Takeaways from Inbound 2022: New Features for Smarter Customization
Our final post discussing important takeaways from GK3 Capital team members who attended Inbound 2022 comes from Kylie Halpin, our Director of Inbound Strategy. Kylie is responsible for oversight of GK3’s efforts to help clients grow AUM, clientele, and revenue with data-driven and creative inbound strategies.
Inbound 2022 Highlights - Inbound Strategy
This year’s Inbound convention served a healthy mix of inspirational leadership spotlights, philosophical deep dives into the art and science of cross-functional team alignment, and sessions on the technical aspects of HubSpot’s ever-expanding ecosystem. I left each day feeling sufficiently inspired (and tired!) with a full notebook of ideas to upscale our clients and drive results for the GK3 portfolio. Here are my top takeaways, including speaker inspiration, session highlights, and fancy new HubSpot features.
As expected, HubSpot had no shortage of inspiring speakers and unique leadership perspectives bringing important topics to the table such as the changing nature of a remote workforce, the emerging new leadership roles in the world of Revenue Operations, and the digital environment that fostered it.
In her opening address to the conference, HubSpot CEO Yamini Rangan spoke of connectedness and community building in a world growing increasingly remote.
“Businesses are in a crisis of disconnection today. Their systems and data are disconnected because of cobbled-point solutions. They’re disconnected from their customers, as buyers tune out saturated channels. And, they’re disconnected from their peers in a more hybrid world,” Rangan said.
“At HubSpot, we see a path forward. We believe the businesses that will win in the future are the ones that focus on customer connection, not customer management. We’re committed to helping our customers grow in this new world by providing strategies, technology, and communities that foster deeper connections. I’m excited about the product developments we announced today at INBOUND because they empower our customers to do even more to solve this crisis with HubSpot’s connected CRM platform.”
In her address titled Spotlight: Rebuilding Our Connected Future, Dr. Jane Goodall gave an impassioned and optimistic speech on the power of hope combined with action and strategy. Regardless of the organization, all leaders have the power to inspire change and establish trust simply by allowing themselves to be driven by passion. As leaders, we make decisions each day and it’s important to understand the driving force behind our actions. Are we building toward something great each day, or are we simply “working to make ends meet?”
Dr. Goodall related her experience in starting out with no formal education and taking a job as a secretary in Tanzania, where she discovered her enthusiasm for nature that would quickly become the fuel for a career that would have a global impact. Dr. Goodall now serves as UN Messenger of Peace, an honorary member of the World Future Council, and is the founder of her conservation organization The Jane Goodall Institute. Goodall hopes her advice will resonate with today’s organizational leaders and inspire the next generation of world-changers. In her words, “Hope is about action - not just wishful thinking.”
Sales & Marketing Alignment
Among the leadership sessions I attended, one stood out to me as it highlighted the universal challenge of change management, cross-functional communication, and process adoption and evolution. How Sales and Revenue Leaders Create and Manage Change Effectively focused on how revenue teams are evolving to address the adoption of new processes, tools, and perspectives in an environment characterized by constant and exponential change. As a revenue leader who works closely with both sales and marketing teams, achieving alignment is a pervasive challenge to which I am no stranger. Specifically (and timely), one challenge was highlighted - in times of recession, how can we identify the areas of excess spend and analyze what things are worth keeping? How do we measure adoption and value of the tools we use? Enter: the tech stack debacle (see also: tech creep).
One of my favorite analogies was presented by Christina Brady, CSO for Sales Assembly. When measuring the value or efficacy of a tech stack, it’s important to understand the way it’s being used by all teams, and whether they’re using their tools to their full capacity. She compared it to her purchase of a Vitamix (a $500+ food processor/soup & sauce chef/miracle machine), which was intended to change the way she prepared meals every day. In retrospect, she now finds that she uses it occasionally to make smoothies - a function that any ordinary $30 blender could accomplish. This is inherently similar to the way companies can drastically overspend on a robust tech solution when really all they need is a reliable blender. Or (in many cases), maybe they’re just missing the recipe book.
Presented by leaders Michelle Benfer - SVP Sales HubSpot, Brendan Tolleson - CoFounder/CEO RevPartners, and Christina Brady - CSO Sales Assembly, I came away from this session with a stream of sound bytes and takeaways hurriedly scrawled on an open Google Doc on my laptop. Rather than crafting a novel of my musings, here instead is a snapshot of some of the notes I captured in real-time during this session:
- When is the right time to develop change management plans? (Hint: it’s yesterday)
- The Digital Transformation Roadmap:
- Even for ideas outside the scope of what’s doable/appropriate/timely in a situation, simply mapping out the scenarios and getting a second opinion (outside the group) can help achieve the 50,000 ft view necessary to weigh all the options.
- In order to proactively create change and change adoption, leaders must view themselves and their team as agents for change (Google: change agent on this one)
- Leading from the heart, knowing the “why,” and making it known to your team
- Finding a way to “gauge the understanding,” feeling like we’re all rowing in the right direction
- Knowing how to justify spend
- What’s the model? (there are so many)
What's Next for HubSpot? Exploring New Features
As someone who works within the HubSpot platform every day, hearing about fancy new tools and features is like being a child on my birthday. Ever evolving as the industry itself, HubSpot’s ecosystem of tools and capabilities continues to grow and shape beyond its own boundaries, making my job easier and creating new opportunities to do amazing things for my clients. Here are some highlights of a long list of product updates that stood out:
MARKETING HUB FEATURES
Customer Journey Analytics
The ability to report on your customer’s entire buying journey is a game changer. From the first marketing email to the close of the deal, HubSpot is allowing marketers to visualize and attribute all the touchpoints that resulted in conversions.
