When you think about what sales people do that is great, there is no question about the value they bring to any organization. Creating relationship, understanding their buyers and deftly answering concerns so that people can make an informed choice are talents that businesses need. Purchases are generally made after trust is established. Your website and your content marketing efforts go only so far. A knowledgeable and personable salesperson is an essential part of the buyer journey.
In the world of Content Marketing, they are no longer hunter-seekers, They are connector-facilitators.
Content Marketing Trumps Outbound Selling
There is no doubt that the sales process has changed dramatically over the last 5 to 10 years. Cold calling and aggressive sales techniques are intrusive and unwanted by today’s consumers. The Internet provides the opportunity for consumers to gather all the information they need to make purchasing decisions. They prefer gathering this information on their own terms and at their own pace. Outbound selling tries to take buyers on a journey, resulting in closing a deal. Inbound or Content Marketing requires that companies follow the buyers journey using the digital tools available to us.
It stands to reason then that the way to reach this audience is to provide content that is meaningful to your prospective buyers. Additionally, the content must be placed where it will be seen.
This is exactly the point at which Marketing and Sales can work together. Sales people know their customers. They can provide marketing with the buyer profiles or personas. Marketing can provide the questions, sales people can use relationship and knowledge of their customers to get the best answers. Once the buyer persona is accurate, you are ready to have meaningful digital engagement with your prospects and existing customers.
By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human. (Gartner)
The good news is that this is a much more effective means of lead generation. Buyers are nurtured with excellent free content and support as they make decisions. Once they do, they have less buyer remorse and more confidence in their purchases. Complaints go down and you create ambassadors of your brand. If you are not using the technologies of Inbound Marketing, you are missing opportunity on a daily basis.
Making the transition from a traditional Outbound Sales and Marketing company to a Content Marketing Company will transform your lead generation capabilities. It will also enable your sales people to focus on customers most likely to do business with you.
Should Content Marketing be Outsourced?
If you are making the transition from outbound marketing to Inbound or Content marketing, a professional consultant will help to lead the way. Such a person will be able to speak to management to set expectations, outline expected outcomes and gain buy-in across your organization. Outsourcing Social Media or Content Marketing will allow you to learn while you earn. There are many moving parts. This Outsource Content Marketing page is an excellent description of those parts and how your content can be used to nurture your prospects from strangers to customers. It is a dramatic cultural shift and a consultant is often the best way to facilitate this change. Most companies do not have the internal resources to facilitate a full implementation of an effective content marketing strategy. As you build these internal capabilities you can decrease services as staff come up to speed on strategy and execution.
Your Website can be transformed into a lead generation machine
Obviously, your website presence and its ability to convert visitors to customers is critical to the success of your digital efforts. Website optimization, blogging, landing pages, email marketing and social media are the cornerstones of content marketing. A trained consultant can show you how to use all of these pieces to begin generating a steady stream of leads that will easily exceed your expectations. Marketing will be delighted as they will produce 54% more leads from Inbound Marketing than Outbound (HubSpot) and your Sales Team will follow leads from people ready to buy!
Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost. (Forrester Research).
Inbound marketing costs 62 percent less per lead than traditional outbound marketing. (Mashable)