Last week we talked about 6 things folks in b2b sales can do to go inbound and possibly end cold calling even when your company won't. This week, we round it out with another 5 ways to reduce your annoyance factor and increase your sales with an inbound mindset.
First off, if you are unfamiliar with some of the basics behind inbound vs outbound marketing, check out this infographic we published some time ago:
Part 1 of this heavily NON-contested debate talked about how you can bring about this change by:
- Getting social yourself
- Using LinkedIn to prospect and research
- Social Media Management Tools
- Email Drip Campaigns
But there's more... a lot more, so let's begin:
7 - Be Your Own Brand
The old school method of sales and marketing created a strange environment in regards to who owns the sale and contact. We used to collect business cards and store them in our Rolodexes or our day planners. Once the client signed, you were shuffled aside, and the relationship was transferred to production.
Today, with so many accessible and cheap social media management tools such as LinkedIn, we have been able to essentially toss the Rolodex, and grow our networks virtually, thereby making it impossible for businesses to take away your relationship once production kicks in. This is good for you and bad for them if they aren't evolving.
This is why personal brand development and management is so important. You can be your own brand by building a solid network and receiving strong public recommendations for your work. By doing this you circumvent your company's absence on social media, because if you personally have glowing public recommendations, people are going to want to transact with you. Your company becomes secondary...
You don't need to be a social media consultant to kill it on LInkedIn. You just need to work hard, deliver strong results, and put your customers first. They will GLADLY endorse and recommend YOU from there.
8 - Don't Cross Any Lines W/ Your Company
There is a really important distinction between walking the unbeaten path and corporate heresey.
Opening up your own blog without them knowing certainly crosses that line, so although you can acheive quite a bit by deploying your own inbound-ish campaign, you will always have limitations when your company won't get behind organic digital marketing as a viable lead conversion path.
On LinkedIn you can post articles or blogettes pretty simply by using their new Post feature: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/new -
I see this as a happy medium, but be careful not to post blog topics that they may see as overstepping your bounds as a salesperson. This is where repurposing their content can really propel you. If you have something awesome to give away (like a salary guide), write a brief paragraph about it and why it's important, then create a link to the online version or a call-to-action to set an appointment with you to get the hard copy.
SERIOUSLY, don't cross the line!
One of the biggest line-crossing mistakes I see people make is sharing too much information in public group forums. If you have an employer, it's probably not a good idea to openly share on a comment or otherwise that you're open to a new job or that you hate senior management because they have no leadership skills.
Be responsible. Always assume that somebody is watching you, and try not to irk them. That's how you lose privileges and stunt your growth before it even begins.
9 - Be Wary of Time Wasters
Posting in group forums all day and getting caught up in the Apple vs Android debate are huge time wasters. Be productive. Yes, if you're going to comment on something, make sure you read it first, but spending time finding quality materials is just as important as having a strong opinion.
10 - Protect "Primetime"
We've all been scolded for getting involved in non-revenue generating activities during Prime Time, and it may seem counterintuitive to an inbound campaign..
However, I believe that Prime Time is for calling... whether your leads are warm or stone-cold.
As I mentioned in Part 1 of this mini-series, you can utilize social media management tools to make this happen DURING these coveted hours without disturbing your other outbounder agendas.
If you can schedule your tweets or LinkedIn posts during the times of day when people are most likely to actually engage, you're in great shape, but if you let it onflict with your phone-pounding cold-calling rallies, you're going to get burned.
(We have used a number of these tools, including HootSuite and Hubspot, and prefer the latter, because it does everything else for us as well, and integrates seamlessly with the rest of our marketing. Best of all, it makes measuring and reporting our efforts an absolute breeze.)
11 - Show Them the Positive Bottom Line Results
Once you've gone inbound for 6 months or so, you should see the significant impact it has on your personal results. You'll very likely be jeered by your colleagues for taking these steps that seem unnecessary to them at the time, and once you prove them wrong, they'll either ask for help so they can do the same or call you lucky.
This is the time to take it to your management. Show them what you do differently and how they can get involved too. Inbound marketing works best in a team environment, and the more help help you can get from them, the better everybody does.
It's ALL about the Benjamins....
Look, you're in sales, and the number one most important metric for your boss to see from you is strong numbers.
Maybe you're already there and ready to bring them in on your gorgeous little secret, but we all know how difficult it can be to teach an old dog new tricks, even if the old ones are clearly no longer working. So, bring them resources to help them come to the same conclusions as you.
Ready for an inbound marketing assessment for YOUR business? Ready for digital organic marketing that works for you 24/7/365? Schedule an appointment today!
Learn more about inbound marketing for your business with this free ebook: