At HubSpot, the customer experience comes first. Always.
Whether our marketing team chooses a time to send an email or our web team team chooses the size and position of a button on our homepage, the question we keep coming back to is, “Will this be the one good experience for our customers? “
As HubSpot’s Chief Product Officer, this customer-first principle is my guiding light in product development. And that’s why we don’t buy technology when we want to deliver a new product to our customers. We build it.
This build-first approach is becoming increasingly rare in our industry. Traditional SaaS companies tend to acquire other companies when they want to significantly expand their product offerings or quickly grow their customer base. This can sometimes lead to a rapid spike in sales – after all, when one company buys another, it wins all of its customers – but it is often a very negative experience for the customer.
When two completely different systems are cobbled together after an acquisition, the burden of collaboration is transferred to the customer. Each company likely took a completely different approach to product development, resulting in different underlying technologies, different processes, and different user interfaces.
Reconciling these differences without creating friction for customers is an almost impossible task. And as SaaS companies adopt this approach over time, friction builds, technical debt creeps through the roof, and the customer experience steadily deteriorates as a result.
This approach dissolves for the company that implements it, not the customers it is supposed to serve. That’s why we do it differently at HubSpot. After all, it’s not that we follow the crowd.
When most companies were duplicating the old outbound playbook, we advocated inbound approaches instead. When most companies wondered if remote working could ever work, we saw that the percentage of HubSpotters working from home hit double digits well before 2020. And while our industry was still furiously focused on funnels, we went for the flywheel.
Were different. It’s in HubSpot’s DNA. This is even reflected in our corporate mission: We help companies grow better. Don’t grow according to the status quo. Don’t grow by sticking to age-old game books. Better grow.
Just as we believe there is a better way to grow, we also believe that there is a better way to build. This is where the primary colors come into play.
Meet the primary colors
Our approach to product development is simple and allows us to create multiplicative benefits for customers that no other CRM platform offers. We focus on five fundamental elements that comprise all of our products and we work to continuously improve each and every one of them. These elements are: automation, content, data, messaging, and reporting. We call them “primary colors”.
Each of our hubs – CMS Hub, Marketing Hub, Sales Hub and Service Hub – consists of a different mix of the five primary colors. This means that every product on our platform is built on the same underlying foundation.
When the product team shows up for work every day, we’re not asking ourselves: what hub or role will we be working on today? It is, “What primary color are we going to improve?”
When we add value to any area of HubSpot, the value is automatically increased across the CRM platform. And that enables us to continuously bring a steady stream of joy to all of our customers.
With this approach, we can offer our customers unique value in the crowded CRM market in three ways:
1. Continuous improvement across the platform.
“HubSpot is the perfect, constantly improving marketing software” – G2 rating
The same five primary colors go into the creation of every HubSpot product. So when we improve a primary color, we improve every stroke. And every customer of any HubSpot product sees an immediate benefit, regardless of which part of the platform they use.
For example, if we invest in improving the robustness of reporting in Sales Hub, that robustness will affect all reporting tools on the HubSpot CRM platform. Marketing Hub customers using our reporting tools benefit, Service Hub customers using our reporting tools, as well as CMS Hub customers – all because we’ve invested in improving just one primary color.
2. Easy introduction of new products.
“We quickly adopted Sales Hub Pro and Marketing Enterprise to meet our growing needs. It was one of the best decisions we made ”- Review of G2
Because all of our hubs are based on the same primary color foundation, our customers can expect a familiar, fast, and friendly user experience every time they add a new feature or product to their tech stack. This means that customers can immediately take advantage of each new addition without losing time for training, integration or frustration with new systems.
HubSpot Co-Founder Dharmesh Shah says, “Our customers’ time to be happy will be shortened.”
Once a customer learns how to use automation in, for example, Marketing Hub, they immediately know how automation works in all HubSpot products across the CRM platform. As your business scales and adds new products, features, and integrations to its tech stack, you can expect consistency, not complexity.
You don’t have to relearn how messaging works or how data is stored every time you add a new hub – something you would likely have to do if you were working with a system cobbled together through acquisitions or if they were different Use tools for different customer-facing teams.
3. The ability to run an entire company on a single platform.
“I can manage the website, CRM, email marketing, and everything else in one place. This allows me to have a single place for all of my data reports and a single source of truth ”- G2 rating
HubSpot enables fast-growing companies to run all of their business on a single system, as HubSpot offers marketers, salespeople, and service professionals alike the same insights and opportunities.
And when all teams in a company work with the same familiar system, silos crumble, data become centralized, and information flows freely. The entire team has access to the same valuable insights, so they can better understand their customers and deliver a seamless experience across every touchpoint.
For example, if a company’s marketing team uses the Marketing Hub and the sales team uses the Sales Hub, both teams will have access to the same customer data in a central CRM. And since both hubs offer identical functions for recording and storing data, it is equally easy for each team to access not only the data they generated, but also the data generated by the other team.
This gives marketers and sellers a holistic view of the customer so each of them can customize their tactics and personalize their reach. If a prospect shows a particular interest in marketing content for a particular role, the sales team can view that information in the shared CRM and focus on that role the next time they call the prospect.
No need to wait for a marketing report or rely on an impersonal script – they can personalize their reach and focus on a prospect’s specific areas of interest as both hubs are built on the same foundation.
Build differently, grow better
The challenges companies face in 2021 are new. Therefore, our approach to developing our products must also be new. With the rise of the hybrid workplace, we are all finding that our work lives also intersect our personal and family lives. That raises the bar for what we expect from enterprise software.
People use HubSpot to power their businesses, care for their families, help their communities thrive, and in many cases, to make the world a better place.
It is now more important than ever that our CRM platform feels like something you would use on the weekends rather than just Monday mornings.
That’s why we’re deeply committed to creating software that delivers enterprise-grade performance with intuitive consumer-level performance and an experience as engaging as the apps we all use in our personal lives.
At HubSpot, we set the bar by what our customers need, not what our competitors have done over the past few decades. With the five primary colors driving our platform and our unwavering commitment to never compromising on the customer experience, we look forward to helping our customers grow better in 2021 and beyond.