The Australian Institute of Fitness (The Institute) is the largest, longest standing and most reputable provider of fitness training in Australia. The company faced several marketing and sales challenges before engaging HubSpot, where disjointed systems, minimal lead tracking and little communication between teams was the order of the day. As a result, the company wasn’t reaching its true potential and a solution was needed to overcome these challenges. Tasked with finding this solution were Jean Posthoorn and Kim Horner, who head up marketing and sales respectively for The Institute. Through the collaborative research efforts of Jean and Kim, they found HubSpot and have seen fantastic improvements across the business. Since implementing HubSpot, The Institute have created a cohesive customer journey to align marketing and sales, supercharge their leads, boost conversions and revenue, and save tens of thousands in operational costs.
Marketing & Sales Silos
Before HubSpot, The Institute were operating with an outdated approach to marketing and sales. The presence of many disjointed, disparate systems, and little communication between marketing and sales, culminated in a siloed approach that had many inaccuracies and inefficiencies. The customer journey was fragmented, with inconsistent messaging across different stages of the journey. On a functional level, too, marketing and sales were experiencing their own issues. “Before HubSpot, marketing and sales operated quite separately, in our own individual silos.”
From a marketing perspective, there was little clarity of information around leads and how to track them. While the website was attracting leads via enquiries, they had no other insights that could be used for lead nurturing, or means of passing information onto sales to paint a more complete picture. “We lacked clarity around the types of leads we were receiving. So, once an enquiry was submitted, the sales team would receive that, but they would treat all leads the same.”
From a sales perspective, the lack of differentiation between leads meant every lead was treated the same, as sales weren’t in a position to take the most appropriate action to further opportunities. The team also faced mountains of manual data entry as part of a paper and spreadsheet-based sales process, with no accurate means of data collection or reporting. “Before HubSpot, our sales system could be described as a bit archaic. It was very paper-based and Excel-based, so a lot of manual data entry for reporting purposes. So it was a little bit old-school.”
These issues on a functional level combined to have a negative effect on the business as a whole, where the number of leads generated and the rate at which they were being converted was far less than it could have been.
A Holistic and User-Friendly Approach
The company’s initial approach was to find a solution for their marketing challenges, and then focus on resolving their sales issues. As marketing manager, Jean headed up the project and soon figured out that to avail of the full benefits of marketing automation, sales had to be brought into the consideration process from the start. This required more than a simple marketing automation platform, it needed a holistic tool that could provide a set of capabilities to align and empower marketing and sales, allowing them to work together seamlessly. “We originally approached the project from a marketing automation point of view, having sales as a long-term goal. But we quickly found out that we wouldn’t reach our full potential if sales wasn’t included from the start.”
Throughout the consideration process, they tested several tools, including Salesforce and Marketo, but it was the easy-to-use and all-encompassing nature of the HubSpot Growth Stack that impressed them the most.
While senior stakeholders were given insight into the project, the final decision was left with Jean and Kim, who were both happy that HubSpot could meet their marketing and sales needs and act as the best solution for their teams. “HubSpot met our needs better than any other tool. It also made the most sense for us and was by far the easiest to use.”
Marketing & Sales in Unison
During the implementation of HubSpot, Jean alluded to the friendly and professional support provided by her implementation specialist as a key driver in developing her understanding of HubSpot. Kim was impressed with the abundance of self-learning resources available to him and his teams, stating that all 20+ HubSpot users on the sales team have completed the Sales Certification. “HubSpot really delivered on the support side of things to help us get up to speed, and the ongoing service has been fantastic. In terms of resources, the sales certification has been really helpful for all our HubSpot users on the sales team.”
On the marketing side, Jean completed her Inbound Certification and HubSpot Marketing Software Certification to become more familiar with everything that the Growth Stack has to offer, and has used her new knowledge to address the challenges she faced. She started by developing more in-depth criteria to determine what a marketing qualified lead (MQL) should look like, ensuring only highly qualified leads were passed onto the sales team. She began to generate more leads through HubSpot’s lead flow forms and used online advertising to drive traffic to HubSpot landing pages to fill out an enquiry form. The difference, however, is that each lead now can be qualified and a crystal clear journey tracked entirely within HubSpot. These were passed onto sales, who could use the much-improved data to have more informed conversations with leads. These conversations resulted in a better customer experience which, ultimately, meant higher conversion rates.
Weekly marketing and sales meetings were held throughout the implementation process to provide clarity and ensure both teams were fully aligned. Jean and Kim also continue to meet individually and have both spoken of the benefits they’ve seen at all stages of the pipeline as a result. Sales have a full understanding of what marketing actions are taken and why, and Jean is able to adjust marketing activity in line with the needs of sales to create the most benefit. “Everyone really wanted to understand how they interacted with each other and, as a by-product of HubSpot, it’s changed the way marketing and sales talk to each other for the better.”
More Leads, Conversions and Cost-Savings
Jean and Kim both agreed that the results of using HubSpot have been fantastic for The Institute, starting with the presence of a consistent message and cohesive customer journey. Marketing and sales are more aligned and involved than they’ve ever been, and this has fostered a greater appreciation and understanding of what each function does, and how they can work together to improve along every step of the journey.
The hard metrics haven’t been bad, either. Jean alluded to a 9% increase in leads generated in just three months, also saving tens of thousands of dollars over six months. With more quality leads coming through to sales, Kim cited a 2% increase in conversion rate over three months, which equates to an astonishing $200,000 in additional monthly revenue. This is a phenomenal achievement and means that not only are The Institute generating more leads through HubSpot, they’re turning these leads into customers.
Going forward, Jean and Kim hope to continue evolving The Institute’s offering through the development of more HubSpot-run projects, getting more users on board and implementing a feature that will allow leads to directly book a meeting with a sales rep and further boost conversion rates. It’s clear that The Institute are starting to realise the full potential of HubSpot, and will undoubtedly use it to grow even further in the future.