For ConnectWise partners, your customer base is a valuable asset to develop new revenue streams.
So we invited the Head of Marketing at Looking Point, Eden Penman, to a webinar to share how their sales and marketing teams have developed a modern approach to driving growth within the customer base.
Eden’s approach to customer upsell marketing includes:
- Leveraging a marketing automation system with a complete integration alongside ConnectWise to target its customer database
- Creating a content strategy aligning content topics to your upsell service offerings
- Scoring customers based on how they engage with content topics
- Providing visibility to account managers to target customers
Both Eden and I find customer upsell marketing is a goldmine of opportunity, which tends to be overlooked. Too often marketing teams are myopically focused on customer acquisition and leads, and miss the low-hanging fruit of customer expansion revenue.
When Eden told me about what she was doing in this area, I said to her, "This is great. I think this is something that the whole ConnectWise community would benefit from hearing more about."
That's how we landed on this topic. Here are key excerpts of our discussion.
About Looking Point & Background with ConnectWise
Eden: Looking Point is a Bay Area-based IT solutions provider. Our services include design implementation and support of services for your IT infrastructure. This breaks down into connectivity, cloud and data centers; all of the things you think about when you think "core infrastructure to keep your network running.”
We have been a ConnectWise partner since we were founded in 2010. Our CEO hopped on with ConnectWise as soon as he started the company, and has not looked anywhere else since because he's really happy with the CRM and platform it provides for us.
Zak: We work with a lot of ConnectWise partners who often describe ConnectWise as "the operating system for the business.”
Eden: It was initially founded for our engineering and support tickets and services and then through time we built out a larger CRM, a larger database and now our marketing's integrated with it. At first it was a little scary. It was a new platform when I started with the company for me a year ago, and I've found through the integrations that it is just a truly incredible tool for us to use for marketing on top of everything we're already doing with it.
Zak: And Eden, as I understand it, within you different services, you could have a customer taking a bite out of one of those categories, or all of the categories.
Eden: Yes, we have some customers that say, "We want to buy a big video conferencing unit from you and that's all we want," and we say, "Okay, awesome." And we have customers who say, "We want you to design, build, implement our entire infrastructure and do everything. Do our security, get us in the cloud, do our connectivity, get us the wires, we need some on-premise." So we have a very wide range of customers and they can take bits and pieces of each or just use us for one of those.
Align Content to Upsell Offerings
Eden: We focus our content on these core topics of interest to our customers, that align to our service offerings. So for example, one of the big things announced this year in the collaboration space was the Cisco Spark Board.
It's the first mass-produced digital whiteboard that allows you to collaborate with your team and there's no more of that writing on a whiteboard, Now you can hop on that digital board where you can draw something or write something and you can make notes directly on it and it's saved forever. So we're big on providing content related to that category.
Cloud is another topic. Everybody's moving really to mobile workforce, and BYOD and so there are questions like, "How does that affect it? How do you move into the cloud?"
Another topic is network security for the modern workforce. It used to be okay; you have a firewall, you put it on your computer and you're safe. Now with all the new ransomware and hacks and malware there are questions like, "How do we protect our customers?" We want them to understand what's out there, and then we also want them to understand what solutions are available.
Zak: And Eden, what struck me is how you had taken those key service offerings and aligned them to your content topics, and you go as far as tagging your content to those topics. It's a nice way to organize it, and it plays into what we're about to talk about in terms of scoring and the key insights you're able to deliver to your account management team as a result.
Eden: It does. It is really the complete foundation for me for the marketing tactic that we're gonna talk about today as far as what I set up with scoring and engagement with our customers or with prospects.
Scoring Customers Based on Engagement
Eden: We leverage HubSpot as our marketing system, connected with ConnectWise, and we use it to score our customers based on engagement.
I’ll walk you through an example. I put out this blog post Network Security for the Modern Workforce.
We track who viewed it, and when they viewed it. If we have a customer that was just using us for video endpoint, and we see them engaging in the network security, then our team can reach out to talk to them about network security. We’re now getting visibility into this insight.
Zak: Very very neat, and that’s an a actual example of what you were talking about with a real person in your database.
Eden: Yes. This shows someone in our database and it's Spark collaboration related, so we tag him to the collaboration topic, and we know that’s what they are interested in. And we prioritize reaching out to that person.
Zak: Got it. And then this is where some of the sales and marketing alignment magic happens as well, which is the next topic.
Visibility in ConnectWise
Eden: Through Bedrock Data, we've integrated HubSpot with our ConnectWise CRM. We have a workflow that pushes a task into ConnectWise to notify the account manager that their customer has shown a level of engagement in a topic aligned to our services. Our account team is based in ConnectWise, so we are giving them visibility directly in the system they are using every day.
The magic is happening behind the scenes in HubSpot, and through the Bedrock Data integration shows up in ConnectWise for them to see and act on. They know what content they engaged with, so they can tailor their conversation that way.
