How Marketing Agencies Can Use HubSpot Free Trials to Incrase Sales


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How the HubSpot free trial can be used by marketing agencies to improve their sales processes, and ultimately sign up more clients with higher retainers and longer contracts.

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  • Your feedback and participation is not only encouraged. It is required to make this work. This is going to be a bit more of an interactive session than usual. We’re going to take questions as we go through some of the material, especially in the middle of this session as we show you how to setup the product. We’re also going to ask some poll questions so that we can help you guys learn about each other.
  • Last month, BrianHalligan (our CEO) and I launched version one of our value added reseller (or VAR) program, as well as the beta version of our services marketplace. The VAR program is designed for all kinds of agencies that want to leverage HubSpot’s software as a strategic weapon for growing their business. The services marketplace is set up to help our 2400+ customers find a certified partner/reseller who can help them do the work required to be successful. It’s our way of transparently sending referrals to the partners who do the best work, since we publish a scorecard for every provider based on the data from their clients HubSpot portals. Ifyou’re not already subscribed to the software for yourself or a client of yours, and you’re at all interested in partnering with us, you should start a free trial. We don’t really want to partner with anyone who doesn’t FIRST understand the value of our software, how it can help their clients, and how it can help them. You can also start free trials for as many prospects or clients as you want. There’s also no cost to partner with us. But, as we build our team, we have limited 1:1 bandwidth to support new partners. If you do want to partner with us, you most demonstrate your initiative and your ability to use the software and our self-guided training. The individuals and companies that demonstrate their interest and abilities will be invited to join our free training program which we’ll be launching in April. I think that many of you have registered and got certified at Inbound Marketing University, and many of you tell me that it’s changed the way you think of marketing. The HubSpot Partner Training Program will take that a step further, and teach you how to start capitalizing on the way that marketing is transforming. Stay tuned for an invitation to apply for the training program.
  • Here’s an overview of what we’re going to talk about today. First, we’re going to dive into the agency sales problems that I and my team hear about every day from many of you. Second, we’re going to talk about how other partners have overcome some of these challenges. While our software isn’t a panacea, we’re going to dive deep into how agencies have leveraged our trial to overcome many of these sales challenges. Third, we’re going to talk about how to setup the trial. We have a very active project going on at HubSpot to figure out how to make the product easier to setup. But, there will always be some technical work required, inside and outside of the application. The software, like any software, is only as good as the skills of the operator. So, we’re going to talk about how to leverage the data and tools that the software provides to your benefit. We’ll handle q & a at the end.
  • Here are the common problems I hear from agencies every week, atleast when they’re honest and open with me. Now, I’ve also talked to firms that don’t have these problems, or atleast aren’t having all of these problems in some kind of acute manner. But, as someone who ran a small agency myself, I know that it’s almost impossible not to run into these issues once in awhile. And as I learned the hard way, the problems were usually my fault. Many business owners blame external factors, but at the end of the day, fixing these issues is our problem. Please take a minute to answer the poll question on your screen. Please check off all of the issues that you’re struggling with and you want to fix. We will share the aggregate results with you after a majority of you have answered. We will NOT share your individual answers with anyone.
