How to Use Inbound Marketing Within Sales, Marketing and Support
As an inbound marketer, sales rep or support rep, your goal is to attract new prospects to your company, engage them at scale, and delight them individually with service that resonates and inspires positive action (HubSpot). This is the mantra of inbound businesses that live and breathe customer focused operations. They see value in placing great importance on any process that acts as a touchpoint with the customer – or fosters customer rapport.
These processes effect a company’s number 1 resource, its repeat customers. And as such, should be arranged to not only appease existing clients, but to turn them into brand advocates.
This is true for every stage of the flywheel that the customer encounters. From the way you attract them, through to when you engage then delight them, your mission must be to guarantee – when the option comes for them to leave – that they feed your flywheel.
This will greatly assist your top-of-funnel marketing efforts, as you can use reviews and feedback to build clout with your marketing messages. If you don’t have this feedback yet, the goal of your marketing is to provide value through content that attracts users – like this blog piece.
How to Use Inbound in Marketing
They key is for marketing to understand and embrace the specific buying process used by prospective sales prospects. Part of the job of inbound marketers is to gain insight into the buyer’s need for information at every stage of the journey. Marketing can then pass the knowledge gained about each prospect’s unique needs, priorities and objections on to sales so that sales can engage qualified leads with greater insight and understanding of the specific requirements to close the sale.
When trying to convert top of funnel objectives that centre around generating awareness, you want only relevant leads to click through and visit your site. How do you get them there? You use relevant content at the right time – when they’re looking for it.
Before you start with any form of content or inbound marketing in your business, it is vital that you are ranking for the appropriate SEO keywords. There is a balance of trying to target keywords that people search for, and the readability of the text they see on your website. Posting relevant, regular blog or video content to your website will improve the SEO ranking for your site. When optimising your website and content, focus on keywords that are built around your products/services, what challenges you are solving for the visitor, how your products can help them, frequently asked questions, etc.
Content Development (Blogging and Premium Content Offers)
Content has moved far past just a way to get ahead of your competition. Blogging and premium content offers are now completely necessary for your digital inbound marketing strategy. Two main benefits of content marketing are; increased traffic to your site, and increased lead conversion.
Social media is not just for B2C companies. On average, B2B marketers who use Twitter and Facebook generate 2X as many leads as those who do not. Social media is a fantastic way to not only engage with your customers, but also attract new followers to your brand. Utilising social media as a lead generation tool is not only about posting content, but also monitoring your channels to see who is talking about your brand or industry.
Use a content strategy to build your authority across a range of topics within your industry. Try hone these to be as subject specific to your services as possible, but still relevant to your potential customer. Boost this content as ads and invest in building your awareness across social media, using methods such as personas to reach your target audience. Throughout each stage, you’ll be reporting and analysing these efforts to stay informed on what’s working and what needs to be improved.
Build on relationships formed over social media channels to continue conversations with prospects. These interactions can be furthered through emails, bots, live chat systems, or messaging apps. And should be used to increase the value of your brand by building yourself as an authority within your industry. Once you have established yourself as resource for industry information, use CTAs, forms and lead flows – to capture more information on prospects visiting your site. Use all of the tracked prospect and customer information in your CRM to personalise their website experience.
Create brand loyalty by targeting certain audiences with specific content using email and workflows on your website. By fitting their online interactions into one of your existing personas, you can customise customer journeys and deliver relevant, helpful material.
Landing Pages with Forms
This is the page that gives a teaser of the information that will be given to them in the premium content, but also includes a form that they need to fill out in order to get that premium level content.
Call to Action (CTA)
A CTA is just a button that is on your website or your blog. This call to action is telling the visitor what you want them to do next (i.e. Download our Insights, Watch the Video). When they click on this, it will take them to the landing page with the form you intend to capture their details with.
The final, and recurring stage of the inbound marketing cycle is often overlooked in favour of new business opportunities. When in reality, it should form the staple of your ‘Attract’ stage. If you not only ensure existing customer satisfaction, but you actively strive for it, you’re customers can become your biggest marketing asset.
