HubSpot is a powerful tool that can handle almost all of your sales and marketing needs. With the many different directions you can go in terms of setting up your portal and customizing it to fit your business needs, there comes an increasing need to automate everyday tasks and processes that eat away from time you and your team could spend elsewhere.
This is where HubSpot’s powerful workflow automation comes into play. Now, there is a difference between “workflows” and “sequences” in HubSpot that many people get confused about. An easy way to remember the difference between the two is that workflows are more on the marketing side, while sequences deal with one-to-one sales communications.
Both can send emails as the most basic functionality, but workflows can be leveraged to do so much more for your sales and marketing team.
While it may seem like a heavy lift in the beginning, the time that it will save you in the long-run is huge — along with the actual return on investment. In fact, marketing automation can lead to a 14.5% increase in sales productivity!
Here I will break down my top five most used HubSpot workflows that I believe every business no matter the size should implement.
Basic Asset Delivery Workflow
Regardless of which industry you’re in, it’s extremely likely that you have some type of downloadable content on your website behind a form. While you can just have the form redirect to a thank you page with a link to download the final asset, it’s best practice to also have a “thank you” email deliver that asset to their inbox as well. This also offers you the opportunity to have a secondary call to action in that email.
Pro tip: if you’re having issues with leads putting in fake emails just to get to the thank you page and download the asset, have the asset delivered only by email so that they have to put in a real email to receive it.
The trigger for this workflow will be a form submission and the action after that will be to send an automated email to the lead that:
- Thanks them for downloading the asset
- Provides a link to download the asset
- Has a secondary CTA (i.e. schedule a demo)
This workflow can be complete just with that, or you can then have it turn into a nurture workflow that promotes more relevant/related content to the asset that they just downloaded. To do this, set a delay after the first email — typically at least 3 business days — and then you can have another email go out to the lead. If your reps are actively working all leads, you can put in an “if/then” branch so that all SQLs, lead status = open, etc. leads are withheld from the rest of the nurture workflow.
Lead Routing with Rotation
When a hot new prospect comes in, your whole team is most likely chomping at the bit fighting over the fresh inbound lead that you’ve worked so hard to generate. Now, unless you have just one salesperson on your team, these leads need to get evenly distributed throughout your team in order to keep things fair.
Please note: this rotation functionality will require you to have a Sales Hub Professional or Enterprise or Service Hub Professional or Enterprise account.
This can be easily handled by creating a simple workflow in HubSpot that uses the “rotate contact to owner” function. The easiest method to catch all sales-ready leads that come through is to have the trigger of the workflow be the lifecycle stage is “Sales Qualified Lead.” Now, there are a million different actions that contribute to a lead being considered an SQL, but for the purpose of this workflow let’s assume that you have that nailed down.
The next step is to then put in the action to rotate the contact between the salespeople you choose. If the contact owner is known, you can keep that owner on there and have the workflow skip to the next step, or you can have that contact owner overwritten with the new owner. You can also choose specific salespeople to have the leads rotated between or if you have teams set up in HubSpot, have them evenly rotated between the team members.
The leads are now being rotated between your sales team and the last thing to do is to have an alert of some sort be sent to the new contact owner in order for them to follow up immediately.
This can come in the form of:
Regardless of which you choose, make sure your sales team is constantly checking that channel for hot leads that they should follow up with immediately.
Nurture Emails Based On Activity Other Than Form Submissions
While nurture email workflows after content downloads are essential, form submissions shouldn’t be the only trigger for these workflows. With HubSpot, you have the ability to put contacts that visit certain website pages into workflows.
HubSpot’s powerful insights allow you to trigger nurture workflows for known contacts based on specific website page visits. This is especially useful for high-intent pages like scheduling a demo or an ROI calculator that signal a lead is interested in your company.
These workflows can also be triggered off of lead scoring.
Now, lead scoring could be a 2,500-word blog on its own (and is on HubSpot!), but the gist of it is that you are able to assign positive and negative “scores” to actions contacts take in emails and on your website, as well as attributes from their data.
From there, you can set thresholds for when a lead should be considered an MQL and an SQL.
With this in mind, we can create various workflows triggered off of specific page views, or a HubSpot lead score.
For example, if I want to put leads into a nurture that visit the “contact us” page but don’t submit the form, I would set something up like this:
Or, if I want to trigger a nurture based off of a variety of actions that I have scored in HubSpot’s lead scoring, I would have a workflow start once a contact reaches a score of X:
Pro tip: if you want your emails to only go out during the week, in your workflow go to settings → specific times and select the days/times it should execute.
