A Budding Awareness of the Importance of Inbound
Benholm Group provides plant displays for all types of commercial environments, and by 2016, it was trying to engage more potential customers through its website. Telemarketing was no longer bringing in the results that it used to, and it knew that it needed a more cohesive online strategy.
“We were using lots of different point solutions – Inbox e-Marketing for email, Legrand for our CRM, Google Analytics and we also outsourced some of our activities. We had a company that built our website and posted to social media for us, another company that hosted our website, as well as an outside graphic designer. It was a very disjointed arrangement; our email list didn’t sync with our CRM, for instance,” explains Benholm’s sales support and marketing manager, Adrian Byne.
Adrian wanted to streamline Benholm’s marketing and to ensure that the company’s distinctive services were being promoted in the right way.
“That was the main trigger point for me. We had outsourced various aspects such as writing our social media posts, and we found it difficult to get the right messages out. If we wanted to make a change on the website, it always took a long time and often didn’t turn out the way we’d hoped. We wanted to take back control and do it all in-house, using one platform for everything.”
He had a “light bulb moment” while attending a sales and marketing seminar where HubSpot’s Ryan Bonnici was one of the speakers.
“He explained the inbound marketing concept well, and I realised that this was something that could be transformative for us because so many of our potential customers were unaware of the benefits of plants and how they could use plants to improve their business. After that, I went away and investigated the HubSpot software in more depth. It did everything that we wanted it to, and there was also lots of support on offer from the HubSpot team. I did look at other solutions, but the HubSpot software was the most fully featured and the easiest to use.”
Digging Deep Into the HubSpot Software
Benholm’s goal was to grow the number of online leads that it was getting and then nurture them through to sales qualification. Much of its work is done on a contract basis, so attracting a stream of potential new customers was crucial. It decided to use the HubSpot Growth Stack, the combination of the Marketing Hub, CRM and Sales Hub, to make sure that it covered all its bases.
The first step was to transfer its existing website to the CMS Hub. This was a very straightforward process.
“That meant that we could make a lot more of the changes that we needed by ourselves in house, which was a major departure for us and this gave us the tools to transform our website from not much more than an online brochure to a fully interactive site where our customers can access lots of useful resources. We already had types of customers that we targeted, but we took a fresh look at them, refined them and created our personas. We started blogging, something that we hadn’t really been doing before, through the Blog App, and used the Social Inbox to create and schedule our social media posts.”
Benholm also took advantage of all of the support and guidance available from HubSpot; Adrian has become a regular user of the HubSpot Academy, and he has completed the Inbound Certification course.
“Our HubSpot customer success manager has been great. At the start, he advised us on how to get set up in the right way, but now we’re concentrating on growth. Having that ongoing relationship allows us to look at the bigger picture, at our bigger goals, and make sure that it all ties together.”
The company soon noticed an increase in its inbound leads, and it uses the productivity tools in Sales Hub to follow up with them.
“Before, our contacts’ information was scattered across various spreadsheets and forms. Now it’s all centralised and automatically updated within the CRM, and we use Deals to get a handle on where we stand with each prospect. We then use Sales Hub to nurture them further down the pipeline. We love the tracking feature, which helps us to know when our customers are most likely to want us to get in touch with them.”
A Platform for Growth
In the past year, Benholm has increased its website traffic by 119% from all sources and better qualified inbound leads are now flowing into the sales pipeline. Revenue is on the rise too.
“We’re still a work in progress, and we’re going to keep exploring the capabilities of the HubSpot software so we can build on those numbers. For example, one of our recent blog posts – Why bother about Biophilic Design - got a record number of views and this year we’ve generated over 1,000 leads, so we’re looking to build upon these successes in 2018.”
In the long term, Benholm’s plan is to considerably grow its business and become the number one provider in its sector.
“Today, the customer’s journey begins online, and HubSpot has given us the tools we need to respond to that.”
Adrian wholeheartedly recommends the HubSpot software, particularly to SMEs that want to achieve more in-house.
“It can give even a small company the ability to compete against the big players. Once you have it in place, there’s nothing to stop you from doing that.”