Episode #23: How To Use HubSpot For Account-Based Marketing

Posted by Josh Paul on Mar 15, 2019 1:39:33 AM
Josh Paul

Can HubSpot And Inbound Marketing Be Used In ABM Strategies?

When most people think of HubSpot, they think INBOUND MARKETING.

When most people think of INBOUND MARKETING, they think lead generation.

It goes something like this:

Produce original, educational, insightful content in order to:

  • Get found by buyers
  • Turn website visitors into leads
  • Convert leads into customers
  • Delight those customers so they become advocates in your market

This is how I grew my last company from 10 leads per month to 300 leads per month – through 100% inbound leads generated by HubSpot’s marketing platform.

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This growth model works great if you are the type of business that has a big enough target market where people are searching for and sharing information about your industry, your product category, or the problems that you solve.

What should you do if your market is smaller? Is this model relevant if you have a finite pool of buyers and you know who they are?

In this case, companies often switch to an account-based marketing and sales approach (ABM).

The question then becomes can HubSpot’s successful “inbound” philosophy blend with ABM? Can the HubSpot platform be used for ABM strategies?

If you are a B2B company that wants to feel confident that you are using the best marketing and sales platforms to grow your business AND you are committed to making ABM a major (if not the primary) component of your marketing strategy, you are going to want to pay close attention to the next few paragraphs.

The first thing you need to know is that HubSpot has three primary modules – marketing, sales, and service.

In a traditional inbound lead generation model, HubSpot’s marketing hub takes center stage. You are blogging to get found, building a following, and nurturing new leads down the funnel using marketing automation emails.

With account-based marketing, marketing features take a backseat initially to HubSpot’s sales features and CRM. ABM is all about getting into sales conversations, building one-on-one relationships, and turning those connections into sales and long-term customers.

The inbound approach, built on educating your market, plays well into this type of relationship-building. Even though supporting sales is the primary goal in ABM, salespeople who only talk about their products and only push for the sale will fall flat. Buyers are busy and they still need a reason to give you their attention and time. Helpful, unique content gives target contacts that reason.

Luckily, HubSpot’s sales and marketing toolsets contain almost everything you need to support an ABM strategy. However, it is paramount that you configure your HubSpot lead management setup to maximize sales rep efficiency, maintain clean data, and provide transparency about what is working and what is not.

The following framework outlines how to run your ABM strategy on HubSpot.

Five-Part HubSpot Account-Based Marketing Blueprint

The role of marketers and HubSpot in account-based marketing is outlined in several steps below. 

Part #1) Warming Up Your Audience

Run branded digital ads to specific roles at your target accounts (companies). These ads will lead to landing pages with top-of-the-funnel content offers provided by your company. Once they are on your list, you can send email marketing campaigns with educational resources and relevant offers to bring them down the funnel.

Part #2) Sales Support

Arm your sales team with valuable information that will get the attention of your target contacts, stay top of mind, and bring people down your funnel. This will include tools, videos, white papers, assessments, and more. Marketers will also prepare email templates, snippets, documents, and automated sequences in HubSpot’s sales accelerator toolset that sales can use to provide personal touches at scale during various points in the selling process.

Part #3) Due Diligence

Once you are on a target account’s radar, they will visit your website, social profiles, and other searchable information about your company to conduct their own evaluation. Leverage your company’s content and marketing offers to build credibility with these leads and bring them down your marketing funnel by offering ungated blog content, as well as relevant resources that they can download via landing page.

Part #4) Long-Term SEO

SEO is not out of the picture with account-based marketing. Industries that lean toward an ABM sales approach are often ripe for SEO domination since fewer people are producing quality, ungated content consistently. While ABM is your primary strategy, since creating SEO-friendly content takes time to see results, using HubSpot’s SEO tools to publish topic clusters in the background will pay dividends down the road. Your content will saturate the research your leads are doing on you. Before you know it, you will be known as one of the main players in your industry (regardless of your size), because every time someone search for something related to your business, your industry, or the problems you solve, your company’s information will appear.

Part #5) Integrations

You don’t need to rely on HubSpot alone. Leverage HubSpot’s ABM integration for targeted ads and the augmentation of account information. With most HubSpot’s Connect partners, you will be able to use the information in your HubSpot CRM to target accounts more accurately, as well as pump lead intelligence back into HubSpot.

What About Salespeople?

You’ll notice that this framework is for marketers, not salespeople. These are the ways that marketers will use HubSpot to support your sales team during your ABM campaigns.

When you implement your ABM strategy in HubSpot, your sales team will be at the center of your outreach and relationship-building efforts. For them to be successful and be able to handle 10-20X more contacts that they work today, sales reps need:

  • A business-specific lead management framework
  • HubSpot’s sales accelerator tools
  • A playbook for how to handle contacts, deals, and follow-ups in the CRM

Let’s boil it down for you so that you can take action today. Your takeaways from this advice include:

ABM + HubSpot

HubSpot works well with account-based marketing strategies. However, you need to turn the traditional inbound lead generation model on its head.

Start With Sales

Start with setting your sales team up for success with solid lead management processes in your HubSpot CRM and sales tools. Taking on HubSpot’s Sales and Marketing platforms at the same time can be a lot to swallow. If you are budget sensitive, you can start with HubSpot’s Marketing Starter package and layer in advanced marketing automation later with an upgrade to Marketing Professional.

The Inbound Marketer’s Role In Account-Based Marketing

Marketers play a significant role in ABM strategies – from warming up the audience so they pick up the phone when a sale rep calls them by providing educational content and product marketing material to sales reps at every point in the relationship-building process.

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Topics: Account-Based Marketing