By Tony Sorensen | Monday January 31, 2017
Category: Expert Advice
In order to sell effectively, salespeople need someone to sell to, and while cold calling used to be one of the most effective ways to attract prospects, it’s no longer true in the digital age. Today, cold calls are no longer the hot ticket to sales. More and more sales professionals and recruiters are looking towards inbound marketing methods to find ways to improve their sales process and are finding great success. According to HubSpot, a leading inbound marketing and sales software, 54 percent more leads are created through inbound marketing versus outbound methods for a cost of 62 percent less per lead.
The reality is that brands can generate more leads spend less, enjoy better returns and attract more qualified leads by using inbound marketing. This isn’t to say that cold calling is completely dead, as the best approach is a hybrid of traditional and inbound marketing methods. Both inbound and outbound marketing can complement one another to help your company and your sales team reach its full potential by connecting with the most prospects possible. In this article, we look into the differences between inbound and marketing and cold calling (outbound marketing) and breakdown the stages of the inbound marketing buyer’s journey as it relates to the sales funnel.
The Difference Between Outbound and Inbound Marketing
We’re all familiar with cold calls, the classic method of pitching, promoting and pushing prospects through the sales funnel. However, with so much information at their fingertips, today’s customers are more cautious than ever and want more time, insight and information before they’re comfortable making a purchase. Consumers now have more control over their purchase decisions with the rise of the Internet. Oftentimes, a salesperson trying to talk them into buying something can be off-putting or feel too aggressive. People now turn to the web to research products, read reviews, ask questions and arrive at their own purchase decisions. With the right inbound marketing tools, tactics and methodologies, you can provide them with the information they need and help guide them through the sales funnel until they’re ready to purchase.
Inbound Marketing Makes All the Difference
It’s no secret anymore that inbound marketing can have a huge impact when it comes to generating leads, prospects and customers, but it’s also important to understand that there’s quite a bit more to it than aimlessly creating content. Content marketing should be well researched, based on a solid foundation of SEO-rich keyword research with high average monthly search volume and is best shared through multiple social media platforms in conjunction with being published on your company or personal website.
Additionally, you should develop a content strategy that focuses on targeting different customers at various stages of the buyer’s journey. Here are the stages of the buyer’s journey, Parqa’s demand activation funnel, and the recommended content approach for each stage:
Attract: This is the equivalent to the top of the sales funnel, where you’ll want to provide content that builds brand recognition and raises awareness so that your prospects learn that you have the solutions they need. In the end, the goal is to acquire their contact information so you can begin to nurture them into leads and customers.
Engage: At this point, you begin creating content aimed at prospects and leads that are familiar with your brand to help them learn more about possible solutions. Keep in mind, it’s important to implement sound SEO practices both on-page and off-page in order to boost the rankings of your website within Google’s search results pages. The higher your rank, the more people will visit your company’s webpage. However, when they get there, customers should find rich content that fulfills their quest for information and leads them to a solution. Again, the goal is to get them to opt-in by providing their contact information.
Nurture: At the nurture stage, consumers typically know about their options and want more information about making a purchase, whether by requesting a quote or a free consultation. Marketing automation, a form of email marketing, is the perfect tool for this stage. Maybe the customer came to your site and liked what they found, but in order for them to come back and convert, they must be delicately nurtured with even more relevant content and calls-to-action. This is where automated emails come in, which remind customers that you’re there and that you have a solution for them. Using software like Constant Contact, HubSpot or Emma can help make building an email marketing strategy easier.
Convert: By this point, we are at the bottom of the sales funnel, where leads are looking for specifics about purchasing and are ready to convert. Content types that fit in well at this stage could be recommendations, testimonials, and case studies. At every stage calls-to-action are essential. You should always find ways to make direct appeals to your prospects such as, “Ready to learn more? Get in touch with us today!” or “Download our free guide to learn more about how we can help your business.” Content should be customized to fit the consumer’s needs in order to get them to convert into customers.
Building and Distinguishing Your Brand with Strong Content and Thought Leadership
Most likely, there are dozens of brands, if not hundreds of brands out there selling the same service that yours does. With a well researched inbound marketing and SEO strategy, you can help distinguish your brand through thought leadership and amplify its presence through carefully altering the technical structure of your website. Together, SEO, content marketing, inbound marketing and thought leadership can transform your brand.
At Parqa, we’ve helped countless companies go from less than a hundred website visitors a month to thousands of website visitors per month, thousands of social media followers, and hundreds of qualified leads. It’s essential that your company create a unique brand identity that expresses its values. That way, when your future clients turn to the web to seek out information and solutions, they’ll find credibility and a way to solve their challenges through your services. Call Parqa for a free 15-minute marketing assessment to learn how to drive qualified leads and grow your company. Call 952-767-6450, or submit an inquiry: http://parqaforstaffing.com/contact-us/