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Guide to Sales & Marketing


Let’s get one thing out of the way before we begin. You don’t have to be a HubSpot customer to get value from The Guide to Sales & Marketing. Within 25 minutes of sitting down and reading this, you will understand the ten most essential core concepts of sales and marketing today. With that information, you can make informed decisions about the most critical activity in your business: how you will create and retain customers and obtain revenue.

Your customer’s Buying Cycle.

Awareness: This is when your prospective customer realises that they need something and that your company can fulfil that need.
Consideration: When customers try to determine whether you can meet their needs, they’re in the consideration stage. At this point, they’re also evaluating your competitors.
Preference & Intent: When the customer finalises their purchasing decision, compare your company against other potential options, including doing nothing about their problem. Generally speaking, emotion outweighs logic here, and the customer is looking for a rational reason to justify an emotional purchasing decision.
Purchase: This is when the customer (now a sales-qualified lead) buys something from you for the first time.
Re-Purchase: This is when a customer becomes a repeat customer with their second purchase.  
In this blog, we’ll often refer back to these five Customer Buying Cycle stages to ensure you’re clear on exactly what your customer thinks at each point throughout the sales and marketing process. As you can probably guess, we’ll also figure out how to develop different types of content for each stage so you’re meeting each of your customers’ needs in each stage.
Lead Acquisition & lead nurturing
What is a lead? There’s a reason that this is the very first topic in this e-book. If you don’t know what a lead is or what to do with a lead, then you won’t be able to get any customers, much less keep any customers. Before a person can become a lead for your business, they must somehow engage with you. When we say “engage,” we mean that they’re giving you their contact information in exchange for some valuable information that you’re giving them.
Let’s not think too narrowly about how a customer can engage with your company for the first time. Before you can even get a lead, you have multiple paths to engagement. To keep it simple, we’ve broken them down by period. 
What is lead nurturing?
Lead nurturing is the systematic and repeated process of helping prospective customers move from the awareness stage to the Purchase stage as quickly as possible. It also helps them decide not to do business with you because they don't need it.
Yes, you read that correctly. Far too often, businesses think that their marketing and lead nurturing are supposed to make a prospective customer an actual customer at all costs. That’s an oversimplification and completely dead wrong.
In lead nurturing, all you’re trying to do is get the prospective customer to say “YES” or “NO” and to get them to stop saying “NOT NOW, I’M NOT SURE.” By sending that customer fantastic content about how your company can satisfy their urgent needs, you will get them to say “YES.” If the prospective customer does not genuinely need to work with you, what’s the point of wasting your marketing monies and selling costs? Wouldn’t you want to avoid throwing away anywhere from £1 to £3000 per customer? You should, because that’s what you’re probably spending on trying to secure customers right now, depending on the cost of what you’re selling.

Why It's Pointless to drive traffic to Your Website if You don’t do lead nurturing

