Without sales, your business would be nothing. No matter how awesome your products or services are, how incredible your customer service is, how clever you are at cutting costs and accounting…if you don’t make sales, you don’t make money and without money, your business will suffocate and die.
Sorry to be the bringer of doom or gloom – but it’s true.
And I am one of those people that will tell you how much I hate selling.
This is exactly why a healthy sales funnel is the key to long-term profitability and sustainability in business.
Let’s start with the basics.
Your current clients are your best clients. They know who you are, what you stand for, your work ethic and how your products and services work. Even if your clients don’t like you (very doubtful), psychologically people will default to what is familiar and keep sending work your way instead of taking the risk on somebody else unknown.
This makes this group of people THE easiest people to sell to. Keep in touch with your current clients, understand their pain points and work out how you can help them solve them with what you are offering. Without a doubt, your current clients should be delivering the majority of the hot leads into your business.
However, working with those you have already worked with won’t last forever…you also need to generate leads outside of your current customers.
“Inbound marketing is focused on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content and adding value at every stage in your customer’s buying journey. With inbound marketing, potential customers find you through channels like blogs, search engines, and social media.” – Hubspot
Inbound marketing has always been an important part of generating sales. However, as data protection continues to become tighter and new laws are continuously being released to limit the use of outbound sales, inbound marketing will become an ever more important part of lead generation.
Filling your sales funnel with inbound marketing will mean focusing on one thing – value. By creating value for your potential customers with the likes of insightful blog posts, social media and generally relevant content you will create hooks that grab their attention and will have them queuing and your door to work with you.
A great way to do this is through the use of a quiz. You will have seen them in many places.
Outbound, or more popularly known as sales, remains a hot way to build leads for your sales funnel. This is done through methods such as cold calling, cold emailing, attending events with potential clients in attendance and generally putting a face to the brand.
“Eww – sales” – many, many people.
Lots of people hate the idea of doing cold, hard sales. However, when combined with smart inbound marketing sales can bring a huge amount of value to your potential customers and make them want to work with you. Take for example that you have just written an AWESOME eBook that is going to tell Bob EXACTLY how to DOUBLE his profit, it’s even free. But despite your best inbound efforts, Bob simply doesn’t connect. However, Tom from your company just called Bob and told him about the eBook…now he has read it and wants to talk to you about how you could help him make even more profit.
Sales add a very human element to lead generation and are incredibly powerful. It might not be the most pleasant to do, but when combined with inbound content, it can gather you strong leads to feed your funnel with. Modern sales should never be about take, take, take but should include large elements of adding value.
This article has laid out the three routes to creating high-quality leads to feed your sales funnel. Using a combination approach of inbound and outbound to target current and new customers is the best approach to doing this.
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