Doug Wendt is a co-founder and senior partner with Wendt Partners.
The undisputed and continually growing significance of inside sales for B2B business growth makes having a strategically developed inside sales playbook more essential now than ever. In previous installments of this series, we've discussed the inside sales process, how to structure and train your team, and the techniques and technologies that bolster a robust and effective inside sales operation.
In this article, we’ll turn our attention to one particular technology that can help you organize, automate, and integrate many of the aspects of your inside sales process. HubSpot is an integrated platform designed to support inside sales by empowering your team to work strategically, efficiently, effectively, and seamlessly with a range of functions and third-party integrations.
Highly customizable to your processes and business model, HubSpot also supports your inside sales team with the resources needed to supercharge their productivity while streamlining their efforts. To this end, the platform offers a diverse and comprehensive suite of features and capabilities that can be leveraged to inform, drive, track, and optimizing inside sales efforts. Here, we’ll highlight a few of the most significant:
Your inside sales efforts will be far more efficient if the data your team is working from is structured to support their workflow. With filtered views you can create customized views of the information your inside sales team will be working with so it is presented in a way that aligns with their specific tasks and priorities. These views can be saved so that the team can always have quick and easy access to the customer records that meet the criteria for your defined views.
For example, if your business places calls to prospects at different times in the day based on their geographical location, you could create and save a set of views organized by time zone, with tabs for the records of clients based in Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific time zones.
Filtered views, then, enable you to structure your inside sales team’s desktop environment so campaign activities are organized and prioritized.
Sales Tasks and Task Queues
Sales tasks provide an easy way to organize and keep track of your inside sales team’s to do lists. HubSpot offers multiple ways to create tasks, so depending on your process you may create them in your tasks dashboard, in a contact’s record, or when logging emails or calls.
Most inside sales teams have the need to make multiple calls back to back, and HubSpot has created a feature to augment this process as well. Tasks can be added to a queue either manually or automatically via workflow and sequencing tools. When a team member selects the queue, she is able to make phones calls one after the other with speed and ease until the queue is completed.
Completing tasks in a queue is rendered more efficient with HubSpot Calling, a feature that enables your sales team to place calls from inside the HubSpot application. HubSpot integrates quickly and seamlessly with cloud-based phone systems like Ring Central and others. Once you complete the integration, your team can make calls within HubSpot from your designated number using a headset rather than using a separate phone.
This is tremendously helpful with task queues for calls, as it is semi-automated. It’s also invaluable for quality control and training purposes. Provided you comply with regulations safeguarding privacy, you can automatically record and transcribe those calls to use later for call reviews and learning opportunities. Finally, making calls from within HubSpot means you can save them to the contact’s record to refer to as needed.
Automatic Integration with Third Party Tools
One of the most time-saving and productivity-enhancing features of HubSpot is the ability to integrate well with third party tools. Integrations save you the time of toggling back and forth between applications and replicating information among the various platforms and software you may be using.
Take Zoom, for example. The increasingly popular web-conferencing platform integrates with HubSpot to enable you to incorporate links to video conferences, as well as to segment Zoom webinar registrants into a list that can be followed up on by your sales team. This represents not only the integration of the two technologies, but the integration between your marketing and sales teams as events you market can now supply a stream of contacts to your sales team to follow up with via calls and emails.
HubSpot’s workflow tool is designed to help you automate processes like generating tasks and nurturing prospects. You can create a workflow from scratch that is contact-based, company-based, deal-based, ticket-based, or quote-based, but HubSpot also supplies pre-set templates for you to adapt to your own needs.
After you create the workflow, you can decide on what criteria must be met for a contact to be entered into that workflow. These are called enrollment triggers. Once you create them, HubSpot will automatically add records that meet your criteria to the workflow you created. You could, for example, create a workflow for tracking a deal that automatically generates follow-up actions like reminder emails or calls.
HubSpot calls the ongoing efforts that your sales team is pursuing with a given contact a deal; your deals screen allows you to view and track the deal through its pipeline stages. You can set up your deal stages to keep track of the progress your team is making towards closing each deal. HubSpot provides you with default stages that include steps like “appointment scheduled,” “decision maker bought-in,” and “contract sent.”
You can, however, customize the steps to reflect your unique process so that you are aware of each contact’s status and best positioned to identify and act on opportunities to move the deal forward. HubSpot deals, then, serves as a tool for analysis as well as opportunity management and optimization.
These features constitute the briefest of introductions to the power of HubSpot as an integrated platform designed to equip your inside sales team with the tools, technology, and capability to work strategically with precision and ease. In our next installment, we’ll take a deep dive in a few other critical features that support a cutting-edge inside sales play book. To leverage these features to your best advantage, consult with a business growth strategist with the training and expertise to offer you not only technical support, but deep insight into how HubSpot can revolutionize your inside sales efforts.
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