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Inbound marketing vs traditional prospecting

Any marketing agency can tell you that traditional marketing tactics don’t work like they used to, evidence of which you may already be seeing in your business. Declining sales, complaints about your sales process, and low morale within the sales team are all symptoms of out-of-date marketing.

Inbound marketing opens up a whole new world of client acquisition possibilities. In this blog, our inbound marketing agency in Nashville explains the concepts and tools available to help you decide if an inbound marketing strategy is the right next step for your business.

What is inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing is the process of using helpful resources to entice clients to reach out to your company rather than proactively trying to gain their business. By educating potential clients through thoughtful content, you can help prospects be better informed about their buying decision, whether they choose your company or not.

How is inbound marketing different from traditional prospecting?

TV ads are an example of traditional prospecting – the process of throwing ads out into a general group of people and hoping some of them will want your product or service. Only a handful of people watching a TV show may have a need your business can meet, but even the few who do may feel annoyed that your business is interrupting their favorite show.

Instead of using your marketing dollars to speak to a wide and general audience, an inbound marketing strategy uses persona-based marketing to set your business up to be the solution they need when they are actively looking for it.

Where traditional prospecting is like hunting for clients, inbound marketing is more like farming: it’s all about cultivating a relationship of trust and goodwill.

Inbound marketing benefits

Traditional prospecting can leave a potential client feeling like you’re just one more business pestering them for money. On the other hand, inbound marketing is a generous way of finding clients that leaves them feeling like they benefited from an interaction with you even before buying.

Inbound marketing benefits

Puts your business in the right place at the right time for a customer

Any inbound marketing specialist will tell you there’s no better place to be than at the top of the Google results page when your ideal customer asks their question. With a content marketing strategy that includes elements like informative blog posts, your brand can show up to the prospective buyer looking for what you have to offer.

Increases positive perception

Offering free, useful information to potential clients leaves a good impression of your company with them: they remember you as helpful, knowledgeable, and expert. So when they need a solution you can offer again, they’re more likely to return to you because of that positive impression.

Provides a better chance at referrals

Even if that customer ends up choosing to buy with another business, the good impression will stay with them. They’re more likely to refer friends to you, especially if the company they ultimately chose isn’t working out as well as they’d hoped.

Is inbound marketing right for my business?

With caller ID, email spam blockers, and TV streaming with no commercials, traditional prospecting is less effective now than ever before. Thanks to the internet, inbound marketing strategies and tools can be game-changing for your business.

Ask yourself the following questions and consider whether consulting with an agency expert at developing inbound marketing strategies could help solve these problems for your business.

Are sales declining year over year?

If your business is still trying to find solid leads with these methods, it might feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack. By taking advantage of tools for finding warmer leads, you could deliver a box of needles to your sales team and save them a lot of time digging through the cold-lead haystacks. The warmer the lead, the better, regardless of the business sector you’re in.

Are you getting negative feedback about your sales process?

The frequent disappointment a salesperson faces when using traditional prospecting for good leads can cause frustration and desperation. This can lead to prospects feeling they were treated too aggressively. The more useful content you can provide for your ideal clients, the less likely you are to get complaints about negative interactions with your company.

While you should treat negative reviews seriously, one bad review doesn’t mean you need to change everything about your process either. Look for common themes among several reviews and use this data to decide what parts of your business need an upgrade.

Does your sales team have low morale?

Maintaining a successful business with outdated, traditional prospecting tactics is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Telling your sales team that they need to work harder won’t help if the process is the problem. This frustration and lack of results are avoidable with the right sales tools to find warmer leads who are actually interested in your product.

Do you have a high churn rate?

A high churn rate – or customer turnover rate – means that your business isn’t maximizing the lifelong value of each customer. The longer you can keep a current client coming back for more of your effective solutions, the less time your business has to spend finding more clients.

Does this sound familiar?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, an inbound marketing strategy could be the most effective solution to address that problem in your business. If implementing this strategy feels overwhelming, our inbound marketing agency can help.

How to implement an inbound marketing strategy

To put inbound marketing into practice, you have to shift your thinking from that of a hunter to that of a farmer. Instead of going out and snagging what prospects you can convince to choose your company, it’s critical that you cultivate the right messaging for the right prospect at the right time.

How to implement an inbound marketing strategy

Develop your sales criteria

Your product or service is exactly what a few specific people need, but there are a lot more people in the world who aren’t looking for it and thus aren’t worth wasting your time on. Understanding what your ideal customer looks like is extremely important because that knowledge will enable you to craft more customized messages for that ideal audience.

For help discovering who your ideal customer is, consider reading about persona-based marketing, which is a part of inbound marketing. Any good inbound marketing specialist can explain this further.

Create excellent content for your prospects

If you are able to educate and inform a potential client, they’ll have a positive perception of your business. The next time they need the product or service you offer, they’re much more likely to remember your brand.

This kind of education can be delivered through content marketing. Long-form content like SEO-friendly blogs can help your business get found on search engines. Other types of content marketing include infographics, webinars, Discord communities, videos, podcasts, and memes. An inbound marketing agency can help you develop a content creation plan as part of your inbound marketing strategy.

Implement a CRM system

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system helps your business keep track of leads, active deals, and communicate with them when the time is right. Over time, if done right, this will build trust in your business for the prospect.

One way a CRM can help your business earn the trust of your prospects is through automations that are triggered when a prospect takes certain actions. For example, if a prospect watches a free webinar your business created, you can set an automated email to go out to everyone who signed up with a link to the webinar so that they can watch or rewatch it any time they want.

A CRM system can help you with cold outreach as well, though we recommend advertising to potential leads first to start the brand awareness process. The possibilities are endless, but in order to start tracking prospect communications and sales metrics, and to connect automated triggers, you’ll need to find a CRM system that’s a good fit for your business.

Start running outreach campaigns

A prospect can’t hire you if they’ve never heard of you. In addition to showing up to potential clients organically in search, you can also send respectful and confident messaging through emails and ads to targeted prospects explaining how your products and services are truly a great fit for their needs.

This takes time to perfect, but starting slow, using A/B testing, and adapting along the way is a proven process for successfully bringing in more warm leads.

Upgrade your marketing strategy with help from an inbound marketing agency

Are you ready to create an inbound marketing strategy to find more warm leads to convert to clients for your business? Our Nashville inbound marketing agency is ready to help you. Contact us today to speak to an inbound marketing specialist.

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