6 Main Reasons Why an Inbound Marketing Strategy Fails

6 Main Reasons Why an Inbound Marketing Strategy Fails

If you run a business, you’ve likely heard a lot about inbound marketing over the last couple years. Maybe you’ve even tried to implement a few tactics. If you haven’t seen the results you wanted from those efforts, though, it might be due to the following errors, all of which contribute to frustrating, ineffective, or failing inbound marketing efforts. How many of these traps have you fallen in with your marketing campaigns?

Inbound Marketing Strategies: Common Reasons Why a Inbound Marketing Strategy Fails

1. Jumping Into Inbound Marketing without a Adequate Strategy

When people hear about the power of inbound marketing, they often get (understandably) excited. However, if you launch straight into your inbound marketing efforts without adequate forethought and strategy, you could be setting yourself up for failure.

That is, you never want to fall victim to “shiny object syndrome”—where you go after the end goal before laying your foundation of fundamentals.

Don’t, therefore, focus on the amazing functionality of the software and create content based on that. Instead, ask yourself these questions:

  • Who is your business targeting?
  • Who do you want to connect with?
  • Where do you want to grow your business?

Once those questions have been adequately answered, you can start to create your buyer personas, around which you will tailor and create your content.

Complete this step first. Buyer personas are the cornerstone of your strategic plan, and failing to think them through contributes to many businesses failing in their inbound marketing efforts.

2. Inbound Marketing Strategies Fail by Not Creating Effective Buyer Personas

Buyer Personas are at the forefront to having success with inbound marketing. You must have a well executed buyer persona strategies in place before you consider creating content. Personas will provided the detailed roadmap for creating highly effective content for your target audience in the marketing and sales process. 

Do the necessary research to create a well-thought-out persona that will help you grow an area of your business that you’re particularly interested in developing, expanding, or implementing. 

Ask yourself what will give you the most financial yield, as increasing revenue up front will allow you greater freedom and ability to expand and grow the business down the road.

Than focus on building specific personas based upon your product or service growth model.

3. Creating a Lot of Content: Quantity over Quality

Content is most certainly king right now, but one of the biggest mistakes people make with inbound today is thinking that posting every day without fail will guarantee results.

Yes. Consistency is important when it comes to content, but your first aim should always (always) be quality. Every piece of content you release should be solving your potential customers’ problems. If a piece of content doesn’t do that or present any real value, don’t release it! The harm it can do by undermining your credibility in the eyes of leads far outweighs any advantage from merely ensuring your company puts something into the online space that day.

The bulk production of low-quality content takes a lot of your company’s time and effort but yields few results, which can quickly lead to frustration. Focus instead on always releasing the best, most valuable content possible—as often as you can without compromising quality.

Everything you release with your name attached to it becomes a representation of your company. Therefore, if people see low-quality content from you, they are going to assume you’re also a low-quality company. 

4. Creating Great Content—That Doesn’t Appeal to Your Personas

Most businesses have caught on by now that creating marketing content is not enough. That content needs to be interesting, valuable, educational, and engaging. 

However, what fewer businesses realize is that even creating the most high-quality content can be a mistake—if that content doesn’t appeal to your particular buyer personas.

Great content might get eyes on your site. It might get you followers on various social media channels.  But if that content doesn’t address the specific questions, needs, and interests of your carefully crafted buyer personas, it’s going to be ineffective or much less effective than it should be in terms of revenue.

Your content needs to be great, but perhaps even more importantly, remember that it needs to be great for your potential customer base.

5. Creating Content That Doesn’t Engage Your Personas

All your content creation campaigns should focus on how you can best engage with your personas. That doesn’t just mean you create content that answers their fundamental questions. (Though, that is a vital part of it.)

It means you need to figure out how to create content your potential customers are excited to consume—and increasingly that means delving into video.

With so many companies catching on to inbound marketing, there is a huge influx of content in the online space. And by and large, that wealth of content is text-based.

Video, however, is more engaging, is more likely to be viewed, and allows you to fit a huge amount of valuable information into a medium that only takes a few minutes to consume.

As inbound continues to evolve, one of the biggest upcoming upsets in the industry looks to be the supplementation of premium content and blogs with education-minded, persona-specific video content.

This generates interest in the information you’re looking to disseminate, and it quickly and effectively builds credibility and trust with your potential customers.

