The third HUG event of the year went down in style despite the torrential spring rain and horrendous traffic.
This was an event focused on sales – not always everyone's favourite topic! Trying to sell can be hard, awkward, dispiriting and even just plain unsuccessful. Some of us are natural sales people, but for the rest of us, we were lucky to have HubSpot on our side.
We were lucky enough to have Angus McDonald from HubSpot present. As he is a sales maestro, it was really great to get his insights. Charles also had some great tips to share, and it was great to hear from Lennie Beattie about the upcoming CSForum 2016.
So what did we learn?
1. Don't sell to people, help them
It was really interesting to hear about this from Angus. Day-to-day, his job is to sell HubSpot. He chases downs leads and gets them to sign up. He's on the phone, he's being his charming self.
Angus was quick to acknowledge the image of the sleazy smooth-talking salesman. But he also pointed out that inbound sales is a different game. There's no cold calling. It's definitely not about being a sleazy salesman.
Angus said that one the most important part of being an inbound salesperson is to change your mindset – you're trying to help this person, not sell to them. Don't be immediately pitching your product. Help your lead, have a chat, gain their trust (in a genuine, non-creepy way) and then your product is an authentic part of the conversation.
2. Use HubSpot tools to sell smarter
HubSpot is such a powerful tool, and there are so many neat things about it (that's why we publish an entire HubSpot tips series). For the salesperson, there's a lot of useful stuff in there. It's about making sure leads don't slip through the cracks.
Use HubSpot to plan and book your meetings. Meetings can easily be arranged and booked by clients or yourself. This means you don't have to sift through emails to figure out meeting times, it's all sitting there ready to go.
There's also enormous potential in the ability automate emails. As people move through the funnel, or after certain conversations, automation can ensure that the right messages go out at the right time, with excellent scope for personalisation.
Outside of HubSpot, there are some great tools worth looking into, such as:
- PandaDoc – online documentation and contracts, integrates with HubSpot
- Sellhack – handy for the occasional cold email
- Datanyze – for understanding current technology use
- Lucidchart – for process workflow mapping
3. It's all about content and content strategy
It's always great to hear something a little bit different at our HUG events, and we had the privilege of hearing from Lennie Beattie, Organiser of CS Forum 2016. Lennie is a leading content strategist in Australia. While she's not at all a marketer or salesperson (her own words) she was very astute in her opinion that content strategy is strongly linked to sales and marketing.
Her overall message emphasised the absolute importance of content strategy to business success. It's about the entire organisation speaking the same language, and allowing for systems, teams, management, processes and technology to facilitate that language and messaging.
If a content strategy is established, then those benefits are seen all along the buyer's journey and sales funnel. Content strategy is audience- and customer-focused, so a good content strategy will provide the best customer experience. And a good customer experience certainly doesn't hurt sales!
It's a tricky subject to get your head around, but check out our posts on content strategy to learn more. The conference is running in October, right here in Melbourne and will feature some big names and organisations such as Kristina Halversen, Google, Facebook, REA Group and Deloitte Digital.
Connect Labs is a proud sponsor of the upcoming CSForum 2016.
It was a really interesting night and it was great to have Angus down from Sydney. Sales are undoubtedly an essential part of a successful business, so it can't hurt to keep learning. Also, if you didn't make it you missed out on free delicious sushi.
We're next meeting in November, so make sure you can come along - hopefully the weather will be a little more conducive to going outside at that time of year.