Small Marketing Teams

Most marketing advice is pulled from big companies. How many times have you read a business book with advice on how Apple or Google did it? Those growth strategies just don’t apply to smaller businesses. The Small Marketing Teams podcast is full of specialized advice for the people responsible for growing small and mid-sized companies. For the past 10 years, I've researched, tested, and seen success with the marketing and sales approaches that I will teach you so that you can achieve remarkable results without a huge budget and team.
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Now displaying: March, 2019
Mar 26, 2019

Are you ready to jump head first into the HubSpot CRM or another new CRM?

Maybe, you already took the plunge and it is not living up to your expectations.

If you think a newer, more modern CRM will make your life easier and solve your sales team’s complaints, I’m here to tell you from first-hand experience that it is not that simple.

In this episode, I’m going to let you in on a secret that will get you to that promise land and reduce your frustration along the way.

The trend in CRM and sales tool marketing right now is “simplicity.”

Simplicity is supposed to solve all of your CRM adoption, sales velocity, and reporting problems.

You’ll see ads and emails touting “The world’s easiest CRM” or “Finally, a simple CRM.”

If you came from the world of ERP-type CRMs like Salesforce, Oracle, and Infor, this message is a breath of fresh air.

After all, “I love filling out 11 fields and clicking to 4 different screens to track a next step with my leads or set up a follow up call reminder” said NO SALES REP EVER.

The problem with the “simple CRM” message is that it is misleading.

It you buy a CRM based on ease of use, you end up mainly living with the default settings.

My clients are often afraid to look under the hood into everything their CRM can do for fear of complicating their sales process or going down a rabbit hole that frustrated their sales reps.

So, they stick with the out of the box settings.

Trusting that the CRM software provider’s defaults will work for your business means you neglect important parts of configuring your lead management process that make your sales team efficient and give your management team the data they need.

When you are seeking a simpler CRM, you have to understand two things. And neither of them have to do with features and functionality.

I call this the “Duality of Lead Management.”

You need to know that:

  1. In the end, your CRM and daily task flow for sales reps need to be dead simple. Period.

  2. Before your CRM can be simple for your sales reps, you need to work through the complexity that comes with overlaying of your sales processes on your CRM, sales automation opportunities, and creating your lead management framework.

When my team first starts taking clients through the HS Sales Success program, our process for setting up sales teams for success using the HubSpot CRM, I can see them get increasingly frustrated during the first workshop.

They were promised a simple process in their CRM that makes their sales team crazy-efficient and keeps their data clean so that managers can make quick, accurate decisions.

What they are experiencing is a deep dive into their lead sources, lead tracking data, and sales process. We lay out their headache-inducing current CRM process before mapping it their new lead management definitions and process.

It is a lot to take in.

You can hear the frustration in their voices as they worry about overwhelming the sales reps and grinding sales productivity to a halt.

Then, we reveal something that makes all of that stress disappear and puts their fears at ease.

We introduce them to the Duality of Lead Management.

We remind them that, as we create their new lead management process, we need to get our hands around all of the routes leads can take, people who handle leads, and different sales steps for different markets or products.

Only then can we run those inputs through our HS Sales Success system to produce an ultra-efficient workflow for their sales team.

It is not until we help them understand those two things - (1) the end result will be a process that your sales reps use and love AND (2) the complexity of the initial workshops is necessary to reach that goal - that my clients fully understand the importance of lead management and the process they need to go through to get it right.

You can immediately see the tension leave the meeting. Their energy level jumps and their buy-in to continuing the upfront lead management deep dive is stronger than ever.

So, the question of whether you should get a simple CRM or a more complicated sales system for company is not the right one.

Along those lines, I want you to see through the marketing messaging of the “simple CRM” platform. They don’t tell you the whole story.

The truth is that there is a time when your CRM should be simple for your sales team to use on a daily basis.

However, to get there, behind the scenes, you’ll need complex, business-specific lead management processes and automation.

Without it, your dream of a simple CRM experience that allows your sales reps to handle more leads, get into more sales conversations, and close more deals, will stay only a dream.

If you bought HubSpot’s CRM based on its brilliant ease-of-use, but you’re now dealing with the wild west of everyone using it differently and following their own process, I’d love to connect.

Mar 15, 2019

When most people think of HubSpot, they think INBOUND MARKETING.

When most people think INBOUND MARKETING, they think lead generation.

It goes something like this:

Produce original, educational, insightful content to:

  • Get found by buyers
  • Turn website visitors into leads
  • Convert leads into customers
  • Delight those customers so they become advocates in your market

This is how I grew my last company from 10 leads per month to 300 leads per month – through 100% inbound leads generated by HubSpot’s marketing platform.

This growth model works great if you are the type of business that has a big enough target market where people are searching for and sharing information about your industry, your product category, or the problems that you solve.

What should you do if your market is smaller? Is this model relevant if you have a finite pool of buyers and you know how they are?

In this case, companies often switch to an account-based marketing and sales approach (ABM).

The question then becomes can HubSpot’s successful “inbound” philosophy blend with ABM and can the HubSpot platform be used for ABM strategies.

