When businesses use customer relationship management (CRM), everyone wins. Yet, it’s only when CMOs master the sales side of things this effect takes shape. This guide will help you establish an effective sales enablement strategy and prepare your CRM for greatness.
How do we know? A question we’ve been hearing a lot is:
We hear this all the time from some of the smartest CMOs we have the pleasure of working with. And we get it. Customer relationship management is so many things. It’s the way you prove your marketing is working. It’s an ongoing negotiation with your sales team. It’s something you have to personalize to your preferences.
That’s why we created this eBook: to offer you a little advice as you figure it all out.
The alliance between marketing and sales is crucial to sales enablement success. After all, success can’t be achieved in a silo. It requires a strong partnership that has buy-in from leadership and has both departments working toward a common objective.
But what many organizations often struggle with are the ingredients that go into this recipe for success.
Let’s picture what a perfect marketing automation/CRM setup/sales enablement trio looks like in an ideal world where everything is fabulous.
It’s Monday morning. You log into your marketing automation platform and find that…
Traffic is up? #winning / Leads are up? Woo-hoo! / Landing page conversion rate is over 50 percent? AMAZING!
Even better, the leads you’re nabbing are automatically logged into your CRM, giving you a crystal-clear view of how well your campaigns are working.
Because your CRM was so perfectly customized, your new leads automatically get routed to either a lead nurturing campaign or sales rep, depending on the triggering action. Your reps get notified when a lead is ready for contact and the connection gets made right away, with no intervention necessarily from you.
Once your sales rep calls that hot new lead, he either moves the lead to the next deal stage or re-enrolls him back into the nurturing funnel, making sure to note any useful information he learned during the qualifying conversation into the CRM.
Best of all, your CRM software helps you figure out the number of qualified leads and closed sales for each of your campaigns. That means you can look back on all the things you did right that made it easy for your reps to land that big sale, and you can replicate your magic formula.
That’s definitely your reality, right? If it’s not, you’re not alone.
To make your situation match up to the one described above, here are some things you can do.
To keep it simple, we’re going to use the HubSpot CRM in all of our examples. If you’re not a HubSpot CRM user, the general advice we give will still apply, but some of the specific steps will differ.
If you don’t have the HubSpot CRM yet, you can create an account here. Simply click the “Get free CRM” button on the page and follow instructions to add HubSpot CRM to your HubSpot portal.
Go to Settings > Users & Teams and invite as many users as you’d like
Each invitee will receive a welcome email with instructions on how to set up their account.
Go to Settings > Integrations > Email Integrations to install and integrate your email
If you use Gmail in Chrome or Outlook for Windows, HubSpot Sales will share prospect/customer information between your CRM and email platform.
Go to Lists or Contacts to add contacts and companies to your database (example, import CVS files)
Note: HubSpot CRM runs off the same database as HubSpot marketing. Add a contact to one system and it will automatically show up in the other.
Issues syncing contacts between your CRM and marketing platform.
The sync list. If a contact isn’t on the list information, it won’t get synced.
Set up this list using Lead Score or Lifecycle Stages. Dictate which contacts you want to sync (MQL, SQL, Customers, etc). Anyone not listed in this lifecycle stage will not be synced between the two systems.
You already know your CRM should integrate with your marketing automation platform. This significantly reduces the amount of data entry by the sales team while showcasing the effectiveness of individual marketing campaigns.
HubSpot’s CRM natively integrates with HubSpot Marketing and doesn’t require any kind of setup. As soon as you start using HubSpot’s CRM, information about contacts becomes visible from HubSpot Marketing (and vice versa).
Data isn’t accurately updating between your CRM and marketing platform.
There’s a discrepancy within the update rules for your property types.
First, determine which system will be the primary record and which will be the secondary. Next, determine how you want the data to be updated between the two systems (at the property level).
The HubSpot CRM calls them “object types” and uses the following three main categories:
Notifications of API Call Limitations.
CRM integration solutions generally have a limit to the number of API calls you can log within a specific time period.
Avoid overages for large list syncs by syncing records in batches. Note: If your CRM is attached to other platforms, calls from those platforms will also count toward your total. Setting a limit to HubSpot API calls per day will help you manage usage and avoid overages.
Non-compatible property mapping types.
Often, the definitions for properties can vary between two systems.
To sync properties between two systems, make sure the data types in both systems are consistent. This will vary depending on which systems you use.
Filters come standard or can be customized to help you manage your leads.
Filters give you the ability to quickly view a segment of your database right from the contacts, companies, deals or ticket dashboard. You can use any default or custom property in your HubSpot account to segment your objects. After a filter is created, you then have the option to save that filter as either viewable only to you or to your entire team.
