According to research by LinkedIn
, 62% of B2B buyers respond to salespeople who connect with them by sharing content and insights that are useful to the buyer.
Not only that, but 84% of C-level executives and 74% of B2B buyers
conduct over half of their research on social media before making the final purchasing decision.
All of this magnifies the importance of having a strong inbound prospecting strategy for your business. There are a few key aspects that you should keep in mind before building out your business's inbound prospecting process.
Let's take a look. Aligning the Sales and Marketing Teams
An efficient inbound prospecting strategy simply cannot happen with the efforts of a singular team.
In order for the strategy to be successful, it has to make sure that both the sales and marketing teams are having regular conversations to ensure maximum conversion of leads
Having an interconnectedness between the sales and the marketing team of an organization always pays off in the long run.
The goal for each department should be to have conversations around what KPIs are working well
in order for them to meet their weekly or monthly campaign goals. Both teams need to regularly review what they are in order to be successful.
Members of both sales and marketing should also be able to develop a repeatable and self-reinforcing mechanism that builds over time and leads to a favorable outcome. That outcome, inevitably, is increased profit and revenue for the company. Defining the Buyer's Journey
An ineffective sales team usually builds their prospecting process around their own comfort and needs. They have a specific checklist that they use to define every buyer's journey without intently listening to the customer and guiding them through the purchasing process.
Owing to this, many buyers feel misaligned with the seller. Prospects don't just want to be prospected, demoed about the product or service, and then quickly closed. Instead, they want valuable information from the entire process.
Any inbound prospecting strategy should avoid this. Involved teams should prioritize understanding the buyer's world and helping them through the purchasing process by:
Developing a Process that Supports the Buyer's Journey
- Building awareness of the business and its services.
- Helping them consider the different solutions and their pros and cons.
- Guiding them in making a final decision.
Once you have defined the buyer's journey, you should develop a process that supports that journey.
Instead of designing your sales process first, inbound prospecting teams should build the sales process after the buying journey has been defined.
This way, buyers feel supported
throughout their journey which keeps them engaged with your company till the end. Building an Ideal Customer Profile
Any sales or marketing campaign is rendered useless if it has no idea who the ideal customer is
. Having an intimate knowledge of your customer – whether that is a company or an individual – is going to improve every aspect of your business.
The key here is not to try and guess what kind of a customer likes interacting with your company.
Instead, companies should use data – such as customer conversions, insights from sales teams, competitors, and any other relevant data – to come up with specific kinds of customer profiles that are more likely to engage with their product or service.
A few considerations to take into account when building an ideal customer profile are as follows:
Performing Intent-Based Keyword Research
- Job responsibilities
- Size and complexity of the organization
- Existing tools they use
- Aspect(s) of their job they dislike the most
Creating content for your business's website is important to inbound prospecting. However, simply producing content around keywords is not enough. You need to do your keyword research as market research.
This means conducting your keyword research to see why your target audience is using the exact language that they are on search engines
and what kind of results they are expecting.
Based on your newfound information, you can then interact with that search behavior.
In this process, here are a few useful questions to ask:
- What do your competitors at the top of this search result have in common?
- Are a lot of people looking for this or is it a niche with only a few people seeking it?
- Are businesses spending a lot of money bidding for this keyword? If yes, how much?
- Is the person looking to learn something new, purchase, or find a company they already know about?
The key in this step is to find commonalities between the searches performed by users. You can then use these findings to create language that can be used in sales conversations
with the buyers to keep them engaged. Building a Solid Lead Qualification Process
No matter how amazing your product or service is, it will not always be the perfect fit for every type of potential customer. This is why qualifying leads is such an important step in inbound prospecting.
By qualifying leads, you are able to figure out which customers your business could potentially create the most value for. It helps you focus your prospecting efforts on the customers that are the most likely to benefit from the solution you are providing.
An inbound lead qualification process often includes the following steps:
- Defining the characteristics that make a good or a bad fit.
- Using market automation tools to screen leads based on those criteria.
- Confirming the quality of good leads manually.
- Implementing a process for future qualification of leads without wasting your time.
Regardless of the research you do, you need to make the best use of your team's time by using some type of CRM tool for tracking and sharing a prospect's important information.
A CRM tool allows you to store prospect information and identify sales opportunities while also managing your marketing and sales campaigns – all in one location.
Therefore, as you learn about new prospects and enter them into the company's database, you need to make sure that others in the organization can utilize it too by entering the info into CRM software.