Our first-ever DenamiCON defied expectations: from the keynote address by a former skeptic of inbound marketing to the plucky panelists, peppered with provocative attendee questions.
The number one lesson from DenamiCON?
How we buy has changed. How we sell needs to change – and inbound marketing is the key.
Keynote speaker, Björn Stansvik , Founder/CEO of MentorMate, described his journey from inbound skeptic to believer. Beginning with a traditional marketing mindset, Björn found himself being steered by his marketing team into an inbound methodology.
He was pleasantly surprised when a big deal walked in the door having found his mobile learning solution online. With expert input from Björn and the DenamiCON panelists, we've outlined the top four reasons why companies need to move to an inbound marketing approach.
But first, here's a quick highlight reel of the event.
Here are the top 4 takeaways for companies considering inbound marketing:
1. Inbound Reduces Time to Close Deals and Cost of Acquisition
Best-selling sales advocate, Jill Konrath, mentioned that in the new inbound paradigm, sales teams spend less time on outbound tactics and more time with qualified, better-informed leads.
Customers are coming in better informed and at a higher level of sales readiness. That's because your inbound marketing program capitalizes on how today's buyers are searching for solutions. They are finding you. That means:"The question isn't how do I get more customers? The question is how do I get better customers?"
- Your content is informing those future customers 24/7 – not just when your sales team is on the clock. Marketing automation does the heavy lifting of guiding leads through sales readiness stages.
- Sales can now triage leads more intelligently by seeing a buyer's specific journey through marketing campaigns and engagement points.
- Your sales team can personalize follow-ups and close messages, empowering them with specific and useful information.
2. Inbound Methodology Aligns Sales and Marketing Teams
Inbound has created a flow between sales and marketing where the funnel is less about a hand-off and more about a whole team approach to strategically nurturing leads (and customers). Both teams rely on one another and have more transparency into one another's goals and activities.
Clay Collins, Co-Founder/CEO of Leadpages, urged companies to break down the barrier between the marketing department and the customer – and the sales team needs to help make this happen.
Craig Pladson, Marketing Director of GoKart Labs, agreed."Marketers can make customer stories live in technicolor. But beyond creating sanitized personas, marketing needs to know which information sources customers are reading, and which spreadsheets they live in each day. Sales needs to keep bringing real-life stories to marketing and the rest of the organization."
"Sales people help marketing tell a good story and refine the value proposition. Marketing gets the message out to the right people at the right time. Now, it's less about if sales takes credit or marketing takes credit for a win. The lines are blurring because the teams are better aligned."
3. Inbound Marketing for Efficient Life-Cycle Marketing for Deeper Selling
The sale is never done: contracts come up for renewal; your customers mention new pain points; you're always improving old products and services or developing new ones.
Authentic Brand founder Jennifer Zick encouraged businesses to re-assess how they view existing customers.
With an inbound marketing platform like Hubspot, you can efficiently nurture your existing customers and keep them informed of new products and services tailored for their needs."Your current customers still have needs, and they already have jumped the relationship hurdle. Tap into them for more sales."
4. Your Authentic Story Drives Inbound Growth
Customers engage with brands differently than they did decades ago. Brands are becoming trusted advisors and influencers – not just providers of goods and services. The explosion of online search means that literally billions of people are looking on the internet for solutions to their unique problems.
And, of course, some of those several-billion seekers are your potential customers.
Companies need to create content that attracts, informs, and – ultimately – converts strangers into customers. As Björn Stansvik said:
Björn added that the more exposure your potential customers have to your solution and your company culture, the more receptive they will be to you."The old approach to content was company-centric. The new approach is about being topic-centric, based on your customers' needs."