3 Strategies to Win Amidst the Crisis of Disconnection

On March 15, 2020, the U.S. began implementing shutdown orders to curb the spread of Covid-19. Two years later, we started to reopen and began measuring what happened to us all when we locked down for two years. 

What happens to people, relationships, and our sense of connection? 

HubSpot CEO Yamini Rangan introduced the Crisis of Disconnection at the first in-person Inbound conference post-global lockdown. 

Yamini Rangan's Crisis of Disconnection Inbound Keynote
Yamini Rangan’s Inbound Keynote

Simply put, coming out of a prolonged period of technological innovation to drive connection, we all feel more disconnected than ever. 

A 2021 study by Deloitte found that the number of devices and apps we use daily ballooned during the pandemic. The same report suggests that while the number of apps and devices to help “connect” us grew, it also reduced the time spent consuming information, stressing us out and leading to digital fatigue. 

This cycle of transformation, spurred by the global pandemic, led to three pillars of disconnection that businesses feel even more in today’s uncertain market. 

  • Siloed Systems: As businesses hurried to become digital overnight, they turned to point solutions to solve specific problems. This results in siloed systems and disconnected data that don’t connect, causing friction for businesses as they look to engage with customers.
  • Channel Fatigue: As face-to-face was taken away as an option and everyone turned to similar digital channels, we all experienced a sense of digital fatigue. What used to work from email, advertising, blogs, and social media doesn’t anymore.
  •  People: At the heart of all of this, us. Despite the Zoom calls and peloton rides, we felt a sense of disconnection from each other. 

As we move through another cycle of uncertainty post-pandemic, how can companies account for the Crisis of Disconnection and develop B2B marketing strategies to win in the midst of it? 

3 Strategies to Combat the Crisis of Disconnection and Win Your Audience

Consolidate Siloed Tech

At the onset of Covid-19, the transition to being fully digital was quick and out of necessity for many companies, creating disjointed and inefficient tech stacks. While grasping for point solutions got you through the pandemic, you might now have an inflated tech budget. Subscription expense, expense in training your team, the cost associated with your team switching between systems across the customer journey, and lost opportunity cost due to gaps in data across your customer journey.

Chart showing it leaders blame data silos for slowing transformation
Source: 2020 Connectivity benchmark report from MuleSoft

You may also feel overwhelmed with how to right the ship. That’s okay. Take a breath and consider the following order of operations as you proceed.

  • Tech audit: Dive into your existing tech stack. How often are you using each tool? Are there redundant tools? Are you missing features or wishing that a tool could do something else?
  •  Evaluate and Choose Consolidation Platform: There are likely newer options that can do the same thing as multiple tools currently in your tech stack. For example, HubSpot offers sales outreach tools that can replace some tools specifically designed for that. You can search for additional features in your existing tools; plenty of sync tools will make your experience more unified if you need to keep the tools you have.
  • Change Management Plan: Make sure to get all stakeholders on board. Listen to their opinions and ensure your proposed new tools meet their needs. Understand that some existing tools may need to be used until the new ones are set up. Ensure that training is in place once the implementation is complete.
  •  Project Plan: Make a timeline that makes sense depending on the tools you need to remove or add. Align with any partners you are working with to ensure everyone is on the same page. Come up with a drop-dead date that you can stick to for project completion. Incorporate training where necessary.
  •  Post-Rollout Evaluation: After implementing the tools, do a regular check-in. Check-in after a month, three months, and six months. Make sure to evaluate adoption and if the new tools are creating efficiencies in the work.

Create Context – Not Fatigue

Regarding digital, we’ve been trained to blog our hearts out and do anything we can to make Google happy. 

In a 2022 study from SEMRush, nearly ⅔ of Google searches don’t end in a click. 

First-Party Data

Every day, there seems to be a new twist in personal privacy requirements online. Now more than ever, businesses need to understand the value of and process for building first-party data, the information you collect online and offline from your customers.

1st party data vs 3rd party data comparison

With the HubSpot CRM, you can collect this information in a responsible, privacy-focused way and then deploy your ad strategies with companies like Google or LinkedIn. 

Using first-party data can grow revenue and conversions and decrease ad costs when synced with ad platforms. 

