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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What’s the Difference Between Sales and Marketing Strategies?

What’s the Difference Between Sales and Marketing Strategies?

What’s the Difference Between Sales and Marketing Strategies?

The goal of every business is to sell something to someone. Whether it’s a product, service, or information, the business has something that it provides to its customers, for a price. For that reason, it seems like the point of sales strategies and marketing strategies are the same—to sell that thing. But in reality, the purposes, goals, and methods of sales and marketing strategies differ, by necessity.   What is the difference between sales and marketing strategies, and why does that matter to your company? 

What is the purpose of marketing strategies?

Marketing is what you do to reach potential future customers. It can be outbound marketing, which entails pushing your product/service/message to your audience through things like advertising, or inbound marketing, which includes bringing people in through content strategy and search engine ranking. At any rate, marketing’s purpose is to get your information in front of possible clients. To accomplish those things, marketing teams strive to:

  • Reach target audiences through various forms of marketing, including social media, PPC, content, and more, tailored to those audiences’ unique needs.
  • Provide visitors and prospects with information about your company’s products and services that is tailored to their stage of the buyer’s journey, their goals and challenges, and their specific pain points.
  • Provide the sales team with marketing qualified leads (MQLs).
  • Analyze and evaluate marketing efforts for effectiveness and return on investment (ROI).
  • Provide reports and analytics on the ROI of marketing efforts to relevant stakeholders.

What are the goals of marketing strategies?

As you can see, the goal of the marketing strategy isn’t to make sales. Particularly in the B2B world, there aren’t many cases of a person seeing an ad and deciding then and there to buy. Instead, it’s to reach potential customers and raise their awareness of your products, services, and company, and the benefits of all of those to them.

Marketing practices are designed to support sales, but not make them, necessarily. This is because not every visitor to your website or company in your target market is a good fit for your company/product/service. This could be true for a variety of reasons, such as they’re not far enough along the buyer’s journey to make a decision, their budget, or their pain points.  Leads that aren’t a good fit, for whatever reason, aren’t leads—they’re a waste of your sales team’s time. Click To Tweet

They’re not going to answer calls or email, and they’re going to (pun very much intended) lead you on. Good marketing filters out those bad prospects and provides the sales team with leads that are vetted, a.k.a, MQLs.

What is the purpose of sales strategies?

It seems like the goal of any sales strategy is pretty straightforward: make sales. While that is a goal, sales strategies are so much more complicated than that. Sales teams are tasked with managing relationships with prospective customers and guiding them to a purchase decision. In order to do that, sales teams must:

  • Connect with leads and prospects through various sales practices, including quote requests, pitches, demos, etc.
  • Provide prospects and leads with information relevant to their pain points and needs that helps them make a decision about purchasing your company’s products or services.
  • Determine whether marketing qualified leads (MQLs) are ready or eligible to become sales qualified leads (SQLs).
  • Guide new clients through the purchase process.
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Why do sales and marketing strategies need to align?

Because if they don’t, you’re wasting time, money, and resources. You’re going to have a low ROI on both your sales and marketing efforts, and you’re going to be missing out on potential leads, sales, and revenue.

Your company needs alignment of its sales and marketing strategies to be truly effective. In fact, according to Hubspot, misalignment between marketing and sales can cost companies 10 percent of revenue per year, or more If you consider the goals of marketing and sales strategies, even though they’re different, they’re in support of a bigger, common goal: increasing revenue. Click To Tweet   Aligning sales and marketing strategies can result in 36 percent higher customer retention, 38 percent higher sales win rates, and up to 208 percent more revenue from marketing efforts.

How do sales and marketing strategies work together?

How exactly your sales and marketing teams begin working together and collaborating on strategy is going to be unique to your situation. 

Sales and marketing alignment looks different for a company with already established in-house sales and marketing teams than for a company with no marketing team at all (or no marketing team, yet—we can help with that!) or for a company with sales and marketing teams spread out across various locations.

To align your sales and marketing efforts, communication between your sales and marketing teams is crucial. This ensures that sales has input on the kinds of marketing content that will be useful, that common goals are created, and that everyone is speaking the same language and understanding each other’s terminology. 

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What is a HubSpot Partner Agency, and What Can They Do For You?

What is a HubSpot Partner Agency, and What Can They Do For You?

What is a HubSpot Partner Agency, and What Can They Do For You?

