Inbound Sales: Meaning, Techniques, and Best Practices

inbound sales

Introduction

Suppose you are an owner of any business. In that case, you will be aware of the importance of an effective sales and marketing strategy for the growth of your business. With the latest technologies introduced daily, the total power in buying and selling process has shifted from the seller to the buyer. It has changed the whole market, especially the selling processes and strategies, because the buyer’s journey has also changed. As the buying processes have changed, these demands changed the selling processes as well. Thus, it explains the importance of inbound sales in the foundation of any business sales strategy.

Inbound sales are crucial for all types of businesses, whether big or small, using simple or complex sale methods or relying on inbound leads or targeted outreach.

Inbound sales are known for selling the way people want to buy. Moreover, this modern sale strategy could only compete with today’s empowered buyers. Therefore, all these factors explain the importance of inbound sales for any growing business.

What are Inbound Sales, and how it Works?

Inbound sales refer to a modern sales methodology that is personalized and helpful. The basis of this whole strategy is that these salespersons focus mainly on their prospect’s pain points and act as their trusted consultants throughout the process.

Moreover, the inbound sales representative also adapts their sales process to the buyer’s journey.

The first step of any strategy involving inbound sales is attracting potential buyers or leads through inbound marketing. It is done through social media, video marketing, blogging, and many more to attract the targeted audience interested in your products or services.

The next step for any inbound salesperson is to connect or interact with the potential lead to determine their problems and challenges. With this, you will be able to know whether the product or services that you offer are any good for the lead or not.

Suppose it is suitable for the information. In that case, you will work with the authority to explore opportunities to determine and explain the best solution for the lead that will solve their problem or help them achieve their goals.

Once you have established a good connection with your lead, you now understand their problems and concerns and have also expressed interest in solving them.

It will be time to turn qualified prospects or leads into brand advocates and potential business customers.

The process will save you a lot of time that you might otherwise waste on sales. You are pitching customers who are not interested in your products or services.

Inbound Sales vs. Outbound Sales

We are here to guide you if you are confused about the differences between inbound and outbound sales and the benefits they offer. Inbound is also a scalable sales strategy.

Inbound sales’ primary focus is attracting attractive prospects to your business. Not only that, but the methods depend on building solid and long-lasting relationships with your customers to find appropriate solutions for their problems.

On the other hand, outbound sales rely on tactics to engage potential buyers that you don’t even know if they are interested in your products or services or not.

The whole sales strategy featuring outbound sales depends on reaching out to potential customers who have not yet shown any interest in your products or services.

Therefore, in the case of outbound sales, the sales representatives contact the leads instead of waiting for the information to come to them, as is in the case of inbound sales.

So, while talking about inbound sales vs. outbound sales, we cannot forget that inbound sales are based on attracting interested customers by putting forward incomparable values obtained with the help of inbound marketing materials.

While in the case of the outbound approach, you might be wasting your efforts and time by marketing your products to consumers or customers that might not even be interested in buying your products.

Which one is to Choose, Inbound or Outbound Sales?

Now that you know about inbound and outbound sales and their significant differences, you might wonder which one is the more convenient and accessible.

There is no lie in it that outbound sales are a more complicated process, and it requires a lot of skill, time, and effort to get a successful outbound selling going.

In outbound sales, everything has to be done by the salesperson, from conducting research, identifying customers’ pain points, and cold calling a decision-maker with a pitch that describes how their solution will help the company.

It is all to be done without the salesperson having any interaction with the customer that might help identify their needs or interests.

Not only that, but outbound selling is also very time-consuming. For example, you will have to make almost eighteen calls on average before meeting a potential buyer.

And once you have reached them, you will have to use your marketing and communication skills to convince them why they should trust your company or product, primarily when they haven’t even heard of your company’s name.

It means that you will be starting from scratch for every potential customer.

Hence, inbound selling is more straightforward and convenient and saves you time and effort. Even though the initial inbound marketing foundation might be a little hard to build but once it is built, the whole sales process gets a lot easier for the sales team.

To make a solid inbound sales foundation, you must create an entire website with a good SEO ranking, produce high-converting blog posts, and expand your social media presence to reach the targeted audience.

Then, the only thing the sales team will have to do afterward is pitch leads to the customers who have already shown interest.

How to make the right decision?

At last, we can say that inbound sales might be more effective and successful than outbound sales. Even though a solid inbound selling strategy can be complex to establish but once done, you will not have to worry about marketing your products anymore.

The interested leads will come to you on their own.

At the same time, an outbound selling strategy is a time-consuming and effort-demanding process in which you have to pitch your products to people who might not even be interested in them.

So, if you are wondering which one to choose, inbound or outbound sales? You might have a clear picture now.

What are the Inbound Sales Strategies or Techniques?

Here is a list of inbound sales strategies or techniques you might need to know.

