There's no denying the importance of the salesperson, but consider this: as of 2015, "the average B2B buyer has completed between 50 and 90% of the buying journey by the time they make the first contact with your business." That means they've already researched, compared prices, and feel like they know a bit about you and your company. By the time they contact you, you know they're interested.

At this point, the inbound sales rep has a huge responsibility. This is your opportunity to create a memorable, personal, and insightful first experience for your potential customer. Or not.

Use these three tips to help make sure this first impression results in a sale.

1. Align Sales and Marketing to Better Understand Your Customers

The sales and marketing teams need to work together, otherwise marketers complain that the sales people aren't closing, while the sales team complains that marketers aren't delivering highly qualified leads. Keep each other updated on how the buyer behaves throughout the buying process. Sit down together to discuss the buyer's journey, set goals, and determine how to measure progress.

2. Create Content Together

The biggest mistake I see is that marketing and sales teams create separate content or, worse, the sales team creates no content at all.

According to a 2016 survey, "47% of buyers viewed three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep" while 51% relied on that content to inform their buying decisions. Back in 2012, 87% of buyers said their chosen solution providers supplied plenty of content throughout the decision-making process.

When both teams understand the buyer's journey, you can work together to create hyper-targeted, useful content like videos, webinars, and newsletters to generate better results for the entire team. Remember to involve the people on your teams. Potential customers like to see faces and get to know (and buy from) the humans behind the brand. That personal touch helps you keep your customers engaged throughout the buying process.

3. Simplify Your Sales Process

This is becoming my mantra: Keep it simple!

Simplicity helps your team stay on task and it frees up some mental space to get creative and provide a unique experience for your buyers. You'll be able to demonstrate your value more clearly and efficiently.

Aim to serve your customers before they need it. In other words, anticipate questions and concerns and have that information ready when the customer asks for it. Small personal touches and a customized buying experience might not seem like much, but they add up big when that customer decides to buy from you because he or she feels valued and heard.

Continual success with inbound sales is only possible when the marketing and sales teams are unified and moving toward the same goals. If you're ready to do this in your company and are looking for some help with the process, schedule a meeting with me. Let's make it happen.