As wonderful as all the hype is about inbound, lead gen, and the new way to sell to these leads, one important fact is being ignored.
While the tools have changed, information is available in the blink of a click, and leads are in huge supply, people, at their core, have not changed the way they buy.
Sure, they may be meeting with or speaking with salespeople later in their buying process. Sure, they may take longer to make decisions. Sure, they may be more diligent about spending their money. But the one thing that has not changed is that they still have some motivation - some compelling reason - to spend their money and spend it with you instead of someone else.
The rush to embrace inbound marketing comes with a false sense of security and a poorly grounded belief that the sale is somehow easier, faster and more demo-centric today.
Easier, faster and demo-centric leads to slower, price-driven and more difficult closing. Closing percentages are DOWN!
Remember, the motivation or compelling reason to buy has not disappeared. It's just that suddenly, too many marketing experts and writers, lured by the sexiness of inbound marketing, are simply skipping over what they were never responsible for in the first place.
When we ignore motivation, we turn back the clocks by about 50 years, and return to the purely transactional sale. The acronym was AIDA - Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. That's where the inbound marketing folks are taking it and it's not a good thing.
If you have a more expensive product or service than your competition - you're screwed with AIDA.
If you sell something that's an awful lot of money - period - you're screwed with AIDA.
If you have a new company, a new brand, a new product or a new technology - you're screwed with AIDA.
If you aren't the market leader, brand leader, or price leader - you're screwed with AIDA. You can get away with a transactional sale if you have the cheapest price or you are the logical choice. Anyone else? Oh-oh...
Embrace inbound. Embrace the leads. Embrace the tools. But don't be tempted to take the shortcuts that are a death sentence to winning business. The good news is that there is an abundance of leads. It quickly becomes bad news if you follow them up traditionally and allow your salespeople to sell them transactionally.
Getting found is the new way of identifying new business opportunities. A consultative, buyer-focused selling approach is the right way to leverage their compelling reasons to spend their money with you.