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HubSpot’s EMEA MD on UK expansion and what it really means to ‘grow better’

HubSpot’s EMEA MD on UK expansion and what it really means to ‘grow better’
Written by publishing team

Considering the growth in any business today, it is no surprise that HubSpot, the full CRM platform for expansion companies, is doing “all in the UK market” with the opening of its first office in London and a commitment to create 70 new jobs to help The communities it serves to thrive in a post-pandemic world.

Heading to the headlines to learn more about its UK expansion strategy, The Drum met with Christian Kinnear, Managing Director of EMEA at HubSpot to discuss what it means to “grow better,” and why it’s not just about what you sell, but how you can sell to today’s customers, And how HubSpot creates opportunities for the right talent based on their potential, not their zip code.

HubSpot has undergone a profound transformation in the past few years, evolving from a marketing automation tool for marketers to a CRM platform for customer-facing teams to help businesses grow better. What can you tell us about business evolution, and what does “grow better” really mean?

As a business, we not only believe in growing bigger but growing better. Rather than making short-term decisions that undermine customer experience and sacrifice long-term relationships, “grow better” is a plea for more companies to align their business success with that of their customers. When companies grow better, they focus on meeting the highest expectations of customers, and the result is better business, better relationships, and a better foundation on which to grow.

This belief has allowed us to grow rapidly in a relatively short period of time. We’ve gone from helping small startup marketers accelerate their growth with marketing automation software and educational resources, to supporting over 120,000 businesses worldwide, with our CRM platform that acts as a single point of customer fact.

During this trip, the highlight of the day is that it’s not about what you sell, but how you sell. Buyers hustle when they are not satisfied, products can easily be duplicated, and traditional business confidence is eroded, leading buyers to be more skeptical. Businesses win and lose based on their customers’ experience, and businesses need growth strategies that support the entire customer lifecycle. Cheerful customers are now more powerful and influential than any marketer, salesperson, or service representative.

With a solid reputation among mostly small and medium business marketers, HubSpot now serves major players such as Revolut and Skyscanner. How has your customer base changed, and what kind of business does HubSpot aim to help expand and grow?

HubSpot’s technology is designed with scalability in mind, which means it starts for free and scales to meet the needs of businesses at any stage of growth. Originally, HubSpot was mostly focused on helping small businesses grow, but as we continue to scale even higher with an enterprise-ready CRM platform, our powerful and easy-to-use solutions are now suitable for scaling businesses – from accelerated startups and expansions to leading organizations In the market . We aim to become the number one CRM platform for scaling businesses, and we’re excited about the future.

HubSpot has been helping thousands of UK businesses grow since 2013 – how has your company supported UK companies without a physical presence, and why is the decision to actually incorporate in the UK now?

HubSpot has been helping businesses in the UK for nearly 10 years, but our needs and the needs of our customers are changing. According to our research, face-to-face access and interaction has proven increasingly important to UK business leaders as the nation recovers from the pandemic, with 72% of customer experience professionals claiming they plan to invest in more human customer interactions in the future.

It has never been more important to be available to customers and have easy lines of communication with real people. We are at a stage where most companies in the UK are planning to grow again and having the customer experience at scale is essential for that. There is often still a need for human involvement in the customer journey, and our approach to the UK market is fully aligned with this vision. Although our presence in Dublin has supported our UK growth well, we are now ready to take the step with a local presence and more face-to-face customer engagement.

It has committed to creating 70 new jobs and hiring staff across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; What skill sets will you be looking for and do you think your hybrid business model will unlock the talent pool available to you?

As a business leader, it is satisfying to see that more than 10,000 UK companies rely on HubSpot to help with their growth and expansion efforts. The UK is a very attractive market with a thriving business scene teeming with tech-savvy companies across the country that are among the early adopters of technology. UK business leaders understand the importance of investing in technology to delight customers today, and our CRM platform is designed to help these ambitious companies realize their growth potential. As such, we are doing everything we can in the UK market and will look to offer more CRM platform solutions, support larger businesses, and commit to deeper deals and integrations with partners.

Moreover, there is a large pool of talented individuals in the UK, many of whom are looking to return to work after a sabbatical or who have used the pandemic as an opportunity to relocate. During the pandemic, HubSpot has established a clear policy around flexible working, adhering to a hybrid model where employees can choose from three work preferences (remote, flex or office) to build a work around their lives. A year into the pandemic, a survey of employees revealed that 83% believe that remote work has been successful and that a flexible working model is now a permanent advantage. This new formal hybrid business model means we are able to offer opportunities to the right talent based on their potential, not their zip code.

Why should CRM be a top priority for marketers today, and where should they make better investments to stay relevant in an increasingly digitized world?

CRM should be a business priority for all organizations, not just marketers. With the acceleration of digitization caused by the pandemic and the consumption of business tools like Zoom, buyers are now more independent, demanding and empowered to switch services if the experience does not live up to their standards. The focus on the digital experience has led the disruptors to see unparalleled growth; However, there are potentially devastating risks for those companies that do not want to reconsider their digital experiences.

“Who are your customers?” It is no longer a valid question. Instead, you should create a complete picture for each individual customer. What does the digital journey look like? When, where and how did they interact with your work? What do they need and want from you now and expect from you next?

However, almost every business leader feels that their tech stack is growing endlessly because there are so many new technologies and channels being introduced in the market, which makes this process complicated. At HubSpot, we believe the exhilarating experience stems from moving from individual custom solutions to investing in a unified CRM system. When your CMS sits alongside your marketing, sales, and customer service solutions in a centralized CRM system, customer-facing teams can see each customer’s journey as a whole, enabling them to anticipate customer needs and wants, put them at the center and deliver seamless, contextual experiences across all Contact points. This is how companies win today.

What advice would you give to the marketer now?

First, make sure you spend a significant amount of time understanding your customer. In today’s competitive and unpredictable environment, how you sell is why you win. There used to be a whole paradigm that only the product, or only the brand, motivated people to buy. And in fact, I think the most important transition is that buyers actually control the entire sales and service process. They make their buying decisions based on the seller, their interaction with the seller, the entire selling process, and the entire experience of that selling process. So it is more important than ever for companies to deeply understand their customers.

Second, making the customer happy is more important than earning them. The customer journey begins and does not end with selling. The Jupiter era taught us that this is just the beginning of the journey with the customer. Continuing to delight the customer, providing a better customer experience, and making sure that your customers end up not just passive customers, but promoters of your solution is much more important.

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