Strategy Planning: How We Set You Up for Inbound Success

Here's the thing: predictable, repeatable business growth — the kind you really need to scale in a safe and dependable way — takes time. As such, we typically work with our clients on an annual retainer basis to drive their long-term inbound success.

This level of partnership requires commitment and it’s important for both of us that any expectations you have about how we proceed and how we work together are clear and well-founded from the get-go.

We're frequently asked by our clients what they can expect when kicking off our new partnership. To help, we’ve created this article outlining everything you need to know:

Your core workshopsbabelquest strategy month

We kick off every new partnership with a series of four workshops:

  • Positioning and Messaging workshop
  • Buyer Persona workshop
  • Content workshop
  • Inbound Strategy workshop

WHO: Typically, each workshop is run by a strategist at BabelQuest and involve members of your senior team (CEO, head of sales, head of marketing, head of services). Ideally, you'll also include other individuals from key roles in your sales, marketing, and customer service teams. 

HOW LONG: It’s preferable to run these workshops over the course of 2-3 weeks. You can typically expect each session to last half a day (if in person), or 2/2.5 hours if remote.

WHERE: Depending on what suits you best, we can hold them at our offices, at yours, or at another venue of your choice. In recent times, we've also delivered workshops remotely via video conferencing.

Positioning & Messaging workshop

In our experience, most organisations know WHAT they do and how they do it, but very few know why they do it. What is your purpose, cause or belief?

"People don't buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it." (Simon Sinek)

Many companies therefore think their customers value them for one reason, when in fact they're more valued for something else. This workshop addresses this disconnect by focusing on your company’s value proposition, its positioning, and its messaging.

  • WHY is what is your purpose, cause or belief?
  • WHY does your company exist?
  • WHY do you get out of bed in the morning?
  • WHY should anyone care?

Our messaging framework is an internal document, created for all clients, that collates information such as value proposition, power/positioning statements, tone of voice, guidelines, buyer personas etc.

We can then use this document (for content, email, social etc.) as an information centre for "all-things written word" to act as a reference point and to help steer. 

DELIVERABLE: As a result of this session, we’ll create a Messaging Framework that we can all work from to produce consistent, on-brand sales and marketing collateral that speaks to your customers and your value.

Buyer Persona workshop

Equally important as identifying who you are is whom you’re targeting.

HubSpot defines Buyer Personas as:

"...semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer based on real data along with some select educated speculation about customer demographics, behaviour patterns, motivations, and goals".

Details matter when it comes to buyer personas. It’s important to take a thorough look at who your ideal customers are when you’re researching and building your personas. Personas are a continual process and can be refreshed, tweaked, and changed as much as needed.

  • How old are they?
  • What stage are they at in their career?
  • What are their job functions?
  • What are their aspirations and what drives them to succeed?
  • What are their challenges at different stages of the buyer’s journey?

DELIVERABLE: The goal of this activity is the creation of one or two fully-fledged buyer personas, which we’ll document after the session and deliver back to you for sign off. Ideally, you will validate these personas with your own customers, stakeholders and employees. Once finalised, they will form part of the messaging framework detailed above.

Content workshop

Newly equipped with a clear understanding of your positioning, and your buyer personas, we then take a deep dive into your brand story and content.

We will hone in on

  • the key areas you want your content to focus on or objectives it should achieve
  • understanding more about your industry, including relevant news or events
  • your current content creation process.
  • how your audience consumes content/media
  • how your brand will influence the tone

DELIVERABLE: Succeeding in content means a coordinated, company-wide content strategy that bridges your value with what your buyers really care about. The information we gather during this workshop will be used to inform the messaging framework, your 12-month inbound strategy and 90-day plan (see below).

Inbound Strategy workshop

The final workshop is about inbound strategy. In this workshop, we bring together everything discussed previously and align it to your business, sales and marketing goals.

BabelQuest works in partnership with our clients and we strive to become an extension of your business, either as your complete marketing function or complimenting your existing sales and marketing teams. 

We will dig into the types of inbound marketing and inbound sales activity that need to be completed to meet your goals and by who. For example, who is responsible for your social media activity? Who will produce your content? Who is handing over leads to sales, and who is accountable for lead nurturing?

DELIVERABLE: Based on these findings, we’ll create and deliver your 12-month inbound plan: a detailed document outlining the best strategy to achieve your goals and drive business growth across 12 months, with an outlined plan for the first 90 days.

You will receive this up to approx. two weeks after the workshop and we will go through it together, answering any questions you may have.

Planning the first 90-days of activity

With your annual inbound plan signed off, we then create your detailed 90-day activity plan. This includes a draft content calendar, a list of the activity that we recommend and associated deadlines for both of us. As part of this, we also take time to:

Define your SMART goals. We with further refine the work done in the inbound strategy workshop and aid you in reverse engineering your SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) so you can track your progress over the course of the quarter.

Create your Strategy Planner. All our activity will be detailed in your strategy planner. This acts as a central hub for your information, providing a clear, easy-to-follow list of tasks and deliverables for both of us to track and update.

Define your KPIs. After creating the strategy planner, we will use the information to help you choose the right KPIs in relation to your SMART goals and 90-day activity plan.

Setting up your HubSpot and the onboarding process

A core aspect of our partnership will be your use of the HubSpot application. As one of the top 1% of HubSpot Partner agencies globally, you can depend on us to build your new HubSpot presence, migrate your data and contacts from your existing platform, and integrate it with any third-party tools you intend to continue using.

A kick-off survey will be circulated to all your key stakeholders to get different perspectives and we will take these responses as the starting point for a BabelQuest onboarding questionnaire which will be sent to you to complete as a team. You'll also get to know the team at BabelQuest a little more and we will work together to set up timelines for the next steps.

For new portal configurations, we will provide you with a list of things that we need from you to set the portal up smoothly and get you up and running. If you're keen to learn more about the tool as we get started, we can point you in the right direction for relevant HubSpot certifications and can give you training in specific areas as needed.

For configuration of existing HubSpot portals, a full portal audit will be conducted and a review of all of our configuration steps for a new portal will be assessed to understand whether we need to revisit any of them. We will be able to provide recommendations for any improvements that can be made straight away for quick wins.

Got a question? Get in touch

In our experience, the secret to any successful partnership is communication. This is baked into who we are as a company, from our internal values around transparency and openness to our core aim of helping our clients to generate predictable, repeatable revenue growth by having more meaningful conversations with their customers.

Got a question? Drop us a line — we're here to help.

How to set up your inbound marketing strategy

Gemma Rogers
About the Author
Gemma is one of BabelQuest's Inbound Marketing Strategists. She brings over 20 years of B2B sales and marketing experience from both the client and agency sides of the table.