Spend some time thinking about these new forms of engaging content and what might be best for your business—podcasts, videos (embedded in site, blogs, e-books, etc.), interactive content, and more.

6. Handing Off Unqualified Leads to the Sales Team 

Once you are generating leads from your content, you have to then know how to nurture those leads. One of the biggest places people fall down here is by handing those leads off to the sales team too early in the sales cycle.

Even though inbound leads do tend to be higher quality, you have to ensure those leads are actually ready to talk to sales representatives. Many times, they are still gathering information and seeking valuable content rather than looking for a sales pitch.

This is why it’s crucial that your marketing team and sales team are in full alignment. If they collaborate on the content creation and have an agreement in place about the timing for handing off leads, you can avoid alienating and burning through those leads.

Inbound marketing can be extremely powerful but only when proper strategy and process underpin your entire campaign. If your company has decided to implement inbound marketing and you’re going it alone (rather than working with a professional inbound marketing consultant or agency), just remember how many resources are at your disposal.

If this is your first campaign, at least have somebody with inbound experience take a look at your overall strategy to let you know if you’re headed in the right direction. Plenty of marketers would be happy to provide this service. There’s no harm in asking for guidance, and you might just save yourself a significant amount of time, money, and effort in implementing ineffective or time-consuming methods. Inbound takes time and dedication to yield real results. Don’t unnecessarily delay that process by pushing forward with bad or nonexistent strategy.

For more information about how and why inbound marketing efforts fail or for guidance on your initial strategy, please feel free to contact a representative of Brand Fuzion today!

How to Make Your Website Your Best Selling Tool

How to Make Your Website Your Best Selling Tool

Your website is often one of the first ways a potential customer interacts with your company. For that reason, a website should always be viewed as much more than just a portal to place your business information. Rather, it’s an integral part of your brand, and when created and presented correctly, it can actually function as one of your most important, most effective selling tools.


Important Tactics to Ensure Your Website Is an Effective Sales Tool for Your Business


1. Make the Site Findable through Search Engine Queries


You can have the most professional, most brand-positive website imaginable, but if nobody can find you through search engine queries, that site simply isn’t going to be seen by that many people. The fewer eyes on your site, the less effective it is as a selling tool.

To ensure search engine visibility, pay attention to both your on-page SEO and off-page SEO. On-page SEO involves things such as using static URLs and naturally incorporating industry-relevant keywords in headers, content, URLs, and so on.

Off-page SEO is largely about link building. However, search engines are becoming progressively smarter about catching improper link building tactics, so the best approach is to create high-quality content that people voluntarily want to link to.


2. Fill the Site with Educational, Valuable Content


Every web page is an opportunity to provide value and information to your customers (and potential customers). If you shift your mind-set to view your website in this way, your site won’t just look nice. It will genuinely answer your consumers’ questions, solve their problems, and provide tangible value, thus heightening the overall impression of your brand.

To accomplish this, fill your site with:

  • Insightful blogs.
  • Premium downloadable content.
  • E-books.
  • Case studies.

Also make sure all educational content is easily accessible. Don’t bury the links on difficult-to-find pages or make downloading that content in any way counterintuitive. Don’t forget to double-check that all links are fully functional. You don’t ever want to put an unnecessary barrier between your potential customers and your content.

Content Creation for Your Buyer Personas

Content should be created specifically with your buyer personas in mind (through every stage of the buyer’s journey). This will ensure the content provides maximum value, is relevant to your site visitors, and educates them about issues they genuinely want answers to.

If you can properly identify the information your consumers want and then provide accurate, engaging answers to their questions on your site, you are positioning that site as one of your most powerful selling tools.


3. Your Website Content Must be Engaging 


Educational and valuable content does not automatically mean engaging content. What’s the difference? Educational content answers a consumer’s question. Engaging educational content answers a consumer’s question in a fun, memorable, or interactive way.

When moving forward with your content creation, keep in mind that one of the most effective forms of engaging content is video. Whether it’s posted within a blog or embedded on your home page, video entices and engages people far more than an uninterrupted block of text.

Why is engaging content so vitally important? Quite simply, it keeps people on your site longer, and the longer a person is interacting with your website and your content, the more opportunities there are for that person to go from a passive user to a lead. 

