How to Use HubSpot Lead Scoring to Streamline Sales

How to Use HubSpot Lead Scoring to Streamline Sales

How to Use HubSpot Lead Scoring to Streamline Sales

The benefit of investing in inbound marketing is, if you’re doing it right, you should see leads start to flood in. And while your sales team is grateful for all of the leads coming directly to them, it can be pretty overwhelming to look at a huge list of contacts and decide where to start. 

That’s where lead scoring comes in. Lead scoring, as we’ve talked about before, is the process of assigning value to each lead you generate. It’s a tool and tactic that sales teams use to separate great, warm leads from those that aren’t quite ready to make a purchasing decision yet. 

If you’re new to lead scoring, I’d suggest you check out our intro to lead scoring blog. There, you’ll find plenty of info about what lead scoring is, and how you can implement it effectively.

Then, come back to this blog, where I’m going to show you exactly how to use HubSpot’s lead scoring tool to segment your list of contacts so it’s easy for sales to focus on those high priority leads who are ready to make a purchasing decision. 

Here’s a look at our agenda for this blog. Feel free to jump right to the How-To sections if you’re already familiar with HubSpot’s lead scoring tools. 

New call-to-action

What is HubSpot Lead Scoring?

HubSpot lead scoring is just lead scoring made simple through your HubSpot CRM. HubSpot lead scoring is included starting at the Professional tier, and is available in two distinct versions: 

HubSpot Lead Scoring

Available to most HubSpot subscriptions, standard HubSpot Lead Scoring allows you to automatically assign values to a contact based on both negative and positive attributes. I’ll get into the “How To” in the next section on Implementing HubSpot Lead scoring, but this tool allows you to take control of your contact list by selecting what attributes are most important to your sales team when it comes to indicating a qualified, motivated prospect. 

HubSpot Predictive Lead Scoring

HubSpot Predictive Lead Scoring is available to those on the Enterprise Tier. It’s an automated feature that analyzes all of the data on the contacts in your CRM, and uses that information to automatically score leads. 

The best part of HubSpot Predictive Lead Scoring is that it’s constantly learning. 

As you get new contacts and as contacts close in your CRM, HubSpot continues to compile that data and improve its lead scoring capabilities. If you want to learn more about how HubSpot Predictive Lead Scoring works, and how to use it to streamline sales, jump down to this section.

Now that you have a general sense of the lead scoring tools that HubSpot offers, let’s take a closer look at how to use both HubSpot’s manual lead scoring and predictive lead scoring tools. We’ll start with manual lead scoring, offered to all Professional and Enterprise subscriptions.

New call-to-action

How to Implement HubSpot Lead Scoring

To implement HubSpot lead scoring, you first have to know what makes a good lead. 

Talk to your sales team, look at the data you’ve got in your CRM, and consider interviewing a few customers to see what attributes make for a great, motivated lead. I’ll give you a few examples as we work through this step by step. 

Once you have an idea of what a good lead looks like, it’s time to set up HubSpot lead scoring in your HubSpot portal. 

1. Click the Settings gear in the top-right menu bar of your HubSpot portal.

2. Navigate to the Properties tab on the left side of your screen.

Settings_Properties_Lead_Score

3. Browse or search for the “HubSpot Score” property.

HubSpot_Score_Property

4. Click Edit

At this point, HubSpot will pull up a form that looks like this. 

HubSpot-Score-Positive-Negative-Attributes

Now is when we really get down to the lead scoring. 

You’ll see you have the option to add either positive or negative attribute sets. Let’s look at a couple of examples here: 

Setting Positive Attributes

Let’s say your sales team really wants leads from companies who make over a certain annual revenue. Here’s how we would set that up: 

Positive Attributes_Lead Score
  1. Click Add New Set
  2. Click Company Properties

3. Click Annual Revenue

Choose the revenue number that best suits your ideal lead. HubSpot offers a range of options, like “is greater than”, “is equal to”, or “is less than”. 

Positive Attributes_Set Score

Once you’ve chosen your ideal Annual Revenue, assign that attribute value by clicking on the little pencil next to “Score”.

EditScore_Lead Score

The value should make sense for the attribute. For example, if this contact fits your ideal revenue range AND fits your buyer personas, you might give that ad set a higher score, like a 2 or 3 to indicate to your sales team that this lead is a great fit. 

Once you’ve assigned a score to the attribute, click Apply Filter, and your HubSpot Score will go live. 

Setting Negative Attributes

The steps to add negative attribute sets are exactly the same as positive attributes. Negative attributes are assigned negative scores, rather than positive scores. 

For example, let’s say you don’t work in a certain region. You can assign a negative score to any contact that comes in from a region you don’t serve. This will bring their score down, so they’re not a top lead in your sales contact lists. 

Understanding HubSpot Lead Scoring “and” & “or” Sets

The last thing I want to touch on in this section is building stacking attribute sets. 

HubSpot offers both “And” and “Or” options that you can apply to your positive and negative lead scoring attributes. 

When you use “And” between two attributes, that means a lead must have both of those attributes to receive the score. 

For example, let’s say you have two positive attributes — one on annual revenue, and one on personas. 

If a lead fits into one of your personas and fits into your annual revenue, then they will receive the positive score. But, a lead who only has one of those attributes won’t get the additional lead score points. 

If you’d like that lead to get credit for just fitting into your buyer persona, you’d want to use HubSpot’s “Or” option instead. 

Your new positive attribute set would read, “Lead has annual revenue greater than $X, Or Persona is persona x“. 

By using this feature, your leads only need to fit one of these attributes to get the score. 

HubSpot lead scoring can sound a little scary, especially if you’re new to the platform. I’d encourage you to check out this handy, quick video HubSpot put together on lead scoring. It walks you through exactly how to set up positive and negative attributes. 

Watch through this video a couple of times, and then pull up this guide in a side-by-side window when you go to set up your HubSpot lead scoring. You’ll have a better idea of what to look for, and a step-by-step guide walking you through the whole process!

