We get it – prospecting is no fun, especially cold calling. What if you never had to cold call again? What if the internet could supply your sales team with an unlimited number of qualified leads who are ready to buy a truck, parts or service? Sounds too good to be true, and it is. But that was the promise of the early digital or “inbound” marketing advocates.
Inbound marketing leverages internet search, social media and relevant content to draw customers to your website and eventually your dealership. But have inbound marketing benefits eliminated the need for cold calls, email and other outbound techniques? The answer is no, and here are the main reasons why. . .
Slow to Build and Generate Enough Qualified Leads
At the dawn of the digital marketing age, hopes were high inbound marketing would generate enough qualified leads to help sales departments meet their quotas. But experience has shown that's not the case. For inbound marketing to be successful by itself, you need to produce an immense amount of engaging content on a regular basis. This takes time and resources the average small or medium size business simply does not have.
In that same vein, it takes time for your content to circulate and gain critical mass. Search engines must crawl and index your site, traffic needs time to build and you need time to measure how well the content aligns with what their buyers are searching and refine accordingly.
Don’t give up building organic search traffic, but in meantime, use outbound tactics such as phone outreach and email to fill your sales pipeline with near-term opportunities.
Increased Digital Competition
The inbound playbook has been around for a while now and is being used more and more. What was once a wide-open landscape for marketing pioneers to pave a clear path to their buyers, is now a bustling commerce where multiple competitors are clamoring for attention. If you are in a competitive market, you know this all too well. Paid search budgets have increased as more bidders for the same keywords have entered the scene. Inventory listings scroll on endlessly, and whoever has the lowest price seems to win the click.
Digital is by no means on its way out, but with costs on the rise, savvy marketers are turning back to integrated strategies that combine the best of both worlds and get the most bang for the buck.
Inbound + Outbound = The Perfect Match
When you get both inbound and outbound marketing strategies working together, you can leverage the strengths and offset the weaknesses of each approach, filling your sales pipeline faster and on a continual basis.
An inbound strategy works great to attract buyers who are actively seeking trucks or parts online, especially if they are new to the area or the truck market. However selling commercial trucks is still a relationship game, which is why phone outreach and email follow-up can go a long way toward winning that next deal.
In its simplest form, an allbound strategy is a combination of inbound, outbound and nurture programs to generate new qualified leads:
Inbound to harness buyers searching online.
Outbound to supplement the sales pipeline and get in front of decision makers.
Both to nurture leads until they’re ready to buy.
Put into action, your allbound strategy might go something like this. . .
Cold calls on a targeted list to pinpoint decision makers and have one-to-one conversation that may lead to an immediate opportunity or, at the very least, permission to send email. Email gives you the ability to nurture that prospect through email that leverages the same relevant content developed for your inbound marketing. That in turn could drive retargeting paid search ads. Eventually the prospect will be in the market to buy and you’ll be the dealership they turn to. The combined allbound approach creates a powerful lead generation engine that’s constantly feeding your sales team.