Big news out of Boston today: HubSpot is moving beyond marketing-only tools and has now introduced a new inbound pillar: a state-of-the-art sales CRM. We’ve been beta testing the new CRM for about two weeks now and have come away extremely impressed. There are many parts of the new CRM that we like, but here are 4 truly disruptive things in particular that stand out to us:
Single-Sources Sales and Marketing Data
True closed-loop sales and marketing – passing all your data between your sales and marketing systems – has become more accessible in recent years, but sales and marketing systems have still fundamentally been two different software tools and two different databases. The marketing people would use a marketing automation system, and the salespeople would use a CRM, and you would need to rely on an elaborate integration system to try and tie the two systems together. This is an inefficient and costly solution, though, requiring continuous maintenance and updates, and with imperfect connections between the two data sources. Some information just wouldn’t transfer at all. It’s like trying to stretch a ladder across two moving cars and trying to walk across it as they’re driving.
The new HubSpot CRM is built directly on the same database as the HubSpot marketing tools. This centralizes all of the data for the entire marketing-sales lifecycle in one place. Salespeople can now see all of the information about their prospect’s interaction with their company in one place, rather than having to constantly switch between two systems or rely on a subset of information passed between their two tools through an imperfect integration.
Track Sales Collateral Performance
The explosion of trackable data in the last several years has been a huge boon for marketing departments – every digital marketing campaign can now be tracked and measured down to the individual email click, form submission, pageview, tracked call, and more. This has traditionally not been applied to sales collateral, though – salespeople still rely on email attachments, Dropbox links and so on to share their sales collateral with their prospects, with no idea if anyone was reading them or even opening them at all.
The new HubSpot CRM allow you to centrally host all your sales collateral and track how effective each piece actually is. Wondering if your prospect actually looked at that white paper that you sent to him? What about if he shared it with his boss or anyone else in his company? Now you can track that. This helps you determine which of your prospects is the hottest so you can prioritize your time on them. It also tells you which sales collateral pieces are resonating the most with your prospects and which pieces are duds, so you can decide which collateral to send future prospects accordingly.
Big Data Aggregation
In the 21st century, he who has the best data wins. But let’s face it – the biggest difficulty in traditional CRM systems is the data entry and data cleaning: company size, industry, sub-industry, annual company revenue, buyer persona, etc. Your boss always wants more data and more information about your prospects, and you want to skip the data entry time and spend more time actually selling. Not to mention the more contacts and accounts go into your CRM, the more time and resources you need to spend manually updating that data. Data cleaning solutions like Data.com and NetProspex can be expensive and difficult to implement.
The HubSpot CRM automatically aggregates company data and populates the information on your accounts accordingly. Just put in a contact’s email address, and the HubSpot CRM will do the rest of the work such as creating a company record, populating the company size, industry, relevant corporate contact info, and more. You’ve just saved yourself 20 minutes of time for every new and updated account in your system.
The Pricing Model
This might actually be the most disruptive part about the HubSpot CRM. The core CRM functionality – Contacts, Companies, Deals, Tasks, etc. – are completely free. More premium features such as integrated VoIP calling, sales collateral performance tracking, email performance tracking, and so on, is paid functionality ranging between $40-50 per user per month. This indicates that the true value in CRMs these days is not in “the basic stuff” anymore. Contact, account and opportunity tracking have been around in one form or another for decades in a variety of software tools. Emerging capabilities to analyze and improve the performance of the salesperson’s daily interaction with their prospects is where the true value lies now, and where the true differentiator between companies now lies.
Time to put it to work
We came away from our evaluation of the HubSpot CRM extremely impressed. We’ve already seen tangible differences in our sales productivity, data quality, and sales intelligence. We’ve decided to make the switch – previously we had been using HubSpot for marketing and Zoho CRM for sales, but we have now moved all of our sales data into HubSpot, and it will be our CRM going forward. If you’re already using HubSpot’s marketing tools, we recommend you strongly consider using the new CRM too. If you’re not using HubSpot’s marketing tools, this CRM will soon be available for you too. Contact us to see if your company might be a good fit for the HubSpot CRM. It’s a killer tool for us, and it could be a great fit for your company too.