How to View Contacts With a HubSpot Lead Score

Now that you’ve set up your HubSpot lead scoring, HubSpot will automatically apply the scores you’ve set up to any new lead that fits the attributes you’ve created. You can see each of your contact’s scores by following these steps:

HubSpot Lead Scoring_Contacts
Contact Properties Filters

1. Navigate to Contacts

2. Click More Filters at the top of the contact list. 

3. HubSpot will populate all of the available filters. 

4. Type into the search bar “HubSpot Score”, and click HubSpot Score when it pops up. 

5. Choose your score from the available list. If you’re just starting, I recommend choosing “is known“.

This will populate all of the contacts that have been assigned a value according to your new lead scoring attributes, which you can then sort by highest to lowest.

6. Click Apply Filter

HubSpot Score_Contact Filter

Now, all of the contacts with a HubSpot score will populate in your contact list. You can organize the list in descending order to see leads with the highest score first. 

What is HubSpot Predictive Lead Scoring?

Congratulations! You made it through the hard part!

HubSpot’s manual lead scoring, which we just walked through, is the hardest part of HubSpot lead scoring. I’m confident that once you use it a few times, you’ll feel comfortable adding in positive and negative attributes, but it definitely takes a bit of getting used to. 

Luckily, HubSpot’s Predictive Lead Scoring is a tool that is automatically applied, which means there’s no step-by-step here at all. I’m just going to walk you through what HubSpot’s predictive lead scoring is, and how to access that data in your portal — you don’t have to set up a thing. 

The first thing to know about HubSpot Predictive Lead Scoring is that it is available in two properties, “Likelihood to Close” and “Contact Priority”. Let’s take a quick look at both: 

Likelihood to Close

This is a contact property that HubSpot automatically assigns to your leads based on a number of data points the CRM collects. This property is represented by a percentage. 

Likelihood-Desc.

So, if your contact has a 20% likelihood to close, that means that based on the data HubSpot has on the contact, their behavior, and compared to similar contacts your sales team has worked with in the past, this contact is only 20% likely to close in the next 90 days. 

A higher percentage is always better for this contact property. 

Contact Priority

This is another predictive contact property from HubSpot. For this property, HubSpot takes all of the contacts in your CRM, and splits them into four tiers: 

  • Very High
  • High
  • Medium
  • Low
Priority-Desc.

Again, HubSpot is pulling from both behavior and data in your CRM to predict which of your leads are the highest priority, and which might not be ready to make a sale yet. This is remarkably useful for your sales team, as they can use it to see exactly which leads they should be prioritizing at a glance. 

For both of these predictive contact properties, it’s good to know that HubSpot works to learn common patterns and behaviors and improve how it assigns leads over time. So, the more diligent your sales team is at logging contacts and activity in HubSpot, the more accurate these properties will become. 

If this is the first time you’re hearing about predictive lead scoring, check out HubSpot’s Predictive Lead Scoring Video from the HubSpot Academy. It’s a quick walkthrough of how predictive scoring works, and why it’s useful.

How to See Your HubSpot Predictive Lead Scores

Now that you know what these predictive lead scores are, let’s quickly go over how you find them and how you use them. 

HubSpot Lead Scoring_Contacts
Contact Properties Filters

1. Navigate to Contacts

2. Click More Filters at the top of the contact list. 

3. HubSpot will populate all of the available filters. 

4. Type into the search bar either contact priority or likelihood to close. 

5. Choose Is Known

6. Click Apply Filter

Contact Priority Known
Likelihood to Close Filter

Now, your contact list will show each contact’s predictive lead score. You can add another filter to show both Likelihood to Close and Contact Priority. With your list filtered this way, your sales team can see at a glance which leads are high priority and which are likely to close in 90 days. 

What’s the Point of HubSpot Lead Scoring?

So we went through all the steps. Now you can see each of your contact’s lead scores according to your assigned attributes, and according to HubSpot’s predictive property. 

So what? Now what do you do with it?

The options are endless, but the answer is simple.

Your sales team has the information they need to go after the highest priority leads at a glance. 

With lead scoring features like these, a sales rep can open up your contact list and see instantly who is a high priority based on your specific lead scoring settings. 

Contact Prioirty Is_HubSpot

This shaves serious time off your sales rep’s process and eliminates a lot of the clutter from their day. Now, instead of wading through a massive list of contacts, they can pull up High Priority contacts only, and organize their day based on the contacts who are most likely to convert. 

Lead scoring, especially in a system like HubSpot, is an exceptionally useful tool that can contribute to better, faster, and more streamlined sales. Lead scoring eliminates a lot of the busywork of sales, helping your team focus on delivering the right message, to the right, qualified leads, at exactly the right time. And when you’re doing that, you’re going to see serious growth. 

New to the HubSpot Sales Hub? As a HubSpot Solutions Partner, we’ve got the team and the training to help you get comfortable using all of those new tools to streamline sales and close more deals. Get in touch with us to learn more about tools like lead scoring, sales sequences, and more. 

New call-to-action
New call-to-action

Sales Funnel Vs. Flywheel: Why it’s Time to Switch

Sales Funnel Vs. Flywheel: Why it’s Time to Switch

Sales Funnel Vs. Flywheel: Why it’s Time to Switch

Consumer trends have shifted significantly in the last 10 years. The way we approach selling to consumers hasn’t. 

Sure, there have been major changes in marketing and customer service — inbound and digital marketing are increasingly successful. But sales teams overwhelmingly rely on the sales funnel of decades past to guide their sales efforts from quarter to quarter. 

If your sales team has continued to use and rely on the sales funnel, for lack of a better option, today we’re going to give you that better option — the flywheel. 

This article will cover the differences between the traditional sales funnel and the new flywheel. We’ll look at:

  • Consistent problems with the sales funnel
  • How those problems are solved by the flywheel
  • How the flywheel and the sales funnel stack up side-by-side
New call-to-action

Let’s start with a basic definition of each the sales funnel, and the HubSpot flywheel.

The Sales Funnel

I won’t go into too much detail about the sales funnel, because you’re probably painfully familiar. The sales funnel looks like this: 

hubspot-sales-funnel

As its name suggests, it’s a funnel, where visitors enter at the top and exit the funnel as they become sales. 

The sales funnel is a tried-and-true sales methodology that many teams have used for years. The problem is that it’s been decades since the sales funnel has seen any improvements, while consumer purchasing habits have changed significantly in the last few years. 

