The Solution to Your Sales Tool and CRM Problem
Since early Monday afternoon, most of the Cleriti team has been out of the office and in Boston for Inbound 14, HubSpot’s annual inbound marketing conference.
Maybe you’ve heard about it. Inbound 2014 has about 10,000 attendees, and the conference hashtag, #INBOUND14, has been nationally trending. Oh, and we’ve listened to keynote speakers like Guy Kawasaki, Simon Sinek, Malcolm Gladwell, and Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah. Martha Stewart and Shiza Shahid are on deck for tomorrow.
So, you know, it’s kind of a big deal.
But one of the most exciting parts of the conference so far has been Halligan’s announcement of HubSpot’s new sales tools! In response to the need for a better solution to manually entering lead info, HubSpot set out to build a new CRM from the ground up--one that integrates seamlessly with HubSpot’s existing interface. The CRM can be paired with another new sales tool, Sidekick, to make using the CRM even easier. These tools are currently active for HubSpot partners and, and they’ll be available soon to HubSpot users.
When unveiling these new products, Halligan mentioned that one of the most frustrating part of being in sales is how much of the day is devoted to filling out forms, and we agree: entering in lead information, manually completing forms to track where leads are in the sales process, manually adding notations so other members of the team know what’s happening...the list goes on, and the list eats up valuable selling time. The new CRM was designed to be intuitive and automatic -- it can log emails, record calls, and manage customer data.
Basically, we think the design of the CRM is “wicked smaht,” as they say in Boston.
Features We Love
The new CRM has a ton of features, but we wanted to highlight the three that we know will help your sales team succeed.
One of the most powerful aspects of the CRM’s new tools is the database. It allows you to collect and store data on contacts, companies, past deals, and tasks -- basically, the database acts like mini-manager with a long memory--it’s able to show you previous contact and future contact with the lead, which helps you stay on target. The database also automatically creates company records, which removes that manual aspect of entering leads, seeks out associated contacts in the company, and stores a million little details so your desk isn’t covered in sticky notes.
The timeline is a simple, visual way to organize every contact between you and your leads -- email, note, calls, website visits, lunch meetings. Because the sales process has changed, the way we interact with leads has changed, and the timeline provides a simple, intuitive way to view your relationship with the lead. You can also use the timeline to make calls, set reminders, and organize your day in one clean, simple interface. Bonus: it looks so slick!
In our opinion, one of the best features we’ve heard about: Data Enrichment is a way to instantly see new, useful information about any contact or company. Basically, data enrichment does research for you, digging up background information, social data, details on key employees, and more. This feature also seeks out related companies, which allows you to analyze why this lead found you -- and how you can help a similar company find you as well. Data enrichment is the new office-gopher-meets-professional-Googler.
In addition to these awesome features, the CRM also supports: email integration with lead contact information; phone integration with (optional) recording feature; and even Google Calendar integration, so you can schedule follow-ups and never miss a beat.
Sidekick: Undercover Sales Ninja
Sidekick partners with your inbox and the CRM system to give you incredible new insights throughout the day -- it’s an undercover sales ninja that lives in your browser. Sidekick pulls up valuable details about the contacts and companies you meet during your day, and gives you the option of saving that information to the CRM with the touch of a button.
That’s right. No more manual entry.
Sidekick also gives you real-time notifications so you know when your prospects open emails, click on links, or visit your website. You can schedule messages through Sidekick, too, to follow up with leads even when you’re out of the office.
Tools to Match the Buying Process
Basically, we think these tools represent a smarter, more intuitive way to follow up on your inbound leads. As Halligan said in last night's presentation, "HubSpot's CRM and Sidekick are perfect for companies that want to transform how they attract, engage, and delight prospects, customers and leads and want sales technology that matches today's buying process."
The best thing of all? The CRM and Sidekick are free(mium). Halligan announced last night at the keynote event that both products will be offered on a freemium basis, with smaller businesses using the free tools and power users have the option to buy in to more options.
So, what do you have to lose?