The marketing and sales arms of a business can resemble engineers and builders. Engineers carefully craft the designs, taking into account the materials and specific needs of the clients. Builders then attempt to construct the product as defined by the engineers, often with frustration because the resources and materials do not meet the requirements of the build in reality.
Similarly, marketing teams use research, data, and creativity to create content campaigns that will drive leads. With those leads, the sales teams build the deal, but often the leads are not qualified for a variety of reasons. All the principles of Inbound Marketing are grounded in bringing qualified leads to the sales table. That is the fundamental goal and that is why it is critical for marketing and sales to come together to achieve Inbound Sales. Here are five steps to help bridge the gap:
1. Level Set for Success
All the members of the marketing and sales teams need to know:
- What is Inbound?
- How will Inbound be implemented? What roles are required? What is the strategy?
- Why is buy-in critical for the success of the team, individuals, and company?
2. Establish a Leader
- For businesses using an agency—who is the in-house Inbound point person?
- It is a full-time job.
- Responsibilities include leading and overseeing the insourcing.
Without ownership, there is little to no buy-in. Every organization has content producers on their team, so make the most of your opportunity to insource content creation.
- Writers – They’re naturally able to put in words the strengths of your company, products, and services.
- Talkers – They have the words to describe—sometimes colorfully, with detail—why your prospects need your services, but they can’t get it on paper; ghostwrite for them.
- Doers – Action is their best form of communication; capture them on video.
- Testers – These are the quality assurance folks who make sure your company can deliver on its promises; they present another video resource or ghostwriting opportunity by uncovering the value of your products and services.
Here's an example of how to utilize insourcing for your business. If your goal is to leverage your team's expertise in your weekly blog, set up a meeting between a strong writer or your agency's copywriter and the employee whose knowledge you want to utilize. Give them a chance to talk to each other about a predetermined topic to get the creative juices flowing while the writer takes notes on important points. By conversation's end, the employee may feel prepared enough to put their thoughts into writing themselves. If not, the writer can run with the notes they recorded. Either way, this gives the employee a chance to share without pressure, while the blog benefits from authentic, in-house expertise from your team.
4. Create Content that Leads to Sales
Collaborate to generate the following types of content proven to attract visitors:
- Whenever possible, publish the cost of your products and services. This is the number one question of visitors to your site.
- Illustrate the cost of not using your products or services.
- Empathize with your prospects' and customers' pain points.
- Share value comparisons with your competitors' products and services.
- Post reviews from your customers.
- Share your business's established leadership.
Sales will be naturally inclined and motivated to use the content they created or helped create: video, web pages, case studies, and whitepapers to convert and close.
5. Make Your Content Your Greatest Sales Tool
Inbound Marketing methodology is only half the equation when it comes to growing your business's sales success. When a sales team is in the know and involved in the initiatives generated by the marketing team, they get the tools they want and need to close more deals. By collaborating and making the most of your sales team's expertise, you can get on the path to transforming Inbound Marketing into Inbound Sales.