This blog originally ran on the HubSpot Blog here in May 2014 and we wanted to share it with our community. HubSpot had reached out to us to do a Customer Case Study on how we developed our Inbound Sales process with their help. We hope you enjoy it!
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In the beginning, BrightGauge was using a variety of tools to promote and attract leads. They lacked a formal process for following up on the few leads that they would generate and were unclear as to why some were closing into customers and others were not. Co-Founder and CEO Eric Dosal found a solution using HubSpot to generate more qualified leads and built an inbound sales process that’s helped BrightGauge acquire and retain more customers.
Needing a Consistent Lead Generation Strategy for a Successful Product Launch
As a SaaS business, it’s critical for BrightGauge to attract a consistent volume of leads to support their monthly subscription and revenue goals. But as a young company, they did not yet have a methodology in place for their sales and marketing teams to follow. The marketing team was using a variety of tools to attract a relatively small number of leads online. Further, they lacked analytical tools to develop a strategy based on performance of their current marketing activities.
By using Google Analytics, they did not have a way to track how well their website was contributing to converting leads into customers because it only measured web traffic and page views. They were using MailChimp to manually send email blasts to the leads that did come in. Since MailChimp did not provide in-depth analytics or a process for following up on the leads, it was unclear as to why some prospects were closing into customers and others were not.
As they began to develop plans to release a new version of their product in 2013, Co-Founder and CEO Eric Dosal sought a solution to solve their lead generation issues to help successfully launch their new product. He also required a tool to provide insight into the return on investment of their marketing.
“HubSpot is more than just software, we’re now part of a community that helps educate us and improve our business.” – Eric Dosal CEO, Co-Founder of BrightGauge Software
Building an Inbound Sales Process
A key element of building their strategy was learning from HubSpot’s own inbound sales experts. Eric and his team enrolled in a custom Inbound Sales training program and worked closely with their consultants to learn best practices and develop a custom sales process of their own using HubSpot’s software. “Learning the Inbound Sales Methodology was enlightening to help us become better listeners, better qualifiers, and most importantly – better closers,” says Eric of his experience working with the HubSpot sales trainers.
Initial key take-aways from his Inbound Sales Training:
- Stick to a repetitive process because it will be more scalable and measurable.
- Do not send canned blast emails! By adding a personal touch, your prospects and customers won’t feel like they’re communicating with a machine.
- Aim for a quick turn around when following-up on new leads, especially after a Demo Request.
- Learn the detailed characteristics of your buyer personas. Asking specific questions on lead forms will help improve your overall positioning.
The biggest transformational step for them, says Eric, was developing their buyer personas and using targeted questions on HubSpot’s lead forms. “It completely changes our positioning with a prospect. Our closure rates have gone up simply because of that,” says Eric.
For example, Eric opts for open-ended questions like, “What type of metrics are you interested in?” The responses received give his sales reps real insight into many important details about that lead and their needs. The sales rep can then follow-up, fully prepared with a specific line of questioning, with relative customer examples and information that positions them as an expert in the field. Presenting this prepared information helps the sales reps build trust with their prospects; this has become a critical part of BrightGauge’s sales process.
“At the end of the day it’s people that we’re dealing with. They want to be a part of something special and they appreciate when you take that extra step.” – Eric Dosal CEO, Co-Founder of BrightGauge Software
Using HubSpot to Close and Retain Customers
BrightGauge also personalizes the website experience for the lead based on the information they have collected in forms. When a prospect returns to the website, they’re guided to BrightGauge’s best performing asset, their Demo Request landing page. Once a lead converts on this page, they’re automatically tagged as a ‘Sales Qualified Lead’ (SQL) since they typically are towards the end of the buyer’s journey.
Eric setup a trigger in HubSpot to send a notification to the sales rep via email and text message when a lead converts to a SQL. Their goal is to reach out to the prospect within the first 15 to 20 minutes. Most prospects are impressed with their fast turnaround and associate BrightGauge with rapid responsiveness, a distinguishing feature for companies in their industry.
Before the follow-up call, sales reps do research in order to tailor their conversation and be more relevant to a prospect’s needs. They use HubSpot’s Contacts, which provides information on page views and content downloads, to understand what the lead is interested in learning and how much they might already know about BrightGauge. This step increases their chances of a successful initial call and their ability to build trust.
The goal on the sales call is to establish expertise and build trust with the prospect. The sales reps achieve this by applying the information they saw in the contact’s history and asking relevant, open-ended questions. This lead intelligence is applied through the rest of the sales process to help convert more qualified leads into customers.
Account managers at BrightGauge also use HubSpot to effectively track and retain their customer base. They work with the marketing team to send bi-weekly Product Release notes from HubSpot’s Email tool to their customers. They track and create aSmart List of people who do not click the emails open or read the product updates after the third send. The account managers use this list to help identify customers who are less engaged, and are therefore potentially at risk for canceling. This piece of their marketing strategy has helped decrease monthly attrition by 55% within their first year using HubSpot.
Now with a clear process in place for better managing their lead follow-up, BrightGauge has been able to increase their paying customer count by 87% and have increased revenue by 152% within their first using HubSpot.