As a Sales Manager within a busy growing agency (and a Hubspot Partner, I might add), when I was offered the opportunity to join Hubspot’s “Pipeline Generation Bootcamp” for 8 weeks at the start of the year – I won’t lie, I was concerned initially that I wouldn’t be able to commit the time needed to see this through.
I’m certainly not pig-headed enough to think “I know it all already”, and so absolutely knew that I would get value out of this if I put the time in. But with the standard role I have and an increased workload at the start of this year, I’ll admit that initially, I found the thought of committing to 5-6 hours of “homework” per week daunting!
Let’s cut to the chase – I’m so pleased I made this time in my diary each week. Lead by Dan Tyre – who is engaging, knowledgeable, and an absolute force in the industry – the time spent with Dan and my Lions teammates has proven to be very well spent, as I’ve been able to learn from other experienced people and it’s given a new perspective on my approach to growing our business.
Following on from our sessions, and having successfully graduated(!), I’d like to share with you my experience and some key takeaways that I believe to be relevant for sales and marketing professionals in 2021. Some you’ll know, and some you’ll kick yourself for not doing already – I definitely did!
Research Your Prospect
Having worked in sales for 15 years, I have always put some research into a company before I try and make contact – however, there’s a number of options to consider before attempting to make contact with anyone:
– Have you looked at the company profile on LinkedIn to understand any recent news that may affect your approach?
– Have you looked at a personal profile within the company to understand their process and what matters to them?
– Do you understand the persona of the person you’ll be speaking to? Crystal Knows is a fantastic tool for getting an overview of personality types.
– Have you genuinely reviewed their website, for instance, to understand the areas of their business and if they are aiming to grow their company?
This is far more than the “I’ve found the right person, let’s call them” approach – this is making sure that you’ve got some solid information about a business before even connecting with them. Then, it’s time to understand how your proposition can help them to potentially meet their goals – which leads nicely to…
Stop Selling – Start Helping
Gone are the days of ABC (“Always Be Closing), you need to be ABH, “Always Be Helping”. At Bright Design, we have adopted the “inbound methodology” as part of our process across the business. From a sales perspective I have never liked the overly pushy salesperson approach, believing more so that if our service and solution is helpful in achieving a company or person’s goals and I have helped that business along the way to find a solution that can work, people will buy from me – rather than me selling to them.
The key is to offer help throughout the process – putting a prospect’s needs before your own. Sometimes the fit isn’t quite right – no problem, we investigated it together and agreed amicably to not take things further. Sometimes there’s an interest, but no budget – no problem, there’s free resources and solutions I can point you towards to help!
The key is providing value throughout the process, however long that may be – it may not be a win for a salesperson immediately, but helping people will win more opportunities for you than pushy selling will.
Sometimes, It’s Best Just To Be Quiet
Long ago, the best piece of early advice I received in sales was “shut up”. Simple, blunt, and a bit rude(!), but it’s a fair point – if you’re talking you’re not listening. If you’re not listening, you can’t understand your prospect’s requirements.
Listen to people – let them talk about their role, their challenges, and what’s stopping them from growing their business. By truly understanding these points, you can quickly understand whether you can help them and find the right solution for them.
Oh – and if you do also join the Bootcamp in future – be prepared to practice “The Pause” between your statements…
The Power Of Video – Why Didn’t I Do This Before?
Personalised videos, in emails, to companies that you know you can help. Simple, right?
Engagement with video is going through the roof right now, and with everyone sending standard text emails, it’s easy to join the crowd and send the same type of emails that people click on and delete without reading them. Email is still valuable, but everyone wants to stand out, right?
Video means the recipient can see you, you can share ideas to help someone, and you can start build a rapport too if you have done research before filming. For me is proving to be a great way of making contact with and helping people currently.
So much so, I have invested in new lighting and headphones – if I’m going to do this, I’ll do it right!
Use Technology To Help You
There’s a lot of companies that do use a CRM, but not to its full potential – some companies still use an excel sheet to understand their sales pipelines also.
What about tools to assist your sales, marketing, and service teams? There’s plenty available, but here are a few to consider –
– Hubspot CRM – we’re biased, but there’s so much to this tool that we want to recommend it. The CRM itself is free and always will be, and depending on your needs there’s numerous additional solutions to support your internal teams – maximizing efficiency and making their roles easier to manage, whilst providing a tangible ROI to your business.
– Crystal Knows – a personality profiling tool, using Tony Robbins DISC profiling platform.
– Vidyard – video platform – for prospecting, how to videos, social posts, etc.
To summarise the past 8 weeks have been challenging, informative, time-consuming, and motivating. I’ve learnt new skills whilst refining others too, and I can already see the positive results of putting some of those new processes into practice.
For those unfamiliar with Hubspot, it is an inbound marketing and sales platform that helps companies to attract visitors, convert leads and close customers. It does this by bringing together a variety of functionalities and allowing marketing and sales departments to manage all their activities in one place. As a Hubspot partner, we work alongside Hubspot and are confident of taking time to understand your goals and combining effective marketing with powerful software solutions to drive your business forward.
To take the next step with your business growth, please book some time with me at your convenience here.