When it comes to implementing an Inbound Marketing Strategy, most Marketers tend to start with the traditional funnel. It looks a little something like this:
While this is, in theory, the correct way to tie together an inbound marketing strategy, a small shift in our order of operations can make a big difference in how fast we see a return on our Marketing Efforts. While that return may be measured differently for some folks, it's safe to say that for most, a return on Marketing Efforts can measured in Sales Appointments.
For that reason, it's important that when Marketers Start piecing together their Inbound Marketing Funnel, that they actually start from the bottom up with their sales team in mind. When we can create the kind of infrastructure that empowers Sales Reps' 1:1 relationships with prospects, creates touch points, and facilitates booking appointments, every marketing activity we do can ultimately lead to that point of Rep Interaction where you create the most value. In other words, we need to create our destination first, so that we can carefully craft a road to it.
Doing so will not only help you organize your Marketing efforts better, but will give you an actionable metric to strive towards and start creating data around. Of course, there's also the added bonus of a happier sales team and more profitable company. Who doesn't want that?
Today, I'll be walking you through a step by step guide for how to use the Hubspot Growth Stack (Sales Pro + Marketing Pro) to empower your sales team. The reason we're using these tools is because this strategy benefits greatly from the ability create access to your Reps' calendars (specific to Sales pro), and the ability to create automated processes that effectively distribute that access (specific to Hubspot Pro).
Step 1: Pick a point in your Sales Process you want to drive prospects towards
The ultimate goal of this strategy is to drive sales opportunities. In order to do that, the first thing we need to do is laser focus on a part of your sales process that prospects want to opt into, and then make it easy for them to do it.
Ask yourself, where along your sales process do you create the most value for your prospects? Maybe the first stage in your Sales Pipeline is an assessment where you help your prospects analyze if their business is ready for a solution like yours. Or, maybe you run a consultation where you weave qualification questions into a fifteen minute session filled with tips and hints (see Hubspot's Inbound Marketing Assessment as an example).
Even if all you have is a "Qualification Call" or "Demo", surely your prospects leave better off for having spoken to you regardless of whether they buy or not. All sales processes are helpful by nature, in that they either help prospects get closer to solving their problems, or eliminate a poor fit vendor from a prospect's list of potential solutions. Don't be afraid to shine a spotlight on how your process fits into either or both criteria (Just make sure you don't end up calling your finished concept a "qualification call").
Step 2: Customize your meetings link around your Offer
Now that you have your Consultation / Assessment / Analysis conceptualized, you'll need to create a meetings link that allows your prospects to book time under that premise. The first thing you'll need to do is make sure your reps are set up as users in your Hubspot Instance, with Sales Pro access enabled.
Next, have your reps configure their Meeting Link's standard settings: What time blocks do they want to give prospects access to? How long will the call take? How much time in advance would they like before the meeting takes place?
Once that's out of the way, you can focus on the two key components of your link that are going to drive home the value of your time.
When you're editing your meetings link you'll come to the interface pictured below, which provides you the opportunity to create context around the meeting you're offering. Capturing the core of your offer is crucial here in getting your prospects to look at time spent with you as a good idea. In the example below, we're offering a "Free Marketing Assessment".
The presentation of this Marketing assessment is simple, and captures several key points.
First, we're being clear about what's being offered: An assessment that will take a look at your current marketing practices.
Second, we're establishing authority by highlighting the rep's "Implementation Specialist" role
Third, we're creating a 1:1 connection by highlighting the rep's name
Fourth, we're setting a clear expectation that we'll call at the number provided in the form they'll need to fill out to request the meeting itself
Fifth, we're setting our invite with our Rep's name so our prospects will be reminded that they have an appointment with a real person
Lastly and most importantly, we're leaving in the description of the invitation an agenda that will get our prospects excited about what they'll get out of our time together
2. Form Questions
In order for you to make the most of your time with your prospect, you'll need to come prepared to solve for their problems. By asking the right questions ahead of time, you can make sure that happens. Below is an example of what a qualifying question might look like in our example of a "Marketing Assessment":
The first three fields are required, and we've added "Phone Number" so that we can make good on the expectation we set in our invite description to call our prospects at the number provided.
