Yesterday was the first day of HubSpot’s INBOUND conference, a gathering for some of the top inbound marketers, writers, speakers, and thought leaders in the industry – and it became evident very quickly to our team in attendance that there was an underlying theme to this year’s event.
The conference kicked off with the viewing of this opening video, which powerfully claims the voice of the “consumer” that has drastically changed from the one we used to know, and the message is pretty loud and clear:
“Don’t call me the customer, don’t call me the consumer or the buyer. I’m not an order number, I’m not an entry in your database, I’m not an opportunity in your CRM. I’m a person.”
The video goes on to talk about how the marketplace as a whole (both B2C and B2B) is “more informed, more engaged, and more connected” than ever before and as we learned throughout the rest of the day, in order to survive in this new world we’ve all got to change. No one wants to be the dinosaur frozen in time, still doing things the way they’ve always been done, despite lackluster growth or performance. Why? Because there is another way…
We must humanize the way we do business.
As Dharmesh Shah, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of HubSpot, explained in his afternoon keynote, it’s about humanizing the way you market, the way you sell, and the way you service customers. This means you’ve got to re-evaluate the way you’ve always done business and stop looking at every prospect or customer as a number. You’ve got to start looking at them for what they are… humans who have the power to be your biggest advocate or your worst review, depending on the experience you provide.
The fact of the matter is that if you are a manager, executive, CEO, or business owner and you AREN’T rethinking every aspect of your sales process from beginning to end, then you’re probably going to be left in the dust.
What does this mean exactly?
It means you’ve got to move fast yet methodically, and you’ve got to accept that, “You are going to mess up… but you can fix it,” as Seth Godin so poignantly expressed in his keynote yesterday morning.
Following Dharmesh in the afternoon was Brian Halligan, CEO and Co-Founder of HubSpot, sharing with us exactly how the team at HubSpot is doing just that – not only for their own business but while providing the tools for all of us to humanize ours as well. We plan to cover these concepts in more detail in a follow up post, but our excitement couldn’t be contained to let you in on some of the action going on here at INBOUND. One new feature being rolled out that is especially exciting to us, considering our core focus of helping organizations with sales strategy and revenue generating techniques, is the announcement of a notification app called Signals.
Signals, as described by Brian Halligan, “helps you know when and how to engage your leads.” This FREE app (with upgrade options) connects with many of the tools that sales teams are already using on a daily basis. The basic version of Signals (available to the public) provides the ability to notify you in real-time when your emails are being opened, read, or clicked on and when someone (that you decide to track) makes changes to their LinkedIn profile. It takes the guesswork out of the sales follow up process and provides some invaluable information to salespeople that, when used in conjunction with inbound marketing, allows you to better customize your approach and communicate in a more human way. Check out Signals here and sign up today!
While INBOUND is providing us with numerous new strategies and tools to help us help you humanize and evolve the way you do business, we can’t fit it all into one post – so stay tuned for more and be sure to follow us on Twitter with the hashtag #cssinbound.
One final note from Dharmesh that sums up this inbound marketing theme:
“People don’t remember the pitch, they remember the experience.”
We all have the ability (and now the tools) to create remarkable, humanized selling experiences that are not only memorable but effective!
Want to learn more about how we help clients create customized selling experiences through the incorporation of an online lead generation strategy? Then set up a one-on-one consultation with one of our consultants.