Build a Business that Solves Complex Problems
Ryan Ruud, Founder and CEO of Lake One, never set out to become a business owner.
He started as an independent consultant. But as demand for his services grew, he had to think bigger. The only problem was that he wasn’t sure where to start.
While Ryan wasn’t sure how to scale his business, he did know he wanted to move beyond offering piecemeal solutions to clients. Instead, he wanted to forge long-term, impactful client relationships by helping them solve their most complex problems.
“I wanted to become a true business partner rather than just a vendor of marketing services, pay-per-click content, SEO, and related services,” says Ryan.
Becoming a HubSpot Solutions Partner
The support and knowledge that Ryan needed to successfully grow his business came from an unexpected source when one of Ryan’s early clients introduced him to the HubSpot CRM Platform.
Ryan was impressed with the HubSpot CRM’s support and ease of use. He soon realized he could offer the HubSpot CRM Platform to his clients, which would help him grow his company with profitable and scalable services.
“I saw how powerful it was, and I thought it could be core to the solutions we provide,” says Ryan.
Learning how to grow the business
Ryan decided to learn more about partnering with HubSpot and was delighted to discover that HubSpot’s partner program not only gave him the technical resources he needed to offer solutions in sales, marketing and service, it also gave him the support he needed to successfully build his business.
“The program helped me with many aspects, from setting pricing to putting together packages,” says Ryan. “It included all the things I needed to figure out as a business owner.”
Consequently, Ryan decided to become a HubSpot Solutions Partner.
Game changer: the support of a channel account manager
As a HubSpot Solutions Partner, Lake One was assigned a dedicated channel account manager (CAM).
The channel account manager worked with Ryan and his team to develop a growth path for Lake One.
“I don’t always have the time to work ON the business because I’m so busy with client work,” says Ryan. “My CAM holds me accountable.”
Ryan explains the working relationship with Lake One’s CAM:
“We have weekly meetings where we work on sales strategy. He also helps with pipeline reviews, business planning, and forecasting so we can get intentional about next steps. His support has been critical to our success.”
Solving complex client problems
While Ryan appreciated the benefits of the HubSpot Solutions Partner Program, initially he hesitated to go all-in with the HubSpot CRM Platform and build his business around it.
“I was a little apprehensive about fully embracing HubSpot because I wanted to stay technology agnostic,” says Ryan.
However, those reservations were swept aside when Ryan and his team discovered just how powerful the HubSpot CRM Platform really is for enterprise-size businesses. And no client project made the point better than Polywater.
Polywater’s Legacy Marketing, Sales, and Service Tech Stack
Polywater is a leading specialty-chemical manufacturer serving companies in the electrical and communications industries. When Polywater brought in the Lake One team, it had a 20-year old, on-premises CRM that contained tens of thousands of contacts.
Polywater’s sales process was long and complex, with sales reps manually managing prospect and customer data. At the same time, its marketing efforts were complicated by a global audience, multiple language-specific websites, and complex relationships with reps and distributors.
Figuring it all out wouldn’t be easy.
Building a powerful content machine for thought leadership
In addition to solving its long-standing sales and marketing issues, Polywater was also keen to grow its brand recognition and build a robust thought leadership program through content marketing.
“We wanted to get the content machine going and create more content that would resonate with engineers,” says Erik Freyser, President, Polywater.
Migrating Polywater to the HubSpot CRM Platform
Ryan and the Lake One team accepted Polywater’s challenge.
They decided to build the solution using Marketing Hub and CMS Hub, with the HubSpot CRM Platform at its core, to centralize and share client data across marketing, sales, and customer service.
Ryan and the Lake One team started by cleaning Polywater’s existing data and migrating Polywater off its legacy CRM onto the HubSpot CRM Platform. It proved a complex task.
“Contact clean up was definitely a journey,” says Amy Helke, Inside Sales at Polywater. “We code our contacts based on market, location, and company type. So it took a lot of thinking to figure out the best way to code contacts so we could integrate them all.”
But thanks to expert guidance from Lake One, and the adaptability of HubSpot’s CRM, Polywater was able to consolidate all its contacts onto the platform.
Integration with proprietary software
Polywater’s proprietary Pull-Planner software. This software helps Polywater users make complex calculations needed for large-scale cable pulling projects.
With the HubSpot CRM and Pull-Planner integration, Polywater has a record of Pull-Planner downloads right in the HubSpot CRM Platform. Sales reps can easily reference this information when communicating with prospects and customers to proactively understand more about their needs.
Workflows to route contacts globally
Lake One also created over 100 workflows in the HubSpot CRM Platform to automatically route contacts to the right salesperson based on industry, region, and several other variables.
Further, Lake One integrated a ZIP code API to auto-populate forms by ZIP code, helping to automate complex U.S.-based territory mapping.
Vidyard integration for face-to-face sales
The Lake One team also integrated Vidyard with the HubSpot CRM Platform to enable sales reps to connect with prospects face-to-face remotely through a personalized video platform.
Today, the sales team can replicate face-to-face meetings through one-to-one sales videos—a feature that became even more valuable when the COVID-19 pandemic halted in-person sales visits.
Marketing automation for targeted outreach
Lake One also helped Polywater’s sales and content marketing teams make better use of marketing assets to personalize their outreach to prospects and customers.
This account-based marketing approach helps Polywater leverage content from its new content marketing program to create personalized customer experiences more efficiently.
Knowledge and product hubs
Lake One also helped Polywater create a knowledge hub that provides customers with a centralized source for learning.
Similarly, Lake One also created a central library of product resources that contains product safety data sheets, technical information, and planning resources.
Both the knowledge hub and library have helped establish Polywater as a leader in its field, helping to drive an 11% increase in visitors with the launch of its new website.
“Lake One really helped put us at the front of the pack,” says Erik.
30% Growth YOY
Since the Polywater project, Ryan is more committed than ever to the HubSpot CRM Platform and the Solutions Partner Program. In fact, 95% of Ryan’s client base is on the HubSpot CRM Platform.
In addition, Lake One has grown 30% YOY since joining the HubSpot Solutions Partner Program. In recent months, that growth has jumped to 60-70%.
Lake One’s employee base has scaled in kind, taking it from a one-person shop to a mature business with nine FTEs and about 10 contractors—and it’s still growing.
Today, thanks in part to his becoming a HubSpot Solutions Partner, Ryan has what he always wanted—a business where he’s a trusted partner and advisor to his clients, not just a vendor.