Oct 22, 2016 5:40 PM - last edited on Aug 24, 2017 11:16 AM by roisinkirby
For a b2b company, what are the best practices for managing the marketing / sales process?
Of course, it's always gonna be different at each company and for each agency...
but what are some good Do's and Dont's for using HubSpot CRM?
Oct 24, 2016 6:46 PM
Hi @diller, great question! Because all Contact and Company activities appear on the Deal's timeline (similarly to Contacts activity appearing in Companies timelines and vice versa), all three can quite easily be used in tandem. That being said, Deals are best suited to identify, track and record the experiences your contacts and companies went through before becoming customers. They are most widely used to track Sales activities through the pipeline. You can learn more about creating and managing deals in the CRM in this article.
The decision to gear your activity in the CRM towards a contact or a company should be done on an individual basis, since as you mentioned, every company's Sales process is different. However, one thing to keep in mind is that emails can only be sent in the CRM through a contact record (and those emails will subsequently appear in associated Deals' and Companies' timelines), so if you are targeting a company through one main point of contact, you may choose to add the majority of your activities directly through that contact record.
Ultimately, the short answer to your question is: it depends, but whatever the choice you make, most timeline events will appear in all associated objects' timelines no matter what!
Oct 25, 2016 8:15 AM
I think a good blog post on some consistent "do's and dont's" for b2b companies would be ideal.
I see prospects and clients managing things via all 3 - contacts, companies and deals (and sometimes using tasks or next activity as the primary item, which is kinda crazy)
I think what I'm trying to figure out... Once a contact enters info into a BOFU form (example: free inbound marketing consultation) - but BEFORE they are BANT qualified and a deal is created, should a company manage that contact as a "company" that is a SQL or a contact that is SQL... assuming once the "free inbound marketing consultation" is done, they would become an OPP.
I know there are a lot of other HubSpot partners that have similar questions regarding this.
Oct 25, 2016 4:10 PM
You may want to check out our Sync Companies to Contact Lifecycle Stage feature in the CRM. This will take the lifecycle stage of the company and apply it to all the associated contacts. Using this feature, you can manage the company record throughout the deal process, and onces that company becomes an Opportunity, that lifecycle stage will sync to all the associated contacts. This may make it easier to manage in a B2B Sales structure.
Hope this helps, and would definitely love to hear any other suggestions from other users as well!
Nov 7, 2016 3:33 PM
We are talking about the same things at my company, particularly this bit, "Once a contact enters info into a BOFU form (example: free inbound marketing consultation) - but BEFORE they are BANT qualified and a deal is created, should a company manage that contact as a "company" that is a SQL or a contact that is SQL... assuming once the "free inbound marketing consultation" is done, they would become an OPP. "
Since we have multiple contacts for each company that fill out a form and enter our CRM at various stages in a company's lifecycle, how can we keep track of each Lead to MQL to SQL progression (for Marketing has KPIs around these numbers)? We can either track it as one lump at the Company level, (as it was suggested, by syncing the Lifecycle Stage across all contacts) OR we can track it at the Contact level with unique Lifecycle Stages.
Right now we have Lifecycle Stage set to sync across all contacts (and there are definite benefits to doing so), but Marketing is unable to quantify the Lead to MQL to SQL progression this way.
I know that wasn't answering your question...but I wanted to let you know you aren't the only people out there working through that right now!
...haven't come up with the perfect answer yet, have you? Everyone else out there, how are you doing this now?
Jun 27, 2018 4:09 PM
"how can we keep track of each Lead to MQL to SQL progression (for Marketing has KPIs around these numbers)?"
Our company has recently started creating Deals for MQL's and adding them into a new "MQL Pipeline". When the Deal is vetted by Sales and becomes SQL, it is moved from the MQL Pipeline into the Sales Pipeline as "Gained Access". Once the Deal moves into the "Introduction" stage then we consider it an Opportunity. Using the different deal pipelines makes it easy to report MQL->SQL conversion.
Feb 26, 2017 7:24 AM
Good questions you have there. I don't know if this answers all your queries but my colleague, Dan, wrote about Winning Habits for Sales and I think some of his points can contribute and answer your question a bit.
Feb 26, 2017 7:53 AM
@BrookeHarper1 That was a SOLID blog post, but doesn't really answer the tactical problems I'm trying to solve.
Maybe I should just write a blog post about this and see what other b2b companies (agencies as well) are doing.
Jul 8, 2019 8:35 AM - edited Jul 9, 2019 1:04 AM
Hey, @diller I strongly agree with your mentioned points, it’s all about how well you manage contacts, companies, and deals in a B2B company for generating sales.
One way of managing b2b contacts is by having a seamless integration with a third-party live chat solution.
Hubspot already helps you to track your customer's behavior, so once a capture their activities it is easy for you to understand what they are looking for.
A live chat along with cobrowsing helps you detect real-time issues and have access over their web browsers, which allows you to solve customer issues in one go.
I hope this adds value.
Sep 8, 2019 5:47 PM
One approach may be to delay deal creation until genuine interest is established and real opportunity exists. This (best practice) will eliminate the need to clean-up extra deals and give conversion numbers greater meaning.
Nov 4, 2019 11:45 AM
What is your suggestion for the following situation:
A lead in our Hubspot CRM becomes an MQL and it is time for sales to contact. This lead has 4 other team members join in and decide not to pursue our solution. None of the 5 MQL's become SQL.
Another lead in our CRM becomes MQL. This is just one person that has decision authority. No others join in. Sales has a good conversation and creates a deal. The MQL now becomes SQL. Eventually, the lead decides to buy and ends up becoming a customer.
Now it's time for sales to evaluate sales performance. Although this sales person has won 1 out of 2 accounts, it has only converted 1 out of 6 MQL's.
How can we make a more fair representation?
Feb 28, 2020 10:17 PM
Sorry @timfresen, just getting back from holiday. haha (kidding)
I'm typically thinking in B2B terms, so even though I'm reading lifecycle stage conversion rate reports at the contact level, in my mind I'm measuring MQL-to-SQL conversion rates and apportioning 'credit' for the sale at the account (company) level.
Easier math (for me) and seems fairer.
On the flip side though, how does one apportion conversion credit fairly among that same single converted account if say 5 sales people were involved in making the sale?
Same problem ... just upside down!
Some companies do a great job of this by sharing equity and encouraging a growth mindset. It's always amazing to me just how much employee-to-customer AND employee-to-employee relationships evolve when every person in the room has a little skin in the game.