It gives us really really valuable insight to make those very strong connections with customers as opposed to the old "spray and pray," send everybody the same thing and hope there's a reaction from someone.
Zak: I want to commend you on this. I think it's awesome. Back to something we talked about earlier, some marketers out there are 100% focused just on leads. Doing something like this, I gotta believe your team, your account managers, your sales team is appreciative that you're taking this to the next level and able to help them drive revenue from customers.
You're truly giving them visibility, insight, something they can action. They can take this and have a very relevant conversation with a customer about pain points for them, areas of interest and tee up a potential upsell based on that insight.
Eden: That was the one really special thing is, when I started a year ago I saw this vision that's come to life of, "Marketers are focused on leads. They want a lead score, they want a lead score." I said, "Why don't we do a customer score? We have a customer who bought this huge firewall system from us six months ago. We don't know what they're looking at now, though. There's so much in your network infrastructure you need. Let's get ourselves some visibility into those customers."
So by integrating our CRM data into there, that means that I now have tracking on all of our existing customers. We have a customer who bought a firewall and now they're suddenly looking at collaboration solutions or vice versa, I can tell the account manager, "Your customer is showing interest in this solution that we didn't know about, so let's get back into them and let's give them an upsell on this."
ConnectWise & Marketing Automation Integration
Zak: Eden is using HubSpot to connect to ConnectWise. Eden is one of the many marketers out there raising their hand with their organization and saying, "ConnectWise is a great platform but it can be even more powerful if we can pair it with a marketing platform like a HubSpot or a Marketo or a Pardot." Eden took the step to really pair HubSpot and ConnectWise and that's what's making all this possible behind the scenes.
Can you speak to how you have connected HubSpot and ConnectWise?
Eden: We have within ConnectWise, all of our CRM database. We have a multi-way integration with HubSpot, where it's not just contacts and leads coming from HubSpot into ConnectWise once they're qualified. It's also pushing new contacts from ConnectWise to HubSpot, so if our sales reps get a referral when they meet a new contact and they have a new prospect, they enter that into ConnectWise and the integration moves it into HubSpot.
With opportunities, once our account manager has an opportunity for connectivity with customer Y in ConnectWise, that opportunity is moved into HubSpot, so then I can see, "Customer Y has a connectivity opportunity open." However, they're looking at security pages and that lets us know, "Do we know to follow up with a new touch or are they just kind of doing their own research on what we're already aware of?"
Zak: The big theme here is sales and marketing alignment, keeping everyone on the same page, and having connected data. You have a unified sales and marketing database because you have leads and contacts flowing in either direction, kept de-duplicated so that there's no duplicate data. You have your customer database flowing into HubSpot that allows you to segment it and target it as we're talking about here, and then you have your opportunity data coming back in that allows you to have that visibility as marketing and get closed-loop reporting, so it's a true integrated sales and marketing database and platform that allows you to do this great customer marketing that you're talking about.
Bedrock Data Integrations
Zak: Let’s look at the how - how Looking Point leveraged Bedrock Data to connect ConnectWise to HubSpot. By way of background, Bedrock Data connects a wide variety of marketing automation and CRMs to ConnectWise.
The logos you see are our most common integrations: HubSpot, Marketo, Pardot, Eloqua, InfusionSoft, Act-On, and then on the CRM side, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, NetSuite, SugarCRM and Zoho.
Salesforce can be a CRM, but we're also seeing companies that are bringing in another CRM to pair with ConnectWise. It's the concept of "best of breed."
ConnectWise has many key things it’s doing to support a business. Adding a specialized system to help with marketing automation and CRM, helps sales and marketing teams perform better in terms of hitting their revenue targets, hitting their growth targets.
Here’s how it works behind the scenes.
Bedrock Data has pre-built connectors, so there's no coding involved, there's no IT work involved.
You go in the interface, you say, "I want to connect ConnectWise. I want to connect HubSpot. I want to connect Salesforce."
In Eden's case, she has three systems: ConnectWise, HubSpot and PhoneBurner. Bedrock Data has pre-built connectors for those systems. Bedrock Data reaches into those systems and allows you to review and map the data between the systems, so in Eden's case, she showed us some examples of fields that are in ConnectWise that are originally from HubSpot.
Behind the scenes, those fields get added to ConnectWise and then mapped to HubSpot. So now when the account managers or the sales team in ConnectWise see key information like lead source or the customer score Eden spoke about, they can see it right there in the ConnectWise interface they’re using every single day. You get all the key summary information right there because the data's mapped between the systems, and you have consistent data flowing between the systems.
Manage Rules for Data Sync
Through the Bedrock Data interface you set rules for when data syncs between systems, so for example when a lead should be pushed from HubSpot to ConnectWise.
One of the rules that Eden mentioned that we see from a lot of marketing automation users is, the marketing team wants to use the marketing system as their full marketing database.
