‘Welcome to the age of the customer in which empowered business buyers have more control over the purchase process than ever before’.
I wish I had said that but it was in fact Peter O’Neill from Forrester in his June report ‘Valuable Message Development for B2B marketing in the context of sales enablement’.
Fundamentally HubSpot’s founders Brian and Dharmesh have understood from the get go that we are in the age of the customer. Their marketing tools have helped thousands of marketers worldwide to provide remarkable content to empowered business buyers as they work through their business problems, seek their own information and plan their project investments.
Back in 2006 Brian and Dharmesh would not have known what was going to happen to sales best practice. It is obvious however that they have applied their insights into the changes in buyer behaviour to sales. They have come up with a solution for sales people that will help them do what marketers have been able to do since the dawn of inbound marketing.
At the launch of their new CRM and sales tools Brian’s vision was simple: “HubSpot’s CRM and Sidekick are perfect for companies that want to transform how they attract, engage, and delight prospects, customers and leads and want sales technology that matches today’s buying process.”
And you don’t have to look too far to see a body of the most recent and popular sales publications backing this up. Here are just a few of the hot ones:
- The New Rules of Sales and Service: How Agile and Real-Time Sales Grow Your Business Now, David Meerman Scott
- Insight Selling: Surprising Research on What Sales Winners Do Differently, Schultz and Doerr
- Agile Selling: Get Up to Speed Quickly in Today’s Every-Changing Sales World, Jill Konrath
- Zero-Time Selling: 10 Essential Steps to Accelerate Every Company’s Sales, Andy Paul
- Slow Down, Sell Faster!: Understand Your Customer’s Buying Process and Maximize Your Sales, Kevin Davis
- The Collaborative Sale: Solution Selling in a Buyer-Driven World, Eades and Sullivan
I had the chance to get a sneak-peek at HubSpot’s new selling tools and my first impressions are good. HubSpot have understood that these tools will be aimed at organisations that are already nailing inbound marketing and want to connect it to sales. So the user experience is the same in the sales tools as it is in the marketing tools. It is also built on the same contact database as the marketing tools and so seamlessly joins up.
Some of the most helpful tools in this exciting new product launch are the ones that provide the sales rep with information which will help them help their buyers. Tools like Sidekick which provides on-screen information about your buyer’s connections and activity that can be a catalyst for a helpful intervention such as making connections or suggesting collaboration opportunities.
HubSpot is clearly not trying to ‘take-on’ the major CRM vendors. The functionality of the Sidekick tool integrates with products like Salesforce and the CRM product does not try to do more than provide a freely available set of functionality that can help organisations that do inbound marketing connect it to the sales team.
It is a great leap forward for HubSpot but an even greater leap forward for sales teams that who want to help their buyers and speed up the deal.
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