SequoiaCX is a certified HubSpot partner, and we are excited to be a part of HubSpot’s tremendous growth and mission to help businesses scale.
HubSpot is a fantastic CRM for scaling businesses and is one of the fastest-growing CRM platforms on the market. It’s an excellent platform that is quickly adopted, enabling organizations to mature and grow with centralized data, advanced analytics, and tools.
HubSpot educates and converts customers using the “Inbound Method,” which is a framework for aligning your marketing, sales, and services efforts to the demands of modern buyers. Rather than focus on disrupting and reacting, the Inbound Method grows the bottom line by proactively managing the buying journey and anticipating customer needs.
HubSpot has leveraged the Inbound Method to rapidly grow their business and have just passed a significant milestone of 100,000 active customers.
At SequoiaCX, we are big advocates of this method, and we leverage Hubspot to improve sales efforts for our business and our clients.
So we were ecstatic when HubSpot invited us to join their eight-week sales course—named the HubSpot Lions Bootcamp—to show us the tools, methods, and technologies they use to create their explosive sales growth.
We are happy to say the opportunity to learn from veteran Inbound sales masters was well worth it. While we learned and reaffirmed a great deal, I wanted to share the highlights of the two-month journey with you.
I did my best to distill the 8-week course into eight key takeaways that could help your sales teams generate more leads and close more deals.
The Top Eight Takeaways From the HubSpot Sales Bootcamp
1. “Always Be Closing” Has Become “Always Be Helping”
People are tired of being sold. It’s intrusive, distracting, and people instantly put their shields up when they feel you are trying to extract from them. More importantly—with the proliferation of information and marketing materials available online, control over the buying process has shifted into the buyer’s hands.
The Inbound Method embraces this dynamic by positioning your sales team in the role of a helper or consultant that supports the modern, empowered buyer.
While seemingly subtle, effective salespeople make themselves available, provide value, and guide prospects through the buying journey. Rather than pitching and selling ideas—inbound sales teams engage prospects, understand their needs, and provide them with resources and guidance to make their best decisions.
Yes, quotas still exist, and salespeople still need to “close,” but the sale isn’t the overarching objective. Instead, the focus is on long-term and value-driven relationships fostered by placing the sales member in a trusted advisor position. In other words, sales have become less transactional and more human-centric.
When paired with HubSpot CRM, sales teams have the tools to manage multiple touchpoints, foster trust, and guide customers to a lasting partnership.
“Inbound is a scalable sales strategy that focuses on attracting interested prospects to your business and building lasting relationships to help your customers succeed. Outbound sales tactics engage potential buyers who may or may not be interested in your products and services. – HubSpot ”
2. Prospect Good-Fit Clients
The days of going after any lead that comes into your net are long gone.
I’m sure every salesperson can relate to the frustration of chasing down poor-fit leads. They waste time, rarely convert, and often are nowhere near ready to purchase.
A poor-fit customer is more than just a time-wasting lead and far more detrimental to a business. It’s a customer whose needs and resources don’t align with your business’s offerings, specialty, or culture. When sales teams focus solely on closing, bad-fit clients get through the buying journey and drain significant business resources.
Maybe these customers don’t have the funds, are in a different industry, have unrealistic expectations, or have toxic partnerships. Whatever the case may be, these clients are disastrous for companies. Sure the sales team gets a commission, but the ops and service teams drain profit to bend to these customers’ demands.
Sales team members need to know who their ideal customers are and have a strategy to find and engage them. Otherwise, they risk dragging down the business and wasting resources.
Creating a customer-fit matrix enables sales and marketing teams to quickly rule out potential prospects and focus on those in which a mutually beneficial relationship is possible. This also makes sales prospecting efforts more valuable and productive.
Identifying excellent prospects is easy with an integrated CRM that tracks engagements and aggregates insights in one central location. From web traffic to social engagements, it’s all at your fingertips with HubSpot.
3. “Give and Get”
“Give and Get” is the Inbound Method’s bread and butter. It’s a simple framework that first offers value to clients before asking for information and insights. Rather than selling a customer right out of the gate, sales should engage good-fit prospects with materials and resources that HELP. This showcases expertise, provides value, and puts your sales team in the supporting role rather than the extracting role.
When your marketing team embraces the Inbound Method, they should have a plethora of white papers, research, datasheets, blogs, articles, videos, and resources to educate customers. Sales teams can leverage these tools to engage prospects, help them solve problems, and earn their trust.
Being helpful to your prospects lowers their shields and makes them more inclined to absorb what you’re offering and continue to engage with you. “Give and Get” is an invaluable tool for motivating and nurturing prospects through the sales cycle.
HubSpot makes “Give and Get” simple by empowering sales teams with document repositories and tracking. Quickly embed virtual documents into emails and track when they are opened, by whom, for how long, and where they were forwarded. These breadcrumbs become powerful tools in nurturing prospects and finding out what their interests are.
4. Practice Active Listening
Any seasoned salesperson will tell you that you should do less talking and more listening. Prospects will tell you their needs, hurdles, and objectives if you stop trying to sell and start listening to them.
The more you listen and seek confirmation of what you heard, the more likely a person is willing to continue sharing. When paired with targeted prospecting—skilled sales teams can quickly identify where they can add value and how their business can support the client going forward.
Often this takes place over dozens of touchpoints, across multiple channels and individuals. Keeping the sales process straight and identifying opportunities becomes manageable with a CRM that automates data capture, sets follow-up reminders, and centralizes notes to keep everyone on the same page.
5. Stop “Cold Calling.” Start “Warm Calling” with a Connect Call.
Cold calling is awful… For both sides.
It isn’t fun for salespeople, and it certainly isn’t enjoyable for prospects. Plus, mindlessly calling “prospects” from a generated list and repeating a script is ineffective. Ambitious salespeople increase their odds of creating leads by investigating and educating themselves about their prospects before engaging. Even with insights, first engagements can be a trying and repetitive endeavor.
HubSpot’s Inbound Method increases engagement success by deploying some tried and true tactics:
- Research and find good-fit prospects
- Explore their business and identify opportunities where you can help
- Reach out and introduce yourself
- Leverage insights
- Build rapport
- Confirm opportunities with “Give and Get”
- Identify pain points and validate desire for help
- Ask for further interactions and opportunities to provide
- Don’t push for the sale
While this process still involves outreach, the connect call focuses on familiarizing yourself with the prospect and listening to understand where you can provide value. This makes the interaction more friendly and productive. It’s also less invasive and removes the desperate pitch—instead, seeking to identify a need and schedule further discussions.
Even if customers aren’t ready to engage your business, the process is memorable and positive. When paired with sales nurturing, a warm connect call dramatically increases conversion rates from “cold” outreach.
6. Automate Where Possible But Not At The Expense of Personalization
Sales is a nuanced and intricate process that occurs over dozens of touchpoints and interactions. To complicate things further, each customer is unique in their buying journey and how many touchpoints they will need to decide.
Salespeople have to manage a dynamic funnel of prospects where high-intent customers need heavy-personalized engagement, but lower intent-customers need low-touch nurturing. It is a tricky proposition that can quickly spin out of control as businesses expand and grow, putting more demands on their sales teams.
While automation is invaluable, it can also ruin deals. Determining which customers are ideal for automated nurturing and those that require hands-on engagement is often the difference between maximizing a funnel’s opportunity and just scraping by.
A great CRM enables your sales team to manage this reality with automation for email sequences, assigning follow-up tasks, leveraging playbooks, and tracking progress.
60% of customers say no four times before saying yes, whereas 48% of salespeople never even make a single follow-up attempt.
7. Spice Up Email With Video
Email has become a central communication tool for everything. That’s the problem with it. Every communication floods in via email, drowning out useful information into a sea of noise.
Leveraging embedded video makes email marketing and sales nurturing more effective. It creates a unique and stand-out experience in which emails are more engaging and memorable, increasing open, engagement, and reply rates.
Embedded video enables sales members to introduce themselves, showcase their expertise, remove communication barriers, and keep messaging consistent regardless of where the email travels.
Leveraging tools like Vidyard and Soapbox make embedded video effortless and effective. Vidyard takes it a step further and tracks interactions and engagement with your video, letting you know who watched your video and with whom they shared it.
Nothing says I’m interested, like watching your entire video and sharing it with peers.
Reps that use video in prospecting, relationship-building, and sales emails see 5x higher open rates and 8x higher open-to-reply rates. And they’re just getting started.
8. Socialize & Get Engaged
Half the world’s population is now active on social media—making social selling more critical than ever. Those who engage in long-term nurturing and prospecting on social media generate more results.
Research shows that top-performing sales reps, who close deals 51% more than their peers, consider social selling central to their success. As further evidence, sales teams that leverage social media experience 18% greater pipeline volume and 21% increased pipeline velocity than those who don’t.
Social selling efforts are a bit nebulous, for now, and while they produce results, they can often be hard to track.
To manage our social leads, we added a “social” source in our CRM to track how many leads come in through. We also leverage HubSpot to expand our social presence, set up listening stations, and automate weekly posts.
If your sales team isn’t managing their brand online and tapping into the opportunity of social media—now is the time to start.
The opportunity to attend HubSpot’s Lion Sales Bootcamp and learn from the masters of the Inbound Method has radically changed our business’s trajectory. Adopting the same strategies and tools that launched HubSpot’s success has enabled us to increase efficiency, scale business, and grow opportunities for ourselves and our clients.
HubSpot’s growth CRM and their Inbound Methodology align marketing and sales efforts with modern consumers’ behaviors—creating a frictionless sales process that draws in clients and compounds efforts.
If you’re looking to grow your business, HubSpot’s platform is an easy-to-use and powerful toolset that quickly produces returns. When paired with the Inbound Method, it dramatically increases the efficacy of your sales and marketing efforts and creates customer advocates.
If you would like to learn more about HubSpot or want help adopting the platform, SequoiaCX is a trusted partner. We help B2B, MedTech, and Startups embrace the modern buying journey, connect with customers, and grow their business.