Streamlining a Startup’s Sales Process using HubSpot’s Sales Enablement Tools

By Resa Gooding

Mon Jun 29

Awarded “Best Interactive Content Platform’ by Digiday Technology Awards, Apester is an interactive content platform that provides tools to create, distribute and monetize content.

Since 2014, Apester’s interactive units are created and implemented on a daily basis across dozens of publisher sites such as TIME, Rolling Stone, and The Telegraph.

Their joy is to make stories come alive by seamlessly blending visual content like interactive videos or countdown polls in a way that consumers love – all aimed at improving their clients KPIs such as engagement rate, time-on page, social share and audience building.

Assessing The Challenge

At the end of 2019, Omri Hadani, Head of Business Operations at Apester approached Cacao Media. They had invested in a sales CRM that had become more burdensome than helpful to them and wanted to improve the situation.

Upon our discovery, we discovered a plethora of challenges that were causing friction and slowing down the progression through the prospect’s flywheel, consequently hurting their KPIs.

They had installed the Salesforce CRM, but it wasn’t easy to use without a dedicated resource to manage and maintain the system. This meant increased costs to their budget which was not part of their immediate plan.

As a fast paced start-up, the last thing they wanted was to be stuck with a system that needed more attention than they had the time to give.

Fortunately, they already had HubSpot, which they were using only for marketing. Their initial attempts to integrate Salesforce CRM to HubSpot CRM didn’t work out as desired as it meant allocating resources to maintain both systems.

Their challenges were exacerbated by misalignment between sales and marketing. They needed to streamline their sales processes to enable them to capture data more accurately for clarity on the status of their leads.

They also needed a reporting system that would help them achieve clarity and transparency to identify successes and gaps for improvement.

 

Discovery Process

When Apester came to us, we thought the solution would be easy and straightforward – just do the technical migration from Salesforce CRM to HubSpot CRM and they would handle the rest! However, we realized it would be much more than that. That’s when the success story began.

Before we could really get going, we had meetings with Omri and his sales and marketing teams. We sought to understand their pain points, their processes, what was working and not working.

Apesters’ collaboration and eagerness to learn throughout the process was commendable. We developed a strategy, guided them through the thinking processes, and answered their questions starting from definitions of MQLs and SQLs to understanding the Flywheel.

Auditing the Sales Process

We evaluated their current process and identified gaps where prospects fall through the cracks, reviewed their existing content, determined the quality of their current leads, assessed their current reporting and evaluated their sales synergy or relationships with the company leadership, marketing and account managers.

For instance, we set up views for the sales teams to help them easily identify which leads are most relevant and most engaged so they were able to put their focus on these contacts. We also also set up Reports that were easily accessible to Management to measure the team’s activities and progress on an account.

In doing so, we identified several opportunities to create automation that would make their lives easier so they could focus on closing deals and not clerical work.

Mapping the Sales

In collaboration with Omri and team, we built out a document that outlined the entire sales process.

With the customer at the centre, we agreed on the steps that a prospect will go through to become a customer, and exactly what activities they needed to do to close a deal.

Creating HubSpot Sales Process

After mapping the sales process, we designed how the sales process would look like in HubSpot. We documented the sequences, workflows, and scripts for individual stages in the flywheel.

Since Apester was already using HubSpot for Marketing, we audited the already existing HubSpot’s properties, and added/customized additional properties as needed. We added tasks, created workflows, and demonstrated examples of lead assignment.

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Coaching.

We know that no matter how great a software or platform is, if the client doesn’t know how to use it, it won’t be of benefit, and could even hurt their business instead of advancing it.

That’s why training was core to this solution. We had Omri and his team take the online ‘HubSpot Software Certification’ right from the beginning of the process.

We involved them throughout the process so that they could have first-hand understanding of why certain aspects of the process were being implemented in specific ways.

And finally after the successful migration to HubSpot Sales CRM, we did Sales Training for the entire team on how to use HubSpot. We focused on quick wins and skills/information that would make their everyday lives easier.

We ensured they were informed on how to use the following HubSpot functionalities: Lists, Workflows, Conversations, Forms, Email, Campaigns, Meetings, Deals, Documents, Tasks, sequences and reports.

Removing Friction Points

We started this journey in January, with the goal of helping Apester remove friction points and have a more effective Sales CRM and we delivered.

By consolidating the Sales and Marketing CRMs in HubSpot, Apester no longer needs to pay for the Salesforce CRM and has consequently cut cost by 10,000 USD per year in SaaS license savings.

Equipped with proper understanding of the CRM, they can easily update information in it and no longer need to hire a system administrator.

Deeper Insights

Here’s what Omri Hadan, Head of Business operations had to say:

‘Our sales team could keep working during the migration and immediately felt more comfortable with the HubSpot CRM. Working with HubSpot saved us tons of time and money.

The sales team has become more effective and productive.

With reduced friction in the flywheel, accurate and automated processes in HubSpot, the sales team has time to focus on what really matters – selling.

They’re now equipped to make better and informed decisions as a result of the ability to generate correct reports.

They also have deeper insights and can make more accurate sales projections months into the future, something that was difficult to do before as seen by the funnel reports and deals closed versus goals we can now generate.

 

 

 

Working with Apester has been a rewarding experience, and the results have been impressive, which is in full credit to the Apester team’s cooperation. After adopting HubSpot’s sales CRM and sales enablement strategy, a mind-shift occurred where the team began to reflect on how else they can further optimize their HubSpot CRM – both in sales and marketing to be more efficient.