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Video: Prioritizing Inbound Leads (2:25)

In this video, you'll learn some ways that the internet has changed the buyer-seller relationship and how you can adapt to these changes.

Hey, it’s Kyle from HubSpot Academy. One of the biggest challenges salespeople face in their daily work is finding qualified people to sell to. As a HubSpot user, you have access to tools that will help you with this. But in order to use these tools to find the best leads, you need to understand a change that’s happening in the world of sales thanks to this new-fangled thing called the internet.

Think about what sales was like before the internet existed. If you were selling a big-ticket item like a car or a refrigerator, or if you were selling any sort of service contract, you would have had a lot of power over your buyers. There was no easy way for your prospects to see if your prices were fair. There was no place for them to find customer reviews to know if your offering worked as advertised. Back then, the seller was the only one with access to this information, so buyers could only get answers to their questions by asking a sales rep.

Those days are long gone. And you know this, right? Think about the way you buy things. When you have a problem to solve, you don’t wait for someone to knock on your door or call you on the phone and offer you a solution. You just hop online and find the information you need. You figure out your options and go with the one that you think will work best for you. If you have to talk to someone during the sales process, you want it to be a person who understands your situation and can help you find the solution you’re looking for.

That’s the nature of the modern world. So rather than trying to get your product in front of as many people as possible, the best thing you can do is make yourself easy to find when somebody needs your help. When someone raises their hand and says, “I want what you have,” we call that an inbound lead, and it’s so much better than the leads you manually source for yourself. If you’re serious about crushing your quota, you should be serious about filling the top of your funnel with these inbound leads. And the HubSpot Growth Stack has all the tools you need to do just that.

Whether it’s attracting new leads or communicating with people you’re already in contact with, the Growth Stack will make things easier for you and more enjoyable for your buyer. And that’s when the magic of inbound can really take hold.


Quiz: Inbound Leads

A quick knowledge check about inbound leads.

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Video: Capturing Inbound Leads (6:34)

HubSpot has several tools that will help you capture inbound leads. This video gives you some best practices for using forms, lead flows, messages, and prospects.

Hey, it’s Kyle from HubSpot Academy. The HubSpot Growth Stack includes a variety of tools to help you capture inbound leads. Let’s talk about what these tools are and how you can use them to get more high-quality leads into your pipeline.

First, forms and lead flows. These two tools allow the people visiting your website to provide their information to you. Forms collect multiple pieces of information about website visitors — ideally, it’s the sort of information you can use to qualify leads. Chances are, your website already has at least one form on it, and hopefully those form are already being captured as leads in HubSpot CRM. If not, have the person who runs your website watch the “Providing Leads to your Team” training so they can connect your website’s forms to HubSpot and get the inbound engine started. HubSpot’s Collected Forms tool can pipe those form submissions directly into your CRM and start turning them into contact records.

Lead flows are simpler and typically only collect one or two pieces of information. Even if your Lead Flows only collect a visitor’s email address, that’s enough information for HubSpot CRM to create a contact record where you’ll be able to see a full history of the pages that person has visited on your website. And if the email address uses their company’s website domain, then the CRM will be able to create a company record full of publicly available information, such as company size, location, and industry. So from just a simple email address collected by a Lead Flow, HubSpot CRM can give you a whole bunch of other information about where a person is coming from and what they might be looking for.

To see the contact records that have been created from lead flow and form submissions, go to the Contacts page and add a filter for Form Submission. You’ll then see a dropdown with all of the forms that are connected to HubSpot. Select any one of them and open one of the contact records. Now ask yourself: Is this a good lead? Is there enough information for you to feel comfortable reaching out to this person? If not, why not? What information is missing? If you have suggestions, take them to your marketing team or whoever manages the forms on your website and let them know what information you need to be able to qualify these leads. Working together, you’ll be able to increase the quality of the leads coming in from your website, and that will ultimately result in more sales for you.

Another tool that helps you capture inbound leads is messages. Messages is a live chat tool that's built specifically for sales teams. You can use it to chat directly with website visitors and start building a relationship with them right away. Live chat is a great way to capture leads because it helps you meet your prospects where they are without requiring them to fill out a form or ask for help. Here are some pro tips to help you get the most out of messages:

  1. First, put messages on specific pages. The messages chat pane doesn’t have to be displayed on every single page of your website, so you can get strategic here. If you have a pricing page or pages describing your products, you’ll want to be able to chat with people on those pages because that’s where people go when they’re looking to buy. But your blog and homepage? Maybe not the best place to be trying to have real-time conversations. This is a great area to try a little experimentation. Put messages on different pages and see where you have the most valuable conversations, then lean into those pages.
  2. Next, customize your welcome message. This is the text that shows up in the chat pane when it appears on the page. For best results, create different messages for different pages. So if you do have a pricing page, and you put a message on it, have it say something like, “Have questions about our pricing structure? I’m here to help!” The more customized you make the message, the more likely people are to engage with you.
  3. Next, decide who you want to chat with. For each message you create, you can set the target audience, which controls who the chat pane appears to. You have a few different options here. You can have the messages pane displayed to everyone who visits your website or just to known contacts — or you can have it display to only people who meet certain criteria, as defined by a list or view. If you aren’t sure what to do, start by showing the message to everyone. If you find that you’re getting more chats than you can handle, you can start restricting it, but starting out, the more people you give the opportunity to chat with you, the more people you’ll be able to help. And the more people you help, the more sales you’ll make.
  4. Fourth, customize your offline message. You aren’t always going to be available to chat in real-time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be helping people. Customize your offline message so people will still want to engage with you. If somebody sends you a message, you’ll receive it in an email so you can respond later.
  5. Finally, set your availability. By default, you’ll only appear online if you have the messages screen open in your browser. By setting your availability, you can make it so your visitors can always reach you during certain times of day.

In addition to forms, lead flows, and messages, one final tool that will help you capture inbound leads is prospects. The prospects tool shows a list of companies that have visited your website. Go through the list and favorite any companies you’re currently working with or trying to work with. Then turn on notifications so you’ll be alerted anytime one of these companies visits your website. If a company that’s gone cold starts coming back to your website, now might be a good time to restart the conversation with them. Or if you see that a company you haven’t been working with has been visiting your website a lot, you can reach out to them and see where you can help. Don’t go for a hard sale — just try to figure out who you need to be talking to and what their situation is. And then find some way to help them with whatever it is they’re trying to do.

So forms and lead flows, messages, and prospects are the main tools that will help you find and capture new leads. Experiment with them until you find the combination that works best for your target customers. As you find ways to meet your customers where they are, you’ll find more leads coming into your pipeline, and more sales coming out the other end.
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Tool Walk-Through: Building Lead Flows (6:07)

A walk-through of the lead flows tool.

User Guide

Help Doc: Lead flows and collected forms FAQ

Answers to common questions about lead flows and collected forms.

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Tool Walk-Through: Messages (2:20)

A walk-through of the messages tool

This is the Messages screen inside HubSpot CRM. To create a new message, click the “Create message” button and give the message a name. Next, you’ll need to think about your target audience. Use the “Display to” dropdown to decide who the message should be displayed to. You can display the messages pane to everyone who visits your website or just to known contacts, or you can display it to people who meet certain criteria, as defined by a list or view. If you aren’t sure what to do, start by showing the message to everyone. You can always change this later. You also need to decide what pages your message will be on. Enter the URLs of the web pages where you want it to appear. If you want all of the sub-pages of a certain page to have your message on them, add an asterisk to the end of the URL. Next you can customize your welcome message. Be sure to make it relevant to the pages this message will be displayed on. The last step of creating a message is to preview it and make sure it looks the way you want it to.

After you’ve created a message, click the Settings button. Here, you can adjust things that will affect all of your messages. In the My Profile section, you can change your photo, enter your job title and introduction, and control whether you want your meetings link displayed in the chat pane. In the Notifications section, you can control how you’ll be notified when a website visitor sends you a message. In the Availability section, you can set the times of day when the messages pane will allow people to chat with you.

Now that you have everything set up the way you want it, you can launch the chat screen at any time by clicking Launch Chat. Here, you can chat with visitors in real time. As you do, you can save them as contacts in HubSpot CRM or update their information if they’re already a contact. And that will give you a new source of warm leads to work with in the future.

User Guide

Help Doc: How to set up HubSpot Sales Messages

A brief explanation of how to set up the messages tool.

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Tool Walk-Through: Prospects (1:56)

A walk-through of the prospects tool

This is the Prospects screen. Here you can see a list of companies that have visited your website. Click on a company to see more information about it. Click the star next to a company’s name to add it to your favorites. To access your list of favorites, go to the views dropdown and select Favorites.

Similar to the Companies page inside HubSpot CRM, you can filter this list by various properties so you only see the companies that meet certain criteria. And you can change the columns that are shown. You can also sort the list by each column, so you can see things like which companies have viewed the most pages or sent the most visitors to your website.

When you have the information laid out the way you want it, you can save it as a custom view for easy access in the future. You can take this efficiency to the next level by subscribing to any view within the prospects tool to receive email notifications about the companies in that view. To do this, go to the view you’re interested in and click the Manage Notifications button.

There are two different types of notifications you can receive: a daily email that summarizes the companies in this view that visited your site, and a revisit notification that will be sent to you as soon as one of these companies comes back to your site.

Subscribing to notifications is a good way to keep track of how engaged these companies are with your website. Notifications can help you reach out to them at an opportune time to move the sales conversation forward.