A new role will start emerging very soon in Canada – especially for bio/chemical/technology companies. This will affect any company that is a SaaS (Software as a Service) based company focused on B2B, or Large B2C product and services companies. The role will be mainly responsible for a combined department of sales and marketing, with a combined key performance indicator. It will also be part of the lean model of business operations.
Clients say they want leads, and they say they can close the leads, but past experience has proven that what they really want is revenue growth and they’re not great at closing the leads you’re getting them. So to create long term clients and to grow your business, you’re going to have to help them close leads too.
Here are some inbound sales services to consider adding if you want to retain your best clients.
Sales Process Re-Engineering
Start at the beginning by creating a remarkable experience all through your client’s sales process. This includes mapping their initial sales process, and then redesigning it to include better qualification processes, lead scoring mechanisms, integrated content delivery, more remarkable email communication, off ramps for unqualified prospects, co-creation sessions so their prospect feels involved in the process and a referral mechanism to drive even more revenue generation.
In addition to the strategy redesign work add in at least two or three training sessions with the sales team to introduce them to the new buyer behavior, their new sales process and the tools that go along with the new sales process. Give them a chance to test drive the process and then get back together with them to help work out questions, issues and implementation challenges. It’s important to let them know that they need to own this new process, not follow it blindly. It should be a living breathing process that they adjust over time.
Finally, this is a great tactic to tie in HubSpot CRM, Signals and Sidekick. The process should be created inside their CRM system (whichever one they use) and then the intelligence from the tools should be integrated into their new sales process. They’re also going to need to be trained on the new tools. All of these services are “pay for” services and should be part of your inbound sales retainer.
Sales Email Template Creation
One quick review of the emails being sent to prospects and you’ll notice that most clients do a fairly unremarkable job of communicating anything to anyone. An easy and highly effective way to upgrade a client’s communication with their prospects is by creating a series of well written email templates for each stage of the new sales process.
These templates are uploaded into the client’s CRM, and once the sales people are trained on the “hows and whys” behind each of the emails, they should start using them immediately. These new email templates have a way of expediting the sales process, getting new prospects excited and ensuring that everyone is telling the same story, the same way, at the same time. This does wonders for getting a consistent message out to your client’s prospects and makes sure the stories the sales people are telling are inspiring and action oriented.
Video Reference Reel Creation
Almost every business needs to provide references, but this process is time consuming, slows down the sales cycle and is annoying to your clients who unknowingly volunteer to be references.
So instead of having your clients bother their clients, work with them to create a reference reel they use towards the end of their new sales process. This video is proactively sent to prospects so they never need to ask for references later. The same people on the video are going to be the same people provided as references, so why call after they’ve already watched the video.
Inbound Sales Training and Ongoing Coaching
There is going to be a lot of “teaching old dogs, new tricks” so make sure you’ve planned for a series of ongoing sales training sessions. These can be group, or one-on-one, but you’re going to need them, so make sure you get paid to deliver them.
Let’s not kid ourselves. This is a major change management exercise. Some of these salespeople have been doing it their way for 20 years, and getting them to change is going to take time, patience and a lot of hard work. Make sure your client is all-in before you start and make sure they’re willing to back you up every step of the way.
When it comes to coaching, no two clients are created equally
Provide your client with a variety of training and coaching options and let them build their own program. Perhaps the combination of monthly group training for 60 minutes, weekly 30 minute huddles and one-on-one post prospect meeting calls is what the clients need to feel comfortable. Regardless of how it’s configured ongoing training is critical to getting the new inbound sales process and inbound sales tactics to stick.
Actionable Advice – Inbound agencies need to offer marketing and sales services if they want clients to realize the full value of the services you're delivering. The only way to keep clients long-term is to help them realize real business results no matter what it takes. Inbound sales services are the best way to supplement the obvious inbound marketing services to keep your clients year over year.