You'll notice our actual qualification question is "What is your Biggest Marketing Challenge?". That's because in our Marketing Assessment example, the answer to that question is exactly what we need to prepare accordingly and spend less time grasping at straws on the call itself. Aditionally, we can use it to disqualify prospects that may not represent the best use of our time.
For example, if a prospect tells us their biggest marketing challenge is "generating leads", we can analyze their site for current conversion opportunities, whereas if they let us know their biggest challenge is "Generating Visits" we may start by taking a look at their current content production acitivites. Showing up with relevant and personalized information can make all the difference between a stellar and mediocre sales call.
In a disqualification scenario, a prospect may let us know that "time and resources" are their biggest marketing challenges. Since we can't best help a prospect that does not have the time or funds to implement a marketing strategy, this answer lets us know to either respond with resources in place of the assessment, or to keep the assessment itself shorter than normal.
What answers do you need from your prospects in order to make the most of your time? Craft your questions so that they'll yield the responses you need to help your prospect the most.
A successfully presented offer that asks the right questions will show itself on your prospects' calendar as such:
Step 3: Create a Lead Rotation System
Another big part of this strategy is establishing a 1:1 relationship with your reps that your prospects can reference throughout their buyer's journey. This is both for nurturing reasons, and so that come time to actually sit down for your sales call, there's already a certain degree of trust and rapport build.
In order to do that, we must have a system in place that assigns a Point of Contact to a prospect the moment we get their information for the first time. Once we establish which of our Reps will be that prospect's point of contact, we'll be able to reference his/her meetings link, name, and signature in all our marketing efforts.
The automated lead rotation process we'll be creating to achieve this strategy can be found under the Hubspot Workflows tool, and is a "Standard" workflow (we're just establishing some if/then logic).
There are several ways to rotate your leads, depending on your company's infrastructure.
1. Standard Round Robin
Great for: Existing databases, companies with no pre-existing rotation preferences, simplicity)
The premise of this workflow is simple: as soon as we know the e-mail of a lead, we will set the Hubspot Owner to be one of our (in this example) 3 reps. When the next lead comes in, we'll simply assign it to the next owner down the line, and so forth until the rotation starts over.
This is a great and simple way for companies whose sales teams are not paticularly segmented by deal size or location, to assign leads. It's also a fantastic way to assign reps to existing databases.
In this example, if we have a database of 1500 prospects, each rep gets assigned and is responsible for 500 leads the moment we turn this workflow on.
2. Persona Based Rotation
Great for: Companies whose sales teams are specialized and segmented by deal size, or products / services offered.
This Lead Rotation system works off the answers your prospects give you on your site's forms. What you're doing here is taking a prospect's answer to a qualification question and routing that prospect to a rep (or team of reps) that can help accordingly.
In this example, we're working off a form that asks for operational challenges in a dropdown menu as a means of identifying how we can best help. In the workflow itself, we're saying that anytime a prospect identifies as "facing labor ineffiencies" any one of our forms, we're going to route that prospect to a team of reps who (ideally) specialize in offering services which cater to that challenge.
If you have a small team and would prefer to rotate specialized leads to one specialized rep, another way you could set this up is like so:
You can do this with contact properties that indicate company size, industry, role, and any other segmentation criteria you might have.
3. Location Based Rotation
Great for: Companies whose Sales Reps cover certain territories by state, country, city, etc
When one of your prospects fills out a form on your site, the Hubspot software records the IP address from which they're making that submission. This allows you to to segment IP information by City, State, and Country. In the example above, we're rotating leads evenly amongst three Reps who cover the West Coast.
You can also combine this approach with a persona based approach for further segmentation, depending on how specialized your team is.
Step 4: Tie everything together by using "Owner" logic in nurturing activities
You have everything you need to start driving more sales appointments: an attractive way for prospects to book time with your team, and a way to assign and reference a single point of contact throughout your customer's buying journey.
