Changing to an Inbound Lane
Wouter Gijsbertsen founded Bureau Bright in 2008 to develop location-based marketing software. However, in 2013, he made the decision to take his company in a new direction.
“I was introduced to the inbound methodology through the HubSpot blog, and it was a game-changer for me. It aligned perfectly with the solution-selling concept that I’ve always advocated during my career in the international IT industry, and there were lots of potential customers in the Netherlands who weren’t getting the marketing results they needed. We seized the moment and began the process of turning Bureau Bright into an inbound agency.”
Before launching the new Bureau Bright, Wouter needed to nail down three things. First of all, he had to find the right marketing automation software to sell to clients. Secondly, he needed to make sure that the software was backed by all the support, training and guidance that his new agency would need to succeed and thirdly he needed a reliable service process to be able to scale the agency.
Bureau Bright looked at the agency partner programs offered by several software vendors. The top performers at that time where both Marketo and HubSpot, but the HubSpot Partner Program was the clear winner.
“The HubSpot software was straightforward to use and at a better price point, but it was more than that. We liked the HubSpot ethos; its commitment to sharing knowledge was way beyond what was being offered by Marketo. As a HubSpot Partner, we knew we would get all the help we needed to grow as an agency and make our mark.”
Growing the Agency
As a new inbound agency, Bureau Bright’s website needed to be on point, and it used the HubSpot software to turn it into a lead-capturing machine. First, it defined its personas, which include B2B manufacturers, professional services companies and international, enterprise-level businesses with decentralised marketing and sales departments. It created a library of content to appeal to their needs and used Smart Calls-to-Action and Smart Forms to encourage visitors to connect.
“We are big fans of the CRM as well because it gives us a clear view of the behaviour of our contacts in the funnel. We can see what they are visiting, what they are downloading, and we get notifications when they return to the website or open an email. I’ve sold CRMs in the past, and they are usually just a tool for managers, but the HubSpot CRM truly supports sales reps,” says Wouter.
Bureau Bright also benefitted from all the coaching within the Partner Program. It has become so much of an inbound expert that it has created its playbook based around the methodology, which new marketing hires use when they start work.
“Too often when you buy software, you’re told ‘here’s the tool, now you’re an expert!’ What I like about HubSpot is that it is committed to helping us perform better as an agency. For example, I have bi-weekly calls with our HubSpot channel account manager. We’ve been targeting some large enterprise clients recently, so we’ve been discussing our sales cycle, how to close deals – it’s highly effective.”
Looking ahead, the agency is facilitating its sales team with the Sales Pro software, so that it can streamline its sales process even further. It has already added Messages, the live chat feature that is just for sales, to its website.
“The time was right. Two years ago, people were reluctant to talk online with a salesperson, but we find that now they appreciate the direct approach.”
Making Waves as a HubSpot Partner
Since joining the Partner Program, Bureau Bright has established itself as a go-to inbound agency. It has increased visitors to its website by 17%, while inbound leads grew by 180%. It has 18 customers using the HubSpot software, and it has become a Platinum Tier Partner.
It can also show its clients that they are getting a high return on their investment, which makes them more willing to sign up for extended and more significant value contracts. Having more clients on retainer means that Bureau Bright has a predictable revenue stream that allows it to plan for the future.
“We have 95% of our customers on retainer. At the start of the year, we know where 60% of our income is going to come from, and that’s massive for us. It takes the pressure off and allows us to concentrate on achieving for our clients and building long-term relationships with them.”
Bureau Bright is meticulous about making sure that its clients get the results that are right for them, explains Wouter.
“For example, many of our larger enterprise clients already have good website traffic; the problem is that they aren’t converting those visitors into leads. We help them move away from interruptive tactics and start contacting prospects with offers that speak to their needs.” Like our international client Boon Edam. They experience traffic increases on the website by 16% while generating a 500% increase in leads due to smart campaign activities.
The agency’s main ambition for the future is to grow efficiently and keep satisfying every customer.
“We have grown to a healthy business model, and we want to ensure that we keep it that way. We continually seek to delight our clients with what we can do for them, and our HubSpot Partnership is a big part of that.”