HubSpot has once again inspired businesses to grow at their annual INBOUND event which brings together thought leaders from over 161 countries across marketing, sales, customer success, and revenue operations.
It’s a community gathering for visionaries who are passionate to bring more thoughtfulness into the buyer/consumer relationship. This year we have been privileged to have Darren Leishman representing Spitfire Inbound in Boston, as well as having the team based in South Africa participating online.
The Connected Customer
If there is one overarching theme that the HubSpot leadership team emphasised at their keynote, it is that we need to be taking into consideration the crisis of disconnection that many organisations around the world are in, and it is time to move towards the age of the connected customer. This means that we need to move towards a different kind of solution and playbook to grow and to lead the drive from customer management to customer connection.
Inbound is evolving and we need to find new ways to engage with customers and prospects. The HubSpot platform is central to this as it is designed to unite your data on a commerce-powered, connected CRM Platform that helps you easily deliver flexible, customised experiences with the connected Hubs. Essentially, not only are we talking about a connected platform, but also connected applications.
By a connected platform we are referring to the ability to connect all your data and systems through the only commerce-powered CRM platform. This will help you to cut costs and complexity, and delight customers with the ability to transact when and where they want. Some of the features are payments, data and data quality as well as advances in reporting.
When we are referring to connected applications we are referring to HubSpot’s Hubs .
HubSpot's Hubs have the ability to delight customers with a connected, customised experience so they feel known and valued from awareness to advocacy.
This allows you to drive deeper connections with customers and establish more growth through unparalleled experiences designed around customers needs, not your metrics -- all while reducing your costs.
Essentially you are able to spend less time, money, and resources connecting your data and systems with a crafted, all-on-one CRM Platform. Some of the features are customer journey analytics, Campaigns 2.0, Sales Customisations and more.
Moving on to product releases we are excited about - some of you may already have been able to access through Beta or Early Release, but there are some exciting new betas and live releases coming too!
Payment schedules is now live! A payment schedule allows merchants selling services to break down a large bill into a series of instalments, each with their own due date, amount, and name. Please note that these are only available in the new CMS based quote templates - not the legacy quote templates and is separate to the ability to conduct transactions using HubSpot payments which is still only available in the US.
Product and Invoice sync through data sync are no longer limited to Quickbooks and Shopify.
Product sync is live and will connect third-party apps to your HubSpot product library to run a data sync bidirectionally. Setting product sync up is just as easy as setting up any other data sync through the app marketplace.
Invoice sync is still in beta. Before, Data Sync worked with contacts, companies, and deals. With Invoice Sync, you can sync your invoices one-way from third-party apps (Quickbooks, Dynamics 365, NetSuite, etc.) to HubSpot. This expands beyond just Quickbooks Online, and further embeds it in the data sync framework.
Get the complete picture of your business and let actual revenue power marketing, sales and services insights in HubSpot.
The last Operations Hub update is data sync health. This allows you to understand integration health and diagnose syncing issues quickly and easily, to ensure your systems and teams stay aligned around consistent data as you scale.
Inside the app's sync settings, we've added a new tab called 'Sync health'. This will show you which integrations are insync, excluded from sync, or failing to sync.
Developer sandboxes are in beta! This is a huge win for all sales and services enterprise customers.
A development sandbox is an isolated environment in which a developer can confidently build and test early proof of concept development work before implementing them in their standard sandbox or production account. When new development sandboxes are created, they have all the same features and CRM object definitions as the customer’s production account.
Another beta that will be exciting for all developers with sales and services enterprise accounts is the Projects GitHub integration! An exciting update as developers can use GitHub as the source of record for their HubSpot Project’s codebase. They can collaborate with their teams using familiar GitHub tools and workflows and trigger project builds by pushing code to their repositories.
Debugging is the third of four updates for sales and service enterprise users and will be in beta.
The final of the developer updates for sales and enterprise users is the CRM card builder.
HubSpot now offers developers the ability to craft new CRM cards that will make it easier for CRM users to do their jobs. The new CRM Card Builder tool provides an interactive interface for developers to easily develop the necessary JSON payloads to deploy custom CRM cards in the middle panel of the HubSpot platform.
Moreover, developers can also use these CRM cards on custom objects or display custom object data over other records.
DATA MANAGEMENT AND QUALITY
One of the updates that you may already have experienced that is live is the Cleaner Import in all hubs at all levels. This flags and resolves data errors before they are published to the CRM - less manual work and less reactive problem-solving down the road.
There are four updates that are in beta around data management and quality.
1. Property validations (all Hubs) enforces consistency and is key to keeping your data clean over time. Property validations give you more control over the data that reps enter manually without adding annoying process or procedures that can slow them down. This results in fewer inconsistencies in the database, less friction in the flywheel, and a smoother customer experience! Have a look at Kyle Jepson’s LinkedIn video where he introduces this update.