1. Define your Buyer’s Journey

The most crucial technique of inbound sales is determining the buyer’s journey and giving them and their interest importance throughout the process. Unfortunately, legacy teams do not prioritize the buyer’s needs.

They are mainly based on their sales manager’s plan. The minimal value to the buyer results in a broken connection between the seller and the buyer, as they can get all the information without the sales rep.

The inbound sales team focuses on the buyer’s journey. It ensures an understanding the buyer’s problems and needs before putting forward the solution. They make it their priority to understand the customer and their world.

The three-part framework for the buyer’s journey includes awareness, consideration, and decision.

2. Establish a Sales Process that will Support your Buyer throughout the journey

Once you have defined and determined the buyer’s journey, it will be time to formulate an effective sales process. Unlike outbound sales, inbound sales strategies establish their whole process depending on the buyer’s journey.

As a result, the buyer and seller feel connected throughout the selling process.

During the development of the inbound sales process, you will have to ask yourself what your salesperson will do while constructing the three-part framework of the buyer’s journey.

The four-part framework for your sales or inbound sales process includes identifying, connecting, exploring, and advising.

It starts with identifying strangers who might have problems that your salesperson can solve, then connecting with them, exploring their challenges and goals, and reporting to them on the best possible solution.

3. Sell the Benefits, not the Features

Even though it is necessary to tell the customers about all the features of your product or services, the most important thing to describe is the product’s or service’s benefits.

So, without putting all the features on the table, you should highlight as many benefits as possible to build customer anticipation and interest.

The first marketing strategy is to create an emotional link between the customers and the product.

For example, having an air conditioner might seem essential, but keeping your family and loved ones cool during the extreme summer heat is more important and develops an emotional connection.

4. Encourage and Display Expertise

There should not be any questions that the inbound sales representative could not answer. With Expertise comes the confidence in the sellers to pitch their products more efficiently to the customers.

Suppose the buyer has a question to which the salesperson doesn’t have a proper answer. In that case, that might indicate that the product is not good or exciting enough.

It is also vital for the salesperson to show enthusiasm while pitching their product to the customers. Customers love someone who shows enthusiasm and passion toward their product or services.

They might not be involved much with someone reading from a script and will listen more attentively if they are more passionate about their work and company.

5. Engage in Open Questions

Closed questions are not of much help because it simply makes the customers answer in a yes or no statement without even thinking much about it.

However, encouraging open questions will allow customers to inquire about their problems and challenges so that you can put forward the solution accordingly.

With open questions, the inbound salesperson can get some key insights into the interests of the potential customers. Once the customers start thinking aloud, they might realize that they need your product.

What are the Best Practices for Successful Inbound Sales?

Here are some best practices in B2B sales that have proven quite successful.

1. Stay Empathetic toward Buyers

For a successful inbound sales strategy, you must remain empathetic toward the buyers throughout the purchasing process. Be respectful to the buyers and try to understand their needs by putting yourselves in their shoes.

Avoid using high-pressure sales tactics and understand the challenges faced by the buyers.

2. Help Customers Close the Deal Easily

Don’t pressurize the customer or fill them out with unnecessary content. You must be more concise, sweet, and straightforward during the whole proposition and sales process.

Avoid contacting the customers during busy hours, which might force the customers to neglect the proposition out of frustration.

3. Don’t Forget to Conduct a Proper Prospect Research

You must thoroughly research the buyer’s problems and interests by reading their social media profiles, understanding their goals and company mission statement, and identifying their strategic objectives.

By studying and researching your buyer’s needs, you will be ensuring the buyers that you care about them.

4. Don’t Engage in Bad Prospects

Forcing sales is unlike inbound sales and can have long-lasting effects on the wrong customers and your company. For example, you might waste the company’s and your buyer’s time on lengthy sales cycles.

Moreover, you might even ruin the positive image of your company because of unhappy buyers.

5. Listen to your Customers

Inbound sales will not work if you do not listen attentively to your customers, their problems, interests, and requirements. So, listening to inbound leads and practicing active listening is a vital part of inbound sales.

Can you achieve sales excellence without sales knowledge?

Can you achieve sales excellence without sales knowledge

Via Salesforce 

Final Words for Inbound Sales

If you are wondering if inbound sales are cold-calling, the simple answer is no. It is because, in the case of outbound calls, the sales rep contacts the customers first. Still, in inbound sales, the customer gets the company first.

Inbound sales have become the backbone of today’s marketing and business world because it involves engaging and active participation of the buyers.

A salesperson can effectively increase sales revenue over time by developing a solid inbound sales strategy that is effective and has potential. Nowadays, customers like to select on their own what they want to choose and purchase. They do not need the companies to contact those who practice outbound sales.

So, if you consider switching your company to inbound sales, you will make the right decision.

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