Developing an Outbound Marketing Strategy That Delivers Qualified Leads

Developing an Outbound Marketing Strategy That Delivers Qualified Leads

Developing an Outbound Marketing Strategy That Delivers Qualified Leads

We’ve talked about outbound marketing a lot. At this point, we hope you’re on board with it. Outbound marketing, when created for 21st-century consumers, is effective. It’s the creating part that’s hard, though. 

If done without research or data, your outbound marketing strategy can be both broad and expensive. Read: you’re spending a lot of money on leads you don’t actually want. 

That’s why it’s so important to put in the time up front to develop an outbound marketing strategy that delivers qualified leads. If you’re struggling to build an outbound marketing strategy that pulls in more money than you spend, here are a few ways to turn it around. If you haven’t even begun your outbound marketing strategy, this will help you start off strong. 

Here’s what you need to do to develop an outbound marketing strategy that delivers qualified leads:

Understand Your Audience

The first step to developing an outbound marketing strategy that delivers qualified leads is understanding who your qualified leads are. The thing about outbound marketing is that it usually costs money. You don’t want to spend on a campaign that’s not hitting the right audience. 

Before you even think about building an outbound marketing strategy, you need to fully understand who you're marketing to, and why. Click To Tweet This is called developing your buyer personas. And in case you’re new to buyer personas, we’ve put together an entire step-by-step guide to creating your buyer personas to help you out. 

No matter what your outbound strategy looks like, it’s important that you’ve started with clearly defined buyer personas. When you know your audience, you can better develop ad campaigns and outbound strategies that speak directly to them. 

Set Goals for your Outbound Marketing Strategy

You also need to figure out your goals before you launch, or even build, your outbound marketing strategy. 

What are you hoping to achieve with outbound marketing? If you’re reading this, my guess is that you want more qualified leads. In that case, how many qualified leads would you like to generate from this strategy? Where do you want those leads to go? 

Make Sure You're Setting SMART Goals

If you’re planning a specific ad campaign, what action do you want those leads to take? Like your Facebook Page? Convert on your content offer? Or are you launching a remarketing campaign that you’d like to end in a sale?

What you’d like to achieve with your outbound marketing strategy doesn’t matter so much as having a reason for your outbound marketing strategy. You shouldn’t be running ads just to run them — that’s a quick trip to an unsuccessful campaign. 

Set your goals for your outbound marketing strategy, whether that’s to build brand awareness or draw in more of a certain type of lead, and then you can get started on building the strategy itself. 

Develop an Outbound Marketing Strategy Based on Data

What sets outbound marketing apart from inbound marketing is that you have a massive amount of data at your fingertips. Inbound marketing is exceptionally successful, but you don’t see results immediately, and some tactics can be tough to master. 

This is why an outbound marketing strategy is such a great complement to a quality inbound marketing strategy — it gives you the data you need to make specific, targeted marketing efforts. 

 

Use data to build your outbound marketing strategy. Here are a couple of examples of what I’m talking about:

  • Know Your Keywords If you’re working on paid search ads, it pays to know your keywords. What search queries are your target buyers putting in? And really look at the data. Don’t bid on a broad term with a massive cost per click if a long-tail keyword can deliver similar, or more qualified results. 

  • Get Good at Identifying and Setting Your Audiences – You’ve done a lot of work establishing your buyer personas. Put that research to use when you set audiences for your paid campaigns. Especially on social media advertising, this is where you want to spend the most time — if your ads aren’t hitting the right people, you’re spending money for nothing. 
  • Only Pay for the Leads You Want If your paid outbound tactics aren’t delivering qualified leads, change them! Excluding certain audiences is a great way to optimize ads that consistently deliver leads who aren’t quite warm enough for your sales team. You can also adjust audiences, spend, and more on the fly. Give your ads some time to build, but if they’re not delivering the right results after a few weeks, don’t be afraid to make adjustments. 
  • Send Emails with Intention – We’ll talk about email marketing more, but make sure you’re using data to send emails with intention. When do your subscribers tend to open emails most? Is there certain content they prefer? Could you segment your email list to deliver more targeted, relevant emails? Use data to build your email marketing campaigns, and you’ll see higher open rates, click-throughs, and more leads coming in from that outbound marketing strategy.

Deliver Quality Information

It doesn’t matter if your outbound marketing strategy is built of paid search campaigns, social media advertising, email marketing, or a combination of those three and more. No matter what tactics you use, you need to have quality information behind every single campaign. 

Ad campaigns have to lead to a page that’s helpful and informative. 

Emails should provide content that helps those warm leads learn more about your product, determine which product or service is best for them, and make a purchasing decision. 

This is a big component of a successful outbound marketing strategy. If you’re developing ad campaigns that just lead visitors to your home page, you’re missing out. 

Check out this blog about landing pages to learn more about optimizing outbound lead conversions with the right content. 

Craft Relevant, Specific, Timely, and Helpful Emails

People have volunteered in some way to get your emails. Whether they subscribed to your newsletter or gave up their email address in exchange for a content offer, they made a conscious decision to receive email from you.

It’s your job to ensure they don’t regret that decision.

