It is always great to get a little peek behind the curtains of innovative companies, like HubSpot.
Today, I had the opportunity to ask Brian Moseley, HubSpot Account Manager (@) about what it is like to work for the world's #1 marketing automation company, how selling inbound marketing is different from pitching and more.
I clearly remember "meeting" Brian for the first time. I had requested someone from HubSpot to give me a call to see how Inbound Marketing could work for me. Not only did he open my eyes to why my business was not growing the way it should, but also how to take it to the next level.
We just recently became a HubSpot Certified Partner Agency and over the past 4 months, Brian has been a tremendous resource of wisdom and support. (Read all about our first 50 days on HubSpot and what to expect as a small business.)
So without further redo... here we go.
Brian, thank you so much for answering a few questions for us today.
What exactly is your role at HubSpot and why you do what you do? What makes you get up in the morning?
My role at HubSpot is to help our existing agency partners educate their prospects on inbound marketing and help determine if a prospect would benefit from inbound marketing services.
In a past life, I was an account exec (sales and new biz dev) for a medium-sized marketing agency. We would get an RFP, submit a proposal, win (or lose) the project, but never really discuss the client's over-arching goals for the project. Our success was measured in how happy the client was when they took control of the project, not whether or not our work was driving any measurable business results (traffic, leads, customers).
Unless the client requested more services down the line, I had no way to tell if what I was selling was actually helping the business or not. Not being able to prove any sort of return on investment for my clients really bothered me. I would sometimes lose clients because they needed to cut something from their budget and the first thing to go was SEO or social media services because there was no way to prove how our services were affecting their business directly.
The other thing that bothered me was my company didn't inherently believe in what we were selling. We sold marketing services but did ZERO marketing for ourselves. If you don't find value in the service offerings you're selling, how can you expect your prospects to? I felt like a hypocrite trying to convince my prospects to buy digital services from me when we weren't doing any for ourselves.
All of my sales were based on personal relationships, hockey tickets, and business lunches. When the only value you provide during a sales process is hockey tickets, you're going to lose because there will always be a competitor with better seats. Since we weren't doing any marketing for ourselves, we weren't generating any leads for me to call on. All of my leads came from word of mouth and referrals.
So, the reason I get up every morning is because I really enjoy teaching people how they can use their website to start generating qualified leads for their sales team with minimal investment or bandwidth compared to traditional marketing methods (i.e. promotional products, trade-shows, advertising, sponsorship). I take a lot of pride in helping my agencies prove real value for their clients.
What is the difference between traditional pitching versus “selling” the HubSpot way?
The "HubSpot" sales process is actually a version of the "Challenger Sale".
The "Challenger Sale" involves spending the right amount of time with the right prospects teaching them something new and getting them to think differently about their business. The sales landscape is changing, people don't want to be "pitched" to anymore, they want to be educated.
We run a consultative sales process which involves first and foremost, qualifying a prospect to make sure that you can actually help them.
Then, we ask questions to learn about how their overall business goals connect specifically to their sales and marketing goals. We seek to understand exactly what the prospect is struggling with and provide suggestions and recommendations for how inbound marketing might be able to help.
Once the prospects sees us as the trusted authority on marketing, we put together a marketing plan which shows exactly how the services we offer will directly effect their most pressing pain points.
You read everywhere Inbound Marketing is the new SEO. What makes Inbound so successful?
In my previous life as an Account Exec for a marketing agency, I learned there were a lot of different ways to spend your marketing budget.
I had some clients spend $10K/month on branded mugs and pens for their sales reps to leave on the desks of prospects. I had some spend $20K per month on PPC ads to drive massive amounts of traffic to their website. I had one client who spent $54K on a tradeshow booth which they used only once.
I believe the biggest reason companies are choosing inbound marketing is because it's much easier to measure the ROI of your spend.
CMO's have a fixed marketing budget and at the end of the year, they want to be able to look back and say, "this marketing channel is kicking butt, let's double down there next year. This marketing channel is a lost cause, let's re-allocate those funds to something else."
What will Marketing be like in 2024?
In 10 years, when my little brother is 33, he will be in his backyard grilling a steak and realize he's out of a key ingredient, his favorite topping, Frank's RedHot Sauce. He will announce to his wristwatch, "@Siri, add Franks Red Hot Sauce to the grocery list".
Siri will be smart enough to know my brother's shopping and cooking habits based on historical data.
Siri will then add Franks to the list of groceries that automatically get delivered to the house every day via a personal Amazon drone. TV and Radio will be obsolete because advertisers will have moved on.
People will consume 100% of their entertainment and media from online streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify, the internet will be available for free to everyone (everywhere) in the United States via inexpensive weather-balloons type Wi-Fi hotspots paid for by corporate sponsors.
Netflix and Spotify have been able to remove ads because people are willing to pay for the convenience of listening to a song without hearing a commercial.
Eventually, Super Bowl ads won't exist because people will be willing to pay $20/each to watch the Super Bowl ad-free.
Companies with "Super-Bowl-esque" ad budgets like Coke and Budweiser will realize they could spend $50M on a Super Bowl commercial which would be seen by 100 Million people or, they can generate the same viewership through a creative YouTube campaign for $1M.
Companies like Doritos are already starting to figure this out and crowd source their marketing efforts by incentivizing non-employees to create content for them through social media contests.
Can you share with us a great Inbound Marketing success story you or one of your clients have experienced?
Most recently, I spoke with the CEO of a 20 year old, family-owned pest control company named Bill.
For the past 10 years, Bill had been spending $10K per month on Yellow Page ads and was happy doing so. Bill liked how easy the Yellow Pages made marketing, once a year his rep Derrick would take him out to lunch and Bill would sign a $120,000 contract for a year of YP ads.
The reason Bill liked this was because he didn't have to think about marketing again for a full year, quick and easy! But pretty soon, business slowed down and $120K started to seem like a lot of money.
Bill was also getting calls from other vendors like ReachLocal, Yelp, Angies List, Groupon, and others wanting a piece of his $120K marketing budget. Bill understood marketing was changing but had questions and didn't know who to trust.
He went online and asked Google, "how does internet marketing work?" This led him to one of our agencies' websites where Bill became a lead. The agency re-designed Bill's website to respond to mobile and added 3 content offers. They also fixed his SEO and started blogging 2x per week to rank organically for local keywords.
After 4 weeks, Bill tripled the amount of leads he was getting and dropped his YP spend all together.
He transitioned half of his marketing budget to an inbound marketing program and put the other half back into the business.
After 1 month, Bill saw a dramatic increase in overall lead quality and quantity. His calendar filled up with residential and commercial jobs which enabled Bill to hire a manager to run his pest-control team and left Bill with more time to focus on business operations and groom his son to one-day take over the family business.
This story is a textbook example of what can happen if a business starts to prioritize understanding the ROI of their marketing spend over everything else.
Last question, we at Organic SEO Press have a little office envy – I just remember Dharmesh Shah’s tweet about getting kicked out of the nap room or the great new fireplace! What is the best thing about working for HubSpot?
Personally, I've never used the nap-room, but I am a big fan of our new, "tap-room". We just re-vamped a part of the office into a self-serve restaurant/bar complete with booth seating and 2 tapped kegs. They are always bringing in tasty new craft beers which we can enjoy at the end of a long day. It's a great way to socialize without ever leaving the office.
Thank you so much Brian!