“Your web traffic is pointless.” This is a hard thing for any business owner to hear, especially if 5,000 to 10,000 people come to your website every month. Nonetheless, it’s the sad truth if you’re not following a specific set of repeatable, automated processes to turn every website visitor into a customer. Sure, an established business like can count on customers who know them from their 18-year history to come and repeatedly purchase. However, your business lacks the traffic, history and size to make such an assumption.
So, by using some form of a “magnet” and lead nurturing on your company’s website, you can turn a situation where someone who is not yet a lead is “just looking” into a situation where you’ve acquired a lead. They’re one step closer to making their first purchase.
How does lead nurturing Save Your Business time?
How long does it take to write 8 to 10 emails to a customer personally? Assuming a polished marketing email takes 30 minutes to write, it takes about four and a half hours. Does your business have four and a half hours every time customers are interested in your goods and services? Didn’t think so.
On average, whenever you use marketing automation to engage with a customer, you save your business 4.5 hours of manual labour. Assuming a few thousand customers click on something on your website (or other marketing materials) every month, you’re talking about a time savings of 9,000 hours. That’s more than four years’ worth of manual tasks automated.
What is “qualified traffic”?
Do you know what the most frustrating feeling in selling is? Going through your entire sales process with a lead, only to discover that they’re not the person in charge of the buying decisions in their home or business. Do you know how to get around that problem? Only allow Qualified Traffic.
There’s no point in having leads if they’re not qualified leads, right? So, let’s go over the steps to getting ONLY qualified traffic. There’s no “trick,” per se. Still, you need to ensure that the questions in your marketing materials simultaneously give the customer the information they seek while profiling your leads for very important criteria: budget, authority, need, and timeline. Some intelligent guys at IBM in the 1960s devised an acronym for this. Since IBM did about £106 billion in sales last year, we can feel confident using their sales criteria.
They call it Bant. In the sales and marketing process, if you can’t prove that a lead has BANT, you won’t get a sale. Let’s break down each and the types of questions to ask to help figure out if you’re getting qualified traffic. We will approach them out of order because some are more important than others. You can only ask These kinds of questions when a customer is in the consideration, Preference & intent phases. If you ask too early, leads will think you’re too pushy.
It’s funny that this is third in the acronym because it’s the most important. If a lead does not have a basic need for your product, then you will never make that first sale. Here are a series of questions you can ask in your marketing-- perhaps as survey questions-- to assess whether a customer has a need. Give the customer multiple choice answers to figure out where their head is at, definitely allow them to say, “I don’t need this right now,” and let them explain why. When you run across one of those, you can always “snooze” your marketing to that lead for 60 or 90 days or market a different product to that lead altogether.
 “if you don’t buy our product in the next couple of weeks, what will you do to solve your XY problem?”
In this case, XYs is whatever problem your company solves. For example, a car dealer would say, “If you didn’t buy a Mazda in the next couple of weeks, what will you do to solve your transportation problem?” Multiple-choice answers would include “Borrow a car”, “Rent a car,” “Take the bus,” or “I don’t need a car right now.”

“Why do you need our product right now?”

Some multiple-choice answers could include “My old one no longer works,” “My old product is too slow,” and, of course, “I don’t need the product at this time.”
Authority is a more significant challenge for companies that sell business-to-business than those that sell business-to-consumer. If you’re selling directly to consumers, the biggest “authority” challenge you may run into is if your marketing doesn’t speak to women in a big way. Numerous studies have shown that over the next 25 years, women will control 66% of all consumer wealth in the United States2. So, if your consumer-targeted marketing ignores that a woman is likely to be the economic decision-maker on the purchase, you may run into problems.
If you’re marketing business-to-business, asking your leads questions about authority is easy and expected. Here are the types of questions to ask, and be sure to allow for multiple-choice answers:
  • The “how” question: “How does your company make buying decisions for XYs?”
  • Some options here could include, “We make them as a team,” “I decide and then get approval from my boss,” or “We usually have a series of in-person meetings with vendors.”
  • The economic decision-maker question: “Do you make the financial decisions for XYs by yourself, or is it another person?”
This one’s self-explanatory; you’d be surprised how many leads will answer it honestly.
Timeline questions are lovely because your leads find them relatively innocuous, but they can give your business significant data to use on your marketing campaigns; they give you a sense of how urgent the lead’s need is. Sample timeline questions include:
“Would it be possible for you to delay this purchase by 90 days, or would that cause a big headache?”
“Would it cost you (or your company) money to delay this purchase for 90 days?”
This is a tricky one. When a lead lacks need or doesn’t have independent control over the budget (authority), they will say that they have no budget, even if that statement is invalid. So, instead of asking whether the customer has it in the budget, ask how it is created. And remember, budget is only something you’ll generally deal with in B2B marketing campaigns, typically only for larger-sized purchases. Your best question might be:
“how does your company determine the budget for XYs?”
Answers would include, “We base it off of last year’s budget,” “We have a meeting to decide,” and “We base the budget for solving XY problem off of the financial cost of the problem.” If your sales team is armed with this data, it will be much easier to align with the customer in the final stages of the sales process.
If you’re wondering exactly where these questions will go in your marketing campaigns, they will be on your landing pages, which we’ll review in just a moment.

Lead & Customer Segmentation


What is it?