Basic Email Do’s and Don’ts:

  • Don’t email too often. 
    • Once a month is great
    • Once a week is okay if you really have something to say
    • Once a day is way too much

  • Do craft relevant content
    • Generic newsletters sent to your entire list will fail
    • Develop specific, relevant content that speaks to a specific pain point or question
    • Deliver that specific, relevant content to the right people

  • Do segment your email lists
    • Remember those buyer personas? They’re a great place to start with segmentation.
    • Think about how often you’re emailing each segment. If you have a list of leads in the awareness phase and a list of leads in a particular industry, remember that there could be overlap. Be conscious of the overlap so no one gets bombarded.

If email is a part of your outbound marketing strategy (it should be, it’s useful!) you need to have a purpose for every email you send. 

Before you press send, ask yourself: 

  • Why am I sending this email?
  • What are my goals with this email?
  • Will the people receiving this email appreciate the content?

If you have an answer to all of those questions, and the answer to the third question is yes, then you’re doing email marketing right. 

Remeber that Outbound Marketing Doesn’t Stop With a New Lead

Outbound marketing doesn’t stop when you get a new lead. In fact, outbound marketing is often most successful when it’s used on visitors you already know are qualified leads. 

The people in your email list, those visitors who have shopped around your site a few times, and the leads who keep downloading your content offers are all great opportunities for your outbound marketing strategy. 

The goal of any marketing strategy is to generate leads that turn into sales. You can’t abandon leads after you get them to your site.

You can continue using your outbound marketing strategy to pull those leads closer to a sale with lead nurturing.

Incorporating lead nurturing into your outbound marketing strategy

Believe it or not, lead nurturing is an essential component of any outbound marketing strategy. While there are plenty of inbound lead nurturing tactics, like publishing helpful content that addresses every stage of the buyer’s journey — outbound lead nurturing is particularly effective, since it gives you the opportunity to speak directly to leads you know are already interested in your product or service. 

Two great lead nurturing tactics to add to your outbound marketing strategy include:

Remarketing

Remarketing is a form of digital advertising. When people come to your site and browse your products, cookies track their activity. When they make it to a page on your site that indicates they’re close to making a purchasing decision, they get thrown into your remarketing ad campaign. Then, ads for the product or service they were just browsing pop up on other websites. 

If you’ve ever gotten ads for that pair of jeans you were looking at on your Facebook page or Instagram feed, you’ve gotten remarketing ads. 

These are a super-effective way to draw warm leads right back to your site. They’re a good investment for any outbound marketing strategy because they tend to have a solid success rate. 

Email Workflows

Email workflows are an intuitive, easy outbound lead nurturing strategy.  You’ll have to take a little time to get them set up, but once they’re going, they’re seriously helpful. 

When we talk about email workflows, we’re talking about a succession of emails that kicks off when a lead takes an action. 

  • Let’s say they downloaded a content offer. They’ll get a thank you email right after downloading that gives them the link to the offer. 

  • Then, two days later, your workflow could send out another email asking that lead what they thought, and if they had any questions. 

  • And the workflow goes on like that until they reach the end (a breakup email), or convert to a sale.

In general, email workflows are about three or four emails long, with about two or three days between emails. 

They are so useful for nurturing leads. 

First of all, your sales team doesn’t have to remember to send all of those follow-ups — you can automate them with most email software services. 

Second, it helps pull those leads through the buyer’s journey with relevant, helpful information.

When done right, everyone’s happy. 

The takeaway here is that your outbound marketing strategy should always include tactics that nurture leads once they’ve come to your sales or marketing team. There’s not much point in generating leads if you don’t have a plan to help them convert to a sale. 

Optimize Your Outbound Marketing Strategy Constantly

The key to an outbound marketing strategy that meets your goals?

Constant analysis and optimization. 

Your outbound marketing strategy is never done. You should always be analyzing your results, and applying what you’ve learned to new ad campaigns and email marketing workflows.

The best way to continue growing is to continue working. Keep a close eye on your outbound marketing strategy, and make changes as you can.

While it’s not a good idea to stop and start ad campaigns all the time, or change your email templates every month, there’s a lot you can learn over time. Small changes often have the biggest impact. 

The data you get from your outbound marketing strategy is right at your fingertips, and it tells the story of your success. Use it to keep improving. 

The Most Successful Outbound Strategy is the One that Complements an Inbound Strategy

And finally, I’d like to leave you with a quick reminder. The most successful outbound marketing strategy is the one that complements an inbound strategy.

Inbound and outbound marketing go together like peanut butter and jelly. Click To Tweet They each fill in the gaps of the other strategy. While they’re both strong ways to grow your business and pull in qualified leads in their own right, you’ll see the biggest success when you use them together. 

Check out this blog on how Inbound and Outbound Work Together for more info on developing a cohesive digital marketing strategy. 

A quality outbound marketing strategy takes a lot of work upfront, and quality maintenance to keep it going. Let us lighten the load. For more info about optimizing your outbound marketing strategy to pull in the right leads, or for help getting your paid ad campaigns off the ground, just drop us a line

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Small Business Growth Strategies that Boost Revenue

Small Business Growth Strategies that Boost Revenue

Small Business Growth Strategies that Boost Revenue

When we talk about growth strategies, we think it’s important to talk about tangible strategies your small or midsized business can implement today to help drive growth. There’s a lot of information out there about diversification, market penetration, market segmentation, and acquisition. Those are legitimate small business growth strategies, but they’re nebulous, not actionable. 

