We often talk about (and promote) inbound marketing as an effective means of generating qualified sales leads via content creation, social media and lead capture strategies. But that's only half the battle. Once you have qualified leads, you want to convert them to customers, hopefully loyal, repeat customers over time. Inbound marketing by itself doesn't do that. "Closing the loop" refers to exchanging information back and forth between sales and marketing, however that's defined in your company, in order to optimize lead-to-customer conversions. Here's how we accomplish closed loop marketing using HubSpot and Salesforce.com.
HubSpot Salesforce Integration
In case you're not familiar with HubSpot and Salesforce, HubSpot is the leading inbound marketing platform that incorporates content marketing, social media marketing, seo, lead generation and analytics under one roof. Salesforce.com is the leading online customer relationship management system (CRM). HubSpot has built-in integration with Salesforce, available in the Medium and Large packages. The first step is integrating the two platforms. Here is a step-by-step guide. You should become proficient at using both platforms using their excellent tutorials. Our sales and marketing team is already integrated, but if you have separate teams or departments, make sure that they are trained in using both platforms. This step will help your sales team understand the inbound marketing process and your marketing team will gain direct knowledge of the downstream sales process and the status of leads as they proceed through the sales funnel. Now that you've handled the nuts and bolts let's look at how we roll in closing the loop.
Closed Loop Marketing Workflow
- Lead Response - We have set up protocols so that when a lead comes into our Salesforce.com account from HubSpot, a designated member of our team always responds within one hour of notification. This gives the lead a great first impression and sets a time for a follow-up phone call.
- Lead Assignment and Classification - Each lead gets assigned to a sales person, who then becomes responsible for the account going forward. The sales person will review the lead information supplied by HubSpot landing pages and viewable from within Salesforce and update their status as having been contacted. A phone meeting is set up through Salesforce as an event, which appears on the sales person's calendar. All lead activities, opportunities and events are available to the entire team via reports that appear on each team member's Salesforce home page.
- Account Creation and Closing Steps - Following the initial sales call, unless it turns out to be a dud, we convert each lead into an Account, update any contact information need, and create an opportunity for the sale. If a demonstration or formal presentation is warranted, we set that up as a new event. In most cases we succeed in interesting the lead enough to request a sales proposal, which we create and store under the Notes & Attachments section, and we send them an e-mail with the proposal attached. We then set up a follow up call as an event within a few days of sending the proposal. During the follow up call we review the proposal and ask for the sale. More often than not, we succeed.
- Monthly Review - While we are constantly monitoring our lead, account and sales reports via Salesforce and HubSpot, we also schedule a monthly review with our team to address any problem accounts, training issues and to provide feedback for our inbound marketing efforts. Our goal is to have 1-2 new advanced content publications (such as webinars, e-books or social media promotions) running each month, so we evaluate the effectiveness of each in generating new, qualified leads that turn into customers.
Benefits of Closed Loop Marketing
We have already seen tremendous benefits from integrating our sales and marketing process via HubSpot and Salesforce. In general we are seeing:
- Improved response time to leads
- Higher lead-customer conversion rates
- Fewer lost opportunities due to inaction or lost information
- Higher productivity for our sales team (less time wasted looking for information)
- Improved customer relations due to sales force automation
- Improved inbound marketing content and social media marketing due to feedback from the sales team
We will quantify these results in a future post as we gather more data.
What tools do you use to close the loop between sales and marketing?
We can help you with your closed-loop marketing via HubSpot and Salesforce.