In our blog Cold-calling is yesterday's news...what do you do instead?, we talked about how cold-calling is waning and inbound marketing is taking over.
You have to take your customers through a journey - which starts with the awareness of their problem and ends with a sale.
Here are the three most important stages of buyer's journey:
1. Awareness stage
This is the stage in which the prospect is starting to realise that they have a problem. They'll then do some research to understand their problem better.
This is where personalised content comes into play. If you have blogs, videos, online articles, white papers, or infographics that your potential customers can relate to, they're more likely to move to the next step, which is consideration.
Being sales-y at this stage won't be much help. Give them some space to make a considerate decision.
(Download our top three sales tips direct from the experts to improve the performance of your sales team.)
2. Consideration stage
At this stage, the prospect has a better understanding of their problem. They've given a name to their problem and defined it more precisely. For example, "it's hard to cook on weekdays and I end up spending $30 on fast food daily."
Then, the hunt begins for a solution. If you're thinking that this is now a good time to jump in with a pitch, calm down, they're not ready yet.
3. Decision stage
Determined to solve their problem, the customers are now creating a list of all the people and places who can offer them a solution.
This is the stage where customers will read online reviews and case studies, compare solutions and prices, and choose the vendor that fits their criteria.
(You might also like: Top 5 sales technologies you need to know about)
What does it mean from a sales perspective?
When your customers have gone through every stage of the buyer's journey, that is, expressed interest in your online articles, clicked on CTAs or have filled out forms, they're already aware of how great your product is - you just have to seal the deal.
This is the stage where they can be deemed as a Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs). In other words, they're ready to get sold to.
Your sales team is more likely to close a Sales Qualified Lead as compared to cold-calling a random prospect; one already needs you, the other doesn't even know they have needs.
Inbound approach is effective because your customers have gone through the awareness, consideration and decision stages and are actively looking for a solution to their problems.
The bottom line: Sales Qualified Leads are easier to close than cold-prospects - find them and close them.
Want some quick-fire sales tips?
Download our top three sales tips direct from the experts to improve the performance of your sales team.