There are those who still believe in a traditional sales model where sales reps do everything from write proposals to answer inbound calls. However, more and more companies are separating their sales organizations into outbound reps (reps that prospect for new business) and inbound reps (reps that respond to inbound phone calls and web inquiries). The reason is that inbound and outbound sales teams don’t only follow divergent sales processes, but also require different data and different tools to win deals. In fact, the differences are so stark that a quarter of inbound sales teams report to Marketing rather than Sales. The reason for this is that alignment with marketing is absolutely paramount to inbound sales success, as real-time marketing data is the true key to accelerating inside sales.
Whether or not your inbound sales team reports to Marketing, here are three things that your inbound sales reps urgently need to convert more inbound leads into customers.
Lead scores are invaluable to marketers. Scoring leads enables marketers to do a far better job of nurturing leads and identifying the optimal time to hand leads off to sales. But the fact is that outside of SaaS, not nearly enough B2B marketers are using marketing automation tools to calculate lead scores. So if your marketing team has yet to hop on board the marketing automation train, it’s high time to get to the station. If you are using marketing automation to score leads, those same lead scores should be shared with in real time in order to help reps prioritize which inbound leads they should follow up with first. Of course, by using a lead prioritization tool that integrates with your marketing automation data, you can help reps prioritize inbound leads automatically.
Inbound reps need to know the moment that inbound prospects demonstrate sales readiness. Sales triggers such as filling out forms, downloading specific content or engaging in social media can be a powerful indicator that a prospect is ready to engage in a sales conversation. But inbound sales reps often wait far too long to follow up after these events. As an example, a prospect that downloaded your company’s ebook might be actively researching solutions. But if a rep waits a week, that lead may not remember even downloading your ebook. Or worse, the lead may have already chosen another vendor. Ensuring that reps can view important prospect activities in real time can help your inbound sales reps have the right conversations with the right prospects at the perfect time.
At my first sales job I mostly handled inbound sales, taking calls and following up with web leads. Before calling web leads I had the opportunity to quickly research the prospect so I knew what to sell them. But when leads called in, I often found myself floundering, asking questions to try to discern why they were calling and what they were interested in buying. One of my favorite things about RingDNA is that reps can virtually always know why a lead is calling before even picking up the phone. Our call tracking tool captures inbound callers’ marketing referral sources in Salesforce automatically. Then, that marketing source data can be shared with sales reps in real time. Reps can see which channel, campaign or even keyword inspired a lead to call. Best of all, that data can be used to trigger intelligent talking points automatically so reps can stay on message and close more deals.
Looking for more ways to enable sales reps? Check out our free Sales Acceleration Buyer’s Guide to identify key opportunities to help your sales reps win more deals.
Jesse WestDirector of Lifecycle MarketingringDNA
Jesse Davis West is Director of Lifecycle Marketing at ringDNA, focusing on improving the experience and maximizing the lifetime value for customers across their entire journey. Drawing on 9 years of B2B marketing experience, Jesse is passionate about communication, branding and strategic marketing. He also plays a mean lead guitar and can throw down at karaoke.