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Sales Enablement: Software Company's SQLs Increase 45% Overnight

Sales Enablement: Software Company's SQLs Increase 45% Overnight Blog Feature

July 31st, 2017 min read

Aptify provides management software and services to enterprise-level, membership-based organizations. When they approached IMPACT, they were facing two challenges.

First, they wanted to pivot their efforts toward an inbound marketing approach. (We helped them with that.) Second, sales was falling short of their ambitious opportunity goals.

The Problem

The reason for the shortfall was simple. Even though Aptify was attracting the right visitors and convering them into leads, they were not being prospected due to lack of alignment between marketing and sales.

But this wasn't the typical "marketing and sales just don't get along" story that we've all heard a million times before. In fact, Aptify’s marketing and sales teams had a great relationship. 

But their rapid marketing growth illuminated the opportunity to improve sales outcomes by evaluating and optimizing the marketing-to-sales hand-off, as well as other early sales processes.  

We knew that if we could strengthen and refine how those two groups worked together, they would be able to move the needle and get results for Aptify.

The Solution

Since there is no one-size-fits-all marketing and sales alignment solution, we knew we had some research and foundational work to do. So, we implemented a sales enablement program, with three distinct phases:

  • Sales and marketing audit;
  • HubSpot tools review; and
  • Process implementation and training.

Step 1: Sales and Marketing Audit

To understand how and where improvements could be made, we first had to understand where gaps existed within their current set of processes.

The audit phase consisted of inteviews. We spoke with both sales and marketing team leaders, as well as other key stakeholders and their sales reps. Our approach was to pull together a full picture from different perspectives within Aptify of the pain points being experienced by their marketing and sales teams.

We found two distinct groupings of pain points -- processes and expectations -- that were preventing marketing and sales from working together as a cohesive unit.

Step 2: HubSpot Tools Review

Next, we performed a deep dive into Aptify’s usage of HubSpot to understand how both teams were using the HubSpot Marketing and HubSpot Sales tools.

Our goal was to combine their siloed usage of the tools into a consolidated HubSpot Growth Stack. This included building better processes around HubSpot Marketing smart lists, manual lead scoring, and workflows to automate how sales segmented and communicated with leads.

We also looked into how the sales team used HubSpot Sales tools to personalize their outreach and close the loop on the marketing team’s efforts. 

Finally, we greatly improved the visibility that marketing and sales executives had into their team's performance by leveraging the HubSpot Reporting add-on with custom dashboard views. This empowered Aptify to better optimize their processes and training going forward. 

But the biggest "Ah-ha!" moment was learning that each team had been classifying MQLs and SQLs extremely late in their buyer's journey -- meaning that many of the leads they already had were primed, and the Aptify team was missing the opportunity to convert more MQLs through content nurturing.

Step 3: Process Implementation and Training

With the data needed in hand, we shifted our focus to rebuilding the service level agreement (SLA) between marketing and sales.

It had been a year since either team had updated their SLA, and with the right information (as well as a dash of third-party expertise from IMPACT), they came to a mutual decision of what criteria made up each lead lifecycle stage and what each team’s role would be.

The revised SLA allowed Aptify to update their HubSpot manual lead scoring model and better identify what interactions should indicate a buyer’s intent. In addition, both teams could easily understand how a contact's lead score correlated to their specific location within the buyer's journey.

Once their lead scoring was updated, we worked with the Aptify team to develop stronger lead nurturing content and HubSpot Sales Sequences, enabling Aptify’s sales team to engage leads effectively and efficiently.

The Results

Once all of this work was complete -- interviews, process and lead scoring updates, better use of HubSpot tools, and a new SLA -- we "flipped the switch" with an immediate rollout of their new marketing and sales alignment model.

Aptify saw results right away:

  • SQLs shot up 45% overnight; and
  • Opportunities increased 23% within the 6 weeks.

aptify-inbound-sales-story-sqls.pngaptify-inbound-sales-opportunities.png

In under two months, it was clear that bringing their marketing and sales teams into alignment was the key to Aptify's success then and into the future.

“Our pipeline has never been stronger. Ever!” 

Dave Martin
Chief Marketing Officer, Aptify

Inbound Sales Process
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