Additionally, for objects such as Deals, Tickets
As your reps work a lead, tasks can be created to keep them on track. Use the given fields to define the task (status, due date, assigned to, description) and associate tasks with specific contacts, companies or deals.
Deal stages are a default property of HubSpot’s
Or you can customize your deal stages by going to Settings > Sales Dropdown > Deals > Edit. If adding a new deal stage, give it a name and probability score to indicate how likely it is that a lead will buy at this stage. This will help with lead flow and lead management. Once finished, click out of the box and drag the new deal stage to the appropriate spot on the stages list.
Opportunities are created without a primary contact attached.
Many CRMs allow sales reps to create an opportunity without a primary contact.
Before integrating CRM opportunity records, it’s essential that each opportunity is attached to a contact record in your CRM. This might require a process change for your sales team, but it will ensure that HubSpot can assign the correct contacts to opportunities.
Now you need to prep the system to support a healthy lead flow from the top of the sales funnel to the bottom (without leads bottlenecking, getting lost or becoming miscategorized).
Why does lead flow matter?
The problem is the average response time is approximately 61 hours, and 47 percent of companies don’t respond at all!
To support healthier lead flow, you need to create a lead scoring and grading system to ensure leads “flow” smoothly through your closed loop reporting system and get distributed to the right sales rep at the right time.
Here are some things you probably know about your leads: job title, industry, number of employees, annual revenue, number of forms submitted on your website. All—or none—of these can be factored into your lead scoring. Decide which of these factors are characteristics of your best leads by looking at your best customers and opportunities for clues.
Stick to a point scale of 0 to 100 and prioritize based on how ready a lead would be to chat with a sales rep. The sales team can help assess the data points that are most useful in qualifying leads.
In HubSpot, this is done by assigning positive and negative attributes to your contact (adding or subtracting points from their score).
For example: 75 points or higher. Once a lead passes this score threshold, a HubSpot workflow can trigger a change in ownership from marketing to sales.
After reps make contact, marketers can use a custom field or button as a trigger to allow reps to re-enroll contacts back into the nurturing funnel if needed.
In Salesforce, lead scoring is handled a little differently and involves creating “fields” to be used as lead scoring “factors.”
Sales and marketing will need to meet and discuss if
It’s a balancing act, and it takes time to perfect.
You put a ton of effort into generating leads, but 50 percent (if not more) of those leads you generate aren’t ready to talk to sales yet. Many of them will never be. So what do you do?
In the marketing world, what you do with these leads often gets called “lead management.”
Some of the rewards of lead management include:
You can do everything we’ve already talked about right and still run into issues.
The truth is, your CRM is only as good as the people who use it.
So, to find out how to handle the sticky human issues involved in CRM adoption, we turned to people who have been there.
“I’d advise marketers new to CRM to get their house in order first in terms of the plumbing of marketing automation and CRM,” suggests CloudFactory’s Wilson. “In terms of the campaign tracking, field mapping, lead scoring, personas, lifecycle stages... document all of it in a playbook. Then move on to the actual lead process and help sales think about the flow. Sit down with the sales team and leadership and really map out the sales process and buying journey from start to finish. That will help in setting up processes.”
“Keep training tools simple, such as screenshots of CRM functions along with easy to understand tips or directions in one small guide specific to your company that the sales team can access within the CRM,” says Hanson-Ehlinger.
“Include a revision date so you can update with new information as common questions arise. An hour or two of group training suffices with the sales team, then follow up for one-on-one specific questions as they come up. Provide a resource they can go to for answers and to solve problems as they happen. The more you make it easy, the better the adoption.”
Says Kubitschek, “In terms of inbound, reps want to know why we’re doing it. How does it help us, versus outbound cold calling and cold emailing? What we try and do is show them the wealth of information that we have from our inbound efforts. How these people are requesting to have a conversation with us—they want to hear from us. We already established a relationship and that makes it easier for sales to sell. It’s really pitching inbound as a way that we’re helping them and enabling them.”
Says Hanson-Ehlinger, “I’ve always felt that the CRM’s importance beyond pipeline management is being a repository for the intellectual assets of the company—the client list, the prospect list, making it simple for sales and customer service teams to capture crucial information. Let’s face it: salespeople or customer teams can come and go. In order to not disrupt customer service or the business as a whole, it’s critical to
Marketing should make its performance data just as visible as the sales team’s performance data to level the playing field and illustrate accountability in the same way that sales does.
On the flip side, you get to see the value of your efforts and receive the feedback you need to refine your campaigns.
Most importantly, leads are connected with sales reps at exactly the right moment—when they are truly ready to take the next step. It’s a world where everyone wins, and that’s what makes sales enablement a must-have for both teams’ success.