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[Feature Friday] Jesse Pennington on Using Tools like HubSpot to Run Your Business Smoothly - The ROI Online Podcast Ep. 28

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On this episode of the ROI Online Podcast, Steve talks with Jesse Pennington of Begin Bound, a HubSpot Solutions Partner, about utilizing tools in your business and how it makes your job easier. 

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Running your business online, at least in part, is no longer optional, but everything you have to do online becomes a time-suck for other things you have to get done. How can you make your job easier and still provide the best experience for your customers? By using tools like HubSpot that help automate and track your everyday tasks and interactions with prospects. 


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Jesse started in web development for HubSpot 10 years ago before starting Begin Bound five years ago now. At Begin Bound, he helps grow businesses and agencies using HubSpot. The reason he’s stuck with HubSpot for so long is because of their culture and their willingness to take feedback and make their products better, a philosophy he uses himself. 

Jesse is certified through HubSpot in Inbound Marketing, Development, and Begin Bound, and is a Sales Solutions Partner. He thinks tools, in this case, HubSpot, help businesses start the right way: by understanding how they sell, who their customers are, and the ways in which they can automate their processes to save time and money. He doesn’t just talk the talk either, Jesse uses the tools he helps others within his own business.

The whole point of a digital presence is to center your business around your customer. Your job is to give your customers what they want and the best way to do that is to keep track of them inside a comprehensive, thorough digital “Central Command” so you can get their attention and awareness and keep it by giving them relevant stuff they’re interested in on a consistent basis. 

The way you organize your customer relationships is through a tool like HubSpot. That way, your salespeople can access the data that’s been collected, see where that customer is at in the sales process, and even listen to previous phone calls. Essentially, it makes everyone’s jobs easier and your customer’s journey feel safer and more relevant to them. 

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If you’d like to learn more about how HubSpot can help your business, check out https://beginbound.com

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Jesse Pennington : 

I think the best thing to maybe tell like a green business owner or just maybe an experienced business owner, but somebody that's green to the technology, let's say you have to pick a mothership, like you kind of want to pick at least something where you know you, you have some kind of Central Command of where you're going to kind of put some stuff. And I think HubSpot is a really good candidate over a lot of the other choices simply because they really do have good tools for a lot of the things that you're going to need the website, a form to just get people to convert on sending an email, you know, trying to follow up with people automatically, you know, and then into the sales side, you know, connecting those marketing leads that are coming into some kind of an organized system where your salespeople can actually like, see what the data is they can jump into, you know, a sale that's in process, see where it's at, see the notes on the account or where things were at in the past.

Steve Brown : 

Hi, everybody. Welcome to the ROI online podcast where we believe you, the courageous entrepreneurs of our day are the invisible heroes of our economy. You not only improve our world with your ideas, your grit and your passion, but you make our world better. I'm Steve Brown. And this is the place where we have great conversations with winners just like you while we laugh and learn together. Welcome back, everybody to the ROI online podcast and today I want to introduce you to someone you need to know his name is Jesse Pennington. Jesse is coming out of Cleveland, Ohio. He's a HubSpot Magic Man. And he's been associated with ROI online for a handful of years now. Jessie, welcome to the ROI online podcast.

Jesse Pennington : 

Thank you, Mr. Steve Brown. It's A pleasure to be here. Thank you for having me. It's nice to talk with you today and with everybody listening.

Steve Brown : 

Yeah. So Jesse, your company begin bound has been hanging around the HubSpot ecosystem for about 10 years or maybe begin bound became Kate. Yeah,

Jesse Pennington : 

start on five years. Five years. Yeah, yeah. So this summer will be our five year anniversary. But I started with HubSpot about almost 10 years ago.

Steve Brown : 

Yeah. So that's the reason that I wanted to talk to you today and I'm excited to have you my audience meet you. You know, we have story brand guys that listen, we have entrepreneurs and business owners and marketing directors. HubSpot comes up often. And it's an ecosystem that we really promote and are experts in and you're an integral part of that. But it's important to know that you've been digging around in that HubSpot tool for about 10 years. Talk to us a little bit about your background. Why you HubSpot, what certifications etc.

Jesse Pennington : 