  • Okay, so now that we know we’re NOT alone in having these issues, here’s questions I’d recommend you ask yourself. Many sales problems manifest because agencies don’t have enough leads or prospects to speak with. If you’re not generating enough leads, you’ll end up chasing the same leads too much. If you’re chasing the wrong leads, who don’t have the dollars or wherewithal to invest in your services, you’ll end up signing up the wrong clients, and will have trouble financing the next stage of your growth. We feed our sales team 150 leads per month. Back when I ran my agency, I really only needed about 30 qualified leads month to generate the right revenue. Of course, we’d recommend that you start doing inbound marketing in order to generate inbound leads, if you think that lead generation is your problem.. The other issue I frequently run into is that agencies go through cycles of ups and downs with their revenue. I experienced this one myself too. I’d spend a month or two signing up a bunch of new clients, then I’d have little time to spend on lead generation, prospecting or closing new business. As a result, when a project was over or a client moved on, we’d have trouble paying all of the bills on time. These are issues that you have to fix. I can’t fix these issues for you. No software is going to make you spend time prospecting or make you decide to move on from a prospect who isn’t going to be worth the time. You have to discipline yourself. You might need a sales coach. Hiring a sales coach was the best thing that I ever did. It helped me solve many of these issues in my business. The other issues that agencies often face, that our software can help with, are more about how you run your sales process once you’ve connected with a prospect. Most agencies that I know start talking too much about themselves. Writing proposals is like a dangerous game of darts, where they’re closing their eyes and throwing the dart. The other problem that I see is that agencies LEAD with tactics. Instead of finding problems and creating goals, they’re talking about tactics and presenting ideas. There’s a time to talk tactics and there’s a time to present ideas. But, that’s not in the beginning or even middle of your sales process. The way to help your prospect make a buying decision is to ask questions - first as a way to learn about what’s important to them and second, as a way to demonstrate you know what you’re talking about. Be interested. Not interesting. Learn the art of educating people by asking good questions. Also, a big reason why agencies don’t secure or retain new business, is because they lack processes. While agencies pride themselves on their creative (and creativity is critical), to really deliver a consistent number of leads and sales through inbound marketing activities, systems are absolutely necessary. Prospects can sniff when you don’t have processes. If you don’t have a clear sales process, they’ll know you don’t have a clear delivery process. Let’s talk about ROI. Let’s stop hiding from or dodging this conversation. It’s time we embrace the fact that marketing services can now have a predictable and measurable ROI. I can guarantee you that every time a business owner or CEO thinks about investing more in marketing or in a different type of marketing, they’re first and primary concern is their ROI. They’re asking themselves, “What kind of ROI will I get from this?” I can guarantee you that they’re thinking, “I know I can hire a good salesperson and get $x dollars back.” Or their thinking, “I could invest more in improving my product or building my services team, so I can increase my revenue per client”. They’re thinking, “Why should I spend more on marketing if I don’t know the return.” So, it’s your job to help them predict, deliver, measure and improve the ROI of their marketing activities. If you really want to grow your business, you’ll figure out how to do this. If you really want to increase retainers, lengths of contracts and sign up more clients faster, you’ll figure out how to talk about ROI with your prospects right out of the gate. Another issue that I run into frequently is that agencies aren’t setting the proper expectations. This stems from not having the right conversations about ROI. Often, agencies will pick a number out of their heads or base their number off of rough budget given to them. They’ll sign a client up for $500/month and they’ll get no commitment from the client to be involved. I wish I had a dollar for every time an SEO consultant signed up a client for $500/month to send them a report and tweak a few page titles every month. This stuff doesn’t work anymore. To really deliver an ROI, you need to set proper expectations about a) what work will be required to achieve the right ROI b) who is going to do what work. You need to take the time to educate your prospects about the right way of doing things. Otherwise, you’ll lose them. Or never even sign them up.
  • So, the big question you have to ask yourself after reflecting on the questions I just talked you through is… Do you have the courage and cunning to face these challenges down? If you do, let’s dive into that.
  • If you’re interested in learning how other agencies have overcome these challenges with our help, I’m going to share that with you now.