If you’re not segmenting your leads and customers, you’re treating very different groups of people the same way. That is a bad idea because it causes customers to think, “This company doesn’t understand me or my needs.” Customers do not buy things from companies that don’t understand them. So, to prevent this from happening, you need to divide up your customers and leads.

Why does it help businesses?

Segmentation is so valuable for businesses because it ensures that you never waste a dime of sales and marketing money on customers with SEO buying potential. Also, it’s the most courteous thing you can do for your leads, as you’re showing them that their time is valuable.
Making Someone Non-Marketable:

How Do You Do It?

Most sales and marketing systems allow you to place a tag or label on a lead that says “non-marketable.” The system then removes the lead from your marketing campaigns either temporarily or permanently.

Who Don’t You Want?

It sounds strange, but there are five types of customers you don’t want ever—and it’s your job to actively exclude them from your marketing to avoid wasting money on them. The BANT questions we just reviewed will help because when these leads give the wrong answers, you can mark them as “non-marketable” in your sales and marketing system.

Assess Your Leads

  1. Complexity of Need or No Need: If the customers’ needs are too complex for your solution, you don’t want them. Also, if the customer repeatedly tells you they have no need, they might be non-marketable.
  2. Budget: If the lead does not have the budget and cannot obtain it—perhaps you’re selling £350,000 homes, and the lead only has an income of £35,000—then you want to make this lead non-marketable.
  3. Age: If you’re selling business-to-consumer, age can be essential to tell if a customer is non-marketable. For example, if you’re selling housing for senior citizens, and a lead is 20 years old, the odds are that their “ageing parent” is probably around 45 and not 65 or 75 so that lead is non-marketable.
  4. Authority: This is tricky because leads that lack authority should not be set to non-marketable. These leads should be routed to your sales or sales development team so you can call them to determine who else on their team may have buying authority.

How do I Get Started doing it?

This part is surprisingly easy. All you need to do is ask the BANT questions at various stages in your marketing campaigns, then make sure that your company’s automated marketing decisions are determined by the answers to those questions. These BANT questions are the most important questions you can ask your leads.

Landing Pages, Web Forms & calls-to-action

Why in the heck Would You need this?

This next part might be hard to hear, especially if you run a business that does high-quality work but customers don’t want to talk to you. At all. Things have changed dramatically since the 1970s and 1980s when customers had no choice but to talk to a salesperson. Today, with the mobile internet, all a customer needs to do to learn more about your company is pulling their phone out of their purse or pocket.
However, businesses have a new advantage. Before you show your leads the content they want to see, you can ask them questions to gather more information. Most smart businesses do this today by using landing pages, web forms, and calls to action.

What are they?

Landing pages are web pages you make for specific marketing campaigns but are not generally a part of your regular website. For example, if you have a holiday promotion, and you send an email out to 2,000 leads to let them know about the promotion, you’ll want to make a landing page for that promotion so that those leads can take the next step to become your customers. Typically, when a lead gets to your landing page, you only want the lead on your landing page for 30 to 60 seconds. The only purpose of a landing page is to take your customer from one part of their buying cycle to the next part. When they reach your landing page, you’re hoping that they fill out a web form, which allows them to give you more information about how you can help them and help them answer your BANT questions. The best landing pages typically contain only a tiny amount of sales copy, typically written in the second person (using words like “you” and “your”).
Web Forms are pretty simple. They’re just little groups of questions, usually four or five at a time, and live on your landing pages. Try to ask as few questions as possible on your web form to get the information you need from customers. For example, instead of asking a customer for their postal code, city and county, only ask for their postal code.
If you’re looking for a secret weapon, you’ve found it in the call-to-action
It’s funny that it means so much because it’s just a tiny little button on your landing page, usually at the bottom of your web form. However, if the customer doesn’t click on it, they’re generally not going to the next stage in the buying process with you. A call-to-action is a big “yes” from your lead, and when they don’t click it, they’re telling you, “No thanks. Something about this offer does not work for me.”

Why are they not optional?

Landing pages, web forms and calls to action are a requirement if you’re going to automate your sales and marketing. If you’re not doing these things, you’ll notice that while your competitors are using today’s marketing and sales technologies, you won’t be able to reach as many customers from the same marketing and sales budget. That means your company would acquire fewer customers and eventually lose market share. Why not make less work for yourself and get more customers simultaneously?

