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HubSpot’s release brings quoting and payments improvements

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HubSpot's release brings quoting and payments improvements

Some of the most exciting updates from the past month (March to mid-April) include:

  • Service Hub relaunch 
  • Customizable quote templates
  • New features for HubSpot payments and invoices
  • RevOps certification 

Service Hub relaunch

On March 15, HubSpot relaunched its Service Hub tools with new features, including service level agreements (SLAs), Customer Portal and inbound calling. The price has also increased beginning May 2.

These improvements could help more companies adopt HubSpot as a cross-functional revenue operations platform by adding their service team to a tool their sales and marketing teams may also be using.

I was somewhat disappointed to see only minimal improvements to my favorite Service Hub tool, the Knowledge Base, which our company uses for internal documentation. 


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Customer Portal improvements

For Hubspot Service Hub Pro and Enterprise users, the Customer Portal now allows end-users to see all tickets from their company in the customer portal instead of only viewing their own individual user tickets. 

Where to find it. Under the Service menu, Customer Portal. Also, in the Settings area, Website, Customer Portal, scroll down to the Ticket Permissions for the feature described above.

Why we care. Customers can now learn from the answers of other team members’ ticket submissions, which reduces duplicate support tickets. 

Service level agreements (SLAs)

For Hubspot Service Pro and Enterprise users, the new SLAs build out its help desk functionality with working hours, time to first response, time to close, reporting, lists and workflows using SLA properties. 

The two SLA settings per inbox are Time to first reply (to the ticket) and Time to close (the ticket). You have two options for each setting: apply to all tickets in the inbox, or apply based on priority. SLAs will only apply to the chosen work hours when conversations have associated tickets in the inbox.

Where to find it. In the Settings area, Inbox, Inboxes, SLA tab. 

HubSpots release brings quoting and payments improvements

Why we care. SLAs help to set and meet customer expectations about the timing of responses, help the customer support team to prioritize tickets, and help customer support managers to coach reps and improve the support process using reporting and workflows — such as reporting on how many tickets are due soon. 

Inbound calling (beta)

Admins with Sales or Service Hub Starter and above can now buy a U.S., United Kingdom or Canadian phone number to use inside HubSpot for outbound or inbound calls. The calls forward to your own phone and create records, transcriptions and recordings inside HubSpot. Users must have a paid Service Hub seat to receive calls on their personal devices.

Where to find it. In the Settings area, Calling, the orange button on the right, “Get a HubSpot number.”

Why we care. Previously, only outbound calls were possible in HubSpot. Answering inbound calls is part of many customer service teams’ responsibilities, which will help keep all conversations from the same customer in the same system without additional tool integrations.

Customizable Quote templates 

Admins with Sales Hub Pro or Enterprise can now create custom quote templates inside of HubSpot, utilizing the power of CRM, CMS, and HubSpot’s new payment features. The previous limitation was three basic templates. 

Where to find it. Admins can go to the Settings area, Objects, Quotes, then Customized Quote Template. Developers will need CMS starter or above, or Marketing Hub Pro or Enterprise. Developers can use the HubSpot design manager tool to create custom themes, templates, and modules for quotes while ensuring the branding is consistent with style guides. 

Users can find the completed quote templates in the usual Sales Quotes tool.

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Why we care. Many users complained there were not enough template options or they needed to create more complex proposals or contracts beyond simple quotes. This led users to buy and (hopefully) integrate additional quotes software in the past.

New features for HubSpot payments and invoice

The beginning stages of the HubSpot Payments tools were announced in the fall, making it easy to embed payment links inside HubSpot tools such as quotes.

As these are for U.S. users only, our international friends are missing out on these features, and we hope that HubSpot can roll out international versions soon. 

Invoice object for QuickBooks Integration users

Similar to the contact or company objects, invoices from QuickBooks now have their own object records inside HubSpot. 

Where to find it. Go to the Contacts menu, then click on the blue Contacts link underneath the top menu, then click on Invoices in the dropdown menu.

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Why we care. You can now see invoices in one place instead of only on individual deals, and you can use the invoice data in workflows, reporting, and list segmentation.

My company uses QuickBooks, and the integration has been fairly manual to use over the past year while HubSpot worked on improvements. We’re still waiting on an invoice paid date property to sync from QuickBooks, but these new invoice updates are promising.

Sync QuickBooks Invoices to HubSpot

You can automatically add QuickBooks invoices to HubSpot’s invoice object and automatically update invoices in HubSpot when you update an invoice in QuickBooks.