Yes, it’s important for your overall business health to do things like diversify and acquire new products/services and even other businesses, but that doesn’t help you grow in real-time. 

Those are strategies that bring you growth, but they don’t set you up to support that growth in the long term. That’s why we’re here to talk about small business growth strategies that can help you boost revenue in real-time, helping you prepare for long-term growth, and supporting your company in a sustainable way. 

Today we’re talking about small business growth strategies that:

a) help you get the word out, 

b) deliver you the qualified leads you’re looking for

c) help you close better deals, faster. 

Best of all, each of these strategies is measurable and results-driven. 

You want growth, right? There’s no point in investing in a growth strategy if you can’t see the results it’s delivering. 

So, without further ado, here are a few of our favorite small business growth strategies that boost revenue in ways you can track:

Set Growth Goals

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times — it’s hard to implement a growth strategy if you don’t know where you’re growing to. 

Setting growth goals is an integral part of your small business growth strategy. Think of it this way: how will you know which strategies to implement if you don’t know what you want to grow?

It’s one thing to say, “I’d like to grow my business,” or “increase revenue”. It’s another to actually sit down and make that happen. 

I won’t belabor this point because we’ve already written a lot about it, but set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely), and develop your small business growth strategies to help you meet those goals. 

Once you’ve set your growth goals, you’ll have a better idea of which of the following small business growth strategies can help you meet those goals.

For example, driving traffic helps bring in more leads, focusing on customer loyalty helps with customer retention, and increasing local SEO helps do both, with the added benefit of increasing your digital presence. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of those key small business growth strategies:

Create Value that Draws in Leads

Sure, your product or service has value to people, but it’s tough for customers to take that at face value. Other than selling something, how can you create value for your potential customers and leads? 

Content is always a great place to start. You have the knowledge and you have the authority in your industry to create helpful content. Developing content that showcases both of those qualities and answers questions that your potential customers are asking creates serious value that will start to draw those leads into your business. 

It’s tough to grow a business without customers. 

By creating value with blogging, with content offers, and dynamic social media channels that offer the information your ideal audience is looking for, you start drawing in those customers you want.

How does creating value boost revenue? 

When you offer valuable information, you build both trust and authority with your prospects. By providing helpful answers to their questions, you become their go-to resource. So, when they do finish their research and get ready to make a purchasing decision, you can bet your business will be at the top of their list. 

Not sure your content creating is creating value? Make sure you have calls-to-action on your blogs and articles and make sure you're tracking conversions on your content offers. Click To Tweet All of these tools can show you exactly where your customers are coming from, and how your valuable content is contributing to your bottom line. 

Drive Traffic

When it comes to small business growth, it’s all about traffic. Whether you’re a brick and mortar business or strictly digital, traffic is important. You need people in your store and on your website if you want to grow your company. 

Drive traffic with:

Social Media

Point people to your valuable content, your new video, your awesome website, or your attractive content offer by sharing it on social media. Make sure you’re choosing the platforms that are best for your industry, too, like LinkedIn for B2Bs, Facebook for home services and local, community-focused messages, and Instagram for any exciting visuals. 

Strategic SEO

We’ll talk more about SEO later on, but developing a website that’s tailored to specific keywords and topics that your customers are searching for is key to getting the traffic you need to grow your business. 

Backlinks

Backlinks help you boost your domain authority (basically, how important search engines think you are) but they also drive traffic. When another site links to your page or piece of content, everyone who comes to that site has the potential to click over to you. If you don’t have backlinks yet or don’t have the power to get backlinks, it all starts with great content. If you’re writing unique, interesting content that people relate to, it’s naturally more shareable.

How does driving traffic boost revenue?

Well, if you’re generating more of the right traffic — that ideal target audience who’s genuinely interested in your product or service — you’ve got a higher percentage of qualified leads on your doorstep just waiting for your marketing and sales teams to close the deal. 

Traffic is also an easy one to track. Use Google Analytics to measure your influx of traffic over time. If you have marketing software, that’s also a great place to look for results. 

See where your most promising leads are coming from, which pages they’re landing on, and which content they seem to prefer, and you’ll be able to keep optimizing both your traffic growth strategy and your content strategy for better results. 

Increase Local SEO Efforts

For most small businesses, it’s all about location, location, location. You’ve got to start getting your name out somewhere, right? If your business is location dependent, meaning you offer a product or service in a specific area, local SEO is key to your small business growth strategy. 

As a local business, you want to be at the top of the list when someone searches for, “roofing near me” or whatever local search is relevant to your business. Local SEO is how you get there. 

As small business growth strategies go, local SEO is a solid one that offers tangible and measurable results. We won’t go into the key points of implementing SEO, but you can find plenty of information about how to get started with local SEO on our site, and from digital marketing leaders like Moz and HubSpot

How does local SEO boost revenue? 

Like I said before, this is a great small business growth strategy if you’re looking for measurable ways to boost revenue. 

First and foremost, when implemented properly, local SEO works to put your company in front of qualified leads in your area. 

You can tell that your local SEO strategies are working by tracking your traffic, your SERP (search engine results page) rankings, and just by measuring how many of your leads are coming from organic search results. Again, marketing software and Google Analytics can help you get all of these numbers. 

Like many growth strategies, local SEO does have its limits. When you’re working hard to get your company to rank well for local search terms, you’re going to see more local traffic. But all this growth strategy can do is get those leads to your website or sales team. From there, it’s still up to you to actually convert those leads into sales. 

