09 Feb Closing Sales
Welcome to post #5 in our series of blog posts on inbound marketing that focuses on closing sales.
Here are the topics we’ve covered so far, and a preview of the remaining ones:
- Why inbound marketing?
- Driving website traffic
- Capturing leads on your website
- Nurturing leads from inbound marketing
- Closing sales (this post)
- Selling more to existing customers
In the previous post you learned how to nurture leads. The ultimate goal of your nurturing programs is a sale. Whatever type of business you’re in, there are essentially two ways to sell: the e-commerce solution, where customers shop on their own, or through sales staff. Whichever method you use, there is a handful of strategies that can turn a contact into a customer.
If you have an e-commerce solution, which provides user interface, you also have an opportunity to consistently and automatically apply up-selling. Besides the product (or service) itself, you can present appropriate additional items or offers, and, if the purchase does not happen, make suggestions to the same customer when he or she returns, with the goal to close a sale. One of the most appropriate strategies is to offer the returning prospective customer the product or service at a special price as a limited time offer.
A lot of companies choose to have their sales contact a prospective customers before they are ready to buy. This can result in the sales staff quickly losing commitment if the lead is not a sure sale. For your business, it may mean losing potential customers who could otherwise have matured into buyers.
Make sure to prevent this by owning your communication with your leads until you see that they are ready to make a purchase, then bring in sales.
In practice, you need to make sure that your CRM system is able to analyze individual customer behavior based on different, sector-specific factors and give an indication of when the time is ripe to pass them on to the appropriate sales staff. A signal that no salesperson should be able to turn down.
If you do this right, your sales people will need to contact a large number of current leads that are more or less ready to purchase. By automating a lot of these routine calls, you free up resources and can let the sales staff concentrate on the important, decisive calls or visits – the ones that lead to results, and, in particular, commissions. Time can be saved by automating routine customer relationship management, and, in addition, sales staff will have a stronger incentive to take advantage of the company’s CRM system instead of seeing it as an instrument of surveillance or a waste of their time.
You have probably noted that a close cooperation between Sales and Marketing is crucial to the success of your business. Make sure to nurture this relationship, it will benefit your business in the long run. Find out how and a whole lot more about inbound marketing in our free guide, Leadsius guide to inbound marketing.
We’ll be back shortly with the final post in the inbound marketing blog series – Selling more to existing customers. Stay tuned!