Right? So, um, when I finished grad school I, I kind of got back into web development that was kind of I've always been kind of a creative person. And that was kind of my pathway to like, be creative and then also essentially get a job make some money. So that's kind of how I started out and I ended at an inbound agency, where I kind of just did development stuff. And that was my introduction into HubSpot. They were one of the first inbound marketers and all that fun stuff. So that was my introduction to the system. And it's come a long way since 2011. But one of the things that always one things I always loved about it. First and foremost was HubSpot is a great culture. They have a really great support team there. They do really good with feedback and trying to solicit feedback from people and you can I've seen it personally in the system over the, you know, nine years plus that I've been involved with it, where you really see how they have taken the feedback and made the product Better. And it's always been a really great all in one solution. And it kind of started with just really simple marketing tools. And now it's kind of just evolved in this massive ecosystem. So I came at it from a development perspective, you know, making websites and all that kind of fun stuff. And then that kind of lends itself to conversions and kind of collecting data and things like that. So then, when HubSpot released their CRM, I was able to kind of, you know, sidestep into that as well and kind of help with that, because it's just similar technology, with those kind of things and just their product, the way that it kind of connects everything. So yeah, I've been poking around in it since back in the old days, I've got the inbound marketing certifications, begin bounds, a certified sales solutions partner. I've had the developer certification since it ever came out and every iteration since and all the growth driven design and all those kind of fun things that have come out. So it's been a really great journey. I still love the product, still happy to work with providers like you today that are, you know, helping other companies use this tool and the software really well. It's important, I think it's an, you know, it's a benefit. I really do. I think it's worth the investment and that, you know, it's a it's a tool, you know, if you don't use a tool then just sits in the garage. I mean, that's, that's not the tools fault. But if you use it, right, it can do a lot really, it really can.

Steve Brown : 

You know, I was thinking marketing automation tool, the CMS CRM that there are all these different tools and there's not just HubSpot, you have Infusionsoft, you have all these other things and, and they're all pretty sophisticated in there. You have to really dig into them and get to know them, and they each have their idiosyncrasies, and I'm not right. You know, this conversation, not so much about which one's better, but we chose just to be experts in HubSpot. And what I like about what you're saying is No tool is perfect. Every tool has has frustrating components. But I, I agree with the culture within HubSpot is they're very open to listening to what the client needs to take advantage of the tool, which is their whole intent.

Jesse Pennington : 

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it's important. They've always been customer centric, I think from day one. And I think like I said, I think it bears out in the software, it bears out in the people that they hire and all the relationships with people that I've had at HubSpot and Boston and on the slack channels and the developers and everything, you know, it's a it's a good community. And I mean, you know, to your point, I mean, everything is very saturated. There are 20 different widgets out there that all say they're gonna make your life better, and they all want 30 bucks a month or 100 bucks a month or 500 bucks a month or whatever it is, right. So it really is for business owners and for providers. You really do kind of have to start to pick nowadays. days, it's really hard to be a general word good at everything company. Typically my experience with people that do that is that they, they're, you know, knee deep, as far as what they can provide. And that actually, secretly they do actually kind of specialize they just don't like advertise it and it's there's really there's really one system they started with or two systems so for me for begin bound, like we I just I, you know, I could do like WordPress projects and other things as a developer and I, you know, made a business decision early to turn down that work for the most part, except for like, local clients, people, you know, here in Cleveland that, you know, just needed help people that he knew and you just want to help them out and it's, you know, helpful jobs, but other as far as like advertising the business itself and working with you and everything. It's really I just decided early, like, I'm gonna focus on HubSpot, and be really good at it. There's tons of customers, it's a great environment that I'm happy to stay in. And it's worked out really well. You know, especially for small business, you know, just kind growing. So I think every business has to make that decision, you know, in the in the tool stack that they build. And that's a tough process. It's really confusing. You know, I get it, I hear it all the time. Sure you hear it all the time. It's overwhelming. It's confusing. They don't quite know what to do. They've got the Google search results. And honestly, when you're like me, you probably experience when you're trying to find something that you don't know anything about your like, top 10 best, you start doing all the typical searches. And you just get like blog posts from who God knows where from who knows where like, saying, These are the top five, whatever, but it was written by some dude that works for x company, like, it's hard. You know, it's actually you know, the internet is a double edged sword like the informations there, but you really, it's not easy anymore. Like you kind of have to do the work because everybody's gotten on that SEO game and content game. It's everywhere. So

Steve Brown : 

yeah, I agree. The challenge for business owner and marketing director is need to have this messaging but we're going to have to put it into some sort of technology. To connect on all these platforms and that's really confusing and frustrating because they're always updating. They're always have these gotchas that you didn't know was going to hit you till you get in. Okay, here we go guys. And we're walking in and it's like glitch and that's, that's what I like about HubSpot is that we know where HubSpot sweet spot is. But the beautiful thing, it's an open platform because every marketing tractor and business owner knows they're going to need to do well I've got an email system and I need to do a video system and I need to put some podcasts and I need to just you have to do I put my stuff on medium. You have all these questions. But the beautiful thing about HubSpot is it can be a foundational tool that can scale with you and it's open to you bolting on whatever terrain are best for you.

