You’ve done your research, read the articles, heard all about the inbound sales revolution…and you want in on the action. But you didn’t get this far in your career by making impulsive decisions, especially when your organization’s livelihood and reputation is at stake. That’s when the tiny voice of doubt in your head chimes in…
Maybe the inbound sales model is just another trend…
What about the time, energy, and resources it’ll take to convert…
Some of my older sales reps aren’t going to take kindly to a new process…
And just like that, making the switch to an inbound sales model feels more like a self-induced migraine than a savvy business move. But inbound sales is not a fleeting trend. In fact, experts overwhelmingly predict that the transition is inevitable. And, depending on the current state of your organization, it may not take as much work as you think.
Here are 3 signs your company is ready for the transition to inbound sales.
1. You Want to Maximize Your CRM
Sales reps and CRM systems notoriously have a love/hate relationship. Reps often fail to acknowledge the benefits of using the software to improve their interactions with prospects, and instead get hung up on the time it takes to enter data.
As a business owner or CMO, this hurts. You wouldn’t have invested in (or advocated for) the technology if you didn’t believe it would make life easier. You see the advantages of centralizing data, improving insights, increasing tracking capabilities and ultimately — better managing leads. And the fact that you think in these terms is a major indicator that your business is ready for an inbound sales model.
Bonus — the inbound sales model demands that reps religiously commit to using your organization’s CRM system. Inbound selling has many goals, but its top priority is to obtain deep level information about prospects. These details cannot be efficiently collected and effectively organized without the right CRM.
2. Marketing is Already Invested in Inbound
If your marketing team has already made the shift to inbound — you’re halfway there! If your company uses inbound marketing, it means your brand exists online, you have an understanding of your ideal buyer, you've created buyer personasfor targeting, and, hopefully, implemented a content marketing strategy. With this strong foundation set up, the stage is set to incorporate the sales team.
The fact that inbound is already spreading within your organization also means that it will be easier to get reps on board--especially if you can demonstrate success on the marketing side.
3. Your Reps Are Asking For Better Marketing Materials
If your reps repeatedly nag for better marketing materials, it’s not because their prospects are indulging in content to the point that sales can’t keep up. It’s a giant red flag that what you do have circulating in the market isn’t useful to prospects, and your sales people know it.
Here’s the problem. Marketers don’t always get bottom funnel information to help better define what a qualified prospect looks like. Your sales team is the missing link. By transitioning to an inbound sales model, the sales and marketing departments will work together and share information that encompasses the entire sales funnel to better flesh out those increasingly valuable buyer personas and improve marketing collateral. When it comes to marketing material, it’s not about more information, it’s about the right information.
Despite the ages old feud between marketing and sales, the two departments actually share the same goals; to find the highest quality leads and to close sales. Inbound selling encourages both departments to work together to improve the probability and rate of achieving these goals.
Need help getting sales and marketing to pass the olive branch? Sales alignment consulting might be step one of your transition to an inbound sales model.