The HubSpot Flywheel

The HubSpot flywheel is HubSpot’s new take on the traditional funnel. Whether you subscribe to HubSpot’s message or not is irrelevant — this new approach to sales is undeniably effective.

What’s interesting about the flywheel is that it’s not terribly team-specific. While there are different ways marketing, sales, and customer service might apply tactics within the flywheel, the HubSpot flywheel is designed to encompass all of your company’s interactions with any customer in one methodology. 

Let’s take a look:

inbound-marketing-flywheel

As you can see, the biggest shift from the funnel to the flywheel is that the customer is dead center. We’ll get into that a bit more later on, but the big thing to know is that the flywheel relies on your leads, prospects, and customers to provide the energy that powers the flywheel. Your sales team’s job is to remove any friction that could get in the way of that energy. 

The flywheel is very much developed according to today’s new consumer habits. The modern consumer wants to gather their own information and make their own purchasing decisions. 

The flywheel absolutely caters to that style of consumerism by putting your customers at the center and putting the responsibility on your marketing, sales, and customer service teams to deliver the information and service that helps those customers make those decisions in the way that best suits their needs. 

Why it’s time to ditch the sales funnel for the sales flywheel

Don’t get me wrong, the sales funnel was and is a remarkable tool. It’s been used by sales teams for decades. But just like DVDs, VHS, and CDs, things are improved upon. When there’s a better solution, it’s time to phase out and innovate. Like any business model, the sales funnel isn’t perfect.

While there are plenty of ways to illustrate how the sales funnel is missing today’s consumer, one great example is the quarterly sales dilemma. 

If your company functions on a quarterly sales model, as many do, it’s likely that towards the end of the quarter, your sales team starts to ditch any of their new prospective leads for those that are closer to the end of the funnel. They put all their pressure on those leads to close before the end of the quarter, so they can squeak by their quarterly quota. 

sales-quarter-pipeline-meme

What’s the problem?

Well, what happens on the first day of that new quarter?

In a traditional sales funnel model, I’d bet you dollars to donuts your sales team is flat-footed with no warm prospects to even consider talking to. They spent so much time rushing to close a deal — any deal — by the end of the quarter, that there’s nothing left in your funnel at the start of the next quarter. 

Your prospective leads have all been closed or abandoned because they weren’t ready to close by the end of the quarter.

That’s a problem. In addition to your sales team starting out of the gate flat-footed, it’s also a big issue for today’s consumer. In a world where the consumer appreciates and has come to expect frictionless, high-quality service from marketing to sales to customer support, this attitude towards customers who aren’t ready to close just doesn’t work anymore. 

If you abandon a lead one quarter because they weren’t ready to close, they’re going to go find service from somewhere else. They won’t be sitting around waiting for you to come back next quarter. 

This is where the flywheel comes in handy. 

Flywheel vs. Funnel:

How does the flywheel give sales teams an edge?

Now, I’m not going to lie to you here. The flywheel isn’t going to magically eliminate the pressure that your sales team feels at the end of the quarter, especially if they’re being measured on quarterly quotas. 

That said, the flywheel does provide a better method of addressing all of the prospects and customers your sales team is in contact with. When the customer is at the heart of your flywheel (and they should be), they’re what’s driving your speed.

The customer is the energy that propels your flywheel. How your sales team works with those customers — by removing friction and applying force where it will have the greatest impact — is what keeps your flywheel not only spinning but growing. 

Let’s take a look at the specific ways the flywheel gives sales teams an edge over teams still clinging to the funnel. Check out this chart for a basic overview, and keep on reading for a more in-depth breakdown. 

sales funnel vs. flywheel chart

Output vs. Input

Looking at the funnel vs the flywheel in direct comparison, the flywheel focuses on input, while the funnel focuses on output. 

funnel-vs-flywheel-1024x647

The funnel is all about how many customers you can output. The goal is to widen the funnel as much as possible because you know you’re going to lose time, energy, and customers, as leads fall in and out of the funnel. When you make a sale, that customer drops out of the funnel, never to be seen again by the sales team. That’s a pretty inefficient use of energy. Your team put months into this customer for just one sale, and no future returns. 

With the flywheel, the customer is the input. The customer starts at the center of the flywheel, and that’s where they stay. Rather than being an output —  an energy expense for the sales team — customers are the input. They generate and store the energy that drives growth. When a customer makes a sale, they don’t just drop out of that flywheel. Instead, you retain their energy within the flywheel as they become a promoter of your product or service to others in their industry. 

Start and Stop vs. Ongoing

One of the biggest differences between the funnel and the flywheel is the concept of continuity. 

The sales funnel has a very clear start point and a very clear endpoint. At any given company, a customer might go through a marketing funnel, then a sales funnel, and then a customer service funnel. That’s a lot of starting, stopping, and abrupt transition for the customer. All of that is friction that will cut into your bottom line. 

New call-to-action

The sales flywheel helps your sales team remove this friction by eliminating the start-and-stop mindset. Instead of a customer or prospect having a clear start or finish point, they’re located at just one spot in the flywheel — the center.

Your marketing team might entice a customer with a great offer and convert them into a sales lead, where they close a deal with the sales team. BUT, when that customer is in the flywheel, their journey doesn’t end because they’ve made a purchase. They remain in your flywheel, as they’re turned into a promoter for your brand or as they continue to make purchases from your company. 

The flywheel is also much better at accounting for leads who do not follow a linear sales process

You probably have plenty of leads who enter into your current sales funnel and just “aren’t a great fit right now”. In the funnel, as soon as you hear someone isn’t a great fit, they’re out. In the flywheel, that prospect still has a place. Your marketing team can continue to nurture them until they become a great fit, at which point they’re easily accessible for your sales team to connect with and convert. 

sales-meme-pretty-serious

What’s the benefit here?

You close more deals with less effort. The flywheel is a highly efficient sales process that helps your team put their efforts to use where they will provide the greatest return, without affecting the customer’s positive experience.

The flywheel brings continuity to the sales process. Instead of thinking of each prospect of having a defined start and endpoint with your company, you can shift your mindset to consider that each prospect is a long-term opportunity. They can become a promoter and supporter of your brand, and a long-time customer that continues to work with and buy from your sales team. That relationship helps your company grow faster and more efficiently. 

