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Supercharge Your Pipeline

Top Learnings from INBOUND 2021 on All Things Sales

October 20, 2021

By Ale Melara

Our fifth INBOUND’21 recap blog is all around sales. These two sessions bring us the latest insights on how to start conversations and connect with your prospects, deepen relationships, and manage your pipeline.

NOTE: Powerhouse Pass Attendees will have access to the INBOUND 2021 virtual event platform for 1 year from today to rewatch any session on-demand. 

Session 1. Using Metaphors for Storytelling Success

Click here to watch the on-demand recording of the session; note that you must have an INBOUND 2021 Powerhouse Pass to view.

Genein Letford, M.Ed - InterCreative Strategies LLC. Chief Creative Officer
Session highlight by SmartBugs Ale Melara and Jen Tolkachev

Being able to tell a good story using metaphors is a good skill that will help your potential customers have a deeper connection with you and what you’re selling. In this session, we learned how to build up to the skills that cause your customers to have an emotional connection with your product through the use of metaphoric imagery. 

  • When you compare something you create a connection with something else.
  • The brain loves metaphors because the brain loves stories
  • It helps people retain the information
  • We are in the era of culture, creativity, and connection
  • Brain connections
    • Your command center
    • Context, context, context
    • Emotion wins over intellect

What is the importance of connecting on an empathetic level?

  • Shows you’re thinking about what they care about  

Mental exercises to build metaphors:

  • What animal represents you and why?
  • What flower represents you and why?
  • What object represents you and why?

Engage your senses and explore them to develop deeper connections and ask yourself, what function do you see and what connections can you make?

Session 2. You’re Getting Warmer… Using Content in the Sales Process Like a Pro!

Dani Buckley (@daniobuckley) -VP, GM @ LeadG2 by The Center for Sales Strategy
Session highlight by SmartBug Tabitha Young

Strategy - Build a sales enablement content strategy

  • Existing content audit - Evaluate EVERYTHING you have (old or new) and organize it into four categories. 
    • Ready to use!
    • Mostly done, needs some edits or updates (content or design?)
    • Very outdated needs a massive update – but it is content we want to have
    • Very outdated and isn’t relevant content we need 
  • Understand your buyers - Conduct research externally and internally to be sure you understand: 
    • Personas - How & where do they consume content?
    • Buyers Journeys - pain points? questions? How do they make decisions?
  • Build Sales Plays 
    • A sales play is a step-by-step outline of the recommended steps a salesperson should take in any given sales scenario or stage of the sales process. 
    • Create a sales playbook - and use it for every new sales hire. 
      • When you use content, certain emails, etc throughout the sales process. BE CONSISTENT. 
      • Visual representation of content that is available across each of the different stages or customer needs.

Content - Create strategic content that will help nurture, educate, and engage your prospects throughout their buying journey.

What content is going to be the most useful in building your sales plays (from above)?

  • Choose a variety of content: blogs, podcasts, use cases, proposal templates, video, etc. 
  • Use multiple content types for singular pieces of content. Someone might want to consume a video while someone else may want a video. The best content helps your readers make the right decision for themselves. 
  • Video is Important! - Use case and testimonial videos, educational videos, branding and positioning videos, 1:1 personalized videos. 
    • 1:1 personalized videos are KEY! 
    • Videos seem to be working the best currently, but you should review your own data and who you are selling to. 

Content best practices:

  • Repurpose existing content
  • Utilize SMEs
  • Outsource - even if it’s on a limited basis. 
  • Use consistent branding
  • Don’t overthink it
  • Prioritize - ask your sales teams what they will use!
  • Diversity - WIDE VARIETY!

Technology - Utilize automation tools to ensure consistent and strategic use of content throughout the sales process.

  • 3 recommended sales tools
    • 1:1 email & task automation - sales sequences in HS
    • Email templates
    • Document sharing and tracking - who viewed your attached document and for how long?! - Sales tools in HubSpot!
  • Training - often overlooked!

Set your salespeople up for success. This should not be a “set and forget” task. Often content isn’t being used effectively because they are forgetting about it. Or it isn’t fresh anymore. 

What we know about salespeople:

  • Resistant to change
  • Hired for SALES talents and skills
  • They like to keep it simple!
  • How will it benefit your salesperson?
  • Repetition is key!
  • They need Leadership - it starts and ends with leadership. 

Keys for Marketers to Salespeople: Talk to salespeople 1:1 - create a focus group. What do they want? What is getting in their way? What do they need? Does technology overwhelm them? Is the content we are creating useful? What questions are people asking?

Stay tuned for our next and final INBOUND’21 recap blog where we highlight HubSpot Academy professor's best tricks to make the best out of your HubSpot instance.


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Topics: sales, Inbound Sales, Sales Strategy, Sales Enablement, INBOUND