How Do You Build a Landing Page, Web Form, Or a Call-To-Action?

In the past, landing pages and web forms were complicated to build. You used to have to know HTML (the web coding language) to do this. These days, it’s just drag-and-drop, and using your sales and marketing software, building a landing page, including web forms, only takes 10 to 30 minutes. Building a call-to-action only takes a minute or two, and you can build them while building your landing pages. Most sales and marketing software companies like HubSpot have training videos to teach you how to build these in under an hour.

Email Follow-Up Sequences & Marketing Automation


What Are They?

Email follow-up sequences are groups of emails - usually three to six- sent to a lead or customer in succession a few days or weeks apart. All email sequences have two things in common, and they’re pretty important:
  • A trigger event: Something always starts an email follow-up sequence. That trigger event could be a lead filling out one of your web forms, a lead filling out a form on your Facebook page, or even a customer purchasing a given item.
  • a Goal: Every email sequence has a goal, which is nearly always a customer-driven outcome. A sequence goal could include filling out a web- form, attending an event, or purchasing a product.
When you combine a series of email follow-up sequences and link them to one another, what you have is called a Campaign. We’ll explain how to use campaigns in just a few moments because they are far more potent than a single email follow-up sequence.
Marketing automation allows leads and customers to be in charge of the marketing they’ll receive from you, which makes customers happy. When you set up marketing automation, customers and leads can choose which marketing they want to see, and they’ll never feel like you’re “spamming” them. When you set up your marketing automation correctly, you’ll get higher opt-in from leads, higher click-thru to purchase rates, and, most importantly, the reputation of being an ethical and confident marketer.

Why Is Marketing Automation Better Than “Batch & Blast”?

Many regular email marketing companies are out there; some have been around for over a decade, and some are good at essential “batch and blast” emails. Around 1999, when marketing automation emerged, many more prominent companies realised that using non-automated email marketing put them at a competitive disadvantage. That’s why thousands of companies have adopted marketing automation technology since the late 1990s. There are three critical disadvantages to using “batch and blast” email:
  1. It doesn’t allow your customers to self-select the marketing that they want to see.
  2. It doesn’t allow your customers to easily opt out of a given campaign, usually causing them to opt out of your entire marketing funnel by accident.
  3. It lacks any e-commerce or reasonably good CRM integration, requiring your team to duplicate much work.

Why Don’t Your Competitors Use Marketing Automation?

Right now, you’re probably saying, “Gee, if marketing automation is so brilliant and powerful, then why aren’t all of my competitors using it?” They probably have trouble wrapping their heads around it for two reasons.
They can’t envision the path from the “Current State” to the “Future State.”
One huge problem that many businesses face around sales and marketing is that they’re unable to visualise what it takes to get from where they currently are, “the current state” with zero marketing automation, to a “future state,” where they have marketing automation. They don’t even know what the steps look like and assume it will be too complicated.
Fear of commitment and a lack of resources
They probably heard somewhere that marketing automation costs £100,000 per year. It did - in 1999! These days, you can actually automate your sales and marketing for a few hundred pounds per month. These competitors of yours are also probably thinking, “We’ll need a dedicated employee to run our sales and marketing system!” It can be run with all of the basic features in about an hour a day.


We briefly discussed campaigns a few pages back, but they deserve a thorough explanation. Campaigns are much more potent than follow-up sequences because they allow you to use an optimal combination of follow-up sequences to drive leads and customers to a desired outcome, usually over some time (a few days or weeks). The best campaigns usually have a variety of triggers and usually make an impression on your clients from a variety of different mediums. We call this the “new movie” effect.
When a new movie comes out, you see advertisements everywhere: Facebook ads, billboards when you drive down the highway, and ads for the movie on the radio. The best campaigns have a similar effect on your customers. Frequently, a customer may ignore the campaign the first couple of times they hear about it, but often, on the third or the fourth exposure, they’ll opt in and proceed to the next step in your campaign. It turns out that those Hollywood movie folks know a thing or two about marketing!

