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Reaching Out to the Consumers that Sought You First

In terms of lead generation efforts, HubSpot’s Brian Halligan suggests marketers concentrate their efforts on inbound, rather than outbound, marketing.  What exactly is the difference?  Outbound involves pushing your message out to consumers, in the hopes that you will catch their eye.  However, as consumers are faced with a glut of mass media, standing out becomes more and more difficult and your audience becomes less and less willing to lend a listening ear.  You will get the best response if you’re reaching out to those who sought you first – enter inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing involves attracting prospects to your online content via search engines, blogs, or social media sites.  Reaching out to these specific individuals is a lot more effective than casting a wide net because you have already established a degree of familiarity and credibility with this audience.  This means the rules are also different, as Mark Roberge, VP of Sales at HubSpot, explains in this video. Roberge offers tips for sales professionals at the front lines and at the top.

The Sales Representative, he says, must remember that the lead found you and already has a degree of familiarity with your product and service such that it’s unnecessary to keep emphasizing your selling points.  Rather, focus your communication on finding out more about them, discovering their pain points in order to tailor your company’s offering to their particular needs.

His advice to the Sales Manager involves measuring the performance of the sales representative.  He suggests measuring the yield on each lead, as opposed to a rep’s dials and opportunities.  Also, encourage sales reps to research their leads in terms of where they are coming from, and their previous engagement with your company and web content.

Lastly, for the Sales Executive, Roberge’s advice is to focus on the right leads.  There will be a large number of leads, meaning you might be tempted to change your company to satisfy all of their business needs.  To that point, he gives the advice, “Focus on the leads that are right for your business, and think about expanding your business later.”

This advice points to the benefits of having a marketing automation system that allows you to manage your inbound leads effectively.  To be able to filter those inbound leads by quality, and focus only on those farthest along in the sales cycle, lead scoring and grading is key.  The online body language that goes into these metrics is then useful to the sales representative, as they frame their informed conversation with the prospect.