15 Inbound Sales Strategies For The New Normal

Less than a year ago, sales representatives were the primary way of getting inbound leads. However, times have changed drastically since then, and we’re facing a world that doesn’t resemble itself from a mere six months before.

Like all other in-person workers, sales representatives are finding themselves unable to do their jobs because of shelter-in-place orders and offices opting for work-from-home options. Inbound marketing has become even more critical to keep a business afloat, but sales reps aren’t necessarily the best way to achieve this anymore.

How does a company get inbound leads then? Below, 15 contributors to Forbes Communications Council offer some inbound sales strategies for businesses that need new ways to cope with this “new normal.”

1. Develop An SEO Strategy

Companies need a long-term digital marketing strategy, specifically an SEO strategy. This is especially true for 2020 as more and more prospective customers are going online to meet their needs due to obvious reasons. It’s critical to understand and map relevant keywords to the stages of the buying funnel. Top-funnel keywords are drastically different from bottom-funnel converting keywords. – Steven Hua, MobileIron

2. Leverage Social Media Engagement

I recommend social media engagement. Customers will find ways to express their satisfaction and, even more often, their discontentment, and this outlet is typically via social media. It’s important for businesses to “listen” for mentions and priority keywords on social media platforms so they can be quick to engage. – Mason Burchette, Best Buy Metals

3. Create Omnichannel Content

Creating omnichannel content and building thought leadership through online events has worked as an inbound strategy for our business. By engaging on social media and putting out free information based on frequently asked questions (FAQs) we receive from prospects or clients, we have been able to organically increase the amount of inbound leads. Use data, like FAQs, to create the content needed. – Grace Montealegre, Persist Communications


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4. Partner With Influential Personalities

In today’s selling-from-home environment, follow the “two heads are better than one” strategy to bolster inbound. Team up with partners or key influential personalities in your market to generate strong “how-to/did-you-know” educational content and interactive online sessions that generate awareness for both parties. – Tony Thompson, Kemp

5. Create Content Around Customer Questions

Create content around the questions buyers are asking your sales reps. Buyers are educating themselves before talking with a sales rep. Therefore, identify the questions they are asking and the content they seek during their educational process. Then, produce that content and provide it to them online. Once educated, they will be more than qualified and ready to talk to your sales reps. – Alexi Lambert Leimbach, Xcellimark

6. Write Authoritative White Papers

Authoritative, non-promotional white papers on important topics relevant to the primary audience. Well-researched and well-written white papers on current trends, emerging tech and potential disruptors establish credibility and can even bypass gatekeepers and connect the sales team directly with decision-makers. White papers are evergreen content that works across marketing channels and for sales. – Sean Smith, Virtù b2b

7. Leverage Surveys, Enterprise Software

We use meaningful surveys coupled with enterprise software (Lookbooks). The survey provides an immediate “reason to call” for sales, while the subsequent results can be published as part of a thought leadership piece using the data as a hook and the visual and structural element of a Lookbook to create a curated micro journey that draws people in and drives greater SEO opportunities. – Genefa Murphy, Micro Focus

8. Start A Podcast

Starting a podcast is one of the best inbound marketing strategies in 2020. It provides you with opportunities to subtly drop information about your products or upcoming events. And if done right, listeners won’t see it as too salesy because they become familiar with your brand. You can also repurpose your content into blog posts, videos and social media quotes. – Liam Quinn, Reach Interactive

9. Build Keyword-Rich Content

My team and I have focused efforts on building keyword-rich content that allows for brand exposure to an earlier-stage buyer than our typical client before the pandemic. We leverage this content across all inbound channels (paid, organic, social) and it also has the added benefit of positioning us as thought leaders in our industry. – Jennifer Best, AAE Speakers

10. Organize Educational Webinars

Webinars can be a great way to gather a list of leads who are interested in a specific topic. By providing education and valuable content, you can attract potential clients through thought leadership and position yourself as an expert in that area. You can also engage directly with these prospects through the webinar, as well as host polls to learn more about these customers. – Roshni Wijayasinha, Foxquilt

11. Leverage Digital Drinking Wells

Digital drinking wells are a great option. Inbound marketers can create a “place” for prospects to come and mingle with buyers like them and speak with you in a personal fashion. Often, this means creating an online community, well-staffed with a helpful community manager who will facilitate these discussions. – Ajit Ghuman, Narvar

12. Create Personalized Videos

Videos have become crucial for our business. Not just standard educational video, but personalized ones that a person’s sales representative stars in. The sales rep talks in the video like they would talk to them in person while also showing videos and images of how our product can solve their problems. We aim for a 30-second video so it does not take up much of the person’s time. – Sarah Lero, Peerless Products Inc

13. Create High-Quality Guides

Create high-quality guides on a meaningful topic related to your product, service or industry, and require an email address in exchange for a download. This serves a twofold purpose. First, you’re collecting leads from prospective customers who already have a certain level of interest in your brand. Second, you’re providing actual value to your audience at a time when they need it most. – Melissa Kandel, little word studio

14. Take A Storytelling Approach

For businesses focused on sales, an effective inbound marketing strategy can be made through storytelling. This will not only help make your business relatable for the audience but also makes your brand humanized and interesting. Instead of taking a sales-focused approach, this storytelling approach can help create a long-lasting identity for your brand among your target audience. – Haseeb Tariq, Universal Music Group (ex Disney, Fox and Guess)

15. Combine Free And Premium Content

Develop integrated marketing campaigns that combine free and premium content that educates prospects on how to solve their challenges. Think holistically across web, social, ads, events, press, blog, podcast, videos, papers, email, webinars, references, etc. to drive volume over time. Develop an inbound sales dev with strong expertise on lead qualification and as a direct extension of marketing. – Alberto Farronato, Skydio

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