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Thought Leaders In Sales 2.0: Mark Roberge, VP Of Sales, HubSpot (Part 6)

Posted on Monday, Nov 1st 2010

By Sramana Mitra and guest author Sudhindra Chada

Sramana: Ok, so that brings us to step 6, Close.

Mark: Yes, and this is, How much it will cost, I don’t think I have budget for that this month. How much time do we need? All the typical objections.

Sramana: I’m assuming that, even though I haven’t asked you yet, that this is the process you are doing for the leads that are in the $10,000–$18,000 category. You are not doing this for the $250 category leads, right?

Mark: No, we are!

Sramana: You are?

Mark: Yes.

Sramana: You are going through this process with the $250 leads as well?

Mark: We are. It is often a bit consolidated, depending on whom you are talking to. We definitely have one-call closes, downstream in that segment. For example, if I get on the phone with a two-person management consulting company, I can do all steps in one call.

Sramana: Yes, but you still have to set up the HubSpot instance and get some matrix so that you can have a meaningful conversation. How can you do that in one call?

Mark: Signing up at HubSpot, for instance, takes 30 seconds. I am not going to spend 30 minutes of research, obviously, but we can do it on the call together.

Sramana: I see, got it.

Mark: And we close dozens of customers every month through those one-close calls. Two hundred dollars is not a lot of money, and when people see the story and how much it has impacted other business like theirs – I can show you some of the quotes – they are just ecstatic about signing up.

Sramana: But the reality is that what you are doing is a complement to WordPress, TypePad, and other content management tools. The problem you described does not assume that you are going to have somebody abandon their Word Press and reset their blogs and so forth. I assume you are working with existing content management tools.

Mark: Oh, yes, lots of them. We have a content management system if you want to run your entire website on HubSpot, but only about 40% of our customers do that. We have tons of customers who have Word Press. You might have Google Analytics; I would say more than half of our customers have Google Analytics, and plenty of them have Constant Contact. So if you already have the pieces in place and you like them, in many cases the system can integrate with them.

Sramana: So, for all of these other pieces, the e-mail marketing system and such, you would basically take whatever is the environment of your customer and augment it with your technology.

Mark: Right; you don’t have to use our e-mail. All of that is possible.

Sramana: And who does that? Is that where your professional services kick in?

Mark: Sometimes. For the most part, in order to keep our prices affordable for the small business community, we are teaching these guys to fish, right. We have a core professional team, and we call them our inbound marketing consultants. Their job is, when you sign up as part of the fee, you get some of their time. We usually give 48 hours of their time. A lot of times, customers get the consultant for 30 minutes forever each week. But we have an analogy – our consultants are like your personal trainer at the gym. You don’t call up your personal trainer one day and you say, I am really busy, can you do my workout for me? Rather, they are there to help you make sure you are lifting the right weight and making sure you are following the right  regimen, telling you what to do next; that’s what the consultants do. So you can’t call up your consultant and say, I am really busy this week, can you write three blog articles for me? They are there to keep you on track and make sure you have set up your blog, advise you on what to write about, figure out what e-books to write, how to optimize your site, all that kind of stuff. We do have a vibrant partner program. Believe it or not, of all the 25,000 leads we get every month, about 4,000 of them are people who want to partner with us. So we have hundreds of partners, whether they are bloggers or Web designers or SEO consultants. You can plug into your process wherever you need it to fit. You can buy eight blog articles for $500, and someone will write them for you. So depending on what your needs are, we have assistance.

Sramana: This process that you’ve described so far does not use any other technology, any third-party software? I’m talking about your process now, your sales process. Other than your own software and Salesforce.com, there is no other third-party technology that you are using in the process. Is that correct?

Mark: Yes.

Sramana: And all the research on the companies, what they do, the information about them, you are not using any third-party technology like OneSource or any of that for your research?

Mark: We’ve tested a lot of them, but the challenge we have is because we target companies under 1,000 employees or so, the match rate is very low.

Sramana: Ok.

Mark: So, I love it, I mean if you find me a company that has an awesome match rate downstream, we will use it. We have tested most of the ones you mentioned, and the match rate didn’t make sense for us.

Sramana: So InsideView also doesn’t have the match rate that satisfies you?

Mark: I don’t remember if we tested InsideView. But I do love their technology.

Sramana: There is something else on top of the data; they also do Web scouting and Web crawling – that is the way to deal with the long tail.

Mark: Yes, that’s great. I know we did something with them; I don’t remember what.

This segment is part 6 in the series : Thought Leaders In Sales 2.0: Mark Roberge, VP Of Sales, HubSpot
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