Aligning Sales and Marketing in One Platform

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Do you know which of your marketing actions are leading to sales? The answer to this question will determine where you should invest your time and money. For many businesses, they have the data, they simply don’t have it integrated in a way that allows them to answer this question easily. In this video, I’ll share the benefits of aligning your sales and marketing within one platform.

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Video Transcript:

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So, we’re going to be talking about how to align sales and marketing inside of one platform. What this will allow us to do is achieve closed loop reporting quicker. Closed loop reporting is understanding the entire pathway between marketing and sales and knowing which channels and actions led to conversions and led to a user becoming a customer. This is extremely important if we want to understand which of our marketing channels is returning the most ROI to our business.

Here’s what we’re looking at: closed loop reporting. What it starts with up here is a prospect. They visit your site, right? They come in. They get a tracking code. They’re an anonymous visitor. They take some actions. They become a lead. They work their way through the funnel and become a customer. And when we are tracking them through this and using all the different technologies available to us, we can see which actions, which channels led to the most amount of customers for our business.

Now it’s not as simple as putting one different code on to somebody’s profile. The reality is, a lot of marketers, a lot of businesses, are using more than one software to achieve all of these different actions at one time, which means that we’ve got a lot of data in a lot of different places.

And this is why tracking success is really complex. We have more access to data, but it’s located in a number of different tool sets. This report from the Winterberry Group shows a poll of companies and marketers, how many tools they’re using to drive to support their data-driven marketing or advertising. 51% is using five to 10 and 27% are using 11 to 20. If we look at the blended average, it’s about 12.4 tools per business to understand and use, and do what’s called data driven marketing, using data to make those decisions.

Now the reality is that when you’ve got 12 or more tools trying to speak to each other, it gets extremely complex really fast. It’s hard enough getting one or two like your email platform and your CRM connected together. Now we’re talking about 12 different tools? We’re talking about tons of data coming from a number of different locations, some of it that might not even integrate together. And that’s another one of the big issues. 61% of marketers, they want both better integration of the tools as well as improved process for sharing data among tools. You see there’s 61%, 61%, 61%. Obviously I know that doesn’t add up to 100; this is obviously please select all that apply, so we can have more than 100 here. But they want better integrations and tools, improved processes for sharing data, and also more experienced practitioners to lead their efforts. They need people that understand this.

The reality is, in order to do this, you have to have an understanding of how databases work. You have to have an understanding of how different tools can push or send information, whether it be an API, or maybe you need to structure your own pipelines. There’s a number of tools. One of the ones we use is Supermetrics, which allows us to pull data from a number of different tools into sheets, and from sheets, then we can begin to collaborate and layer that data together.

Another tool we use is Octoboard, where it allows us to build dashboards or BI tools, BI dashboards that pull in tons of data and allow us to manipulate it to see it with blending Google Analytics with Facebook, or our CRM, and seeing how people move through the funnel. I spend a lot of time and energy learning as much as I can about BI, learning as much as I can about data science. I’m still doing that right now. I’m in two different courses at the moment. The reality is the reason I’m doing that, is I want to have a better understanding of this as well. And if you don’t have experienced practitioners to lead this effort, you’re not going to be able to glean the insights you want from your tools.

One of the biggest questions as, whether we are speaking with marketers or business owners that we work with is, what marketing efforts are actually generating income? Which ones are generating new business for us? And if we can’t know that, and we can’t share that with our clients, they typically don’t stay with us very long. And that’s why we’ve always been on a mission to help do that, to say, “These are the actions that we’re taking, and this is how it’s returning investment back to your business in real dollars.” And when you’re able to do that, whether you’re running the marketing or business, or you’re a small business owner, you know where to invest. You know where to invest your time and energy. You want to invest in the things that are producing real business results.

Pulling data from all of our tools to make an informed decision like we’ve talked about, this is not a simple task. This is not something you just click a button with, right? And this is why having a sales and marketing platform that is inside of one tool can help you make informed decisions.

I’m going to pitch HubSpot a little here. We’re a HubSpot Certified Partner. We’ve been a HubSpot partner since 2015, and we use the tool with a lot of success. I have to say this: it’s just a tool. If you sign up for HubSpot, and expect it to do the work for you, it’s not going to do it for you. It’s impossible. It’s just a tool. It’s like having a screwdriver or a hammer or whatever tools that you use; unless you know how to use them, they’re not going to be effective for you.

But when you do have a tool like HubSpot, and everything is centered around … As you can see, this is what they call their flywheel now. Their CRM: this is a contact database. So all the contacts come in here, and then typically what we’re working with is the Marketing Hub and Sales Hub. Now, here’s the cool part: both of these have free versions, so you don’t have to spend a dime to get started with this stuff. You can build forms, you can build lead flows, you can start to use a CRM and track user interaction without spending an extra dime.

They’ve also got some other tools here, but really, we’re talk about marketing and sales today. And these can help you make an informed decision, because from the Marketing Hub, you can begin to generate leads, and it ties into the CRM, and you can track those with your sales interactions, and understanding how somebody moves through the funnel.

How HubSpot helps us track success: we’re going to look at five different things, prospects, and how prospects move through that funnel. We’re going to show you how HubSpot can come into play there. There are other systems that do this. I like HubSpot because it’s easy to use. It also integrates with a lot of tools, so you have somebody that likes to do business intelligence, that has some database administration background or has some sort of background in APIs and things of that nature, their backend is extremely open, and this allows you to push and sync data. We do a number of integrations, whether it be from Salesforce, the G2 Crowd, to add platforms. Well, we’re pushing in tons and tons of powerful data that are all now linked to our contacts inside of HubSpot. So you can do a lot of open-ended stuff with this tool, but I’m talking specifically about having Marketing and Sales Hub, and using them on the free account.