To facilitate multiple page views of your engaging content, don’t forget to incorporate a relevant and logical link system (from the home page to other website pages or blog posts).

4. Include Video in Your Website to Build Trust and Credibility


Video is certainly a subset of engaging content, but it’s so important it deserves a separate listing!

Videos keep visitors on your site longer, but even more importantly, videos keeps visitors engaged with your site longer. A person is simply less likely to take the time to read through a lengthy chunk of text, but that person very well might click on a video and watch for a few minutes. 

In this way, video is a great way to disseminate a lot of information in a condensed space. This allows you to address a lot of user questions and concerns quickly, thus providing that value in an accessible way.

Don’t just add video to add video, though. Just like text content, video content needs to be educational and provide concrete value to your customers to be a truly effective selling tool on your site.


5. Create Lead Generation and Customer Conversion through the Site


For your website to be the most effective selling tool possible, it needs to help you convert the people simply browsing your site into leads (and eventually customers).

To promote this lead conversion, ensure that every page—including every blog post—has a clear, relevant, and enticing call to action. That call to action should lead to a landing page where a user can fill out a form, pass on his or her contact information, and then subsequently receive a response from your company.

As with all aspects of your site, check that everything is working smoothly and correctly. Make sure the form on the landing page is easy to fill out and free of any errors, broken links, or other issues that would prohibit or discourage a person from completing the form. For example, every field in the form should be straightforward and clear. A person should never have to guess what a form is asking for. That’s a recipe for a lost lead.


6. Build a Clean Site with Easy-to-Navigate User Interface


Sometimes just having all the right elements on your site isn’t quite enough to promote user engagement and lead conversion. Those elements also need to be presented in the correct manner.

Call to actions are one such element. For maximum visibility and effectiveness, a call to action should be placed toward the top portion of your home page on the right-hand side. This visibility ensures it’s clear how people can get in touch with you.

In terms of navigability, make sure the information flows logically and easily from one section to the next. The home page should be particularly clear and to the point. Users should be able to scan that page and, within five seconds, determine how you can solve their problems.

In today’s increasingly competitive market, more and more companies are flooding the online space. That means every aspect of your brand—and that absolutely includes your website—needs to be consciously crafted as a selling tool. For many people engaging with your business, the website makes that important first impression. Ensure it’s a good one!








Was an Inbound Marketing Strategy Unsuccessful for Your business?

Was an Inbound Marketing Strategy Unsuccessful for Your business?

If your company has recently implemented any inbound marketing techniques, you’re not alone. Studies show nearly 85 percent of companies use at least some aspect of inbound marketing. With such a ubiquitous system, you’d assume it must be wildly successful for anyone who attempts it. But that’s not exactly the case.

Inbound marketing isn’t easy, and it’s not a quick fix. Without the proper expectations, you can become disillusioned with the time required to successfully grow and nurture this system. Inbound marketing requires patience and forethought—not only in implementing the individual elements but then letting those elements have enough time to work.

If you’re not using the right processes, systems, and strategies or properly aligning your marketing and sales teams, it’s very easy for this powerful tool to do little (or even nothing) for your business.

If any of this sounds familiar or if you’re at all frustrated with the results of your current inbound marketing efforts, this article is for you!


What Causes Inbound Marketing Strategy to Be Unsuccessful for an Organization?


1. Unclear or Undefined Inbound Marketing Strategy


A lot of businesses that don’t have the desired success with their inbound efforts have fallen into the same trap. They heard how powerful inbound marketing can be for a business, and they jumped into implementation without the proper forethought. That’s akin to leaving for a very specific destination without a map. If that’s your approach, you shouldn’t be surprised when you can’t find that destination—or it’s much more difficult than it needs to be.

The first step any serious inbound plan requires is a clearly defined set of goals and objectives. What exactly are you looking to get out of your inbound efforts? Be specific here. Don’t think revenue. Think how much revenue in exact dollars over an exact time frame. Don’t think lead generation. Think how many leads.

Like anything, inbound marketing is a tool, and it can be used effectively or not. If you understand how and where you want to grow revenue for your organization, inbound can do much more for you than a company without those defined parameters. 

Also clearly define and understand your target market and how you’re going to go about marketing to them. 

This first portion of this process is particularly strategic and should have the input of all major company stakeholders—from C-level executives to salespeople to marketers. The alignment and agreement of your sales and marketing teams is particularly important, and going about this properly can have a large positive effect on the success of your marketing efforts.


