But wait a minute ... wasn’t HubSpot a tool for marketers? It was indeed built for marketing automation, to monitor social media channels, quickly set up email campaigns and create landing pages. ‘That’s right. That’s how it all began in 2006, and many people still associate the platform with that. A tool to make life easier for marketers. That promise still stands as firm as ever, but the platform is so much more than that now,’ notes Camiel Freriks, co-founder of Webs, a top-3 HubSpot Consultancy Partner for EMEA.
In case you didn’t know, the popular term ‘inbound marketing’ was coined by HubSpot founders Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan. It’s the title of their 2014 bestseller. This marketing principle holds that you should help customers with meaningful content, instead of advertising, direct mailing and cold calling. ‘Over the years, HubSpot has added more and more software components to the platform. Such as a sales hub for account managers and a service hub to manage all customer questions. The platform also added a CMS hub, to make it quick and easy for companies to set up websites. A logical step, since that’s increasingly the starting point for the buyer journey,’ offers Freriks.
HubSpot CRM platform for scale-ups
Four years ago, all of these new steps prompted HubSpot to change course. From just an automation tool, to the definitive CRM platform for scale-ups. These companies need the right technology to shore up their rapid growth. HubSpot has now picked up partners all around the world, including Webs here in the Netherlands. This helped spur their vigorous growth. In just 14 years, the company managed to attract 100,000 customers and achieve 1 billion euros in turnover. It took just four more years to double these figures.
In a market dominated by a few large players, like Salesforce and Microsoft, you’d better be smart. Freriks sees some clear differences from these brands. ‘Every element of HubSpot is built the exact same way, with a data component, content component, messaging component, automation component and reporting component. This makes it easy for users to navigate. It’s really simple, with a highly intuitive design that you feel in every interaction,’ adds Freriks.
Plug and play
He also reports that HubSpot develops every component in-house. No software tricks to interface external platforms with HubSpot. ‘You do see that a lot with other providers. Usually they’ve purchased a silo of separate components. It takes a lot of investment, including high-priced consultants, to get them to work together as a whole. The HubSpot CRM platform is more a matter of plug and play. If you start it today, it’ll run today. Implementation costs are only really an issue if you want to interface HubSpot with a pre-existing system in your company. And even then they’re lower than with other brands – I know from experience.’
OK, so your plug-n-play CRM platform is up and running. Account managers, marketers and customer service staff are making full use of it. What new insights do you get? In other words: what does it really do for you as a company? To answer this question, Freriks first describes a situation where a random company is running different systems. ‘Each department has daily contacts with customers. This data is stored in different little islands. So someone from Marketing can’t tell when a customer was last in touch with Customer Service.’
Sharing the right information
This causes issues in practice. Freriks shares another example: ‘I recently spoke with an account manager at a company. He was meeting with a client to discuss the update for a product he’d recently sold them. He only heard at the meeting that the client had submitted a complaint to Customer Service five weeks ago. It took him completely off guard.’ This example illustrates the value of a single CRM platform where different departments can share all their data. With this kind of platform, the account manager could have accessed the information with just a couple mouse-clicks, before the client meeting. How differently would the meeting have gone then?
Better purchase process management
With these kinds of insights, HubSpot now helps not only marketers, but also account managers and customer service staff. Insights for sharing useful content, the right approach to a sales meeting and finding the answer to a customer’s question. ‘The potential benefits are infinite. This way, the HubSpot CRM platform supports you in every stage of the purchase process, so you always have the data you need to make the right decision. That’s why we have every confidence that more and more fast-growing companies will discover HubSpot over the coming years.’