If you’ve been considering investing in HubSpot’s CRM for your business, you know it’s a huge, robust tool. If your company can implement those tools effectively, you’ll definitely start to see results in the length of your sales cycle and the growth of your company. But, that’s the problem.

The HubSpot platform offers so many tools, and if you’re thinking about choosing one of their paid subscriptions, you might be worried that your team won’t be able to learn and implement them correctly, and in a reasonable period of time.

That’s a realistic concern. That’s also where a HubSpot Partner Agency comes in.

What is a HubSpot Partner Agency?

If you know what HubSpot is, you might know a little about their Partner Program. Essentially, it’s a program offered to marketing agencies who already use the HubSpot platform and who are dedicated to the inbound marketing methodology.

Marketing agencies apply to be a partner, and once HubSpot accepts them, they’re given additional sales and marketing training, direct account managers through HubSpot, and a bunch of other tools they can use to provide better service to their clients.

Each HubSpot Partner Agency is ranked according to HubSpot’s tier system. The higher a company’s tier, the better the services they provide, and the more clients they have helped to use HubSpot successfully for themselves. 

Are There Different Types of HubSpot Partner Agencies?

Yes.

As you probably already know, there are tons of different types of marketing agencies. As long as they use HubSpot and approach marketing with an inbound mindset, an agency can apply to be a HubSpot Partner. That means that there are all different kinds of HubSpot Partner Agencies available to you.

Some, like us, are full-service agencies who handle inbound marketing, web design, email marketing, content marketing, paid search, social media advertising, and more.

Others might have a focus in one specific area — they might just design websites, they might just offer inbound marketing consulting, they might specialize in sales support, etc.

So, if you’re considering choosing a HubSpot Agency Partner it’s good to remember that we’re not all the same. You’ll have to do a little digging, and probably a  bit of interviewing to find an agency that fits with your culture and with your company’s overall goals.

But before we get to choosing a HubSpot Partner Agency, which we’ll talk about in a later blog post, let’s talk about what a HubSpot Partner Agency can actually do for you.

What Can A HubSpot Partner Agency Do For You?

Since HubSpot has more than 2,500 partner agencies, there must be some benefit to hiring them. But if you’re new to HubSpot, or if you’re already using HubSpot, you might not know exactly what a HubSpot Partner Agency can do for you, and how their services can benefit your company. Let’s talk about that. Here are 3 benefits that come from hiring a HubSpot Partner Agency:

HubSpot CRM Support

This one might seem obvious, but it’s important. As a HubSpot partner agency, your marketing agency can help your team better use the HubSpot CRM and all of its bundled tools.

If you don’t have HubSpot, a partner agency will help you onboard, will teach your team about all of the tools, and will walk each member of your team through the CRM, step by step.

If your team is already using HubSpot, a partner agency will help you figure out how to optimize that use. They’ll look at your analytics, talk to your sales and marketing teams, and implement new strategies that help you perform even better, across the entire platform.

The HubSpot CRM is an impressive tool, but it does take a little bit of work to master. Partnering with a HubSpot Agency minimizes that work, and essentially gives you a HubSpot coach who’s on-call anytime you need help.

The other bonus of working with a HubSpot Partner Agency is that you have a direct line to HubSpot support.

When you’re having trouble figuring out a new tool, or are troubleshooting an issue in the system, your agency can either help you fix the problem themselves, or talk directly to their HubSpot account managers for a quick resolution. This is a lot easier than working through customer service on your own, as partner agencies are one of the few who have their own direct line to HubSpot itself.

Exceptional Inbound Marketing Service

The benefit of using HubSpot in the first place is its impressive, powerful tools. The HubSpot CRM offers advanced analytics tracking and reporting, email tracking, blog publishing, social media publishing, and more. With all of these tools and the metrics that go with them, your marketing agency can offer you a much better overall marketing service.

You get the expertise of a marketing agency — their web design support, their unique inbound marketing strategies, the tools they use to deliver quality inbound marketing service, and their team of experts — plus all of the additional tools and organization that the HubSpot CRM offers.

Sales Alignment Support

When you work with a full-service HubSpot Agency Partner, you get more than just a bunch of cool tools and marketing advice. You also get sales support, which isn’t something you see from every marketing agency out there.

Inbound marketing methodology relies on the idea that for the best possible results for overall company growth, your sales and marketing teams have to be aligned.

To address that fact, the HubSpot CRM offers a vast suite of sales tools that work hand-in-hand with marketing tools, to help you get both teams on the same page, and working towards your company’s growth goals.

