... how we execute inbound marketing and respond to the inquiries must improve. Here are some steps to take:
1. Revisit your definition of a buying cycle start – A buying cycle should be considered as starting when a buyer expresses a willingness to spend money to achieve a goal or resolve a problem. With this new definition, the concept that buying cycles are 50 to 70% complete before contacting a seller may change.
2. Make sure you have the right mix of content – In order to create that willingness to spend, some of your content needs to be outcome oriented. But the big gap continues to be a failure to focus on business outcomes.
3. Treat inbound contacts with respect (remember they don’t trust sellers) – While the inbound contacts you generate may not be decision makers, they certainly are knowledgeable buyers.
Allow the buyer to tell you what they believe their requirements are.
--> Try to uncover the business issues that will provide value to offset the cost of the offering being considered.
--> Once a goal is uncovered, ask the buyer what capabilities they’ve seen that will enable the goal to be achieved.
--> Diagnose the way the buyer’s organization operates without the offering being considered and by asking questions see if you can determine additional capabilities they buyer was unaware of.
--> By asking questions, see if you can get agreement that additional capabilities would be helpful.
--> Try to qualify the buyer as a coach or champion to gain access to other stakeholders to build a business case.
4. Develop 4 key skills in your sellers. Take a hard look at your sales organization and make sure they can do the following three things (or train them to do so in your sales enablement efforts) that John feels are critical selling skills in today’s technology market. Sellers needs to have the ability to”
--> Disqualify “opportunities” that are likely to be lost to competitors or no decision. Few things are more painful than going the distance and losing.
--> Align with inbound buyers that have already done research and believe they know their requirements. Understand it will be necessary to gain access to others within their organization.
--> Have proactive conversations with executives about business outcomes without mentioning product.
--> Collaborate with buyers to understand the steps that must be taken for them to make a buying decision and define the activities that the selling organization will do to help them get there.
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