Sales and Marketing Disconnect
From its founding 35 years ago, GrowthLab Financial grew largely from referrals.
GrowthLab felt it could grow even more, but its existing tech stack stood in the way of going beyond word-of-mouth marketing.
John Isola, Revenue Operations Manager at GrowthLab, explains:
“We sent out a few newsletters here and there, but that was about it,” says John. “It was almost all word-of-mouth marketing.”
Once GrowthLab started to gain traction in the market, it needed something to help manage these contacts while continuing to grow through marketing and sales efforts outside of word-of-mouth.
Old CRM with Limited Capabilities
At the time, GrowthLab used a variety of disparate sales and marketing tools, including a CRM with very limited capabilities.
“Our old CRM was used to hold contacts and send out light-touch email campaigns. It really didn’t have great automation capabilities and mostly was used to keep track of connections,” says John.
This left GrowthLab’s sales and marketing teams with the task of manually tracking and following up with inbound prospects. Not only was this time consuming and unscalable, it also opened the possibility of prospects falling through the cracks.
Lack of Integration with Website Provider
Part of the issue was that GrowthLab’s website provider wasn’t integrated with its current CRM, so inbound prospect submission forms could easily get lost in email inboxes.
When inbound prospects completed a form, the website provider would email the account linked to the form. GrowthLab could have the information automatically added to a Google sheet, but the marketing team would then have to manually export the sheet and import it to the CRM, which took time.
“It added an extra step to the sales process,” says Alison Pittman, Inbound Marketing Manager. “We wanted to shorten the process so we could respond to leads faster and convert them to customers quicker.”
Manual Processes for Responding to Leads
Alison and her team also crafted email responses manually.
“It wasn’t hard work, and each one didn’t take up too much time,” says Alison. “But when you’re doing it every day of every week, it adds up.
Lack of Data Insights to Support Decision Making
With these manual processes and disparate tools, it was challenging for GrowthLab to get the insights it needed for strategic decision making.
John, for example, spent a lot of time manually putting together reports and presentations.
“I was spending about half my time trying to figure out how to report to my team with graphs and PowerPoint slides,” says John.
Aligning Sales and Marketing
With the goal of moving beyond word-of-mouth referrals and aligning sales and marketing, GrowthLab decided to consolidate sales and marketing on the HubSpot CRM Platform, implementing Sales Hub Professional, Marketing Hub Professional, and Service Hub Starter.
Automated Responses to Prospects
Today, GrowthLab uses workflows to manage prospect information when they submit online forms.
Prospects get an automated email thanking them. The information they requested, whether a calendar link to book an appointment or some other type of content, is also relayed automatically.
Contacts are then entered into an automated workflow to foster further conversation. If a contact doesn’t respond to email outreach, a salesperson is notified to give them a call.
“When someone submits a form, their information is automatically added as a contact in HubSpot,” says Alison. “Then they’re put into a workflow to get a follow-up email, phone call or something else.”
This helps the marketing team feel confident that all leads are going into workflows and aren’t falling through the cracks.
Automated Sales Pipeline Follow up
Workflows have also transformed how the sales team follows up with prospects further along in its sales pipeline.
At GrowthLab, moving from one pipeline stage to the next is predicated on certain parameters being met. For example, transitioning from one particular stage requires prospects to give GrowthLab access to their general ledger for quoting purposes.
When a prospect gets “stuck” at this stage, HubSpot CRM helps get them moving again.
“Sometimes, prospects will go radio silent if they can’t get us what we need. We use HubSpot to automatically send them an email to get us back on the top of their inbox. It’s helped us shorten our deal cycle.”
Ability to Optimize
HubSpot CRM workflows have empowered Alison and her team to test different follow up strategies to optimize their responses to inbound leads.
“We can see which workflows work best for which forms and create a custom template for each one,” says Alison.
Alison can also get a high-level picture of these workflows—or drill down into them—as needed.
“You can see how many people are enrolled in a workflow and the stages they’re at,” says Alison. “It’s very easy to keep track of people and make sure everyone is progressing through each stage successfully.”
Alison is also conducting A/B testing with workflows. She can put people who come from the same page into two separate workflows to see whether workflow A has better conversations than workflow B or vice versa.
“It gives us a glimpse into how to best communicate with customers for each of our services,” says Alison.
Re-engaging “Closed/Lost” Prospects
Similarly, John and his team use HubSpot automation to re-engage with “closed/lost” contacts, i.e. contacts that have declined GrowthLab’s services in the past.
John and his team use HubSpot workflows to reach out to these prospects every few months to provide them with valuable content and stay in touch.
“We created a video series on financial planning and analysis, and we send it out to our ‘closed/lost’ list every 90 days,” says John. “This type of content brings people back because they see that we bring much more to the table than their local CPA who only does bookkeeping and taxes.”
Real-time Revenue Reporting
With the HubSpot CRM, John has the real-time reporting he needs to support decision making.
“HubSpot makes it easy for our CEO and other executives to see what’s happening without getting into the nitty-gritty. It’s super easy to report out on where we stand,” says John.
At the same time, managers can go deep into the details when they want.
“We can see deals closed in the last 90 days and can segment by deal source, such as staff referral, form submission, or customer referral,” says John. “It helps us capitalize on what’s working and improve on what’s not.”
HubSpot also makes attributing annual revenue a breeze.
“We can track annual contract value and see how much annual revenue is attributed to each avenue, such as cold outreach, inbound leads, and so forth,” says John.
Real-time Marketing Insights
Alison and her marketing team have real-time insights into the performance of content on GrowthLab’s website, social media, and newsletters.
“Because you’re doing everything in HubSpot, you can see what’s working and what’s not,” says Alison. “And you can compare over weeks and years to see how you’re trending.”
This is a huge improvement over sending newsletters by Gmail.
“We can see that only 30% of people opened this email, whereas more people opened this other one, for example,” says Alison. “This kind of intel helps us do better.”
For example, if a campaign includes a link to information about long-range planning—and that link garners a lot of clicks—Alison will create a campaign around long-range planning and how GrowthLab helps customers with it.
2X Revenue in 3 Years
Thanks in part to the alignment between sales and marketing—and the capabilities unleashed through automation—GrowthLab doubled its revenue in less than three years.
That growth is also evidenced in a 10-fold increase in form submissions from new prospects.
Both sales and marketing teams also save significant amounts of time with HubSpot CRM, such as the 10 hours a week previously spent manually creating emails as well as time spent on reporting.
“Today, I can whip out reports in about 10 minutes, which allows me to spend my time getting quotes out the door and talking to prospects,” says John. “And that’s the way it should be.”