2019 has been one for the books. We’ve followed market trends and optimized how we get clients in front of the right opportunities, tightened up the screws on our internal processes and management tools, redefined our values to reflect our commitment as seasoned experts, and grown vastly in our knowledge and skillsets as HubSpot partners. As we reflect on another great year, some of our experts on the MarketLauncher team have offered up their top lessons learned from booking nearly 1,000 sales appointments this year (930 to be exact)!
1. Nurture, nurture, nurture
This year, we’ve really focused on helping our clients identify new sources of revenue through prospects who have already engaged with their business -- like past clients, colleagues, and followers of their brand. We’ve used this strategy on ourselves the past few years and seen a lot of success.
What we’ve really noticed in 2019 is that more stakeholders are getting involved in the decision-making process, which tends to slow down the sales cycle. That’s why tapping into those buyers who have been educated over time and applying our systematic outreach process ensures that our clients and their offerings are front-of-mind as timing and needs of their prospects evolve.
2. Know when to expand or limit your market outreach
In order to determine when to expand into a broader market or focus on a smaller market with more touchpoints, we have to keep our eye on the data consistently. We closely monitor who is reacting and booking, looking at job functions and levels, industries, and how many calls and emails it takes from first outreach to becoming a sales-ready lead.
When we are seeing lower than industry average touches-to-book, this often indicates a strong market appetite which means we can go broader, applying touches across a larger audience to yield more sales-ready leads at a quicker pace. Along with that, if we see a particular title or industry bubbling to the top, we assess if we can focus on more decision makers within that title or industry.
Conversely, when we are seeing that touches-to-booked appointment are higher than average, that means it’s taking more time to create awareness and drive reactions, so we often need to systematically apply more touches to a smaller market. We want to nurture that prospect until need and timing align, which ultimately leads to SQLs who are ready to take the next steps.
3. Be intentional in your outreach through research and questions
We've learned that being intentional will result in a more meaningful and valuable meeting, not only for the prospect but also for the client. It goes beyond just knowing the product and saying all the right things. Researching, referencing, asking questions and listening allows us to connect with the buyer and build that trust. It shows we’re invested and passionate about solving their challenges and pain points. If you can learn as much as possible about the prospect before even meeting them, you’ll position yourself as a subject-matter expert, have the right questions prepared, and immediately align your value proposition to their interests.
We take an Account-Based Marketing approach to our sales outreach by doing initial research into each company/decision maker’s current initiatives and pain points. This helps us write better, more targeted emails that speak directly to them. It also helps the sales development specialists know what’s important to mention and all the best buzzwords to use when speaking with prospects. This year, we’ve seen an added benefit from sending targeted emails to MQLs who have reacted to our past outreach. With every nurturing touchpoint, we try to get more nuanced in addressing their needs and presenting the solutions available to them.
4. Tell a story and optimize your outreach
2019 has been the year of storytelling, and this is only going to become more important in 2020. We realized early in the year that taking a broad approach with marketing emails wasn’t going to cut it, just in time for HubSpot to update their sales enablement best practices. Once we started sending emails through the Sales Hub, with a clear focus on our prospects’ pain points and needs, we saw a huge increase in engagement. It also gave us a holistic view of our messaging strategy that helped the sales team know what messages to use on the phones and informed our ongoing optimization strategies.
An important strategy we started implementing around the mid-year mark was improving deliverability. We found that email sequences going to smaller lists performed better than those going to a broader audience. Thus, we’ve made our segmentation more granular which has helped us provide more specific messages and content to decision makers.
What have you learned this year and what sales tips and strategies do you plan on implementing in 2020? Drop us a line to share your thoughts or to discuss how MarketLauncher can help you accelerate your sales pipeline in the new year.