In this blog, Rowley Cubitt, Head of New Business Development at Huble Digital, provides five HubSpot Sales tools to enable your sales team and help you convert more leads, quicker and easier.
I think ‘times are tough’ is the understatement of the year. Right now, we are all finding it difficult to run our businesses as usual, and for salespeople in particular, the year has been very challenging.
Indeed, we all have to be mindful of the wider climate and empathetic to how businesses around the globe are dealing with a range of difficulties. Personally, I'm seeing people either hunker down to weather the storm, or attempt to change with the times.
As for which approach is right, that isn’t for me to say. It ultimately depends on what is best for your business, employees and customers, but one thing I do know for sure is: sales teams have to be more efficient and effective than ever.
Stretched to the limit
Currently, there is a real need for more new business, but with sales teams as stretched as they are, how can businesses retain current customers, upsell and secure new opportunities? The fact is that salespeople now need to be smarter with their time to close more deals.
And if you’re using HubSpot, you already have what you need.
Within the HubSpot Sales platform there are some amazing tools – sequences, meetings, templates, outlook/Gmail integrations (to name a few) – that can be used to improve your sales processes.
So in this blog, I’m going to share 5 ways you can use the HubSpot Sales platform to maximise your selling capability and improve your efficiency to close more deals than before.
Tool 1: Sales email templates
One way to be more efficient with your time is to partially or completely automate repetitive tasks.
For example, one task that wastes a lot of time for salespeople is drafting sales emails. Typing out of the same emails time and time again, with only small tweaks along the way, isn’t the best use of your time.
This is where the first tool comes in: HubSpot’s sales email templates. These templates enable you to turn your best and most-used sales emails into templates you can use on the fly, optimise and/or share with your team.
HubSpot also has a library of pre-built templates designed for each step of your customer’s journey, or you can also create your own from scratch!
It is certainly worth considering when it comes to the emails you send out regularly or those long, resource-intensive, emails that take 30 minutes to pull together because you need to add links to relevant content. You’ll save hours when you can send your most “repetitive” emails in seconds.
Having this kind of capability enables you to do your regular email sends quickly and efficiently, regardless of whether you use Outlook, Office 365 or Gmail.
Another feature available is real-time reporting. From the reporting dashboard, you can see which of your templates are working – those getting the opens and clicks – and which ones need to be tweaked.
Your open rates will tell you which email subject lines are enticing, with the click rates telling you which videos, calls-to-action, attachments and/or meeting links are irresistible and 100% click-worthy.
Keeping with metrics, you can also take a wider view and look at all of your templates directly from your dashboard. This makes it easy to take that step back and look at all comms coming out of sales – not just your emails.
Lastly, when you find that a certain template is working, you can share it with the whole team. Why keep the success to yourself when you uncover your time-saving, high-performance templates?
Tool 2: Sales sequences
Once you start using your templates and your company generates more leads daily, you need to ensure that you follow up with leads who don't respond.
Lots of good opportunities are missed because sales reps forget to follow up after an unanswered call, email or voicemail – .your lead could be on holiday, crazy busy, or have other priorities right at that second. As bigger and better leads land in your inbox as a result of your templates, you need to have a plan to engage with them.
Most sales leaders will say that best practice is to reach out at least 5 times, but if you have to remember to manually set 5 follow-up reminders for each lead, things will undoubtedly fall through the cracks.
That’s why HubSpot have built the template functionality into the sequence tool. In short, it allows you to automate your follow-ups, building in prevention processes so that prospects don’t slip down the list. This gives you precious time back and makes your workload much easier to manage.
So how does it work?
With Sequences, you can send a series of timed emails to your prospect so you never lose touch with them during the outreach process. You can choose from a list of emails/task/calls, and enrol a contact right from your Outlook, 365 or Gmail inbox.
During the enrolment process, you can tailor/personalise each message, choose exactly when it gets sent, and then move on to the next.
Of course, when it comes to using automation to save time – personalisation can be lost in the process and the “spray and pray” approach creeps in. Fortunately, Sequences allow you to save your automated emails from becoming impersonal: it uses personalisation tokens to tailor emails in the sequence with the contact’s name and company details, all pulled directly from the HubSpot CRM (this can also work with Salesforce, but for the best results use HubSpot).
You can then add specific details to each message to better connect with your prospects, showing off your style (and maybe even your humour), something no AI or automation platform will ever be able to replicate (computers just can’t do dad jokes like 99% of salespeople).
What works and what doesn’t?
In the same way you get the metrics to assess what is working with your email templates, you can use that data to analyse your sequence emails and single out which sequences work best. Look into the open, click and reply data to identify what elements of your email templates are working and then use that information to tweak your emails for best results and responses.
Once you have perfected your sequences, share them with the rest of your team to save their time as well as yours. Again, you can access your sales sequences from Outlook 365, your desktop or Gmail inbox.
Tool 3: Meetings link
One of my favourite HubSpot Sales tools is the meeting tool. How did I ever operate before this came along? Oh yes, I spent days sending emails to prospects, going back and forth with them to find a time that worked for us both.
This is where HubSpot has streamlined my day. It puts the power to book meetings in the hands of my prospects. The tool synchronises with your Google or Office 365 calendar, enabling prospects to always see your availability - in real time - and easily book a meeting with you at a time that works for you both.
In short, you’ll save hours – no more going back and forth over email!
