If you've spent much time working in sales, you might have noticed that the mindset of always needing to make a sale can do more harm than good. When a "sale" is the overall goal, pressure can start to build. But, isn’t selling what managing accounts is all about? For many, the answer would be yes. For me, the answer is no.
I don’t want to force anything to happen just for the benefit of my company - it makes me uncomfortable. It’s counterintuitive. When I meet with potential clients, I am intent on helping them address their unique needs and wants. If I can make that happen, great! If I can't, that’s okay too.
At Leighton Interactive, we follow an inbound methodology. While inbound marketing typically refers to online marketing efforts, I’ve applied the methodology to sales enablement. Here's how it works:
First, I attract potential clients who might benefit from our services. Businesses come across our company and services in a number of ways:
In short, businesses find us. If you're used to an outbound sales process, this might sound a little nuts, but it works! Potential clients discover what we do and can complete an online form or contact us via phone or email. In the attract stage, potential clients come to us. There’s zero pressure on either end.
The second stage is the convert stage. During this stage, potential clients and I meet and discuss new ideas and plans of action. My main priority in meeting with businesses is to listen – not sell them a service. I genuinely want to hear them. I want to hear everything: wants, needs, desires, problems, and everything in-between. It’s about forming relationships and trust.
From these meetings, I can advise them whether or not working with Leighton Interactive is right for them. If it’s not, I let them know. Inbound sales isn't right for every business, and when businesses have goals that don’t align with our services, that's okay. The last thing I want to do is waste anyone’s time or money.
There are multiple meetings that take place before moving to the next stage of “selling.” The first few meetings are about getting to know each other. The next meetings focus on how our services address a potential client’s needs.
The third stage is closing. It’s where we drop the word “potential.” Once we mutually agree on goals, services, timelines, and processes, it’s time for our partnership to officially begin. The paperwork is signed, and we begin working toward achieving the set goals.
The final stage is delight. This stage includes doing what clients ask and applying inbound in order to exceed their goals. I provide recommendations during this stage and continue building relationships and trust. This process is an evolution – it’s ongoing and takes time, which I love.
This is how I use inbound methodology to support sales enablement. It’s not conventional, but it works. Yes, I still “sell” Leighton Interactive’s services to clients, but the process is in their hands from start to finish.
As the Vice President, I build strong, personal relationships with each and every client that partners with Leighton Interactive. I love helping clients achieve their goals, dreams, and visions in ways they never thought possible. My daily schedule consists of meeting with clients, communicating client information to the inbound marketing team, and managing account managers. When I'm not busy with client work, I love to relax and spend time with my two amazing kids.