By Dave McLaughlin, CEO at Vsnap
Last week, HubSpot Co-founders Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan teamed up to deliver a joint keynote at INBOUND14. Dharmesh introduced important new features for Inbound Marketers, then Brian took the stage and proceeded to connect three dots.
Dot One = the buying process has radically changed.
Dot Two = that has profoundly changed the profile and process for a successful sales rep.
Dot Three = the sales platform has to radically change to reflect all that.
Dot One, we all know. And Dot Two, we all should know.
Dot Three is new — because here’s it’s all about HubSpot’s specific vision for a forward-looking sales platform.
You can watch the entire keynote here, but if you just want to see the Sales piece, Brian takes the stage at about 55 minutes in. At about 1:05, he walks us through Sidekick, which is an update / improvement on the Signals product that HubSpot introduced at INBOUND13. Then he unveils HubSpot’s CRM at about 1:15 on the time counter.
I’m VERY excited about this product and I’m going to bullet a bunch of things that interest me here. If you want more context, jump to the video — it’s worth watching.
Brian’s argument is this: CRM gives the Sales VP a killer app for tracking sales, but does not give the Sales Rep a killer app for making sales. For reps, CRM usage feels like a tax they have to pay. Often that means inconsistent usage, which undermines the value for the VP.
HubSpot CRM was built to address three specific CRM shortcomings so that it really works for your reps. First, it helps in prospecting. Second, it pushes context to the rep, so she doesn’t need to do lots of research projects to find more information about a given buyer. Third, it does a lot of the time-consuming data entry work.
Pricing / Caveat
HubSpot CRM will be offered as a freemium product, as will Sidekick. In the deep dive after the keynote, I asked about pricing once a user exceeds the number of contacts allowed with the free license, but they didn’t have a real pricing model fully developed yet.
That ought to serve as a reminder that, while HubSpot CRM already is a robust product, it’s also an early product and it still lacks some features that many users will consider critical. Like Outlook integration. But obviously that’ll come.
What about Salesforce.com?
HubSpot’s sales team uses Salesforce.com and, at least for now, they are not switching. This goes with the previous point — HubSpot CRM is still early and there’s more functionality still to be added.
Halligan was careful to position HubSpot CRM as something they’ve built for the big chunk of their user base that are not already SFDC customers. He did not advocate for people who are using SFDC to jump ship and come over to HubSpot.
Obviously it’ll be interesting to see how this position shifts over time — and even just interesting to see what new announcements Marc Benioff makes at Dreamforce in a few weeks. So we’ll leave this point with a dot dot dot for now…
At Vsnap, we know of too many people who blur the line between Marketing and Sales. This is a problem because successful Marketing operates on loop between data and content, while successful Sales operates on a loop between data and relationship. Thus, when you apply a Marketing playbook in Sales, your close rate drops because you’re not putting enough resources around relationship building. Our view is that Halligan — one of the most important Marketing executives in America — has now said exactly what we believe: that the two domains are different, and that they run on different belief systems and require different tools.
I’ve been teasing out a framework I call Personal Sales. It’s very simple really. My view is that you need both information and emotion to be successful in sales, and you need to fuse the two not only in your efforts to move buyers, but also in how you prepare, train and motivate your team to be successful.
Here’s a slide from my talk at HubSpot which illustrates this new framework.
With its focus on pushing data to the seller to provide context so she can better present her proposition in relation to the buyer’s needs, HubSpot CRM really looks like a perfect platform for Personal Sales. For us, that’s very exciting — and we are eager to build a Vsnap app to sit on top of it. This will let users combine the benefit of highly contextualized understanding with a message format that actually conveys tone and trust — all within a structured framework for workflows and record keeping!
In terms of timing on that, we have a brand new product coming out in October, and our CRM integrations will follow that release.
For more on what we see as the critical distinction between Marketing and Sales, check out our free eBook Tools and Tactics to Close More SQLs.
For more on HubSpot CRM, check out the Sales Lion’s Massive Review — it has a deeper dive than I’ve done here, and it even includes tutorials.
Or you can go directly to the source, and visit Hubspot.com/sales.
Dave McLaughlin is CEO & Co-Founder of Vsnap. Sales reps who have no facetime with their buyers use Vsnap to send short, individual video messages. It’s the most efficient way to bring the human layer into buyer interactions, and it increases your close rate by as much as 34%.