My Pipeline Generation Bootcamp Experience
Imagine you're scared of heights and merely looking out the window of a second story building makes your knees go weak. Worryingly, you find yourself in a plane about to do a parachute jump, knowing it will help you get over your fear. Well, that’s how I felt when I started the pipeline generation bootcamp (PGB). Luckily for me, it was a tandem parachute jump!
Pipeline Generation Bootcamp is a HubSpot led course offered to agency partners. The course was delivered by the inspirational Dan Tyre, employee #6 in HubSpot where there are now over 3,000! I think it’s safe to say he’s had a big role to play in growing the company and his influence is still very much apparent. Myself and the other agency partners had a great instructor and knew we were in safe hands.
The bootcamp is essentially a sales programme delivered over 8 weeks. To me, sales, much like someone scared of heights doing a parachute jump, brought definite fear! I never considered myself a sales person, which I soon found out would work to my advantage.
The PGB is designed to educate partners on HubSpot’s best practices, helping them develop a solid pipeline of opportunities to grow their agency and their client’s businesses alike. I took away many key learnings and insights, here are my top 3.
1. Personas and Research
Developing and understanding your target market is an essential foundation to prospecting. A business cannot be everything to everyone as they will end up spreading themselves too thin, a common mistake made by many. Instead, define your ideal customers, be specific and do in-depth research into their challenges so you can better understand their needs.
We live in a time where there is more information than ever at our disposal. It's a worthwhile investment to carry out in-depth research and find the golden nuggets that will help you communicate with your prospects.
Do you regularly receive generic emails to your business account from people offering online services? We get on average 2 of these emails per day, with companies trying to sell their services, regardless If they are relevant to our agency.
Key takeaway; Define your ideal customer, do your research and customise your message to the specific prospect. It takes time but it is a solid foundation to start growing your business.
2. Speak less and be an active listener
In traditional sales the salesman man does a lot of talking. The old approach of bamboozling prospects seemed like a pushy approach, something I didn’t feel comfortable doing. The HubSpot and Wurkhouse way is different. Whether in emails, phone calls or in meetings, I learned to always focus on the customer.
There's always questions to ask when connecting with a prospect to help understand their challenges. You may have certain question you would like to ask but if the conversation isn’t going that way don’t force it.
Active listening helps us avoid this common sales pitfall. Instead of thinking of the next question you need to ask when your prospect is talking, listen to what they're saying, ask relevant questions and let the conversation flow. Remember, it's a casual conversation and not an interrogation! This is something I'm still learning to implement, but hey, practice makes perfect as they say!
3. It's easier to help than sell
Now this is as far from traditional sales as you will get! Traditionally, sales prospects are no more than numbers… or at least it feels that way! With the inbound methodology, the focus is on helping your prospects and building a trusting relationship from the outset.
Start shifting your mind-set from 'What can I get out of this' to 'How can I help this person and make their business prosper'. Build lasting relationships with your prospects by educating them with solutions to their pain-points. When they’re ready to make a purchase, you are the authority, the person they trust and rightly so.
The Buying Process Has Changed
Nowadays, customers can easily access information before purchasing a product or service. Very few buyers will make a large purchase without conducting their own research. Implementing these 3 key points into your selling process ensures your brand is aligned with modern day purchasing behaviour.
A final thought…
Define your prospects, carry out research and understand what challenges they face. Connect with them and listen to what they say. Ask relevant questions to discover how you can best serve them and help, help, help! It's simple, yet effective. Make the change and watch your business grow.