You’ve probably thought about this: "How do I get the rest of my company on board with inbound marketing?" Or as we've heard many times - "How do you overcome fear of inbound marketing with resistant salespeople?"
First, let's remember that salespeople especially have a lot to lose if your "inbound marketing idea" fails. They make their living off of closing leads, and here you are, wanting to flip their world upside down and switch to inbound marketing. Some will celebrate the change (to your face), while others might get the notion that you're planning to soon replace them entirely. While some concerns and doubt are normal, you can't let fear crush your company's culture or result in you losing great salespeople! So how do you turn this around?
You can get your entire company on board and in sync with transitioning to inbound marketing. You simply need to effectively communicate the benefits in terms they understand.
Show Inbound Marketing drives quality leads.
Show them how Inbound Marketing works compared to traditional methods used today. Currently, companies send their salespeople after every inquiry, every prospect, whether they're qualified or not. Inbound marketing fixes this inefficient use of their time.
Communicate that the strategy of Inbound Marketing is to capture the interest of prospects when they are researching solutions and companies before they contact any company to address specific needs. In this phase, prospects typically don’t want to “be sold" anything. They just want to understand how to fix their problems or achieve their goals.
Your Inbound Marketing campaign let’s prospects do their research on your site and with your resources, but without unwanted contact from salespeople. Instead, prospects are given the opportunity to see your company as a thought leader and as a trusted source of knowledge and value.
The right prospects gain awareness of your brand in a way that which allows them to “drop their sales guard” when they eventually connect with salespeople. In this way, leads are highly qualified and closer to “ready-to-close” when they land in inbox of your sales team. Their most important qualifying questions have been answered by your Inbound Marketing content and leads are ready to discuss solutions.
What about the wrong prospects? What happens to the people who didn't show interest in continuing to explore the company? Does the sales team have to chase them down and follow up? No! Part of the inbound marketing campaign is nurturing those leads over time, tracking their activity and only handing off to sales when they've been qualified as sales ready. If this doesn't light up the eyes of your sales team - nothing will!
Bottom line: the main objective of the Inbound campaign is to attract and nurture highly qualified leads that are handed-off to sales for a more efficient close.
Use familiar concepts when talking about Inbound.
Help your salespeople connect key Inbound Marketing terms with terms that come from their existing, pre-Inbound world. Terms like “personas” and “Inbound Marketing Funnel” are not far from, and connect easily with, traditional (though different) terms like "target markets" and "sales pipeline".
Personas represent groups of prospects, leads, and customers that you're selling to. This is your "target market" or "target audience", but better defined. Not only do we understand their needs, behaviors, and buying journey, personas uncover how they want to be sold, what makes them tick, and how to win their trust and business every step of the way.
The sales pipeline is similar to the Inbound Marketing Funnel, but different at the same time. The Inbound Marketing sales funnel takes customers through the journey of awareness - consideration - decision - delight. Your marketing is automated in the awareness and consideration phases, tracking and scoring leads that are handed off to sales when they show signs of entering the decision phase. Inbound marketing does the nurturing, salespeople do the closing. Once it's clear that you're going to be generating leads that are “ready-to-close,” they'll start to open their mind to Inbound Marketing.
Inbound's main objective is to support closing business and retaining more customers.
It’s simple. The goals of inbound marketing are to help attract and engage prospects, nurture and qualify leads, convert qualified leads into customers, and turn those customers into evangelists. Compared with traditional marketing, Inbound Marketing is the modern sales system of growing your business. Prospects will come to your Sales team much better informed about your company’s expertise, products, and services. No longer will your salespeople have to drag them kicking and screaming through the process.
Still have doubts? Show them how you can get expert help.
No offense, but if your salespeople still resist inbound marketing, it's probably less about inbound marketing as a strategy and more about their confidence that your company can execute inbound well. So if you have an out of date blog, poor marketing materials, and little to no compelling content to speak of, show your team how you can enlist the help of inbound marketing professionals at an agency like Lean Labs (shameless plug.. check!) to help transition the company and build the momentum. This makes clear that inbound marketing is not just "an experiment", but it's going to be taken seriously and executed well.
Oh and by the way - we look forward to working with you!