If you are a B2B company that wants to feel confident that you are using the best marketing and sales platforms to grow your business AND you are committed to making ABM a major (if not the primary) component of your marketing strategy, you are going to want to pay close attention to the next few paragraphs.

The first thing you need to know is that HubSpot has three primary modules – marketing, sales, and service.

In a traditional inbound lead generation model, HubSpot’s marketing hub takes center stage. You are blogging to get found, building a following, and nurturing new leads down the funnel using marketing automation emails.

With account-based marketing, marketing features take a backseat initially to HubSpot’s sales features and CRM. ABM is all about getting into sales conversations, building one-on-one relationships, and turning those connections into sales and long-term customers.

The inbound approach, built on educating your market, plays well into this type of relationship-building. Even though supporting sales is the primary goal in ABM, salespeople who only talk about their products and only push for the sale will fall flat. Buyers are busy and they still need a reason to give you their attention and time. Helpful, unique content gives target contacts that reason.

Luckily, HubSpot’s sales and marketing toolsets contain almost everything you need to support an ABM strategy. However, it is paramount that you configure your HubSpot lead management setup to maximize sales rep efficiency, maintain clean data, and provide transparency about what is working and what is not.

The following framework outlines how to run your ABM strategy on HubSpot.

5-Part HubSpot Account-Based Marketing Blueprint

The role of marketers and HubSpot in account-based marketing.

Part #1) Warming Up Your Audience

Run branded digital ads to specific roles at your target accounts (companies). These ads will lead to landing pages with top-of-the-funnel content offers provided by your company. Once they are on your list, you can send email marketing campaigns with educational resources and relevant offers to bring them down the funnel.

Part #2) Sales Support

Arm your sales team with valuable information that will get the attention of your target contacts, stay top of mind, and bring people down your funnel. This will include tools, videos, white papers, assessments, and more. Marketers will also prepare email templates, snippets, documents, and automated sequences in HubSpot’s sales accelerator toolset that sales can use to provide personal touches at scale during various points in the selling process.

Part #3) Due Diligence

Once you are on a target account’s radar, they will visit your website, social profiles, other searchable information about your company to conduct their own evaluation. Leverage your company’s content and marketing offers to build credibility with these leads and bring them down your marketing funnel by offering ungated blog content, as well as relevant resources that they can download via landing page.

Part #4) Long-Term SEO

SEO is not out of the picture with account-based marketing. Industries that lean toward an ABM sales approach are often ripe for SEO domination since fewer people are producing quality ungated content consistently. While ABM is your primary strategy, since creating SEO-friendly content takes time to see results, using HubSpot’s SEO tools to publish topic clusters in the background will pay dividends down the road. Your content will saturate the research your leads are doing on you. Before you know it, you will be known as one of the main players in your industry (regardless of your size) because every time someone search for something related to your business, your industry, or the problems you solve, your company’s information will appear.

Part #5) Integrations

You don’t need to rely on HubSpot alone. Leverage HubSpot’s ABM integration for targeted ads and the augmentation of account information. With most HubSpot’s Connect partners, you will be able to use the information in your HubSpot CRM to target accounts more accurately, as well as pump lead intelligence back into HubSpot.

What About Salespeople?

You’ll notice that this framework is for marketers, not salespeople. These are the ways that marketers will use HubSpot to support your sales team during your ABM campaigns.

When you implement your ABM strategy in HubSpot, your sales team will be at the center of your outreach and relationship-building efforts. For them to be successful and be able to handle 10-20X more contacts that they work today, sales reps need:

  • A business-specific lead management framework
  • HubSpot’s sales accelerator tools
  • A playbook for how to handle contacts, deals, and follow-ups in the CRM

Let’s boil it down for you so that you can take action today. Your takeaways from this advice include:

ABM + HubSpot

HubSpot works well with account-based marketing strategies. However, you need to turn the traditional inbound lead generation model on its head.

Start With Sales

Start with setting your sales team up for success with solid lead management processes in your HubSpot CRM and sales tools. Taking on HubSpot’s Sales and Marketing platforms at the same time can be a lot to swallow. If you are budget sensitive, you can start with HubSpot’s Marketing Starter package and layer in advanced marketing automation later with an upgrade to Marketing Professional.

The Inbound Marketer’s Role In Account-Based Marketing

Marketers play a significant role in ABM strategies – from warming up the audience so they pick up the phone when a sale rep calls them by providing educational content and product marketing material to sales reps at every point in the relationship-building process.

Mar 3, 2019

In business, we are trained to constantly learn. We are told that we are at a disadvantage if we are not always seeking ideas, advice, and tips.

Well, I’m here to tell you that you can actually grow your business faster if you turn that wisdom on its head…especially if you are part of a small marketing team.

In this episode of the Small Marketing Team podcast, I’m going to share a powerful productivity secret used by the world’s top marketers.

It might make you uncomfortable. It might feel scary at first, but I’ll walk you through the three hacks for switching your mindset to getting better sales and marketing results by learning less.

Tune in to learn how consuming less information and focusing on certain types of learning will catapult your business like nothing else.