They can also book time with your team using the meeting link
When setting your meetings link up, you can also create a link for you and a colleague: one link to that allows for a group meeting. This gives prospects the option to schedule time with more than one person on your team: a sales rep and a software engineer, or a customer service rep and a product specialist, for example.
Also, if you don’t have a designated sales rep, you can build a round-robin link so leads can schedule meetings based on which sales rep is available.
Finally, you can add another bottom-of-the-funnel conversion point – one which isn’t the dreaded ‘contact us’ button that no one clicks on – by adding a meeting link to your site. This will allow leads to schedule appointments directly from your site and carry on browsing. Super easy, super-efficient.
Top tip - set your meeting slots to 15-30 minutes. You don’t want to be on a call with someone who has booked time with you to try and sell to you. I’ve definitely had salespeople attempt to do this to me!
The meetings link will capture more contacts and without manual input
As prospects schedule meetings with you or your team, more and more contacts will be added to your database. One cool feature is that as prospects schedule meetings, if they are not in the system already, HubSpot will automatically create a record for them – saving you time and effort so you can focus on the big close.
Tool 4: Vidyard video
Video has quickly become one of the best ways to reach your audience, especially given that many are currently working from home!
If you are not using videos in your sales emails, you should have a look at this webinar that we did with the VP of Marketing at Vidyard, Tyler Lessard, talking all about the benefits of using videos in sales emails. Certainly worth checking out.
HubSpot makes it easy for you to include video in your sales emails with its Vidyard integration. Using the integration, sales teams can create 1-to-1 videos for prospects and share those videos – directly from HubSpot – using the email template tool or the sequence tool. Users can record their screen or talk to camera, the video(s) can then be sent to prospects via email and tracked through the CRM. Personalisation in videos like these can help salespeople cut through the noise and connect with prospects; instead of drafting an email with multiple paragraphs, you’re breaking it down and presenting it as a video. If 1 image is 1000 words, imagine what a video is going to be!
We’d recommend HubSpot and Vidyard
Tool 5: Playbooks
We’ve all been on calls where we’d really like some structured guidance on what questions to ask and the details about a product or service offering. This is especially important for salespeople during their first few months at a new company, as they are getting up to speed with what can be sold, and veterans who simply want a tried-and-tested formula.
This is where Playbooks come into their own. Useful for the sales veteran, perfect for the new starter.
The idea behind playbooks is that they give your sales team access to the content they need to win deals – from product sheets to pricing guidelines – all in one place. They can then search for and access these playbooks right from a contact, company, or deal in HubSpot. No more using Word docs or using Evernote to store vital information.
Here’s an example – perhaps you’re on a scoping call and you’ve got a script to guide the conversation. The prospect mentions that they are “considering a competitor”, so you pull out a battle card from your playbooks to clearly outline the differences between your solution and the competitor’s – everything you need to highlight the pros and cons of each product/service.
With playbooks, people no longer come to you with requests for “sales notes”, as the playbooks tool ensures sales collateral, questions and notes are compiled in the system, ready to be used and only click of the mouse away. No more hunting for vital information.
How to onboard new team members in 2020
When a new salesperson joins the team, they often lack the product knowledge and experience required to consistently close deals, typically because it’s gained over hundreds of calls. However, by using the playbooks tool, senior team members can “arm” new starters with all of the knowledge they need from the start, reducing the time it takes to get them up to ‘full speed’. Get them selling like your top-performers in no time at all.
Additionally, the playbooks have interactive elements that allow your team to jot down notes during the call. These notes can then be saved to the contact’s record, company or even the deal associated. Furthermore, because you can use playbooks to set specific questions and answers, i.e. you might ask a prospect how big their company is and they respond with “we have 50-100 employees”, you can start to generate standard responses to questions for all your discovery calls. This will give you that much-needed consistency across your discovery calls, as well as provide newer salespeople with insight into how more experienced reps work (it also stops people going rogue...a trait all us salespeople succumb to now and again).
Which playbooks work best?
With all the time that sales and marketing have put into the creation of the playbooks, you’d want to know which ones are being used the most and driving the close rate of deals. That is one cool feature of HubSpot’s playbooks, you can pull this information into your reporting dashboard to see, based on data, which resources are working well and what needs to be refined.
For me, the best thing is that there are no more “which is the right version” emails or questions when it comes to playbooks. You have one playbook for each scenario, and it’s constantly evolving and always up-to-date.
With all the sales enablement tools out there, it can be hard to specify just what will help you with your day-to-day and not just add another tool that you never use to your never-ending tech stack.
That said, I believe and have seen the HubSpot Sales Hub tools save time, quell headaches and reduce the sales admin required of each sales rep. When I demonstrate the product and the prospect sees just how well it works – I can actually see the excitement on their face, and they know that with HubSpot’s Sales Hub they can sell and sell well.
Essentially, it’s here to ‘enable’ them to do their jobs better and save time, with the added benefit of built-in reporting so no more “I need your numbers” emails on a Friday afternoon.
But perhaps more importantly, it’s also there to enable change – change that focuses on people using one core system and process of working that doesn’t disconnect sales from the marketing, services or product team, but actually brings them closer together.
To find out more about these tools and how you can use them to benefit your business, we ran a great webinar with HubSpot on how the Sales tools enable remote working. Worth checking it out if you have some time!