  • The first think to think about is your sales process. Your fooling yourself if you think that your first priority in your business is NOT selling and retaining your clients, whether you have a sales team or not. Most salespeople don’t have as much discipline to their sales process as they should. I think this problem is especially acute in marketing agencies. Most agencies I speak with don’t even use a customer relationship management or sales force automation system. It’s almost impossible to manage or run or track sales without one. But more important than the software is the process. Here’s what I’ve done several hundred times with our partners. We also follow a similar process at HubSpot when selling our software directly to companies. The first step is generating leads, like we talked about before. I’d recommend you generate leads in a variety of ways. The most effective ways for our partners are a) inbound marketing/lead gen through their sites b) networking and c) referrals from happy clients. Once you’ve generated a lead, you have to call them, sometimes more than once. The goal should be to simply connect live with them, ask questions, identify their needs and challenges and ask. Your goal from this step should be to ask them if they want to continue the conversation, then set up a follow call or meeting. During this phase, it’s a good idea to educate them about certain things, help them analyze their competitors, review a website grader report with them. This will help you uncover their interest and needs, and begin to start establishing your credibility and a certain level of trust. At the next meeting, your job is to qualify their needs and their ability to solve them. Can you help them? Can they help themselves? During this process, you should dive deeper into what’s possible for them if they embrace inbound marketing. You can review their keyword choices, help them think through whether they could write a blog themselves or outsource the writing to you, help them figure out who would be involved with social media, discuss what content assets they can leverage for lead generation. Many of these questions will require you to educate them on the importance of this stuff. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so this is a perfect opportunity to leverage the HubSpot trial to establish that you’re the right person for the job, to start making your prospect believe that you care about their ROI. The goal of the qualification step is to establish that you each are qualified to do business with each other. Once you’ve done that, you should ask them if they want to dive down and figure out what their potential is. This is where you really start to use the trial. As a next step in your sale, I’d recommend that you design an experiment that actual delivers value to your prospect right away. I’ve done this several hundred times now. During the trial, I simply help them generate leads. We’ll talk more about how to do it. But, before many of you say, “That’s so much work. You’re saying we should do that for free?” The answer is “I don’t care. Charge them for your time if you want.” But, more importantly, I can guarantee you that on average, your close rate will go higher, you’ll sign up clients at higher retainers and longer contracts. The last step in your sale, once you have complete trust, you’ve educated your prospects and you’ve demonstrated the value of these services you want to provide by running an experiment in the trial, is to write your proposal. To do this stuff effectively, someone needs to spend time doing inbound marketing. The amount of time will vary depending on a lot of factors. You’ll have to get good at assessing that. On average, we’re seeing SMBs spend $500-$1,000/month on services with partner and MBs spend $2,500-10k on services. Please keep in mind that you’ll need their active participation with blogging, social media and creating content for lead generation, in order to make those numbers work. Next, I’m going to go through some examples to demonstrate exactly how you can do this stuff using the trial.
  • During a prospecting call, this is the screen you should have open on your monitor. Start a trial before your call, guess who one of their competitors are. When you’re on the call, ask them who their competitors are and plug them in. Then say something like…
  • Once you’ve booked your second call, it’s time to dive deeper. You can set up social media monitoring in the tool to monitor social media and blogosphere for mentions of their brand names or important keywords. Get a list of these from them before your call. You can show them conversations that are occurring about them or conversations that their prospects are starting that they don’t even know about. Then say something like…
  • When you’ve established need, challenges and that your prospect wants to fix it, the next step is to design quick trial experiments that demonstrate the value of your services. The experiment that I always turn to first is generating leads. To many people start with SEO, but even if there is low hanging fruit for SEO, it is really hard to implement on page SEO changes and it takes months to see the impact. Also, usually, off page SEO is required to move the needle and you can’t afford to do that for free. Building a landing page and launching it on a subdomain using the HubSpot trial takes about 5 minutes. But, first you need to educate them on building a truly compelling offer. The HubSpot blog has a blog post called “Are your compelling offers actually compelling?” Do a search at google to find it. It takes you through a series of questions to ask your prospect to help them think through the process of creating a compelling offer. Most websites don’t do this right. Most websites convert visitors to leads at a low single digit percentage, 1-3%. Many of our customers who build, launch and test different offers and landing pages convert their traffic at 5-8%. Once they have a compelling offer created, you should use their email list, ppc budget, social media channels, their blog and calls to action from their home page and other high trafficked site to drive traffic to the landing page. Voila. You’ve generated leads for them. They may not close these leads into deals right away, but you’ve just shown them in about an hour worth of work, how to start getting an ROI from their website. They’ll want to do more of it. And your competitors won’t have proven that they can do it, like you just did. They’ll still be blindfolded throwing darts with their off-the-mark proposals.
