Entrepreneurial organizations with small sales teams can benefit greatly from Inbound Marketing, making their Websites generate leads through content and landing pages. But what about small businesses without a CRM / sales force automation system in place?
This could be your situation if your business previously relied upon referrals and print advertising and directories for the bulk of its leads. These sources of leads are bound to dry up, especially if the historically top sales person is also nearing retirement (all his/her cohort are retiring, too). It might also be you if you operate without a sales manager, and your salespeople generate their own leads through cold-calling and networking.
Your company might have as many as five or six salespeople and still not have a system like Salesforce.com in use, though it’s hard to imagine any larger team without some form of CRM in use.
Our recommendation is to start with the marketing automation package first and demonstrate the power of online lead generation with inbound marketing. Our platform of choice is HubSpot, but organizations with only one salesperson might find other worthy choices out there including HatchBuck and easypurl, though don’t expect them to match many of the key features that make HubSpot so powerful.
Once you have some leads coming in, it’s a lot easier to justify the investment of time and money to acquire, tailor and use Salesforce.com. And the volume of leads will likely force the issue, as most Inbound Marketing programs generate a strong flow of leads.
The good news is that HubSpot and Salesforce.com integrate very easily, and tailoring is a relatively small matter for most users of Salesforce.com (figure less than $5,000 to setup a 5-user system, create lead distribution logic, tailor the management dashboard and a few hours of training for your users on the basics).
And there’s even more good news. Once you get Salesforce.com going, you have a wide range of add-on tools you can purchase to increase the efficiency of your sales team even more. The new paradigm, cloud computing, makes it easy to plug-in and try applications to make sure they’re a good fit for your sales team.
So have no fear! You can get started with Inbound Marketing even if you don’t have Salesforce.com or another CRM in use.
We can help you assess your Website and organizational readiness for Inbound Marketing with a free consultation call. Just click below!