Jesse Pennington : 

Right. And I mean a lot of the tools are doing the bolt ons and stuff I'd say HubSpot put in a lot of work just in recent years to really they expand their integrations and their app network, you know, I can't remember the name of it. But I know that there's a particular platform that they just bought outright that they're using. Now for some of the connections, it really escapes me in the moment, but if it maybe it'll come to me. But yeah, there's they're doing a lot for that. And I think the best thing to maybe tell like a green business owner or just maybe an experienced business owner, but somebody that's green to the technology, let's say you have to pick a mothership, like you kind of want to pick at least something where, you know, you have some kind of Central Command of where you're going to kind of put some stuff. And I think HubSpot is a really good candidate over a lot of the other choices simply because they really do have good tools for a lot of the things that you're going to need the website, a form to just get people to convert on sending an email, you know, trying to follow up with people automatically, you know, and then into the sales side, you know, connecting those marketing leads that are coming in to To some kind of an organized system where your sales people can actually like, see what the data is they can jump into, you know, a sale that's in process, see where it's at, see the notes on the account or where things were at in the past, even listen to the phone calls. If you did outbound calls from HubSpot, you can sync with something like call rail, whatever, for the inbound calls as well. So there's all the things that you kind of are kind of simple, kind of dumb things like that. You think like, of course, they have this technology, but you just don't use it. You don't know. That's all there like you really can, you know, and we've worked on that with some of the clients for ROI and, and things of that nature. And it's a huge time saver, really, at the end of the day, if you want to talk about like the bottom line value.

Steve Brown : 

I look at it as you need to pick whether it's a Ford or a Chevy or Toyota or wherever. Right. So but the thing about HubSpot, that I really feel comfortable with is that you can pick this tool and as you go on To The Future, you don't know exactly what other technology you're, you're going to need to take advantage of true. But it's the thing about HubSpot, you can be fairly confident that that tool will integrate and complement OR support the process that you're building. So it really becomes an asset that you're investing in, that's going to grow with you and scale with you as you need in the future, which is unpredictable. Yeah,

Jesse Pennington : 

I mean, it's very unpredictable. I mean, I think we're both quarantined from COVID-19 right now. And it's about unpredictable. So yeah, having a digital ecosystem to organize your things, probably not a bad idea in the 21st century, given everything that's going on. And yeah, I mean, I, I mean, I can say, you know, you would think that people would pull back on like digital marketing or things of that nature in terms of like stuff, especially with like what's going on right now, but until A lot of cases, I've seen people doubling down on it or taking advantage of it, because it's very scalable, you know, you can do it very quickly, you know, it's only takes a, you know, doesn't take long to upload a list of, you know, people organize them smartly, you know, in the system and then figure out you know, okay, are we going to email campaign these people are just keep track of where they're at, be able to track that connected to your website or other things. I mean, these things are actually very scalable. And you can do them pretty quickly if you kind of get in and do it. So there's a lot of benefits especially now to doing I mean, every it's kind of like there's this whole swath of people that didn't get in the digital game or were slow to do it or whatever, and everything that's happening now, you know, there is an opportunity, you know, they're all kind of like, oh god remote working actually kind of works. My people are still getting their job done. Who would have thought you know, there, that's just the way it is. And you know, digital marketing and the CRM and the website and all that stuff and well HubSpot provides, and it's right there. It's been there all along, you know, so the people that have been doing it, you know, really stand to benefit. And it's never been a better time to jump into because they got all those starter packages and everything, like it's pretty approachable for the most part to get in there even at just like an intro level.

Steve Brown : 

Yes. So that Yeah, what you're talking about is this great awakening, if you will, yeah, that you need to get your act together online. In case there's this, Who would have ever thought that you can go out and shake someone's hand meet them for coffee, go go out to dinner travel to their location, when actually now you need a way to conduct business, create those relationships remotely, but track all those conversations follow up on those conversations and have a strategy and and document what's what's resounding what's not.

Jesse Pennington : 

Yeah, I mean, we can talk about one specific one just for fun one that I know you use and that I use every single day, which is the meetings tool and HubSpot CRM and sales. It saves my life. I mean, it's a link in my email, I've told the calendar like here's what I'm available and here's what I'm not go forth and prosper. So when people want to meet or whatever, it's you know, and we've been doing this long before the pandemic, you know, oh, you know, all those emails you send Okay, I'm free Tuesday at this time and this time but then I'm free Thursday at this time, but not Friday. You know, there's you maybe you waste 15 minutes of your day like doing that every time you know multiplied by clients or how many meetings or whatever now it's just Hey, go to this link and find a time that works for you. Yeah, done. And then you know that that saves me just as a real small operator. It saves me tons of time. looks professional. It's all automated. They pick the time that works for them. They get the email from it saying hey look, and you know, you can customize the message and I've customized mine You have yours, whatever, happy to meet you. Whatever. Send them a zoom link that comes with it. You know, you can put it in the description. Just use a standard one like you have a private meeting room. In zoom, everybody does when you have a basic account, you just put that in there. And then it's done. So I mean, I laugh all the time, I'll tell my, like, my wife or my dad be like, Oh, hey, look, I got two new potential clients, they booked meetings with me. And it looks like my friend is gonna be busy. And I'm sitting there eating a sandwich. Like, I didn't do anything. So you know, you can put these things on your website, too. They could be in your email signature, they can be on your website, like this is one of many simple tools that is really obvious. You know, I'm very value focused, like, it's all about value at the end of the day, like, that's how you when you provide value to people and you went, that's just my philosophy, like that tool is one perfect example of that's valuable, it's easy to communicate, it's simple, it saves time. And it's not all this other crazy scary stuff like CRM, and you know, you know, your, your data network, and we're gonna do massive marketing workflow data. And it's just like, you know, big data like people don't, they love it, but a lot of people don't get it. Heck, I don't get it. Even so Sometimes, I mean, it's just it's crazy how big it can get. So I, you just can just connect the value, these simple tools, things that people use everyday to run businesses. And that's where I focus. I know, that's where you focus. And I think those things are really valuable. So there's a fun example for everybody.