Working with a HubSpot Agency Partner takes those benefits just a step further. The HubSpot Partner Program offers partners training in both sales and marketing. That means your HubSpot Agency Partner (if you choose a full-service agency) is trained to coach not only your marketing team, but your sales team as well.

They can provide tools, content offers, and training that help your sales team shorten the overall sales cycle, and close on more, qualified leads. Combined with HubSpot Sales tools like lead and deal tracking, automatic notifications when a lead opens an email or lands on your website, and targeted email workflows, that’s a huge step towards company growth.

Our Experience As A HubSpot Gold Partner Agency

On a personal note, we’ve found this piece of sales and marketing alignment, specifically, to be one of the most helpful, and most popular services that we now offer our clients. As a HubSpot Gold Partner Agency, our clients love that we’re able to help with their marketing strategy, but they’re finding even more success now that we’re able to coach their sales team and teach them how to use the marketing content that we’ve been developing for years.

This really is one of the biggest benefits for our clients, and we’re seeing it produce some real results. Instead of just helping our clients get found, and get the qualified leads they want, this sales support has helped us teach our clients what to do once we deliver those qualified leads. And with that information and training, plus HubSpot’s user-friendly sales tools, they’re able to grow incredibly.

WHAT YOU GET:

HubSpot, HubSpot Support, the Marketing Agency You Were Looking For, and the Sales Coaching You Weren’t

In the end, the reason companies choose to partner with HubSpot agencies is because you get a whole lot of tools and expertise rolled into one deal. Here’s what you get:

  • The HubSpot CRM, plus all of its tools. That means blogging, social media publishing, landing pages, content offers, marketing campaign metrics, traffic metrics, lead tracking, email tracking, and more, all in one platform.
  • HubSpot Support. A company who can walk you through each and every one of HubSpot’s tools. They can use the tools for your benefit, and they’ll teach your team how to use them, too.
  • A Marketing Agency. This is what you were looking for in the first place, right? A marketing agency who can handle the more complicated aspects of digital marketing, from developing a new inbound-focused website to writing your blog posts and content offers, and setting up your ad campaigns.
  • Marketing and Sales Support. This is usually the benefit people are most surprised by. When you hire the right HubSpot Partner Agency, you get more than just a marketing team. You also get sales support that can completely turn around the way your company nurtures and closes leads. If you’re looking for company growth, this is the benefit that should be most important, and most exciting, to you.

Is a HubSpot Partner Agency Right for You?

While a HubSpot Partner Agency isn’t right for everyone, it is a great choice for companies who don’t have a marketing team, who need help finessing marketing strategy, and who are looking to streamline overall business operations, from marketing through to sales.

If you’re interested to learn a little bit more about whether a HubSpot Partner Agency is right for your company, don’t hesitate to reach out. As a HubSpot Gold Partner Agency, we’ve got plenty of info and would be happy to share with you more about how the partnership works.

And if you’re ready to hire a partner agency? We’ve got the experience and the expertise to help your company onboard to the HubSpot platform, and keep your business growing with marketing and sales support.

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Marketing and Sales Alignment Strategies That Cut Time and Boost Growth

Marketing and Sales Alignment Strategies That Cut Time and Boost Growth

Marketing and Sales Alignment Strategies That Cut Time and Boost Growth

You know that old saying, “work smarter, not harder”? It’s safe to say that’s an idea we can all get behind. No one wants to spend hours of their day working on a project that won’t produce results.

Unfortunately, in the case of many businesses who do not have aligned sales and marketing teams, the concept of working harder on projects that might not ever see the light of day is an everyday reality.

In fact, misalignment between sales and marketing teams has been shown to cost B2B companies 10% or more of their revenue every year.

This SlideShare from The TAS Group states, “lost sales productivity and wasted marketing budget costs companies at least $1 trillion a year.”

Both of those stats offer up compelling arguments for making a change to sales and marketing alignment. Beyond just saving your sales and marketing teams wasted effort and budget though, sales and marketing alignment can actually offer some benefits to your company, delivering pretty impressive returns when implemented properly:

Aligning your sales and marketing teams is one perfect example of working smarter, not harder.  When your sales and marketing teams are aligned, everyone does less work to obtain a higher quantity of better, more targeted clients. Then, you can allocate all of that additional time and energy into inbound marketing and sales strategies that you know will help your company generate revenue and grow.

