I am continually trying to convince salespeople that inbound website leads should be a priority.
Most salespeople still distrust B2B website leads, possibly because inbound web leads are relatively new. Also, salespeople have been trained to perform outbound sales and don’t know what to do with an inbound lead.
I want salespeople to not only have faith in inbound leads but make inbound leads a higher priority than outbound leads. The following are some reasons why inbound leads should be treated as the highest priority:
Less Work Involved
The beauty of an inbound lead is the lead typically already knows they need your product or services. They have recognized their need and identified your company as a possible fit as a solutions provider. As a salesperson, this means you need to do less work in selling your product or service. The prospect already knows they need a solution, now all a salesperson needs to do is differentiate from the competition and tailor a proposal that fits the prospect’s specific needs.
More Thoughtful Approach
An inbound lead has been more thoughtful about reaching out to your company. They likely performed research and are deliberate in contacting your firm.
Meanwhile, an outbound lead could just be committing to a sales conversation because it’s convenient or they are being polite—not really knowing much about your company and/or unique value proposition. Inbound B2B website leads typically have performed more due diligence and want to specifically speak to your firm about their pain points, issues, and requirements.
Brand Positioned Better
When a prospect is contacting your firm versus the other way around, your brand is positioned better. During the outbound prospecting process, it may appear that your firm is desperate for business or not working at capacity. With an inbound lead, your firm can play a “hard to get” strategy in which you are interviewing the prospect as much they are interviewing you. This positions your firm, and the brand itself, as more disciplined about the types of projects and clients you take on.
Studies have shown that the company who contacts the prospect first is most likely to win the business. It is important that salespeople not only make inbound leads their first priority but respond to inbound leads within an hour, at least during business hours. If a salesperson responds before a competitor’s salesperson, they can dictate and guide the project requirements much easier. The quicker you respond the more likely you will be the one that they measure other prospective vendors against.
Conclusion: Inbound = Gold!
In conclusion, inbound B2B website leads are most likely to close with less work and a much shorter sales cycle. I strongly encourage salespeople to simplify their lives and increase commissions by making inbound leads their top priority going forward.