You finally did it: You took the plunge and invested in HubSpot’s marketing software. Now that you have all of the tools to launch high-quality, targeted inbound marketing campaigns, it’s only a matter of time before your company starts to grow and you see a return on your investment. Right?
Well, unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. While HubSpot’s software does give users state-of-the-art tools, sometimes even the most savvy of marketers struggle to see results. More often than not, this is due to skipping a few practical steps behind the scenes. Luckily, by slowing down and asking the right questions before you get too ahead of yourself, you can build a foundation that sets you up to get the most out of your HubSpot investment.
First things first: It’s time to get organized.
4 Questions to Help You Get Organized and Improve Your HubSpot ROI
1. What are your goals for inbound sales and marketing?
Identifying your goals early on helps put your investment into perspective. Without clearly established goals, you won’t know what successfully utilizing HubSpot software will really mean.
Since your goals likely include revenue growth, it’s always a good idea to involve senior management in identifying your goals and making a plan. Analyze any historic data, resources or budgetary concerns to make goals that are realistic and specific to your business.
2. What specific KPIs and benchmarks will you apply?
To know if you’ve achieved your goals—or, at the very least, are on track to achieve them—you’ll need to identify the metrics and benchmarks that will help you gauge your success. For marketing goals, these KPIs might be bounce rates, email open rates, conversion rates or inbound leads. For sales goals, you can track sales qualified leads, win rates and quarterly revenue.
However, keep in mind that for every benchmark you want to meet, you need to make a plan to monitor and review your results. Think ahead to strategize how you’ll evaluate your progress and report findings to stakeholders.
3. What is your timeline for achieving your goals?
Depending on your company and product goals, you may have product launches, trade shows, conferences, funding rounds or other important events that will drive timelines. If so, make sure you set clear expectations for what you’ll need to meet your goal timelines with your sales and marketing teams.
4. What resources are available?
You’ll need to know who you can count on and in what situation. A clear understanding of the team members involved and their roles can help avoid confusion and prevent miscommunications. Plus, assessing your resources helps ensure you have the support you need to achieve your goals from the very beginning. If not, you may need to consider hiring more talent or outsourcing specific tasks.
What’s Next: Aligning Your Sales and Marketing Teams
Now that you have your plans, goals and processes organized, it’s time to make sure there aren’t any internal barriers to success. One problem that many midsize to large companies face is not having their sales and marketing teams on the same page. In fact, 90 percent of companies report sales and marketing teams that are not aligned—and of that 90 percent, 40 percent said that disconnect has prevented them from effectively closing deals.
Luckily, it’s not too late to align your sales and marketing teams. By answering five simple questions, you can be on your way to a cohesive team and an improved HubSpot ROI.
1. Do you have buy-in from senior management to align sales and marketing?
This is essential. Without the support of senior management, the logistics of merging your sales and marketing teams—whether physically or ceremoniously—isn’t likely to work. And if you haven’t obtained buy-in from senior management yet, your next question should be …
2. Who will sell management on the plan—and how will you do it?
While explaining that a misaligned sales and marketing staff can lead to lost opportunities, missed targets and poor performance (not to mention a HubSpot investment that doesn’t live up to expectations) should be enough to convince senior management, you still need a strategy. Do your research and be prepared to share concrete benefits.
3. Have you developed a playbook and SLA?
If you aren’t planning to physically merge your sales and marketing teams under a common structure, you’ll need to develop a clear service level agreement to ensure all involved understand the new processes. Within the SLA, the following concerns should be addressed:
How the sales process is understood and communicated
How lead quality and sales readiness are evaluated
How to capture qualified leads and the process for handing them off to sales
How sales reps can identify and engage leads quickly and effectively
4. Do you have HubSpot sales and marketing tools properly set up?
Once your teams are aligned and working together, they’re going to need the right tools to achieve their goals. Make sure you have your HubSpot sales and marketing tools set up properly so they can hit the ground running.
5. Do your teams have the training they need to work together better?
A significant organization change can be challenging, so don’t be surprised if you need to provide your teams with additional training to effectively work together. Recognize the potential for struggle and prepare for it.
Getting organized and getting aligned are two important steps to making the most of your HubSpot investment. Once you can effectively answer these questions, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goals. But stay tuned — getting organized and getting aligned are just the first two steps to enjoying success with HubSpot. We’ll be back soon with more tips for getting a greater return on your investment.
With over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. You can connect with John via LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus.