Neil Ritchie, Co-CEO at ProsperoHub, shares his experiences, insights, and advice on the industry-wide shift towards digital-first approaches...
Can you give an introduction to your organisation?
ProsperoHub is a digital business consultancy and Diamond HubSpot Solutions Partner. We help organisations realign their sales and marketing teams to achieve their business plan results.
We also provide expert consultancy services to design go-to-market strategies for our clients, delivered using the HubSpot CRM, Sales, Marketing and Service platform.
Can you give an overview of the digital marketing methods your team use through HubSpot?
ProsperoHub’s go-to-market is based on the same principles and strategy that we deliver to our clients. We have developed a business plan which details the revenue we would like to achieve as an organisation, the target segments in which we would like to focus, and the value propositions which we believe will be relevant in those markets.
From this business plan we have developed a digital-first route to revenue plan that aligns marketing efforts with sales engagement in a customer-centric manner.
Our marketing team delivers marketing outreach on the HubSpot platform, centred around creating valuable content that articulates how we help our clients achieve their goals and resolve their challenges. The content our team develops is hosted on our website – on both landing pages and blogs – and promoted via e-mail marketing, organic social media, and paid for media.
We also created a prospect ecosystem of ideal profile customers (organisations that we believe are a great fit for our business) and from this built our buyer personas. Typically, these contacts have the challenges we aim to solve, and are part of the buying unit responsible for bringing in CRM solution partners and marketing strategists.
Using the HubSpot platform to host this content on our website, we execute digital marketing campaigns into our target data set and deliver an outreach approach that is all contained within one platform / database. These interactions can therefore be lead scored and the most active prospects made available to our sales team to engage with and help the client with their challenges .
Can you give an overview of the digital sales methods your team use through HubSpot?
HubSpot’s CRM and sales hub provide our sales team with best in class digital sales tools to help them identify the most active sales opportunities and engage with them in a highly personal manner, at scale.
HubSpot has made this process significantly more efficient, and indeed significantly more effective. The outcome of this is that we are digitally engaging with our prospects that are active in the market at a time when they are ready to be engaged with in a customer-centric manner.
The ProsperoHub sales team has thorough buyer insight available that enables timely and contextually relevant sales processes that stand the best chance of winning new business / new clients when they are most likely to buy.
Our digital outreach does not end once we close the client. HubSpot provides us with the capability to continually provide our customer base with up to date accurate information and suggested next steps that will help them achieve success using their HubSpot implementation to manage their digital-first outreach and go-to-market strategy.
In addition, HubSpot provides the leadership team with a full data reporting and analytics suite which is surfaced on dashboards to measure the success of marketing and sales endeavours against the desired outcomes of the business plan. These dashboards allow decisions to be taken in real time to optimise our marketing and customer support and ultimately grow revenue.
What do you think are the key positive effects of digital-first sales approaches for businesses?
A digital-first sales approach in 2021 is the only real strategy available as the significant paradigm shift in sales and marketing that occurred in early 2020 made in-person selling almost impossible. Traditional tactics such as telemarketing as the first outreach became equally redundant since no one was in the office and mobile numbers were few and far between.
A digital-first sales approach delivered on a best-in-class platform such as HubSpot provides sales teams with buyer insight like they have never had before, making it much easier to decide which prospects they should invest their valuable time in. It also provides automation tools that can provide personalised outreach at scale.
In summary, a digital-first sales approach delivered on a leading CRM and sales platform helps salespeople identify leads, have more effective engagement with those leads, and ultimately win more new clients.
This approach also provides the organisation and its leadership with key analytics and data points to make sure its messaging is resonating with the market, its sales and marketing team have the training, education, and knowledge to do their job, and highlights what results have been achieved against the business plan numbers.
In my opinion, organisations that don't have this widely available capability are putting themselves at a significant disadvantage to their competitors who have deployed such tech, before they even get into market.
How do you feel customer expectations have changed with the rise of digital-first outreach?
Customers’ expectations are always high, especially when they are paying significant amounts of money for a service they believe will enhance their business. It's easy to say that customers are more demanding now than ever, but I don't believe that to be the case. Customers always want good service and value for money, and if you don't provide those to your customers they will find someone who does.
I think what has changed is that by using tools that manage your customer experience such as HubSpot, you can very quickly gauge the sentiment of your customer base, and of course each individual customer’s satisfaction.
Customers expect professional organisations to be analysing delivery and response, and in this world of customer experience and customer-centricity they expect changes to be made quickly where services are found to be deficient. I think customer relationships break down when there has been a continual or repeated issue that has not been addressed quickly enough or in the appropriate fashion.
What do you think is the most common challenge businesses face regarding digital sales approaches?
I think that there are several challenges, but they are all really a symptom of not having a planned engagement strategy targeting ideal customers with valuable content that helps them address their challenges or achieves their goals.
Digital tools can only help execute and analyse the above strategy, but you still need to have done the hard work of defining your go-to-market plan that incorporates both marketing and sales outreach and where the hand off points are.
The symptomatic challenges are often:
- What digital tools should be used?
- What should I use digital tools to achieve?
- Is automation going to help me or ruin my credibility?
- What should I automate?
- How do I use my intelligence and knowledge to engage on a one-to-'some' basis using smart tools?
- How do I know who to target digitally?
- What is marketing doing, is it helping me? Are we aligned to driving revenue as one team?
- How do I differentiate in a busy digital market?
What would your advice be to other businesses to overcome or navigate this challenge?
Give me a call! But, maybe before that…
Using platforms such as HubSpot can have a huge impact on the growth plan of a business, but my advice would be that Exec teams need to be clear what they want the business to achieve, and the sales and marketing teams need to be aligned to achieve these outcomes.
Too often, the business plan, sales approach and marketing efforts are not all aligned, and therefore the work that is being delivered is inefficient and not as effective as it should be.
If you can define the plan, make sure sales and marketing know what their roles are in delivering the outcomes, regularly analyse these outcomes to improve the results and make this repeatable, then you are onto a winner.
Connect with Neil Ritchie on LinkedIn here.
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