by Carl J. Rohling | Hubspot | Sales | Marketing
Three weeks ago, I was invited to attend the Hubspot Project Lion Sales Skill Bootcamp. It had substance, was well run, and exceeded my expectations. As a Certified Agency Partner with HubSpot, one of the benefits is a plethora of continuing education courses refreshing agencies on how to better serve their clients. The most important takeaway from this Bootcamp was not how to close more business but rather how to evaluate which prospect is a good fit for our Agency and which is not.
What is HubSpot? HubSpot is a leading marketing software company that incorporates many critical marketing, sales, and services functions around an industry-leading CRM. Of course, the CRM is the centerpiece of the software and is available free to clients. After months of research, our digital marketing agency Leadbird selected HubSpot for our own sales and marketing. The obvious benefit for us was consolidation. No longer did we need to run three disparate systems and hope there were APIs or plug-ins for each. A few of our clients were already HubSpot customers so we decided to become a fully Certified HubSpot Partner.
As a Certified HubSpot Partner, we can now manage our client’s sales & marketing under one roof with the HubSpot software. In order for us to properly onboard our clients, we were led by David Weinhaus, Part-Time Rock Star and Lead Partner Sales Enablement at HubSpot. David’s sales philosophy is that selling is all about finding good fit prospects and solving business problems. Advise and don’t pitch. After taking his course and looking at our projects, I couldn’t agree more. My summary of key takeaways from the course are listed below. Hope you enjoy them!
I am a natural business development and sales guy and it’s hard to stop talking. One of the hardest things to bear is silence. But we are in the growth business and growing our clients’ revenue is our objective. If we don’t listen and ask questions we will never really understand our clients’ business, barriers, and whether inbound marketing can help. Just because a client wants to grow their bottom line revenue doesn’t mean that our agency can help meet these goals. How do we learn if we can help? By listening and asking questions. Then, when you think you finished asking questions, ask one more. You’ll be surprised how much you can learn and ultimately help your prospects by listening.
Why? Because you can drive awareness, engagement and leads for your client but there still may be unknown obstacles that still prevent success? And if your client’s objectives are sales then you can still fail in their eyes and waste your time and your client’s money. At Leadbird, we’ve worked with such a client and by all metrics succeed in our deliverables by driving solid growth in visitor traffic and leads. But they had an integration problem. None of their prospects were buying because it wasn’t integrated into their software platform even though their prospects acknowledged it was better, cheaper and more modern.
So, by asking more questions and listening, you’ll uncover these obstacles. You’ll learn whether your clients’ goals are realistic and whether our inbound methodology will work for them.
As part of Leadbird’s exploratory call with our clients, we are instructed to find the gap. No not the popular San Francisco clothing store or the gap between my 6-year-olds front teeth. Rather follow the instructions in #1 above and learn your prospect’s current situation. Then understand your prospect’s plans and challenges and finally understand their goals and timing. The gap is the difference between your prospect’s plans and their goals. Finding this gap is a skill that requires patience and several questions and leads your prospect down the path to discover where you can help.
Why find the gap? Because this is where you can help your prospect. Asking these questions help you find the best solution for your prospect without having to explicitly tell them. It also helps you ultimately decide whether your agency is the right fit for the prospect. Remember, making a sale isn’t simply telling the client what they need and that you can fulfill it – it’s about asking questions that get the prospect to scream what they need and have them realize the solution with you. Collaboratively.
From our Sales Skill Bootcamp, finding the gap was a key learning tool. Arriving at a solution together is a great way to improve your sales process and makes the prospect more likely to buy. If you can get the prospect to say out loud and realize your strong case for change, then you no longer need to sell them your solution.
Okay, so you’ve discovered an opportunity and they are interested in your agency. You’ve covered the 3 sale sale (another topic for another blog) in which you sold the change, the solution and the how. But there are thousands of marketing agencies in the US. Why you?
A third critical take away from Sales Skill Bootcamp was to make sure you properly differentiate your agency. Why are we (or you) the right fit and why inbound marketing? You need to create an agency power statement. Explain your story in a concise way and how that aligns with your goals.
For example, Leadbird is unique because we started originally as an original data producer. With clients ranging from D&B, InfoGroup and Factual, we source and enrich data for leading data companies and clients. And when you engage prospects looking to fill the awareness portion of their growth plan having access to quality data is crucial. As a result, we focus on mid-sized companies that are looking to drive growth by creating more awareness with their products or services.
Understanding this is important for your agency. Not only to help close deals and differentiate your agency but to better understand who to target.
We learned how to generate lots of quality leads through inbound marketing in our HubSpot training. We are getting smarter on filtering out which of these leads fits our digital marketing agency. By doing so we become better marketers which knowledge we pass along to our clients.
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