I naturally think very "inboundy" about business. That is because I work for the most inboundy company there ever was. We started the movement on inbound marketing and over the years selling our marketing software to mostly SaaS and technology companies I have learned that the transition from a traditional sales minded organization to a more inbound marketing mentality for sales can be tough to swallow and begin.
The transition from a more outbound focused sales team to a sales team that understands the value of inbound marketing and inbound lead generation is hard and can be tough to start the journey. It can also be tough to get approval from upper management on changing the way your business generates leads, works leads, etc. Most companies don't like change. A switch to inbound marketing is definitely something that will always impact sales.
I am going to create a series of easy, quick ways that your organization can start to incorporate more inboundy tactics into the sales process. For marketing to be successful at inbound marketing sales has to see the value. This series will be easy wins that you can start doing today with your sales team. Sales teams typically need quick tips, quick direction and real success stories to start to incorporate new tactics into their sales process.
Here is one Simple, effective and quick way for your sales team to start to incorporate some inbound marketing tactics into their sales process.
When marketing comes out with an offer create email templates that sales reps can begin to use in their prospecting and sales process.
Offers can mean many different things for different kinds of companies. Most companies have a resources section on their site. This resource section usually houses things like webinars, white papers, data sheets, brochures, knowledge documentation from the support team, training guides, user guides, etc. Any content will work for this process. One easy way to disseminate the information around these old offers that were already created as well as new offers is to create a weekly digest where marketing would send the sales team an email with links and information on the offers. Sales reps can then on their own create email templates to use in their sales process and sales prospecting process.
TIP: If you decide to do this you should really use http://www.getsidekick.com/. Sidekick is a part of HubSpot and so yes, I am biased here and love it. So let me explain why I like it and how your sales team would use it when creating email templates like this.
Login to the HubSpot freemium CRM/Sales tool here.
There are many parts of our Sales tool in HubSpot so if you are thinking that you already have a CRM, don't worry. That is not the only great part of the sales tools we are building. You will login to the sales tools to create email templates as a sales rep or for your sales reps to use in the sales process.
When you open up the Sales tools you will click on the Sales Content tab to access the area where you will create your email templates.
You will see that when you are creating the template there is an option to group the templates by offer type, type of email, sales rep's name, etc. I have a folder in our HubSpot sales tool labeled Ali Powell and I have shared those templates with my team so they can use them as well.
Then when you login to your email you will have an option to use one of these templates. You can also log the email to CRM with a quick click of a button. Here is what my folder looks like in my gmail because of this integration with the sales email templates.
Benefits and ways to prove out that this is working well to upper management to get more buy in for inbound marketing practices.
- You can view analytics on your email templates and whether they are being opened, clicked, etc to get a better understanding of which emails are working the best in the sales process or in the prospecting process for your sales reps. You can then use this data to make a case for more inbound strategies to be used in conjunction with the sales process.
- Your email templates should have links in them that are linking to hopefully HubSpot hosted landing pages. Landing pages will have the offer on it with a form where the contact who you sent the email to can download that offer.
By combining the offers that marketing is creating (hopefully anyways) with the sales process and sales prospecting process you can quickly show the value of incorporating more inbound marketing into the company's way of doing business. You also have not really changed much in terms of the normal way of doing business for your sales team.
Benefits for your sales rep:
- Productivity from using email templates will go up. They can get more done because they won't be worried about writing out emails every time they interact with someone.
- Your sales reps will start to see the value of what marketing provides them in terms of content marketing. By using landing pages with marketing offers your sales reps will start to gain more lead intelligence on their accounts and leads. This will allow your sales reps to sell smarter and be more on top of high priority leads and accounts.
My next post will talk about how sales and marketing can work together in gathering more data from inbound practices like using landing pages/emails in the sales process with good practices in CRM to improve efficiency. Imagine a world where sales is actually logging things correctly in CRM in the right fields and marketing is now tracking behavioral movements of their leads and accounts on your site. If you put those 2 things together you get a lovely little smarketing experience. Your CRM database will start to reflect updated properties that you can use as a marketer in conjunction with things like behavioral intelligence on your database so you can do some nice segmentation to improve the way you market and sell to certain subsets of your database.