When it comes to a business-to-government sales strategy, it’s easy write off marketing as an unnecessary expense. Traditionally, relationships and past performance has been what's moved the needle for government contractors. Those pesky things every inbound marketing guru keeps talking about, like CRMS’s, eBook designs and social media advertising, are an expense that many government contractors avoid. But the rules of the game have changed - an investment in inbound marketing is no longer a luxury for B2G sellers.
The truth is, though, that despite the fact that they’re two completely different beasts, sales and inbound marketing need each other to thrive. According to Hubspot, “Sales Development and Inbound Marketing are (or should be) kindred spirits… They’re designed to work the way customers manage decisions today and reinforce one another.” If you do a quick google search on ‘inbound marketing and sales,’ you’ll see that, combined, they’re unstoppable.
How, exactly, do sales and marketing go hand in hand? Let us count the ways.
You’ll attract more webste visitors and close more leads
The whole idea behind inbound marketing is to create content that your audience needs. By consistently providing value to potential buyers and visitors through your website, eBooks and other content you create, you’ll keep them coming back for more. When you start getting strategic about your content, your visitors start becoming leads and leads become customers.
The best way to begin is by creating a useful blog that answers premeditated questions your readers may have. This is most likely not the first place you’ve heard that starting a blog is incredibly useful, and that’s for a reason. A blog is the singular most important first step to creating content that your potential customers will find value in. It helps establish your credibility, and once people trust you, the sky is the limit.
You’ll establish yourself as an authority in your field and stand out from the competition
Now those website numbers are starting to mean something: visitors are transforming into leads that will eventually convert into customers. You’ve been posting consistently on your blog and people are reading what you have to say.
This is the road to becoming a thought leader, and that’s where the real value lies. Word of mouth is a powerful thing. Once you’re known as an authority in your field, you’ve not only established credibility for future sales, you’ve also established your organization as a trusted advisor to government buyers.
As an authority in a specific field, there’s one other magnificent thing that happens: you start to stand out from the crowd. Free education is invaluable and the competition better step aside.
You’ll better understand who your buyer is and what they want
One thing is sometimes true about content marketers: they often receive more negative feedback than they expect. Although the goal is not to prompt negative comments, it certainly is to entice some kind of a response, good or bad. Once your content is out there for the world to see, you’re bound to get commenters and readers telling you what they like and what they don’t like. Guess what? This is a good thing!
The key to a successful marketing strategy is knowing what your customers want. You might be asking yourself, “How do I do that?” Well, listening to your audience is a good place to start. Once you have an audience, you can begin to understand what their needs are (not just what you think they are). Oftentimes, your public, or most engaged fan base, is not necessarily who you thought it was.
You’ll have more satisfied customers
Now that you have an audience, you can start adding a few things to better assist them as part of your inbound marketing and sales strategy. By generating a consistent flow of content you’re also be building a loyal audience that’s both interested in what you have to say and receptive to hearing how you can help them get what they want.
Understanding who your audience is and what they want allows you to be better equipped to tweak your content or create new materials to better fit their needs. It’s a simple supply and demand formula; understand the demand so you can build the supply.
This is your chance to really wow your crowd, and in turn, they’ll be far more satisfied because they’re getting what they asked for.
You’ll be able to analyze what strategies are producing revenue and increase your ROI
The best part of inbound marketing is that it allows you to keep track of everything. From what blog posts are being read the most, to how many followers you have on social media, and even how many leads you’re converting into customers; everything is tangible.
You’ll want to collect all the data, which can easily be done using a reliable CRM. It’ll pay off in the future once you have enough data to draw conclusions from. Analyzing this information is crucial to the inbound process so that you can keep what works and purge what doesn’t. Since you know what really brings in revenue, eventually you’ll increase your return on investment.