Siloed Teams vs. Genuine Teamwork

If you think about the funnels you’ve encountered at your business, you’ll likely notice that there are a lot of them. Like I mentioned above, there’s often a sales funnel, a marketing funnel, and  a customer service funnel, at least. In addition to creating a high-friction process for your prospects and customers, this siloes your company. 

Your marketing team and customer service team have their own set of responsibilities, most of which are separate from what the sales team does. 

The flywheel removes these team silos and works to bring all teams into one single flywheel. This gives every team more support, which in turn helps support and remove friction for your prospects. 

When marketing, sales, and customer service are all working together towards the same goals, everyone gets more support.

Instead of it being marketing vs. sales, or instead of a tough client being “customer service’s problem” the whole team can put their unique and varied expertise together to provide a higher level of service and a more frictionless experience for every lead, prospect, and customer. 

The HubSpot flywheel supports revenue-driving marketing and sales alignment

We’ve got a lot to say about the benefits that sales and marketing alignment can provide. I won’t go into it all here, but know that companies with good sales and marketing alignment generated 208% more revenue

The flywheel fosters exactly that kind of alignment between your teams, enabling you to generate more revenue from a focused, strategic sales strategy. 

Making a shift to your entire team’s sales methodology can feel daunting. If you’re sold on the flywheel, don’t feel like you need to make this change overnight. Start with some simple alignment strategies that get your team on the same page, and present the flywheel methodology to them initially. 

Over time you can work to shift the way your sales team looks at and works with leads to a more flywheel-focused process. If you’re having trouble communicating the benefits of the sales flywheel to your team, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’ve worked with many teams to provide HubSpot services that optimize their sales process for a shorter cycle and greater returns. We’d be happy to help you, too. 

New call-to-action
New call-to-action

What is Lead Scoring? And Why It’s Important to Sales Success

What is Lead Scoring? And Why It’s Important to Sales Success

What is Lead Scoring? And Why It’s Important to Sales Success

What is Lead Scoring?

Lead scoring is the process of assigning value to each lead you generate. Most companies function on a point system — the better the fit and interest of the lead, the greater the score of that lead. Lead scoring helps marketing and sales align their efforts so that everyone is always putting the most effort towards the leads most likely to close. 

Why is Lead Scoring Important?

The thing about inbound marketing is that it brings leads in. When your inbound marketing strategy starts to hit its stride, you’ll have leads, most of which are qualified, flowing into your website and inbox. 

What’s your sales team to do with all of those leads?

Not all leads are the same, and your sales team only has so much time in a day to work to close them. Lead scoring helps give your marketing and sales team a common valuation system they can use to determine which of those leads to spend their time on. 

If you want to avoid sales team burnout, and help them close the most deals for their time, lead scoring is the way to go. 

New call-to-action

What Does Lead Scoring Look Like?

Most lead scoring models work on a point system. Essentially, you assign a point value to each attribute or quality a lead has. 

Points can be both positive and negative. (My Harry Potter fans get it, right?)

Let’s take a look at an example. 

Say you’re a home builder that builds custom homes for families in the Grand Rapids area. 

For the sake of this example, you’d likely assign positive points to lead with qualities or attributes like:

  • The lead is looking to build a home
  • The lead is a parent of two kids in elementary through high school
  • The lead is interested in Grand Rapids neighborhoods
  • The lead’s budget lines up with the average budget of your projects
  • The lead has looked at your gallery of projects
  • The lead has downloaded a content offer 
  • The lead regularly interacts with your monthly newsletters and email marketing campaigns

You might assign negative points if:

  • The lead wants to build outside of your service area (that’s probably -10 points)
  • The lead has a budget far below the projects you prefer to build
  • The lead hasn’t interacted with your website

As points come together for each lead, those with a higher score are going to be the most qualified leads. 

Two Things to Remember When Developing a Lead Scoring Model

Lead scoring will differ from company to company, depending on your product, the industries you work in, and more. There’s a lot that goes into developing a solid lead scoring model, so we’ll put together another blog that goes into detail on lead scoring models.

For now, there are two major categories that help you define the quality of any lead: fit and interest. 

Scoring a Lead’s Fit

A lead’s fit means how well they fit your product or service. If they’re in your service area, they work in the right industry, and they have the right job title or role at their company, then they probably fit your buyer persona. It’s likely that they’re a good fit for your product or service. 

You’d think that’d make them an excellent lead, and that they should have a high lead score, right?

Not exactly. 

This is where interest comes in.

Scoring a Lead’s Interest

It’s important to account for a lead’s fit and interest when you’re scoring leads. 

Has that lead engaged with your website? How often? Are they interacting with key content offers, and have they looked at your pricing page a few times? 

These are signs that lead has an interest in your product or service. 

How to Handle Different Levels of Fit & Interest When Scoring Leads

Okay, so every lead is going to have different levels of fit and interest.

What do you do if one has more interest, but isn’t a great fit? Or if a lead is a great fit, but doesn’t seem engaged with your brand?

Here’s a quick look:

  • If a lead has great interest and great fit, they’re a high priority lead and should receive a high score. This is the lead your sales team should work first. 
  • If a lead seems like a great fit, but they haven’t interacted much with your marketing team or website, they could still be a great lead, but they should be lower on your sales team’s priority list. This is a lead that marketing should work with to nurture a bit more before they hand them off to sales. 
  • If a lead has a great interest in your product or service, but aren’t a great fit — maybe they’re not a decision-maker, or maybe they’re in an industry that doesn’t tend to do well with your product or service, they’re probably a great candidate for some automated marketing and sales activities.

How Do You Keep Track of Lead Scores?

So you’ve figured out what lead attributes are valuable, which aren’t, and have a basic idea of how you plan to start your lead scoring model.

How will you keep track of your lead scoring model and the scores of each of your leads?

This is a ton of information, both to figure out and to keep track of. 

Your two greatest options are to 1) invest in a CRM that can keep track of all that information for you or 2) start manual lead scoring. 

Software or CRM Like HubSpot

The easiest way to keep track of your lead scoring model is to use a CRM that helps you manage and organize each of those leads based on their score. HubSpot offers manual lead scoring for Marketing and Sales Professional, and predictive lead scoring for Marketing and Sales Enterprise. 