There should a lot more names in the marketing database, than in the CRM. Maybe it's folks you met at a recent trade show. They're not all marketing-qualified, so marketing is running programs to that database, and once they reach a threshold to be marketing-qualified which could be a lead score, it could be a form fill or certain interactions, then the marketing-qualified is what will trigger that lead to push into the CRM.
CRM administrators love that because it keeps the CRM systems clean and free of the mass of marketing data. Marketers love it and they tell me this all the time, because it gives them their own database to control and manage outside the CRM. So it's a real win/win. This is a case of sales and marketing systems alignment, where you get your two systems working for you so both teams are happy, because it's integrated behind the scenes.
Bedrock Data is a SaaS product, supported by a rapid onboarding service from our team. You may be asking, "What would it take to connect ConnectWise to a HubSpot or a Marketo or an Eloqua?" It happens over a 30-day period whereby the steps that we've just talked about get performed typically. Mapping your data, testing the data being synchronized, and then launching, and the Bedrock Data team that's on boarding you has expertise in ConnectWise as well as the marketing automation systems, to help you get the most out of those systems.
These are highlights from the Q&A with Zak & Eden.
How do you know who is actually looking on what page on your website? Is this cookie from emails through HubSpot?
Zak: HubSpot and other marketing automation systems are putting down individual cookies for each user. Then it's a mechanism of connecting that to an individual. It's connected to an individual if they are someone in your database that responds to an email that you send them. Also could be someone who fills out a form on your website to get that initial cookie down. One of the reasons to consider very short forms on your website to try to get that initial cookie down. In the case of Eden, when it comes to customer marketing, a higher percentage of customers can get that cookie down through a customer newsletter, where you're emailing customers, you're getting engagement through email, you're getting them to click on emails, getting that cookie down to get that attribution between the person and their HubSpot record.
Eden: Conveniently for us we host our website in HubSpot, so for me all my visibility’s in one spot with no additional work needed. I know when we were in WordPress, it was more difficult; now I don’t have to do anything special for it, it’s just automated.
What’s the value of having a marketing automation system alongside ConnectWise?
Eden: ConnectWise has a marketing manager when you can send out emails, but it’s much more rigid than a marketing automation platform. Marketing automation platforms have a lot more functionality for scheduling activities based on times or triggers. It also means you can manage a full marketing database, outside of your CRM, which tends to make marketers happy and the CRM administrators happy.
What kind of price point does it all come out to, PhoneBurner, HubSpot and ConnectWise together?
Zak: Assuming we’re talking about the integration cost, not necessarily of all those softwares, the Bedrock Data cost is on our website, www.bedrockdata.com/pricing.
That covers all three systems that Eden has walked us through with ConnectWise to HubSpot to PhoneBurner. Also something nice about Bedrock Data's pricing model is the on boarding that we talked about, getting up and running, is included. That covers the on boarding, covers support, covers the expertise that you're getting to connect those systems. We find it's a very strong price point relative to coding these integrations yourself or having to do something that's much much much more IT-intensive. It's automating that integration.
What are the advantages of Bedrock Data vs. coding my own integration?
Zak: The first benefit is getting an integration done more quickly, using best practices. 30 days or less to get the systems integrated.
The second benefit that you may not think about right away if the ongoing benefit.
If you're coding your own integration, if you're relying on an IT group that probably isn’t specialized in those systems, what happens a month later when there are new fields you want to make available to your sales team in ConnectWise? What happens if there’s an issue with the ConnectWise API that need to be troubleshooted, that need to be adjusted?
By working with a company like Bedrock Data, you get that all taken care of for you and you have the software to make changes yourself, so it's faster to get done in a more expert way, but then it's also something that's easier to manage, quicker to manage and there's a lot done behind the scenes for you to ensure that data is flowing smoothly between those systems. So when you're thinking about the price point and the value, think about both aspects.
What’s involved in an integration platform from a marketer’s point of view?
Eden: It's so worth the money. That's all I can say. Our integrations are smooth and when there are errors, I don't have to worry about it. I don't have to be hounding my team.
If it was supported by my internal team, we’d always be fighting for resources vs. the customer outage we’re dealing with. I would not get the attention we need. With Bedrock Data, it’s always a top priority. When I say, "Hey, this record didn't sync correctly," then I hear back, "Here’s the issue in ConnectWise. Here’s how you fix it.”
And then there’s the expertise we get about each of the systems. Our engineers or our IT, they're experts in what they do. They're experts in our systems. That doesn't necessarily mean they're experts in coding the integration from HubSpot or ConnectWise. That’s Bedrock Data’s expertise. Getting those best practices has been completely just, I can't even put a price on having that resource.
Zak: It's funny you use that example. I was talking to another Bedrock Data customer, D-Tools. Totally different systems. They're doing Marketo and Zoho, but what their president said is similar to what you're saying, like, "I've got a room full of developers. I could have them do it, but why would I want to? I've got them working on more important projects, more valuable projects. This is not something they know or understand. Much rather turn to a platform and the expertise to get that done for us." That is definitely a theme we hear a lot from our customers, so thanks for sharing that point.