Today’s buyers expect more. With these expectations, marketing is changing. We’ve seen the standard change from a cold, “outbound” method to a more personal approach, also known as inbound marketing.
According to HubSpot, inbound is a method of attracting, engaging, and delighting people to grow a business that provides value and builds trust.
In the past, inbound funnel functioned as a way for companies to move from Point A (attracting visitors) to Point C (turning potential buyers into customers). However, at INBOUND 2018, HubSpot introduced the new flywheel framework.
What is the Inbound Flywheel?
Customers are no longer an output of our collective marketing and sales efforts. They’ve become a valuable input for businesses. The flywheel framework reflects this change.
The framework abandons the Glengarry Glen Ross “Always Be Closing” mentality that keeps customers as an afterthought, focusing on a cyclical process where customers remain at the center throughout.
So, is the Funnel Dead?
No. The flywheel may have killed HubSpot’s funnel, but the inbound funnel is still alive and well. More importantly, it’s still a great resource to provide valuable business insights.
By assessing the top, middle and bottom of your funnel, you can make more informed sales and marketing decisions and identify growth opportunities with ease.
However, where the funnel starts to break down is in the buyer’s journey. It would be nice if every customer’s buying process followed a linear path, but situational factors change from lead to lead – and our job doesn’t end once a visitor converts into a customer.
That’s where the flywheel comes in.
The 3 Flywheel Stages
Instead of having a clear starting point and finish line, the flywheel framework is an ongoing process with three stages.
- Marketing (pre-awareness, awareness, education): For this stage, efforts such as strategic messaging, brand awareness, UX design, and content marketing are all key players.
- Sales (consideration, evaluation, rationalization): To reach buyers in this stage, you’ll want to implement case studies, email marketing, references and customer reviews.
- Services (decision, continuous delivery): In the services stage, it’s important to have support materials such as a customer knowledge base, recommendations decks, and customer surveys.
Each of these phases is made up of a set of experiences to help move people from one point to the next. The best part? Once a buyer moves through all three stages, the process begins again.
Note: Your leads are influenced by different factors that affect their buyer’s journey, so it’s likely they won’t move from cycle to cycle in the same way every time.
As the tide in sales and marketing continues to turn, it’s essential for today’s businesses to take a proactive approach to meet market demands. If you’re not sure where to begin, drop us a line or leave a comment below! As a certified HubSpot Partner and expert inbound marketing agency, we’d be happy to walk you through the flywheel framework.