Inactive Contact Workflow
Leads inevitably get lost in the day-to-day operations of your business, so it’s important to have processes in place to catch them and bring them back into the fold. Having a workflow for inactive contacts is extremely beneficial for both the marketing and sales sides.
For sales, qualified leads that were handed off to them can sometimes stall out or have other leads take priority. When this happens, reps sometimes put them on the back burner or forget about them entirely. Those are already qualified leads that could be easy pickings for new business!
To alert your reps to follow up with these forgotten leads, create a workflow like the one below:
Feel free to put your own timeframe in the second criteria. With this workflow, reps will always be alerted of leads that were once qualified but fell through the cracks for some reason. After they reach out if they find out that the lead is no longer sales-ready, have them revert the lifecycle stage back to an MQL so that lead can continue getting nurtured.
On the marketing side, contacts that haven’t been that engaged with your website or marketing emails can also be brought warmed back up. A good way to do this is with a “special” offer for just those contacts that are unengaged.
This could be a special e-book (or one that’s not behind a form), a discount, or whatever offer you can think of that would entice your audience.
From here, you just set the criteria on what you deem as “unengaged” such as:
- Length of time since last website visit
- Length of time since last email open/click
- Last form submission
And after that, set your automated email nurture to go out. This is very similar to the other nurture workflow I covered earlier, but the trigger criteria and content of the emails is much different.
New Customer Welcome Workflow
Hopefully, you are at (or soon will be!) a point where you’re onboarding so many new customers that manually completing all of the actions is overwhelming. This is the perfect opportunity to create a workflow that simply triggers off of when a contact’s lifecycle is changed to “Customer.”
From here, a variety of actions can be scheduled such as:
- Adding the contacts to a running list of “customers” that can be used to send company/product updates to
- Changing the contact owner from the sales rep to a customer service/success employee
- Starting the contact off in a “New Customer” onboarding/welcome email
- Setting the lead status to “Closed”
This workflow is very simple to set up but is invaluable in that it pushes you to think through exactly what you want the journey to look like for new customers, as well as keeping it consistent for everyone.
These are the top five workflows that we use all the time with our clients and see the best results. If you have any questions setting up your own version, or have a new one in mind that you just can’t quite figure out, drop us a line and we’d be happy to help!
SmarkLabs is a Gold HubSpot partner so we’re just the experts you need not only to get your HubSpot portal operating at peak efficiency but also to create and execute a full-funnel marketing strategy that pushes your business to the next level.
Through an integrated market research campaign, CodeScience connected with targeted prospects, delivered value and improved its positioning as a thought leader in leveraging the AppExchange.
CodeScience had marketing resources and budget to allocate for an initiative that would help the company to connect with key prospects while emphasizing and further establishing its positioning as a leading developer of Salesforce AppExchange products. SmarkLabs pitched a number of ideas for integrated, full-funnel campaigns. After review and a collaborative call, CodeScience and SmarkLabs decided to leverage a market research strategy to accomplish these goals.
By laying the right groundwork, this campaign fueled content and drove strategy for months to come. Here’s the framework for the campaign, piece by piece:
- Identify your persona and research targets. CodeScience uses an account-based marketing approach, emphasizing ideal-fit companies to work with, so we looked to target this demographic in the research: loosely, mid-size to large technology companies with at least one product on the AppExchange.
- Define your offer. We wanted to create content that would be valuable to both companies who have developed on the AppExchange before and those who have not, but might benefit from doing so. The sweet spot: A report on strategies for driving adoption and revenue through the AppExchange, with research on what works best.
- Determine your questions. What do you want to ask, why is that information valuable and how? We brought together key stakeholders to break findings into sections and reach consensus on the most valuable learnings, drafted a series of questions, and brought in a data expert to make changes geared toward extrapolating insights from collected data.
- Build your survey. There are several tools to do this; we used SurveyMonkey for ease of creation. The survey had an immediate question to disqualify any respondent not yet on the AppExchange, and required a work email to confirm respondents fit.
- Build your outreach and strategy. We compiled a targeted list based on account priorities, data on whether a company has an AppExchange presence. We also drafted a series of emails to go to this list until they completed the survey, scheduling six touches over the course of three weeks. An escalating incentive to solicit responses, which doubled if there was no response after the first touches, was also budgeted for and implemented.
- Collect and process the data. In the weeks the survey was live, we collected about 140 qualified responses from targeted respondents. Due to the highly defined nature of the group, responses were solicited through targeted, private emails only. The data expert helped shape responses into clear insights and takeaways.