So, how do you get there?

Sure, sales and marketing alignment sounds nice, but can you actually make it happen, and how much work will it take?

Honestly, it depends on your company.

If you already have both sales and marketing teams onsite, you can get started by just getting everyone in the same room every week or so. If you’re a larger company with sales and marketing teams that work remotely or on different campuses, it might take a bit more effort. And if your company doesn’t really have a marketing team, you could have a still longer road ahead of you. (Or, you can hire a marketing team to help you out. More info on that here.)

No matter where you are, aligning your sales and marketing teams will take work. But with a potential return of 208% more revenue, it should feel like the work is worth it. Click To Tweet

If you’re interested in aligning your marketing and sales teams to boost revenue and cut out wasted time, we support you. In fact, we’re going to give you six sales and marketing alignment strategies to help you do it. Check ’em out:

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Communicate

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: communication will always be the key to successful marketing and sales alignment. The first and best way to get your sales and marketing teams on the first page is to get them in the same room, chatting about their wins and challenges.

Too often, it feels like sales and marketing are pitted against each other. Sales isn’t happy about the quality of leads marketing is sending over, and marketing feels frustrated that sales didn’t follow up with all of the leads they’re sending over.

Getting your two teams in the same room is the first step to getting them to work together. Once you know what everyone is frustrated about, and also what they’re cool with, you can start making a little bit of headway towards alignment.

Consider Cross-Departmental Training or Shadowing

One great marketing and sales alignment strategy is to put each team in the others’ shoes for a day or even a week. When they have the opportunity to see how the other team works, what their day looks like, and what challenges they face regularly, they’ll be able to function together more efficiently.

We get that this is an easy way to disrupt your regular business flow, so start slow. Take one team member at a time, and have them shadow someone from the other team for an afternoon. Make sure the team members you choose are both excited about the potential benefits that alignment can provide, and you’ll find that both parties will learn something from the experience.

When the afternoon is up, your salesperson can report back to their team what they learned, and the marketing person can their team what struggles the sales team is having that they could help with.  

Encourage Sales Input on Content Development

According to Forbes, 60% of B2B content never gets used. Whether the sales team doesn’t feel like it fits their individual client’s pain points, or they don’t even know it exists, sales input is an invaluable resource when it comes to content development.

Your sales team has an intimate, one-on-one relationship with each buyer. They speak to them personally and they understand their specific, unique challenges and goals for the future. This alone should make them your marketing team’s number one resource for content development.  

If you’re not sure how to implement more sales input on marketing content development without seriously slowing down your publishing schedule, start by having the sales team take a look at your content calendar. (You do have a content calendar, right?)

They can tell you which content they’ll really be able to use, and offer a few key points to include for each upcoming post that will help you speak specifically to your target buyer’s challenges and goals.  

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Work Together To Establish A Common Language

Marketing and sales haven’t historically worked together all that much, especially in more traditional industries like manufacturing. Traditionally, marketing works to create brand awareness, get the word out there, and make sure everyone knows what your company has to offer. In that older business model, sales either take the leads that come in or (more likely) they go around looking for (read: cold calling) those perfect leads themselves.

This disjointed approach to sales and marketing as separate entities has fostered two different languages for both teams. They have different definitions of leads, they don’t have the same understanding of what makes a good lead, and they have fundamentally different goals.

Sales and marketing alignment strategies start by working to establish a common language that makes sense to both teams. Click To TweetWith that set in place, your marketing team can work to bring in the leads your sales team actually wants, and your sales team can focus their efforts on selling, rather than cold-calling.

To establish a common language that works for both teams, sales and marketing have to come up with the same definitions for these three things:

  • What A Lead Is
  • How You Score Leads
  • A Quality Service Level Agreement

 

What A Lead Is

It’s important that your sales and marketing teams both understand what makes a lead a good lead. And as you probably know, there are two types of leads: Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), and Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs). It’s possible that you’ve even defined these in the past.

But have your sales and marketing teams defined them together?

Both marketing and sales should offer input on the definitions of MQLs and SQLs, so that both teams understand what qualifications are necessary for both lead types. One clear definition, for both teams, will help with the lead handoff process, and it will help both teams understand which leads and prospects need what specific service or lead nurturing content.

With a solid foundation in place, everyone can move forward more confidently towards a tight alignment between sales and marketing that cuts out wasted time and boosts revenue.

