All-in-one software for Marketing, Sales and Services: a clear explanation of HubSpot
This blog answers all important questions about HubSpot by Sales and Marketing professionals: what is HubSpot, the software, how the organisation got started, Inbound Methodology, links and integrations, features, and the best comparison sites. Happy reading!
What does HubSpot do?
HubSpot is a (cloud-based) software platform that helps commercial teams work effectively on attracting more website visitors, leads, and satisfied customers. It offers three main platforms: Sales (CRM and sales tools), Marketing (Marketing Automation software), and Services. HubSpot also has its own CMS.
Organisations can purchase separate licences for the different 'hubs', but the platforms are built to talk to each other and can be fully integrated for optimal results. HubSpot truly is an all-in-one platform:
- The (free) HubSpot CRM: insight and overview: customer-centric
- The Marketing Automation platform: more traffic and leads
- Sales Professional: additional Sales tools for more efficient Sales
- Services: retain and keep customers happy for longer
- CMS: a website with the benefits of an integrated content platform.
Integrations and links with other systems
The software offers many links and APIs. Among the CRM platforms that can be linked to HubSpot are Salesforce, SugarCRM, NetSuite, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
But there are many other smart Marketing and Sales tools HubSpot can be linked to, such as Zapier, SurveyMonkey, Eventbrite, Hotjar, Shopify and more. You can find the 'HubSpot Connect' library of links and integrations here. This way, commercial teams can make their existing software talk to HubSpot and exchange data to enable 'closed loop' reporting.
How HubSpot got started
The HubSpot platform was originally founded in the US in 2006 by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, who met as MIT graduates. They still lead the organisation today as CEO and CTO respectively. Hubspot's head office is located in Boston, USA, and its European head office is in Dublin, Ireland.
HubSpot vs Inbound Marketing and Sales
HubSpot is based on the Inbound methodology, which believes in attracting potential customers by helping them on their customer journey: pull (the opposite is outbound, which 'forces' information on recipients). HubSpot strongly believes that customers nowadays do their own research into products and services and decide for themselves when they want to consume content.
The term 'Inbound' has been claimed by HubSpot's founders and the entire platform and organisation exude this methodology. HubSpot originally started from a Marketing point of view. HubSpot states that well-thought out Marketing that is organised according to the right processes can be highly valuable when it comes to attracting more website visitors and good, qualified leads for Sales.
Smarketing: Sales and Marketing alignment
HubSpot soon launched the free CRM platform because, according to them, Marketing and Sales can't be successful without each other. Its software is fully tailored to applying Inbound Marketing and Sales strategies:
The Inbound Marketing methodology
With Inbound Marketing, the Marketing department ensures more interesting website visitors and leads and 'nurtures' leads down the funnel with valuable content (being present with the right content at the right time, via the right channels and targeting the right audience). This allows Sales to start a conversation with leads who are far enough on their purchase journey. You can read more about the Inbound Marketing methodology here.
The Inbound Sales methodology
Sales, too, can follow an Inbound Sales methodology, which will help them identify the right leads (this can be done passively, with leads brought in by Marketing, or actively, by working on the market themselves) and connect with promising leads. You can read more about the Inbound Sales methodology here.
HubSpot for Marketers
The HubSpot marketing hub consists of a comprehensive Marketing Automation platform. Marketing can structure and automate activities and generate reports to provide insight. Marketers can work with the platform themselves; they only need very basic IT skills to get started with HubSpot.
In addition, there is the HubSpot CMS. When you build a website – or hire someone to do it for you – on the HubSpot CMS, you don't create a stand-alone product, but an entire content platform. This makes analytics and reporting a piece of cake.
- Read more about HubSpot's Marketing Automation software here.
- Read more about HubSpot's CMS here.
The main features of the Marketing Automation platform are:
- Marketing Automation
- Email Marketing
- Insight into contacts and companies
- Search Engine Optimisation and topic clusters (SEO)
- Social Media campaigns
- Smart content
- Website (CMS, can be purchased separately)
- Business blogging
- Landing pages
- Lead Management and Nurturing
- Calls to action
- Paid campaigns
- Live chat and chatbots
- Advertising management
- Video hosting and management.
HubSpot for Sales professionals / Commercial Directors
For Sales professionals, HubSpot offers the (free) CRM. There's also Sales Professional, which consists of separate Sales tools. These tools help Sales professionals work much more efficiently and ensure that they have all customers and prospects in one place. This CRM makes it easier for Sales to stay on top of leads and deals in progress.
- Read more about the HubSpot CRM here.
- Read more about HubSpot Sales Professional here.
The main features of the CRM are:
- Contact management
- Contact activity
- Insight into contacts and companies
- Gmail and Outlook integration
- Forms (lead gen)
- Documents (managing and sharing best practices)
- Deal stages dashboard
- Automatic call logging
- Hot lead notifications
- Complete company database
- Automatic meeting bookings
- Email follow-up
- Email templates
The main features of Sales Professional – that can be used in combination with the CRM, not separately – are:
- Email sequences
- Email tracking and notifications
- Live Chat
- Automatic meeting bookings
- Call scheduling, logging and measuring
- Lead Scoring
HubSpot for SMEs or Enterprise?
HubSpot originally started as a platform for Marketers, and in particular for small to mid-sized businesses. That's what most people still know them for. In recent years, however, the company has taken significant steps to provide full solutions for larger companies as well. This means that they are well on their way to becoming the best SaaS party on the market in the field of Sales, Marketing and Services.
The launch of HubSpot Enterprise tools shows that they provide a serious platform for organisations that operate in multiple countries, or have multiple business units, or form part of a group. These organisations want to work in the same system but need to be able to distinguish between important data and assets.
The image above shows that HubSpot expanded the Enterprise suite with the Sales and Service hub during the INBOUND event in September 2018. Some of the things that are now possible in the Enterprise suite:
- Adding 50 teams per hub
- Making part of the CRM visible or invisible to various teams/divisions
- Granting or excluding access based on things such as team, region, product line, Business Unit, etc.
- Generating unique reports per country
- Adding extra domains (at a fee)
- Granting or excluding customised access to specific landing pages, website pages, blogs
- Granting or excluding customised access to specific workflows, forms, emails, CTAs
Independent comparisons and reviews from other platforms
There are various independent websites that compare providers of Marketing Automation platforms and CRMs. They'll usually let you apply relevant filters, such as company size. Some of these are:
- G2 Crowd
Dutch HubSpot partners for onboarding, implementation, and more
There are various partners in the Netherlands who can help you properly set up your tooling. These are categorised as follows, based on customer satisfaction:
- Elite: the highest score you can achieve as a HubSpot partner (Webs is the first HubSpot Elite Partner in the Benelux and one of the only five Elite Partners worldwide)
Request a HubSpot demo and gain more insight into what the software has to offer
Request a demo and discover which HubSpot Marketing and Sales tools will help you achieve your commercial growth ambitions. Click here to learn more about the HubSpot Demo or request one by clicking the button below, which will take you to a landing page.