You Could Piece Together HubSpot If You Wanted to

Posted by Pete Caputa on Mar 21, 2014 10:35:04 AM

You should totally go do that. Go piece it together. Here's some advice on how to piece it together from Lance Cummings

Now, before you roll your eyes at me and tell me that I could accomplish the same thing with a bunch of much cheaper tools from around the internet, just take a deep breath and let me explain. This statement is the equivalent of saying that instead of buying a Toyota Tundra, you can really accomplish the same thing with sheet metal, a set of wheels, and a couple of leather bucket seats. Could you feasibly build your own truck? Absolutely. But only a select few would have the know-how and patience to make it happen. And even then, there would always be annoying issues that just somehow make it not quite right. That’s how it feels to piece marketing software together: tedious, time-consuming, and annoying. And it only serves to distance you from your website, not connect you more fully.

Piecing together marketing software sounds really smart after reading that, ha? 

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Dear New Inbound Agency Leader...

Posted by Chris Handy on Mar 18, 2014 6:42:29 PM

This is a guest post/open letter from an awesome guy and the owner of ThinkHandy, Chris Handy. Chris - out of the kindness of his heart - takes calls from other agency owners who are struggling to scale up. 

Dear New Inbound Agency Leader,

dear_inbound_agency_leaderYou asked me if I have any advice to share on quickly ramping up your new agency. I am happy to share some assorted nuggets of advice that have added to the success of my inbound marketing agency

  • I have since fired my first two clients because they were not bought into the inbound methodology and had unreasonable expectations. Fast growth is good, but only if the client is a good fit. I am way more selective now, and find myself much happier. Don't accept a client that isn't excited to get started. I can't stress this enough. 
  • Spend time on the Hubspot Advanced Sales Training Modules that Corey Beale & Jeetu Mahtani produced a couple years ago. I find a lot of value in that series.
  • Read Baseline Selling by Dave Kurlan.
  • Read SNAP Selling by Jill Konrath. 
  • Create a defined sales process that works for you. Make sure you don't try to close too early, or sell past the close. 
  • Never stop adding value to your client's day. Send personal notes. Endorse/recommend them on LinkedIn. Do not be afraid to ask for referrals regularly.
  • Start using Salesforce for your own agency, even though its features may be overkill so that you will know the system for client implementation with your inbound marketing software of choice.
  • Document your processes. Pretend you are going to get run over by a train tomorrow and make sure that your staff can pick up the pieces when that happens. This mindset will make it much easier to step into a more executive role when the time comes.
  • Work out in the open and eliminate the unnecessary  work generated by "the big reveal". Find an online project management system that allows your client to be involved in the editorial process. This can save countless hours of heartache on content revisions. Open workspaces also allow you to keep your client up to date on the status of the many cogs in the inbound marketing wheel. This will save time spent on "update requests" and "status checks".
There is so much more I could tell you if there were enough time. I hope this helps you get started. Agency Leadership is hard work, but very rewarding. Good Luck.
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Topics: inbound marketing agency

[Funny Video] Do Normal People Know what SEO Stands for? Hint: No

Posted by Pete Caputa on Mar 14, 2014 4:00:00 PM

This video (produced by Digital Third Coast) of Chicagoans answering the question, "What does SEO stand for?" is hilarious. When you hang out with people who know what you know, it's easy to forget that other people don't know what they hell you're talking about. 

What is SEO?

Lesson: If you're marketing or selling something, remember to NOT asume that your prospects know what you're talking about.

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A Good Job Description for an Inbound Marketer

Posted by Pete Caputa on Mar 10, 2014 8:06:50 AM

Everyone's job postings for inbound marketers should read like this one

The selected candidate will have significant experience with HubSpot as they are in the process of moving from Exact Target to HubSpot. This is non-negotiable. 

Speaking of inbound marketing jobs, Dharmesh has been building up a bit of a concentration of them at 

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Have you ever watched a 90 minute commercial?

Posted by Pete Caputa on Mar 7, 2014 10:06:00 AM

Before you answer, I bet you already have. 

Curious yet? Read Marcus Sheridan's post about the Lego Movie

Oh and if you haven't watched it, you should. It's an amazing movie. My wife, son and I went. We all loved it. 

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The 2 Main Reasons That Larger Companies Don't Do Inbound Marketing

Posted by Pete Caputa on Mar 7, 2014 9:37:00 AM

2 Big Reasons: 

  1. The right roles have not been defined.  Phil Harrel, VP Corporate Sales, asks, "The way your buyers purchase products today is fundamentally different than it was 10 years ago.  Has your marketing playbook changed as well, or does it look very similar to how it did 10 years ago?" 
  2. Resources aren't invested in the right spots. Wordstream reports, "Outbound marketing is harder to track and less profitable than inbound marketing, yet ironically, organizations still spend as much as 90% of their marketing budgets on outbound marketing."

Read other reasons in this ebook or slideshare presentation

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Wouldn’t it be nice to see potential customers raise their hands and ask you to engage?

Posted by Pete Caputa on Mar 7, 2014 8:25:00 AM

I recently listened to a call between a Pardot sales rep and a prospect. At the end of the call - when the prospect said he wasn't interested and he was choosing HubSpot - the Pardot sales rep said, "Ok. With your permission, I'll stay in touch. I'll put you into a drip campaign. (Chuckle. Chuckle.) We'll see how that inbound marketing thing works out.... When you guys get more serious about growing your sales, we can talk."

Besides being fairly rude and presumptuous, this was one of about 4 comments during the call where he implied that the superior way to get new clients was by emailing purchased lists, meeting prospects at trade shows and "reaching out" cold. I was especially surprised to hear a sales rep from a marketing software company dismiss the idea of attracting prospects via online marketing.