Go Offline

Too often, when digital doesn’t work, marketers just do more digital, hoping something finally gives. Here’s where direct mail, from print to gifts, can allow you to create context and break through the noise. In Merkle’s research, direct mail is considered a sleeping giant, with 40% of every generation from Z to Boomer visiting a brand website after receiving direct mail. 

Further, a 2022 Forrester report for Direct Mail company PFL found that 46% of companies find their buyers less likely to engage with digital marketing, while offline touchpoints have performed 44% better than a year ago. 

With HubSpot, you can orchestrate a variety of personalized direct mail experiences to enhance your customer journey from: 

email sending a personalized gift- Crisis of Disconnection blog example

Personalize & Individualize

Twilio’s digital fatigue research identifies that nearly half of U.S. buyers will quit a brand if their experience isn’t personalized. Who wouldn’t? We all want to feel valued. 

When we use terms like “email blast,” we’re not valuing anyone. We’re sending mass, generic emails about nothing related to our prospects and customers; chances are they don’t feel seen.

“Dear [name], I can help your business” only goes to the spam folder. To make an impression on potential and current customers, focus on individualizing useful content. This can include adding the following:

  • Relevant offers: Including specific information about the sender’s business and providing a relevant piece of content 
  •  Personalized deliverable: Creating a customer deliverable, whether a short video outlining the use case for this customer, an info sheet with service/product suggestions, etc.
personalized email with a video message- Crisis of Disconnection blog example

Customers have many choices for where they take their business; they choose you! Let them know that you appreciate their support and value your relationship.

There are many ways you can show appreciation and further connection, but to name a few:

  • Celebrate milestones: Say they have been customers for one year, send them an email acknowledging their anniversary, or include them in a newsletter.
  •  Shout them out: If your company is B2B, reposting their content or calling out their accomplishments on social media is a great way to show support and connect.
  •  Create exclusive offers: Celebrate loyal customers with special content, VIP discounts, additional offers, etc.

Create Community, Not Campaigns

As marketers, we’re trained in campaign thinking. For our B2B buyers, we often get stuck treating their journey like it’s linear when it’s more like this:

B2B buyers journey graphic- Crisis of Disconnection blog
Credit: Usman Akram

We create campaign after campaign trying to push them through the linear journeys we’ve designed for them, forgetting that people and humans are at the center of the journey. 

According to a study by Sprout Social57% of customers will increase their spending when they feel connected to the company, and 76% will buy from them over a competitor

With so many of us feeling disconnected from each other, what can we do as businesses and marketers with this knowledge?

Create communities, not campaigns. 

In his book Build Your Community, Richard Millington outlines four different types of communities organizations can look to build- communities designed for Mutual Support, Exploration, Influence, and Belonging. All four of these communities look like great fits to help buyers in that crazy buying journey above – while helping create a sense of connection between the people in the community.

Build Your Connection Roadmap to Win Amidst the Crisis of Disconnection

Wondering how to beat the Crisis of Disconnection? Book a meeting with a Lake One Growth Strategist to review your tech stack and channels and create a winning B2B marketing strategy framework now.

Recession or Softlanding: 6 strategies HubSpot can enable to combat market uncertainty

Whether you think we’re heading for a recession, a soft landing, or somewhere in between, one thing is certain, working pipelines right now – sucks!

From manufacturing and construction to software and services, every business I talk to shares similar feedback:

  • Pipeline is sluggish, and deal cycles are slowing
  • Deal structure is changing (i.e, shorter, smaller projects vs. long term strategic plans and agreements)
  • Pipeline quotas need to increase to accommodate revenue needs in this new environment

When the market starts to feel uncertain, It can be easy to choose to pull back, save, and not innovate or invest. 

History shows us, though, that when you face market -yuck-, freezing or contracting can do more harm than good. In fact, contraction or delay can give your competitors who do innovate and invest a chance to thrive and zoom by you.

We’ve seen many stories of this across industries in downturns in the new millennium.

Maybe you’ve wondered if now is a good time to invest in modern sales, marketing and customer service tools like HubSpot? You wouldn’t be alone. Harvard Business Review lists digital transformation as one of the key areas where companies should invest in downturns. 

For whatever reason you’re stuck, wondering how you can best use the investment to hedge your business against market uncertainty.

Here are a few strategies to consider that can easily be deployed to help tee your organization up to be one of the thriving success stories during this current uneasiness.