What it means: Analyze and optimize processes that result in lost deals, find opportunities to improve velocity, and remove obstacles along the buying journey.
Available for: Marketing Hub Enterprise plans
Continuing in the theme of creating a holistic view of the buyer’s journey, HubSpot has given their campaigns tool a major upgrade. Users can now visualize all the tactics across the buyer’s journey, understand how to drive engagement at every touchpoint, and improve campaign optimization entirely within the campaigns tool.
What it means: Hello, omnichannel harmony! Campaigns are now a one-stop-shop marketing strategy across all touchpoints and experiences for your customers. From execution to conversion, all marketing team members can row in lock step to achieve full-funnel marketing goals.
Available for: Marketing Hub Pro & Enterprise plans
Ad Conversion Events
As we heard in numerous sessions, the digital world is becoming increasingly privacy-first, meaning we need to become less reliant on cookies to provide the reporting and insights we need to optimize our marketing strategies. First available on LinkedIn, HubSpot customers can deploy ad conversion event tracking to gather all of their first-party data to target, report, and optimize campaigns, with many other platforms planning to follow suit in 2023.
What it means: Ad conversion events enable you to power hyper-targeted ads without the need for cookies.
Available for: Marketing Hub Pro+ plans
SALES HUB FEATURES
Goal setting in itself is one of the most challenging practices when scaling. Custom goals in Sales Hub allow teams to track and manage performance by tailoring goals unique to their specific business. Once set, each sales representative can track how close they are to hitting their goals with the real-time tracking of the performance bar. To round it out, we can set notifications to trigger when achieving, exceeding, and missing goals.
What it means: Build a culture of transparency and accountability across your sales team. The use of notifications also increases visibility to stakeholders.
Available for: Sales & Service Hub Enterprise plans
Sales teams can now field inbound calls to their personal phone, or place outbound calls without divulging their personal phone number. Like everything else tracked in the CRM, transcriptions will be recorded on the contact/company/deal record.
What it means: Seamlessly connect your sales team to the HubSpot CRM, even when on-the-go. This feature makes it even easier to consolidate every touchpoint in the CRM for all team members, including those out-selling in the field.
Available for: Sales & Service Hub Starter+ plans
In addition to the ongoing improvements to Sales Hub features, sales forecasting and deal management have also leveled up. HubSpot has rolled out a new goals app, better-integrated forecasting, and improved deal management user experiences within the platform.
What it means: Making it easier for sales team members to manage and close deals not only helps ensure adoption and consistency but directly impacts the bottom line to close more deals, faster.
Available for: Sales & Service Hub Professional
CRM CUSTOMIZATION FEATURES
Records Overview Tab
I’ve personally celebrated every new customization feature that’s rolled out in the past few months. In the Records Overview Tab, users can now configure the layout and decide which properties are being shown, including property highlights, recent activities, and associations tables. Users also have the ability to configure conditional logic to show different data to different teams.
What it means: Ability to choose critical information to see first on a new overview tab for all records.
Available for: All free plans
Activity Types and Configurable Buttons
Customers are looking for support on platforms and at times when it's most convenient to them, which may include platforms like SMS, WhatsApp, LinkedIn messages, and so on. In addition to allowing conversation logging with SMS and LinkedIn, HubSpot has introduced the WhatsApp feature to allow users to manually log conversations in order to complete the full view of customer activity.
What it means: Truly consolidating all touchpoints in HubSpot has always been a challenge, especially when there are so many messaging platforms to choose from. Users can now log customer connection activities from SMS, LinkedIn messages, WhatsApp, and physical mail.
Available for: All free plans
Right Sidebar Configuration
Similar to the updates made to the records overview tab, users can now customize the right and left sidebars with conditional logic to show only relevant cards and properties to specifically designated teams. There is also the ability to show a page view chart, a table with customer summary data, buttons to launch workflows or data from internal systems, Google Sheets, or an Amplitude chart.
What it means: Making the contact record view even more dynamic and usable relative to the user will help drive adoption and usability of the CRM tool for different teams. Customize the important information each team member needs to find and eliminate siloed information.
Available for: Professional+ plans
Board Card Configuration
This one is huge: Admins can now select up to four properties to display on board cards of all pipeline objects: deals, tickets, and custom objects. When multiple pipelines are present, users can customize the cards to display different properties at each stage of the pipeline
What it means: Capture a complete view of your customer at every stage of the deal. For example, you may choose to show the deal amount, deal description, close date, and deal owner.
Available for: Default board properties available on Free+; Different properties by pipeline are available on Professional+
This is part 3 of a 3-part series. You can read part one here or part two here.
Interested in learning more about the power of Inbound? Watch our video series and discover how Inbound is the foundation for transforming your distribution process.
Topics: Inbound Marketing Digital Marketing Financial Services Marketing Content is King Digital Wholesaling Growth Driven Design Financial Services Inbound vs. Outbound Sales Enablement Business Development
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