Both options are great. When you have manual lead scoring all set up, it’s easy for sales and marketing to see which leads are the highest priority.

You can check out how that works in this handy video from HubSpot:

With predictive lead scoring, HubSpot takes all that data you’ve been collecting and helps rank leads for you according to who has the best fit, the most interest, and a historical likelihood to close. 

Manual Lead Scoring

If your company isn’t in a place to invest in software tools like HubSpot, manual lead scoring is your best bet. I’d recommend creating a shared document that everyone on the marketing and sales team has contributed to and approved. Then, you’ll need to set up a process for scoring each lead. 

  • Should each sales team member score a lead as they come in?
  • Or maybe the marketing team should be the ones scoring leads. That way, they know which leads to send to sales, and which to keep nurturing.

No matter how you do it, it’s important to have a set, repeatable process that everyone understands. 

It might seem like a lot of work, and a lot to keep track of at first, but once you have a lead scoring model in place, it will eventually become second nature to marketing and sales to score those leads. 

If you’re relying primarily on manual lead scoring, it’s most important to ensure you’re keeping sales and marketing teams aligned. Great lead scoring is only effective if both marketing and sales have the same shared understanding of what makes a good lead. 

Remember that as your business grows and changes, you’ll start to pull in new leads for different products and services. 

Your lead scoring model will need to adapt to that. 

Make sure marketing and sales have the time set aside to work together and make sure your lead scoring model is always working to clearly define the most qualified leads. 

Why Lead Scoring is Important to Sales Success

So there you have it — what lead scoring is, and a general idea of how to start developing and implementing your own lead scoring model. But why is it important to sales?

Lead scoring makes it easy to see which incoming leads are most likely to close. That means your sales team spends less time nurturing leads, and more time closing. 

When they’re able to see at a glance the top qualified leads, and reach out and interact with those leads first, they’re spending their time in the way that will deliver the greatest impact to your bottom line. 

Lead scoring is a helpful tool for any company looking to allocate their team’s time to the activities that will deliver the greatest ROI.

While there’s a lot of upfront effort that goes into developing a lead scoring model that works for your company, the payoff is that your marketing and sales teams are:

  1. Aligned on which leads are the most valuable to your team, and
  2. Spending the majority of their time on the leads that are likely to deliver the greatest return. 

Have more questions about lead scoring, or about setting up lead scoring in your HubSpot portal? We’re here to help.

New call-to-action
New call-to-action

Solved: 4 Common HubSpot Onboarding Challenges

Solved: 4 Common HubSpot Onboarding Challenges

Solved: 4 Common HubSpot Onboarding Challenges

Investing in HubSpot is an exciting move for any team. You’ve got a full suite of robust marketing and sales tools, right at your fingertips! 

You have everything you need to start making marketing and sales changes that will deliver serious results in the form of more deals closed and overall company growth. 

But, before you can reap all of those benefits, you’ve got to get through the HubSpot onboarding process

Let’s first clarify by saying that the HubSpot onboarding process isn’t as intimidating as it sounds. 

There is some upfront work, and for any team, a major change in the way you conduct business is going to take a bit of work. But, it doesn’t have to be headaches and stress. 

HubSpot onboarding can be a fun, exciting process, especially if you come into it with a positive attitude, and a plan to tackle some of the most common challenges teams run into. 

New call-to-action

With that in mind, here are 4 of the HubSpot onboarding challenges we see the most often with our own clients, and the solutions we use to navigate these challenges efficiently, so our HubSpot services clients get up and running, and seeing benefits, improvements, and results as soon as possible: 

HubSpot Onboarding Challenge #1

Transitioning the Team

In nearly every onboarding we’ve facilitated with clients, transitioning the whole team onto HubSpot tends to be one of the greatest challenges. 

Your team is already busy. They’ve got sales calls to make, meetings to attend, quotes to write up, and more. Sales reps already have a full-time job (selling), and adding one more thing to the plate can feel overwhelming. They’ll get to HubSpot, but when they have time. 

The problem is that if it’s not a priority, they won’t ever have time. 

One of our HubSpot Certified Trainer’s favorite quotes is: 

It’s all well and good for your team to sit down together for one big onboarding meeting, but everyone has to commit to using the tool regularly if you want to see results. And that’s a challenge. 

It’s hard to get an entire team to do anything at once, much less learn a new tool and transition their sales process to a CRM they’re not familiar with. 

The Solution:

Make HubSpot onboarding a priority

It sounds simple, but I think we all know that in practice, it’s not. 

We’ve said this before, but it’s still a helpful tip: Get your team to commit to using HubSpot just 5 minutes a day. 

Have everyone set up a daily reminder for themselves to spend just 5 minutes a day entering new contacts into the CRM or assigning deal stages to each of their leads. 

This is fairly easy work to do, and even spending just 5 minutes a day in HubSpot will help them build a habit of logging into and working in the platform. 

Another solution?

Make HubSpot a Team Event

Everyone can meet up, either virtually or in person, and spend an hour organizing their contacts in the CRM. 

This is a great time for your team to collaborate — to talk about what tools they’re loving in the CRM, and what problems they may have come across. 

Not only will regular team meetings help enforce the importance of using HubSpot, but it provides an opportunity to get the team together to share helpful information and tips that will help everyone improve. 

HubSpot Onboarding Challenge #2

Making Sure Your Process is Compatible with HubSpot

For many companies, transitioning to HubSpot is a way to make the sales process easier. A tool like HubSpot gives you greater visibility and transparency into all the deals that everyone is working on, and it makes it so much easier to connect with the leads that can provide the greatest returns. 

The problem that often arises, though, is that in onboarding to HubSpot, many sales teams realize their process isn’t compatible with the HubSpot tool. Don’t panic, this is totally normal and can be fixed. 

Maybe your sales reps have all been using different sales processes. Maybe they all have their own literature they like to hand out. Maybe every sales rep has a different idea of what a qualified lead looks like. Maybe your sales process just isn’t standardized.

This is a challenge that can cause a little bit of paralysis by analysis for any sales team. “Great. We’ve got this new sales tool, and our sales process doesn’t fit into it at all.”

