With the rise of inbound marketing (and ‘smarketing’), the sales process is fundamentally changing right in front of us.
Outbound Sales: How Things Used to Work
Generally, sales used to operate around territories, and the sales reps often knew very little about their assigned territory. Sales representatives might have known who is buying or maybe even who isn’t buying from them. Then, sales reps had to use whatever techniques they could to land accounts.
This might have included tactics like:
- Using a phonebook
- Cold calling
- Blind ‘walk-ins’
Keeping that in mind, think of how much easier the process would have been if companies and sales reps had just a little more information to work with. Information to help craft a message based off prospects individualities and pain points.
The cold contacting just gets a foot in the door. If trust and credibility was established (and given a lot of luck), the rep still needed to carry out a process of nurturing the prospect into an opportunity.
That required more calls and visits, albeit less cold.
There is a Better Way to Do Sales: Going Inbound
Now, there is the power of the internet. Inbound marketing, coined in 2006 by a company called HubSpot, has completely changed how marketing and sales teams work.
There is still a place for traditional tactics in today’s sales world. Outbound complements inbound efforts. There is no place, however, for aggressive, pushy sales tactics. Inbound sales focus on helping and closing, not saying whatever it takes at the top of your lungs to get another customer. These are just a few of the ways how sales is changing.
But most importantly…
Marketers and Sales reps have detailed personas that highlight pain points of the people that are your ideal prospect.
Buyer personas are described as “a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and data about your existing customers.” These are the people that your product, service or solution are the best fit for.
When used correctly, persona profiles will help you get a better grasp on what makes your best customers and prospective customers tick (without the cold-calling and long, drawn-out sales processes of days gone by) and allow you to develop a rapport and credibility long before you even get to that first meeting with them.