As a result, we now get to use "Hubspot Owner" personalization tokens as part of our nurturing efforts to great effect.
Whether you're sending out promotions, educational content, or automated responses, email remains the marketing tool you'll likely use the most in an effort to work your database and all incoming leads.
First, set up all your e-mails' "From" details using Hubspot Owner Logic.
This makes all of your marketing e-mails seem as though they're coming from your prospect's respective point of contact, and as though that Rep is providing a level of personalized outreach that is unprecedendted for most Sales Teams.
It doesn't end there however, we now need the body of the e-mail to further communicate your Rep's commitment to this lead.
When in the body of the e-mail itself, go to insert your personalization tokens, and toggle the "Category" menu to show "Hubspot Owner" personalization tokens.
You'll notice that we have access here to everyting we need in order to ghost write effectively. By the time you're done writing the copy of the e-mail and weaving in Hubspot Owner tokens, your e-mail should look a little bit like this (Hubspot Owner tokens represented in blue):
It goes without saying that there are several benefits to setting up most of your automated, promotional, and educational e-mails like this.
First, you're making it easy for your prospects to book time with their respective representative at every turn.
Second, you're positioning your Sales Reps as authorities in their industry by making it seem as though these incredibly helpful e-mails are coming from them. Prospects want to buy from people they trust, and e-mails like these make it easy.
Third, you're helping your Sales Team nurture so that they can focus on prospecting, responding to appointments, and closing sales. When you're sending marketing e-mails from the marketing team, what you're doing is nurturing the brand perception. When you send e-mails like these, you're nurturing the human relationship. While both are important, in a sales process the latter is arguably moreso.
Step 5: Enable your owner-based Chat Function
The same representative who we're establishing as a thought leader, should be the same representative that's there to answer questions when your prospect visits your site. To that end, you'll want to enable your Messages tool.
As you're setting up your messages you'll want to enable one setting in particular that complements our "Hubspot Owner" oriented approach. Under the "Routing Section" you'll see the option to route the message accordingly:
Make sure that routing to a Hubspot Owner is always toggled. Offline fallback should be reserved for a Sales Manager so that he/she can route appropriately depending on the nature of the prospect's question.
With this infrastructure in place you can now focus on the rest of your marketing funnel, knowing that you're in the best position possible to nurture all incoming leads towards a sales apointment.
The actual flow and results of this strategy are best represented in a hypotethical story:
-Your prospect comes to your site because of a blog you posted on social media.
-They fill out a subscription / offer form which brings their e-mail into our database.
-Upon receiving their e-mail, their contact record gets assigned a Hubspot Owner.
-In response to their form submission, they get an e-mail that, though sent automatically, references their newly assigned Hubspot Owner and his/her corresponding meetings link with an opportunity to book time for a free assessment.
-Time passes and the prospect continues to receive helpful e-mails from their Hubspot Owner, each having an opportunity to take advantage of that assessment.
-Your prospect goes to your site and asks a question that is promptly routed and answered by the very same rep that has been providing helpful tips over the last several weeks.
-Your rep, taking advantage of the situation, responds in his/her chat with the meetings link they've customized.
-Your prospect takes a look at your offer and determines that it would be a good use of his/her time to leverage their point of contact as a resource in an attempt to solve their goal.
- Your rep comes to the appointment with the information they need to make the most of that time.
Now, this is obviously an ideal case scenario. However, the beauty of this strategy lies in the fact that your prospect can come in at any point along the above narrative and still benefit from that 1:1 relationship building. This allows you to position any future sales ask to greater success.
Taking a moment to build this out also ensures that your prospects will have many more opportunities to book appointments with their point of contact. While the above is an ideal case scenario, it does happen, and when it does your bottom line will thank you.
And finally, from an enablement perspective, your Sales team will appreciate Marketing's help in the trenches. This strategy is a shining example of Marketing and Sales working in harmony towards a common KPI: sales appointments.
I hope this post helps you take your Hubspot Growth Stack Implementation to the next level. As you're trying the strategy out, feel free to comment or e-mail me with any successes, ideas for improvement, or questions!