Steve Brown : 

I think the best way for a business owner to start getting their act together online. It's tough. Most folks start on the marketing side of the house, and it's a little it's confusing and who's a marketing expert. But really, if you start on the sales side of the house, Mm hmm. If let's take off the word sales, but let's, let's just say we're going to track conversations. We're going to facilitate conversations and expedite conversations. So here's, here's what was big for me. I come from a heavy interruption based cold call mine mindset organizations where you need the barges. In arm wrestle someone's until they give you the attention and then trick them into signing up. So you can make your quota. Right, right. But here, you're talking about something that in the past eight years, that's never been the case here. People redo their research, they stumble into our system, they look around, they find something that's very interesting. Then they go pick a time and they initiate the conversation, they schedule a time on my calendar. And then in the morning, I check my email, and I have a sales conversation at three o'clock with someone I've never I didn't know about, but I'm able to

Jesse Pennington : 

They know more about you too. That's the funny part.

Steve Brown : 

Totally. And, but now I need to go look in the tool and go Alright, they have been checking us out for about two months. And they finally have scheduled a time and they were hanging around in this area. Looking at these services, so guess what? I'm not walking into the conversation cold. I'm understanding more about what they're interested in. Right? That's, that's the essence of inbound marketing. And it is a totally legitimate expectation that the folks that are listening to your business can operate that way. You just need to have a different expectation of when you can get out of this investment.

Jesse Pennington : 

Yeah, absolutely. You know, I mean, it. It's funny, I mean, like, that's one of my favorite things, too, is like when you get into that classic conversation about, we don't need the internet or we don't need this or, you know, all those kinds of things. You know, the first thing I tell people is I'm like, Alright, if I said, Hey, you have a flat tire and you don't know this area, you need to find a place to get your tire fixed. Like what's the first thing you're going to pick this thing up, and you're gonna, you're gonna look on it. I mean, at the end of the day, like the internet is already telling people about you, I think don't care who you are, I don't care what your businesses, I don't care what industry you're in, you are not special, you're on the internet one way or another. And if you're not, that's kind of amazing. And that's still bad. So you're either telling people what you want them to hear when they find you, or look for you, or someone else is telling them. So at some level, you have to take accountability and responsibility for this and do this, just like you would anything else. And you would be surprised how much it impacts your business. And, you know, to your point about the Great Awakening earlier, you know, we're getting that now. It's just, it's amazing how long it's taken. But, you know, it's, it's all out there. And so what happens is they go through that great awakening, and then they start poking around, they're like, oh, gosh, I got to get this stuff figured out. You know, I got to do whatever. And that's where some of these tools come in, and you know, transparent about how you use it and how I use it. And that's the way they should be using it. And I think that that's a really good example of just like, Hey, I'm not hiding anything. There's no tricks in it. More like you can use these tools to for your business so that you and at the end of the day, it's, you know, passive is a bad word in sales. But it's the passive sales are really nice, you know, people like passive income but not passive sales kind of funny how that works, right? But the truth is, it's money their way. And it's money that you didn't have to spend time you were doing something else productive. Hopefully, while that was happening, you know, that's being doubly productive. That's amazing, you can do that. That's not hard to do. And these systems are out there for you to do that on. So for your point about the sales, getting that organized, initially, just getting your sales team you know, a lot of times communications The biggest thing, this guy owns these sales, this guidance, the salespeople have their silos, and there's all that kind of stuff and technology's scary, but at the end of the day is just like look, all this is going to do is make it clear what's going on with each prospect. And let's

Steve Brown : 

talk about an example one of our So first of all, HubSpot CRM for everyone who doesn't know is free CRM is a customer relationship management tool. Basically, it's a place that you collect all of the conversations and track them. And everyone can see and stay up to speed on what's been going on with each of your contacts or contact records. And so one of our clients that Jesse's doing some great work with, you know, we have, we've set up their, their website stuff, we've helped them do their marketing strategy and then restarted campaigns. But on the back end, inside of the business, there's multiple team players that need to be in the know, understand what's going on with each customer, each prospect each project. And so what Jesse's been doing, is the beautiful thing about the HubSpot CRM is very customizable. So Jesse kind of talked to us about, just walk us through a little Bit of the thinking, how are you? What's the first things that you do with this client? Then where are we going? And what can they expect?

