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by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

What is Inbound?

Inbound is the notion that rather than getting leads and meeting through outbound means, such as advertising, cold calling, unsolicited emails, etc. You undertake a strategy or tactics to obtain leads through inbound. In otherwords, your prospects come to you. 

As an aside, Digital Leadership Associates (DLA) does no outbound marketing. We get all of our leads through inbound.

Let’s look at the way sales and marketing used to work. You called somebody up, you get them interested in your proposition. You push for a demo, you push for a user visit etc, etc. You literally push them them down the funnel.

If we take the IBM qualification metric of BANT (Budget, Authority, Need and Timescale). The first call, the person you call is not BANT qualified. They don’t know about your product, it’s your job as sales and marketing professionals to create desire. But as you push the prospect down the funnel your task as a salesperson is to get more and more BANT measurement.

If you are lucky, maybe you called in high enough so maybe the person has Authority, during discovery maybe you can confirm Need. But further pushing and maybe a business case is required for budget and timescale.

Of course, if you didn’t get in high enough then maybe you still need to get Authority.

Flip that on it’s head. The world has changed, the internet, social media and mobile has given power to buyers. No longer do people need to sit and wait for your call, they can go online and do research themselves

In the past people would have phoned up a company and asked for a brochure, now they can go online and decide whom the short list should be, without you knowing. 

So how about we get these people who are looking for your products and services to contact you? That would be pretty neat?

The good news is that these people are searching on the internet and social media so as long as you are visible you should hook a few. Just a reminder, nobody likes being pitched at, the same reason why your outbound marketing isn’t working, so a few tips.

  1. You social profile needs to buyer centric. Put yourself in the shoes of your buyers, what is it would they be looking for? Not a heavy hitting salesman, somebody that can help them perhaps? An expert?
  2. Share and write insightful content. Let’s not forget that your buyers are looking for an expert not a corporate robot. So content should be interesting, insightful and educational. People ignore corporate content, we ignore it.
  3. Have a strong network so people share and amplify your content. Then you are more likely to be found by those prospects, better still, you should get referrals.

The difference with inbound is that these people will already have looked at others, worked out their requirements, probably even has an understanding of budget. In otherwise they should be fully BANT. Free leads that are full BANT sounds like magic? Here at DLA we are doing it and so can you. People like us Social Sell.

People who read this article also read these:

Social Selling – How You and The World has Changed

Why We Need to Channel our Sacha Fierce in Sales

Effective Employee Retention Strategies That Work


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