Optimize human sales resources

If your pipeline is taking longer to close, don’t focus expensive human resources on follow-up and pipeline management. 

Instead, a modern CRM like HubSpot Sales Hub can free your people resources to focus on high-value work. Here are a few of the key areas to kick in automation: 

Deal follow-up: Set up automated deal follow-up by pipeline stage and time-in stage with a workflow that sends an email checking in with the contact(s) associated with the deal. 

High-value behavior: Set up an automated follow-up or notify a deal owner if a contact associated with a deal takes an action of high value. For example, opens a follow-up email, opens a quote, visits a key page, or another defined attribute.

With your people free from repetitive tasks, focus them on high-value work, tilting the law of averages in your favor. Here are a couple of strategies: 

Pursuing new pipeline: With deal cycles increasing and deal size decreasing, it’s going to take large pipelines to reach your company’s revenue targets, set your sales team loose on new targets (see Identify and Track new prospects below).

Expanding existing relationships: Have your sales team focus on account reviews, and talking with existing customers about challenges they are facing as well in current market conditions. Are there other products or services that your organization can provide to help existing clients continue to thrive?

Build referral systems

Every sales person knows that one of the best leads you can get is a referral, and with good reason. Referrals close at a rate of 50 – 70% and sometimes higher. So how can we get more of these high-value, high-close at-bats into the pipeline? 

Survey & ask: One of the quickest ways to get a referral machine going is to deploy surveys like CSAT or NPS to your customers. With HubSpot, customize the follow-up the respondent sees based on the response. For your best feedback, ask them for a referral. 

Bonus: Send them to a form where they can submit the referral to you for follow-up on your own, and use a tool like Postal.io to send a thank you for the referral.

Segment & ask: While surveying is one of the quickest ways, and quarterly may seem like the most logical time to ask for a referral, there might also be segments of clients sitting in your data that are ripe for the asking.

Create an active list with some key properties like:

  • Became A Customer Date: sort for long-time customers
  • Deal Amount total: for your high lifetime value clients
  • Total Engagements: how engaged are they with your company and marketing

For a personal touch, create an email template and make a 1:1 outreach from the relationship owner to the contact. 

Track and adjust: Track referral deals so you can see where referrals are coming from and what strategies are working. This helps give focus to which relationships to cultivate and invest your time in.

For tracking, at a minimum, set a referral source at the deal level to track this. 

If you want to see the capacity to develop referral relationships, assign the referral at the contact/company level so you can measure the count of referrals and the count (and revenue) of deals generated from the referral.

Identify and reduce pipeline friction

HubSpot sales analytics and reporting can help you pinpoint problem areas in your sales process to triage and identify opportunities to optimize against friction. For example: 

Push Rate: Evaluating push rate across reps and how long deals are getting pushed leads to a discussion around ‘why.’ Are there promotions, terms or additional educational materials from marketing that could help eliminate or reduce deal push?

Time in stage: Evaluating where deals are spending most of their time overall in your pipeline, can inform the strategy I shared above, using sequences and automation to help nudge deals along. Have a large deal that’s been stuck in negotiation? Automatically tap in someone from contracting to figure out why this deal can’t get moving.

Identify and track new prospects

Prospecting sucks. Unless you’re one of those weird salespeople who love that part (yeah, you, I know who you are). But with HubSpot and an inbound sales methodology, it doesn’t have to be painful. 

This suggestion follows an order of operations. 

Step 1 Target Accounts: First, you’re going to need to activate account based marketing tools in HubSpot, even if you don’t sell utilizing ABM methodology. You can skip to prospects below if you want to, but if you’re curious to learn more about target accounts and how HubSpot ABM tools can really amp up your sales, we have a whole different post on just that. 

Step 2 Prospects: In the account based marketing tools, there is a feature called prospects. HubSpot will reveal corporate IPs visiting your content. As a salesperson, you can scan this to see if any companies that fit your ideal client profile are visiting and if it’s worth calling into them to make contact.

Back to the basics: KISS

It has to be said that sometimes we need to be reminded to just Keep It Simple Stupid (thanks to my 7th grade algebra teacher for that one!)

At the end of the day, we want to make it as easy as possible to do business with each other. Some quick ways you can do this with HubSpot include: 

Meeting Links: Eliminate contact us forms, eliminate email back and forth and replace with scheduling pages so if someone is ready to talk to you they can book immediately. 