Why Is The Visual Approach To Campaign Building The Easiest Way To Do It?

Let’s face it: if you’re reading this, you’re probably not an expert computer programmer. Even if you are, do you trust yourself to work on something that’s a visual “art” - your marketing - using lines of HTML code? Using a visual campaign builder is the easiest way to automate your marketing. Here’s why:
To the human brain, campaigns make much more sense when there is a visual.  It’s much easier to catch errors using a visual campaign builder.  If someone on your team wants to make or suggest a change, they can drag-and-drop
You can copy or clone visual campaigns, which can save you dozens of hours each time you create a marketing campaign.

How Long Does It Take To Build A Campaign?

Typically, it takes about 30 to 45 minutes to lay out all of the icons in your campaign using the campaign builder. From there, it takes about 4 to 8 hours to write all of the email and marketing copy for your campaign. All told the average campaign takes about 6.5 hours. Over the last few years, I’ve found that the best way to do it is to assemble a campaign in five or six sessions of about one hour each rather than one marathon session.
There is one other rule you should know about campaigns. We call it “four sets of eyes.” It’s best to run every piece of your marketing by four people (you, plus three others) before ever showing it to a customer. Here’s what you’re trying to catch when you run these pieces of marketing content by the rest of your team, friends or family (if you don’t have a team):
  1. Spelling errors
  2. Grammatical errors
  3. Jokes that might fall flat on your intended audience
  4. Language that may be too difficult for your audience
  5. Errors in the “flow” of your campaign, such as introducing an offer that is either expired or invalid for a certain set of your customers

Checking Your Lead Sources & Marketing Return-On-Investment (Roi)

I have a Facebook page for my business, and I typically spend £5 or £6 every day to get a few more Facebook fans. So far, it’s worked out well for me. Still, I always want to ensure that I'm getting new customers if I’m spending money on any paid source (social network ads, newspaper advertisements, search engine marketing) to get traffic back to my company’s website. So, on the last day of every month, I check how much I spend to acquire customers, and then I enter it into my “lead sources” screen in my sales and marketing automation software.
I do this because I want to get £5 to £20 back for every pound I invest. For example, I invested £136 in Facebook ads last month. Over the next year, I want to ensure I receive £680 to £2720 worth of business for that investment. Otherwise, I’d be throwing away money!

How Do You Avoid Wasting Marketing Monies?

This part is so simple that it will blow your mind; you don’t need to be a marketing genius to understand marketing ROI.
All you need to do is put an event on your calendar for 15 minutes at the end of every month called “Marketing ROI meeting”. Then, enter your marketing receipts for the month into the Lead Sources part of your sales and marketing system. Next, you must run your Marketing ROI report for this year. If marketing lead sources are not earning you over 500%, it’s probably time to move those monies elsewhere.

Sales & Opportunities

What’s The Point Of Using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to Track Opportunities?
Maybe you ran into a competitor at a recent industry event, and they could not stop talking about their excellent customer relationship manager (CRM) system. Or maybe nobody in your industry uses CRM. CRM has been around since 1987, and today, it’s more popular and cheaper than ever for businesses. There are three big reasons why businesses like CRM:
  1. It allows them to see all of their customers in one place
  2. It allows marketing, sales, and customer service to communicate about everything that’s going on with any given customer.
  3. It makes sure that none of your customers’ information ever gets lost

How Do You Get Started If You’ve Never Done It Before?

Some sales and marketing systems come with CRM, and some don’t. HubSpot does. If you’ve never used CRM, you can usually learn to use the basic features in about 15 minutes. Every CRM has only three main parts: contacts, companies and opportunities. Contacts are the leads and customers you do business with, companies are those that your contacts work for, and opportunities are possible business deals that you have with those contacts.
Nearly every CRM company allows you to try their product for a quick trial to see how you like it. Importing your customer data into a CRM is also easy; it only takes 30 to 60 minutes.

