One of the questions I'm asked by business owners in Automotive is, "what is profitable growth?". On the face of it, this is quite straight-forward but I usually answer that question with another question, "what are you doing to grow?" because growth can only be sustained and profitable if you have the right approach to grow consistently.
The approach we'd always take for us and our clients is to use the Inbound methodology as this matches the way your ideal customers buy and gives them (and you) and memorable and repeatable framework to identify your ideal customers, attract them to you, educate them on 'why you', and convert them into leads, customers, and repeat customers.
This graphic is the Inbound methodology:
Explaining the Inbound methodology
You'll see a few things going on in the graphic above so lets walk through each section:
Attract, convert, close, and delight
Trying to sell to a complete stranger might work ad hoc but it's good to see the process in four steps. Using this approach will help your marketing and sales team to focus on securing the right sort of customers that fit your ideal customer profile.
First you want to work on attracting your ideal customers and this is done using content. Content that answers common questions will attract your ideal customers while they're searching for answers by drawing them to your website. It will also help to educate those people so they see your company as a thought leader and expert. It shows that you know your market and that you can help your target audience.
By offering high value content on your website, such as whitepapers and technical documents, you will Convert those new website visitors into leads for your sales team to approach. Having already educated those leads, your sales team will have better quality leads and can spend more time closing new customers and sales.
It's then about using the right tools to make your team efficient so they are able to Delight your customers. This step is also very important because our own industry research has shown that decision makers in Automotive will always consult their peers for advice and solutions.
Strangers, Visitors, Leads, Customers, and Promoters
Next it's important to look at the journey from the perspective of your target audience.
It's likely they'll be starting their journey as Strangers. They don't know your company or if they do they've never had any dealings with you. It's important to spend time showing why you're the right choice. If you walked up to a stranger in a bar and shoved your business card at them, they might feel you're being pushy and throw the business card away; however, if you take some time to get to know them, you'll have a much better chance of doing business because they'll know 'why you'.
A lot of employers think growth is about employing more sales people. But, that's only scalable if you keep employing. Your website should be one of your top performing salespeople. It's available 24/7 and if setup correctly with the right tools and content it can answer an infinite amount of questions and generate an infinite amount of leads. This is why we see your website as a critical part of your sales process. By attracting them to your website you're able to convert visitors into leads, customers, and promoters AND with the right tools you'll know the source of your revenue, such as search engines, social media, or other websites, so you can spend more time and money on those channels to make it easier to achieve profitable growth. You'll also know, down to the individual page on your website, what content generates revenue so you can spend more time creating the content that helps to grow your business.
Marketing, Sales, and Service
The last part of the inbound methodology is using the right technology to make the job of marketing and sales as easy and repeatable as possible.
You could use LOTS of different tools to do this but that's difficult to manage, costly, and it's likely you want get a clear picture of your ROI. This is a good article about all the different tools you might need to do the job properly.
To make it as easy as possible for our clients to achieve profitable growth, we always recommend the HubSpot Growth Stack and our Business Growth process for Automotive. Why? Because it is the all-in-one marketing, sales, and customer service tools you need to grow your business. AND, you have the option for get started with free technology so the tools can grow with your cashflow.