How to Combine Inbound and Outbound Marketing to Create a Powerful Lead Funnel
I recently watched a talk by Mark Hunter of The Sales Hunter, which I loved because he suggested a novel approach to mixing inbound and outbound marketing to make your sales funnel flow faster. For many industries that have traditionally been reliant on a skilled sales team, mixing the two creates an ideal combination.
What’s interesting about inbound marketing is that it’s effective because it focuses on leads who already have a need and are looking for that need to be met. With inbound marketing you produce helpful content for those leads in many different channels and then introduce them to your solution for their need.
However, particularly if you’re selling expensive products or services, the need you’re trying to meet is far more customized than a simple consumer product. That’s where the telephone comes into play. Your inbound marketing is designed to qualify your leads and then, by getting the person on the phone, you can understand their needs and help them move towards a purchasing decision much faster. Here are some tips Mark gave for successfully employing this mixed-marketing strategy:
Having a strong presence on the right social media channels for your industry is key. It’s all about creating brand awareness and familiarity with customers, so when they have a need, they recognize the name of your company and know you may be able to fill their needs.
Once you’ve gotten a new lead, either because they’re interacting with you on social media or they’ve filled out a contact form on your website, you want to jump on that lead right away and engage with them in person. Getting phone numbers here, in addition to email addresses, gives you the ability to open a discussion with the customer immediately. Start the conversation with a question that fits your services. If you can understand their need, then you are able to show them your company can meet their need.
Once your customer is sure you understand their requirements, you’ve reached a point where they have confidence in your abilities. You’ve also instilled confidence that you’re attentive, available, and responsive to their concerns and needs. Reaching out over the phone to the leads social media has qualified for you, asking good questions, and listening is the way to create opportunities.
By reaching out to a qualified lead on the phone, asking questions, and showing them that you are interested in and understand their challenges, you’ve created an opportunity for business.
As with everything you do in a well-run business, you’ve created a process for your sales team that goes from interested buyer to qualified lead to opportunity and request for quote. This takes advantage of the best in modern digital marketing and traditional cold calling.
Mixing inbound and outbound marketing is a great way to both bolster and streamline your sales funnel, especially as more companies are largely relying on social media and neglecting traditional forms of advertising. When you call a potential contact, your business immediately stands out. They get a feeling and comfort level for who they’ll be dealing with.
Even if you don’t get someone on the phone, leaving a brief voicemail creates a positive first impression. Be short, specific, and clear as many people now convert their voicemail to text. Make sure you follow up after your voicemail with a related email. Most people need to be touched by marketing messages several times in order to turn into customers. If one of those touches is a phone call, then you’re establishing the human connection behind the social content machine.
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