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The Inbound Growth Blog covers all topics relating to an integrated marketing strategy. We write about inbound marketing, social media, integrated marketing strategies and the sales process.

3 Hacks to Integrate Inbound Marketing Into Your Sales Process

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Posted by John Beveridge on Aug 25, 2014 6:00:00 PM

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Inbound marketing has taken its place as an increasingly important part of the sales process - but you can't take advantage of these techniques unless you understand when, where, and why they should be used. Here are three of the best hacks for integrating inbound marketing into your current sales process.


Hack One: Top of the Funnel Information

I need food so I can avoid being hungry tonight. I want a nice steak with a side of roasted potatoes, and perhaps some sparkling cider on the side.

These two statements tell you almost anything you need to know about the average consumer, including their interests and priorities. One thing the industry learned a long time ago is that selling things to people who do not want to buy them is a difficult proposition at best - and a success rate of 0.1% would actually be very impressive. It's far easier to sell products to people who are already interested in buying, and this is where top of the funnel (TOFU) comes in.

With the spread of the internet, the first thing most people will do when they want to solve a problem is look up the information on their device of choice. If you can provide the answer that people are looking for, then you have the possibility of making a sale. This is where the second statement of our example comes in - when you've given people what they need, you can begin helping them with what they want to have.

The first hack for integrating inbound marketing into your sales process is very simple: provide value at the very top of the funnel. In most cases, the best way to do this is by providing information that answers the questions of your potential customers, drawing them in once you've put them in a good mood.

Not convinced yet? HubSpot offers some valuable insights on user behavior, including:

  • Only 30% of links clicked in search engines are advertisements - so companies who cannot produce organic results are missing out on more than two-thirds of potential clicks

  • Only 40% of clicks will be below the first three results - so it really is important to have content that's good enough to rank high

  • Companies that use their blogs effectively average just slightly below doubling their lead generation


Hack Two: Automating the Process

Now that you've started to provide valuable information, it's time to automate the process and start working on reducing your workload. In fact, most of inbound marketing is about finding the best ways to automate your processes while still getting the most value from them, and this is where project management tools come in.

Also noted by Hubspot were details about how pages develop and what this means. Major findings include:

  • Companies that offer thirty or more landing pages across the internet saw seven times more leads than companies who restricted themselves to ten or fewer pages

  • When it came time for a new campaign, nearly half of all marketers set up a new page for their inbound marketing

  • More than two-thirds of companies created landing pages to help convert customers in the future

The major lesson is this: More is Better. However, it isn't easy to scale your campaign upwards if you're doing everything by hand. Five or ten landing pages, sure, you could build those up over a few weeks... but you're going to find things spiraling out of control if you aren't able to manage the growth effectively.

This is why you need to be sure to incorporate the second hack: Automate your sales process as much as possible, up to and including the generation of web pages.


Hack Three: Engage Your Customers

Impersonal sales pages are quickly losing the interest of customers... so your sales process should include inbound marketing that actually engages your potential customers in newer, more dynamic ways. One of the best ways to do this is interacting with users on social media. This is a two-step process.

First, automate your posting schedule and use it to your advantage by letting the computer upload articles, funny pictures, and comments when your users are online and most likely to see them. However, don't be too heavy on the advertising - social media is about engaging and interesting customers, not just selling them on your products.

Next, back away from the automation when it comes to replies. You should actually read the things your followers say and try to reply to a significant portion of them - especially if you can make them laugh or offer them some help in response to a problem. This will help people feel engaged and appreciated, which is critical if you'd like to pull them further into your funnel.

Therefore, hack three: Honestly engage with your customers on a personal level using social media.


You will note that all  of the three hacks we shared are based around helping customers and potential buyers. That's the basic philosophy of inbound marketing: grow your business by helping your target audience solve problems. Try these tree hacks to integrate inbound marketing into your sales process, your sales team will love you for it. Rather than harassing uninterested leads, inbound marketing will help your sales team close more deals by being helpful.

 

Topics: Marketing Strategy, Inbound Marketing

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