Over the years, Inside Sales has become the key success factor for companies selling SaaS, hosting services, and almost all online products. Some of the major users of Inside Sales include Hubspot, Close.io and SalesForce among others.
If you are a startup or someone trying to sell their product online, I am sure you would have thought of setting up an Inside Sales team (or already have one).
The next set of articles will tell you how to set up an Inside Sales team from scratch. Well, almost from scratch, if you can hire at least 2 people right away.
Why does your team need 2 Inside Sales people?
Hiring them now can help you plan and calculate the effectiveness of your Marketing Campaigns, the strength of your Sales Pitch, and the optimum contribution of your Team/Individual Performers.
Go ahead and hire 2-you’ll have your bases covered.
Before your Inside Sales team gets to work, you need to have the following things ready:
- A product that works well
- A website with relevant landing pages
- A marketing budget
A website ensures that the customers who are trying to find the product/service you provide will find your business. However, having specific landing pages will aid you in your online advertising activities by providing an attractive and holistic view of your offering in a single page view.
Now that you have your basics sorted, here’s how you go ahead:
Perfect your lead generation strategy:
Over the years, one of the main problems with sales leadership hiring is that talented and expensive sales people are found and then let loose on the field.
There is usually partial knowledge transfer in terms of customer profile, personas, and locations.
Questions like, where exactly can these people(customers) be found, how do sales people contact them- are very rarely answered, if answered at all.
Sales people who are excited about the new opportunity try to use their previous experience and watering holes to get to what they think is an ideal customer.
In an ideal case this works fine, but in most cases, it’s a sure path to failure. Then they try the next watering hole, and this keeps repeating unless they have found a match or something that at least works.
As a firm believer of “Sales people should only sell and not generate leads”, it’s the sales leaders responsibility to figure out how and from where can they can get leads to your closing team.
Depending upon your target market and your product, you can either set up a lead generation (cold calling/emailing) team or try the organic way.
Online/Organic/SEO/Content Marketing is what this article aims to help you with. There are some good ways to do this:
- Content and SEO
- Paid searches
- Referrals (if you already have a bunch of customers)
- Email Marketing
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing and distributing content for a targeted audience online. It is often used by businesses in order to:
- Attract attention and generate leads
- Expand their customer base
- Generate or increase online sales
- Increase brand awareness or credibility
- Engage an online community of users
This is exactly what we are trying to do- create business for other businesses. Content marketing is a cycle of providing value and receiving value in return. Unlike traditional ads and sales where the objective is to create a requirement and make sure we fulfill it or follow the “Always be shipping” mentality.
Content marketing provides value to the customer via articles, infographics, and snippets that help individuals or companies make more money by either improving a process or introducing them to a new concept.
To put it simply, create resources that would be of help to your target market without trying to push your product.
And in time, the customers will reach out to you. This is what we call Pull Marketing.
Content marketing is fairly simple
- Build a blog page
- Write article frequently
- Share it on Social media Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Medium (or any other platform where your customer may be)
- Create an infographic and re-share
Build a Blog Page
Considering you already have a website, it shouldn’t take much to add another page to it.
Consider this page to be independent of your website. Of course, the design can be the same but if there are no people dedicated to blogging, design, building subscribers, and sending newsletters among others things, this will not work in the long term.
For now, though, start with one person who is responsible for the blog and churns out at least two articles a week.
What should you write about?
Start with what problem your product or service solves. Why is it a problem? What are the various ways to solve this problem? What can you do? Write anything you want but don’t sell your product here, don’t even try.
Apart from the one above you should write about
- Keywords: Potential customers are searching for your services, and you should know what these keywords are. If you don’t know, try using the keyword planner option in your Google AdWords account. More about keyword planner here→ Keyword Planner
- Tech: You have used some kind of tech in building your product, service or website. It doesn’t have to be unique, but you must write about these. Write about what the issues are and how you go about resolving it.
- Inner Departments: Your company does various things including maintaining accounts (Accounting), hiring and keeping people happy (HR), selling (Sales), creating and deploying ads (Marketing)- write about these using the same format. What is the problem, what is the usual solution, and how your solution is different?
- Your industry: There are ever-changing innovations and complexities in your field that you would know how to address and educate your target audience about. You may also consider writing about:
- New laws that affect your industry
- Concepts and processes that have improved
- Financial news and assistance available for your industry
With that, you’ve covered the basics of content planning. The next step is crucial to make your carefully tailored content marketable for your audience, and ensuring that as many people as possible get to see it.
Scheduling your content for maximum reach.
Create a schedule to post these articles, for a minimum of twice a week and stick to it. At Nowfloats, we have the following schedule now
- About SEO – 1 in 3 days
- Keyword specific – 1 in 7 days
- Industry Related content – 1 in 10 days
- Departmental content – 1 in 10 days
Content – What qualifies as a good SEO optimized content?
Good, usable content is the first step towards organic leads, but it is essential that the structure of the article itself is built to attract searches and SEO.
Optimizing your blog for SEO is easier than it looks. All you need to do is:
- Have a good post heading – Preferably something that encompasses a long tail keyword in it or a sub-heading with a long-tail keyword in it. Sample
“10 Ways To Achieve Low-Cost SEO For Businesses”
- Alt-text for images – All images/featured images within your article should have a description which is not “download-image-copy-image1”, make sure this short description is related to the topic of your article.
- Meta-description – This is a 160 character description for your article. More like a tweet to describe what your article consists of and is relevant to for the search engine crawlers.
- External/Internal links: – This is important, read carefully. A website is assumed to be relevant if links from trustworthy websites point to it and links from this website/page points to other trustworthy websites. For example, Wikipedia is trustworthy, and a major influencer in your industry like Mark Zuckerberg in for Social Media or Warren Buffet in portfolio management.
- If such a website points to your article, then search engine assumes that your article is relevant. But like most things, don’t over do it. Let’s keep it at less than 10 links out for a 1500 word article.
- Page Title: Your page title and the post title can be the same. Just make sure it has the long tail keywords in them.
- URL: Search engines also read your URLs, so it is important to make sure that the title is present in the URL too.
- White Spaces: – It’s your friend! Search engines crawl to see if the content is human readable. Monstrous chunks of words are not. Give appropriate spaces between 2 to 4 line paragraphs.
- This was the first part of our Building Inside Sales series. The next article will be a How-To guide to building the blog itself.
If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about Inside Sales, you can check out our upcoming posts on paid searches, referrals and Email marketing.