To make it easier for you, I divided the article into 3 parts:
My first steps of how I started.
Places you can begin learning about Sales, Inbound Sales, and Marketing.
Main Points to Help You Develop Your Inbound Strategy and Increase Sales.
1. How I Started When I Was 16
I hate to sell, I really hate it. Getting a NO is a downer for me.
It all started 13 years ago, my childhood friend and I went searching for a job to save some money for a future trip. At that time, the internet was unsophisticated, and smartphones were nonexistent, so technology was unavailable to us in our search to find work.
One day, we decided to go to the main street of our town, Holon, and ask each store if they had any work for us to do. Back then, Sokolov street was a vast long road with many stores selling almost everything. There you could buy fashion, books, groceries, food and much more. After spending the whole day sweating and stopping by each of the stores, we raised a white flag. Seemingly, there was not one store that had any extra work that needed to be done. Neither was there a store interested in hiring 16-year-old teenagers. We felt a bit embarrassed, and it was disappointing for us.
Sweet Sixteen! We had to find a job and save some money and organize great parties.
2. Places you can begin learning about Sales, Inbound Sales, and Marketing.
Two years ago, the same type of experience returned. I decided to open a company that helps startups implement or improve their customer relationship management (CRM) operations by creating more automated sales processes (This role called in a company: “Sales Operations”).
Now, when you think about becoming a consultant in your company, you may think of a clear job title of something like a graphic designer, programmer, or even a sales trainer. However, knowing my title was different. I took a small niche within the field of sales, called sales operations, and converted it to outsourcing. Unfortunately, as a result, no one knew what I did or how I could genuinely help them.
In spite of this, after learning the core principles from marketing experts — defining my target market and personas in those relevant companies — I still wasn't clear enough about how I could get to a correct understanding of who genuinely needed my service and who did not.
I Had These Questions in My Mind:
How could I find the right companies and people who needed my help?
How could I approach those right people and their company, in a way where I would not annoy them?
How could I explain my value to a company?
The main question I had was how I could avoid spending time on unsuitable companies or people who wouldn’t be interested in what I had to offer and find me super annoying?
Then I remembered my telemarketing experience taught me that we should spend considerable time reaching out through cold calls to people who weren’t happy to hear us and that's without a doubt, not the salesperson I wanted to be.
I chose to start by learning and exploring Inbound — HubSpot Courses and Jolt School taught me new and creative Sales Methodologies
Sure, I did try to send cold emails and LinkedIn messages to see how people would react. Even when I was doing considerable research about any company or person, I spent a great deal of time without seeing good results.
Then my real journey started — my learning journey. I set a goal for myself to learn how to sell.
Two main points that supported me in that journey were HubSpot certificates and Jolt School.
Together with Resa from CacaoMedia- HubSpot Platinum Partner
HubSpot has made quite an astonishing change in the last decade. They re-invented the field of Marketing & Sales with new methodologies and practical tools, focusing on Inbound Marketing and Sales strategies.
Inbound marketing means interested leads actively contact you because they need your help to get a job done and have learned through various indirect means from you that you could be a solution to their problem (f.e. google search, content marketing such as YouTube videos, blog, social media posts and the like).
HubSpot managed to show salespeople how having an Inbound lead would be much stronger in the sales process.
Some of HubSpot's online free courses can be found below-
Inbound Sales Certification Course
Inbound Marketing Certification Course
Social media Certification Course
Jolt is a startup in Tel Aviv, which educates high tech professionals with relevant content and tools that universities couldn’t provide them. I would call it practical and short lessons to learn more quickly 21st-century skills, mostly related to technology. Sales and Marketing lessons are being taught a great deal at Jolt, so I decided to learn from the top sales professionals they hired to teach from all over the world.
Now, after a year, I can say that it helped me very much to overcome the fear of selling, I became less shy and heard a lot of different opinions from many speakers and smart students. It also brought me closer thanks to the fantastic people and a supportive community which dealt with problems similar to those I deal with.
Celebrating MOJI Course - Moderator of Jolt
3. Main Points to Help You Develop Your Inbound Strategy and Increase Sales
Get Exposed to the World
One of the things I thought when I started my business was that everyone in my field knows what my company does already. Logically, creating a website was my next step, strategizing, writing the content, and waiting for potential customers to knock on my door. Of course, I tried to contact companies and research about potential clients, but I did not doubt that all the people I knew who work in high tech, would unquestionably understand what I do, and how it brings value to companies. Still, that was my biggest mistake.
One year after I started, a friend told me that my Facebook page is neither available nor connected to my profile, although I remembered it was. While confirming what the friend told me, I was surprised to find out that my profile wasn't connected properly. Then, after it was changed, my profile got updated, and people started to congratulate me on my NEW JOB! REALLY?
Exposure can be telling people what you do, how you can help, publishing on social media daily, having coffee with interesting people and telling them about what you do and your aspirations.
Finally, you must ensure that every single potentially relevant person knows what you do precisely, but this is just the first step.
Gain People's Trust by Trying to Help Sincerely
Trust is a strong word, and so gaining people's trust won't happen so fast just by messaging or calling them.
Giving something can help you gain this trust. What do I mean?
We always suggest to potential clients a free audit and assessment of their CRM system (HubSpot or either Salesforce). Why? Because being helpful and giving them value is the foremost step which makes them trust us; this takes me about half an hour per client and shows my professional competencies while it’d be next to impossible for the client to do it himself. Those clients get to understand better their CRM systems, problems or any issues which I always back up with data and proofs; this is now a physical asset that I’ve given to them that they’ll have access to no matter if we start working together or not.
These potential clients saw my knowledge and understood the value of the project or how they can change some habits and mindsets to scale their sales in the future.
Let's Talk About It; People Are EVERYTHING.
People start companies, change entire industries, and other people's lives. If you don't know enough people, it's harder to make progress. So, for example, when I started to do many meetings, I noticed something interesting happened. I began to exist in the ecosystem. Suddenly, I met this guy who's connected to someone I helped some time ago, who's a friend of some friends who are community managers, and all are in the same circles. Once you know many people, you start to notice those circles, connecting to them, and even connecting and introducing people to each other.
Try to Have References Which Are Also Promoters
Having references that are also promoters is the hardest one, and I'm not sure I even made this stage. The highest level you can reach is to get your customers or network to become your promoters.
What does this mean exactly? Here are some examples.
Customers or other connections who would recommend you or tag you on Facebook without you asking for it
People who come consistently to your events and continue to talk about you
Relationships which give you suggestions for new business without any financial interest
People who are ready to invest a significant amount of time in your projects for free
At this time, I'm still researching and learning about the "how to do" part. Hopefully, there will be some insights to share with you soon.
Happy to hear your thoughts,