What is all this about Sales Enablement?
Hi! I’m Chris Handy, founder of this agency.
I’ve had this idea kicking around lately.
It’s not really anything new, its just something that most people miss the mark on.
We talk a lot about moving people down the funnel in an Inbound way.
The inbound methodology process (as defined by HubSpot) is: 1. Attract 2. Convert 3. Close 4. Delight
Sounds easy enough right?
Bring people into your website through SEO and social sharing [ATTRACT]; convert that visitor into a sales lead by offering something they want in exchange for their contact information [CONVERT], sell them your stuff [WAIT, HUH?]
I didn’t even get to delight. For each of the excellent articles HubSpot does about converting leads, there is a lack of a meaningful article about what it means to actually pass an inbound lead to sales and turn that into a paying customer.
When I first got started, it was a mystery to me too. I studied up and found that following the first part of the methodology was working very well for my agency.
We were generating a ton of leads.
In fact, some of those leads eventually did turn into customers, and we experienced some slow, but steady growth.
But it turns out we were doing it all wrong.
Looking back at why we weren’t growing our client base the way we had hoped, I was able to recognize that there were several problems in my funnel that needed to be solved.
I’ll outline two here:
Quantity of leads does not equal Quality of leads.
We had been converting visitors into leads with content but they were the wrong people. We ended up reeling in a lot of juniors, a lot of non-decision-makers, and a lot of competitors.
We did not really have a middle of the funnel.
It was that pesky gap between Convert and Close. What were we supposed to do there? I had basically been either passively letting those leads contact us, or reaching out too soon in many cases.
These were real issues that made for a leaky funnel.
So the goal is to plug two leaks.
This is by far not the only thing that needs to be done to optimize your inbound program for growth, but they are two of the biggest misses I see. Are you finding that you have similar problems? Would you know if you were?
Here’s a quick organizational health check: 1. Does your sales department complain about “bad leads”? 2. Does your marketing department complain about sales “not following up”?
Maybe you are feeling the pain too? The pain caused by the leaky funnel that has no middle. Well I’ve been there.
I can’t go into all the best practices of the entire process on this one page.
What I can do is prescribe a road to recovery. The outcomes will likely look different for everyone, but I think the process is sound.
Before you pass an inbound lead to sales, make sure that they know, like and trust you.
You need to build more value after the lead has been generated through passive human contact.
Using mediums like video and audio to deliver personalized content can move this process along.
Do you have a favorite radio show? You listen to their content all the time. They have given youvalue. They have entertained you. If you met them in person, you would already feel like you know them. But guess what? They likely know way less about you (if anything) than you know about them.
The latest episode of the new and excellent Mystery Show podcast outlines a wild journey that culminates (strangely) in a face-to-face encounter with Britney Spears. Spears’ handler warned the group (with $2500 VIP backstage passes) just before their arranged moment with Britney of this harsh reality: “You may feel like you know her, but she doesn’t know you.”
Celebrities have been able to build affinity at mass scale with little actual interaction with their fans.
By being the friendly helpful teacher who always delivers more content to explore, your audience will begin to know like and trust you.
You can do this better than Britney. Her middle of the funnel is as bare as her mid-riff.
Unlike mass media celebrities, you have powerful personalization tools at your disposal. You have the ability to make their visit to your website adapt tot heir wants and needs. The more you learn over time about your prospects, the better their experience will be.
They will be attending webinars, listening to podcasts, watching helpful videos and thinking: “These guys deliver the goods”.
This is when you pass that lead to the sales team.
At this point, they hear from a member of your team, whom they already know, like and trust.
This brings me to point to step two in plugging our leaky middle of the funnel.
Arm your sales team with the lead intelligence, processes and helpful content they need to successfully nurture that lead toward a close.
This is not the time to have Sam from sales pick up the phone and call to see if they’d like a “demo”.
That’s not consistent with the experience they’ve received so far!
Sam needs to be armed with information. He needs to have already done his homework. Sam needs to lead with more helpful advice, not a pitch.
Fill in the blanks here with your content:
“Hi there, it’s Sales Rep from COMPANY. I noticed that you have shown some interest in our content focusing on PROBLEM WE SOLVE, and I wondered if you had discovered our AWESOME PIECE OF RELATED CONTENT. Would you like me to send this to you, or is this not the problem you are trying to solve?”
This opens up a dialogue without pressure or pitch. What we want is to be there for our prospects. We want to be helpful, and send them the right stuff at the right time.
It’s up to the managers at your company to enable this type of behavior. Your marketers and sales team need the tools of their trade, and they need to be synced up. If you haven’t got that part figured out yet, its high time you did.
I’ll be digging into the particulars of this more in futures issues of this newsletter.
But for now, what do you think? Is your funnel’s bare mid-riff showing? What are you going to do about it?
Thinkhandy is a HubSpot Silver Certified Agency Partner
Thinkhandy, one of only a few recognized inbound agencies in Texas, is a proud Silver Certified Partner of HubSpot. This means that you can now trust our services even more because you only become a HubSpot Agency Partner after demonstrating that you can execute inbound marketing to the highest standards.
What do we do?
Thinkhandy shares the same vision as HubSpot. We believe that customers shouldn’t be interrupted; rather, they should be attracted. If you have a business website, the website should be able to draw customers with ease and these customers should actually find themselves coming back again and again.
Often, this calls for creating engaging and persuasive content and optimizing both the website and the content for search engines. It also calls for sharing actively on social media and on other platforms as you direct potential customers to your website.
We help our customers to create the right content and educate them on how to personalize emails and websites for increased interactivity and purposeful engagement. We also help them with creation of calls to action and landing pages.
What is the significance of being a HubSpot Silver Partner?
HubSpot runs a Partner Tier Program designed to acknowledge the contribution of Agency Partners who have either spread the message the most or have exhibited undeniable excellence in executing inbound services. For a company to be a tiered partner, HubSpot looks at the retention metrics, and success in inbound strategies.
Our tier level is a testament to how far Thinkhandy has come and points to the direction in which we are headed. But above all, it tells you that we are a worthy and reliable partner in all matters Inbound!