Adapting to Change in the Retail Sector
Since our client — a specialist marketing agency supporting home retail brands — was founded in the 1980s, the company’s sales and marketing strategy consistently focused on in-person tactics.
With a perennial presence at industry tradeshows and other key events, the client built strong relationships and generated qualified leads that consistently turned into high-value business deals with some of the country’s leading home retail brands.
But the landscape was changing fast and becoming more digital-led. This was accelerated further with the COVID-19 pandemic. With in-person events paused, the client had to adapt how they engaged with potential customers — and put more focus on digital inbound marketing.
“The agency has so much knowledge and expertise, but as the retail sector evolved, they needed better solutions for getting their brand out there,” explains Tim Jones, CEO of solutions partner Eternal Works, who would ultimately help the client with their digital transformation.
Alongside these external market pressures, the company had internal challenges to resolve. Not least, the fact that their existing software stack was opening them up to more problems.
Several years previously, the client implemented Salesforce to streamline the process of managing leads, deals, and customer onboarding.
Meanwhile, they used WordPress to develop their website and manage content creation.
While they had hoped this combination of software would enable them to efficiently move leads along the pipeline, it wasn’t doing its job.
“The team found Salesforce to be complex and confusing which cause many of them had abandoned it before they’d even started to get going,” says Tim. “While they were more comfortable using WordPress, they weren’t doing anything to generate inbound leads from the site, which meant lost opportunities for sales.”
Without complete adoption of the Salesforce software, the client’s team was relying on manual and inefficient processes to turn leads into deals.
“Employees were using sticky notes and Excel sheets to manage the leads they did have,” explains Tim. “It was all too easy for a prospect to fall through the cracks and a potential opportunity to be lost.”
Without the internal bandwidth to drive the necessary changes on their own, the client set about finding a partner capable of implementing a more flexible and efficient tool for scaling growth and boosting revenue for the long term.
Migrating from Salesforce and WordPress to HubSpot
After scouting the market for a suitable partner, the client opted to work with Eternal Works, a growth agency specializing in helping businesses increase revenue through better lead generation, customer acquisition, and sales enablement.
Eternal Works began by carrying out a detailed review of the client’s existing set-up. Based on this discovery work, they recommended that the client should migrate from WordPress and Salesforce software to HubSpot CRM — along with implementing Sales Hub Professional, Marketing Hub Professional, and Service Hub Professional.
When Eternal Works showed the client’s CEO what the platform was capable of, he instantly bought in.
The platform promised to connect and facilitate interactions between previously disconnected departments and enable the business to have a more systematic approach to attracting more of their ideal leads —and converting them into customers.
But before they could begin to optimize with HubSpot, Eternal Works needed to win broader buy-in from the teams who’d become frustrated with Salesforce.
“We worked closely with the VPs of digital, branding, and business development to show them how the HubSpot platform could help them achieve their business goals,” says Tim.
Tim and his team spent significant time walking the VP of business development through a more defined sales process, all managed through the HubSpot platform.
In one example, they moved a lead — captured through Eternal Works’ consulting advice — through the revised pipeline and successfully turned it into a deal within a short amount of time.
“It was the first deal our client had ever closed from one of our recommendations, which really got them excited about what the platform could do for them,” says Tim.
Automating mission-critical processes without losing the personal touch
Eternal Works worked with the client to conquer their initial hesitancy around using the HubSpot platform’s automated tools.
When the team witnessed the software’s ability to tee up all kinds of automation, from personalized emails to follow-up tasks, and automated lead rotation, they began to understand how it could genuinely bring valuable efficiencies and time savings.
“In one example, we showed the team how to use automated templates for sales emails, without losing their personal touch,” says Tim.
“Instead of using heavily scripted emails, we explained they could use the templates to provide mission-critical information for each moment in the pipeline, to ensure consistency and drive better results. But they could still add whatever was required to personalize each mail, drive engagement, and increase their open rates.”
Eternal Works continued to partner with the team to help them embrace the benefits of automation, including greater efficiency, better marketing and sales alignment, increased conversion rates, and more accurate reporting.
Seamless migration and a single source of truth
With the client’s broader team now on board with how much more efficient and productive the HubSpot platform would make them, the company was ready to move forward with implementation.
Eternal Works provided hands-on support to ensure a diligent and immediate migration from WordPress and Salesforce into the new HubSpot platform.
At the same time, Eternal Works built out a brand-new website for the client, using CMS Hub Professional. This ensured that campaigns could now be integrated, traffic analyzed and all leads managed within the platform.
After a seamless migration, the business was quick to appreciate its new, all-on-one platform.
“Multiple departments saw how powerful it was to have a single source of truth, not just for data, but for managing their entire business,” says Tim. “Their data was connected, so the sales team could see what the marketing team was doing, and vice versa.
“After so many years of siloed data, now there was one place where everyone could go to see the same information. They could see how customers began their relationship and the full journey of that relationship.
Seeing results from the first campaign
To demonstrate the phenomenal sales power of the HubSpot platform, Eternal Works built out a sales funnel that was directly linked to a new series of webinars that the client had begun to host.
The funnel was designed to push visitors who viewed the webinar to sign-up for more information. The campaign was a real success and eye-opener, with the client generating 50 new leads from a single webinar.
Moving leads and customers through its pipelines with ease
While the client was thrilled with the prospect of winning more leads, they were anxious about whether they’d have the bandwidth to handle such a fast-growing volume of work.
But they needn’t have worried. Because moving leads through the pipeline within the HubSpot platform was more intuitive, smart, and simple than anything they’d done before.
“Instead of having leads, calls, and follow-ups scribbled on disconnected notes and spreadsheets, suddenly our client could see all communication back and forth with leads and customers in the contact record,” says Tim.
“They could see exactly where deals were, any steps they needed to take next, and instantly manage their sales and marketing funnels in a more regimented, connected, and consolidated way.”
Profitability Increases Nearly 50% and Client Numbers Almost Double
By migrating from Salesforce and WordPress and consolidating their inbound activities in the HubSpot platform, the client has dramatically boosted client numbers and grown revenue beyond expectation.
Before using the HubSpot platform, the largest number of clients they had closed in a single year was 11. Now, they’re on track to bring on 20 clients by the end of the year. That’s 82% more clients since implementing the HubSpot platform.
“With every new client worth from $25k to $120k a month, this is a huge deal for the business,” says Tim.
Within the first seven months of the year, profits are already up 50% in comparison to all of last year. And that growth is set to continue on an upward trajectory.
Even more impressively, the client did more business in a single month, June 2021, than the whole of the second quarter of the previous year.
Thanks to this rapid growth in business and revenue, the client has hired 30+ new employees. This will enable them to grow even further, scale faster, and build winning brands for even more happy clients.
“With a consolidated HubSpot platform in place, the business now has the right engine for sustainable success and continued growth in a rapidly changing industry,” concludes Tim.