I'm astonished to discover how many pharmaceutical laboratory testing companies rely on inbound marketing as their primary sales strategy. Yes, you read that correctly: sales strategy. Guess that means I am astonished that so many laboratories do not have an active sales team looking for new business. This strategy irritates me as a sales hunter and new business advocate since having a strong sales structure, and a sales process is the fastest way to grow your business.
After some questioning, I find it is because they:
1. Either lack a Sales or Business Development team.
2. Put their faith in inbound marketing to reach their ideal clients.
3. Believe it's better for scientists and analysts to discuss opportunities with prospective clients (see #1 above).
In today's world, inbound marketing is an essential strategy to attract ideal clients. However, the laboratories I see relying solely on inbound for growing their businesses suffer in two significant ways:
1. Lack of ability to sell (and sell well) by their inbound team who engage with the leads.
2. No outbound salespeople are hunting their ideal clients – those who have not yet searched the internet looking for you as a solution to their problem.
It seems nothing astonishes me these days, except what I find in sales and consulting. The surprising part is the laboratories that plan to grow their businesses through an inbound strategy and have not given complex thought to the prospect of building a sales engine to drive topline revenue and provide the money needed for building infrastructure.
We live in a world of opposites, of dualities. All of which require balance. When one part outbalances another, disharmony ensues. It is no different in the world of sales and marketing.
First, inbound marketing targets the profile our your most ideal customers and attracts them to engage with your company. However, the inbound inquiries still require well-performing sales processes to vet the lead and engage them in a sales process to win the business. In turn, outbound sales target your laboratory's ideal clients – the ones not engaging with your inbound marketing.
Next, the outbound team creates a disparity between your laboratory's offer and the competition and creates massive value through your company's solutions. Then, based on what the outbound team hears and learns from "being on the street," messaging evolves. Finally, marketing tailors the online perception and presence, again attracting more of your ideal clients not yet reached by the outbound team.
But, in the end, inbound marketing itself does not and cannot replace well-delivered outbound sales and is not a sales strategy all on its own.
Image source: Shout Out Studio