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The Ins & Outs of Inbound Lead Sales

The Ins & Outs of Inbound Lead Sales

Understanding The Online Sales Funnel for Construction EquipmentYou’re getting lots of leads from your inbound marketing. That’s great. But is your sales team comfortable with those leads, and with the overall inbound lead management process? Are they closing those leads?

Inbound marketing is a very different process than traditional outbound efforts. These leads are already interested in your dealership or your specific products, at least to some degree. Your job is to meet them where they are and work with them from there to nurture their interest.

That requires a different perspective. And correspondingly, a different approach. We talked in an earlier blog about how you can do a better job of integrating your sales reps with your online marketing efforts. This article is just for you, sales reps, whether you’re a veteran or new in the role.

Here are some ways to hone your inbound lead management skills, so the leads you’re talking to are the ones that matter most, right now:

Purchasing “prospect lists” is out, ranking your inbound leads is in.

hot-and-cold-leads-faucetInbound marketing automatically gives you a huge boost, by eliminating “leads” who don’t care and aren’t interested. Nonetheless, the prospects you attract aren’t all equally high quality, or even equal in their potential sales value. You have to filter them before you spend time on personal follow up.

With a well-defined system in place, your sales team can make the most of every contact, sending the strongest to your reps and maintaining content-based engagement with the rest, to build a relationship that can lead to sales later on.

Selling is out, helping is in.

Pushy sales efforts can turn away online prospects in a heartbeat. They’re looking for answers to specific questions, tips, education. Every time you help them without trying to sell them something you build incremental trust and comfort. Your online content reinforces the value of your dealership as an authoritative, trusted source for credible, useful information. By the time the prospect is ready to buy, you’ll be the obvious choice.

When you talk to prospects, are you listening for ways to be helpful?

man-on-phone-3Trying to convince non-starters is out, efficient sales calls are in.  

By the time an inbound lead reaches your desk, you should have a good idea what that prospects wants and needs. If it turns out personal contact is premature, you can get off the phone quickly by encouraging them to continue reading your blog, emailing them a link to your next webinar, etc.

You haven’t invested a lot of phone time, and the time you spent wasn’t wasted because you’ve put them in touch with what they do need right now. Your dealership is still their best resource. You’re building trust.

Prematurely pestering the top dog is out, identifying their key influencers is in.

Rather than working to sidestep individuals who aren’t the final decision-maker, you should embrace them. Engage them, because they’re in a position to help you make the sale. If they’re gathering information online on behalf of the actual buyer, ask them why – what problem do they need to resolve? What are their broader goals?

Explain, using examples, why and how your equipment or after-market services are a great choice to help them address those issues. And keep listening. You’ll be better prepared when it’s time to speak with that top dog. And you’ll learn things that can help refine your online content, too. Better persona development will uncover behind-the-scenes targets who are actually critically-important influencers.

With appropriate lead ranking and distribution, and a focus on what’s “in” for those leads, you’ll be primed to close more inbound lead sales.

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