  • The last step in your sales process should be to analyze what’s working and not working on their site and with their online marketing activities. There’s more actionable analytics in a free trial than you’ll know what to do with. Use this data in your proposal. Tell them what the graphs will look like in 3, 6, 9 months. This graph is actually taken from a partner’s portal who launched several compelling offers and landing pages in January. You can see how his visitor to lead conversion rate went from 0.5% to 4%. He’s also done this for his clients and a bunch of HubSpot customers too, who we referred to him via our services marketplace.
  • Okay. So, that’s the high level. I don’t want to leave you hanging there, though. So, now we’re going to go through the steps of setting up the HubSpot trial.
  • The first step is to set up HubSpot Analytics. It’s a simple process of cutting and pasting javascript code into the footer of your client’s site. It should take a technical webmaster only about 5 minutes, assuming their site is designed correctly using an include file for the footer.
  • The next step is to set up lead tracking. There’s a few ways to do that. In the new navigation, you can access the instructions and a wizard which will help you determine which mehod(s) you should use for each client, based on their needs. The easiest way is to set up HubSpot hosted landing pages on a subdomain of your client’s sites. You can also export form code and insert the form into any page on your client’s site OR use the API when you have clients that have sophisticated backend processing for leads, like an insurance company giving instant online quotes.
  • There’s two ways to set up Closed loop marketing. If your client uses,, it’s a few hour set up process. HubSpotMedium integrates with through our application on the SFDC app exchange.
  • The Bridge group provides inside sales training and development for technology companies. Most of those companies have to cold call. Most organizations struggle with cold calling. This ebook talks about how it turns cold calling from an art to a science. This is a compelling free offer for a VP of Sales. Let me show you how to build a landing a page like this one.
  • Once you’ve set up a landing page, you can set up a series of auto-responder emails. This is new functionality in our software that we’re continuing to enhance. But, what we’ve built is far beyond what most companies do now. In HubSpot Small you can set up one lead nurturing campaign. In Medium, you can set up more. Let’s go through and create a campaign and associate it with a landing page.
  • Keyword research will help you identify how much traffic your client can get. Let’s dive right into the application.
  • Social media monitoring must be refined to bring back good results. You can enter in keyword phrases to refine the results that the software brings back.Let’s take a look at the result after refinement is done.
  • Blogging is key to inbound marketing. We’ve found that it’s the most critical piece. Our customers who blog generate 55% more traffic, 97% more inbound links and they have (by the nature of blogging), 434% more pages indexed by the search engines. Blogging is the secret to SEO. Blogging is also key to generating results from social media. It provides content to promote and initiate conversations. It provides a way for people to spread the word about you and your website to other people on sites like twitter and facebook. Your blog is your homebase for social media. Let’s take a look at how to write an optimized post and automatically promote it to your social media accounts.
  • Okay. So, that’s the high level. I don’t want to leave you hanging there, though. So, now we’re going to go through the steps of setting up the HubSpot trial.
  • Here’s an example of how you can measure conversion rates for different offers and forms. Let’s take a look at HubSpot’s data.
  • With HubSpot Sources Analytics, you can very quickly get all of the data you need per traffic source. If social media shows an uptick, you can double down on that. If blogging is underperforming, you can diagnose why. Using this data in your proposal allows you to give your clients a concrete action plan and specific steps to hitting their lead generation, customer acquisition and revenue targets. It helps you predict, then measure and improve their ROI over time.
