global Marketing Solutions, covers every aspect of the inbound marketing methodology, including the revenue generation trifecta of marketing, sales, and the customer experience. Check out the book to see how to most efficiently and effectively develop, implement, and maintain your inbound strategy. 

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Topics: Mastering Inbound Marketing

Elyse Flynn Meyer

Posted by Elyse Flynn Meyer

Elyse Flynn Meyer is the Owner and Founder of Prism Global Marketing Solutions, an inbound marketing agency and HubSpot Platinum Partner based in Phoenix, Arizona. Elyse is the author of the book, Mastering Inbound Marketing Your Complete Guide to Building a Results-Driven Inbound Strategy. She is a frequent contributor to Forbes on digital marketing, and was named Marketer of the Year by the American Marketing Association.