Quotes & Contracts: Send a quote, sign a quote, send a contract, collect payment. Dream – right? REALITY. 

Yes, there are certainly complexities in this process, especially across B2B, and we address some of this in our final strategy, but the main point here is that the entire quoting, contracting and payment process can and should be a smooth as possible can be greatly simplified (for your buyer) with HubSpot and can help unstick pipelines, if nothing else at least decrease the quote to cash cycle. 

Payments: Like a meeting link, payment links make it easy to transact all over the place: meetings, quotes, on a page. Between meetings, quotes, and payments HubSpot can help eliminate several steps in the back and forth. 

Speaking of easy, want some help with any of this or considering HubSpot? Book time with me to discuss either topic here  

🙂 see how easy that was.

Amplify & Extend

The strategies shared so far have been focused on quick wins, quick ROI you can see when trying to hedge against the uncertainty of the market right now. 

Perhaps one of the best strategies is the ability to amplify and extend your business using the HubSpot CRM Platform, meaning that you gain tremendous extensibility to customize the platform to support the complexities of your business as needed, but an out of the box platform that can get you running fast and an ecosystem of over 5,000 apps to amplify across your revenue teams.

Go forth and hedge!

With a few of these strategies and a modern CRM platform like HubSpot you’ll be well on your way to bolstering your organization’s defenses against the uncertainty that comes with any market downturn.

And again, if you want to brainstorm additional ideas, give me a shout. It takes a village and we’re all in this together.


LAKE ONE Adds Additional HubSpot Accreditations to Roster

Minneapolis, MN: Lake One®,a modern growth and technology partner for B2B manufacturing, tech, and services brands announced today that it has earned the HubSpot Platform Enablement Accreditation.

As a top ranked Platinum Solutions Partner, the accreditation joins an Onboarding Accreditation earned summer of 2022 through the invite only Partner Scaled Onboarding Program.

Those who receive the Platform enablement accreditation are recognized for their ability to drive user adoption by delivering personalized HubSpot training to large teams and facilitating change management.

“I’m incredibly proud of our team for earning these accreditations,” says Ryan Ruud, CEO of Lake One. “Together, they represent dozens of hours of training, rigorous validation of real world work examples including client feedback and roleplays with subject matter experts.”

The accreditation puts Lake one in the top tier of U.S. Solutions partners and 1 of only 72 at time of writing Accredited for onboarding and enablement support.

Lake One helps visionary B2B clients navigate every step of their sales, marketing and customer experience transformation. Working as an embedded partner, they envision ideas that drive business results, bring them to life, and scale them with technology.

About Lake One: Founded in 2014, Lake One is a B2B revenue operations and growth firm based in Minneapolis, MN. They partner with B2B organizations to compete and win online by planning, building and implementing aligned sales, marketing and customer experience programs. They help organizations navigate revenue technology decisions to deploy right sized, connected tech stacks that scale performance.

LAKE ONE Recognized as a Google Premier Partner

Minneapolis, MN: Lake One®, a modern growth and technology partner for B2B manufacturers, tech, and services brands, announced today that it received recognition as a Premier Google Ads Partner for 2023.

The partnership demonstrates Lake One’s belief in the power of bringing modern technology and marketing solutions to solve complex challenges for today’s B2B businesses.

“We’re honored to be recognized as a Google Premier Partner,” said Ryan Ruud, CEO of Lake One. “Only 3% of Google Partners earn this recognition, and we’re proud to have achieved this milestone.”

Lake One helps visionary B2B clients navigate every step of their sales, marketing and customer experience transformation. Working as an embedded partner, they envision ideas that drive business results, bring them to life, and scale them with technology.

A Platinum HubSpot Solutions Partner, Lake One adds the Premier Google Status to a growing list of HubSpot Accreditations and other hand-selected partnerships and credentials designed to help their clients solve complex business challenges in an increasingly competitive and difficult business climate.

“Our partnership with Google gives our team access to advanced tools, technologies and resources from our friends at Google,” Said Ruud. “This continued partnership will allow our strategists to further help our clients achieve outsized results no matter the ups and downs that come with the complexities of operating in today’s markets.”