2. Unclear or Undefined Buyer Personas


A buyer persona is essentially a fictional representation of your ideal customer. 

  • Is there just one buyer persona?

Depending on your business, you could have many personas that you’re marketing to. Certainly start with one, and remember that one well-researched, accurate persona will do more for you than many thrown-together, vague personas.

  • Why are buyer personas important?

Clearly defining your personas is a process that allows you to think through the type of people who are looking to purchase your product or service. By identifying those groups, you know much more clearly and effectively what kind of content to create and how to go about promoting that content in a way that will attract people who are likely to become your customers.

Without putting in this detailed work to determine likely demographics of your customers, you won’t be able to identify their concerns, needs, and problems. That, in turn, means you can’t create the targeted and valuable content that addresses and answers those concerns, needs, and problems.

Ignoring buyer personas means you could be spending a lot of time, effort, and money on creating content that doesn’t speak to anybody who’s interested in your business. 


3. Lack of Sales and Marketing Alignment


Alignment between sales and marketing is vital to the success of your inbound efforts, but like anything, it has to be strategic and specific.

To aid with that specificity, create a service-level agreement between marketing and sales. This will spell out roles and clearly define goals. A document such as this ensures everyone moves forward on the same page. 


4. Ineffective (or Nonexistent) Content Strategy


Content creation should always be about working smarter—not necessarily harder. If your content isn’t producing the results you want, it’s probably not because of a lack of effort, expertise, or quality. Many companies put a lot of effort into making great content, but if it’s not geared toward people who are likely to buy your product, it could end up meaning a lot of wasted time and resources.

You must create content based on those well-defined buyer personas. Use your content to:

  • Answer questions those personas would likely have.
  • Create interest in products or services those personas are likely to purchase.
  • Grow revenue in targeted areas of your business. 

It’s also vital to understand that a persona’s needs and interests shift as that person goes through the buyer’s journey. You should, therefore, create content not only for each persona, but each persona at each stage of the purchasing process (top, middle, and bottom of the sales funnel). This ensures your content stays relevant and highly targeted to each persona over time.

Without this strategy, you’re just blindly creating content and hoping it appeals to enough people to hit your goals and financial benchmarks.


5. Dependence on Marketing Automation Tools


Many companies get very excited by marketing automation software and its capabilities when they start this inbound process. And understandably so. It’s a powerful tool.

But just like inbound is a tool, it is only as effective as the people using it.

If you expect automation tools to do the heavy lifting for your company, you are setting yourself up to be very disappointed in your inbound efforts.

Software is never a replacement for sound strategy and detailed methodologies. Perhaps the best way to ensure you don’t fall into this particular trap is by always starting with your strategy. Once the plan is in place, you can add the automation tools as a way to implement and enhance that plan.

For example, create your personas and the collection of persona-specific content first. Then you can use your software to automate when that content should be delivered, based on the potential customer’s behavior and progression through the buyer’s journey.


6. Poorly Integrated Marketing Automation Tools and CRM Systems


If the point of inbound marketing is to create compelling, educational content that follows potential customers through the buyer’s journey in order to convert them into paying customers, your automation tools and your CRM system must talk to each other effectively.

If the CRM system doesn’t alert salespeople to the valuable data that signifies where a person is within the sales cycle, it becomes unclear which of that targeted content is most appropriate at that moment. This breakdown in software communication leads to overall weakening of the inbound marketing system.

While inbound marketing was relatively unknown even five years ago, it has become extremely mainstream among businesses and corporations (of all sizes) today. If you’re not very strategic about implementing such a plan, though, you run the serious risk of seeing greatly reduced rewards from your inbound efforts—or even none at all.








Buyer Personas: Why They’re Important to Inbound Marketing and Sales Alignment

Buyer Personas: Why They’re Important to Inbound Marketing and Sales Alignment

Why do you think there is such a lack of commitment by many B2B businesses when it comes to creating detailed buyer personas?

Do you believe it’s because of internal struggles? Perhaps it’s a lack of understanding, commitment, or time. Then again, maybe the company simply doesn’t have 100 percent buy-in.

It amazes me how much time and how many resources companies spend on differentiating their brands, but minimal effort is expended to truly understand the DNA of their customers. The single greatest competitive advantage a business has is knowing their customers better than their customers know themselves.