Jesse Pennington : 

You know, it's funny, but the first thing I do is get out like a Google doc or something. And say, before we get into the system, we need to talk about just the very basic particular things of how you sell, you know, so, you know, in the case of, let's say, you know, a real estate client, we need to know, okay, you know, what do you call your different stages of sales? You know, is it you know, the contract signed, and now we're waiting on credit approval, or, you know, we have a commitment on a property, but it's contingent, you know, and everyone has their own definitions that we can define these things. So there's actually a nice little canned bond board in HubSpot, you can actually watch all the deals kind of move back and forth, to see that but to get to that point, the very simple thing is you have to just identify like what are the things the sales guys need to check off when they talk to someone you know, obviously first name, last name, you Email phone number, that's the easy stuff that go get some thinking that way. And then it's like, what's your definition of, you know, a client type, let's say. So in real estate, it would be it's a lease or it's a conventional sale, it's FHA, it's whatever, you know, they have their their list. So I can make that I can make a little custom drop down that has your little things in it, put it in a little sidebar, so it's in a quick view, it's ready to go. So every time you pop in, it's right there. And you can just go through and start filling in the information based on a phone call, while you're on the call, after the call, whatever beauty of this is, that goes into the system. And then anybody that looks at that contact in the sales team, or the sales manager or the owner, whatever can come in at any time and see that information. And then in addition to that, you have notes, so people can leave notes and they can be brief, you know, just like I talked to somebody I was on this call, whatever. This is how you start to get that communication symmetry in the business. So getting people used to that initially is one of the first big steps, but but also just defining what those properties are, you know, what are those properties that are custom to your business. And so I'll use bullets as my favorite tip in like a Google Doc. And I'll do like a parent bullet that says, like client type, and then I'll do sub bullet that says lease or FHA or whatever. That's an easy way for people to kind of understand what we're doing in terms of the options that we can create, like, you know, date, this contract sign, well, that's a, that's a date field. Okay, I need to create that. So I work with the client to try and get that whole list, because there's all the standard stuff, and then there's all that extra stuff. And then once you get that in for a contact, and you get that in for a deal, now you have the system customized in a way that when I show them how to use the system, it'll actually make sense to them. So if you don't do that for the if you don't do that work upfront, then you're really putting the cart before the horse and you're already going uphill, right? Because you're trying to introduce a new technology, especially like sales teams. You know, they're wary of new technology, or they have a system that works for them already, they still haven't traded in their blackberry or something like you. And that happens. I mean, it just does. Yeah. So you have to be ready for that. And the easiest, but at least in my opinion, and free tip for everybody, like I just start with like a Google doc and simple bullets and just like, okay, let's just talk about how you classify things and what you talk about things because then we can go on the backend of do that work and set that up for you. So that when we do the training, there's a lot of familiar stuff in there and they see the value, they start to see the value quicker because it's in their language. And it's, it's it's set up there. And so when you're showing them the things in HubSpot, it makes a lot more sense. So, that's a full rounded thing of like, how you onboard, how they get used to it, where you kind of start, that's where I always start. I think it's pointless to do anything else. I really do. Because it's just unless the people want ownership, right. People want ownership, they want their own custom our business is different or our business is special, or whatever you need. Have that and that's fine that they are they're all special. But I want you to see that when you log into HubSpot, I want you to see that when you look at your system, so you feel like you own it. And so that's one of my favorite things to do.

Steve Brown : 

I want to pause here just for a moment and talk to you about a program that we have just released called the ROI quickstart Academy for authors. Every day, I talk to business owners just like you who struggle with quickly getting their fundamentals in place. We want to create a great foundation and we want to grow our business, but the things that are in our way, or lack of knowledge about the specifics we should put in place, what kind of technology what kind of messaging and what kind of campaigns and that problem exists for authors as well. And we just gel so good with authors because, well, I'm an author, and I understand everything that you struggle with. You have a great idea you have a great book, but what do you want to do? You want to get your book in front of more people, you want to make it easy for them to find you learn how they can schedule a time to talk with you hire you for a conference, or maybe sign up for the services that your book promotes. So what is the Quickstart Academy for authors? Imagine working with a small group of like minded authors, and the experts from the ROI quickstart team. It's a great way to get your message you clear to be confident with the technology in your marketing automation, and how to run a strategic campaign to get you more of what you want from the investment of your book. To learn more about the Quickstart Academy for authors, you can visit ROI online comm or click in the link in the show notes below. And now back to this episode. So we get our language clear. What what I think some of the mistakes are and he's mister salesperson. Here's a CRM I heard about you implement it. Well, that there's a lot in that, that order that delegation right there, right? First of all, you're saying, I want you to set up a new system. Well, that means you're going to introduce change into this whole, the whole business, right? You're changing the way they're going to communicate. You're changing the expectations of where information sits. And it's not just the salesperson. So, in the example of the realtor, there's a lot of paperwork involved in that conversation. And the salesperson is not going to fill out all that paperwork, it's going to be handed off to someone who's a paperwork specialist. Well, they need to know where they are in that process. They need to know when something's assigned, and then they need to document when that steps been followed. There's a lot of existing friction and frustration that already is in your system. Whether you happen CRM are not in right to walk in and create a nice unified vocabulary, a nice unified flow of information, you're starting to reduce friction, you're starting to clue in people to what's going on, especially the customer, the customer feels it too, when they feel like this was easy, professional and frustrating process. Right?