 

How You Score Leads

Traditionally, the sales team has developed a process for determining which leads might be more valuable to your company than others. This process is called lead scoring.

If your goal is to get sales and marketing teams aligned for better business growth, it’s important to have your marketing team in on the lead scoring calculation. They need to know what makes a lead most attractive to sales, and why.

With that information, marketing can determine which leads could use more nurturing through the marketing process, and they can better streamline their efforts to influence target buyers in the markets that offer the highest return. By bringing the marketing team into the lead scoring conversation, you help them understand what to look for in a quality lead that shows they are likely to close.

 

Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

One of the biggest killers of marketing sales alignment is unbalanced reporting and goals. Too often, the sales team feels like they’re under the microscope to close sales, and the marketing team feels that the sales team isn’t acting on all of the leads they’re passing along. A service level agreement, (SLA) is the solution to this reporting imbalance.

A Service Level Agreement is a sort of contract that helps clear up some of this misdirected pressure, while still holding both teams accountable to goals that further your company’s overall revenue and growth goals. For example, with a quality SLA, your marketing team may be responsible for delivering a certain number of quality leads each month. Then, your sales team may be responsible for converting a certain percentage of those quality leads each month.

This agreement makes it clear what each team is accountable for, while still framing it in the light of one overall company goal — to produce more revenue and long-lasting clients for the company by converting highly qualified leads.

Every company’s SLA will look a little different. What’s important is that you get the sales and marketing teams together to agree on an SLA that’s fair and contributes to your company’s growth goals. When both teams understand what they’re accountable for, and that accountability feels fair to both sides, you’ll get a lot more out of everyone.

Leverage Sales Enablement Tools

It’s easy to forget that the sales team can benefit from inbound methodology tools as much as your marketing team can. Many of your favorite marketing platforms and CRMs are designed to help your sales team as much as they are your marketing team.

Encourage your sales team to use tools like email sequences and CRMs that implement lead scoring systems for you. The information they put in the CRM, and the data they generate helps them make better selling decisions, and it offers valuable information for the marketing team to move forward and optimize with as well.

When your sales team is comfortable with enablement tools, it’s also easier for your them to reach out to marketing and ask for content that will help them close deals.

Case studies, whitepapers, and ebooks about your product or service are all assets that are traditionally created by marketing. When sales is empowered to ask specifically for the content they know will help them close deals, marketing can focus their efforts on just the content that sales knows will be powerful and impactful to your buyer personas.

And again, that’s an effort that cuts down on wasted time, while still promoting the targeted lead nurturing tasks that will help your company grow.

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Keep a Common Goal in Mind

Finally, one of the hands-down best sales and marketing alignment strategies is to set a common goal. Even though sales and marketing do different things and have different processes, they’re both on the same team. When they’re both working towards the same goal, it’s so much easier to see that they’re on the same team. Make that overarching goal clear to both teams, and you’ll see the results that marketing and sales alignment can deliver.

The more closely your sales and marketing teams are aligned, the more efficient your company will be in identifying qualified leads and closing deals. And when you close deals efficiently, you work smarter, and you grow.

If you’re looking for more sales and marketing alignment strategies, tools, or tricks, we’d love to help. As a digital marketing agency, we often align with B2B sales teams to promote overall company growth, and we also train companies with existing sales and marketing teams how to align for better results. To learn more about what we do, get in touch.

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What is HubSpot? A Plain English Guide to HubSpot’s Software

What is HubSpot? A Plain English Guide to HubSpot’s Software

What is HubSpot? A Plain English Guide to HubSpot’s Software

If you’re at all interested in inbound marketing, you’ve probably heard of HubSpot. They’re a leader in the digital marketing industry, and their blogs, videos, and certification courses are pretty popular. While you might know who HubSpot, the company, is, it’s a little harder to know what HubSpot, the software, does.

There’s a lot of industry jargon thrown around, and to be fair, HubSpot is a huge platform; it’s hard to outline all of its capabilities in just one sentence. Since we use HubSpot every day, we thought we’d take a shot at breaking it down for you. Here’s our plain English guide to getting started with HubSpot: what HubSpot is, and what tools and benefits it can offer you:

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What Is HubSpot?

HubSpot is a cloud-based CRM designed to help align sales and marketing teams, foster sales enablement, boost ROI and optimize your inbound marketing strategy to generate more, qualified leads.

Okay, but in English?

HubSpot is a software platform designed to help your company market and sell more effectively.

