How to Apply the Inbound Methodology Across Business Units: Attracting, Engaging, and Delighting Customers Across Marketing, Sales, and Operations

I’m in the process of renewing my Inbound Certification. Here’s what I’ve learned from the first module “Understanding the Fundamentals of Inbound”.

Your marketing team thinks your salespeople are short sighted. Your sales team thinks marketing is a group of glamorous bureaucrats who plan, but never execute. And your operations team can’t be bothered to form an opinion on either team, but they’re convinced they do all the work.

At the end of the day, everyone within an organization is on the same team. Marketing needs to grow market share, sales needs to close the deals, and operations needs to make sure the organization can fulfil what it sells. In dysfunctional organizations, these business units work against each other instead of working with each other.

Why?

It’s because there is no unifying framework through which they can conduct their day-to-day activities and work towards their goals.

The Three Stages of the Inbound Methodology

The Inbound Methodology, famous for its focus on engaging with prospects as opposed to interrupting prospects, (e.g. blog posts versus banner ads) focuses on aligning all of these functions. It fancies itself as more of a business growth philosophy rather than a marketing paradigm.

According to the Inbound Marketing methodology, customers move through three stages:

  1. Attract
  2. Engage
  3. Delight

The proponents of the Inbound Methodology, Hubspot, portray these stages as a flywheel and understandably so. A flywheel efficiently stores rotational energy. When the inbound methodology works correctly, each stage powers the next, producing more energy and therefore fueling growth. This movement is initiated by three key business units that interact with customers.

  1. Marketing
  2. Sales
  3. Operations

What happens in each stage?

Screen Shot 2019-03-03 at 1.09.08 PM

The Cross-Functional Utility of the Inbound Stages

As Hubspot points out in their Inbound course, attracting isn’t just the job of marketing, engaging isn’t just the job of sales, and delighting isn’t just the job of operations. It is a framework that can be applied across business units. The chart below illustrates how.

Screen Shot 2019-03-03 at 1.10.24 PM

In other words, ever business aims to become an expert and every expert aims to turn every role into a knowledge broker.

The information in this blog post is from the Hubspot Inbound Certification Course.

Featured image via Pexels

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