Ah, resources. That expensive stuff that your business just can’t do without. It’s tempting to covet every penny and hold back on resource investments until you start making significant returns, but often, that could be the very thing stifling your growth.
If you’ve decided to commit to an inbound marketing strategy, then planning out your resources is crucial to its success. The good news here, however, is that once you do that, and if you’ve done it well, your campaign will pay for itself – see the flywheel effect.
To get you started, here’s the shortest checklist, ever:
- A product/service encyclopedia
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software
- Skilled and motivated staff
What are you selling?
Intuitively, this is the first place to start. Your business is your baby; no one is prouder and more knowledgeable about it than you. Make sure that this translates to the information and content you put out, not only on your website but also through your sales and service representatives.
Your website should be a plethora of readily available information that serves to educate customers about what you are selling. When your leads start having conversations with your sales team, they need to be well versed in discussing your goods and services. When you start making conversions, the service team needs to be just as impressive at supporting the customer as your sales team was at getting them in the door. It all matters.
So how is this done?
Allocating educational resources to your staff and implementing a rigorous and engaging training process is key to making everyone in your business just as invested in your product or service as you are. In this scenario, what your staff doesn’t know will hurt you.
Before your campaign kicks off, you need to have detailed product specifications for your sales and service teams to refer to, as well as easy to understand content that informs and educates your website visitors.
The right CRM for your business
Integrating a CRM system into your business can be an absolute beast – especially if you’ve avoided it for a long, long time and now have a muddle of data to consolidate and sort through. Traditionally, marketing and sales information would be captured manually, increasing the propensity for data overlap and errors to go undetected indefinitely. The great news is that this doesn’t have to be an expensive resource. With HubSpot, you can reap the benefits of a super powerful CRM tool – for free.
Your free HubSpot CRM will enable you to:
- Manage your contacts
- Monitor your contact activity
- Track emails
- Manage Facebook and Instagram lead ads
- Utilise chatbots
These, and many other essential inbound marketing tools are all available with the free HubSpot CRM, and this truly is the resource that keeps on giving.
If you’d like to find out more about the benefits of using a HubSpot CRM, click here.
Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho
Times they are a-changin'. Nobody in an inbound company wants to be viewed as a labourer. The people that represent your brand, that sell your products, that have the difficult conversations with your customers, that go above and beyond to make sure that your external stakeholders trust your business – those folks aren’t just labour. They are ambassadors.
To run a successful inbound campaign, you need to make sure that the individuals you hire will fit in with your company culture, show genuine interest in your brand, and are bringing the right skillset to do the job.
The kind of people working for your business, impacts directly on what you put out and therefore what you get back. Having the right team also saves you money; flexible, multi-skilled, eager to learn people are likely to work more efficiently and productively.
Confucius once said: “If you love what you’ll do, you’ll never work a day in your life” – and ultimately, isn’t that how we’d all like to feel? Creating a supportive and hospitable environment for your employees is all part of the inbound philosophy.
It’s important to point out, however, that for many businesses, it makes sense to outsource certain tasks – like digital marketing – instead of saddling up with an in-house team. There are a number of pros to outsourcing:
- Immediate access to industry experts.
- Cheaper than hiring or training specialists that may only be required to work on projects instead of day to day tasks.
- Lower capital investment risk – if you’re trying a particular service or approach to test whether it’s going to bring in ROI, it’s less committal to outsource the work to an intermediary or an agency.
- Provided that you are working with a transparent, reliable company, it’s easier to delegate tasks and minimise the amount of managing required to ensure that jobs get done.
- You may have limited space on your premises, if you’re not in a position to expand your floor space, adding more team members may not even be an option.
So you run, and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking
Any Pink Floyd fans out there? No? Ok. Moving on. Let’s talk time.
Every business is inevitably competing with the clock. Time, aside from capital investment, is probably what costs the most. Time management is key to your inbound marketing campaign – you’re juggling a lot of things, and you need to know where they all are in the grand scheme of your campaign and how they are bringing you closer to your goals. So where do you start when managing this slippery resource?
- Get that CRM system up and running! You’ll be amazed at how much time you’ll save by utilising the automation tools every decent CRM system should offer.
- Prioritise. With so many distractions in our day-to-day, you have to be clear and specific about which tasks move your campaign forward and need attending to. Don’t get swept up in small, troubleshooting exercises.
- Delegate. That’s why you hired those awesome people we spoke about earlier. You need to be confident in your staff (or agency) so that you can assign tasks and duties to the relevant teams, making sure everyone is working cohesively towards the same targets. Or, if you have access to external help, like a digital growth agency, make sure you’re optimising the potential of having such a resource.
- Feedback. Ploughing ahead blindly is fundamentally going to cost you time. Make sure you schedule in report meetings and input sessions from the front lines so that you can take applicable, timely action when necessary.
- Use tools that optimise your productivity. Google Drive is our friend here at Klood. Remember the days when you’d have to constantly email documents back and forth or pass flash drives around to share files? Yeah, no one does that anymore. You can collaboratively work on documents and spreadsheets and track who’s contributed what to a project. Whatever platform you’re using, make sure it works for your business quickly and reliably.
There is a lot to consider when running an inbound marketing campaign, resources being a huge chunk of that. But the good news is, once you get it all in place, you’re going to have an omnipotent trump card in your arsenal.