When Mark Roberge accepted a position at newly-formed Hubspot, he had a goal in mind. He planned to combine science and process with the art of selling to generate sales leads.
His methods helped propel Hubspot’s growth of 6000% in four years.
Mark had trained as an engineer and worked as a programmer before studying business at MIT and going to Hubspot. He used his engineering background to create process and metrics-driven lead generation methods for the inside sales group.
In an interview with David Skok, Mark discussed how he hires, trains, and manages inside sales. It’s an enlightening interview. You won’t find many companies willing to reveal their sales methods, especially when they are working so well.
Close the Gap Between Marketing and Sales
Mark talked about one more topic in the interview, how he “provides each sales person with the same quantity and quality of leads.”
Many B2B companies struggle to generate sales leads that are high-quality. In many of these companies, Marketing and Sales cannot agree on a standard definition of a lead. It’s only one symptom of a gap between them.
Hubspot seems to have closed the sales and marketing gap through “great communication between sales and marketing about what is needed to reach the number.”
How do they do it? First they created a “contract” between marketing and sales that defines what each needs from the other.
- What qualities are needed in a lead before it is ready to hand over from marketing to sales?
- How many qualified leads are needed each month?
- How long they are allowed to take before attempting to contact a lead?
- How many attempts they will make to contact that lead?
Correlate Marketing Activities with Prospect Success
To understand what qualities are needed in a lead, Hubspot looks at the correlation between how prospects behave in their marketing program and successful outcomes in the sales process.
Do leads that originate from search engines or email campaigns tend to perform better? Are there specific search terms that make a lead very qualified? When a lead visits the site for the first time, what behavior causes the lead to accelerate through our sales funnel? What is the most influential piece of content on our website that causes leads to close fast and at a high rate?
Hubspot then uses these correlations to score the leads. They leave gut-instinct and guesswork out of it.
Measure Marketing on Aggregate Targets, not Leads
Once marketing knows how different behaviors are scored for their correlation with quality leads, it can focus on producing more of the high-score behaviors. Hubspot measures marketing not on number of leads but on its ability to an produce an aggregate amount of high-score behaviors.
The method to generate sales leads that Hubspot uses has proven itself by producing a rapid growth rate. Both marketing and sales know what to expect from each other. Each can focus on the art of their craft – developing persuasive marketing programs that create value for buyers and initiating conversations that help buyers solve problems. And each gets constant feedback about what is working and what is not.