Inbound marketing can be effective for businesses across industries, but it can be especially useful for companies with a complex sales process and a lengthy sales cycle.
Inbound marketing is a great way to demystify sophisticated products and services and make prospects understand what problem you are solving and how.
More than shedding light on your offerings and educating your customers, inbound marketing can help you guide your audience through a complex sales process with multiple factors that influence their decision.
When You’re Selling More Than Pizza
Understanding the value of inbound marketing for your company becomes easier if we consider consumer behavior. When consumers are hungry and want to order pizza they search for local pizza joints who will deliver, make a quick choice, and place an order within minutes. They won’t spend nearly as much time on researching the pizza or the company offering it as they would an expensive software solution or a costly piece of equipment.
The more complex your sales process and offerings, the more effective inbound marketing can be for you. Inbound marketing can offer your customers all the information they seek early on in the buyers journey while they are actively researching products and services.
More than educating potential customers, it can provide the same information that company representatives or sales people usually provide, but at a lower cost.
Whether it comes in the form of blog posts, social content, or website content, inbound marketing can effectively answer the most important questions potential customers ask, in a direct and simple way that they can easily grasp.
How Lengthy Is Your Sales Cycle?
Customers can order a pizza in less than 5 minutes, but if they are thinking about buying a car they may research the market, comparing models, features, and prices for weeks or even months before contacting a dealership. And often, that is only the beginning of the sales process.
If you’re selling a product or service that can’t be delivered as soon as the "Buy" button is pressed, but one which has to be customized according to the needs and wishes of each customer, and that, like a car, may involve a viewing, test drive, as well as a face-to-face meeting with a sales person, inbound marketing helps you simplify a complex sales process. It does this by providing consumers with a wealth of information as well as guidance.
Your customers need to understand what you are offering, what benefits it has for them, how it can solve their problem, and what impact it can have on their lives. At the same time, examples of your product or service in action, which inbound marketing can help you present in an engaging way through text as well as video content and images, can make your sales pitch even more compelling.
Inbound marketing also enables you to highlight your company’s background and experience in an engaging, unobtrusive way, by weaving in into the guidance and advice you are providing.
The Bottom Line
Inbound marketing really works for companies with a complex sales process. More than that, it’s actually one of the most cost-effective ways for your company to educate and engage your prospective customers, all this in a compelling and persuasive way that can establish your company as a thought-leader in your industry.