Do your sales processes align with how prospects buy?
When it comes to securing new accounts, the Internet has turned the buyer-seller relationship on its head. Yesterday, buyers depended on sellers for information. Consequently, sellers had an upper hand in structuring and guiding the sales process.
Today, information that buyers want or need is only a click away, and that means that power in the sales process has shifted to the buyer.
Is your agency’s sales process aligned with this shift? If not, it’s probably time to take a critical look at your buyer’s journey and how well prepared you are to accommodate that journey with your sales processes.
Introducing the World of Inbound Sales
While you are probably aware of what inbound marketing is, the concept of inbound sales may be new, and doing some climbing up the learning curve is worthwhile.
Inbound sales is all about an understanding that your buyer’s agenda—not your company’s—is going to be the driver as to whether or not you make a sale.
That means that it’s your responsibility to prioritize buyers that are active in a buying journey, and through a process of connecting with them, to build trust with personalized messaging and advice based on their interests or needs.
It means that when the buyer does indeed express interest, rather than go immediately for a close with a canned approach, you transition into exploration mode that results in a true understanding of how your agency can resolve their issues or help them meet their goals. And, it means that you’ll be personalizing your presentation to each buyer and adjusting your sales process to the buyer’s timeline … not yours.
Inbound Sales in Staffing Agencies and Recruiting Firms
Here are a few ideas for how you might use inbound sales to shake up your agency or firm’s sales process.
- Be laser focused on identifying the most appropriate and relevant buyers, in terms of industries, companies and personas at specific industries. That means no more cold calling from lists, for example.
- Deliver the right information to the buyer at the right time. For example, at the beginning of their journey, your information should be educational in nature, and at latter stages in their journey, your information can be advertorial.
- Be committed to helping buyers, rather than just selling to them. That means the death of canned presentations that are a reflection of your agenda, rather than that of your buyer.
- Explore solutions, rather than merely take orders.
- Prepare a proposal at the end of the buyer’s journey that’s a reflection of what you’ve learned about the buyer’s pain, your understanding of how/where/why you can solve that pain, leveraging the trust you’ve earned and the relationship that you’ve built.
- After a sale is made, continue to develop and build the relationship with new ideas, new content, and interactions that will continue to help buyers realize their goals.
Exploring the Inbound Sales Methodology in Greater Detail
In future blog posts, we’ll be discussing and exploring the inbound sales methodology, and offering some observations and insights for its application to the staffing world.
Even if the majority of your new business comes via word-of-mouth and referrals, the lessons of inbound sales still applies. For example, a buyer looking to build their sales staff might be considering an in-house recruiter versus using an agency, and rather than go for a close (“HIRE US!”), your approach might be more consultative in nature—helping them through this consideration process first before pitching them on your company.
We’ll also do some discussion about how digital technology plays a role in accommodating your buyers journey and the staffing agency marketing infrastructure you’ll need to keep up with your competitors.