- Create the report. We grouped and wrote through our key findings, publishing a PDF report within a month of completing response gathering and closing the survey. The report’s original iteration was downloadable behind a form on an optimized landing page.
- Tell the world. Our promotion strategy ran deep. The launch of the report coincided with Dreamforce ‘17, Salesforce’s (and the AppExchange’s) signature event. Leveraging a mix of direct sales outreach, sales development, and promotional marketing emails, we used the report as a foot in the door to generate meetings — with the angle that we just published research about how to succeed in the ecosystem, and would love to share the findings with them first. Other pieces included social-media and email-signature promotion, press release, a five-piece blog series breaking down the insights, a semi-custom direct mail play and social targeting to priority accounts, and a digitally optimized, interactive version of the report.
The market research campaign significantly impacted CodeScience’s marketing and sales outcomes, as well as the company itself. Here are some measures of success — some based on KPIs, others less numerical but still significant.
- 140 qualified responses (and Amazon gift cards sent in appreciation)
- 100+ form submissions to download the report
- 5 additional meetings booked at DF ‘17 to discuss the report
- 1000+ digital views of content (blog series, landing page, PDF and interactive report)
- Improved market positioning and boosted awareness
- Provided topic for DF ‘17 hosted panel and a reason for sales to helpfully reach out to prospects
- Launched a related podcast on the strength of findings and connections
Case studies are among the most effective ways to demonstrate expertise in a field and prove that you can deliver real-world results. Having effective case studies boosts credibility during the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey, shares customer success stories that can speak to specific industries and verticals assisted or challenges solved and offers testimonials. Much like customer reviews, when prospects see positive testimonials they are much more likely to convert. In fact, Social Fresh cites that customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for content marketing at 89%. So, how do you write a case study that connects with prospects to deliver these benefits?
We’ve developed a framework for writing a clear and powerful case study. It’s a template that’s part of our Smark Toolbox, full of marketing and sales tools geared toward driving growth. This blog explains the steps for creating a case study — and how to market it afterward. Let’s dive in. There’s a three-part framework for an effective case study: explain the challenge(s) your client faced, share the solution to those problems, and show the results demonstrating how the client solved those challenges.
Here’s a look at each:
Detail the challenge(s) your client faced. Why did they decide to work with you? What were their goals? Had they tried other “solutions” that fell short? This is where you set the narrative for the entire case study, so be sure to nail the struggles and pain points — verify this with the client. In our case study on our client CodeScience for example, we clearly showed their goal by stating “CodeScience came to SmarkLabs seeking a partner to help them craft a strategy to increase the company’s volume of qualified leads.” See the full case study here.
Here, you’ll lay out how you and your client decided on the approach to solve the problem and heal the pain. Most businesses will want to show how they were consultative, while those with singular products or processes will explain the specific features that address the exact challenges you laid out previously.
Be sure to include the strategic steps your company took to eliminate the problem and why you chose them for this specific use case.
One hack is to start writing by saying, “Enter [your company].” This is a natural segue dividing the “before” stage of difficulty and the “after” stage where you improved conditions. The more you analyze and explain your thought process, the more you’re able to demonstrate your expertise, from field knowledge to thinking through specific pain points and adapting to client needs.
Consider the level of specificity that’s best suited for your business. Too vague and you’re not showcasing as much value; too specific and you’re in the weeds or sharing too much of the “secret sauce.” We err on the side of publicly sharing the thought, expertise and hard work we bring to the table — part of our value is rooted is in creating and delivering often-intensive campaigns (“easier said than done”). We share one part our solution in the CodeScience case study by saying “CodeScience is engaging prospects with more targeted outreach and segmented campaigns, utilizing messaging across channels from marketing, SDR and sales team for a unified buyer’s journey.” Part of our solution is laid out in a clear manner, allowing us to fully demonstrate our expertise and value. Read the rest of the solution we implemented here.
Arguably most important section, this lays out the key facts and figures from your solution and shows that partnership with your company was successful for the client. (If it wasn’t, don’t write it!) It’s essential to be able to report on and back up your big wins. If you’re not already, start keeping records of your impact on client KPIs, so that reporting isn’t a mix of sifting and guesswork — most clients appreciate quantitative insights, as well.
Be sure to lay the data out in a way that presents a story of growth and what it has meant for the client since the new processes were implemented. It is always a good idea to visually represent the data, as this is much more digestible for case study consumers. In CodeScience’s case study, we lay out the key facts that relate to the key performance indicators agreed upon, such as stating that “within the first three months of the partnership, CodeScience boosted its conversion rate by 66%.” See the conclusion of our case study here.
