How can I get started with inbound sales?

03.08.2016 |

Episode #2 of the course Introduction to inbound sales by HubSpot Academy


In this class, we’ll cover some of the basic tactics and terminology that will be used throughout the rest of this course. In doing so, you’ll get some actionable ways to start thinking about (and executing) your inbound sales strategy. Here are the first two steps in defining an inbound sales methodology for your company.

1. Define your buyer’s journey

This is the “journey” that your target buyer takes when they’re finding a solution to their problem—a problem that your company solves. We’ll take a deep dive into this topic in the next class, but for now, use your experience with your existing customers to identify the optimal path to purchase. Should they be given a demo of your product as soon as they become a lead? Probably not. Should a sales rep offer to help them solve their problem? That sounds much better.

Whether your leads are coming “inbound” or not, an inbound sales methodology can still be executed. The sales cycle that starts off with an outreach to a passive buyer, and one that starts off through an inbound lead looks very similar after the initial conversation. A passive buyer might be made aware of your company through a phone call or email, but if they are interested, they will go to your website to research your company. An active buyer who came in as an inbound lead simply researches your company as a result of their own motivation.

What is important to distinguish is that outreach to a passive buyer must be helpful, holistic, and consultative in nature. Do your research ahead of time so that the conversation is personalized and truly valuable to the prospect.

2. Develop a sales process that supports that journey

As you’ll learn, inbound sales is all about context. Once you’ve outlined your buyer’s journey, only then can you define a sales process that ushers prospects through that journey toward becoming customers.

Your job as a sales rep (or sales manager) is to gain the trust of your prospects through content and your expertise. Salespeople have more in common with doctors than meets the eye.

While your doctor spends his or her career helping people take care of their health, you spend your career helping prospects grow their businesses. And it usually goes unnoticed, but your doctor is actually a terrific salesperson. A good doctor is an active listener, digs deep into pain, and prescribes the next step with confidence. As a result, they’re able to help the highest number of people in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of error.

Salespeople, take note. Doctors have aced the ability to qualify and disqualify within a slim margin of error, and we all have a lot to learn from them.

With this mindset, you’re now ready to learn how to execute an inbound sales methodology at your company or in your role. In the next class, we’ll discuss the buyer’s journey in detail.


Recommended book

“The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation” by Matthew Dixon & Brent Adamson


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