But, then I remembered that most of the world's salespeople still get most of their business by interrupting prospects with piss-poor pitches.  Most CEOs are still just stacking salespeople and dividing territories in order to get growth. Not enough marketers have convinced their CFOs to invest in modern marketing yetNot many organizations have seen the light or believe the evidence

Some have, though. Here's two great examples from Jim Hopes, a 30 year veteran of sales and sales management, a CEO (for 22 years) and an inbound marketer for the last few: 

"Recently a prospect downloaded an eBook from our website about the secrets to setting high-quality appointments, a big need in the marketplace. We promptly followed up with him to make sure he got the piece, answer any questions, and to find out how helpful it was for him.
The call led to a good conversation about his particular needs, and within the week he became a customer.  

Last month I got an email from a sales manager of a California TV station wanting to discuss and learn more about our inbound marketing services. It turns out, he had been following our posts on the topic for some time, and he raised his hand when he was ready to learn more. 
These are examples of good leads because the prospect already knew a lot about our company and our capabilities, and determined for themselves that they were prospects." 

"Wouldn’t it be nice to see potential customers raise their hands and ask you to engage?" Jim posed in his article. Of course it would. (That's one of those rhetorical sales questions that is supposed to make you realize how silly you are for not asking yourself the question before.) But, why aren't salespeople and marketers making it happen more often?

Perhaps we need to share more stories like Jim's? What's your inbound story? Have you acquired a client through inbound marketing?  (Share your story in the comments below.)

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Topics: inbound sales

Should Your Sales Team Only Call Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs)? Hint: No.

Posted by Peter Caputa on Feb 5, 2014 9:30:00 AM

Chuck Malcomson from Screwpile communications published an excellent article about the different stages that inbound leads go through:

  • Information Qualified Leads - These leads are at the awareness stage. They've shared their "information" in order to get some educational information from you. 
  • Marketing Qualified Leads - They've investigated your products or services by reading something related to them. 
  • Sales Qualified Leads - They expressed interest in talking to a salesperson about their needs. 

I like the way he's defined these different stages for inbound leads. However, I have one big problem with part of his article. I have a problem with the part where he says that salespeople should wait for marketing to generate sales qualified leads:

"Smart companies will develop a feel for the right time for sales to reach out to their leads. Obviously all SQLs should be called since they have identified themselves as being ready to talk to sales. Calling IQLs may come across as too pushy or aggressive. However, reaching out to MQLs may make sense and help get more leads converted into opportunities that the sales team can work with and bring on board as new customers."

If your salespeople are only interested in talking about their products, then that's the right way to think about it. (You should fire them if that's all they're interested in doing.) Great salespeople are experts and approach prospects in a way that is helpful, regardless of stage. A great salesperson can move a lead from IQL to SQL in 20 minutes. 

The problem is that most salespeople aren't experts at what they do. Assuming they do have the expertise, they also rarely know how to start the conversation in a helpful way. But, it's simple. For example, when a prospect downloads an ebook, a salesperson can call and ask, "I see you downloaded our ebook on xyz. I am an expert at xyz. What were you looking for help with?" This is often the start of a very welcome sales conversation.  A good salesperson should be able to do a little homework about their prospect and find 5 other ways they can be helpful too. 

Don't wait for prospects to realize they have a problem and raise their hand to talk to you because they've already determined your solution is the best. That's not selling. That's customer service. Great salespeople create demand, not just satisfy it. They pick target accounts and they pursue them persistently and creatively. Prospects supposedly conduct 50% of their buying process these days without talking to a sales rep. Let's not make it more than 50% just because we don't know how to be helpful, or we don't know how to avoid being perceived as pushy. 

PS. You might have the luxury of sitting back and waiting for your marketing funnel to deliver sales qualified leads to your inbox. Some agencies actually do and it works for them because they only want to acquire a few new clients per year and their marketing is damn good. But, most companies who are serious about growing, would leave a lot of $ on the table if they sat back and waited for SQLs to arrive. 

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You Still Aren't Blogging Everday?

Posted by Peter Caputa on Feb 4, 2014 8:13:00 AM

I manage 130 people. I've found the time to write a few words every day. You can too. It doesn't need to be a novel. Not every article needs to be awesome. But, blogging frequency is key to growing traffic, leads and sales. And key to connecting with people in a meaningful way over a long period of time. It's the best tool a marketer and a salesperson could ever ask for. 

Mark Gibson's team at WittyParrot stepped up over the last month. They did the HubSpot 30 day blog challenge. Here's their results

hubspot sources.1.3.14 resized 600


In case their results aren't impressive enough, I previously shared some results here about the impact of blogging frequency on traffic. HubSpot's data across our customer base shows, "customers who write just 3-4 blog posts per month get 20 more monthly lead submissions, get 800 more monthly site visits, have 60 more Twitter followers, and have 50 more Facebook like's than customers who only write 2 blog posts per month".

Don't want more traffic, leads, fans and followers? Don't blog more. 

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Equity for Sales & Marketing Leaders

Posted by Peter Caputa on Feb 3, 2014 11:29:00 AM

Dan Lyons has an interesting article about compensation and equity for sales and marketing leaders. The article states that it's rare to find someone who can lead both marketing and sales. 

"Who gets 5% [equity]? Santinelli says that’s usually an experienced executive who can come in as a VP of sales and marketing, “the person who can handle the whole funnel, from lead generation to lead nurturing to closing deals. That person is worth a lot of money. But it’s very rare to find them these days.”

I agree. It's rare to find someone who has lead both and knows the right playbooks for both. Most sales leaders don't know anything about modern marketing. And it's rare to find a CMO that even cares about learning anything much about sales. At HubSpot, we've had the opportunity to learn best practice in both. It's a rare thing to have on the resume, I've found. 

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