HubSpot’s Background:

To understand what HubSpot is and does, it’s helpful to know just a little about where HubSpot, the company, came from. HubSpot started back in 2005 as a resource for marketers. Back then, they offered tools and resources that helped companies get started with inbound marketing.

We won’t go too far into inbound marketing, which HubSpot sort of invented, but feel free to check out our complete guide to inbound marketing if you want to know more.

HubSpot works to help companies market better. Click To TweetTo do this, they developed one cloud-based platform where all of a company’s digital marketing efforts could be housed.

Everything from blogging to social media posting to email marketing was combined on one single platform that can be accessed from anywhere.

That way, every marketer in a company can use HubSpot’s tools to nurture qualified leads until they are ready to pass on to the sales team. When a lead is ready to convert, they’re easily passed onto the sales team for a simple, seamless experience that helps companies turn warm leads into happy customers.

But that’s just the beginning of the HubSpot software.

Now, years down the line, HubSpot offers that original software in the form of a free CRM, along with specific software for sales, marketing, and service departments, all of which integrate together seamlessly to help your company grow.

If you’re thinking that still sounds like kind of a lot, you’d be right.

That’s why we’re breaking each department’s service down here, starting with the free CRM:

The HubSpot CRM

HubSpot started with just their CRM (customer relationship management software), which we described above. It’s a platform where companies can organize their contacts and keep track of every conversation they have with each contact.

In the beginning, the HubSpot developed their CRM primarily for marketers. It offered a way for marketers to organize all of the leads they were talking to, nurture them according to their buyer persona and unique pain points, and then pass them seamlessly onto the sales team.

Today, the HubSpot CRM is still an essential component of HubSpot’s software — it’s just a little more robust. Instead of functioning primarily to support the marketing team, HubSpot’s existing CRM works to help every customer-facing team in a company, from marketing to sales to customer service.

Think of HubSpot's CRM as the launchpad for all other marketing, sales, and customer service tools. Click To TweetThe CRM stores every company contact and lead. Each department can access leads there, and use whatever additional tools they need from their own department to improve that lead’s relationship with the company.

The HubSpot CRM is completely free, for anyone, forever. It has no time limit and never expires.

Some of the benefits of the HubSpot CRM that we love for our clients are:

  • Unlimited Users — Your entire team has access to your company’s CRM. No limit.
  • You can store as many as 1 million contacts and companies on the free platform.
  • HubSpot will store all of your records and conversations with any of those contacts.
  • Gmail and Outlook Integration so your team’s conversations with leads and clients are stored, and their workday isn’t interrupted.
  • Email Scheduling — for your newsletters and email marketing campaigns
  • Team Email — to make sure everyone’s on the same page and working to the same goals
  • Live Chat for Your Website — so you can capture leads even after working hours are over
  • Deals, Tasks, Ticketing, and Prospects — allowing you to keep track of where every prospect is in the sales process, and make tickets for any clients who might have a question.

Ultimately, the HubSpot CRM is one of the most robust free platforms on the market. It offers a long list of tools you can use to draw in qualified potential leads and do better business with your existing clients. The rest of HubSpot’s software is built on top of this functional, free CRM. 

HubSpot Marketing Hub

The HubSpot Marketing Hub is a set of tools designed to help your marketing department. It integrates seamlessly with the HubSpot CRM and works to help your marketing team draw in and nurture more qualified leads.

The HubSpot Marketing Hub helps your company increase website traffic and convert more visitors into leads.

The goal of the Marketing Hub is to make life easier for your marketing department. It offers seamless content creation for your blog, email, social media accounts, and website, and provides exceptional metric tracking and reporting of all the data you care about most. See easily how many people are coming to your site, where they’re going, when they leave, and how much they like your landing pages.

Like all of HubSpot’s tools, the Marketing Hub is offered in tiers according to the size of your company, and the number of tools your company would like to use. HubSpot's first tier is always free, regardless of which Hub you're interested in testing out. Click To Tweet

Some of our favorite tools offered in the HubSpot Marketing Hub include:

  • Blog and content creation tools
  • Social media organization and scheduling
  • Calls-To-Action — Providing in-depth tracking of click-through rates, impressions, and other important KPIs.
  • Mobile Optimization — For everything from emails to blogs
  • Landing Pages Create landing pages that integrate seamlessly into your website, and then use HubSpot’s sophisticated metrics to track and optimize performance.,
  • Goal-Based Nurturing Your marketing team can choose specific goals based on buyer persona research and previous performance, and set the HubSpot Marketing Hub to help nurture leads with those goals in mind.
  • A/B Testing — Optimize your site and inbound marketing efforts for top performance

The HubSpot Marketing Hub also offers Salesforce integration and a whole host of additional tools that we couldn’t fit into this one intro blog. Check them out for yourself, or feel free to get in touch with us for more info.