Businesses that truly understand their customers have the ability to thrive in today’s economy. 


The Impact of Buyer Personas on Marketing and Sales Alignment


What Is a Buyer Persona?

A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. Personas are created and used by marketing and sales as road maps to understand, communicate with, and interact with an audience segment in greater detail. 

While personas are fictional, they are based on real customer interactions and data. They are formed through customers’ online behaviors, demographics, goals, roles, motivations, desires, and problems.

Why Buyer Personas Are Important

Uncovering buyer insight is a difficult task for today’s marketer, but it’s essential to creating effective buyer personas. 

Clearly identifying and understanding your customers’ DNA provides you with a great marketing and sales advantage. 

A recent study by Cintell, “A 2016 Benchmark Study on Understanding B2B Buyers,” indicated that organizations that create, implement, and consistently maintain personas are twice as likely to exceed lead and revenue goals than companies that don’t put in the work surrounding buyer personas.

Here are important reasons for creating personas and why they can be valuable to your organization. 


They serve as road maps for marketing and sales strategies.

Today’s buyers are rapidly evolving, making it increasing difficult for many B2B businesses to understand them. The ability to gain detailed insight about those buyers is imperative to effectively communicating with them based on their core needs. Understanding their behaviors, goals, and problems and how they are changing provides you a strategic road map for creating your personas. This, in turn, will tell you how to effectively communicate with them at different stages of the sales cycle.


They help you create valuable content for your buyer.

Clearly understanding your customers’ DNA is essential to creating quality content based on their core needs. In many cases, your personas will be different based on what stages they are in within the sales cycle. Creating content specific to where a persona is in the buyer’s journey is essential. This means you’ll need to create content not only for different buyers, but for the different stages of the journey for each of those buyers. This provides you the infrastructure to create content that is very specific to your personas. 


1. Align Marketing and Sales Functions

The creation (and impact) of buyer personas should not be limited to marketing departments. Personas are just as valuable, if not more so, to sales. 

Sales is the front-facing side of business, and salespeople have more interactions with clients than anyone else. Good salespeople can gain a great deal of insight on buyers in the sales process, and information can be highly valuable when developing personas.

Marketing and sales working collaboratively will create better-defined personas and more targeted content at different stages of the sales funnel. This provides sales with a more effective process to successfully communicate with and educate their different clients throughout the buyer’s journey.


2. Provide Sales Value to All Stakeholders

B2B companies today have an increased number of individuals involved in the buying process. This has made it increasingly difficult for salespeople to effectively articulate their core product or service values based on various needs of individual employees. 

Identifying and developing personas for individual stakeholders takes away the complexity and provides sales an effective system to communicate with individual buyers within an organization.


3. Use Personas for Brand Messaging

Companies that truly know their personas have the ability to provide a more targeted brand message that resonates with their customers.

This provides a great deal of value in the marketing and sales process.


Creating Buyer Personas

Research, surveys, and interviews of your target audience are all vital components to creating your personas. These personas encapsulate prospects, your existing customers, and potential target audiences you want to sell to in the future.

The following are some tactics to create effective buyer personas:


  • Gain Valuable Customer Insight from Your CRM and Marketing Automation Tools

It’s important to review your CRM and marketing automation tools to gather the necessary insight from your contact records. This provides you a lot of valuable information that can be incorporated in the persona creation process.


  • Interview Prospects and Customers

You should perform interviews in-person or over the phone to get detailed assessments of how they view your industry, brand, products, or services.  


  • Gather Sales Team and Customer Service Feedback

Your sales team and customer service representatives can provide you a great deal of valuable information when it comes to your potential and existing customers. Sales interaction with leads and existing clients can provide better information defining buyers, and how they perceive your brand, product and services. This feedback can be instrumental in creating personas.


Data Required for Creating Personas

When creating personas, there are multiple forms of data you should gather and utilize. The more detailed information you acquire, the better you’ll be able to create your personas.

In the research and interview phase, there are a number of factors you’re going to want to ask each prospect and client about. The following is a detailed list:

  • Drivers and motivations 
  • Demographic information 
  • Fears and challenges
  • Individual goals
  • Company goals
  • Buying habits
  • Role in the burying process
  • Role in the company
  • Hobbies and interests


Yes, creating personas is hard work, but the benefits are immense. If done correctly, the financial payoff can be more than worth the effort.

