[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 inbound.org. 

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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 competitor's 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 competitor's 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 Everyday?

    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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    "Honesty Is The Best Policy", Especially In Sales

    Posted by Amanda Walters on Jan 28, 2014 5:39:00 PM

    This is a guest post written by Amanda Walters, a Business Development Representative, on my sales team at HubSpot. 

    Let’s be honest, when the term "salesperson" comes to mind, it doesn't always have the best connotation. A prospect’s thoughts as they answer the phone are usually something along the lines of "Oh god not another salesman harassing me with cold calls”. This of course, is if they even answer the phone at all.

    I used to be one of those types of prospects and then I found myself on the other side of the phone line...as the salesperson. I'm technically a business development rep who has only been in sales for 8 short months. But in sales I've been forced forced to learn fast, so I figured I'd share a valuable concept that I've learned thus far.

    No matter who you're calling, "HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY". This is, in my opinion, the best way to gain trust, establish credibility and break through the preconceived notion that you're just another swindling, dishonest salesperson trying to make a sale. 

    My Experience:

    I was lucky enough to spend a few month sitting next to a Senior Inbound Marketing Specialist, Mike Fradette, here at HubSpot who had once been in my exact position! One of the first things he taught me is to find companies like our customers, and leverage the knowledge about our customers to connect and relate.

    Mike told me that if you can tell someone about a time where you have:

    1. Spoken to someone in their similar position
    2. At a company that is similar to them (give an example of similar industry services or products that they offer)
    3. Who were facing x,y and z problems or were looking to improve on x,y and z
    4. and what you did to help them

    ....it should enable you to establish yourself as a credible resource to them and get them to feel comfortable opening up to you. Once you've done this, you can actually get the information you need to understand how and if you can help them.


    1. You have been upfront in why you're not just calling anyone, but why you're calling them.
    2. You're using relevant industry terms that will resonate with them and you'll be speaking their language.
    3. You're giving examples of problems they too may be facing and you're explaining how you were able to help someone in the past.


    What that essentially is, is something called a positioning statement. These are very powerful and speak to the idea that "Honesty Is The Best Policy" whether you're using a positioning statement on a call, in an email, or on a voicemail. 

    Be upfront, make them feel special and explain why you were EXCITED to call them, excited at the opportunity to potentially help them in the same way you were able to help someone else, due to your EXPERIENCE!

    This is especially valuable for a person newer to sales but also to someone who has been in the game for some time now. Since learning this valuable advice, I almost always start off any conversation with some sort of positioning statement that is honest and true.

    I'll leave you with a personal experience where this has worked for me:

    One day I turned to Mike who was sitting next to me at the time and said "Mike, give me some ideas for good fit companies I can source today and start calling".

    Mike replied "One of my best customers is a company out of New Jersey and they are in the clinical research and testing services industry and specialize in clinical trials, clinical testing etc. They typically have a very consultative sales cycle and give their industry they have no problem creating awesome content because you have to be knowledgeable in order to be competitive in this space. Those types of companies are a great fit to be successful with Inbound Marketing"

    Perfect. I called the VP of Business Development and set up a time to speak. When we connected for the call I opened with this positioning statement which I'll admit I took the time to write out in advance:

    "I'm sure you have a lot of questions about HubSpot which I will do my best to answer but first I wanted to just explain my reasoning for reaching out. Not sure if you've heard of them, but we work with a company that's very similar to yours. When we started talking to them, we spoke specifically with their Director of Business Development - just like you - who was focused on lead generation and growing the business. They specialize in clinical research and testing services specifically in the environmental, pharma & medical device space. They have a really educational sales process and were looking for ways to leverage their online presence to drive more leads and nurture them more effectively. 

    Would you like to share a bit about your role, your sales process, and who you're targeting so that I can better understand if I can help you too?"

    This positioning statement combined with sticking to my newly found "honesty" policy helped me to have potentially the best conversation with a prospect that I've had since beginning at HubSpot. I've stayed on this path since and it is in my opinion the best policy for both ends of the phone line. 

    So in short, be honest! And use your positioning statements! They'll lead you to more meaningful conversations and business relationships then you could have ever imagined.

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    This Blog Post is for People Who Email Me Incessantly Even Though I've Never Expressed Any Interest in Their Product Ever

    Posted by Peter Caputa on Jan 27, 2014 1:16:00 PM

    If I've sent you a link to this blog post by [a personal] email, that means you are probably emailing me incessantly about something that I have zero interest in talking to you about. You missed the mark with your approach. Further, your so persistent that it's actually really annoying. If I could report you to someone that could stop you, I would do that. 

    Further, if you want to improve your sales and marketing effectiveness, try learning about how to attract prospects to you. You can do that through improved sales approaches and/or modern marketing

    Update: If you subscribe to my blog by email, I didn't mean this for you. Sorry for confusion. If I sent this to you personally, then I do mean it for you. 

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