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Inbound Sales: The Process & Best Practices


What Is Inbound Sales?

Inbound sales is a customer-centric approach that focuses on attracting and engaging potential customers through personalized, relevant content and interactions. 

Inbound sales teams use a variety of tactics and channels, including social media, email marketing, and content marketing, to draw customers toward their products or services.

Inbound Sales Process Basics

The inbound sales process covers the entire customer journey, from research and discovery to conversion and ongoing customer relationship management. Here are some common steps:

  • Identify the target audience: This involves researching and understanding the characteristics, behaviors, and needs of the people you want to sell to. 
  • Create relevant content: Develop blog posts, social media posts, videos, or other forms of content tailored to the interests and needs of your target audience.
  • Promote content: Use a variety of channels and tactics, such as social media, email marketing, and paid advertising, to get your content in front of your target audience.
  • Connect with prospects: Actively engage with potential customers through personalized, relevant interactions, such as connecting on social media, sending personalized emails, or participating in relevant online discussions.
  • Qualify leads: Typically the job of a sales development representative, qualifying leads involves identifying which potential customers are most likely to make a purchase.
  • Convert leads into customers: This could include:
    • Providing personalized demos or proposals
    • Offering special deals or incentives
    • Using other tactics tailored to individual leads’ specific needs and interests
  • Assess and optimize the process: Reviewing and adjusting your inbound sales strategy constantly allows for refinement of targeting and engagement tactics, tools, and technologies.

Inbound Sales Best Practices

By adopting best practices and using the right tools, you’ll streamline and optimize your inbound sales process, resulting in more qualified leads and conversions. 

Current best practices include:

  • Using customer relationship management (CRM) software: CRM software helps sales teams track and manage customer interactions. It provides a centralized location for customer data and enables more effective sales efforts.
  • Leveraging data and analytics: With data and analytics, sales teams gain insights into customer behavior and preferences. This allows them to personalize the sales process and identify potential leads more effectively.
  • Implement automation tools: Automation tools such as chatbots and conversational email can help sales teams streamline and optimize the sales process. As a result, they can handle more leads and conversions with less effort. Since most B2B businesses buy from the first vendor to respond, the extra speed automation provides is essential.
  • Connect online: Social media and other online platforms allow sales teams to engage potential customers directly, building relationships and increasing the likelihood of conversion.
  • Stay up to date: Industry trends and changes offer opportunities for sales professionals to adapt and improve the sales process as needed to stay competitive.

The Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Sales

Inbound sales is customer-centric, focusing on drawing customers toward their products or services through providing valuable content and information. These tactics provide value to potential customers and establish trust and credibility. 

In contrast, outbound sales tactics are a more traditional approach. This approach involves actively seeking out potential customers through tactics such as cold calling or direct mail. The risk with outbound sales is being viewed as intrusive rather than helpful.

Inbound sales can be taken to the next level by focusing on in-market sales, which bridges the gap between marketing and sales in a way that the other two options alone cannot.

Build a Better Inbound Sales Process With 6sense

Supporting the inbound sales process with the right technology helps B2B sales and marketing teams discover, prioritize, and engage with their best prospects. 

The right platform allows you to…

  • Easily identify and target the right prospects at the right time.
  • Optimize your sales process.
  • Drive growth for your business.

 …without forms, spam, or cold calls.

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