Ceros provides a cloud-based interactive content creation platform for leading B2B and B2C brands such as the Dallas Cowboys, NewsCred, the Wall Street Journal, and more. As a startup with aggressive growth goals, the sales and marketing team focuses on brand awareness paired with high-volume lead generation. They turned to HubSpot's all-in-one marketing and sales platform to successfully achieve their goals by building an advanced end-to-end process boosting lead generation and sales.
Complexity and Lack of Visibility Hinder Growth
As a young startup, Ceros strives for hyper growth in a rich market by providing an innovative, interactive content creation platform. Its marketing and sales teams have two major goals: first, to make sure people know a company like theirs exists, and second, to find as many interested potential buyers to engage with as possible.
When they started to build their marketing and sales process, the team thought that using a combination of Salesforce and Marketo would deliver the results they wanted to achieve. However, they quickly found that both solutions required a lot of time and attention in order to meet their needs. Marketo lacked visibility into contact engagement, and Salesforce’s complexity hindered sales reps.
Despite their best efforts, Marketo was difficult to use and did not provide the full-funnel visibility the marketing team sought. Specifically, it lacked clear visibility into their contacts’ engagement activity on their website and social media channels. The marketing team found it difficult to measure exactly what content or campaigns they were producing were actually appealing to their target audience. As a result, it was nearly impossible for Ceros to replicate successful campaigns in order to maximize their overall marketing activities.
On the sales side, the team was pigeonhole into using Salesforce CRM platform, which proved to be overly complex when it came to managing contacts and updating lead information. While data entry took up a lot of time and resources, the sales reps also felt hindered by the lack of qualified leads in their pipeline.
With the leads they did have, it was challenging for sales reps to fully understand where a lead was within the sales cycle. Without those insights, the sales team struggled to identify and take the appropriate next step.
Measurable and Actionable Engagement
Ceros' software makes it easy for marketers and designers to create interactive online content. Not only is content creation a passion of theirs, so is the ability to track and measure the performance of content. These factors made an alignment with HubSpot a natural one for Ceros. HubSpot’s inbound marketing software now provides Ceros’ marketing team with full-funnel visibility into how contacts are engaging with their website, content, emails, and social media channels.
Ceros leverages HubSpot technology across its entire marketing stack. By doing this, they are able to capitalize and increase insights in three primary areas:
Using HubSpot Sales tools, Ceros' business development reps (BDRs) are able to get alerts in real time when prospects engage with email or website content to trigger a timely conversation.
Both the BDRs and sales team are able to see these interactions on the individual contact records to outreach in an informed, smart way based on what folks are expressing interest in.
On the marketing side, HubSpot Reporting tools enable Ceros to do broader lead nurturing and behavior-based follow-up emails and campaigns. For example, they send one automated follow-up to a group who watched 100% of their demo video, and a different one to those who didn’t.
These features and tools in HubSpot's sales and marketing tools allow Ceros to identify the most and least effective elements in every campaign, email, and piece of content they produce, enabling the marketing team to replicate success and make adjustments where needed.
Simplicity Speeds Sales
HubSpot's sales platform provides Ceros’ sales team with a dashboard that centralizes the majority of their lead management process, enabling them to streamline managing contacts and updating lead information. This helps free up time and resources so the sales team can pursue more leads of higher quality, resulting in more deals.
Key HubSpot features that make a significant impact on Ceros’ sales team include:
The combination of easy-to-update fields, a single contact record, and integration with sales activity (emails, meetings, calls) enable Ceros to program rules based on sales outreach. This makes it easy to create specific lists based on lead stage and develop a process around the number of times a lead had been contacted by sales.
The UX makes it extremely easy for sales reps to update records because there are no loading delays and all the updates can be made in the same section, reducing the need to navigate to other areas within the system. For example, in Salesforce, to add someone to a new account, users have to first go into Accounts, create an Account, and then go back to the Contact record to add them. In HubSpot, you do it all with a simple drop down.
No Leads vs. Contacts
Everyone in the database is a Contact, removing issues that arise in Salesforce from having duplicate contacts/leads and merging people, which typically requires the additional training for the sales team.
VP of Marketing Matthew Wellschlager shares, "You’re dealing with one contact record. There are no sync issues, no messing around with the APIs, no deciding which system is the master and which system can overwrite data in the other system. This has empowered us to stop wasting time on integration challenges and focus on getting the process right."
Integrated Company Data
HubSpot CRM adds new contacts straight from a sales reps inbox and then auto-populate fields such as company revenue, industry, contact information, and social media bios. This sales and data automation enable Ceros to easily create target lists around industry and company revenue thus allowing sales reps to better focus on their target markets.
Ceros’ marketing and sales teams use HubSpot to gain more actionable insights. Through integrated A/B testing on emails and dynamic call to actions (CTA) such as "click here to learn more", marketing can craft effective campaigns. Sales can create lead lead scoring and list membership rules around demographics, behavioral characteristics, and firmographics (ex. SIC, company size, location), to gain a much clearer picture of who each lead is and what steps they should take to make a sale.
Sales and Marketing Alignment
The streamlined user experience of HubSpot’s CRM and Marketing platform helps smooth potential friction between Ceros’ sales and marketing teams. With the Sales tools and the click-to-call telephone feature in particular, sales outreach is tracked on one record, increasing efficiency and inter-team visibility.
Results of Successful Alignment
HubSpot’s lead management and visibility into individual marketing and sales touches has helped Ceros create an extremely effective process for working leads and getting sales meetings.
Through hard work and understanding of inbound best practices and principles, Ceros has been able to increase the quality and impact of its content and their online reach, driving:
monthly MQL numbers up by 900% YoY
monthly meetings with prospects up by 700% YoY
monthly SQLs up by 400% YoY
Ceros looks forward to the future with HubSpot and plans to continue to leverage its marketing and sales tools to take their lead generation and nurturing activities to the next level.