That said, it’s hard not to grow when more of the qualified local leads you’re looking for are coming directly to you. 

Build Customer Loyalty

These days, consumers are more engaged than ever with the brands they choose to buy from. Most consumers take pride in supporting companies they believe in, whose beliefs they align with, and whose products and services they love. In the digital age, growing your small business is about a lot more than just selling a product. 

Today’s most successful small businesses stand out by building relationships and trust with their customers and prospects. 

How do you do that? 

Think about how your brand is interacting with people.

In the digital era, consumers are seeking that sense of connection wherever they can find it. They want to buy from brands that “get” them. Brands that understand their pain points and work hard to support their goals and needs are brands they’re likely to stick with. 

This might seem like a lot of personal, touchy-feely advice, especially for small businesses in B2B industries, but it’s true. No matter who your consumer is, whether it’s an engineer looking for the next great tool to support their research and development, or a local homeowner seeking a new roof — how they perceive your company matters. 

If your company and brand seem human and approachable, they’re more likely to buy from you. If they feel like they’ll get personalized customer service, and you deliver, they’re going to keep buying from you in the future.

Today’s consumers, in every industry, are looking for personal connections and exceptional customer service. If you can deliver that, your small business is going to start seeing your growth. Here’s how you can make that happen: 

Deliver personalized messages.

Email marketing is a great place to start. If you’ve been doing any kind of digital marketing, you’ve probably collected the email addresses of previous customers, potential customers, leads, and prospects. Use those email addresses to start delivering the personalized service and messaging that can build that customer loyalty. 

Segment your email list, and start putting out marketing messages that really resonate with each segment of that list. 

For new prospects, that might be information to help them through the consideration phase of their buyer’s journey. 

For past customers, that might be reminder emails when its time to get their product serviced or inspected, or helpful information on how to use your product or service for the best results. 

When you are able to deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time, you’re not just developing a successful email marketing strategy for your small business.

You’re also building positive, strong relationships with leads, prospects, and previous customers, all of which keep your flywheel spinning and contribute to small business growth. 

How does building customer loyalty boost your revenue?

  • 70% of companies say that retaining customers is significantly cheaper than converting a new one. 

  • 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer a personalized experience. 

The more personalized and positive your experiences with leads, prospects, and customers are, the more business you’re going to win and retain. 

And of course, when your customers love your products, your services, and your company, they’re going to talk about it, which means word of mouth marketing for your small business. And that’s one of the most effective small business growth strategies out there if you can get it going. 

Growth strategies are integral to the success of your SMB. Whether you’re looking for more local leads, hoping to convert a greater number of leads into sales, or you’re looking for ways to increase customer retention, we can help

All of these small business growth strategies I’ve mentioned today can be combined into one overarching strategy that puts your business ahead of the competition. If you’re ready to grow your SMB, we’re ready to develop a tailored strategy that’s guaranteed to deliver. 

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5 Simple Steps to Sell Your Boss on Inbound Marketing

5 Simple Steps to Sell Your Boss on Inbound Marketing

5 Simple Steps to Sell Your Boss on Inbound Marketing

As a digital marketing company that spends the majority of our time helping clients grow their inbound marketing strategies, we can say definitively that inbound marketing works. And if you don’t believe that, head on over to our case studies, where we’ll take you step-by-step through all the ways inbound marketing has returned serious results for clients in a range of industries. 

If you’re here, though, you probably already know inbound marketing works. You’re just trying to figure out how to sell your boss on inbound marketing.

Maybe you’ve seen inbound or digital marketing putting your competition in that number one spot, or maybe you’re just tired of printing out physical marketing materials that no one ever looks at. No matter the reason, you’re here to figure out how to sell your boss on inbound marketing, and we’re here to help. 

Here are 5 ways to show your boss that inbound marketing is legit.

As in, it’s a legitimate marketing method that produces the leads you want, the sales you want, and the ROI you’ve always dreamed of. No joke, it’s actually that good. Here’s how you get your boss to realize that too. 

Step 1: Make Sure They Know What Inbound Is

Before you can launch into the multitude of benefits that inbound marketing will provide, make sure you’re on common ground. You’ve been in the marketing world for some time now — you’ve got the jargon down and the basic methodologies are clear to you. Your boss probably hasn’t spent as much time in the trenches as you. 

Try to find a short, concise, and direct way to explain what inbound marketing is to your boss. Chances are that if you’re out looking for ways to set your company apart, your boss already trusts your opinion, and is willing to listen. Just make sure you don’t take up too much time explaining the process. Stick to: 

  • A definition
  • The basic goals of inbound marketing
  • An outline of the Attract, Convert, Close, Delight flywheel
  • The benefits of inbound marketing

We have plenty of clients who’ve never heard of inbound marketing and who just came to us for a new website. Don’t assume that your boss knows what inbound marketing is. If they do, great, but if you really want to sell your boss on inbound marketing, it’s important to start on the same page first.

Step 2: Paint a Picture (It Doesn’t Have to be Pretty)

Once your boss knows what inbound marketing is, paint them a picture of where your company is now, and how inbound marketing can help you get to somewhere better. Like I said in the subtitle, this doesn’t have to be a pretty picture. 

If you only get 50 visitors to your website a month, let your boss know. And let them know that’s really bad, too. 

