Q&A With Andrew Pitre, HubSpot: How The Company Increased CRM’s Connectivity & Interactivity To Promote CX

Published: November 10, 2021

1Andy Pitre HubSpotAt HubSpot’s INBOUND 2021 event, the CRM platform revealed a series of enterprise-grade releases and updates to help business better align their data, channels and teams, and more easily adapt to every growth phase.

With innovations that include advanced controls for customers — such as an enterprise tier of Operations Hub and a B2B payments solution, HubSpot Payments — the company is doubling down on its branding as a CRM for scaling companies by designing products that provide SMBs with similar capabilities as their larger corporate counterparts.

To learn more about the innovations and dive deeper into HubSpot’s mission of making technology and tools more accessible for all companies, Demand Gen Report sat down with Andrew Pitre, VP of Product Development for HubSpot, to discuss the new innovations and inspirations behind their creation.

DGR: Can you walk us through the creation of Operations Hub and what inspired you to create new features for it?

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Pitre: Ultimately, HubSpot is a CRM and we go to market (GTM) through our hubs, which are designed to fit the needs of teams that spend their days working out of the CRM. The first hubs we launched were Marketing, Sales and Services, and we just built tools on top of the CRM to help those departments do their jobs better. We launched Operations Hub when we realized there are other departments in companies that were working through the CRM, but they were just a little more invisible than other departments because they’re doing complete set-up systems and helping to build business processes and reporting.

With Operations Hub Enterprise, our latest launch, we are offering a new tool called datasets. Technically speaking, it’s a reporting and data management tool that lets you do AI-style reporting, where you have access to all your contacts, new deals, emails and website visits, to name a few. Datasets allow you to join those objects together — similar to building an Excel query — without the need for deep data science expertise. It’s designed to provide organizations with the opportunity to join their data together, choose the properties they’re pulling together and run populations on top of that data to create a curated table with data to build better reporting inside of HubSpot.

DGR: What were some of the external industry trends that inspired the innovations to your Operations Hub?

Pitre: The biggest one we saw was the industry-wide move toward revenue operations (RevOps). What we really liked about RevOps was that it focused on what we’d been preaching as a company: Breaking down silos and eliminating gaps in customer experiences (CX). That made us want to focus on operations being the hero of the marketing story. At the end of the day, it’s the operations person who’s going to bring people together because they’re setting up the systems, process and data required for collaboration.

We also realized that companies of all sizes needed an operations team — small companies probably don’t have one, but they still have the need to connect systems and build a better business process. Over the years, we’ve heard from smaller companies saying they could use some sort of iPad system to connect their tools together and automation software. As a company, our goal is to look for tools for small businesses that often feel out of reach for them and build their CRMs in a way that makes them accessible to the average small business owner who doesn’t have a PhD in computer science.

DGR: Why is it important for companies to have highly accessible and connected CRMs?

Pitre: Marketers need the data from their CRMs to create great customer experiences. We always talk about silos, so at HubSpot we envision it as a flywheel instead of a funnel. It’s easy to draw a funnel, but the reality is it’s much more complicated than that. At the end of the day, you have someone who’s buying from you, and it’s not like there’s a distinction between how that person interprets the sales or marketing services. As humans, we all want to have a great experience with whatever company we’re buying from, and the company wants to have a great experience with us. CRMs house all the data about the people you’re trying to engage with as a company.

For marketers, the advantage of having all of that data in one system is that it informs you of a customer’s previous interactions or purchases with the company or product. Even just knowing if they’ve had a bad or good experience with your support team or product completely changes how you might target or reach out to them in your messaging. Bringing all that data together in one system allows you to better target and have more effective conversations with your customer base.

DGR: Before we go, I’d love to touch on HubSpot Payments, HubSpot’s new B2B E-commerce solution. Can you walk me through the creation process and inspiration?

 It’s simple: We noticed that a lot of our customers don’t have an online payments solution. While you have companies like Shopify providing E-commerce solutions, there are a bunch of customers who don’t sell online and feel they don’t need a payments solution.

We built a feature into our sales product that enabled users to put a payment link in their quote generation system, so what we’re releasing now is the ability to place that payment link directly on their website. We realized that if our users can embed a payment link inside of a quote they’re sending to a customer — a pretty standard interaction — why not skip sending the quote and just send somebody to a web page where they can just buy something? We imagine users listing their services and enabling people to buy directly from there, without having to speak with a salesperson again.

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