HubSpot unveiled a number of upgrades and new features to its platform at its recent INBOUND15 event, including an expansion of its CRM application and the addition of predictive capabilities. Demand Gen Report sat down for a one-on-one interview with new CMO Kipp Bodnar about the company’s latest offerings and the changing B2B marketing landscape.
Demand Gen Report: As a marketing automation company, why do you feel it is important to invest in a CRM offering?
Kipp Bodnar: Marketing has certainly gotten more connected to the sales team over the past several years, and we see the need to continue on that path. As our CEO Brian Halligan explained in his keynote address, the power has truly shifted from the buyer to the seller and it is time for sales teams to embrace an inbound mindset.
Bodnar: Marketers have a lot of information about people and there are a lot of valuable buying signals that can be helpful to marketing and sales, but those signals can be hard to uncover. Lead scoring has been a largely manual process for our users, so we wanted to make it more automated.
We have the data within our platform to build statistical models to predict how likely a lead is to convert. We looked at the marketplace and found that marketers and sales teams want help in achieving more reliable outcomes, so we felt it was important to add predictive capabilities to our platform.
DGR: What are some of the biggest challenges you see for B2B marketers currently?
Bodnar: Marketers tell us that they are still struggling with integration between their marketing automation platforms and other software they to run the business.
Help desk issues are a good example of how integration can provide better customer service. If the sales and marketing team know that a customer has a technical issue they can work to resolve the issue, but that only happens when systems are well integrated.
That’s why partnerships with companies like Zendesk and others that bring information onto the contact record, timeline and CRM are important to our strategy going forward.
DGR: What are your plans for the marketing team as you take on the role of CMO?
Bodnar: We have an amazing team of people and I look forward to continuing to focus on relevant marketing that is personalized. I believe there is room to integrate new tools, so there is the potential to add people to the marketing team such as data analysts and developers who have deep technical skills to help us expand.