How B2B Leaders Are Using Inbound to Scale Their Operations (Part 2)

Discover how to surface new revenue streams, reduce risk, get visibility over ROI and unlock a framework for sustainable growth with inbound in this two-part series.

In part one, we introduced VFE, a globally recognised heat treatment equipment services provider, and the challenges they faced scaling the business in the midst of the pandemic.

In case you missed it, you can catch up here.

In a nutshell, B2B leaders are facing an information challenge. We explored how inbound provides a scalable framework around which organisations across industries can grow. But how did David Byrne, VFE’s CEO, track and measure the growth and how did the success of the inbound model support his business acquisition goal?

To see how we created a £9.9m new business pipeline and £4.8m in inbound sales for VFE in six months, take a look at the case study.


CRM platform HubSpot reveals marketing ROI

The challenge of being able to see the marketing team’s return in investment is not new. As a solutions partner delivering retained marketing and copywriting services to clients, it’s as important to us that we can prove the results that we're generating.

Fortunately, the solution to this challenge is built into our marketing platform of choice.

HubSpot is the world’s number one CRM platform for scaling companies. It achieved this status by developing a suite of integrated hubs that, when configured together, provide visibility across the entire customer lifecycle. What this means is that everyone from the marketing team to the CEO to the head of finance can see — quickly and easily from a single view in their integrated portal — any data and reporting information.

Looking specifically at the marketing function for a moment, HubSpot’s ability to attribute revenue generated to specific activities highlights the impact marketing is having on the bottom line and reveals insights to improve the profitability of marketing/ROI going forward.

“The level of professionalism and flexible support through the sales and then the onboarding process has been very impressive. We at VFE are really looking forward to BabelQuest's support with unlocking VFE's growth potential.” David Byrne, CEO, VFE, HubSpot Solutions Directory

When they approached us, VFE’s legacy systems didn’t provide this level of information. Working closely with our Client Delivery and Expert Practices team, they configured their new HubSpot platform so that the marketing and sales data integrated with the CRM. 

The benefits weren’t just technical. With the right technology in place, we were also able to help VFE align its people and processes, reducing internal friction and helping to spin its flywheel. An integrated system meant every business unit — from Marketing to the board — could get what they needed from the platform to prove the value of their activities, make informed decisions and quantify their return on investment.

If you’re considering solutions partner support to help you unlock the full potential of HubSpot, download our guide to choosing the right partner for your organisation


Building inbound into your business acquisition strategy 

A business centred around the inbound model can be an inviting entity for acquisition. Leaders planning succession strategies or future mergers/acquisitions can look to the inbound model as a way of building a more sustainable business with predictable, repeatable growth, backed up by many of the benefits we have already discussed:

  • Revenue and growth can be accurately forecasted using a combination of inbound strategies and the HubSpot growth platform.
  • A sustainable business model with evidence of continuous growth reduces commercial risk.
  • The ability to quickly and effectively launch new products/services and react to market changes further reduces risk while evidencing future growth opportunities.

Looking beyond the hard data and the system proficiencies that HubSpot unlocks, an inbound approach also helps to position organisations as leaders within their markets.

The voice of an industry

The thought leadership and branding opportunities created by the inbound approach helped to position VFE’s senior leadership team as experts and cemented VFE’s position as a leading-edge provider within the UK’s advanced manufacturing service industry.

We worked with the senior leadership team to create a consistent posting schedule using their personal LinkedIn accounts. Over time, this communication channel built on their already established personal brands by aligning VFE’s leaders with the expertise and thought leadership expressed through the social media posts and blog content.

  • The tactic helped to establish VFE’s industry authority.
  • It communicated the company’s brand values.
  • The consistent output of authoritative, personal content built customer — and investor — trust.

“Over the last 12 months, Tom has worked very closely with the VFE management team to create a personal and unique voice, for the team as individuals and collectively for our business. I have personally basked in the reflected ‘excellence’ of his writing.” David Byrne, CEO, VFE

VFE was acquired by Busch UK, of the global Busch Vacuum Solutions family, in August 2021. On top of its impressive revenue growth, VFE could evidence an increase in its number of service contracts at a period in time when much of the industry was struggling to maintain production or pausing its operations indefinitely. 

The figures looked good, but so did the stories shared across its blog: of the partnerships VFE had built with globally recognised heat treatment equipment suppliers, of the way its products were helping manufacturers to reduce costs and improve efficiencies, even how VFE had adapted its own operations to help its customers through the challenging times. 

Discover the tactics we implemented to create a £9.9m new business pipeline and £4.8m in sales for VFE in six months.


Could you build a better business model around inbound?

Across this article series, we’ve shared VFE’s story and the journey David took to transform his organisation during the global health crisis. It’s by no means prescriptive — challenges will change, as do the strategies we recommend that each of our clients take in order to maximise their investment, unlock the full potential of HubSpot and hit their objectives.

Still, we hope it inspires you to consider the advantages of an inbound framework across your business and how your sales, marketing and service functions could benefit.

How strong are your revenue streams? Is risk growing? Do you have clear visibility over the data and reporting necessary to make confident decisions and future-proof your operations?

To talk to us about your business plans and discuss how you might build a stronger business model around the inbound framework, get in touch today.

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