Where to find it. Go to the Settings area, Integrations, Connected Apps, QuickBooks, Invoices tab and there is a toggle on the right side of the screen. Note: If you turn this on, you should first audit and match your Products in HubSpot and QuickBooks, or it could affect your QuickBooks reports and your sales team’s line items in HubSpot.

Why we care. Because manual work is not fun, attaching and detaching invoices to deals and companies, such as when the QuickBooks invoice wasn’t started in HubSpot (recurring invoices). 

You can now embed a payments button link in your marketing emails.

Where to find it. In the email editor, add a button to your email and choose payments in the left side panel dropdown.

Why we care. This feature can help companies bypass the need for a full e-commerce store and help recipients quickly register for a paid event directly from email. It removes a step in the payment process, and removing friction can increase your customers’ willingness to pay.

You can now add additional contact property fields to your payment links beyond just first name, last name, email address and phone number.

Where to find it. Either from the Sales menu, Payments, or go to the Settings area, Objects, Products, Payment Links tab. When you create the link, the new properties are available to add to the form on the second page of setup.

Why we care. Capturing more data can lead to more reporting and workflow opportunities. 

RevOps certification 

HubSpot Academy has released over five hours of content in their free Revenue Operations (RevOps) certification course.

Lessons include: Applying RevOps to the Flywheel, Systems Management for RevOps, Communicating the Value of RevOps to Company Leaders, Structuring Your RevOps Team, Hiring RevOps Team Members and Evaluating and Iterating Your RevOps Strategy, and more.

Where to find it. In your HubSpot portal, click on your profile picture, go to HubSpot Academy, and search the catalog.

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Why we care. HubSpot is a RevOps tool since it can be used across many revenue teams such as marketing, sales, and customer success, with the data flowing easily and accurately through the customer lifecycle. Though there has been a huge increase in RevOps job titles, there aren’t many RevOps certifications or courses. Many people have different definitions of RevOps, so it can be a confusing space, and there is a need for education. HubSpot’s been working hard on this certification for a long time; they interviewed me for it a year ago.

This resource blends practical advice with high-level concepts in an easy-to-consume format that will give anyone of any skill level something to work at.

Additional notable releases

  • CRM Associations improvements
    • You can now associate multiple object records to each other, such as associating more than one company with each contact, deal or ticket. In Pro or Enterprise levels, you can also create custom association labels and use them in lists, workflows and reports, such as “main point of contact” for a company. This is a big improvement over the previous limitations of describing object relationships.
  • Workflow sync to sandboxes (beta)
    • This has been a missing feature in the sandbox tool. Previously, you could create amazing workflows in the sandbox, but you had to recreate them in your regular HubSpot portal. Now you can easily sync them into production.
  • Lifecycle stage customization (beta)
    • This is a highly requested but potentially dangerous feature. Every other area where that function is useful (i.e., Attribution Reporting) will be impacted, and other departments that rely on that property for a different purpose than your use case.
  • Calling integrations for all HubSpot users
    • Free HubSpot users, and users without paid seats, can now use outbound calling integrations to call HubSpot contacts. Previously, they either had to upgrade or only use it for 15 minutes a month.
  • HubSpot app for Zoom meetings
    • Use Hubspot from within Zoom meetings you are hosting to look at participants’ contact records, create new HubSpot contacts and add notes to their contact record during the meeting.
  • Sync health
    • Previously, there was little visibility to background errors preventing records from syncing. Sync Health tells you which records are syncing, being excluded from the sync or failing to sync.
  • Improved multi-touch attribution
    • Two new industry-standard multi-touch attribution models are now available: J shaped and inverse J shaped. 

All the updates, all the time

If you are a HubSpot user, you can find a complete list of recent updates by clicking on your profile picture, Product Updates, and filtering for the last 30 days, past three months or past year.  

HubSpot also describes select new features and shows roadmaps of future items in development on its website.

I also recommend following HubSpot Academy Senior Inbound Sales Professor Kyle Jepson on Linkedin or Twitter. Search for #HubSpotTipsAndTricks.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

HubSpots release brings quoting and payments improvements

Jen is the head of operations at Remotish, a HubSpot RevOps and WebOps agency. Her work includes creating plans, processes and programs such as a knowledge management program (wiki), a comprehensive employee onboarding program and a referral partner program that generates 45% of company revenue and earned her the 2022 Heroes of RevOps award from Revenue.io. She was a lesson professor for the HubSpot Revenue Operations certification, a RevOps correspondent at INBOUND2021 and a panelist on the INBOUND After Hours show and the MoPros Career Fair. Jen is currently writing a book about RevOps, to combine her love of research, writing and lifelong learning.

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

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via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

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Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

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So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

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  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

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So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

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The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


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