The sales process is evolving. Aspects of the sales process that sellers once did easily and effectively are now a challenge. Activities like making cold calls, setting appointments and closing sales in a timely fashion are more difficult than they used to be. Bottom line: the buying process is changing, and those who succeed in the future will be the ones who can respond and adapt accordingly. It’s an opportunity, if you choose to see it that way, to integrate new strategies for effective sales. Here are our thoughts on the biggest opportunity to embrace for successful sales in 2020.
There’s a salesperson in town who is beating all others to the punch. He’s a master prospector, able to find leads faster and with more efficiency than anyone else. He’s outsold all other salespeople and is leaving many in the dust as they scratch their heads and wonder how they lost a sale. Most likely, you’ve met him. His name is Google.
According to recent statistics, 53% of shoppers say they research extensively online before making a purchase to ensure a good buying decision. And where they can…they will also make their purchase online. By the time a salesperson is called in, if they’re called in at all, it’s MUCH later in the sales process.
What this means for salespeople is that instead of being given the opportunity to build relationships and educate buyers, they are no longer seen as a critical source of information. After spending time with Google, prospects really want a salesperson to validate what they believe they already know. By the time a prospect contacts a salesperson, they are already very close to making a decision. Salespeople can still make or break a sale, but are having to scramble at building a trust relationship.
If You Have Outbound, You Need Inbound
For this reason, turning technology into your best salesperson will help make sure you’re there when those early relationships are being formed online. The need for “boots-on-the-street” salespeople who are tenacious and excellent at what they do will never go away. Outbound sales remains a must. However, to leverage consumer behavior and embrace Google as an extension of your sales force, Inbound Marketing strategies are vital for any successful business.
Think of Inbound Marketing as your online salesperson - one that interacts with Google on a daily basis to make sure your company has its chance to interact with prospects online. The more interaction there is, the more that trust is built. The more that trust is built, the more sales opportunities will come your way…and the greater the likelihood of you making the sale. In a nutshell, inbound marketing is a highly strategic and systematic way of publishing content based on the unique buying journey of your customers and prospects. A system of blogs, ebooks, videos, CTAs, emails and more…it works 24/7 with prospects that your salespeople don’t even know exist.
In 2015, Zimmer Communication’s Director of Sales Carrie Berkbuegler implemented Inbound Marketing to augment their salespeople in the market and help hit revenue goals. Berkbuegler discusses why they chose to go with inbound and what kind of difference it made for – not just their salespeople – but their bottom line.