I love Ohjelmistoyrittäjät events. Last event was especially beneficial. It was about inbound marketing and lead generation. What made me particularly happy were the presentations, three really good ones. The venue was also very nice, Sipuli.

Finland is a very traditional market for marketing. Companies use main expenditure to traditional channels, TV, print, radio and so on. A good measure for this is the digital version of largest newspaper in Finland, Helsingin Sanomat. The digital version of this daily newspaper has almost no advertising compared to the printed edition. Anybody telling that Finland has a mature market for digital marketing is living in a fallacy. This market is lagging at least two years to rest of Europe.

However some companies are in the vanguard of the digital age. At least based on the presentations of Antti Pietilä form Loyalistic and Riitta Raesmaa from Raesmaa Communications. They presented how lead generation has changed. As a sales person you won’t succeed with furious contacting anymore. Calling, eMailing sales person is like a marathon runner. Sales person using inbound marketing tactics is a cyclist (sorry Antti, had to steal this one). It is obvious which one covers more distance.

There is no sales funnel anymore

Traditional sales funnel, where you generate leads and work them down the funnel does not work anymore. Why? because the salesperson is no longer on the driver’s seat. Customer has taken the ownership of the sales process to herself. Customer’s are no longer ‘processed’ through the funnel. They can leave your carefully crafted funnel at any point.

Behold, inbound marketing

Purchase  behaviour has fundamentally changed in just couple of years. Anybody thinking of buying almost always makes some research about the need / problem area they are looking product / solution. If a sales rep calls before this phase the answer is a certain ‘no’. Anti Pietilä showed a very good slide how to approach lead generation and nurturing problem in modern world.

Salesprocess in inbound marketing

On the left hand side you have your content working for you. Making your product or service discoverable. First possible point when you can star even thinking of ‘working leads’ is when you have a visitor in your own web site. Your content has interested and someone want’s to take a closer look. Is visitor a lead, no it isn’t. Visitor become a lead when she converts in one of your conversion points. If that conversion point is a purchase, then she naturally becomes a customer. If your new visitors converge directly to customers, you are ok and can concentrate to the right hand side of Antti’s slide. For the rest of us the work starts after first conversion. To get the lead to converge to customer you need to nurture your leads once they show they are sales ready. At this point it is quite easy to measure your success. Your nurturing activities are good if you don’t lose leads and they show that they are sales ready. If you are bleeding leads, you probably should change your nurturing tactics. Indication of sales readiness you need to spot from your data. You could put a giant ‘i’m ready to buy’ button, but that is unlikely to work. On the other hand offering a personalized quotation at the right time will.

After the sale

You got a sale, congratulations! Did you know that in SaaS services 80% of the revenue potential is after the first purchase because of up and cross sell opportunities?  So you need to keep up nurturing your customer. What will really leverage your sales is a happy customer who want’s to tell everybody how great your product  or service is.

Sounds great, but how to do this in practice?

Traditional sales person has cold calls and eMails in their repertoire. Inbound marketing gives you loads of new tools for getting  potential leads to interest about you. Riitta had laid 10 of these out for us. Presentation is in Finnish, so some translation was required.


inbound marketing tactics by Riikka Raesmaa, Raesmaa communications

In above picture you see tactics on a line by the level of complexity / effort. Easiest are on left and more complex are on right. As you see getting involved with your potential customers covers almost half of all activities. Getting into a conversation is the most successful tactics you can do in inbound marketing. Especially when you are selling complex professional products or services.

How do you see inbound marketing? Please let me know what you think about this article and your own views.