"The truth is that inbound marketing is not a replacement for traditional prospecting activities. It’s a supplement to them."
How scandalous for an inbound marketer to push the idea that inbound marketing is not the saving grace for businesses.
But hey, I'm saying it!
The above quote came from an article with a really great title, "Salespeople: Inbound Marketing Alone Won't Save Your Ass".
I was inspired to write this post because I 100% agree with the article, and I want to share why.
But first a quick history.
I have been "doing" inbound marketing for almost 6 years. I was an early fan and user of HubSpot (the founders of which coined the phrase "inbound marketing"), and I have been an inbound marketing evangelist for as long as I have been a marketer.
I believe in inbound marketing and what it can do for organizations, especially when they take a comprehensive approach to incorporating it into their marketing and business strategy.
That being said, the author of the article were correct, inbound marketing alone WON'T save your ass. Yet, time and time again, I watch organizations bring inbound marketing into the mix believing that all of their marketing, sales and business growth problems will be solved. But shortly after, they are met with frustration, the finger pointing begins, and they ditch inbound to return what they had been doing, citing lack of results as the reason.
Now, we can go down a rabbit hole of reasons why an organization may not see results from inbound marketing. But that's not the point of this article (If you want to read something like that, leave a comment and I'll make it happen!)
The point I'm making here is that if you bring inbound marketing into your organization with the expectation that it will solve your sales and marketing woes, then you're setting yourself up for failure.
And here's why...
Inbound marketing doesn't close sales. Your sales people do.
Inbound marketing is a fantastic method to attract visitors, capture leads and convert customers (if that sounds pitchy it's because it's the common description of the inbound marketing methodology).
When inbound marketing is implemented and executed properly, it can drive more traffic and leads to your business. But ultimately it will take an interaction with a person to close the deal.
(Of course that's not the case with every organization. But most of our readers are selling high end services and products that typically include an interaction with a sales person to close the deal.)
Inbound marketing is a fantastic addition to an already fine tuned sales and marketing machine.
If you're already adept at generating leads and closing them into customers, then bringing in inbound marketing can be like adding jet fuel to the fire. Inbound marketing in these cases can help you drive a large quantity of relevant traffic and leads into your business, without breaking your bank.
The promise of inbound marketing is completely achievable.
But, if your sales and marketing machine is limping along, inbound marketing is most likely not going to be able to fix that. And that's where the mistake lies for most organizations.
If you're experiencing woes after introducing inbound marketing to your organization, then before you make any rash decisions, I invite you to look at the bigger picture first. Ask yourself:
- How effective is my organization at understanding the wants, needs, challenges, hopes and goals of my target audience? (I'm talking about Buyer Personas here)
- How effective is my marketing department at attracting the RIGHT type of people to our website, and turning them into leads?
- How effective are my sales people at doing their own prospecting?
- How effective are my sales people at engaging with our leads, providing them with great content and information to help them solve their unique problems?
Before you ditch inbound marketing, blame your marketing teams, or toss sales under the bus, look at your systems as a whole and examine where your weaknesses and gaps may lie.
I bet you'll find that you don't have an inbound marketing problem at all.
Looking for help identifying exactly where your problem areas are?
The most direct way to do that would be to hop on a no risk call with us, and we'll go through your marketing, sales and overall buisness growth systems and discuss possible problem areas. Click here or on the button below to set that up.