Jesse Pennington : 

Yeah. And that's why you have to start simple with that. And it requires ownership, you know, to your point, it's gonna affect a lot of things. So if you're coming into an implementation, and it's very, like, here's like a spreadsheet and you go do it, you know, it's possible to do it that way. But if that's the likelihood that your investment is going to bear fruit down the road, that you're actually going to use it, because I think there's Pino for every story about there about a successful inflamation implementation. There's probably three about how somebody spent money to implement something they never use, you know? For a variety of reasons, so setting up for success is so important. So you really need that ownership and buy in, especially at the beginning. And that's, again, why like I try to start outside the system with just getting those basic things kind of there so that the system can be ready to be personalized for that for that very reason. Because there's a lot of bumps that go along the way. But the beauty is because so like when people are selling these systems, right, HubSpot, and everybody it's across the board, the sexy stuff is what sells, you see the beautiful dashboard, you know, we have, you know, $750,000 in recurring revenue that we're planning to take in this month. And you know, our close rate is 70% on the dashboard. So we're expecting this much in revenue, but it could be this much in revenue. It's all right here in this, all the beautiful colors and the graphs, and I'm going to automate this thing to go out whatever like it always starts there. But it doesn't. That's not where it's starts to get there, right? Like you have to do those basic things, of setting it up and using the tool consistently. To your point about starting with sales, it actually is really important because if you do the sales stuff, right, then the reporting, and even the digital marketing, which bounces off of that in terms of handing off, you know, sales, you know, sale, sales qualified leads to more marketing qualified to sales, qualified leads and things like that. Those things are so much easier to organize and identify, and then when a client comes to you and says, We want to target people in this region that have interacted with this thing, you know, a year ago, because we think we have a really good product that could work for them. But it would only work for these people, especially in this spot. And you're like if they're if we had done that legwork, and we had set it up in a way that language wise and property wise and specifics works for your business, as a marketer or as a salesperson. Whatever, I can easily say, no problem. Because we've been using it's boring at first, like you use the system consistently, you use it the same way you get people to communicate and personalize it. You just do that you don't see it right away. But then those conversations become easier. What happens a lot of times is that conversation comes and then you got to sit there and go, well, the data is not really that trustworthy, because you know, the properties, the sales guys are there, people are complaining that they're missing a property or they're missing something that doesn't, it doesn't make sense. It doesn't follow the business model, you know, you get into all of that. So we always, you know, we've done this for a long time. So that's kind of the whole thing is like, let's start the right way. It's not it's not as sexy right away at first, but it will bear fruit down the road because you can trust it. And that's what people forget is like data is great, but you can have bad data very, very easily. You have to really protect your data and you got to start on that right foot so that down the road, you can make all that Those sexy moves that you see on the TV or that sell the software. Now that's the process. That's the reality.

Steve Brown : 

What I want people to understand if you start with a sales process that you're talking about and use, you first get your clarity on how the organization, we're going to say sales, but acquires new customers to business and there's a process it's a business process. But then, if you're empowered as a business owner, you have clarity and your sales teams communicating using the same vocabulary, documenting all of the conversations in a centralized place that everyone can see. Then this is how you would look at marketing. Marketing becomes a support tool. What can we create to support conversations during the evaluation stage for the customer during the decision stage for the customer, what what information would be helpful What do we need to create to help the salespeople communicate better? And then what are what are the assets that we could create to follow up after they do become a customer? Well, that's the proper way to look at marketing and marketing support. And, and I think that's where we can start to go. Alright, so let's consider your website and where it lives and how we're going to connect activity in the evaluation stage with our CRM, customer relationship, conversation evaluation tracking system. And that leads us to a CMS or content management system. The brightful The beautiful thing about the HubSpot tool is it integrates so nice into that and helps give you clarity on what people are doing while they're evaluating you before you even know about them. Right.

Jesse Pennington : 

Yeah, it's really good. I mean, that's the I mean, you need the website. You always need the website itself. In level, and you know, people, there's different types of websites and things out there, obviously. But the beauty of using the HubSpot website, if you're using the other tools is to your point the everything's kind of interconnected. So when someone visits a page for a certain amount of time, or maybe clicks on a link or download something that actually shows up in the timeline with all the other sales stuff, so the offline sales stuff, the phone calls the maybe send a brochure, whatever you do in your sales process. How amazing would it be if inter spliced in that timeline were that oh, well, Jesse came back in he visited after I Oh, it looks like after I talked to him for an hour, he visited these four pages on our website, and I can see that all there. So this is what comes back full circle to the beginning of the conversation about picking your tech stack picking your mothership. This is why he spots a great mothership because of these reasons, because you can start to interconnect these things. So you Then you can go further with that when people fill out a form, when they do different things, you can market differently to them, you can start to segment them, you can start to personalize and be more customer centric and sent in the sense of giving the customer what they want, figuring out what they want quicker, and giving it to them in terms of like, they're interested in this, give it to him, like, this is what we have to offer. It, maybe it works, maybe it doesn't. But like, that's the whole point of marketing is to get attention and awareness. But also now adays is to give you attention, get awareness, but then keep your attention by giving you relevant stuff that you're interested in. You can't do that without some kind of data. And you need a way to organize all of it. So this that's how all these things kind of work together.

