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5 More Tactics to Help Inbound Sales Teams Succeed

sales-consultantThere are quite a few best practices inbound sales teams should be implementing in their day-to-day to see success they know they're capable of achieving. And as promised, we've got five more of those best practices for you below. Enjoy!

5 More Best Practices for Inbound Sales Teams

6) Be a sales educator, not a sales bully.

Because of the internet, we now live in a world where consumers can be just as educated, if not more so, than salespeople. There’s so much free information available out there, so you need to be the sales team that is creating that information. Be the classroom, the teacher, and the textbook. Do not fall back on the age-old tactic of being a sales bully.
 
You might be wondering, "Sales bully? What’s that?" What I'm talking about is being the over-the-top, push-the-product-like-crazy, "We're slashing prices!" sales guy. You know -- the one no one ever wants to buy from? In short: Don’t be that guy.

7) Implement assignment selling.

I can’t take full credit for this, since I learned about it from Marcus Sheridan (@thesaleslion), but I had to include it because it really does work like a charm. Any sales team not using assignment selling should be benched like a bad Browns quarterback (I won’t name any names).

Assignment selling boils down to giving your prospect a little homework before that first sales meeting. Perhaps this means you send them an ebook, or maybe you direct them to a few pertinent blog posts via email. Whatever it is, give them ample opportunity to learn about your products or services before the meeting or phone call so you can really focus on selling instead of teaching. Don’t be shy -- ask them to please read XYZ before your call on Tuesday. Go ahead. They won’t yell at you, I promise.

The best part about assignment selling is that the pieces of content you create for this purpose (ebooks, blog posts, landing pages, etc.) never stop working for you. There are tools out there on the internet that continue selling on your behalf, even when you’re fast asleep.

8) Be one with the phone.

Have you ever met a salesperson who, as soon as the phone rings, suddenly has to run out to lunch, use the restroom, or pick up their sick dog at the vet? (“I didn’t know you had a dog, Barry.”) These salespeople seem to be incredibly skilled at avoiding contact with the telephone. It’s pretty impressive, actually. I think the internet is partially to blame for this trend -- texts, email, and social media make it way too easy to hide.

Here at Wild Boy, we believe wholeheartedly in the power of human interaction, and it doesn’t get much more robotic and unfeeling than sending texts or emails.

Pick up the phone and let your prospects hear your beautiful voice. Yes, email and text messages have their place, and some clients hate the phone too. That’s fine! You don’t have to use the phone only and nothing else, but at least make that first contact via phone call and foster a true-blue, human-to-human connection.

9) Network in the real world and online.

I’m not trying to beat a dead horse here, but why oh why do we buy into this idea that the only way we can network in 2013 is via social media? Just because social media is a thing that exists doesn’t mean we can’t branch out and interact with people face-to-face too.

Get out of the office and attend local networking events through your city’s chamber. Keep business cards with you at all times so you can provide information about your company’s products and services at a second’s notice. Remember: Don’t be smarmy about it!

In the same vein, try to meet up in-person with members of your online network as well. If you’re attending a work conference, get contact information from your favorite Twitter followers or that guy who always posts great content in that one LinkedIn group and meet up for a drink. We met a ton of our social connects this summer at INBOUND 13 (and had a heckuva time).

10) Use your sales tools -- or get some.

There are some terrific tools out there, and it’d be a waste not to use at least some of them. If your marketing team is running a blog, use the blog as a sales tool. If they are publishing landing pages and offers, use them as a sales tool. If they’re using social media, use that as a sales tool and share content with your own followers.

HubSpot Sales is an awesome little tool that allows you to track emails, see when emails have been opened, and how often emails are read, which is incredibly useful in the sales profession. Then there’s the HubSpot Marketing Grader, Hootsuite, Dropbox ... I could go on forever. The fact is, there are free, cheap, and paid services out there, so find the ones that work best for you and use ‘em!

Well, that about wraps it up. There are leads to generate, sales to make, and clients to educate. If you want to be a highly successful salesperson or a member of a highly successful sales team, put these best practices into play.

Remember: There’s going to be a learning curve. You don’t have to start doing each of these immediately. In fact, that’d be pretty difficult to do. Work on mastering one or two at a time, and then move onto the next one(s). I promise it’ll be worth it for you and your company in the long run!

George Thomas is a listener, thinker, strategizer, avid podcast consumer, and inbound marketer for wildboy.co. He can be found on TwitterLinkedIn, and Google+.

So there they are -- a number of tips to help transform your sales reps into inbound sales experts. Know of any more best practices inbound salespeople should abide by?

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