One look at the web and it won’t take long for you to discover that many people in the B2B arena are dismissing outbound marketing entirely. They believe that the whole concept is dead and is something that has to be consigned to history. But this isn’t the case.
Outbound B2B marketing is back in style and it is making waves. This guide is going to go into why outbound B2B marketing remains a viable tactic for companies in all sectors.
Where are Marketers Going?
Inbound marketing tactics are all the rage at the moment. Supporting outbound marketing isn’t implying that inbound marketing is somehow no longer as effective. On the contrary, marketers should continue to invest in inbound tactics because they are effective at what they do.
But the answer isn’t to, in response, bury outbound marketing. If you are a business selling a complex product or service, with a high price tag to match, the worst thing you can do is to dismiss outbound marketing. A long sales cycle still benefits from outbound tactics.
The lesson you should learn immediately is that these tactics are not exclusive. You don’t have to choose between the two. It’s possible to implement both in order to concoct a complex and multi-talented sales process.
Begin By Looking at Your Sales Cycle
The average buyer today is intelligent. Most sales pitches don’t involve informing people about something they have never heard of before. Buyers are online and they are researching their purchases long before they come into contact with you. As leaders in their niches, buyers often know as much as the people pitching to them.
You are there to provide a personal touch. You are there to provide some order to the information they have gradually picked up over time.
So when do you begin adding in outbound marketing?
You have to study each lead and make an individual decision. There are no definitive answers here. Consider each lead as a better candidate for outbound marketing based on how often they interact with your concept. A high level of interaction is where outbound marketing really comes into its own because the lead is already familiar with your brand.
Who is Sales-Ready?
If you think that now is the time to hand over the reins to your sales team, stop right there. The reason why many companies are ineffective at what they do is because they assume that every person they interact with has the authority to make the purchase or the knowledge to make a buying decision.
There are multiple questions you have to answer before unleashing your sales team upon a lead:
- Can the person afford the product?
- Are they the person making the decision?
- Are they ready to buy?
Use Outbound Marketing as the Bridge
In-person sales and inbound marketing are distinctly different from each other. Bring these together using outbound marketing. It can be used to start the relationship. This is where you will answer the above questions.
This entire process will begin with the horrible realization that approximately 50% of your leads will fall into the category that says they are interested but not ready to actually buy. This is frustrating because you know you have them and there’s nothing you can do to hurry them along.
And how should you react to this?
The first thing you can do is to hand them over to the marketing department. Save them for later. Initiating a mad dash for sales early will only increase the chances of turning them away entirely. It can take over 10 contacts before someone actually makes a purchase.
Keep the contact points open by emailing them relevant information via your newsletter list. Continue to create that relationship without indicating you are desperate to make a sale. This is where your sales team has to be more concerned with people than on closing the deal.
If you don’t have a people-focused approach, you are putting yourself in a situation where you are not going to bring people under your spell. It’s why many corporations have discovered to adjust in the last decade.
Outbound marketing is far from dead. It may no longer be the key to bringing in prospects. There’s no doubt that it has taken something of a backseat role in recent years, and that’s okay.
You have to accept that the time taken between making first contact with a prospect and actually netting a sale is much longer than it ever was before. Using inbound and outbound marketing techniques, you need to mold that relationship.
How will you implement outbound marketing today?