It can also be helpful to paint your company’s picture in relation to your competition. No VP of Marketing or Sales wants to see that the competition is doing better than their company. 

Use a free site like Ubersuggest to get some initial info on how well your competition is doing. Are they getting more traffic than you? Do they have a better position on Google for your keywords?

Lead with data. When you can paint a clear, factual picture, and back it up with real data about a) how your company is doing, and b) how you could be doing with inbound marketing, you’re going to earn some buy-in from your boss. 

Step 3: Show ’em The Money

Your boss cares about the bottom line. No biggie. We all live and die by profit margin. Inbound marketing holds up, and there are plenty of studies to show it. Click To Tweet

How do you prove the ROI of inbound marketing to your boss?

Easy:

Case Studies

Case studies are one of the easiest ways to show your boss why inbound marketing is worth the investment. Do a little searching around and find some case studies that represent companies similar to yours. (You can start on our site, we’ve got a bunch of FREE ungated case studies over here, showcasing inbound’s results for a number of industries.)

Industry Studies

You’re not the first person to have to prove inbound marketing’s ROI to their boss. ROI is important to most companies, and to answer that need, there are plenty of industry studies out there showing exactly how much bang for your buck you get when you invest in inbound. 

 

 

For example, did you know that: 

  • It’s 61% cheaper to deliver a lead with inbound marketing versus traditional marketing tactics. 

  • Inbound marketing tactics generate 54% more leads than traditional paid marketing methods. 

There’s a lot of info out there on the internet that can help you make this pitch. Come armed with data, statistics, and a compelling story, and you should be able to convince your boss to at least check out inbound marketing. 

Your Own Estimates

If you’ve got the tools and the time, it doesn’t hurt to present some real numbers to your boss, either. 

Getting a few cost estimates about how much it’ll take to get your company started with an agency, and take a few demos to see what types of tools, like HubSpot or Facebook Advertising might be helpful.

Many digital marketing agencies are happy to offer a few cost estimates, and they’d love to tell you what they can do for your company too.

If your company is serious about hiring an agency for some sort of marketing help, it’s worth it to have those estimates on hand. That way you can show your boss the real projected ROI you’ll see when you do invest in inbound marketing. 

Step 4: Get Someone Else On Board

If I had to pick, I’d say go talk to sales. Have you ever met a sales team who felt like they were getting enough leads? 

Inbound marketing is an easy sell to sales teams, because it delivers qualified leads directly to them, and helps take a lot of the legwork out of their day-to-day.

Bringing the sales team in as backup shows your boss that a) you’re not the only one who thinks this is a good idea, and b) that inbound marketing is something everyone can get on board with. 

When your boss sees that this is an initiative that can prove results, and that other team members will get on board with, their decision is a lot easier. 

Most company decision makers shy away from new initiatives for two reasons: 

  1. They’re afraid the cost isn’t worth the rewards. 
  2. They know the initiative is worthwhile, but they’re afraid to spend money on something the team might not use. 

Your data already proves that inbound marketing is worthwhile. If you can get someone else at your company onboard with inbound marketing, you solve concern #2 as well. That puts you in a great place to sell your boss on inbound marketing. 

Step 5: Make Inbound Marketing an Easy Decision

Here are a couple of things you can do to make your boss’s decision for inbound marketing a little easier:

  • Show them the work you’ve done

  • Clearly outline your top three inbound marketing agency choices

  • Show them how making the switch to inbound can help your company grow

  • Invite them to an informational call or demo with one of your top-choice agencies

When your boss sees the work you’ve put into this, they should be willing to at least hear you out. That’s your foot in the door policy. Show them what you’ve learned, and show them why you think inbound marketing is going to be good for your company. 

If you do all the work, and present the real, tangible growth benefits that inbound marketing can offer your team, you’re doing everything you can to sell your boss on inbound marketing.

No one but your boss knows exactly how he or she will respond, but at least you’ve done everything you can to set yourself up for success. 

We get that making the switch to inbound marketing is a tough choice. Especially for manufacturers and B2Bs, inbound can feel like a foreign way to do things. If you know inbound marketing could help set your company apart from the competition and grow your business with more of the right leads knocking on your door, come talk to us

We’d be happy to get you the information you need, and we’ll even talk to your boss for you if you want. And, for more info to strengthen your inbound marketing pitch, be sure to check out the case study below. 

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Getting Started with HubSpot Series: Sales and Marketing Alignment

Getting Started with HubSpot Series: Sales and Marketing Alignment

Getting Started with HubSpot Series: Sales and Marketing Alignment

As a HubSpot Partner Agency, we know that sales and marketing alignment is a big deal for any of our clients. Having aligned sales and marketing teams is one of the key ways to foster efficient, strategic growth that you can carry into the future. But, if you’ve been functioning with disparate sales and marketing teams for years, or if you just have a sales team and not much marketing help, it can be difficult to know where to start. 

That’s where HubSpot comes in.

The platform itself was designed to help companies provide better, more personalized service to leads and customers alike. With tools to help your marketing and sales teams nurture leads with personalized workflows and real-time communication, HubSpot has everything you need to get your sales and marketing teams working together to close more of the deals you want, faster. And a HubSpot Partner Agency has the experience and the training your team needs to make it happen. 

