We regularly read posts on topics similar to this in hopes of finding a nugget of insight or a fresh idea to consider. Unfortunately, we don't often find anything new. So, I would like to try to change the thought paradigm a bit here. About 4 years ago, we coined a term we call Omnibound® . We already hear about and see people using the concepts we envision with Omnibound, but there didn't seem to be a common word or phrase to describe it.
Everyone in sales and marketing understands the terms outbound and inbound. Outbound is communication initiated by the company or salesperson. Conversely, inbound is driven by the buyer, who engages with your content and is in search of you.
We believe Omnibound® holistically ties these strategies together in one, easily understood word. We are happy to see that companies are beginning to integrate this approach. Of course, every formula is different based on your product, service, and go-to-market philosophy, but the principles of Onmibound don't change.
Having come from the manufacturing and industrial space and now serving the same, we know outbound tactics have been the traditional means of finding and securing new business: trade shows, cold calling, networking, and similar person-to-person engagements are tried and true methods. We are happy to see that manufacturers are starting to see the value of utilizing both outbound and inbound marketing. But, there still is some resistance to change and I hear statements like - "my customers don't look for me on the Internet." The good news? I'm hearing it less and less.
With all of this in mind, let's look at three key points you should consider when deploying your sales and marketing process.
Scalability: Whatever process you implement, the output from the effort must be "scalable" to your marketing efforts as a whole. It's an iterative process, requiring reflection and revision to get it just right.
You can can only assure the process is scalable through metrics and measurement, and it takes time. Start by defining a process that combines inbound marketing tactics with inbound insights. You'll use the insights gained to drive outbound sales engagements. To know how it is working, you have to measure it, and then you can optimize the process. It will not happen overnight, but be patient and let the data do the talking. Trial and error, correction, and implementation will be your standard course of action over and over. In short, whatever the end result, the process must be scalable, repeatable, and measurable.
Technology: Deploying the correct technologies is critical: marketing automation tools are no longer "nice to haves," they are "must haves." Tools like Hubspot, integrated with a CRM that's right-sized for your company will truly close the loop on sales and marketing. Still, it's not always easy to make the change. Less than a month ago, for example, the head of sales and marketing of a manufacturing company told me that he's been doing his job "for years without this technology and it has been just fine;" although, the company had just deployed these very tools. Based on his comment, I am wondering how well this deployment is going to work, which leads to my next point.
Adoption: This is probably the most important point of all. If you don't endorse and actively adopt the process, tools, and philosophy, it is doomed to fail. If that's the case, I would suggest you just save the money, keep doing it the the "old" way, and accept that your growth potential may never be realized.
This may be acceptable for some organizations; but, if you are looking to drive your business to the next level, adopting the right tools and deploying them correctly is critical. Your competitors are already doing it.
The key is your entire organization must take full ownership of the new process to benefit from the 360-degree view Omnibound offers. It can't just be the marketing team - sales must adopt the CRM technology in order to effectively use the information and leads that marketing provides. What's more, accountability must come from the top down. To put it in manufacturing operations terms, the operations team is expected to follow production systems. This includes order entry, engineering, work orders, operational procedures, and the system that tracks it. You would not accept anything less from the manufacturing plant floor and management. The same level of accountability (with the repercussions that result from not using it) must occur with the systems put in place for sales and marketing.
The Omnibound approach has many moving parts and considerations - it's a shift from the usual ways of thinking about marketing and sales. If you'd like to learn more, please reach out to us. We know it works.