The strategies stemming from the concept of inbound sales, combined with a suitable CRM tool, can help companies to make the marketing and sales divisions work together.
Reminder: the new challenges of B2B sales
We saw it in a previous article on the essential alignment between marketing and sales departments: the ongoing upheavals in the industry sector are pushing players to review their strategy.
Sales techniques in B2B are on the front line of changing behavior of prospects and customers. They are increasingly autonomous in their research, increasingly free and independent, but also increasingly solicited by attractive and highly targeted offers.
The webmarketing pole is gaining power while most of the buying process is done online even before the intervention of the salesperson. The dialogue between sales force and marketing becomes decisive to seize the lead at maturity. To do this, we must define all the qualification criteria and make commitments for a good distribution of tasks between sales and marketing.
This includes the establishment of a common platform putting customers at the heart of the reflection.
Inbound marketing and inbound sales
Advertising has been boring and annoying for decades. On television and radio, advertisements break the atmosphere. Telephone canvassing is a problem. Unwanted flyers pile up in mailboxes. On the Internet, the profusion of ads leaves little room on the screen to read or watch its content in peace.
This latent rejection, the communication professionals felt it coming. Behind the scenes, the inbound marketing revolution has been brewing for a while. This new method opposes outbound marketing, which combines all the old intrusive methods.
Simply put, inbound marketing is a strategy that involves capturing an audience that has good reason to be interested in the product. Imagine the market as a large fruit tree. Some fruits are ripe, ready to fall, others are still firmly attached. Inbound marketing is about placing your basket under a ripe fruit until it falls off on its own. The effort is perfectly targeted and the result assured. Outbound marketing would involve shaking the entire tree and picking up, as best as possible, everything that falls. It requires a lot of energy to harvest fruits of very variable quality.
In the age of web 2.0, when the HubSpot agency theorizes the concept, the message is clear: we will not continue to sell products as in the 1990s. Inbound marketing takes place in 4 stages:
Attract the public: content disseminated on blogs, social networks…
Convert the visitor: call to action (CTA), landing page with lots of fun…
Transform the prospect: lead scoring, CRM integration
Customer loyalty: follow-up, advice, information...
The first two steps are essentially the business of the webmarketing division. The third step is the collaboration between the two departments, marketing and sales. From the moment the sales force takes over, we no longer talk about inbound marketing, but inbound sales. This corresponds to the same philosophy, but applied to the commercial service. The fourth step also concerns both poles. Remember that retaining a customer costs about 7 times less than recruiting a new one! But let’s focus on the third phase and see how to use lead scoring and CRM to do inbound sales.
How to use lead scoring?
Lead scoring, or lead scoring, consists of assigning a score to the company’s leads. These leads can be simple sales contacts or real qualified prospects. The calculation method is based on several parameters related to the characteristics of the lead and its behavior.
For B2B sales in the industry, we will ask the question of the lead sector, the size of its company and its responsibility. The study of its behavior can be interested in the type of request made, the visit path on the website, etc. All this data previously collected by the marketing team must allow to assign a score to the different leads brought to sales.
What is the role of CRM in these sales strategies?
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is software that centralizes all the data concerning the company’s contacts. These tools are essential for managing customer relations in B2B and are equally crucial to facilitate exchanges between the sales force and the marketing team.
It is the CRM that will allow the company to implement its lead scoring strategy. With each interaction, the prospect’s score is updated in the CRM tool. A visit to the website, or the opening of a newsletter thus feeds the score of the contact. From its interface, the commercial hub knows what to expect. It becomes possible to distribute resources where they are most useful, namely on hot leads.
To support a lead scoring strategy adapted to B2B sales in the industry sector, companies can turn to CRM to personalize lead scoring. The data and scores are thus more relevant to prepare the ground for an effective sale.