What Are the Possible Outcomes of An Opportunity? Yes, No and Maybe

Whenever you have an opportunity with one of your contacts (a lead), three things can happen: the lead can say, “Yes,” “No”, or “Maybe.” Getting a “yes” is pretty awesome; you just sold something. Getting a “no” is not so great, but it’s a clear answer, and we’ll explain what to do with the answer “no” in just a moment. The “maybes” are the worst; that’s probably what business sales professionals hate to hear more than anything.
There are two solutions to the “maybe” problem. The first is to accept that most business sales are made on the 7th, 8th or 9th contact with the customer. Most business sales professionals typically give up on the 2nd, 3rd or 4th sales call, and that’s when you’re simply going to have to be more persistent. Your leads do not expect you to stay on top of them in a “politely persistent” way until that 7th, 8th or 9th contact, but that is when the sales happen, and you need to design your marketing around that.

How To Close An Opportunity: Get Them Out Of Maybe

If you are a business sales professional and are unsure how to train yourself or your sales team on this, we have an excellent book recommendation for you. It’s the best sales book I’ve read in the last five years, written by Skip Miller. The book is Proactive Selling, and you can find it for about £105.
One of the things that Skip Miller covers in several ways in Proactive Selling is that the best sales professionals are not necessarily fast-talkers, smooth, good-looking, young or attractive. They’re good at one thing: politely asking the right questions that get your leads out of maybe, and to the point of a firm “yes” or a firm “no.” You may find this method utterly different from the style of selling you learned initially, but it’s much more effective and respectful to the customer.

What Do You Do When They Say Maybe or No? Recycle or Non-Marketable

Now you have a plan for when a lead says “maybe” or “no” - this is one of the best features of having a sales and marketing automation system. If you are sure a lead will never become a customer, that’s okay! Have your sales and marketing system label that person as “non-marketable.” Then, if you come across leads that are not sales-ready at this time, you can put them in unique marketing campaigns called recycles. This campaign aims to slowly and gently prepare the lead to become more sales-ready over a more extended period, like 6 or 9 months. You will contact the lead less frequently, perhaps twice a month, rather than once or twice a week, as in regular lead nurturing sequences.

What Does It Take To Get Brand Awareness?

One of the most challenging things nowadays is maintaining brand awareness. Advertisers and brands have been studying “information overload” since the early 1970s, and a famous 2009 New York Times article stated that the average American takes in 100,000 words of content per day. For a little perspective, the book War and Peace is about 460,000 words long. That excellent marketing email you just sent will be less than half a per cent of all the information a given consumer sees daily.
In the 1970s, advertising professors said that you needed six impressions on a customer. This meant customers had to see your brand name six times - just so they would remember who your company was and with some assistance, as in, “Hey, have you heard of HubSpot? Yes, I have.” Advertising professors call that aided recall. But what you’re going for when trying to make customers aware of who you are is unaided recall. And that’s tough!
There Are Four Big Ways to Maintain Brand Awareness These Days. Here They Are:
  • Link Building: Use your sales and marketing automation software to ensure your company’s website links to accurate and relevant websites every month. If this isn’t happening, perhaps enrol in a brief online course on (legitimate) link-building.
  • Modest ad spend: You can effectively create significant brand awareness advertising if you target a very narrow audience with many ad impressions using Google AdWords or Facebook. Even a small investment of a few hundred pounds can build awareness if your target is narrow enough.
  • Content-aware ads: Be sure that your ads are only being shown in content-relevant areas if you advertise online. For example, if you’re selling car-care products, ensure that your ads only appear in car-care forums and auto websites rather than on sites that target other audiences.
  • Strategic referral Partnerships: Be sure to have numerous co-marketing partnerships (i.e. 10-20) with companies whose offerings complement yours. For example, partnering with a party supply store might make sense if you're running a costume store. If you run a large corporate accounting firm, you may want to form a strategic referral partnership with a payroll firm. These types of partnerships build brand awareness and trust faster, leading to quicker sales.

Total Awareness: How to Stay Top-Of-The-Mind Between Purchases

There’s a little-known feature in marketing automation, and it’s the best way to stay on your customers’ radars during purchases. Whenever a customer buys something from you, you add three small “tags” to that customer’s record in your sales and marketing system. These tags signify whether a customer has bought something in the last 90 days. Make each tag explicit: call each tag “30p,” “60p and “90p.”
Following tagging, set up your system to remove each tag after several days if a purchase has not recurred. You can then set various brand awareness campaigns to run if a customer does not have the 30p, 60p or 90p tag attached to their contact record. It’s a great way to maintain awareness with folks who haven’t purchased from you in quite a while.