About Lake One: Founded in 2014, Lake One is a B2B revenue operations and growth firm based in Minneapolis, MN. They partner with B2B organizations to compete and win online by planning, building and implementing aligned sales, marketing and customer experience programs. They help organizations navigate revenue technology decisions to deploy right sized, connected tech stacks that scale performance.

Meet with a Diamond Solutions Partner at Inbound 2022

HubSpot’s Inbound conference is back in person for 2022. Lake One will be on-site for the duration of the events and would love to connect for coffee or a drink after to strategize with you how what you’re hearing at Inbound can get integrated into your business planning for the rest of 2022 and heading into 2023. 

If you’d like to get on our calendar, give us a shout here and we’ll follow up a few weeks before we head to Boston and coordinate a time to connect. 

It’s been a great year with our friends at HubSpot., here are a few of our favorite highlights. 

Lake One Achieves Diamond Solutions Partner Tier: We kicked the year off by announcing we had achieved Diamond Solutions Status. To achieve status as a diamond tier solutions partner, partners must achieve and maintain platform certification and demonstrated expertise. Tiers are achieved based on the level of success partners achieve for their clients.

HubSpot Features Lake One Case Study: earlier this spring we were humbled to have a case study featured on HubSpot. A mix of a customer story and the growth we’ve seen as a HubSpot partner. 

Accepted to invite-only accreditation program: just this summer, we announces that we were accepted into an invite-only onboarding accreditation program with HubSpot.

Lake One Among Top HubSpot Solutions Partners Accepted into HubSpot PSO Onboarding Accreditation Program

Minneapolis, Minnesota June 30, 2022: Today, Lake One announced that it has been accepted into an invite-only, selective Partner Scaled Onboarding (PSO) Program by HubSpot. 

PSO is a newly created accreditation program from HubSpot designed to provide their customers with hand-selected, strategic partners who can help guide organizations in getting the most out of their HubSpot experience.

This exclusive accreditation builds on the momentum that started earlier this year when Lake One achieved Diamond HubSpot Solution Partner status, spoke internally to the HubSpot team during the 2022 Kick-Off about the growth they’ve seen in demand for the HubSpot CRM Platform, and also had a case study featured on the HubSpot website

“We are incredibly humbled to have been asked to participate in this program by HubSpot and thrilled to deepen our relationship with our partners there, ” says Ryan Ruud Founder and CEO of Lake One. “Providing direct onboarding services to HubSpot customers with their seal of approval is a tremendous vote of confidence in the team here at Lake One. ”

With the PSO Onboarding Accreditation, businesses that choose the HubSpot CRM platform can know they are working with a vetted and trusted partner for their onboarding.

About Lake One

Minneapolis, MN Based Lake One, is a modern marketing partner that drives business impact for B2B companies through sales and marketing transformation. Their team embeds (virtually) into client organizations to provide strategic guidance and hands-on work. With Lake One, clients get expert help implementing their tech stack and scaling demand generation with content and performance marketing. Lake One helps clients fine-tune their efforts based on their unique business needs, goals, and real-time customer engagement.


Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 4, 2022-Today, Lake One announced that it has reached the diamond tier of HubSpot’s Solutions Partner Program. HubSpot, a leading CRM platform, works hand-in-hand with partner experts to grow their businesses through inbound software, services, and support.  

The Solutions Partner Program is an ecosystem of experts that offer marketing, sales, customer service, web design, CRM, and IT services. It’s a global community that believes putting customers first is the key to growth, and enables its members to offer a wide breadth of more sophisticated solutions across the entire customer experience. 

To achieve status as a diamond tier solutions partner, partners must achieve and maintain platform certification and demonstrated expertise. Tiers are achieved based on the level of success partners achieve for their clients. 

Over the past year, Lake One has grown its business by incorporating inbound strategies to attract, engage, and delight customers. Lake One’s mission is to help B2B organizations solve complex operations challenges by serving as a strategic and hands-on, embedded partner supporting revenue growth. They provide aligned sales and marketing strategy, technology consulting,  implementation, and operations support to help organizations scale and make the most out of their tech stack investment. In 2021, notable milestones and achievements include:

  • More than 50% growth in client base in 2021
  • Recognized by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts for B2B Marketing Effectiveness
  • CEO and Founder, Ryan Ruud, Recognized by Twin Cities Business Magazine as a Notable Business Executive

“Lake One supports HubSpot customers with both big picture strategy and hands-on support. Their rapid ascension to Diamond Solution Partner status is validation of their strategic and tactical excellence, making them an ongoing relied upon partner to our shared customers.” – Brian Garvey, VP, Solutions Partner Program at HubSpot  

About Lake One

Minneapolis, MN Based Lake One, is a modern marketing partner that drives business impact for B2B companies through sales and marketing transformation. Their team embeds (virtually) into client organizations to provide strategic guidance and hands-on work. With Lake One, clients get expert help implementing their tech stack and scaling demand generation with content and performance marketing. Lake One helps clients fine-tune their efforts based on their unique business needs, goals, and real-time customer engagement. 