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If you’ve been looking into sales and marketing alignment or HubSpot, but just aren’t sure what to expect from the process, keep on reading. We’re going to give you a complete look at what the sales and marketing alignment process looks like when you use the HubSpot platform to make it happen. 

Our Getting Started with HubSpot Series is written to help you understand what to expect when you sign on with a HubSpot Partner Agency for HubSpot Services. Over the next few months, we’ll work to cover everything from HubSpot onboarding to sales enablement and sales and marketing alignment. If you like these posts, and there’s a certain topic you’d like us to talk about, just let us know!

What Does Sales and Marketing Alignment Look Like?

Whether you have your own marketing team, or Evenbound is doing the work of a marketing team for you, our HubSpot Certified Trainers are always working to help align your sales and marketing goals. They are experts in sales enablement and alignment, and the work they’ve done with our current clients has shown just how important it is to the success of our clients to have aligned sales and marketing teams.

Like many other HubSpot-related services, sales and marketing alignment starts with a big meeting. Best case scenario, you get both your sales and marketing teams in one room to chat with a HubSpot Certified Trainer. If that’s not possible, we’ll do our best to get as many team members together at once. During that first meeting, the top priority is setting up an SLA:

Setting Up an SLA

Sales and marketing alignment starts with a Service Level Agreement (SLA).  It’s a type of internal contract that helps your sales and marketing teams agree on one common goal that everyone is working towards. 

It also outlines specific intermediary goals for both sales and marketing teams. (For more info about SLAs, check out this blog about Marketing and Sales Alignment Strategies.) This is one of the most important aspects of aligning your teams, and lucky for you, our HubSpot experts are masters of the SLA. 

They’ll help you figure out: 

  • What specific roles your marketing team is responsible for. Delivering a certain number of MQLs to your sales team, nurturing a specific percentage of MQLs who aren’t ready to convert, and more.

  • What specific roles your sales team is responsible for. What percentage of SQLs they should follow up with, how many deals they should close per month, and what tools they should be using to do it.

  • What roles both teams will have to work together on. Communicating about both warm and cool leads, offering feedback about new marketing content, discussing which sales and marketing efforts are working or not.

Once you have an SLA in place, you can work to determine more specific goals that both teams can work towards to deliver meaningful growth to your company. 

Determining Your Goals

Sales and marketing teams have always had goals, they just haven’t traditionally been aligned. This is another spot where a sales and marketing alignment service or HubSpot trainer comes in handy. 

As a Certified HubSpot Trainer and a HubSpot Project Manager, it’s your HubSpot expert’s job to help you set goals that actually contribute to the overall success of your company, and they know how to do that with HubSpot. 

So, they will help you set SMART goals that keep your sales and marketing teams aligned, and that ultimately help your company close more deals. 

Best of all, your HubSpot expert can help you get these goals put into HubSpot, so your entire team can see at a glance, how far you’ve come, and how far you have left to go in reaching those goals. 

Helping You Reach Them

Your HubSpot expert is also here to help you reach those goals. This is a key benefit of working with a HubSpot Agency Partner that you won’t get anywhere else. 

Beyond just helping you set up and onboard onto the HubSpot platform, they help you continue to learn about HubSpot’s tools in a way that pushes you towards those goals. They can work directly with both your sales and marketing teams to help them learn how to use the tools that will give them the best results, and put them closer to those goals. 

Ongoing Support and Connect Meetings

This ongoing support means they’ll continue to train your team on the tools that will help them the most. Whether that’s a refresher training on a tool they use every day, or brand new training on a tool your team isn’t familiar with yet, regular connect meetings give you the opportunity to ensure your team is continuously improving and growing. 

Working with a HubSpot expert helps your team not only get used to the HubSpot platform, but truly get the most out of it. It’s a great way to make sure your team is making full use of your investment.

How Much Work Will This Be For My Team?

No matter what HubSpot service we’re talking about, the question we’re asked most often is, “how much work with this be for my team?”. When it comes to sales and marketing alignment, the work your team will have to put in has less to do with individual tasks, and more with shifting the way they think about marketing or selling. 

Unlike HubSpot Onboarding and Sales Enablement, which are tools-focused services, sales and marketing alignment is primarily focused on how your sales and marketing teams work together to close more deals that grow your company. 

While both teams will still need to learn about a variety of HubSpot tools, make it to meetings, and get comfortable with the HubSpot platform in general, the largest chunk of work they’ll have to do is less task-related and more focused on communication. 

The goal of sales and marketing alignment is to ensure that both teams are working towards the same goals, in ways that benefit both teams. Here’s a look at some of the things your team will have to do when trying to align your sales and marketing teams:

  • Make Time for Regular Team Meetings. They don’t have to be long, but you should set up a regular meeting where both sales and marketing can talk about how they’re doing to reach their goals, what the other team is doing to help them reach those goals, and how they could be better supported in reaching those goals. 
  • Time for HubSpot Sales and Marketing Alignment Training. In the beginning, your team will have to do a little bit more work to 1) set up alignment goals, 2) put tactics in place to reach those goals, and 3) to make sure both teams are working together to reach those goals. 

 

It’s important to remember that while your team might have to put in a bit more time upfront, once you’re marketing and selling with an aligned team, you’ll see better, faster results. The marketing team will nurture more of the right leads, delivering your sales team the warm, qualified leads they know they can close on quickly. 