People look for social proof when deciding which company to use for a specific service. So by providing a smooth transition from sales to support, remarkable content and consistent service – you will upset your services through recommendations from happy existing customers.
Using email marketing might go against the popular opinion that ‘email marketing is dead’. When used effectively, however, email is powerful tool that can be a great way to deliver the right information to the right person at the right time. This form of marketing automation makes it incredibly easy to align your sales and service team members to create contextual conversations with customers. Create memorable content by providing value through newsletters or material your prospects will share.
How to Use Inbound in Sales
Inbound salespeople attract new leads to grow their pipeline, engage with people who are ready to have conversations, and delight them with solutions to their problems. This is how you use inbound marketing within sales. But those that truely adopt the Inbound methodology know that it is about more than the client facing side.
Working with internal teams to inform their sales process, inbound salespeople invest their time in the transition between sales and support. This phase is key for seamless customer on-boarding – and can pave the way for ongoing customer relationships. It is then vital that the salesperson takes the initiative to inform the support team with unique information that is collected.
It’s all about showing your prospects they can trust you to help them solve their problems. When you use inbound marketing within sales, you must match prospect’s lead information with previous client case studies. By using this social proof within their approach, it adds understanding to their potential customer’s situation. This translates into a tailored approach that uses informed material to address a prospect’s questions, doubts and objections.
Keep an easily accessible database of existing client case studies, and match these with prospect trigger events. These will help you turn cold client calls into warm, solutions-based discovery calls.
Keep in touch with the people you’re most focused on with email templates and sequences. Use ‘homework’ documents to track how much time people are spending with your content, and how invested they are. Then use meeting links for customers to easily schedule in a time on your calendar. Furthermore, use concise and scripted discovery calls to record and transcribe important information that could be used by the support team. And finally, automate parts of your sales process, so you can gather information prior to your interaction and respond to people faster.
In an aligned organisation, achieving the outcome of closing more satisfied customers in less time needs to be conducted with both ends of the pipeline. Marketing at the top, and Support at the bottom. Good sales are synonymous with good processes. Sales can help marketing improve their lead generation and qualification process by showing the marketing team which leads are higher quality (making it further along the sales process) and why. This brings the experience collected in sales’ ‘delight’ stage, and feeds it back into the ‘attract’ stage. Through improving the initial customer journey and re-attracting previous clients.
By having the two departments communicate with each other, you can improve sales outcomes by giving both sales and marketing a complete understanding of what’s working and what isn’t.
How to Use Inbound in Support
As an inbound service professional, you help your existing customers find answers to their questions, source innovative solution methods, and use the Hubspot service tool for task execution.
People look for answers to questions, and are now more empowered than ever to find them. If those questions are about your industry, products, goods or services, you’ll want them to look to you for answers. By using Hubspot’s Knowledge Base Tool and Strong Knowledge Strategy, you can provide this information in an interactive way. Publish meaningful solutions to commonly asked questions within your industry on your knowledge base.
With the ability to include rich media, such as video, audio and images, you can provide engaging material that answers your industry’s FAQs. This content can also be linked to your blogs or ‘attract’ stage content in marketing.
Knowledge based articles, however, might not always provide the information an existing client is looking for. This is where meetings and conversations are a necessity. By using Hubspot’s Tickets system, you can launch a live chat or use chat bots for when your customers request help and advice in real time.
Because you have the ability to know where and when someone is looking at a certain web page or knowledge article, you can create a chatbot that provides contextual, relevant answers and resources that may not normally live in the article itself. If the user requires a personal touch however, it is important to have yours or an expert’s calendar readily available. This centres your internal processes around the convenience of the customer – something they will undoubtedly notice.
What’s the best way to know if you’ve provided a positive customer experience? Ask. By having a measurable scale for customer feedback, you’ll be able to iterate your findings to your team using an efficient and accessible layout. By combining feedback scores with chat and email transcripts, you can refine and enrich your content across all of your persona’s customer journeys.