HubSpot Implementation: 6 Questions Your Business Needs To Answer First

Sales and marketing technology like HubSpot can drive significant change for businesses. But before you jump into implementing HubSpot CRM and Marketing Automation, it’s critical to know that technology is not a strategy. Too often we ended up working with clients who are throwing technology at business problems without clearly defined business processes and strategies that the technology can lean on to help achieve business outcomes. When it comes to strategy, that’s where our FieldGuide ™ approach comes in. But when it comes to process, here are several areas your business should explore prior to or in conjunction with a standard HubSpot Implementation.

Are buyer profiles clearly defined

One of the first things you need to be clear about is who are you selling to. If you answered “everyone” hold up. . . is your marketing budget unlimited?

Try again.

Buyer personas, or profiles, are critical to ensure that sales and marketing messages are segmented to the right person and the role they play in the sales and marketing process for your organization.

HubSpot Implementation Buyer Personas
Image Source: https://amywright.me/buyer-persona-questions/

Why does it matter to the setup process for HubSpot? Because depending on how your buyers are defined, you may need custom properties created to further segment and define them. You may make the decision to activate target account properties and buying role properties via the account-based marketing tools from HubSpot.

Knowing who you’re selling to and how your organization plans to communicate with them is absolutely critical to a successful implementation. This tool from HubSpot can help get you started.

Is the lifecycle of a customer documented

How does your company get new business? What’s the journey a prospect takes? Understanding the lifecycle of a client or customer ensures that your HubSpot setup is aligned to both support those processes from a technical perspective but also enable easier reporting and collaboration between sales and marketing. As much as marketers want the buyer’s journey to be cute and linear, our multichannel, multidevice buying experiences today result in a process more like the following:

b2b buyers journey

Questions to answer that can help sort through the noise above:

  • How does sales prospect? Where do the contacts come from and what are the steps sales takes and the behaviors shown by a prospect to show they are ready to advance?
  • When a lead is identified by marketing, what information is needed to qualify it’s ready to talk to sales? What behaviors show high intent to purchase as a reflection of past leads that converted through the sales process quickly?
  • What customer experiences resonate positively with customers and turn them into advocates? How are they identified?

Why does any of this matter to your HubSpot Implementation? Knowing as much of your customer lifecycle in advance will help you identify areas to plug in technology to scale and gain efficiencies, whether it’s scaling prospecting or identifying triggers for when to send an NPS survey.

Are sales processes outlined

Once a lead has identified a business opportunity, what happens? Does everyone follow a similar playbook? There are several reasons to have an outlined sales process, or at the very least, an understanding of the steps involved, as you head into a HubSpot implementation.

First, any customization that needs to occur around lead statuses to communicate the status of a sales opportunity in the hand-off period between sales and marketing, before a deal lands on the pipeline.

Second, deal stages and weighting play a heavy role in forecasting and ultimately the closed-loop feedback reporting upstream through marketing attribution.

Finally, sales automation. What areas in the sales process can steps be automated or technology leveraged to drive additional insight to make the sales process more successful?

HubSpot Implementation Sales Automation

Have measurable goals been set

Have goals been outlined? What are you trying to accomplish and how will HubSpot help achieve and measure those goals? The reason for this knowledge going into a HubSpot setup further informs any custom setup that needs to occur across objects which then trickles down into reporting and dashboard set up.

conversion rate benchmark report
conversion rate benchmark report from Unbounce

Now sure where to start with goal setting? Maybe your organization doesn’t have any benchmark data and is starting from scratch. Just start. Be realistic, and set SMART goals that are realistic and be open to adjusting reactively if they are too easily attained or it becomes clear they are too far out there. It’s better to set a goal and measure towards it and have to adjust than to not set anything.