The Benefits of Parntering With A HubSpot Partner Agency for Sales and Marketing Alignment

When you partner with Evenbound for help aligning your sales and marketing teams with HubSpot, the benefits are twofold. First, you get expert advice on how to align your teams. Second, your teams learn how to use the HubSpot platform effectively, which means you get the most out of your investment in HubSpot.

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When you work with a HubSpot Partner Agency, you’re getting help from the most qualified experts in the industry. HubSpot Certified Trainers have completed a number of certifications and in-depth training sessions, plus they’ve worked with companies just like yours to teach sales and marketing alignment before. 

HubSpot experts know how to set up a quality SLA, and they know just what tools your team will need to be successful with sales and marketing alignment in the long term.

If you’re looking to get the most out of your HubSpot account and bring your sales and marketing teams together to close bigger deals more efficiently, a HubSpot Partner Agency is your best bet. 

Interested in Sales and Marketing Alignment Help for Your Team?

Evenbound is a HubSpot Gold Agency Partner. That means we have HubSpot Certified Trainers and project managers who are trained through HubSpot to help your teams with these specific challenges. 

To learn more about our HubSpot Services, just get in touch. Our HubSpot Certified Trainers would be happy to talk more about your specific goals for sales and marketing alignment, and the HubSpot platform in general. And, if you’d like to learn more about how our HubSpot services have helped companies just like you discover serious growth, check out the case study below. 

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7 Steps to Developing a Growth Strategy That Delivers Results

7 Steps to Developing a Growth Strategy That Delivers Results

7 Steps to Developing a Growth Strategy That Delivers Results

You want to grow your company. But, you’re not sure where to start. We get it. 

It’d be great if we could all just grow our businesses and companies by taking on more projects. Unfortunately, sustainable growth needs a little bit more direction and structure than that. 

If you’re looking to grow your company by pulling in more of the right leads, and converting them more efficiently, you need to start developing a growth strategy. 

What’s a Growth Strategy?

A growth strategy is a detailed plan of action designed to help your company grow — that is, increase sales and revenue over a specific period of time. Effective growth strategies are specific, measurable, and focused on continuous improvement. 

No two growth strategies are exactly alike — they’re unique depending on the company, the company’s specific goals, and the resources you have available to implement that strategy. 

What is universal to all companies, however, is that you need a growth strategy if you want to build your company in a specific way: to close bigger deals, to shorten your sales cycle, and grow your company strategically for the best results. 

If you’re working on developing a growth strategy that gets your company moving in the right direction, here are 7 steps you can take to start creating a growth strategy that delivers the tangible results you’ve been looking for. 

7 Steps to Developing a Growth Strategy That Delivers Results

Use this menu to jump to the steps you’re most interested, or read on through for the complete step-by-step guide to developing a growth strategy that delivers results. 

#1 Start with SMART Growth Goals, Big and Small

Real, effective growth strategies start with SMART goals. We’ve got an entire post about how to determine your SMART goals, but here’s a quick cliff-notes version: 

What are SMART Goals?

SMART Goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

So, “I want to grow my business,” is not, in fact, a smart goal. It doesn’t give you any mile-markers. It doesn’t really tell you what you want, or where you want to be. 

A SMART goal is something like: I want to grow 20% in the next fiscal year. 

The Difference Between Big and Small SMART Goals

Now that’s still a pretty broad goal, which is fine. You can have big growth goals, but it’s also important to set small SMART goals too, so you know you’re keeping your company on track. How are you going to reach that 20% growth mark by the end of the year? 

Examples of smaller growth goals that can help contribute to your big growth goal might be to:

  • Convert 500 leads per month. 

  • Close on 15 sales per month.

  • Generate at least $375,000 in new revenue per month.

One or all of these goals are great mile markers that help keep your team on track while moving to your big, overarching SMART goal. Defining these little goals also makes it easier to start developing strategies that put you closer to your big goals. 

Saying, “oh, I want to grow by 20% in the next year” sounds great. But it doesn’t give you a lot of direction. Saying, “I want to convert 500 leads per month” does give you some direction — how are you generating leads now? How can you generate more leads? Are there lead generating tactics you haven’t tried yet that you could check out?

Now you have a launching-off point to really start moving your company towards your growth goals. 

#2 Develop Strategies to Support Those Growth Goals

Okay, so you’ve got your SMART goals, big and small. Start with the small goals first. Let’s go with generating 500 leads per month as our example.

If you’re generating leads primarily through word of mouth, you have a lot of room to improve:

  • You can start developing a digital growth strategy that focuses on generating leads. 

  • You can increase your web presence, start implementing content marketing strategies, and try out lead capture tactics like landing pages, forms, and calls-to-action. 

If you already have a web presence and are hoping to generate more leads, start by really drilling down on the efforts that work:

  • If you’ve been getting a ton of leads through your blog, up your posting schedule to once or twice a week instead twice a month. 

  • If you have an active list of newsletter subscribers, lean on them a little harder for conversions.  

    You can also start expanding your lead generation efforts. Try new tactics like social media advertising, guest blogging, or adding more lead touch points to your marketing and sales process. 

    The point is that if you have specific, attainable (etc.) goals, determining your plan of action is a lot easier. If you know exactly where you want to be, it’s a little easier to figure out how to get there. 