Remember, companies that exceed revenues goals are more than twice as likely to use personas for demand generation (the process of driving interest and awareness about a particular brand or company) than companies that don’t thoroughly undertake this process.


Sales Enablement|What it is and Why It’s Important to Growing Revenue

Sales Enablement|What it is and Why It’s Important to Growing Revenue

Today, more than ever before, buyers are increasingly controlling the burying process. Individuals have changed the way they make buying decisions.  For B2B businesses, 70% of the buying decision are made prior to contacting a company. Through consensus buying, employees communicate and come to decisions internally, without sales even aware that they’re a prospect. With this disconnect, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult for sales to control the buying process. This is where sales enablement comes in and how it can become a strong tool for your sales force.

Sales enablement is a concept that’s been around for a long time, but it’s a fairly broad and high-level term. That has, therefore, led to some confusion and ambiguity about what exactly it involves. In the broadest of its senses, sales enablement is about how you support your sales team’s efforts through the sales process, but as it pertains to inbound marketing, there are a lot of facets and nuance that go into that.

Defining Sales Enablement 

Sales enablement involves a systematic approach to the alignment of sales and marketing in order to implement processes and utilize technology and various other tools to increase overall performance and productivity—always with the goal of increasing sales conversions and revenue. 

Now, as stated, that’s very broad and high level. It’s not surprising there’s some confusion about what this term means and, more importantly, how to successfully implement it in your company.

With that in mind, the following is an overview not only of what this term means, but why it’s come about, why it’s important, and how exactly to harness its power to benefit your company.


How Has Buying Changed (and Affected Sales Enablement)?




It’s not news that the buying process is drastically different in the digital age. With the mainstreaming of the Internet and mobile search ability, potential customers are able to do the bulk of their preliminary product and services research before even contacting companies.

This means the buying landscape is now a customer-centric world. Rather than relying on salespeople for preliminary product information, customers can jump online and find that themselves. The zero moment of truth (the moment when a potential customer becomes interested enough in a product to initiate the research phase online) is largely done away from traditional sales teams. It’s done in people’s homes and (increasingly) on their cell phones.

While salespeople used to direct and control much of the buyer’s journey, that control and power are now more in the hands of the customers. Don’t think the shift is that dramatic yet? It’s projected that customers go through nearly 70 percent of the buying process before ever making initial contact with a company’s representative. 

Because the process has changed, many companies are changing right along with it. This is seen most notably in the increasing importance of an alignment between your marketing and sales teams. Companies are really starting to recognize the need for more discipline, cooperation, and cross-functional behavior between marketing and sales.

This is certainly not to say sales teams were mistaken or shortsighted in their previous approaches. Previous tactics were highly appropriate and effective for that particular buying landscape. The very geography of sales has changed, though, and sales enablement is simply a roadmap to help navigate and augment success in this new terrain.


Strategy versus Shift

One of the most important ideas to grasp with sales enablement is that it’s not a one-off experiment or some passing corporate strategy. It’s a reaction and shift to a real-world change in how people buy. It’s a full-time commitment to adapting the way you support sales—and think about selling—not just in one specific leg of the buyer’s journey, but throughout.

It is essential to understand, though, that this shift is not necessary because sales was doing the job “wrong.” Enablement is just a way to adapt established selling methods to a market that’s increasingly in the buyer’s control.


Why Is Sales Enablement Important?

When used effectively, this process provides the strategy, necessary communication, and processes to meet your buyers’ needs quickly and effectively. When that happens, it increases sales, results, productivity, and the bottom line.

When implemented effectively, this processes can yield better:

  • Alignment of marketing and sales.
  • Understanding of the buyer’s journey in today’s market.
  • Data and analytics to inform how to go about proceeding with a potential customer.

It also teaches every member of the team how to effectively use techniques, processes, software, and technology to aid sales in that ultimate goal of converting a potential customer into a customer.

Careful attention to analytical data (gathered through the enablement process) can even identify new revenue models or illuminate previously untapped sales channels.


Who Is Involved in Sales Enablement?

