Identifying active and passive buyers
Welcome back! Now that you’ve learned the Identify-Connect-Explore-Advise framework at a high level, let’s take a closer look at each stage individually, starting with the Identify stage.
During the Identify stage, legacy salespeople are unaware of which buyers are active in a buying journey. Legacy salespeople identify buyers they believe are a good fit for their offering and start calling those buyers randomly.
However, many buyers are already in the Awareness stage of the buying journey before they engage with salespeople. These active buyers are the best buyers to target first. But legacy salespeople fail to differentiate active buyers from passive buyers.
Inbound salespeople prioritize active buyers ahead of passive buyers. Inbound salespeople start with the buyers that are already in the Awareness stage of the buying journey. These buyers may have recently visited the company website, filled out a form, opened one of the salesperson’s emails, or left a clue of their need in some other way.
Inbound salespeople use all of the clues available to them to determine who might need their service. They find the blogs their buyers are reading. They read those blogs and comment on those blogs. Inbound salespeople find the LinkedIn groups their buyers ask questions in. They join those groups. They answer their questions. Inbound salespeople follow the thought leaders on Twitter that their buyers follow. They retweet insightful comments and content. Inbound salespeople may even contribute to their own company’s blog.
Not only do these activities help inbound salespeople identify active buyers, these actions also position inbound salespeople as thought leaders with their buyers. As inbound salespeople engage with buyers, they have more authority, credibility, and trust than legacy salespeople. Over time, more and more buyers reach out to inbound salespeople for guidance, advice, and to learn about how the salesperson can help them.
Only after all active buyers have been identified do inbound salespeople focus on identifying passive buyers. Inbound salespeople use information online to understand as much context as possible about these passive buyers before they reach out.
Tomorrow, we’ll take a closer look at the Connect stage of the inbound sales process. Don’t forget, inbound sales is customer focused—these days, it’s not “always be selling,” it’s “always be helping.”
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