What Percentage of Your Customers Are On Social Media?

These days, only 8 to 28% of your customers are NOT using social media in their buying process7. That means most of them use social media daily – an excellent opportunity for your company.

How Often Do You Want to Touch Your Customer?

This is tricky, primarily dictated by your customers’ buy cycle. The best answer here is to maintain your customers’ buy cycle at the rate you see fit as little as possible but as often as possible. For example, if your customers typically buy once a year and you’ve noticed that a given customer is beginning to buy less often, I’d increase the frequency of contact. BUT - and this is a big but - if you notice that customers opting out of one or more campaigns, I’d recommend slowing down the frequency of contact. When customers opt out of campaigns or don’t respond to them, that’s their way of saying, “You’re beginning to annoy me. You’re not annoying me to the point where I refuse to be your customer, but I need you to back off a little bit.”

Do what your customer tells you; you’ll be better off in the long run.

Web Analytics: Why Businesses Use It


Why Are Web Analytics Important?

Until about twenty years ago, most businesses didn’t use web analytics. They had no way to gain insights into what their leads and customers were doing on their website or what was working and what wasn’t.
Then, something cool happened in 2005. Google bought a company called Urchin and another company called Measure Map. Suddenly, businesses had access to good web analytics software. The problem is that as Google’s analytics solution has grown, it has become too complex for most businesses to use. That’s a big reason why HubSpot added web analytics to its product in 2013. Now, businesses can easily create a customised experience for leads and customers.

How Do Businesses Use Web Analytics to Get Customers?

It’s simple. Your web analytics report shows the number of page views, visitors, contacts, customers and average time spent on a page. Here’s what your web analytics will tell you:
  • Which web pages are just not working for your customers?
  • Which pages are causing leads to say, “I don’t want to give you my information.”
  • Which pages are causing leads to say, “I am leaving your website now.”
Web analytics is so powerful because no lead or customer would ever tell you any of this information, and even if they did, it might be personally biased. By using web analytics, you harness the experiences of all of your customers to make smart marketing decisions that will immediately impact your sales.

Do You Still Need Google Analytics?

Once you use an integrated marketing and sales system like HubSpot, you can use Google Analytics. Still, you’ll notice that the information you’re getting from the web analytics on your marketing and sales system may be more helpful and a little easier to read.

Shopping Carts, E-Commerce & Upsells


What’s the Point Of Using E-Commerce?

If you make things convenient for customers, they will do business with you. If you allow your customers to purchase from you when they’re ready and how they choose - especially if your competitors are not they will likely do more business with you. Using e-commerce is one of those ways that you can stand out from the competition, especially during the Preference and Intent phase. At this point, the customer knows they need to purchase something, and they’re trying to decide from whom it will be most accessible: leads and customers.

Will E-Commerce Save Us Money?

The cost savings of e-commerce are very clear. Your company saves about £10-20 in labour per transaction basis.

Do Businesses Use E-Commerce?

This is a valid question. If you’re not seeing your competitors using e-commerce, you probably wonder if you need to. Here are compelling reasons you might want to begin using it.
Each time your company uses e-commerce to process a transaction, you save about
  1. £10 in administrative costs. That’s £10 more profit for your bottom line.
  2. It allows for systematic personalisation of your customer’s Purchase stage (which customers love) and simultaneously lowers sales training costs.
  3. It ensures uniform processes across all your sales transactions and allows you to test for the most effective check-out process.
  4. The less time your team spends processing orders, the more time they can spend selling or solving customer service issues.
  5. Any time you automate something your competitors don’t, it gives you a competitive advantage.
  6. Believe it or not, your customers prefer online checkout because it’s generally faster and more convenient.

What Is an Upsell?