  • So,
  • If you’re not already subscribed to the software for yourself or a client of yours, you should be in a free trial. We have limited bandwidth to support new partners. You most demonstrate your initiative and your ability to use the software and our self-guided training. We’ll be working with the potential partners that show the most initiative and demonstrate the most ability to leverage the software and training. If you have a specific question, please use the forums. But, do not hesitate to reach out to us directly to me or Chris Johnson if you’re stuck on something. Chris recently joined the team. We call him the startup within the startup. He’s been with the Company since mid 2007 in almost every customer facing role possible including sales, sales engineering, consulting and customer support. If you have a prospect who is likely to buy or want to purchase the software, he’s available to help. Please be patient and persistent. If you don’t have a prospect or aren’t ready to purchase the software yourself yet, we’ll be inviting the attendees of this webinar to apply to join our training program. We’ll be selecting about 100 partners in the first iteration of the program. We’ll be selecting the people that demonstrate their ability to leverage the software. So, if you’re interested you should start implementing the product.
  • Here are the links to start a free trial for yourself or a client. You can also go to and complete the form to get access to these links. Please do not advertise the availability of these trials. Typically, we offer only a 7 day trial.
  • Okay. It’s time for more questions.
  • As we take your questions, we have a series of questions for you. We’re going to take the results in aggregate and share them with you. We will NOT share your individual answers with anyone. But, since the topic of this webinar is “how to increase your sales”, we figured it’d be interesting to help you see how your peers are doing.
  • How Marketing Agencies Can Use HubSpot Free Trials to Incrase Sales

    1. 1. How Marketing Agencies Can Use HubSpot Free Trials to Increase Sales<br />Value Added Reseller (VAR) Program Webinar Series<br />March 2010<br />Peter Caputa IV<br />Value Added Reseller (VAR) <br />Sales & Marketing Manager<br />Twitter: @pc4media<br /><br />
    2. 2. Are you Going to Help Transform Marketing? <br />“HubSpot has been helping its customers through this transformation and now is going to bring it to a higher level for more businesses through its VAR program and its ‘services marketplace' program. They have always had the inbound marketing torch and now they are adding the lighter fluid to an industry ripe for change.”<br /> - David Meerman-Scott<br /> Best Selling Author of New Rules of PR & Marketing<br />
    3. 3. Your Participation, Feedback, Questions are Welcome<br />Ask questions via Gotomeeting(Preferred)<br />Use @hubspot on Twitter<br />Please answer poll questions as prompted. <br />
    4. 4. Start Learning by Doing with the VAR Program<br />Watch the partner program Version 1 launch webinar. <br />Partners get special access to extended 30 day free trials.<br />No cost to partner with HubSpot. Just your time. So, determine whether it’s worth your time or not. <br /><br />
    5. 5. Agenda<br />Common Agency Sales Challenges<br />How Some HubSpot Partners Have Overcome Them<br />Setting up the Trial<br />Using Trial Data in Your Sales Process<br />Next Steps<br />Q & A<br />
    6. 6. Common Agency Sales Problems We Hear<br />Retainers are too low<br />Can’t increase retainers<br />Contracts are too short<br />Project revenue is lumpy<br />Having trouble signing up new clients<br />Losing clients<br />
    7. 7. Questions to Ask Yourself… <br />Am I spending too much time, chasing too few leads? <br />Am I spending too much time chasing prospects that can’t afford my services? <br />Am I consistently spending time generating leads, prospecting, qualifying, developing proposals and closing business every day, every week, every month? <br />How am I educating my prospects about the value of my services? <br />Do I have systems, resources and processes that deliver results consistently? <br />Do I know how to predict ROI? How am I measuring and reporting my client’s ROI? Am I providing services that deliver an ROI? How am I improving the ROI I deliver over time? <br />Am I setting proper expectations about the work required and the timeline required to achieve success? <br />
