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Inbound Marketing Methodology Step 3:  Close

What do you know about the inbound marketing methodology?  This is step 3 of our blog series focused on the 4 steps of the inbound marketing methodology: Attract, Convert, Close & Delight.  If you haven't read our main blog and step 1 and 2  yet, click here to get an complete overview of the inbound methodology.

The step "Close" of the inbound marketing methodology is very important. This is where we turn all those qualified visitors and leads into customers.  Closing a lead and converting them into a customer can be a long process in many industries as well. It can take from 5 to 12 contact moments to convert a lead to a sale.

Prioritize to remember that you need to continue to provide that premium content to your leads as they are going through their decision making process.  Your leads will be at very different stages in the buying process, therefore it is important to understand at what stage they are in order to deliver the right content, at the right place, and at the right time.  

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Questions to consider as part of your closing process:

  • Where did they convert as part of the buying process? If it’s more “top of the funnel (TOFU)”, you will want to provide them with more overview content, brand awareness content, etc. to help nurture them down the sales funnel.  If it’s more “bottom of the funnel BOFU”, you will want to share with them offers to help convert them into a customer much faster such as a demo, consultation, etc.

  • What is your sales cycle?  When implementing marketing automation, you want to make sure your sales cycle matches with your automation cycle.  If it takes someone 12 months to close from when they first convert, you should have your automation campaign match those 12 months.

  • What channels do they like to communicate on?  Consider whether they are active on social media.  If yes, try communicating with them directly through that channel.

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Tools to help with your inbound marketing efforts to close more leads into customers are:

  • Marketing Automation:  Marketing automation is the process of sending emails to individuals over a certain period of time to get them closer to the purchase part of the process.  Consider how long it takes someone to close, and what content is most important to them.

  • Lead Nurturing/Dynamic Content:  This is different from marketing automation, but is often confused with that terminology.  Lead nurturing is about providing the right content either through email, on your website or through social media to ensure you are targeting the right individuals with the right content.  You can do this through dynamic content that will automatically change the content delivered to the individual based on where they are in the lifecycle.  

  • Sales Alignment including Lead Scoring:  Utilize techniques like lead scoring to identify which leads are ready to move to sales.  In addition, your team should create an SLA (Service Level Agreement) between sales and marketing which will help to align both teams together in lead generation and lead conversion efforts.

  • CRM:  Every company needs a CRM, regardless of how big or small you are.  A CRM will help your sales people to follow up with opportunities and leads, and track where their deals are in the pipeline. Learn more about the HubSpot CRM.

  • Analytics:  Finally, analytics are crucial to every part of the process.  Closed-loop analytics will help you see what content is generating the right leads and customers into your pipeline.  It will also help determine where individuals are in the buying process so you can streamline your nurturing and automation program.

The Close stage of the inbound marketing methodology is no longer only for sales people.  Marketing is getting more and more involved in this process to help sales deliver the right content to prospects, and provide sales with better insights on leads and opportunities.  

 

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