By Nicole Laurier on Aug 8, 2016 2:30:00 PM
It seems like every day I read an article about how sales has changed in the past few years and the old methods are no longer considered best practices. In fact, ignoring these changes can adversely affect your bottom line. Another significant change that does not seem to be addressed as much is the lines between marketing and sales are blurring when inbound marketing methodology is being adopted.
Now, before you hold up your hands in horror and say marketing and sales are totally different aspects of a business, let me explain.
Prospects no longer want to be sold to – how many times have your read that line? – but it’s true. With so much information available on the web most customers have done 75% of their research before they contact you. Because of this, sales people need to change their approach. No longer can they effectively cold call 100 prospects and just hope one will be interested in what they are selling!
In today’s internet world, sales people need to make sure their prospects find them because they have shared valuable information about their market and best practices.
How do they do this? By creating content on their website, writing blogs, and actively being involved on social media. This content creation is not usually a sales role. It is marketing who would be creating this content.
Just like sales people need to change their approach, so do marketers. In the past a marketing team’s strategy would have been “Outbound Marketing.” They may have purchased lists, sent out flyers in the mail to prospects, or even sent out batch emails. They probably would have done paid advertising as well.
Today, that type of marketing is called “Interruption Marketing.” According to Wikipedia “it is considered to be an annoying version of the traditional way of doing marketing whereby companies focus on finding customers through advertising.”
Inbound Marketing methodology has changed the way marketing attracts prospects and this is what has blurred the lines between marketing and sales. Why? Because with inbound Marketing, there needs to be much more collaboration between the two departments.
The key to Inbound Marketing is knowing your ideal customer (persona). This is done by creating relevant content to guarantee your prospect can find you and think of you as a thought leader, ensuring you have information available for all the stages a prospect will go through from a lead, to becoming a customer and all the stages in between. It is also important to have a social media presence in all the relevant channels used by your ideal customer and of course have a website that is effective in capturing information from visitors who want to download the amazing content which has been created.
The sales team will have deep insights into who is an ideal customer, their traits, their habits and what problems these prospects are looking to solve (they do this by creating personas). They will also be able to share frequently asked questions from prospects that could become great blog posts or eBooks which are vital content that can be leveraged for the inbound strategy. When marketing collaborates with sales to tap into these insights, the results will be that they generate quality leads and sales in turn will be able to convert them into happy customers.
At Fisher Technology, we have been a HubSpot customer since 2011. We have team members who are inbound certified and we understand the value of following an Inbound Marketing methodology. This helps us when we work with customers who are looking to integrate HubSpot and CRM (such as Infor CRM and Sage CRM).
As users of both HubSpot and CRM we understand the changes which often occur between sales and marketing and we can share the knowledge we have gained over the years not just for ourselves but working with our customers. We have also seen how after a few months these companies significantly change their marketing/sales strategy to align with their inbound efforts. That is why the lines have blurred!