Take a deep breath, and keep on reading. There’s a solution here that will deliver serious results for your team.

The Solution:

Sit down as a team, and optimize your sales process.  

The HubSpot CRM is built to optimize sales processes. If yours doesn’t immediately fit into the HubSpot CRM, that just means there’s a bit of room for improvement. 

It’s good to know that HubSpot makes a lot of allowances for customizations all the way through the sales process, so you absolutely won’t be boxed in, but it does work to streamline your sales process by promoting standardization and repeatability. 

Here’s how you adjust your sales process to ensure it’s compatible with HubSpot:

Define what a lead is:

Your team has to figure out what a lead looks like to them. Define each of these:

  • New leads
  • Warm leads
  • Hot leads
  • Cold leads
  • Customers

Define your deal stages:

Now that you know what your leads look like, what do you do with them? This is where your sales process comes in. What is the process your team uses to move a new, warm, or hot lead from an opportunity to a sale? 

Each step of that process is called a “Deal Stage”. Figure out what deal stages make up your whole sales process, and define them for your whole team. A few common deal stages might include:

  • Opportunity
  • Customer contacted
  • Proposal Sent
  • Followed-Up
  • Closed-Won
  • Closed-Lost

Set it up in HubSpot

Once you’ve defined what a lead is, and how your team will handle each of those leads as they move through your sales process, you’ve done it! You’ve made your sale process compatible with HubSpot in two steps. 

Now you can set all of that up in HubSpot. For help here, refer to the next challenge: Knocking Out the Upfront Workload. 

New call-to-action

HubSpot Onboarding Challenge #3

Knocking Out the Upfront Workload

Transitioning to any new CRM is work. HubSpot is no different. It’s an awesome CRM, with wicked sales and marketing tools that can facilitate serious success. But, like any new tool, there’s some upfront work involved. 

Imagine you were painting a room in your house. You could just pick up the paintbrush and go to town, but without any prep work, you’re going to have a sloppy finished product. A quality paint job takes careful taping, prepping any rough surfaces with a bit of sanding and primer, and a little bit of thought into which paint color you’re going to go with. 

Onboarding to a CRM like HubSpot isn’t much different. You’re going to get out of it as much effort as you put in. 

There is some upfront effort that goes into onboarding — you have to bring contacts into the new system. You have to determine what your sales deal stages look like. You have to set up a sales process that works for you, and you have to lay it out in the CRM. 

This might feel like a lot of work. That makes it hard to even think about tackling, which halts your entire onboarding process. It’s a challenge that a lot of our clients run into. Here’s how we work to solve it. 

The Solution:

Assign one person to facilitate the upfront work

A great way to make sure that all the upfront, onboarding work gets done is to assign someone to own it. 

For our clients, that’s usually our HubSpot Certified Trainers. 

Our team handles a lot of the upfront work, like bringing all existing customers into the CRM, setting up deal stages, building out a pipeline, etc. It’s a big benefit of working with a HubSpot Partner Agency — some of that hard, tedious work is just handled for you. 

If you don’t have a HubSpot Partner or HubSpot Certified Trainer: 

Assign someone on your team to own your onboarding process. Make this their primary responsibility for right now, and give them the flexibility they need to really commit to it. 

They can do the work of figuring out:

  1. What your team needs to do to onboard successfully
  2. When it needs to happen
  3. Who can handle which tasks

Think of them as your HubSpot project manager. They take the full project, and break it down into individual tasks with deadlines according to when you want to be fully functional on the HubSpot platform. 

They can then assign individual tasks out to other team members, helping everyone stay accountable. 

With clear direction and leadership, all of that upfront work that seems hard and a lot to tackle is easily broken down into manageable pieces and completed on a timeline that works for your team. 

HubSpot Onboarding Challenge #4

Investing in a Long-Term Solution and Expecting Short-Term Results 

Another problem we see often when we’re bringing new teams onto HubSpot is the need for immediate results. 

But, making a transition to a brand new sales tool and CRM is a walk/run process. You probably won’t see your sales numbers increase exponentially in a week. But if your team really invests and does the work, you’ll start to see serious results the more you use the platform. 

Realistically, it’s going to take a month or two to get your team on board and using HubSpot daily (see challenge #1). Until that happens, you aren’t likely to see a massive upswing in sales. That said, you are going to see improvements. 

The Solution: 

Know what you’re looking at and identify the improvements that matter.

You’re probably not going to see immediate results, but you are going to see immediate improvements. 

The best way to beat the challenge of investing in a long-term solution and expecting short-term results, is making sure you’re looking at the results that matter right now.

Focus on the improvements you have made:

  • Is your sales process a little easier to understand?
  • Does your sales team feel more cohesive?
  • Can you easily visualize all of the deals you have in your sales pipeline?  
  • Does your sales team feel like they’re spending less time on admin work, and more time on selling? 

Those are all major wins, especially if you’re moving over from a CRM that wasn’t working for you, or from no CRM at all. 

Though initial wins might not look like a bump to your bottom line right now, these are all real-time results that will matter in the future.

Keeping the right perspective is the key to keeping your team invested in this new transition, and realizing how much positive change this new investment is making for your company. 

Yes, HubSpot onboarding will eventually deliver huge dividends in terms of increased sales numbers and closed deals, but before that happens, you have to get the actual work and training under your team first. 

HubSpot onboarding might sound like a long process, but with the right attitude, and a dedicated team, you can have everyone up and running in the CRM in less time than you think! Whether you’re considering making the switch to HubSpot, or you’ve hit a roadblock in your HubSpot onboarding process, we hope these solutions help. 

If you’ve got more questions about the HubSpot CRM, HubSpot Sales tools, or HubSpot Onboarding, our team is here to help. With a full suite of HubSpot Services and HubSpot Certified Trainers on staff, we’re happy to answer any question you might have.

New call-to-action
New call-to-action

What is Sales Enablement, And What Tactics Can You Implement Today?

What is Sales Enablement, And What Tactics Can You Implement Today?

What is Sales Enablement, And What Tactics Can You Implement Today?

Evenbound-2019-582

What is Sales Enablement?

