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The future is now: why you need Inbound Marketing and Inbound Sales
Before getting into the matter at hand, I want to give credit where credit is due. HubSpot director Dan Tyre's amazing June 6th talk at the Santiago HUG meetup inspired this blog.
Also, many thanks to Adolfo Ibáñez University’s CEI for hosting the great experience. Click here to find Dan’s presentation on SlideShare. It contains several stats that will make you think about selling and marketing right in 2017.
Do you remember what life was like in 2007? Apple released the first version of the iPhone, and Facebook had been around for only 3 years.
Fast forward 10 years, and one thing is certain: the future is now. Not in another decade or two years, but now. Want proof?
You can now buy cars out of vending machines. Carvana mails the keys, and you show up to get your wheels. From a vending machine.
An autonomous taxi drone will start ferrying passengers to and from the Dubai airport this July. The ride will take 23 minutes for one person carrying a small suitcase. This is not science fiction. This is actually happening.
A shot of the Ehang 184 taxi drone that will start ferrying passengers around Dubai in July. Jetsons, anyone?
The same thing is true for Marketing and Sales in 2017. The way people buy has changed 180 degrees compared to 2007.
- 10 years ago, business was still conducted based on gut feelings or instinct. Today 49% of high-performing marketing teams use predictive analytics. All decisions are data-based.
- In 2007 the way you bought was by talking to a sales rep. It wasn’t too enjoyable. In 2017 81% of shoppers conducted online research before making big purchases. The buyer has the power.
- Adblockers are costing publishers more than $20 billion in lost revenue. In addition, people reject invasive and brand-centered advertising.
- Marketers using automation generate 2X more leads than those using blast email software. Technology helps measure marketing ROI.
** Click here for tons of eye-opening marketing stats compiled by Hubspot.
To say the game has changed would be an understatement. But in 2017, some companies are still using traditional and outdated marketing methods.
Marketing and Sales in 2017: are you doing it wrong?
You see, people don’t care about products. Instead, they care about the problems products solve.
So they go to Google and start researching their problem. How to remodel my kitchen. Tips to increase employee retention. Best air-conditioners under $200. Risk management tools for mining companies, etc.
By the time that person meets with your sales rep, they know exactly what they want. So you got two questions: how do I get found, and how do I close the sale?
This is where Inbound Marketing and Sales come in. It is a holistic and data-driven methodology to attract and keep customers. The key is content and interactions that are relevant and helpful. Interruptive and brand-centered interactions repel people.
You solve the first question by answering your potential clients’ Google queries. This is the role of content. You want to get eyeballs, scale, and get prospects talking to other prospects.
This is how you attract people who don’t even know who you are and educate them before giving you any money. That is why having a blog is key in 2017.
If you manage to get someone to come back five to six times, you’ve got a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL). This guy is showing interest and trusts you because you talk about his needs.
Then it’s time to sell. According to Salesforce, it takes six to eight touches to generate a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). An SQL is someone ready or almost ready to buy.
Now comes the second question, how do I close the sale? The answer: by adding value to your SQL found online about your product or service on their own.
People already know what your product does. They want a better price. They want to know how your solution integrates with their existing systems. They want to see how to implement for the best return.
They want you to advise them on your solution.
So now you see Marketing and Sales need to work hand in hand to achieve business goals. Inbound calls this Smarketing.
To use a sports metaphor: Inbound Marketing throws a center pass, Inbound Sales scores the goal.
And underlying it all is technology in the form of a robust CRM. It's the only way to track, measure, and determine Smarketing ROI.
Gone are the days when Marketing was guesstimating or a cost unit. Now it’s just as if not more important than sales. Combining Inbound and automation makes it possible to determine and attribute business value.
MQLs aren’t good enough? Then Marketing needs to take a good look to find where things are going wrong. It could be that the content isn’t relevant enough, or you’re working with an atrophied database.
SQLs aren’t closing? Then Sales has to review how it engages with prospects ready to sign on the dotted line.
Inbound is revolutionizing Sales and Marketing in 2017 for two reasons. First, it sells the way people want to buy today.
Second, it introduces accountability between two areas that don’t talk to each other.
The rivalry between Sales and Marketing is so 2007. They need to work together: it’s easier, more beneficial, and makes sense. It helps sell faster. Inbound is the key to making this happen.
The future is now. Don’t get left behind.
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