[From the Editor:] The following is a guest blog post by Teicko Huber, HubSpot Partner and CEO of Focus2Grow, a firm that specializes in sales and marketing innovation solutions. I "discovered" Teicko from his thoughtful, insightful contributions to the HubSpot Partner Forum on Linkedin - particularly around go-to-market strategies that Value-added-resellers (VARs) of our software program should implement for growth and success. I asked Teicko if he would be willing to share some of his greatest hits from that forum here on the Nick Sal Inbound HubSpot Consulting Blog and he said yes! Here....is his story.... -NSI
Commitment is one of the hardest things to do when you're trying to grow a business and size new opportunities. Sometimes, there isn't an obvious answer; however, I've found some success and tripled the size of my company by putting some the following principles to work for me and my team
Industry rockstars are typically made, not born
When determining what clients you go after for creating inbound marketing rockstars, select no more than two to three industries that you're interested in and passionate about. In a lot of ways, you're going to be an inbound marketing agent and you need to beleive in your clients success and be committed to it all the way your soul.
For Your Business Development, Pick Markets and Market Sectors With Growth
Select clients in markets where growth is the rule and not the excpetion. Certainly, don't focus on companies that are in a revenue stall. If revenue has stalled, inbound marketing will not pull them out of the nose dive.
Here are some great markets and chracteristics to look for:
- Industries that iterate rapidly and have to continuially put things into focus for the client, facilitating the buyers journey.
- SaaS Companies [Software-as-a-service]
- Hosted Software/App Developers
- Professional Services
- Technology Firms
- Organizations susceptible to regulatory and legislative issues, ergo they are forced to change their offerings frequently
- Companies whose target clients are early adopters or in the early majority
- >20 employees
- >$3M in revenues
- >5 Salespeople – Salespeople are an awesome way to extend/multiply the value of inbound marketing.
- Generate lots of website visits but not using automation (you can find this out for free using marketinggrader, iSpionage and Alexa)
- They’re profitable
- They’re willing to meet weekly to insure project alignment
- They can invest at least $4,000 per month to improve their sales and marketing
- They have untapped potential we could get some quick wins from. i.e. I met a prospect that only had 10% market penetration into Lockheed Martin. Getting to 30% penetration would have doubled the size of his company. Therefore, we could have run an inbound campaign against a handful of strategic accounts to create demand and deliver ROI.
- They have unproductive sales people. THIS IS THE HOLY GRAIL– even the cheapest sales person, if released, can free up enough budget to support a healthy inbound marketing budget.
- They’re spending money on something that is not working or that can't be measured.
- They desire to grow faster
- Companies where their clients have long decisions or marketing cycles and there is a lot of "white space" in-between sales related visits. Look for average deal sizes >$150K
Got Your Market in Focus? >> Golden Rules of Selling Inbound Marketing
- Not everyone is a good fit! Assess quickly, nurture those that aren't ready and move on from the ones that are a bad fit.
- Look beyond content marketing to help create the buy-in you need to overcome the status quo.
- Don't always look at inbound marketing as a way to build critical mass. There are some massive companies that get tons of leads but are horrible at conversion (visit to lead, lead to customer, channel partner tracking and shopping cart abandonment). Show them the increased value they could get from improving here.
- Don't give away too much free consulting. You sell time for money, so work to become billable as soon as possible.
Gaining Traction in Your Market? >> Some Golden Rules for Structuring Service Offerings
- Large company (>100 employees) – Sell concrete service offerings with concrete deliverables
- Medium companies (20-100 employees) – Sell a mix of consulting services and concrete deliverables
- Small companies (<20 employees) – Sell mostly consulting/coaching services
- Don't assume a company is too small to afford a service contract. Here is my rule of thumb, if they are unwilling to spend $4,000 per month they are a coaching client, and you should bill at your Premium Rate and sell blocks of time in 10 hour chunks. Generally, this is a fall back position for companies that are small or wrestling with cash flow. Then, as they grow, they evolve into a both-win services contract.
Got a Unique Services Opportunity? >> Some Situations That Are Exceptions to the The Golden Rules
- There is significant upside you can leverage down the road – i.e. Rand Fishkin or Seth Godin hire you at a low cost to help them with their conversion strategy AND they will let you use them as a client reference if you deliver the goods.
- You're selling to clients that fall into the late majority or laggards and they need to see your ideas work in their actual situation and are willing to invest more if you make progress. Think of this as a paid trial!
- The client has boat loads of content (like authors)! – you can actually accomplish a lot of inbound marketing on a smaller budget if there’s a lot of content to work with.
Successfully Delivering Structured Service Offerings? >> Making A Profit
- Stay lean! – i.e. We use collaborative work spaces where payment is month to month. If we have to suck in for a month, everybody works remote for a few weeks.
- Keep expectations crystal clear from day one.
- Let clients know when they are out of scope, immediately!
- Be really picky about who you work with out of the gate.
- Fire anyone that is not fun. I recently did this, and as result, had to cut a few of my folks, but our team agreed we weren't getting ahead as a company by working with abusive clients.
- ACH, ACH, ACH, ACH, ACH, ACH, ACH, ACH did I mention automate your payment using ACH [Automated Creditcard Handling].
That is a long disjointed synopsis, but it's all the nuggest I use every day to find, win and keep clients.
I hope you find this useful for seizing new revenue opportunities.
-Teicko Huber, HubSpot Partner and CEO of Focus To Grow: focustogrow.com / @focus2grow
What did you think of Teicko's go-to-market strategies? His tips on selling to your target market? His advice on structuring your service offerings? Do you have any follow up questions? Do you agree or disagree with what this HubSpot Partner suggested for finding clients in a new market? If so, HOW? Please share your comments with us below. -NSI