We have five stages that a prospect typically goes through. They search for a solution, they become a lead, nurture them through email, and then that lead becomes a discovery call, and then they become a customer. We’re going to look at these five different examples of how somebody moves through the funnel.

Prospect searches for you. Maybe they have a pain point, so they Google something.  We know HubSpot is big on inbound, inbound strategy, inbound marketing. This is where content marketing can come in. So what would happen if somebody comes and they find your site, like we talked about in that first slide, is we place a cookie on there, so we begin to track them. Now we have … it’s a unique identifier, because we don’t necessarily have their email address at this point, but we know them as a visitor. They’ve come to our site, they’ve interacted with us.

What happens next, is we present to them some sort of offer, where we’re going to give them something powerful or something helpful, that addresses their pain point, but they also take that next step to give us their name, their email, their company, their phone number. Now, what’s happened is that cookie that was placed inside of their browser is now going to attach to their name, their address, their company and their phone number. So now we have some more information about them. Now they’re not only a unique number in our system, but they’re a person: a person with a company and what’s important is their email address.

We’re going to prospect them through email, and over here is an example of the HubSpot timeline. And you can create all of these emails here, and send them, and then it tracks it through the timeline, so you know when these different emails were sent. Now, with some of the other tools, you can do sequences and stuff here, and so you can copy and paste things in. But the reality is you can email people right through HubSpot. You never have to leave the system, and it tracks it inside of their contact record, so you always keep it there.

The next step is sales comes in. So you’ve seen a prospect, they’ve been active. It’s time for your sales team to reach out and learn more. And now it’s time for them to have that call. And let’s say they have the call and it goes really well. They can take those notes down, and now they can add those notes into HubSpot.

After I’m done with this, I’m going to show you what a contact record looks like specifically. And how we’ve got these powerful notes attached to this person as well. Finally, that prospect becomes a customer, so they make a purchase with us, and they’ve converted all the way through the process, and now they are our customer.

Let’s look really quick at a contact record. This is me. This is in my own database. But as you can see here, these are all these different actions that Ryan has taken. Ryan was created from an offline source, which means I was created from an import. Actually, I added myself to the tool. Well, as you can see, I’ve looked at pages on my site. I’ve looked at certain email notifications. I’ve submitted form submissions. This is me talking back to people who’ve submitted stuff for my blog. But if it wasn’t me, let’s say Ryan Shelley was somebody we’re prospecting. Ryan visited these sites, he was sent an email, he opened it, he clicked that email. He now filled out this form, and let’s say Ryan’s been really, really active.

What I then can do, using all this information, and it’s a long engagement history that I have, I can add notes right here. I can create a note, and I can talk about “Hey, Ryan’s been really active.” I can send Ryan an email. I can actually call Ryan through this system. I can hook up my cell phone number here, which I have, and I can make a call, and it will track and record this call into the system. I can set myself up with tasks. I can say, “Call Ryan back, close him as a customer,” all of those different things. And now anybody on my team that comes here, they’re going to see this really detailed activity record. They’re going to be able to see when I’ve called them, when I’ve emailed them, the actions that he’s taken back. It helps management understand what’s going on, but it also helps the team to do collaborative selling. It then helps marketing to understand the steps that sales takes, and helps sales understand the steps that marketing takes. Just by having all this data in one system.

I don’t have to have another SEO tool. I don’t have to have another CRM. I don’t have to get another email tool. It’s all within here, which allows all the data to be attached to one database, so you don’t have to worry about integrations, and you can still get the information that you’re looking for. This is going to allow us to do closed loop reporting. As you can see here, looking at some traffic … what it does, HubSpot’s got these really good reports. They run for you automatically, so you’re not going to have to go in there and build these out. They’ll tell you sessions. Sessions, contact rate, the amount of new contacts. Customers’ contact rates: how many customers were generated from organic search or direct traffic. And you can see those different trends.

You can also have specific reports, whether it be your blogs or your post views. You can build these out to meet the needs of your team, so that management can see what’s happening at a high level, understand how people are moving through the funnel, see how they’re moving through the marketing funnel, the actions that are being taken … all the things that apply to what’s going on with your team or with the teams that you’re working with. That’s what really allows you to be powerful, so you can see the visits, the contacts, the customers being generated by each channel in your marketing processes.

Once again, let’s go back through this. We talked about a prospect visits our website for the first time. They’re assigned a unique identifying tracking code. It’s called a cookie. That’s what a cookie is. Then this anonymous visitor, they take activities on your site. We’re recording that activity, and adding it to this unique tracking record. Once they convert by giving us information, all this data that we’ve found and used here that’s being processed, is now attached to the record.

Google Analytics, I’m a big user of Google Analytics, it does all of this, tracks all this information. What it does not do is connect that to a user’s email address. And there’s a lot of reasons that Google doesn’t do that. Their Analytics tool is very deep, and it has a lot to do with security and privacy. But from HubSpot’s standpoint, this is going into your CRM, so they do have this ability to track user actions from a website level, and then can connect that to your CRM. Now the visitor goes through this process, and they’re beginning to build their lead profiles and take actions. Finally, they become a visitor, and then they become a customer, and we can look at this entire process: how they’ve moved through the marketing funnel, through the sales interactions, and became a customer.

HubSpot’s a great tool. Again, it’s not the only tool on the market. If you’re using HubSpot, you have some questions about how this works, please comment below. If you’re not using HubSpot, you want to know how to get started, please comment below. We can help you guys get started with that as well. Any questions you have on the process, we always want to make new videos, ways to help you make sure that you guys are getting the most out of the actions you’re taking online.

Thanks so much for watching, and until next time, Happy Marketing.

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