ITI knew they had an industry-leading product, but their sales team was having difficulty engaging with the right people. Their target customers are senior level managers at Fortune 500 and 1000 companies who are responsible for hundreds and thousands of employees. They needed a way to attract these people to their company, and provide enough content to keep them engaged through the sales process.
increase in average revenue growth rate
increase in net income year-over-year since 2009
increase in lead volume on average year-over-year
Industrial Training International is an industry leader in corporate education, training and consulting for crane, rigging, and heavy lifting activities.
Industrial Training International is an industry leader in corporate education, training and consulting for crane, rigging, and heavy lifting activities. Their customer base spans across 14 industries, with high-profile customers such as General Electric, BP, Amtrak, Raytheon and more.
ITI knew they had an industry-leading product, but their sales team was having difficulty engaging with the right people. Their target customers are senior level managers at Fortune 500 and 1000 companies who are responsible for hundreds and thousands of employees. It’s difficult to track those people down to even connect for a call, let alone engage through the sales process. Zack Parnell, Vice President & COO of ITI, turned his team to inbound marketing as a way to attract these buyer personas to their site. “Inbound marketing has really changed our whole approach to marketing...What’s been insanely helpful is moving from direct mail and outbound tactics, to creating a ton of great content, because there’s nobody more difficult to get a hold of than corporate managers.”
VP and COO
Industrial Training International
When Zack first started with ITI in 2009 he wanted to ramp up the company’s growth. “I immediately bought into the fact that I didn’t want to hire sales just yet. I wanted to maximize our training capacity through inbound marketing techniques – for us, it was all about content creation.” A 25-year-old company, ITI had already produced a plethora of articles and newsletters. The team took this prevalent tangible content and made them available as digital downloads and blog posts. He and his team developed a set of targeted keywords around these pieces of content, and optimized their blog posts, site, and landing pages for them using HubSpot’s built-in SEO tools. This tactic made it easier for ITI to get a head-start on building their pipeline of leads. “It was awesome,” Zack says, “immediately our lead count went through the roof.”
VP and COO
Industrial Training International
Zack took his inbound marketing strategy beyond blog posts and tool kits when ITI began hosting monthly webinars, raking in between 200-400 new registrants per month. The topics of these webinars range across a number of subject matters and industries, depending on which buyer persona and decision-makers ITI is targeting at the time. If they’re looking to attract health, safety and environment managers (these are people who oversee safety and protocol on nuclear plants and construction sites,) ITI will host a webinar on “How to Oversee Crane and Rigging Activities from an HSE Perspective,” led by their experienced CEO. These webinars have been so successful in establishing ITI as a thought leader in the field that they’ve been able to develop a co-marketing partnership with two other prominent companies in the field for a joint webinar in June 2013, where they predict 10x the number of registrants they normally see on a given month.
When Zack did come around to hiring more sales reps, they were well equipped to qualify and engage the inbound leads they’d been attracting with the Marketing Analytics HubSpot provides.
It was a strategic decision on Zack’s part to purchase both HubSpot and Salesforce with the aim of integrating them together. The integration process was seamless and fast with HubSpot's Salesforce Connector, “We purchased both applications, and they were integrated within minutes of their existence at ITI.” It was essential for ITI to transfer their marketing and sales data fluidly across HubSpot and Salesforce to aid his sales team. “We wanted everything inside HubSpot communicating with Salesforce because Salesforce literally runs our company.”
With the Salesforce integration, leads are automatically rotated between ITI’s sales reps, and a notification email alerts the rep of their lead. When a rep receives that email, they can go straight to Salesforce and see that lead’s HubSpot intelligence record right inside of Salesforce’s lead record. “Our sales people are really inside Salesforce non-stop, so it’s really nice how HubSpot has integrated the data inside Salesforce.” Since signing up with HubSpot in 2009, the Zack says the Salesforce Connector has done nothing but improve and become more robust over time. “When a rep clicks into the lead intelligence record, it’s hugely helpful to see their behaviors: when they’re visiting, when they’re downloading our stuff, we can see their whole timeline. That feature probably prepares a sales person more for a conversation than anything I’ve ever seen. You know exactly what pages they’ve been to. It’s pretty powerful.”
Zack and his team use the heaps of person-centric marketing analytics and lead intelligence to make each sales call more personal and effective. “Now our reps are really asking, ‘How did that tool kit work out for you? Did you enjoy the webinar you sat in on?’ They’re starting a conversation, being a real person and a friend. That’s the beauty of inbound marketing.” With a helpful hand from an ITI rep on the other side of the phone, Zack and his team have generated more customers than ever before, leading to a 42% increase in net income year-over-year since 2009. More than just customers, inbound marketing has helped to create ITI fans. This is the nature of the last step in the inbound marketing methodology, which aims to delight customers and influencers. Through this shift in ITI’s marketing, they’ve been able to attract company evangelists who often sit in on their webinars, and ultimately spread the word about their company.
Vice President & COO, ITI
Zack and ITI’s point of view on marketing has completely shifted with the adoption of inbound marketing. Zack first decided to join HubSpot after he was marketed to by the same inbound methods he would eventually employ; “I was actually blown away by the methods in which HubSpot marketed to ME, the prospect.” Like his own customers, Zack found the marketing materials from HubSpot to be so effective, that he joined the HubSpot family and now follows their lead in his own strategy, “I converted online, found all of these free webinars, whitepapers, etc. and we actually decided to follow the HubSpot model of marketing through Inbound tactics.” Today, ITI provides these same helpful and loveable pieces of content through free whitepapers and webinars. To continue the marketing love, Zack feels that being part of the HubSpot family is a two-way relationship, “HubSpot is a branch of our Marketing Department, that’s how we view it. I’m a die-hard, I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid several times.”
VP and COO
Industrial Training International
As ITI began to scale their business, their marketing software needs have grown deeper. One of Zack’s favorite parts of being a HubSpot customer is the evolution of the product itself, “What’s been awesome is the ideas forum, and talking to the customer success managers. We’ve been able to communicate what we needed, and [HubSpot] actually listens and develops it.”
When rebuilding his website, Zack said of his team at ITI, “We’re all about functionality and making it work, but we lack a little design...” ITI’s HubSpot account manager recommended HubSpot Service Provider Lynton Web as a certified HubSpot partner building custom websites on the HubSpot CMS. Zack utilized the Marketplace, a part of the HubSpot ecosystem that aims to provide HubSpot customers with everything they need to succeed, from web design to freelance copywriters. After contracting work from Lynton Web for their website’s design, Zack was more than happy with how ITI’s site turned out, “It was amazing, we had approved the color scheme and design, and Lynton was able to take it and make it look exactly like that with the exact functionality on the site.” Finally, ITI could have both form and function in their web presence.
Moving to HubSpot from a different marketing automation tool was easier than Zack had expected, because of the training and support that came along with onboarding ITI to both the HubSpot software and the inbound marketing methodology. “The framework HubSpot brought to the table really helped adoption.” When Zack does have a question or a problem, be it technical or marketing-centric, he has the resources he needs at hand. “You’re able to call on HubSpot in a minutes notice. Between all the forums, the Academy, and all those resources, without them I’d have to hire 5, 10, 20 people with 10 years of experience that know that stuff to help our company. That’s one thing that I think really sells the HubSpot software, because the software is just a part of it for me.”
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