You know the feeling - you’re about to purchase a new car, and a sales rep re-approaches you and asks you if you’d like to move up to the next model for only £4,200 more - you know the one with the 10% better fuel mileage, a slightly snazzier stereo, and a moon roof? When you take out your calculator and do the math, you realise that if you spent £4,200 today, you will make back most of it in fuel costs over the car's life, and you’d be driving a more excellent and more environmentally friendly car.
That’s a tough decision. And that, my friends, is an upsell.
It’s a situation when a customer, right as they’re about to make what they think is a great choice, is presented with another choice that potentially offers them even better benefits and causes them to stop and think, “Wait for a second, this new choice might be a really good idea.”
At this point, the customer is searching for rational justification for an emotional decision they have already made.
When you create upsells for your customers, you take customers already in the Purchase stage and help them articulate the needs they perhaps didn’t even know they had. Upsells are great because you’re potentially delivering a tremendous benefit to customers and helping them discover their latent needs (“I’d like to drive a car that’s a lot more environmentally friendly, to be a good role model for my kids.”).

Tying It All Together

What Should Our Company’s 90-Day Sales & Marketing Plan Look Like?

If you’ve never written a sales and marketing plan, I wouldn’t recommend writing a super-detailed 20-page one. Instead, this is the moment that you will want to put on your Steven Covey hat and think like the late, great author. If you’ve ever read Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” the second habit states that you should “Begin With The End In Mind.”
The marketing plan aims to get massive numbers of prospective customers into Awareness, Consideration, and purchase. The sales plan aims to get them through their Preference and Intent stages.
Let’s begin the Sales and Marketing plan by figuring out what your “end” should look like. Let’s say your business wants to create £5M in revenue in the next 90 days, and you typically sell £500 worth of products to each customer. This means that you’ll need 10,000 deals this quarter.
Assuming that 50% of the proposals or quotes you write for your customers become closed opportunities, you’ll need 20,000 sales-qualified leads.
You’ll need between 40,000 and 60,000 leads, meaning you’ll need to make half a million to a million people aware of your company.
That big “half-a-million-to-a-million number” is where your marketing plan begins. You see, the marketing plan is the plan to choose various types of media (social media, advertising, PR, outdoor media, etc.) to make people aware of your company and get them into the Awareness stage - so that they can then begin to consider your firm in their Consideration stage. Your sales plan doesn’t even come into play until the customer is in the Preference and Intent phase because they don’t want to talk to your company until then.
  1. What The “End” Looks Like: Our 90-Day Revenue Goals
  2. How Many Leads We Will Need
  3. The Exact Stages of Our Sales Process & How Long Each Stage Should Take
  4. The Marketing Channels We Will Use To Obtain The Leads We Will Need
  5. Who Is Responsible For Each Marketing Channel & How Much Time They Will Spend Per Day On Each Channel
  6. What Will Our Marketing Content Be Day-db-Day For The Next 90 Days

Who Should Write it?

This is relatively simple. Your team's most senior sales and marketing person should write your sales and marketing plan. If you’re a business owner and the chief sales professional, this is one of those few critical tasks that should not be outsourced.

Who Will Execute It?

This can be a tough decision for many business owners. While you can find subcontractors on a service like oDesk or eLance who will know how to use a programme like HubSpot for anywhere from £15-45 per hour, creating marketing content is something you’ll likely want to do in-house. Generally speaking, the execution will be split between your internal team members and outsourced to a subcontractor or two.

What Can Be Outsourced And What Cannot?

Generally, here’s the rule of thumb. Content and anything that directly touches your customers should generally be done in-house by an employee of your firm. If you’re looking for someone to help run your sales and marketing system or clean out the customer data within it, go ahead and feel good about outsourcing those tasks. On the other hand, if you’re looking for someone to write fantastic marketing content that will entice prospective customers to go from the awareness stage to the consideration stage, it is far safer to do that in-house. However, there is one exception. If you decide to work with a copyrighting veteran, you will likely get great content, but most of the best sales copy professionals charge £3-10 per word. If you’ve got a very large budget and want to do a “brain dump” to a copy genius, you can, but you may be able to get results that are just as good on your own using the copy samples you can get from your software vendor.

What Are MY Next Steps?

If you want to automate most of your business's sales and marketing processes and save your company time and money, a sensible next step would be to evaluate a solution to help you do that.