Inbound sales is our remedy for stronger, smarter selling. In this post (accompanied by video), we’d like to share how and why this methodology is so powerful so you too can sell smarter with Inbound Sales.
The main idea behind inbound sales is to align your efforts with the way people buy today. The focus and process are entirely based on the buyer’s journey and their need for unbiased information and data for more informed decision making. Like inbound marketing, at the core of inbound sales is offering educational content to the right prospects through the right channel at the right time.
HubSpot Sales—a product HubSpot released a few years ago to which they've continually made great improvements—offers a slew of tools, automation, and insights to help sales teams implement and excel at inbound sales. Most importantly, HubSpot Sales tools increase productivity, helping the hardworking salesperson save time at every stage of the funnel.
So let's get right to learning more about these two topics. Here you can watch a portion of my Q&A with Susan LaPlante-Dube, Co-Principal and Head of Sales at Precision Marketing Group, as we take a dive into the inbound sales strategy and the tools and functionality offered by HubSpot Sales.
Alysa: Susan, the tagline for HubSpot Sales is “Sell More. Work Less.” How has the inbound sales methodology affected the PMG sales process?
Susan: That's a great tagline because it's so true. What HubSpot Sales has done is help us streamline the entire sales process by putting everything we need and use on a regular basis in one place. From templated emails to tasks, to sales documents, there's no more hunting around to try to find the material you want to send to a prospect or going back in your email history to locate the email that already answered that question. You have everything at your fingertips. It has helped us work less.
Alysa: As Head of Sales for PMG, tell us about your experience using HubSpot Sales for managing leads and closing business.
Susan: Inbound sales and the CRM have changed the playing field. First of all, it's important to know this isn't the first CRM or sales tool that we've used. We've used two other popular products.
The biggest shift in using these tools is the integration between sales and marketing and having the history of the journey someone has taken online, how they're interacting with your website and your emails. Having this knowledge at the beginning of the sales process helps us personalize our approach and be more effective. It helps us understand the person and their pain points. It empowers us to leverage those deeper insights into our prospect. It lets us know when people are interacting with our emails or reading the documents we send. And that allows you to be a lot more strategic in the follow-up and the timing of the conversation. It helps salespeople focus on the relationship more than just the process.
Alysa: Can you talk about some of your favorite features and how you use them?
Susan: 1) One of the most compelling features is the document library, which goes beyond having everything in one place. When you share documents from this library, you can set a rule that says if the person you're sending it to shares it with someone else, you need to get an email address, and so that helps you build your contact database. The fact that you know when someone has opened the documents, what pages they've interacted with, how long they've stayed on each page, is very powerful. When you're sending proposals or overview presentations, it’s important to know if your prospects are as engaged as you are hoping them to be.
2) I'd say next are templates, and it goes back to what I was saying before, that the time saved is invaluable. Having email templates set up for all of the routine questions, all of the standard follow-up emails you send, and being able to click a button to personalize them, is highly convenient.
3) The third tool that is really powerful is the prospecting tool. Knowing who's been on your website, even if they haven't filled out a form, knowing if there's a company that's particularly interested in you, and how many people have visited, and how many pages, is very insightful. You are then able to gather information on that company and dig a little deeper to find who the right people are.
Beyond all the individual features, I'm a huge fan of the user interface of the entire product. It's a pleasure to use. So, I think salespeople engage with it more.
Alysa: What’s the roll-out process look like when a business decides to implement HubSpot Sales?
Susan: The ease of implementation depends on whether there is an existing process in place. If you're rolling out HubSpot Sales to a team that has their processes defined, training and implementation are around 30 minutes. If sales knows what their deal stages are, they know what an MQL and an SQL are, they have emails that they use on a regular basis, it’s straightforward.
When the process and tools are not defined, implementing HubSpot Sales can be more challenging, not because of the product, but because of the underdeveloped process. In this case, HubSpot offers fabulous resources to help teams define and build out an optimal sales process. Outside partners like PMG can also help, especially with sales and marketing alignment and building templates with a marketing flair.
Alysa: In your opinion, how do you envision the inbound sales movement affecting PMGs business and the businesses of our clients long-term?
Susan: Years ago, we started talking about inbound marketing, and how the process of marketing to people had shifted from being in the control of the marketer to being in control of the person doing the research, typically the buyer. Inbound sales is following that shifted control to the buyer, and it helps salespeople leverage information and tools to make the buying experience more personal and to focus more on solving problems versus selling solutions. That's really where the biggest impact is, for us and for anyone that's embracing it.
If anyone has questions about implementing an inbound sales process for your company or would like to demo HubSpot Sales, please let us know. We're here to help. Happy Selling!