Growth Strategist, Flawless Inbound
One of the most critical elements of a modern sales and/or marketing strategy is alignment with the other department. Sales and Marketing alignment has always been a vital part of successful business strategy, but with a lot of teams moving to all virtual (or at least less in-person) communication this year, having this process automated and agreed on is even more critical. In this guide you'll find ten steps to better align your team using HubSpot automation tools.
We’ve written a lot before about the importance of Sales and Marketing alignment automation, so if you’d like to read more about why this process is critical, please check out this article.
But, for those who are starting from scratch in creating this process, knowing exactly how to get started can be difficult. So, in this article, you’ll find a detailed strategy for setting up a standard sales and marketing alignment automation in HubSpot (you can probably make some adjustments and make it work in other platforms as well).
10 Steps to Create Sales and Marketing Alignment Automation in HubSpot
1. Start by creating a property in your CRM to mark the qualification status of new leads, a basic name is Qualified, but in can be customized for your business.
2. That property should have at least these 3 options:
- Additional options can be added to this property but be wary of adding too many options, as it can make the process confusing for new team members or become cumbersome and frustrating to use.
3. Automatically mark all new leads who come into the HubSpot CRM as Pending, no matter what channel they came through.
- There can be exceptions (such as cold lists or “evangelist” type contacts who are not intended to be customers).
4. Notify your sales team (with an email and/or HubSpot task) when a new Inbound lead comes in and is marked pending.
5. Your sales and marketing teams work together to nurture the lead through emails, phone calls, events, etc. This process can be as comprehensive or simple as you need for your leads. A general basic process would include:
- Start by allowing marketing to follow up automatically with the lead with the collateral they requested.
- Develop a marketing drip campaign with a sequence of educational follow up emails and always provide them with the opportunity to reach out to a team member (sales) if they would like to book something (meeting, demo, discovery, etc.).
- You can either allow the lead to go through the entire marketing sequence before being contacted by sales, or you can set up automation to move them to sales at specific times, such as:
- If the lead interacts with a set number of marketing resources.
- Or, of course, if they specifically request to be contacted by Sales.
6. Your sales team will eventually have enough information to make a decision on whether the lead is qualified.
- This qualification will depend on how you are normally qualifying leads as Sales Qualified (SQL) and on their personal opinion.
- The lead can stay Pending for any amount of time, so the length of your typical “first contact to SQL” process doesn't matter.
8. Once the lead is marked Yes, they should be removed from receiving all marketing emails (aside from special considerations that you can make, like invites to events) and will be the responsibility of Sales to continue to follow up with.
- You can remove them from getting marketing emails by creating a list or property (depending on your needs) of all Yes and No leads and excluding/removing them from workflows and other emails.
9. If the lead is marked No (they are not qualified, they are just looking for a job, they are competition, etc.) they will no longer receive marketing emails and they will be added to a Clearing/Cleaning list that you can choose to remove from HubSpot at any time.10. To finish off your sales and marketing alignment set up, create custom lists, filters and reports based on the properties set above so both of your sales and marketing teams can benefit from the data gathered. Basic reports you’ll want to create usually include:
- Number of Pending contacts per sales rep per X amount of time.
- Number of leads marked Yes in X time period.
- Number of leads marked No in X time period.
- You could also create additional custom reports based on your Industries, Personas, or other information to see how many Yes or No leads are coming from certain criteria.
The data you are able to gather from this system should be shared with whichever team members will benefit from it. For leadership, having a full picture of everything going back and forth from marketing to sales will be very useful for understanding whether the alignment is working as it should be and whether both teams are meeting KPIs and goals. For sales and marketing teams, the data will be useful for understanding the quality of the leads they are generating and nurturing and for passing real, quantitative data back and forth.
If you’re interested in learning more about sales and marketing alignment, or you’d like to speak to someone about having a system like this implemented for your B2B organization, don’t hesitate to reach out today.