    8. 8. Are You Ready to Face These Challenges?<br />
    9. 9. Agenda<br />Common Agency Sales Challenges<br />How Some HubSpot Partners Have Overcome Them<br />Setting up the Trial<br />Using Trial Data in Your Sales Process<br />Next Steps<br />Q & A<br />
    10. 10. What’s Your Sales Process Look Like? <br />Use the HubSpot Free Trial to Help<br />
    11. 11. Use Data to Connect & Identify Interest<br />“I’m reviewing your site vs your competitors and I see that they have many more pages on their site. Do you know that helps them get more traffic to their site from search engines like Google?” <br />
    12. 12. Educate Prospects as You Qualify Opportunities<br />“After we examining the relevant conversations on social media sites, we can see that there’s a bunch of people talking about your company and your important keywords. How are you turning that buzz and those conversations into traffic, leads and sales?” <br />
    13. 13. Design Trial Experiments that Demonstrate Value<br />“Take 30 minutes to a) build and launch a landing page and b) coach them on driving some traffic to it from ppc, email and/or social media.” <br />
    14. 14. Develop a Proposal Based on What’s Not Working<br />Landing Pages Launched<br />“Based on this data, we recommend that you invest initial effort into building offers, landing pages in order to convert more of your visitors into leads. That’s the low hanging fruit for you to generate ROI from our services.” <br />
    15. 15. Agenda<br />Common Agency Sales Challenges<br />How Some HubSpot Partners Have Overcome Them<br />Setting up the Trial<br />Using Trial Data in Your Sales Process<br />Next Steps<br />Q & A<br />
    16. 16. Step 1: How Much Traffic from Each Traffic Source? <br /><ul><li>Set up HubSpot Analytics…</li></li></ul><li>Step 2: How Many Leads from Each Traffic Source? <br />How to Set up HubSpot Lead Tracking<br />3 Ways: Hosted Landing Pages, Form Code, API<br />
    17. 17. Step 3: How Many Customers from Each Traffic Source? <br />Set up HubSpot Closed Loop Marketing (Salesforcevs Non Salesforce customers.) <br />
    18. 18. Step 4: Set up Landing Pages with Compelling Offers<br />
    19. 19. Step 5: Drive Traffic via CTAs <br />Prominently Place Calls-to-Action on…<br />Homepage<br />PPC Ads<br />Email Blast<br />Blog Articles<br />
    20. 20. Step 6: Configure Lead Nurturing Emails<br />
    21. 21. Step 7: Do Keyword Research<br />
    22. 22. Step 8: Set up Social Media Monitoring<br />
    23. 23. Step 9: Start Blogging<br />Show the SEO – Blogging Connection<br />Show the Blogging – Social Media Connection<br />
    24. 24. Agenda<br />Common Agency Sales Challenges<br />How Some HubSpot Partners Have Overcome Them<br />Setting up the Trial<br />Using Trial Data in Your Sales Process<br />Next Steps<br />Q & A<br />
    25. 25. Which Offers & Landing Pages Are Performing?<br /><br />
    26. 26. Which Keywords Are Performing?<br />Determine which keywords convert into leads and customers. <br />
    27. 27. Which Channels Are Performing?<br />Get Visitor, Lead and Customer Quantities per Source from Analytics<br />Determine the action plan. <br />Adapt the action plan every month. <br />
    28. 28. Agenda<br />Common Agency Sales Challenges<br />How Some HubSpot Partners Have Overcome Them<br />Setting up the Trial<br />Using Trial Data in Your Sales Process<br />Next Steps<br />Q & A<br />
    29. 29. The VAR Team is Growing<br />Erin Colbert, Consultant<br />Jordyne Wu, Services Marketplace<br />
    30. 30. Learn the Value of the HubSpot Software<br />Start a 30 day free trial for your website. or client:<br />Gives you access to<br />
    31. 31. Thank You for Your Interest & Participation!<br />More info, start trials, etc:<br /><br />Contact Information: <br />Peter Caputa IV<br />Partner Program Manager<br /><br /><br />
    32. 32. Q & A<br />
    33. 33. Learn About Your Peers<br />How many full time employees in your firm? <br />What is your primary service?<br />When did you start your firm? <br />What percentage of your revenue is retainer (not project or ‘campaign’ work)? <br />How many new clients do you sign up per month on retainer? <br />How many clients do you have on retainer now? <br />What is the average size of your monthly retainer? <br />What is the average $ size of your average project/campaign work? <br />