Many people think this is an approach for the entirety of the sales team, but that’s actually shortchanging the effectiveness of the process. This idea is for everyone in the company. That’s marketing teams, sales teams, managers—everyone. Enablement of sales is less about a specific formula for success and more about a holistic shift in mentality, and everyone in a company needs to be aware of and on board with this shift for it to work as well as it can.


What Does Sales Enablement Entail?

It’s already been established that sales enablement is a shift in corporate mentality, and it’s going to mean something different for every company in terms of application. However, there are some core, overarching areas that contribute to enablement.


1. Aligning Sales and Marketing

The more strategic cooperation and integration that occurs between marketing and sales, the better a company is positioned to respond to the way people buy today.

A service-level agreement (SLA) between marketing and sales is a great way to explicitly define terms and be clear about expectations, roles, and shared goals.


2. Creating Buyer Personas

A buyer persona is a representation of a potential customer. Successful enablement involves:

  • Being aware of personas and their power to help you sell.
  • Defining these personas for your industry through careful research (collaboratively between marketing and sales).
  • Adapting any established personas to reflect today’s buying landscape.


3. Creating Integrated Quality Content (for Every Stage of the Buyer’s Journey)

Salespeople often struggle with having to look for relevant content as well as creating content to share with their potential buyers. In many cases, they waste a lot of time searching through sales content. By producing quality content that is easily accessible for salespeople, you give them their time back to focus on closing sales. This is a major win for a sales enablement program.

The content your company produces needs to be:

  • Targeted specifically to particular buyer personas.
  • Created collaboratively between marketing and sales. (Marketing should provide the structured process to get targeted content to the sales force, but it’s important for sales to be involved in the creation of customer-facing material.)
  • Of utmost quality. It must be engaging, informative, and creative enough to stand out from competitors and grab potential customers’ attention.
  • Created for every stage of the buyer’s journey. Content should be available to sales for every persona at every stage of the buying process.


4. Integrating Technology into the Sales Process

Enablement is very much about utilizing the technology at your disposal to enhance the sales process. One of the most powerful technologies is your CRM (customer relationship management) tool and its associated analytics. This lets you track a potential customer’s “footprint.” You can see:

  • What pages were viewed.
  • What content was downloaded and/or shared.
  • How a customer initially entered the site.

Other tools include:

  • Marketing automation tools.
  • Sales enablement add-ons, such as HubSpot’s Sidekick, PandaDoc, SalesLoft, and many other tools.

You can also harness social media to learn more about your leads. Platforms such as LinkedIn are convenient ways to more fully research your individual leads and their companies. You can even connect and promote your content via social media.


5. Providing Coaching and Training


Companies shouldn’t assume their teams will just know how to implement and navigate tsales-enablemnet-traininghese relatively new techniques.

A  successful enablement plan will involve trainings about the inbound process and how to effectively manage and nurture online leads. (This includes crucial aspects such as the appropriate time to contact leads and how to determine that using tools that illuminate where leads are in the buyer’s journey.) 

These trainings provide the resources that allow salespeople to educate potential customers and establish that crucial credibility and trust in the brand.



Successful sales teams have always understood that being systematic, structured, and strategic is vital to reaching goals. Successful sales teams have also recognized that adaptation is critical to continued success over time. That is, strategies that worked in one context don’t necessarily translate to every context. The processes involved in sales enablement today (alignment of marketing and sales, creation of buyer personas, use of CRM and other analytical tools, and so on) are merely strategic enhancements and reactions to today’s customer-centric, customer-powered buying landscape. They still foster and promote that ultimate goal of closing a sale and earning revenue.

For more information about sales enablement or how to implement (or enhance) it in your business, please feel free to contact a representative of Brand Fuzion today!

What is an Inbound Marketing Consultant and Why is One Valuable?

What is an Inbound Marketing Consultant and Why is One Valuable?

Within inbound marketing, there are essentially two camps—those businesses that require agencies to complete their inbound work and those businesses that are more suited to a inbound marketing consultant. One camp is not better or more correct than the other. It’s merely about infrastructure, employee base, and what other resources you have that are best to tackle your inbound needs.

What Are Inbound Marketing Consultants

Consultants are distinct from inbound  agencies in some very fundamental ways.

Agencies put together strategies and initiatives to create and implement the actual marketing content through retainer-based work. With added manpower, a good inbound agency will facilitate creating an effective inbound website, developing compelling content for your buyer personas, implementing inbound campaigns, and providing lead generation and lead-nurturing programs.

