Why Sales Directors Love Inbound Marketing for B2B
Find out how B2B inbound marketing can deliver the kind of leads that sales directors love! Inbound can boost conversion and produce measurable results.
Published: 13 Jan 2021
5 minutes read
It's no coincidence that as an inbound marketing agency most of our leads and enquiries come from sales managers and directors - most of whom have B2B sales teams that have been largely underwhelmed by marketing. This tended to be as a result of the business investing in traditional outbound marketing (like advertising, cold-calling, direct mail and telemarketing) which wasn't providing leads of good quality (or enough of them). This is why sales directors end up being won over by inbound marketing because:
- Inbound marketing is measurable
- Inbound marketing speeds up sales processes
- Inbound marketing improves conversions rates and increases deal size
23% of salespeople said what they need most from their marketing team is "better quality leads", while 15% of salespeople ranked "more leads" as their top need from marketers - which tells you a lot about what salespeople think of marketing efforts. So there's a real need for sales directors to want to shake things up by turning to a new way of doing things. Read the rest of the blog to find out more about each of the points listed and see if the inbound marketing method wins you over, too.
1. Inbound marketing is measurable
Inbound allows us to measure three key statistics:
- How many people visit your website?
- How many convert into leads
- How many of those leads turn into revenue?
You’ll notice that these stats cross the marketing and sales divide and the measurable relationship between activity and bottom line results is central to the inbound methodology.
As an agency using the HubSpot marketing platform we are able to report on how many website visitors are generated by the time we spend on social networks, from the blogs that we write, from the downloadable content that we gate behind forms. HubSpot provides total transparency. We know where every lead comes from, which activities are working and which are not working so well and what a lead costs. Crucially, because of the HubSpot CRM system we also know what programmes and tactics are generating revenue and how much each sale costs.
2. Inbound speeds up sales processes
This was brilliantly explained in a talk by Marcus Sheridan to a gathering of inbound agencies in Boston. Marcus ran a business selling fiberglass pools. His visits to potential customers used to take 3-4 hours because customers had a lot of questions (as you would if you were going to spend $30,000 of your hard-earned money to put something in your garden). After he'd invested time in his blog to answer the questions that his customers most commonly asked, his meetings were only half as long and enquiry to sale time dramatically reduced. Why? Because his prospects were now better informed and knew pretty much what they wanted, As a plus, as Marcus had taken time to provide useful, educational and helpful content, this influenced his prospects to buy from him.
The same principle works in B2B. The better educated a potential prospect and the more that they are provided with educational information that genuinely helps them to solve their pains and challenges, the quicker the decision-making process when it comes to purchasing.
Inbound marketing uses content to answer the questions that buyers have at every stage of the buying process - from defining the problem in the first place, to assessing options and short-listing potential suppliers – and then nurture them until they are warm for your sales team. This means that, with inbound, B2B marketers have the opportunity to produce better quality leads that sales people actually want to get their hands on.
3. Inbound marketing improves conversion rates and increases deal size
89% of B2B buyers start their research online and conduct at least 12 searches before engaging with a brand.
However, most B2B websites still don’t publish content that helps buyers at these early stages - which means they're missing out on a lot of opportunities. As all sales people know: the sooner that you can engage with a prospect, the more influence you have on the way that they see their problem and the shape of any potential solution.
Inbound uses content to match prospect information needs in these early stages and this engagement results in better conversions. Whilst overall 5% of leads generated through B2B websites convert into a sale, leads that are first touched by sales when the buyer has already created a tender document or identified specific requirements actually convert far less well. Leads which are identified in the initial research phase of the buying process are three or even four times more likely to convert. The good news doesn’t end there. Businesses who nurture leads make half as many more sales at a lesser cost than non-nurtured prospects.
Ultimately, companies adopting inbound marketing and inbound sales techniques enjoy a lower cost of sales and higher growth rates as a result. The bottom line is this: Good sales people are incredibly valuable and inbound marketing helps to elevate this value by making their role and the role of the marketing team much more productive.
If you are unfamiliar with the inbound marketing process our free guide 'An introduction to B2B inbound marketing' can help you get started. Download the guide for free today.
This blog was originally published in 2017 and has been updated in 2021 for correctness and quality.