Thinking About Migrating To HubSpot? Not So Fast!
07 November 2018 | Norm McConkey
If you needed to get a message out to the decision makers at your customers' sites tomorrow, could you do it? What if you needed to get a message out to the financial or IT contacts at each account? If you want to do this, you need an updated list of customer email contacts, as well as their roles. Most resellers have software to do this, but is it being done? Not in my experience.
When we enable e-commerce for resellers, one of the most important exercises is to inform their customers that their websites are now capable of taking orders. Their sites can now help make business transactions frictionless because transactions no longer require calling or emailing. Getting the word out requires a sustained campaign of informing via email and social media.
Having done a few of these emailers now, I find that close to 30% of the contacts, in the customer database, are undeliverable: meaning they don’t exist. If you are not constantly farming your customer list, it will go bad.
Your customers probably won’t contact you when they leave for a new job. If they do, will your salespeople update the contacts in the database? Any worthwhile CRM can send you a report of how many customer records have been updated every week. This is where owners and managers fall short. Are you tracking this? If you’re not, it's not getting done. 100% guaranteed, your database is getting old and stale.
HubSpot has a free CRM. FREE! You can’t beat that, but here’s the catch: in order to validate those customers, you’re going to need to market to them, send emails etc. That is NOT FREE. Those invalid contacts are going to cost you. In the above example, your costs will double—to almost $20,000 annually if you have a database of 15,000 contacts that are 50% invalid. Since you pay annually, bringing a database into HubSpot, that has not been cleansed, is a colossal waste of money.
The future of technology sales is not complicated, it's a recipe. You need to engage customers. Make them aware that you are a subject matter expert and a source for the products and services you provide.
HubSpot is synonymous with inbound marketing. Their methodology will help drive traffic to your site, but if you haven’t put your customer database in order, HubSpot is a waste of money. Even worse, if you blanket email clients without a strategy, you risk angering them and driving business away.
There is a simpler solution for B2B technology resellers to adopt. Constant Contact is an email marketing program that costs about $100/month for up to 10,000 contacts. It is nowhere near as powerful as HubSpot, but if your goal is to constantly validate customer emails, to inform your client base, and drive traffic to your website, it is a much more affordable solution.
Does it work? Well, you’re proving right here that it does!
About the Author
Norm McConkey has been involved in the print, imaging, and software/tech business since 1993. Holding executive level positions in a number of emerging technology firms, he founded PrintFleet in 2003, and Tangent MTW in 2009. A founding member of the MPSA, an award winning author and presenter, Norm has spoken at various industry events around the world including the Lyra Imaging Symposium, Photizo confernece, ITEX Tradeshow, Regional BTA conferences, Remax Europe, and World Expo. He has been contracted to consult and build go to market and sales training programs with several OEM manufacturers such as Canon USA, and HP, and distributors such as Parts Now and Supplies Network, as well Resellers including Office Depot. Norm’s current project, MPSToolbox (www.mpstoolbox.com), is a software platform which helps technology dealers develop and maintain e-commerce websites.