Steve Brown : 

Marketing is like, it seems like something that I think one of the reasons people give a lot of credence or have a high expectation of marketing be effective because it's more like seems like a guessing game. Right? What what you just illustrated or what you just helped us see, this is how you can start to make your change, transitioning marketing from I'm guessing to what that they're interested in to actually seeing what they are interested in, that helps support their decision process. People just want to make a good decision. How nice would it be to give them the best information and make the best decision along the way? Well, if you don't have this technology, if you don't have your, your sales process or your customer acquisition process, pretty established, you can't reveal and start to see really good insights unless you approach it that way.

Jesse Pennington : 

Right? Well, this gets into one of my favorite principles of asking over blasting. And so you know, if you're not asking your clients for their opinion, if you're not if you're not finding creative ways in your marketing or your website to get some kind of feedback, because you can infer things based on pages and content and what people are downloading But again coming full circle to why we love HubSpot. And one of the reasons it's stuck around had such staying power is because they found ways to ask over blasting. Or they've been getting feedback from their customers and their clients and even the agencies that sell their software to other people like yourself. So that that is a big component of that. And again, you need a tool to do that. And again, HubSpot has those tools in addition to all the other tools that we were talking about. And as we start talking about more and more tools that HubSpot has, we actually start to weed out a lot of other software options because there are a lot of software options that don't have some of this stuff. So it's, it's important to note that but it's again, it's big and scary and it's hard to know that like all upfront and just get that from a Google search. So we try to help people the best that we can to, you know, to work for them. I mean look every says everybody has their preferences and you know, there are specific industries that need specific software, you know, but but By and large, I think, you know, hub spots a pretty valuable tool for the vast majority of businesses out there. You know, within that certain range.

Steve Brown : 

Totally I'm, I believe that you have to have four things, four, four things in place for fundamentals to have a healthy foundation for your business. Everyone focuses on the physical things, we naturally get it. I need an open sign. This says when we're open, I need a parking lot that's clean, and, and obvious where I park when people come in. It's be very obvious we it's just a natural thing we do as business people. Here's the waiting area. here's, here's where you go to order. There's the menu. You pick up your orders over there. It's that's clear in the physical world. But where what we're doing is helping our business owners, marketing directors to get them virtual version of that. You know that when people come the same things going on in their mind, they're evaluating the legitimacy of your your offer, the your reputation, whether you are going to be considered as a potential solution. It all comes from the, the virtual portion of that that's where they begin. That's where you get, you get into the shortlist. And then when they start talking to you, that's where they make the decision on the final step. So why not get your act together in the virtual world and kill it and start with the sales side first, as you build it out?

Jesse Pennington : 

Yeah, yeah. I mean, at this point, it's almost, it's almost not even an advantage. It's more of keeping up at this point, because there's a lot of people that have already been doing this for, you know, 10 years in various iterations. So in some senses, it's really I don't know where it is on the pendulum swing, but at somewhere in the pendulum it's been swinging towards. Now you just need to Do this like the way that you need to have a business address and the way that you need to have a tax ID number as a business, you just also need to get your virtual stuff worked out because guaranteed your competitors probably already have at least one of them, if not more of them, if they haven't, like even more, so the emphasis needs to be go, like if they haven't hold, you know, oh my gosh, like, you have an amazing opportunity. But most likely, it's not an opportunity anymore. It's just keeping up and figuring out how to keep up.

Steve Brown : 

But you know, what's worse than that, Jesse, is that your customers are already convinced and expect you to have this. That's true. They're interacting with brands that have it together. And when they show up on your website, and you don't have it, it's really frustrating and confusing to them, and they bounce and go somewhere else. That's easy to interact with. Find quickly what they want, and find out what the next steps look like.

Jesse Pennington : 

Right? It goes back to the simple example of like, Hey, your tires busted, and you don't know the area, you're gonna pick this up in your phone and you're gonna look right away. Isn't that what you do? You know, business owner acts like everyone to a man or a woman does that. And sometimes they almost like you almost need to, like remind them like you're doing this. And you actually make these judgments about businesses yourself. And you're not applying it to your own business or not, or not fully applying it or not fully investing. Like so it's Yeah, it's definitely you know, important. It's important in the 21st century, especially now that pretty much the country is virtual. Right, you know,

Steve Brown : 

yeah. Yeah. So the, I think the biggest lever that a business owner could lean on right now and get value out of is to quickly adopt a CRM. HubSpot CRM is great, it's free, but any CRM but the other piece you're going to need someone to help you get organized and look at it, look at it correctly and implement it because it has changed. you're introducing change into your organization. So just if someone wanted to reach out to you and go, Hey, I want you to help us set up HubSpot for our organization. How do they connect with you and and what would be the next steps?

