HubSpot Announces CRM Enhancements, Predictive Lead Scoring at INBOUND15

Published: September 10, 2015

HubSpot unveiled several new product features at its INBOUND15 user conference, including updates to the CRM system announced last year and predictive lead scoring.

The updates to the CRM system were designed to bring the company’s inbound philosophy for marketing to the sales team, company CEO and Co-founder Brian Halligan explained in his keynote address. “The power has shifted from seller to buyer…so we need to radically change the way we sell.”

Among the CRM enhancements is Sidekick Connections, designed to help salespeople find relevant connections within their target companies. “If you’re a salesperson and your primary contact is frequently exchanging emails with someone in his company, for example, the CRM will recognize that internal connection so that the salesperson can ask for an introduction to that additional contact,” Halligan said.

Other additions include Prospects, which positions the sales teams to uncover details about website visitors. “As a salesperson, I want to see if a prospect is worth my time,” Halligan said. “Using this tool, I can see that the prospect’s company recently received some series C funding and hired a new CMO. That’s useful information to help me prioritize my interactions.”

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The CRM enhancements seem like a natural continuation of HubSpot’s earlier announcements, according to David Raab, Principal at Raab Associates. “They should make the HubSpot CRM more attractive to their core market of small businesses. The real advantages are tight integration and ease of use.”

New Predictive Capabilities

HubSpot also unveiled predictive lead scoring within its marketing platform to provide lead scores based on behavioral, demographic, social and email data. “We developed a transparent formula that looks past patterns that both positively and negatively impact lead conversion,” said CTO and Co-founder Dharmesh Shah.

The HubSpot Reporting Add-on is designed to benefit both sales and marketing users by taking all the essential reports and consolidating them into one easily accessible and customizable screen where both marketing and sales can see all of the metrics they are accountable for in one place. The feature includes a number of pre-configured reports, as well as the ability to produce customized reports.

The HubSpot Ads Add-on features campaign creation, management and ROI reporting for Google AdWords and LinkedIn Sponsored Updates. “We found that 53% of HubSpot users use paid advertising as part of their marketing strategy, so we got a lot of feedback from customers that they wanted to create ads and track the ROI of ads from within the marketing system,” Shaw said.

HubSpot also unveiled a “freemium” tool called Leadin, which is designed for companies that want to better understand their website visitors and leads. It enables users to capture leads and know more about their contacts — what pages they’ve visited, when they return, and what social networks they’re on.

HubSpot Connect is a new integration platform to bring sales, services, accounting and other customer data directly into a central system within HubSpot. “HubSpot Connect extends the power of the HubSpot platform by integrating with top-performing tools used across departments to attract, engage and delight customers,” Halligan said.

Zendesk, a customer service platform designed to bring organizations and their customers closer together, is a key integration partner, Halligan noted. Other new HubSpot Connect integration partners include accounting software FreshBooks, event ticketing platform Eventbrite, online project management provider Teamwork, and conferencing platform UberConference.

At its press conference following the keynote, company officials briefly discussed the departures of CMO Mike Volpe and Content VP Joe Chernov amid ethics violations. “We certainly miss Mike and Joe at this event, but we have a deep bench and I am confident in Kip Bodnar’s ability to lead our marketing team,” said Halligan, who was sanctioned as a result of the investigation.

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