Unleashing creativity & scaling rapidly
Meet Ceros, a company dedicated to helping companies unleash their creativity. Ceros has made waves in the industry, transforming from a single-product venture into a multi-product suite and empowering its customers to unlock their full creative potential. Picture interactive content creation, scalable solutions, visual collaboration, and seamless design file handoffs that will make any team feel like design experts.
As Ceros rode the wave of expansion, they faced a challenge: the strategy of “more, more, more” — trying to fuel growth via more tech and high activity volume —wasn’t going to work forever. Ironically, the more they built up their systems, the less productive their reps became. Reps’ days were bogged down by manual data entry, but even still, their pipelines were running dry of qualified leads. Worse yet, the leads they did have lacked insight. The sales team struggled to identify and take the appropriate next step.
They needed deeper audience insights to fuel their growth and prospect smarter, not harder.
Enter HubSpot. With HubSpot, Ceros united their data, supercharging their prospecting efforts, gaining valuable insights, and refining their targeting strategies, ultimately increasing deals generated by 180%, growing SQLs by 18%+, and decreasing lead response time to under 5 minutes.
Read on to learn how Ceros unlocked new avenues for growth.
Prospecting roadblocks: an unclear view of customers
For any business, prospecting is a critical component of a successful sales strategy. And making the most of your prospecting efforts requires a crystal clear understanding of the customer journey.
Ceros was working hard to gain a clear view of their customer - using several tools layered on top of each other to try to form a complete picture. But they quickly realized they were working too hard, according to Ceros’ Director of Revenue Operations, Douglas Botchman:
"Our approach to prospecting was 'volume over value.' Our systems and processes got so complex and disjointed. Our reps were wasting time and lacking insight. Their productivity tanked. They were playing darts in the dark. The worst part: our customers suffered as a result. Because reps were so bogged down, they lost sight of what they do best: actually connecting with prospects."
On top of disparate tools, sales reps were keeping their notes in Google Docs, spreadsheets, post-it notes and Slack messages. As the sales team grew, it became impossible to get the context needed for consistently relevant and personalized conversations with prospects.
Uncovering missed opportunities
As they started their path to clarifying their view of the customer, Ceros quickly realized the importance of unifying the customer journey in a single place. HubSpot’s Business Units enable Ceros to manage multiple brands under a single umbrella while still keeping them in separate environments.
Now, instead of collecting data that ends up sitting - unused - in disparate tools, Ceros can use the data they gather in HubSpot to identify the most promising opportunities for growth.
“It allows us to see the audience breakdown across products, and who our best-fit customers are by use case, which greatly improves our ability to identify cross-sell and upsell opportunities,” Douglas says. “As we’ve scaled, HubSpot gives us the flexibility to bring our products into one suite while still having separate pipelines.”
To make the most of these newly uncovered opportunities, Ceros needed to be able to act quickly - more quickly than they could with their manual process. And it wasn’t just about speed; it was about relevance. To win, they needed to create better connections with their prospect, to diagnose pain and provide timely help.
HubSpot’s flexibility and ease of use enabled them to prospect in a more relevant and personalized way without sacrificing efficiency, and move leads through the sales funnel faster while continuing to gather better insights from those contacts.
“Before, we were manually prospecting a list,” Douglas says. “It's really crucial for our team to have visibility into the prospects that are coming to our website and then be able to reach out to them in a timely fashion to convert them faster through our funnel.”
What does smarter prospecting look like, in action? A few examples:
Sales Hub provides Ceros’ sales team with a dashboard that centralizes their lead management process, enabling them to streamline their prospecting outreach and data collection. This helps free up time and resources so prospecting reps can pursue more leads of higher quality, resulting in better conversations and higher close rates.
The Ceros team customized the left sidebar of contact and company records to include deal information. Including essential deal discovery questions on every record saves time, tabs, and clicks. Instead of scrambling through spreadsheets to find prospect information, reps can focus their efforts on actually connecting: diagnosing pain points, addressing challenges, providing value, and driving deals forward.
Using Sales Hub, 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 selling reps are able to see customer interactions on a unified contact record, to outreach in an informed, smart way based on what folks are expressing interest in.
In addition, Ceros has leveraged both native and custom integrations throughout their workflows, including Slack, Zoom, and Gong. With Slack, Ceros’ large sales team can collaborate and progress deals through the pipeline more quickly. They turn Slack conversations into HubSpot tasks and receive HubSpot task notifications within Slack, keeping everyone on the same page, and delivering a consistent, contextualized experience to the customer.
The results of Ceros’ improved prospecting are remarkable: the number of deals generated has increased 180% over the last 5 years, leading to an average overall growth of SQLs of 18%+.
With an overhauled and more consolidated prospecting process, Ceros saved time, improved productivity, and built better connections.
The streamlined process didn’t just help prospecting reps; it provided better visibility for sales leadership, enabled more accurate forecasts, and increased confidence in data.
“If our CRO or CEO want to see what our reps are struggling with and look at common themes, they don’t have to mash together a bunch of docs or go line by line in a spreadsheet. It’s all there.”
Continuing rapid - and sustainable - growth
By using HubSpot to fuel their prospecting and clarify their view of the customer, Ceros has been able to generate more deals, and move those deals through the pipeline faster. “To me, that shows that we’re growing in the right ways, and we’re continuing to scale in the right ways,” Douglas says.
Lead response time has improved significantly and is now under five minutes, which in turn has increased conversion rates and improved performance across the funnel. “That’s all thanks to the SLAs we’ve been able to put in place for our teams and the automations and integrations we’ve been able to leverage within HubSpot,” Douglas adds.
The consolidated insight HubSpot provides also saves everyone time—especially sales leadership and executive management. “They no longer have to reach out to reps about every single deal,” Kelly says. “They can focus their energy on call reviews and one-on-ones and actual coaching and moving deals forward.”
Ultimately, consolidating onto HubSpot allowed Ceros to focus on bringing in the customers they actually want. “We want to empower our marketing team to drive the correct audiences to our sales team, while also giving our sales team the visibility into the campaigns marketing is running,” Douglas says. “Now they can work in tandem to build the right story.”
Now, Ceros’ sales team can continue to scale with confidence, knowing they have everything they need to find and nurture the right prospects.