Sales and Marketing – two departments always in conflict about demarcating their specific roles and responsibilities. Being an Inbound Marketer and a Specialist in Content Marketing, I can very well understand the root cause of this problem. Many companies do not differentiate between these two functions. Over and above that, many companies have a single team to perform both. Too much of bashing, isn’t it? Let us focus on the topic i.e. how is Inbound Sales different from Inbound Marketing and how these two functions can synchronize well to achieve the overall growth of the organization.
Today, the customer is King with more purchasing power, accessible information, and control over buying decisions. Salespersons need to adapt to evolving customer trends quickly. You need to understand the needs of the customer properly to draft a sales pitch. Inbound Sales focus on prioritizing the needs, problems, goals, and tastes of each individual customer. Rather than quick Sales closure, Inbound salespersons meet, interact, and walk them through the entire buying process. Analyzing the buyer’s online behavior at different stages will help the Salesperson to deliver a personalized solution.
On the contrary, Inbound Marketing, an idea that pioneered in the mid-2000s turns Marketing into creating brand awareness and educating prospects about the company’s offerings. Marketers identify what type of content is appropriate for each buyer persona. This information helps companies position their product/service at the right time and the right place to drive maximum engagement. Various channels of online marketing – blogging, social media, SEO, etc. boost efforts of Inbound Marketing.
|Identify prospects using a lead list||Attract the right audience to the website, to generate site visitors|
|Connect – First contact with the prospect or an identified lead||Convert visitors into leads. Build relationships, educate and develop trust.|
|Explore – Learn about prospect’s pain points||Use lead nurturing techniques to Close leads|
|Advise – Present your analysis and recommend the most feasible and effective solution.||Delight clients to attract new visitors and build loyal customers.|
Which Comes First?
A decision-making process involves the role of Sales and Marketing functions. If your Sales process is not well-equipped to convert inbound leads into customers, then Sales function gets a higher priority. Implementing an Inbound Marketing strategy first keeps the lead generation process active and running. The quality of leads will help disrupt the Sales process thereby closing leads quickly.
A business is not complete just after generating a revenue source. Happy clients are your brand ambassadors. Your brand value is decided by what your customers say about you, termed by Google as Zero Moment of Truth or ZMOT. What is the online reputation of your brand? Seamless coordination between Inbound Sales and Inbound Marketing teams will generate more revenue and yield the best results for your company.
When you roll out the Inbound Marketing strategy, the Sales team also shares its strategy, and both work together to deliver the best customer experience in a shorter time. Benefits include faster conversion rates, quicker sales closure, higher lead flow, and overall revenue growth.