    #3 Consider Tools That Support Your Goals and Strategies

    Another great way to bolster your growth strategy is to consider investing in tools and software that can make it easier for you to implement your new strategies and reach those growth goals. 

    Using that same lead generation goal as an example, let’s say that one of your new strategies is to start promoting your content more often, and follow up with new leads more promptly.

    It’s important to remember that all of these changes aren’t always on your sales and marketing teams — there are plenty of tools out there that can help you reach these goals and implement these new efforts.

    What Growth Tools Are Right for Me?

    Consider investing in a social media publishing tool that allows you to schedule posts out when it’s convenient for your team. 

    Many marketing software platforms also offer automated email and workflow tools. The minute a lead downloads a content offer or signs up for your newsletter, you can have them automatically entered into a welcome workflow that sends them helpful, relevant communication that nurtures that lead for you. 

    At Evenbound, we’re big advocates for the, “work smarter, not harder” mindset. Implementing a growth strategy can be tough work. If there are tricks and tools that can help you reach those growth goals more easily and that offer your leads and prospects better service, use them

    Don’t be afraid of tools because they’re new or different. They can seriously help you reach those growth goals, usually faster than your team could do it on their own. 

    #4 Implement Your Growth Strategies

    Alright, now that you’ve got your goals nailed down and you’ve got a plan to reach them, it’s time to launch! Put your growth strategies into action. Let your new marketing software do its work. 

    And give your strategies a little bit of time, too. Especially if you’re implementing inbound strategies meant to bolster your organic traffic, you probably won’t see results overnight. That’s okay. 

    Keep with your growth strategies, and keep with your plan.

    In general, you should wait at least a month before you start making judgement calls on the effectiveness of your new initiatives. For some tactics, you might even have to wait a few months to get a really clear picture of how your efforts are impacting your bottom line.

    It’s good to remember that you put time and effort into developing your growth strategies. If you did your research, at least some of your new tactics and strategies are going to deliver results. 

    #5 Analyze Your Results

    When your new strategies and growth campaigns have been running for a while, analyze them. Maybe that’s at the one-month mark for tactics like paid advertising and new initiatives in your marketing and sales process.

    For organic and inbound tactics like content marketing, you might give it two or three months before you take a good hard look at the results. Either way, when it’s time to take a look at how far you’ve come, it’s important to look at the big picture. Make sure you’re analyzing both your wins and your challenges. 

    Looking at the Big Picture: Wins

    Let’s say your new strategy is doing awesome. You’ve reached that 500 leads per month goal already, and you’re only three months into your new strategy.

    Don’t just leave it at, “well, my strategy is working great”. Take a look at which efforts specifically are generating those leads for you.

    Are the majority of your leads coming to your site organically? If so, which pages are they coming to or landing on? 

    Are your paid ads converting leads like crazy? Great! Which ads were most effective? 

    Is your new marketing process shortening your sales cycle and converting qualified leads in just a week or two after their first touch? Amazing. What specific efforts are getting those leads so excited about your company?

    The deeper you dig into your new growth strategies’ results, the better you’ll understand how you’re generating those results. 

    Looking at the Big Picture: Challenges

    This works the other way, too. Maybe you implemented a new email marketing strategy that totally flopped. Look at why it flopped.

    Did you just not have the depth of email contacts you needed to make that strategy work? Were people not connecting with that specific message? How can you improve it for the next round of growth goals? 

    The more you analyze your results, the better your growth strategy will perform in the long-term. When you know exactly what your leads respond best to, and why, you can continue on that upward growth trajectory, and you can keep optimizing your growth strategy with actual data and results in hand. Which brings us to step #6.

    #6 Optimize Your Growth Strategy

    After you analyze your results to death, it’s important to use all of that information you’ve collected and actually put it to work. If a specific set of Facebook ads performed really well, start launching more campaigns with similar attributes. If your email marketing strategy didn’t work, don’t keep doing the same old thing — try something new! 

    The great gift of analytics is that they give you the data you need to make changes and improvements. Use analytics to your advantage and apply what you’ve learned to your future growth tactics and strategies. When you do that, you’re truly implementing a continuous growth strategy that will continue to support your company even as your goals change. 

    #7 Set New SMART Growth Goals

    The key to an effective growth strategy is a mindset of continuous improvement. Once you reach your growth goals, it’s time to set new goals, and repeat the process. 

    If you want your company to keep growing, your growth strategies have to change as your company does. Once you reach your first set of goals, re-evaluate where your company is, set new SMART goals, and keep developing your growth strategy to help you reach them. 

    The best growth strategies are the ones that are constantly changing and adapting to your business’ needs and goals. And it makes sense: a growth strategy that worked for a small business isn’t going to work the same for a mid-sized business. Your growth strategy should evolve and adapt as your company continues to grow. 

    The Most Effective Growth Strategy Is the One That’s Continuously Improving

    In the end, building a growth strategy that delivers results is all about setting up the structure and mindset your team needs to grow, and allowing plenty of space and flexibility to keep improving. The best growth strategies are the ones that grow and improve themselves. 

    So, start with your SMART goals for right now, and keep moving that needle forward as your company grows. 

    Developing a growth strategy and actually implementing it can seem like big, daunting work. If you’re just not sure where to start, drop us a line! We help companies like yours grow every day, and we’d be happy to answer any questions you’ve got about developing a growth strategy, sticking to it, or optimizing it as you reach your goals. 

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