HubSpot Sales Hub

The HubSpot Sales Hub was designed to help your sales department close better deals, in less time. Each tool offered on this software is designed with efficiency in mind — so your sales team can focus their full attention on what matters most — closing deals with qualified clients.  HubSpot Sales Hub has been very successful as it’s one of the few software tools that’s designed specifically for sales teams, with the inbound marketing methodology in mind.

HubSpot Sales Hub gives sales teams the tools they need to provide excellent service and close deals the minute a lead is ready to convert.

Sales Hub lets your sales team see what leads are visiting your site, on what pages, and how often. The software also offers instant alerts whenever a prospect opens an email, and sales team members can even automate personalized workflows that offer quality information exactly when a lead is ready for it. And because Sales Hub syncs up with the HubSpot CRM, your sales team can easily see which deals are won, lost, or still in progress.

Some of the tools the HubSpot Sales Hub offers are:

  • Email Sequences — Automated email workflows designed to nurture qualified leads
  • Email Tracking and Notifications — Your sales team is notified when a prospect opens an email or clicks over to your website.
  • Meeting Scheduling Forget confusing back and forth scheduling that can drop leads. Instead, let potential clients pick meeting times that work best for them.
  • Reporting dashboards —  So your team can see how their efforts are impacting business, and so you can see who is selling well, and why.
  • Multiple deal pipeline —  Not every lead is the same. Make it easy for sales teams to customize their service to the unique needs of your buyers, and implement and track distinct sales processes with multiple pipelines.

Just like the Marketing Hub, HubSpot’s Sales Hub has a vast offering of sales tools, depending on the tier that best fits your company. And, they all integrate with the Marketing Hub, the Service Hub, and of course the HubSpot CRM.

HubSpot Service Hub

The HubSpot Service Hub is designed to support customer service teams. It offers a full suite of tools that make it easier for your customer service teams to identify issues clients are experiencing, and resolve them quickly in a way that leaves your customers happy.

HubSpot Service Hub helps your client service teams offer the best solutions, efficiently.

The HubSpot Service Hub includes:

  • Live Chat and Conversational Bots — Customers and clients get the help they need, whenever they need it. No waiting for business hours; solve problems now.
  • Email Templates — Check in with clients you haven’t heard from in a while, or request service reviews with email templates that are easy to format and send, and even easier to track.
  • Canned Snippets — Those questions you get every day? Send back the perfect answer automatically with canned snippets.
  • Phone Support and Customer Feedback
  • Knowledge Base — Pull up all the information in your database on any client, so your service team knows who that client has talked to, and about what, so they can get to the right solution, quickly.
  • Multiple Ticket Pipelines — Easily Organize tickets based on customer query subject 
  • Customer Service Automation

The HubSpot Service Hub works on top of your free HubSpot CRM, so anyone on your service team can see previous interactions a client has had with marketing and sales teams, and determine quickly how best to resolve any potential issues. This streamlines the amount of time it takes for customer service reps to resolve a client ticket, and ensures your clients experience the best customer service possible.

HubSpot Growth Suite

The HubSpot Growth Suite is HubSpot’s complete suite of services bundled together. If your company can benefit from all three of the above Hubs, the Growth Suite is perfect for you. You’ll get the benefits fo all three hubs, for only slightly more than the price of one.

HubSpot’s Growth Suite is best for companies who are familiar with inbound marketing, or who have made a concerted effort to transition to the inbound marketing methodology. Since it includes all of the Hubs and is built on top of HubSpot’s CRM, the HubSpot Growth Suite platform is the best way to align your entire team towards a single growth goal.

Evenbound is a HubSpot Gold Agency Partner, which means HubSpot is what we do. If you have questions about any of HubSpot’s software offerings, whether it’s one of the Hubs, the CRM, or all of it, we’d be happy to help. HubSpot can be a little complicated to figure out at first, but once you see it in action, it’s one of the most user-friendly growth tools on the market today.

Get in touch to learn more about HubSpot, and how we can help you leverage it for overall company growth.

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