Sales and marketing alignment

Is everyone in agreement on buyer profiles, lifecycle stages, sales process, goals? Ensuring you have sales and marketing alignment between your revenue teams is absolutely critical.

Sales and marketing alignment allows for a streamlined customer journey where the path is clear and communication channels are understood. This type of clarity builds the important trust needed for a customer to take action. “The Trust Factor” study reported that 84% of consumers would not engage with a brand until trust was established.

There are many additional reasons to align your sales and marketing teams that affect both your customers and your internal personnel and culture.

Do you know what content you have

Do you know what content exists in your organization? A content audit can often be beneficial ahead of or in line with a HubSpot Implementation. A content audit is a comprehensive analysis of all of your content collectively. “Content” in this context includes your website content such as offers, blogs, and infographics, as well as offline sales and marketing materials, like sell sheets and brochures.

Why would you do a content audit as part of your HubSpot Setup? Knowing what content you have in your hopper lets your team hit the ground running. Rather than spinning your wheels as you stand up your technology, you can pull from existing resources and repurpose them for email, landing pages, and conversion paths decreasing the time to value on your technology investment.

Ready to Implement

Do you have to have answers to all of this before implementing HubSpot? No. But you should have these business processes top of mind as they are key to customizing your HubSpot set up so you can achieve full value and the fastest time to value from your software investment.

Lake One Announces New Online HubSpot Training Program

Minneapolis MN – Lake One Digital, a remote Platinum Solutions Partner, announces the launch of a new virtual HubSpot Marketing Strategy training program for small and medium sized businesses.

Based on Lake One’s FieldGuide™ Research process, businesses looking to develop a strategic marketing plan without the expense of retaining a Solutions Partner now have an option.

Once per quarter, a cohort of up to 10 companies will participate in a 6-week training curriculum.

The program is designed to help organizations maximize their investment in HubSpot Marketing and/or Sales Hub with guided, hands-on training in the development of a custom marketing plan.

Over the course of six weeks, participants will be coached on the key themes of Lake One’s FieldGuide, provided tools, and given homework to develop the plan under the guidance of Lake One senior strategists.

At the 6-week program culmination, participants will have a fully developed program, ready for activation through their HubSpot Growth Stack.

Topics include keyword research, persona development, content strategy, sales and marketing alignment, and more.

Program costs are a one-time fee of $5000 per organization and allowed up to three participants per organization to attend. Only 10 organizations will be accepted per quarter, and the Q1 2021 cohort begins February 24, 2021.

For more information or to register for the Hubspot Training Program, visit the HubSpot training page or contact us.

Sales Automation: A guide to growing pipeline without being a spambot

When it comes to automation tools, marketing automation often gets all the glory. But a growing category of tools, sales automation, is picking up steam as remote and digital sales strategies become more mainstream. Truth be told, marketing and sales automation working together is a one-two punch. A strong sales and marketing alignment from strategy through technology can be a game-changer for revenue teams. So what’s the deal with sales automation? What is it, and how should an organization approach it when looking at their total sales and marketing technology investment? We’ll explore all of that and more in this Lake One guide.

What is Sales Automation?

Sales automation is the use of tools and technology to scale and automate manual elements of an organization’s sales process. Tasks include data management, follow up automation, call transcribing, and reporting. Sales automation seeks to eliminate manual tasks that often take up valuable time daily, weekly, and monthly. Sales teams can better utilize their time focused on higher-value sales activity like proposals and closing discussions.

Benefits of Sales Automation

While there are a host of benefits to automating elements of your sales McKinsey states that early adopters of sales automation report efficiency improvements of 10 -15%. Whether utilizing prepared proposals, AI to determine a contact’s likelihood of conversion, or chatbots – sales automation can make sure more time is focused on the highest value efforts.

sales automation - reduce pipeline friction

Reduce pipeline friction

Using tools to automate functions within your salesforce has shown to lead to a 30% increase in deal closures and a reduction in the sales cycle by 18%, according to Instapage. Imagine how much more revenue you’d have flowing through your pipeline with those reductions in friction.

Improved morale

At the end of the day, if performance lags, so does morale, thus creating a vicious cycle. Morale drops, dragging down motivation and then impacting performance, and the cycle continues. With sales automation, it’s like giving your sales team an unfair advantage.