2. Data model overview is also in beta for all hubs. Data quality starts with a good data structure and the data model feature makes it easy to visualise how your data is organised in HubSpot. Watch Kyle Jepson on LinkedIn as he introduces this feature.
3. Custom Object Builder is available to Enterprise users in beta. With custom objects, your CRM setup can be as unique as your business and you can customise your data model around your company and not the other way around. The new custom object builder empowers you with a simple, intuitive way to build your custom objects. No code required. It allows an admin to define the name, plural name, and first property of a custom object. It requires them to use separate tools to manage associations, create custom properties, and set up customisations.
4. Data Quality Command Centre is in beta to Ops Hub Pro and Enterprise users and many of you may already have access to this feature. In the data quality command centre you are able to get an at-a-glance overview of insights on the health of all of your HubSpot data in one place. It identifies stale properties, integration bottlenecks and formatting issues or duplicates all in one dashboard. This is incredibly helpful when managing your data hygiene on an ongoing basis.
The last of this category of updates is the Automation Recommendations beta available to Ops Hub Pro and Enterprise users. HubSpot has reduced the manual burden of fixing data errors by using their artificial intelligence to continuously scan your database for issues and then recommends automations to fix them. As HubSpot puts it: “HubSpot CRM cleans itself.” Previously we had to manually accept any suggestions one by one which was a lot of manual work - this feature allows Ops Hub Pro and Enterprise users the ability to save time and focus this time elsewhere!
In beta we have four updates that we will touch on.
Right Sidebar Configuration for Pro and Enterprise users means that admins can optimise the right sidebar for reps by showing or hiding card sections. You are now able to configure conditional logic to show only relevant cards to different teams. When building in your custom tab, your developer will use the develop platform tools to build this out. It can show internal or external data. Have a look at this knowledge base article for more.
New activity types and configurable buttons allow further customisation for the CRM. Kyle Jepson once again is here to assist us with how this looks.
Board card configurations is an update I am really excited about! Admins can now select up to four properties to display on board cards of all pipeline objects (deals, tickets and custom objects) - and if you are a Pro user when multiple pipelines are present you are able to customise the cards to display different properties at each stage of the pipeline!
Records overview tab and record custom tabs are both in beta and we will be sharing more as the beta progresses.
Marketing Hubs has some great new updates this year including WhatsApp and Customer journey analytics in beta as well as the introduction of Campaigns 2.0 which is live.
The WhatsApp beta for marketing and service pro and enterprise customers will allow teams to connect a WhatsApp business account as a messaging channel in the shared inbox and communicate with prospects and customers. This launch will support both business initiated and contact initiated WhatsApp messages (video and images) and conversations will be visible on the contact record.
Campaigns 2.0 is live for marketing pro and enterprise customers. Anyone who knows me knows that Campaigns is my favourite app in Marketing Hub. Campaigns allow for alignment of the journey that your customers take as well as the measurement of all assets related to your campaigns. Tasks allow you to align on the work to be done, you can add assets and build end-to-end reporting from individual tactics to influenced revenue reporting. Attribution reporting is now built into the tool that includes marketing and sales - exactly what you need from a connected CRM! In attribution reporting you can now stack different attribution models but also compare campaigns - and you can integrate this into dashboards. I am very excited for the growth in the campaign tool functionality over the years!
Customer Journey Analytics is in beta for Marketing Enterprise and I know this will be incredibly exciting for many people. This beta allows you to visualise your customer’s entire end-to-end journey and give you deep insights into how to optimise the moments that matter most for conversion - from marketing through to sales and services.
Ad Conversion events is another update that is available for marketing professional and enterprise users. LinkedIn will be available now with other platforms coming later in the year. Ad conversion events allow you to future-proof your ad strategy by powering your hyper targeted ads across major ad networks. By the end of 2022, HubSpot customers will be able to fully realise all their first party data so they are able to target, report, and optimise in a cookieless, privacy first world.
Three updates in the sales hub were released at INBOUND22.
Inbound Calling update is only available in the UK, US and Canada sales and service starter at this point and provides reps with unique phone numbers to place outbound calls but also receive inbound calls right from and to their personal phone without exposing their personal number.
Custom goals is in beta for sales and service hub enterprise and I know some of you have already been able to benefit from this. Custom goals help you easily set, track, and manage performance by setting goals unique to your business. It keeps goals updated by automatically reflecting any changes in the progress bar. You are also able to align stakeholders with notifications based on setting, achieving, exceeding, and missing goals to drive better transparency and shared accountability. Have a look at this knowledge base article for more details.
Along with custom goals is deal management for sales and service hub professional and enterprise users. Improvements to forecasting and deal management include: a new goals app, team goals and better integrated forecasting and deal management experience for reps. If you were part of the beta, you will have experienced the new functionality already.
Launched earlier this year but important to include as part of a connected CRM is the Free CRM.
Stay with us over the next few weeks as we further unpack these features and how you can apply them. In the interim, you can catch all the new updates on this page from HubSpot.