Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville. My presentation covered the need for sales organizations to rethink the way they generate leads for their salespeople. The painful truth is that most B2B sales organizations rely almost entirely on their salespeople to drum up new business opportunities. As a result, salespeople are spending more and more time trying to find that rare qualified prospect and less time doing what they do best: finding needs and selling solutions.
In this digital world we live in, every marketer, lead generator, and sales organization needs to heed the advice that’s long been given to university professors:
Publish or perish.
Yes, professors must compete, too. If they don’t keep publishing, they might perish. If they aren’t continuously publishing their research findings, getting articles published in professional journals, or writing and publishing books, they can’t necessarily count on their job always being there. They have to consistently prove themselves in their area of expertise.
Things are no different for those of us in sales. If you aren’t publishing great content, showcasing your expertise, and being part of the conversation online, then you can’t count on your job, either. Why? Because the best prospects and top customers are spending more and more time researching online, searching for solutions and answers to their business problems. They are reading industry blogs, sharing articles on LinkedIn, and connecting with thought leaders when they’re ready to talk. If you’re not there, they’ll assume you’re a nobody.
Buyers don’t need a salesperson for a good portion of the sales process. They can make a lot of decisions prior to ever speaking with someone. And typically, by the time you get to them (if you ever do!), the buyer has already made quite a few decisions.
How to Introduce Buyers to Your Business Without Cold Calling
Inbound marketing is about being found online, reinforcing your stance as a true expert, warming up the relationship, and generating new and better leads for your salespeople to get out there and sell. When done right, inbound marketing can not only change the way you develop and interact with leads, but also shift your company culture for the better.
Marketing and sales departments will start having more strategic conversations when they ask, “What can we do to truly help our prospects and customers?” and “What information or expertise can we share that will increase their success?” The line between the two departments will slowly blur and they’ll find themselves working together more effectively toward a shared goal.
Publish or perish is a warning to all of us now. The online world has opened up new opportunities for those of us in marketing and sales to connect and engage on a daily basis with customers, prospects, and each other. From blogging to social media publishing to automated lead-nurturing emails… we have the technology to connect sooner and more often than ever before.
I leave you with this question:
What happens if you’re not publishing, and your competitors are?
If you're interested in learning more about how inbound marketing can increase the quality and quantity of your leads, schedule a 30-minute inbound marketing consultation today!