Better Diagnose Your Prospects with The Opportunity Review Guide



Guest blogger Brian Signorelli is a Hubspot Inbound Marketing Specialist. Connect with Brian on LinkedIn or Twitter

Ever wonder what playbook your Hubspot Inbound Marketing Specialist (IMS) is using during an opportunity review call? What questions they might ask and why? If so, this post is for you. 

In a recent post, David outlined some ways to make your opportunity reviews more productive. The final bonus tip recommended using an Opportunity Review Guide to self diagnose opportunities. This guide, originally put together by Hubspot's Danielle Herzberg and Jill Fratianne (aka @SpicyLegume) with some slight modifications since, is the same one your Hubspot IMS is likely to reference during a call. Do we go through every question and in the same order every time? No, but we do use it as a general roadmap. 

A couple notes before using the guide.  

  • If you do not have all the information below, do not feel bad. A goal of the questionnaire is to know what you don't know. Highlight the elements that are blank and come up with a plan to fill in the information

  • This questionnaire is not meant to be exhaustive. There are some areas on here that can be probed deeper, but it is a pretty good start.

  • Share your findings with your Hubspot IMS or go through it together.  

Here is the guide, along with the reasoning behind why we are asking the questions we are asking.




I. Sales and Marketing Goals


  • Did you and the client discuss how they'd measure the success of your engagement? How will success be measured?

  • Did the client mention a revenue target or new revenue stream that they want to accomplish? Or, other non-monetary priorities they want to achieve?

  • How did the client arrive at the goal that they stated? What's meaningful about it?

Why we are asking this: Agreeing on what success looks like before your project gives you a greater likelihood for achieving it and subsequently retaining clients. Knowing what and how meaningful their goals are is important in coming up with an appropriately aggressive recommendation.


II. Timeline + Consequences


  • Within what time frame does the client want to achieve that/those goal(s)? Why that time frame?

  • If it took an additional 12 months to hit that goal, would it be okay?

  • (If the goal is a lofty one): Is that a nice to have # or a need to have #? What's the need to have #?

  • (If the goal is a very long-term goal): Is there a shorter term need-to-have #?

Why we are asking this: The timing of an opportunity is one of the trickiest things to determine. If it were only as easy as asking, 'what is you timing'. The questions above are ways to dig deeper. Also, it is perfectly fine to exit a sales process if the timing isn't right. However, it is better to determine that sooner rather than later.


III. Plans to Achieve Goals


  • Retainer services (Scope): What's the scope and frequency of services that you're planning to introduce with inbound marketing?

  • Retainer size (Value): What's the size of the retainer you have with this client?

  • Retainer length (Duration): How long (months) is your contract?

  • Work distribution (Agency vs. Client): To what extent will the client be involved? For example, in activities like content creation or content approval (blogging, email, landing pages, etc).

A. Customer/Client Personas, Lead Value, Sales Systems & Processes


  • Who does this company sell to? What are their buyer personas?

  • What's the average value of a new customer? Or, what's the range?

  • When your team starts generating leads for them, what will happen to those leads? Who do they get sent to?

  • How is the sales team structured today? (i.e. how many people? direct / indirect?) Are there sales systems / processes in place?

  • How will you know which of those leads have closed?


B. Blogging


  • Frequency of blogging?

  • Who's doing blogging?

  • Discuss blogging based on buyer personas (blog content should be answering questions that the best customers and prospects are asking)


C. Premium Content / Landing Pages


  • Details on premium content that will be offered

  • Types of content (focus on existing content first; then new content creation (guides, checklists, webinars, Ebooks); then lite content (diagnostics, assessments, consultations) -- offers of time, not content)

  • Publishing Frequency (ideally at least 1x/month on average for 12 months)


D. Email and Lead Nurturing


  • How big is there existing contact database and how was it acquired?

  • Is part of the plan to segment that database for email marketing and lead nurturing?

  • What's the frequency you're going to send out email campaigns? Lead nurturing campaigns?


E. Alternatives and Ensuring Commitment to the Agency


  • Aside from investing in marketing with you, what else exists in their plan to get to their goal? (i.e. tradeshows, other marketing agency services, cold calling, etc)

  • Would the alternative plans be enough to get the prospect to their goal?


Why we are asking this: This information helps us offer guidance and a second opinion, based on our experience with hundreds of projects, on the level of activities proposed versus client goals.We can also offer suggestions on things to look out for during the project.


IV. Challenges Faced


  • What's held your client back from implementing inbound marketing up until now?

  • What are challenges are they anticipating as they pursue their stated goal?

  • Do the see a clear connection between how your services will help them tackle and remove these obstacles?


Why we are asking this: To better understand if the client really needs help or if they can figure out another way to accomplish their goals. Additionally, to understand if the client sees a connection between their challenges and how Inbound Marketing can help.


VI. Budget & Authority


  • What is the client's decision making process? Who are the stakeholder, signing authorities, and influencers?

  • Are we relying on an internal influencer to help sell this within the organization? Will that be easy or hard?

  • How much are they planning to spend on your inbound marketing services? Have they agreed to pay this amount? Have they already signed a services contract with you?

  • Which level of HubSpot is appropriate for them based on what they're looking to achieve and based on the services you're offering? Will the introduction of HubSpot allow the client to consolidate / discard any prior marketing tools that they've used? Which ones? How much were they spending on those?

  • Are they aware that they'll need to pay for a software license? Have you quoted the software price to them? Have they agreed to move forward with the software?

  • Will they pay for the license or will your team?

  • Does any part of the plan incorporate shifting budget from one marketing tactic over to inbound marketing? Where will money be pulled from? Over what time period?


Why we are asking this: To better understand if budget and authority are likely to be obstacles. Many a sales process has been stalled by faulty assumptions in these areas.


Your Turn


What do you think? What is your favorite/least favorite question? What would you add or remove?


Image Credit: Emily Chapman


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