Sales enablement is the process of empowering sales teams to sell more efficiently at a higher success rate. This process is supported with technology, tools, and content that works to shorten the sales cycle. It’s become so effective and popular that it’s now offered as a HubSpot service by digital marketing agencies and growth experts alike. 

In plain English, when we talk about sales enablement, we’re talking about giving your sales teams more training and better tools to sell better and faster. 

New call-to-action

Why Should You Care About Sales Enablement?

Inbound marketing really took off in the early 2000s. The idea was to market to customers, rather than at them by pulling them into the marketing and sales funnel with content and service that genuinely answered their questions and solved their pain points. 

The problem is that until now, the majority of this focus has been placed on marketing. If your company is using inbound marketing tactics, but hasn’t applied the inbound methodology to your sales process, your leads and customers are being met with a discord, likely causing some of them to drop out of the sales funnel. 

Think about it this way — your marketing team is functioning on a pull methodology — pulling leads into your sales funnel. Your sales team, on the other hand, is still functioning with a push methodology — pushing products and services at those customers until something sticks. 

Sales enablement is the solution to this shift. 

By offering your sales team the training, tools, and technology they need to continue offering a genuine, inbound sales experience to those prospects, you not only retain those prospects in your sales funnel, but you shorten the length of that sales cycle.

Sales Enablement Tactics You Can Use Today

Okay, so sales enablement can help shorten your sales cycle. Sounds great, right? But how, exactly, does it do that?

Let’s show you. 

Here are a few of the tactics we’re talking about, so you can see exactly how sales enablement tactics work to increase revenue and shorten your sales cycle. 

New call-to-action

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a successful marketing tactic, but it works for more than just your marketing department. An important component of sales enablement is developing content that can help your sales department nurture their prospects closer to making a deal. Not sure what we’re talking about? Here are a few examples of content marketing that helps enable your sales team:

Case Studies

For prospects in nearly any stage of your sales funnel, a case study can be exceptionally useful. Case studies show those prospects exactly what you’ve done in the past for clients just like them, helping them imagine how their services can help you too. 

Pricing Information

For many of our clients, pricing tends to be one of the biggest qualifiers for their sales prospects. If you’re finding that too many of your prospects are dropping out of the sales cycle the minute they see your prices, stop making your prices a surprise.

Package your pricing information into a nice, downloadable PDF or content offer, and let prospects find it on their own. Click To Tweet

Once they download your pricing information, your sales team can reach out and ask if they have any questions, but they’re not wasting their time on leads who don’t have the funds to invest in your products or services. 

Whitepapers

Your sales team fields questions about your product or service all day.

  • Will this really work?
  • Is this product the right fit for my company?
  • How do I know which of your products is right for me?

Take those questions, and turn the answers into whitepapers. Not only will you have developed a piece of content that makes your sales team’s life a little easier, but you’ll  have a content offer that’s attractive to those prospects. If you’re giving those answers out freely, those prospects are likely to turn back to you for more information. 

Technology and Automation

We’ve talked about how training and targeted content can foster sales enablement, which means that the last part of the equation is technology.

As you already know, we’re a HubSpot Partner Agency, which means we’re partial to their sales enablement tools, but there are plenty of options out there if you’re not ready to jump on the HubSpot bandwagon. Let’s focus on a few general tech tools you can use to empower your sales team to sell better, and faster. 

Email Sequences

Automated email sequences are a key way to help your sales team close faster. Just as email workflows help nurture leads through to your sales funnel, so can email sequences nurture prospects towards closing. Using an email sequence tool can make this process so simple for your sales team to implement, they hardly have to think about it. 

They can set up customized email sequences that follow up with a prospect if they haven’t responded in a few days. This way, your sales team is making sure no prospects fall through the cracks, without having to think about it or take extra time out of their already busy days to send those follow ups. 

Calendar Linking or Meeting Links

One tool we’re loving lately is automatic calendar linking, also known as automated prospecting. This tool allows your sales team to connect their calendars directly to their emails.

When they send out an email to a lead, automated prospecting allows that lead to schedule a time to meet with your sales rep, whenever is most convenient for them. This removes a big step in the sales process, and makes it easy for leads to convert to prospects on their own.

Chatbots and Live Chat

Direct messaging, aka live chat, is another seriously useful sales enablement tool that HubSpot offers. Live chat gives your sales reps the chance to talk to prospects at the exact moment they’re thinking about your company and browsing your available services.

Best of all, the HubSpot live chat is easily optimized so that the chat option is only shown for high quality leads. This way, your sales team doesn’t waste time on every visitor who comes to your site with a question.

Sales enablement is the process of empowering your sales reps to sell better with the tools, the content, and the data they need to close bigger deals, faster.

If you’re not sure where to start with sales enablement, we’d recommend adding just one or two tools. Investing in a CRM like HubSpot is also a great way to get all the functionality you need, plus the training help that can get your sales team onboarded and using the tools in as little time as possible. 

If you have more questions about sales enablement, we’re here to help. Chat with the Evenbound team or leave us a message online — we’d love to answer any question you might have. 

New call-to-action
New call-to-action

The Breakup Email: What it Is, and How to Write It [With Examples]

The Breakup Email: What it Is, and How to Write It [With Examples]

The Breakup Email: What it Is, and How to Write It [With Examples]

The breakup email. The sales team’s Hail Mary. It’s the very last-resort tool in your toolbox, used to draw absent prospects back into your sales cycle, if possible. The breakup email is becoming more and more popular. But as more sales teams use it, it’s harder to craft a breakup email that seems fresh and genuine, and that succeeds in bringing those prospects back into your sales cycle. 

We’re going to teach you what a breakup email is, how to write it, and we’ll even give you a few examples of what a successful breakup email might sound like. Let’s jump in: 

What is a Breakup Email?

A breakup email is the very last email you send to a prospect who’s gone cold. It’s usually a last-ditch effort to get that prospect back on board before they fall out of your funnel forever. When done properly, breakup emails are effective. That said, they’re called breakup emails for a reason. Most of the time, if you’ve made it to the breakup email stage with a prospect, they probably aren’t going to convert. So why send them? Two reasons:

  • A breakup email can, and has been known to give prospects that little push they need to jump back into the sales funnel. 

