Earlier blogs in our Inbound Marketing Trends series examined the future of inbound marketing as a whole as well as that of the content marketing discipline. Today, we continue our examination of the future of the many facets of inbound marketing by speaking with Kuno Creative’s sales experts, Strategic Accounts Managers Stephanie Kapera and Bill Arnold.
See what they say salespeople should be prepared for in 2014 below!
Stephanie: The biggest change is that educating potential customers about what inbound marketing is practically over. In the past, we’d have to convince potential customers they should be doing inbound marketing. Now they know they need inbound marketing in some form, and we’re asking, “Which services do you need? Which tactics can you do in-house, and which can we help you with?” That alone is going to make selling inbound marketing easier and more fun in 2014.
Bill: The new HubSpot COS is a game changer. After the initial engagement, return visitors will have a unique website experience that can be based on their industry, buyer persona or activity. It will allow you to present potential customers with information specifically directed to their needs and concerns. By providing the exact information potential customers need, companies can demonstrate they truly understand buyers’ needs. Salespeople must be able to explain just how great an impact the COS can have on lead generation.
Stephanie: There are a lot of new interesting and fun technologies for salespeople that didn't exist at the beginning of 2013—technologies like Signals. I think Signals is great because it gives you a notification when people open your email or when they're on your website.
For example, there was a prospect I had reached out to the other day who had been on our website but hadn't filled out a form. I reached out to him just to say, "Hey, I really like your website. You could do X, Y and Z." Using Signals, I saw which of our website pages he visited, which gave me insight into his thought process. That information is invaluable when you talk to a prospect because you know what he saw, you know which case studies he read.
I also really like Ebsta and Postwire. Postwire is my No. 1 tool because it's such a cool way to share sales collateral with potential customers. It's like a mini-website: You can put all your sales collateral on it and create a custom design, and you can track it through Hubspot or Google Analytics to see what’s been viewed.
Bill: Inbound marketing is the building of a relationship that begins long before you speak to the potential customer. It begins with the visitor coming to your website to seek a solution to a problem or concern. Providing that person with great content that addresses those needs will demonstrate that your company has the answers they need to be successful.
If you let the lead nurturing process work, the first time you do speak will be a different conversation. They will already know and respect the value you bring to the table. Know that you need to be engaging in a different, more collaborative conversation.
Stephanie: People will come to you with a whole mess of problems they need help with; you have to be able to help them within their budget. Yes, there are some potential customers I speak with where I would love more than anything to redo their websites, but they can't afford it. You can still help them. Inbound marketing does not have to be all or nothing.
It’s OK if potential customers don’t have the budget for an entirely new website. Sell them landing pages, refresh content on the website, make the website better in increments while you’re building lists and completing other strategic work. Have the expertise to put together a package that offers them the most value within their budget. Customers appreciate it. They really do.
We’ll be covering even more inbound marketing trends for 2014 in design, web development, technology and consulting with experts from the Kuno Creative team. Subscribe to the Brand & Capture blog now so you don’t miss these exclusive Q&A discussions with some of the brightest minds in inbound marketing!
What changes do you anticipate in inbound marketing sales in 2014? Share your insight in the comments below!
Photo Credit: Victor1558