People use the web to get their questions answered. If your website successfully answers the questions that your prospects are looking for answers to, you will drive qualified traffic to your site. Once this happens, your sales process has begun.
Why have things shifted
When your site visitor now fills out a form on your website and becomes a lead they are showing additional interest in your expertise and/or product. Whether they download content, or request sales contact of some sort, they are still looking for help and information...not a sales pitch.
Once your site visitor becomes a lead and that lead gets assigned to a sales rep an additional level of communication is added into the sales process, The Rep. The Sales Rep is the ultimate resource for a prospect. Now, this person who was doing research on the web can ask questions and receive personalized responses to them from an expert. The Sales Rep, whose job it is to find good fit customers to leverage their products or services must continue to be a resource while taking the prospect through their sales process.
This is in contrast, to working a cold lead, where you are focusing on pitching your products and services out of the gate to add value and stay in front of your prospects.
The wrong way to work an inbound lead
BuzzFeed recently published the "Golden Pitchbook", a document on how to pressure prospects into buying stock from John Thomas Financial.
The "Golden Pitchbook" is filled with 15 second blurbs that describe how a broker should combat specific objections and questions that come from a prospect. The blurbs, which act as word for word guides that a broker can use when speaking with a prospect are broken down according to what objection and scenario they are to be used for. They all have 2 things in common:
- They focus on what the broker offers
- They require no knowledge of their prospects needs, goals, and challenges
With an inbound sales process, a pitch is not the way to turn a lead into a customer. To bring on successful customers Sales Reps need and an understanding of what their prospects goals and challenges are, how your solution fits into their goals and challenges, and how your prospect can be successful with your solution.
Use questions and objection to better understand your prospects needs
When a prospect has a particular question concerning your product, service or industry best practice it is most likely an indication of a greater or deeper need for help. Take your prospects question and follow these 3 steps to understand what their core challenge or concern is.
- Restate the question to make sure you understand it correctly
- Ask a deeper follow-up question to learn more about the core goals and challenges associated with the question
- Prescribe a recommendation to them based on your knowledge in your expertise and what you have learned about their business and continue to learn more about their goals and challenges.
Prospect - What types of content should I post on Facebook?
Sales Rep - You are asking, which different types of content you should post on your company Facebook page?
Prospect - Yes
Sales Rep - What is the goal of your company Facebook page?
Prospect - To grow our company awareness...
Sales Rep - In order to grow your company awareness on Facebook you should focus on creating content that is educational to your prospects to establish the brand as an expert. Do you have goals associated with company awareness?
From here, the Sales Rep can engage in a series of questions around the prospects goals and challenges.
- What does company awareness mean to their business?
- How do they measure company awareness?
- What are the challenges in making your prospects aware of your business?
Using Inbound Sales to Inspire New Customers
Inbound Sales puts asking and answering questions as a primary mode of conversation. Using general questioning and listening a sales rep can work to grasp the true business goals and challenges of a prospect and work together to help them accomplish their goals with your solution. The Inbound Sales process begins the moment a person visits your website looking for information. By continually helping a person to understand what they need help with and understanding their priorities a Sales Rep can most effectively leverage the Inbound Sales and marketing process to inspire more leads to become customers.