Sales prospecting is getting harder, power has long-since shifted from seller to buyer. Just like inbound marketing has gotten rid of annoying outbound marketing tactics, inbound sales is beginning to change the sales process for the better.
According to this year’s State of Inbound report, the top issues Salespeople are still finding most difficult are getting a response from prospects, closing deals, and prospecting good quality leads.
Why? Well, the report states that sales folk find it harder when leads aren’t well-educated on the sales topic. People don’t buy like they used to, they shop through social networks on their mobile devices for speed and convenience, and conduct their own research for the products they want or need.
Leads who are already well-nurtured and educated are much easier to sell to. These days, a buyer won’t be ready to purchase from you if they’ve not done their own research first.
Marketing believes inbound practices provide the highest quality leads for the sales team (59%). But the sales respondents believe referrals and sales-sourced leads are the best quality.
It’s important to remember that as people gain access to more information and become less interested in being sold to directly, better technologies are needed in order to successfully help them make a purchasing decision.
Despite this, salespeople continue to focus their priorities over the next 12 months primarily on closing more deals (71%), over improving their existing sales technologies (23%) or investing in a CRM (14%).
What’s more concerning is that the report says salespeople are spending more of their valuable time on data entry compared to last year. Up to 57% of respondents said they spend up to an hour per day on data entry.
So how do we change this?
Advise, don’t sell. Today’s prospects are better informed with higher expectations of the sales interaction than ever before. They’re looking for a personalised, helpful experience from a trusted advisor with quick response times, not a pushy sales rep.
Being aware of this and having the right processes, technologies and training will help you know what your buyers are already looking for, so you can advise them.
It’s wise to put a bigger investment into integration-friendly tools and sales and marketing alignment. With the latest technology, salespeople can mix more inbound strategies with their outbound sales processes, work more collaboratively with marketing, make better prospecting decisions, and nurture more quality leads to a purchasing decision.