Many people are aware that technology, specifically the internet, has changed how businesses buy goods and services forever. Google has replaced the Yellow Pages and most buyers have a good idea of what they want to buy and who they want to buy it from before having any contact with a salesperson.
The internet has flipped the equation in the business buying process – salespeople are no longer in control, buyers are. Fewer people are aware that the fallout from the Great Recession has only amplified the changes in the business buying process. Businesses have drastically reduced their headcounts and have tasked the remaining employees with becoming more productive.
A well-run inbound lead management program uses keyword strategies and search engine optimization to enable buyers to find them on the web. It creates great content, blogs frequently, and promotes its content via social media. It uses marketing automation to nurture leads until they are ready to talk to a salesperson.
Salespeople are still critical to the revenue generation process. Salespeople in an inbound lead generation environment are problem-solvers; helping people who are already familiar with their companies solve business problems. They use referrals to develop warm leads and coaches to help them through the sales process.
They use social media to expand their networks and promote their companies. They partner with the marketing team to fine-tune the marketing automation process. There's never been a better time to be a salesperson if you are working for a company that has a highly-tuned inbound lead generation program.