Testimonials are one of the most impactful credibility boosters for B2B buyers as demonstrated in the Social Fresh study in the beginning of this blog. Having key decision-makers at current companies (especially with similar titles/roles as prospects) verify your impact lends credibility. The quotes should be from a contact at the client and can either be submitted by them, or you can write them yourself and have the contact approve it. Name and job title should be included to provide validity. Testimonials are a key online review for your business; according to one study, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Call to Action
Conclude your case study with a call to action that invites readers to take the next step with your company — ideally, the messaging is contextual and based on the specific success shared in the story. This is a key opportunity to activate prospects who may be convinced by the information you shared to take the next step, or who would like to discuss in more detail.
The Case Study is “Complete.” What’s Next?
You may think that the case study is complete. But now that your story’s told, it’s essential to leverage it effectively. Here’s how to get the most out of it:
Your “finished” case study should be continuously updated as challenges and results evolve over the course of the client relationship.
Test and Optimize
Make sure to analyze how people are receiving the case study and make changes as necessary. Neil Patel tells the story of posting a blog with 2,286 words and it not doing well, so he cut it down to just 615 words and increased the number of leads generated by 39%. We recommend (as you’ve learned if you made it this far) going shorter and simpler with the content. B2B buyers consume fewer long-form pieces, as demonstrated by a joint study between Fractl and BuzzStream showing white papers as the least favorite medium to consume content through.
Leverage and Promote
The case study can also be repurposed across channels and into different assets. Use cases might include:
- Creating a video out of it (bonus points if you get your customer on camera)
- Sharing it in marketing or sales emails, especially with a segmented audience it would really resonate with (similar company size or situation, industry, etc.)
- Pulling quotes from it to be used on different pages of your site
- Promoting it on social media
- Turning it into a webinar featuring your customer(s)
- Presenting one or more successes in a broadly targeted conference panel
Case studies are a great way to show your company can solve many different problems that businesses face. We recommend building an extensive case study library to showcase the problems you have solved for clients you have worked with, and to include that library link in your site navigation. If you could use a launchpad for writing an effective case study, check out our free Smark Toolbox’s case study template (the Toolbox has several other templates and tools, and we’ll be adding more free resources over time — worth getting access and using the pieces you like).
Want to talk about leveraging customer successes as part of a broader growth marketing strategy? Let’s schedule a no-obligation consultation to talk goals — and how to get there.
Reveille provides a software platform that sits alongside your existing CSP, ECM or EIM, to track and improve collaboration across the enterprise. Reveille came to SmarkLabs with the need for a series of videos that could help explain a whole host of marketing concepts – who they are, what they do, and most importantly, why an enterprise level company probably needs a service like Reveille. The main challenge came from communicating highly technical solutions to a business decision committee, with an urgent need to get a solution in place within budget.
SmarkLabs and Reveille explored many different topics to help explain the core of their business while attempting to make it approachable and exciting. The solution included a unique content production approach that would have videos aligned with marketing goals and prospect questions, hosted throughout their site to add value to their other resources. The first project was an overall explainer video to help prospects understand the value of adding a solution such as Reveille. This helped them have a sales enabler to engage new prospects when they visit the homepage.
Because of the somewhat complex nature of Reveille’s business, metaphors became very important. One useful way of explaining the relationship between Reveille and an ECM such as Dynatrace, AppDynamics, or Domo is through security. Your overall CSP might function like someone outside of a house who can alert the fire department if they see a house on fire. But Reveille, which can live inside of your environment, functions like a smoke detector and a fire extinguisher, catching a problem early and potentially preventing the fire altogether. By actually animating this scenario, SmarkLabs was able to provide a visual aid for prospects to remember when going through the sales process.
One way that Reveille’s sales reps like to describe what the software does is that you ask it specific questions and you get back specific answers – this can be found in their tagline, Actionable Insights. Together with their team, we came up with the idea of showing how Reveille functions very similarly to everyone’s new favorite toy – the in-home assistant. By comparing Reveille to a Google Home or Amazon Alexa, we were able to show that Reveille’s capabilities are broad and far-reaching, but manageable and usable through its interface.
SmarkLabs produced a total of 6 videos that helped educate visitors to Reveille’s website. This eliminated 70+% of marketing budget waste that dramatically lowered lead and customer acquisition costs.
Want to see how your business’ website or social channels can benefit from targeted videos for prospects in different stages of the marketing funnel? Contact us to learn how we can help tell your company’s story strategically through video.