Case Study: ESM Inbound inspires with onboarding
ESM Inbound is known as one of HubSpot’s top onboarding agencies. Here's how we nurtured employee equity company Global Shares through the process as a trusted guide.
Why Global Shares chose ESM Inbound
The most persuasive point for Global Shares was that ESM Inbound was recommended directly by HubSpot. As a company that manages customers’ entire equity compensation plan, Global Shares wanted the same attention to detail they offer their own customers.
ESM Inbound’s reputation is as one of HubSpot’s best onboarding agencies. Above all, we nurture organisations through the process as a guide – just what Global Shares wanted.
‘The recommendation from HubSpot was key for us – having them say we’d be in a safe pair of hands with ESM Inbound was a big one.’ – Aine Bonner
Using inbound to take a new direction
Global Shares was undergoing an ambitious re-brand. Their website had thousands of pages, and they’d recently employed Aine Bonner to audit their content. Additionally, they wanted to start applying inbound methods to their marketing.
As a growing brand, Global Shares required a model that would scale with the business, targeting prospects with great content rather than cold calling. We took a systematic process, listing the different tools in the platform and then basing the training around these tools, rather than on strategy. Global Shares wasn’t using a CRM, or any form of automation or workflows. To help the Global Shares team learn the system in a short turnaround time, we delivered focused, half-hour training sessions so each tool was covered thoroughly.
‘John was engaging; he didn't try to over-complicate things. He really dived deep into topics, but we got to pick and choose the areas of focus – he was very flexible.’ – Aine Bonner
Around a dozen Global Shares team members joined the first call. The feedback was excellent, but to prevent the sessions becoming too generic by trying to engage with too many people at once, we recommended having smaller groups on each call. This way we knew that the right people were getting the support they needed. Once we had a sense of who was responsible for what, we built rapport and got things moving along nicely. Adapting meetings to really target the individuals present was appreciated by Global Shares. This approach helped them feel listened to, rather than being rigidly made to stick to a process that didn’t suit them.
A nurturing process that encouraged self-sufficiency
Alongside these training calls, we performed the ‘one and done’ tasks ourselves. This meant the team could maximise their learning time on the tools they would be using, while also getting the setup completed quickly. We highlighted how Global Shares could attract, engage and delight their customers through tasks such as designing and developing their templates.
Aine and her team were able to benefit from the expertise of the wider ESM Inbound team to help deliver relevant and rigorous sessions, providing solutions for Global Shares.
‘You didn't feel like you had to tell the same story over and over. Everyone involved was briefed and knew what they were doing. The wider team’s service was very much in keeping with what we had been getting from John.’ – Aine Bonner
ESM Inbound’s aim is always to encourage independence and confidence with HubSpot’s tools until organisations feel established to ‘go it alone’. We used visual aids, such as screen sharing, to maximise the impact:
‘We’d go through our portal together and John modeled different tasks for us. If we asked a question, he didn't just tell us the answer, he showed us. He would walk us through it rather than just talk at us.’ – Aine Bonner
This collaborative and interactive style meant learning was quick, and before long the Global Shares team was able to access data that had never been available to them before. Aine and her team loved the idea of workflows, and were surprised by how sophisticated automation could be. The idea that if they had a contact who viewed a specific page, they could email them and automatically update their contact records, was a real revelation for Global Shares.
The impact of onboarding with ESM Inbound
Naturally, launching a new website brought anxieties for Aine and her team. One of her main concerns was whether Global Shares’ organic traffic would be negatively affected, but because of the thorough work put in by ESM Inbound, this wasn’t the case.
‘I wondered if our organic traffic was going to fall off a cliff. But that hasn't happened. Our traffic is steady. We've put so many best practices in place – that’s testament to our training.’ – Aine Bonner
Not only did onboarding with ESM Inbound mean their traffic remained steady, but they are now fully equipped with the tools they need to progress with inbound marketing, and have big plans for implementing everything they’ve learned.
‘We're just starting out with our content – it's the tip of the iceberg. Our target was to get up and running with HubSpot, to learn how it best suited our needs. It was a big project, we just needed the right pair of hands to help with it.’ – Aine Bonner
The far-reaching success of the project is still having an impact on Global Shares, with team members across the business noticing the positive results, and acknowledging the value in this investment – including the Head of Marketing, Derek Gallagher, who got in touch with HubSpot to say how pleased he was with how well the onboarding process had gone.
For HubSpot onboarding to work at its most effective, the agency needs to be patient, flexible and transparent, and the customer needs to be receptive. Between Global Shares and ESM Inbound, a partnership was nurtured, so the success of the project was boundless.
‘We really couldn’t have asked for anything more from the experience.’ – Aine Bonner