In this day in age, there are many challenges companies and their sales team face, several which can be described with the 5 following statements:
- Competition is fierce. There are too many of them
- Potential customers are skeptical and have a hard time trusting our sales team.
- Clients now have the power to find their own solution.
- Long sales cycles for high-ticket solutions.
- Low close rate as many leads fall out of the sales pipeline.
What is Inbound Sales?
Inbound Sales is a process that helps financial service firms along with their advisors to tackle these challenges. The process focuses on building trust through education and guidance throughout the buyer’s journey in order to shorten the sales cycle, increase lead retention and close more deals. Sales staff would use inbound marketing resources such as content and social media to enable inbound sales.
The typical sales process for a sales staff goes as follows:
- Prospecting: Reach out to prospects to do a presentation.
- Presentating: Sales Presentation about the solution that you are selling.
- Closing: Follow-ups so that they will buy.
Those who follow this typical/legacy sales process are living in the past and will end up having the 5 challenges that we mentioned at the beginning of this article because it doesn’t line up with how modern investors shop in this technologically driven world.
Back in the days, interested customers had to go consult a sales staff to have questions answered. Now, they can simply go online and find their answers through search engines and social media. The power has shifted from seller to buyer. Customers love this because they don’t have to deal with a pushy sales people and constantly be followed-up by them when they only wanted to gather preliminary information.
With Inbound Sales, the process focuses on the buyer’s journey and takes into consideration the modern buyer behaviour.
The Buyer’s Journey has 3 stages:
- Awareness Stage: The potential customer becomes aware of a challenge or goal. They are not at the stage where they are aware of your solution or business just yet. Actually, they may not be interested at all. Instead, they will focus their energy on educating themselves on the challenge or goal to better understand their situation.
- Consideration Stage: The potential customer has clearly defined what challenge they need to address or what goal they would want to achieve. They will start exploring and evaluating the different solutions that are available. At this stage, they may reach out to a sales person and share with them about their clearly defined challenge or goal to know more in depth about a specific investment solution such as pros and cons and if they are on the right track to finding the solution that best fit them.
- Decision Stage: The potential customer has identified what solution type or category that will best address their challenge or goal. They have a list of different solutions that fit their criteria and they will evaluate each supplier to know who they should invest with.
The legacy sales process focuses heavily on the decision stage. Sales members assume that in order to grab attention and sell, they need to do a demo/presentation to share about how successful their company is and how great their investment solutions are performing. But the truth is that hardly anyone is ready to make a decision right after that. This is why Inbound Sales is here today.
As part of the Inbound Sales Strategy, sales employees need to connect with prospects all the way back at the Awareness stage where they can provide relevant and helpful content to guide them towards the right decision accordingly. When you start building a relationship at the Awareness stage, your motive is seen as a trusted confidant who is simply there to help them make the right decision with their money.
Inbound Sales is shifting sales from selling to helping. By helping your prospects to identify their goals and challenges and guiding them towards the right type of investment solution, you will win far more business opportunities.