A consultant, on the other hand, comes in to a business and looks at it holistically and strategically with a specific expertise. You provide a consultant with your business goals, and using those, a consultant builds a plan, strategies, and processes for your inbound efforts that your business can then manage internally. 

inbound marketing consultant

In most cases, consultants are not actually creating your marketing content. Rather, they are working closely with management and your content team to develop inbound  strategies and campaigns and educate your employee base about how best to create that content themselves.

Teach a Man to Fish…

“Give a man a fish, and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and feed him for a lifetime.”

Marketing consultants are all about teaching people “how to fish.”

If you don’t have the infrastructure in place to handle your own marketing and you don’t want to hire new employees, an inbound agency might be the most efficient choice. However, if you’re looking to build your business over time, working with an inbound consultant will better allow you to implement, understand, and evolve your inbound marketing efforts in the long run.

What an Inbound Marketing Consultant Does

what a inbound consultant does

1. Identify and clearly define your business goals for revenue growth through Inbound

Any Inbound consultant worth it’s wait, will need to thoroughly understand your business goals and objectives to create an effective Inbound strategy. They should understand your corporate structure, current and future product and service roadmaps, core brand differentiators, competitors, target markets and buyer personas, revenue projections and current marketing and sales structure.

2. Creating an effective Inbound Marketing strategy

An effective Inbound Marketing strategy must be closely aligned with your business and revenue goals.While C-level executives, management, marketing and sales must have total buy-in and be on the same page.

The best strategies implement a very detailed process, systematically targeting your buyer personas with high quality content at different stages of the buyers journey, with close alignment of marketing and sales to effectively manage the inbound leads.

3. Identify employees suited to content marketing

Consultants can identify which in-house employees are right for your marketing efforts—from potential writers to video content creators to inbound  managers.

This is often done in the initial stages to ensure the right people are utilizing their natural skills to implement the right kind of marketing message.

Inbound consultants should also be able to help facilitate in the hiring process for specific inbound positions.


4. Stay through the process

A consultant—though not creating the actual content—is still present and involved in every marketing stage. Consultants are always able to review your progress and, if necessary, provide suggestions for change. Inbound  is a dynamic industry, and your consultant should be up to date on the latest best practices.


5. Thoroughly understand and utilize the inbound marketing process

A good consultant will have the expertise to implement your business goals with effective inbound strategies that target your different market sectors. This will generate higher-quality leads to convert into sales. 


6. Align marketing and sales

More than ever, marketing and sales need to work together from an inbound perspective. Inbound is great at generating leads, but those leads are useless if they aren’t nurtured correctly.

Consultants can work with sales and marketing teams to create common goals, identify when a lead is sales ready, and teach both teams how to interact with that lead successfully.


7. Change the way you sell

When leads come to you through your website, you have a wealth of information about them—including knowing how they interacted with your site (what they downloaded, what pages they viewed, etc.).

Consultants can teach you how to use that information to interact with them in more personalized, educational, and ultimately successful ways. This helps your sales team develop credibility and trust and build valuable relationships rather than immediately attempting the sale.


6. Offer trainings, workshops, and coaching

Consultants are educators and mentors, and they often provide this education through inbound training, workshops, and coaching sessions. They have a large and diverse knowledge base, and they work with clients (in person or virtually) on an ongoing or one-off basis—depending on the client.

 inbound marketing trainer

What You Should Look for in a Inbound Marketing Consultant

Consultants should:

  • Ask strategically minded questions from the beginning. They should get to know you, your business, your goals (present and future), and your competition to better approach your marketing efforts.
  • Offer detailed content strategies for customer engagement. This includes free e-books, video content, downloadable widgets, and more. They should strive to make you unique in the content you produce and provide.
  • Offer suggestions to optimize your website, integrate CRM (customer relationship management), and use HubSpot effectively.
  • Be very knowledgeable about how to align marketing for inbound  and inbound sales.
  • Be good educators and communicators.
  • Understand marketing automation and how to build effective sales funnels.
  • Understand how to use data and analytics to get you to your goal.
  • Have a sound understanding of search engines and on-page search engine optimization.

For more information about what an inbound marketing consultant does or how one can benefit your business, please feel free to contact a representative of Brand Fuzion today!


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