Essential Sales Activities to Automate

When approaching sales automation, the easiest place to start is thinking about your sales team’s major time drainers. A 2017 HubSpot sales survey of sales professionals in the US, UK and Ireland found that the typical sales day is wildly inefficient. In fact, salespeople spend less than half their day actually selling.

Sales Automation

Emails, data management, prospecting, and more are all tasks that have either a portion of which or the entire task that can be automated. Looking at the tasks that the HubSpot survey identified, where can sales automation assist?

Email: Utilize templates and a canned response for common messages. It’s half the time just thinking about what you want to send, even if it’s a common message. A template can get you started and let you tailor a portion to your latest conversation with your prospect.

Data Entry: There are various browser plugins, email extensions and CRM add ons that help complete a contact profile with publicly available information. Whether it’s logging an email and creating a net new contact in a CRM from Google or outlook or adding someone from LinkedIn.

Prospecting: Effective prospecting for a modern salesperson is a balance between the numbers game and outreach quality to increase response rates. Areas to focus automation on include the qualifiers on building prospect lists and driving them into your CRM, sequences, and cadences used to conduct the outreach, calling tools to be able to call through a list with a direct dial and reduce time fumbling around with a phone.

Internal Meetings: When it comes to internal meetings and updates. Does everything need to be a meeting, or do you need better reporting and check-ins? Can communications be managed through a tool like slack with a status update through an app?

Scheduling: Trying to book a meeting with a prospect can be a nightmare. If you’re selling a complex product to a large group of influencers and people who need to sign off, now you’re managing multiple calendars. Automating the booking and availability eliminates all of the back and forth.

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Tools for Sales Automation

So what tools help with these kinds of task automations for sales teams? I’m glad you asked.

Let’s explore some of the options available to support automating the essential tasks we’ve outlined in the previous section. In each section, we’ll provide a couple of options. First we’ll explore how HubSpot can solve the sales automation as a platform solution, a tool that can support multiple sales automation needs and work across other areas of your customer experience like marketing and customer experience.

Second, we’ll provide options for point solutions that can also integrate into other systems so you can plug and play depending on how your sales and marketing tech stack is architected today.

Email: HubSpot provides easy to deploy email templates that can be utilized across Outlook and Google mail. Templates through HubSpot also have the added benefit of reporting on performance so your sales organization can see which templates drive the best response and can be plugged into process across your organization.

If you’re looking for a plug and play solution, Right Inbox is an option if your business runs on Google Work, if you run on Office 365, AppSource has a variety of options as well.

Data Entry:HubSpot makes it easy to automatically log contacts from your inbox. They will also populate company records with publicly available data.

Depending on your CRM, both the Google Chrome Store and Office 365 AppSource are places to look for integrations to support data entry.

Prospecting: HubSpot Sequences make it easy to enroll up to 50 prospects at a time (depending on the tier you’re on) for a sales play. Email outreach, LinkedIn inmail, call, etc. With HubSpot calling, you can assign the call to a task queue and work through calls in a quick efficient way.

For plug and play options, there’s a host of sales cadence tools including Outreach, Salesloft, and Mailshake. All of which have robust integrations with a variety of CRMs and MAPs.

Internal Meetings: HubSpot reporting can go a long way to eliminate some needs for constant meetings and updates. The ability to tag and mention colleagues in real-time on contacts, companies, and deals also allows for communication and updates without leaving the CRM.

For plug and play, consider Slack plus Status Hero as a way to communicate regular updates without disrupting daily workflow.

Scheduling: HubSpot’s built-in meetings link allows you to connect to your Google or Outlook calendar and create custom booking availabilities. The link can be embedded in templates, sequences, or dropped into ad hoc emails to eliminate back and forth scheduling.

On the plug-and-play side, there are a host of booking solutions but the one we come across the most often and seems to have the most flexibility is Calendly.

When Should You Invest in Sales Automation?

There are several things to consider when looking at timing your sales automation investment. Vablet, a mobile sales enablement platform, points out 10 critical things to consider before investing in a sales enablement solution, for example, your sales tools are going to only be as good as the people using them. Invest in good people, then empower them with tools.

Additionally, just like in marketing, sales technology is not a replacement for a bad or missing process or strategy. If you haven’t developed a sales process and strategy that yields results – investing in sales tools isn’t going to help.