  •  At the very least, it leaves a positive lasting impression with that prospect, in the event that they do need your services in the future.
New call-to-action

What a Breakup Email Isn’t

A breakup email is not to be taken lightly. The reason that we have to be so careful when writing them now is that too many sales teams have overused the breakup email, and people are getting tired of it. 

It’s important to know that you shouldn’t send breakup emails to people you’ve never talked to. 

We get a multitude of unsolicited sales pitches, some from companies that are relevant to us, and mostly those that aren’t. My number one pet peeve is the third or fourth email I get (after not soliciting these emails nor replying to any of them) that says, “I’ve emailed you a few times, but you haven’t responded.” 

Um, yeah. I know I didn’t respond to your email. There’s a reason for it: I don’t know you, and I didn’t sign up to get your emails. 

I can’t stress this enough — the breakup email is a sales tool you use with prospects you’ve actually built a relationship with. 

If you haven’t talked to the prospect in person — i.e. on the phone, in person, or through a long chain of emails — they don’t get a breakup email. 

Now that we’ve got that all cleared up, let’s look at some breakup email best practices. 

Breakup Email Do’s and Don’ts:

Not sure where to start with your breakup email? Check out these do’s and don’ts so you know you’re crafting a thoughtful breakup email that’ll catch their eye. 

Don’t guilt trip

No one cares how many emails you’ve sent them. Don’t lead with “I’ve emailed you many times but…”

That’s a surefire way to never hear from them again. People are busy. If they haven’t responded to your email, there’s a reason. Leading with a guilt trip isn’t going to help. You want positive relationships, so lead with positive sentiments. 

Do spend time on the subject line

If you haven’t heard from this prospect in a while, it might be tough to catch their eye. Spend time working on your subject line so you know they’ll be compelled to open it. Using their name is a good way to go. It’s also good to make it clear that this is a breakup email, right from the subject line.  

Don’t be overbearing

If you haven’t heard from the prospect in a while, don’t ask them 15 questions in your breakup email. This is a breakup email. 

Instead, consider leaving them with some helpful information that’s relevant to their company or specific pain point. Let them know that if they ever want help, you’re always available to chat. 

Do make yourself available

If you’ve got a “Schedule Time on My Calendar” feature, use it. Again, don’t be overbearing about it, but let the prospect know that’s an option that’s available to them if they wish. 

Do remind them what you do

You don’t need to launch into all of the services your company provides, but this is a good time to recall maybe one of the pain points or goals you’ve discussed with this prospect in the past. Give them a quick sentence about why you’re reaching out one last time, and leave it at that. 

Do provide helpful info

If you’ve got a strong sense that your breakup has to do with timing, and not that the prospect just isn’t interested, then it might make sense to leave them with a bit of light reading as you go. Include one or two resources that are highly relevant to that specific prospect — they might just realize they need your help after all. 

Don’t write too much

This is a breakup email. If you’ve had quality communication with this prospect in the past, they know who you are and what’s up. You don’t have to explain your entire history to them or outline all of the great things your company does. Keep it short and sweet. 

Do sign off, all the way

Let the prospect know this is the last time you’ll be contacting them. If you’ve gotten to the breakup email point, this shouldn’t be so hard on you. End your email letting them know this is the last time you’ll reach out or bug them. 

Writing Breakup Emails:

A General Rule of Thumb

Your breakup emails will be significantly more effective if you take 5 minutes to think about why that prospect has gone cold and draft an email that speaks to their unique pain points and goals.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few examples of what a breakup email might look like. 

Breakup Email Examples:

I Promise I’ll Leave You Alone

This is a good overall go-to. If you’ve been emailing, but haven’t gotten anything back in a while, this is the email to go with. This one adds a little extra bonus in offering further resources to help that prospect solve their problems on their own. 

If that sign off feels a little heavy-handed, you can always take it off or change it. In my opinion, it really seals the “goodbye forever” deal, which can be exactly the push some prospects need. 

This email does a good job of saying goodbye, while also reminding that prospect why they were talking to you in the first place. You’re helpful, you have their best interests at heart, and you don’t want to bug them if they’re not interested. 

Permission to Close Your File

I love the “permission to close your file” email. It’s such a smart way to do a breakup email, because it doesn’t assign guilt to anyone. It’s a simple, honest statement, and it’s a good way to solicit a response in a way that’s not stressful for your prospect. All they need to do is answer yes or no.

This one from Breakthrough Email is a great example, but I’ve also drafted one that’s a bit more personal for those companies who take a closer approach to customer relationships. 

This email does a few things really well. 

  • It puts pressure on, without guilt-tripping. You’re going to close their account unless they let you know they’re still interested. 

  • It’s casual but specific, showing them that you were really working on their behalf.

  • It gives them an easy way to connect or an easy out. You might get a response either way, which can be really helpful in figuring out why they did go cold.

Write the Email That’s Best for Your Prospect

These are just examples, and shouldn’t be copy-pasted right into your email. Again, the best breakup email is the one that’s personal and relevant. These examples outline the four key items you can use:

#1 Value proposition – Offering additional resources to remind that client why they started talking to you.

#2 Goodbye forever – Letting the prospect know this is the last time you’ll hear from them. 

#3 Schedule time – Reminding them that they can schedule time with you at their convenience if it’s right. 

#4 Close their fileSimilar to the goodbye forever, but less, “I won’t bug you again,” and more, “I just want to make sure we’re on the same page.”

    You can combine any of these four tactics, or use just one in your breakup email — whatever makes the most sense to you. Just personalize them and make them your own, based on what your prospect does or doesn’t want. 

    Maybe you know the timing just isn’t right for your prospect. Then a soft breakup email that says, “Hey, sounds like the timing isn’t right. I’ll reach back out in six months.” might work really well. 

    You know your prospects. That's why you've got to write breakup emails on your own. Click To Tweet But I get that they’re not easy. I hope this blog helped give you a bit of direction. Now go out and conquer that breakup!

    Breakups are hard. We get it. If your sales team hates drafting emails like this, but knows they’re effective, reach out to the Evenbound team.

    As a full-service digital marketing and growth agency, our services touch everything from building your ad campaigns to yes, writing breakup emails for your sales team. Get in touch with us to learn more about how we can help. 

    New call-to-action
    New call-to-action