Jesse Pennington : 

Right so for for my for my website, particularly with business stuff. We use the HubSpot tools so I have a chat on my website. I've had multiple random chats with people at multiple points in the day. I was before all this quarantine stuff. I remember I was on a beach in Florida and I had a random conversation with someone that turned into a sales call. And it was just a tech quick thing. on my phone. I just made the tool available. There's the meeting app is embedded on my website where anybody can book a meeting with me at any time the calendar is always there. It's accessible. It's a real simple form and action experience. So, you know that that's primarily how random leads come in and we do our best to, you know, talk about the things that we specialize in on our website on my website like the HubSpot sales stuff. And the HubSpot website stuff, which is kind of where I came from and started. We do this with modules to we build a lot of HubSpot modules, just things that I've seen over the years that are just kind of silly little value things like you know, putting your YouTube video when a pop up, you know, you think that that would be something that would, you know, be easy to do, it's not so we made a module and charge a couple bucks for it. And so we put that on the website too, and make it really easy for people to chat with us for support or email for support. There's a web page for every single product or you can just book a meeting, you know, it's not we're not i'm not hidden behind a wall, like it's it's definitely out there and it works great for me. It really does. And I've really built a really great little small business. You know, far better than anything. I did. As an employee, and I can tell you that it's it's very easy to do, and it's out there. And whether you do the free version or you pay like 50 bucks a month to get a sales seat with kind of the extra bells and whistles. I mean, it's worth it, it's worth its weight in gold for the time it saves. Because I just go about my day and focus on the things I want to focus on time is important, how you use your time. And if any business owner out there, that's a believer like I am, and I'm sure you are, and like time is your most valuable asset. The most valuable thing the CRM gives you are the tools in it and the sales thing is time back. There's things that you do every day that you don't realize that take 10 minutes here, 15 minutes here, tracking your emails. So you just know like when someone's actually read it, or clicked on a link, very simple, very easy to do saves you a lot of time. So there's just stuff like that. That's where I always just go just come back to value come back to the simple stuff. And a lot of times that opens up the conversation outside of the you know, hey, you know, everybody's on On the internet conversation,

Steve Brown : 

where can they find you?

Jesse Pennington : 

They can find us at beginbound.com, and everything is all there. anytime anybody wants to reach out. I'm here for it. Happy to talk to people help people with HubSpot. That was really the thing. You know, we were not an agency. I should probably point that out. There are a lot of HubSpot agencies, great agencies like yourself out there. One of the reasons when I started my business that I didn't do that is because I saw a big hole in the market, that that wasn't being filled that there's a lot of great agencies with great talent, but they're wrapped up in retainers are the full marketing experience, whatever. And there's a real good chunk of growing clients on HubSpot now. agencies and customers that need specific services for the technology. And I just saw an opportunity to do that. I mean, I was advised I was told my idea was dumb. Like I shouldn't do it like I should know, become an agency and get the commission or whatever. And I just made an early calculation. I said, You know what? The second I do that I'm now a competitor with people like yourself. Other people, I didn't want that. I don't want to deal with it. I'd rather you know, agencies, there's a great agencies, I'd rather work with you guys. You guys need to help too. Everybody needs to help. And so that's kind of what I built my business around is kind of servicing this industry, both the clients and the agencies. And that's kind of where that's kind of what we built on. Yeah.

Steve Brown : 

Yeah, so Jesse is an expert. He does great work. He's been associated with ROI now. What three years?

Jesse Pennington : 

Yeah, three years probably going on for now. I think. So. Yeah. So great.

Steve Brown : 

Yeah, Jesse's excellent with your homework with your team. He's professional, business minded and can help you resolve a quick CRM implementation or even a CMS spin up if you need content management system for your your website. And you can find Jesse at beginning but again bound

Jesse Pennington : 

yet begin bound it's a little play on the inbound word for inbound marketing.

Steve Brown : 

Yeah. Calm, Jazzy, you great guest. I appreciate you being on ROI online podcast.

Jesse Pennington : 

Thank you, Steve. It's been a pleasure. And everybody have a great week.

Steve Brown : 

All right, and that's a wrap. Boom. Thanks for listening to another fun episode of the ROI online podcast. For more, be sure to check out the show notes of this episode. And feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn where we can chat and I can help direct you to the resources you're searching for. To learn more about how you can grow your business better, be sure to pick up your copy of my book, The Golden toilet at surprise, that golden toilet calm. I'm Steve Brown, and we'll see you next week on another fun episode of the ROI online podcast.