Ops Cast | HubSpot is only for startups/small companies, right? w/ Connor Jeffers

During this episode we do a deep dive with Connor Jeffers, the CEO and founder of RevOps consultancy Aptitude8. We talk about the perception of Hubspot as “only” for small to medium sized businesses and how that may have changed.

We even discussed a scenario that co-host Naomi Liu had with Hubspot a few years ago to provide more context. 

If you are not familiar with Hubspot and want to learn more, then this episode is for you.

Recorded live on July 8, 2021

Description HERE

Hi, I’m Michael Hartmann, I’m Naomi Lou,and I’m Mike Rizzo. And this is ops cast, a podcast for marketing ops pros and rev ops pros created by the MO Pros. The number one community for marketing operations. As professionals tune into each episode as we chat with real professionals to help elevate you in your marketing operations career.

Hello everyone. And welcome to episode 16 of OpsCast brought to you by the MO Pros. I am Michael Hartmann, your host. And, uh, today I’m joined by my cohost Naomi, Lou and Mike Rizzo say hello to everyone. Hey everybody. Awesome. Just a reminder that summer camp in Atlanta is next week. Can you believe that next week, Mike, next?

Uh, no, I’m not ready for hot Lana. It’s going to be, it’s going to be hot. It might be raining and thunderstorms. We’ll see. That’s what the forecast says. Hopefully it’ll change. I’m told. It’s not, it’s not LA weather. Sorry. You have to live with it. But for those who can’t make it to Atlanta, there’s also in early August, August 4th, through six one in the Seattle area.

So if you haven’t seen that, go to www dot MO Pros dot com and check it out. All right. So let’s get started, uh, episode 16 today. We’re excited to have with us Connor Jeffers, the founder and CEO of aptitude, eight aptitude eight is a rev ops consulting firm that partners with companies like Salesforce, HubSpot outreach.

And more, he started date eight about two years ago in 2019, just before the pandemic, I guess prior to that, he held roles in marketing operations, revenue, operations, leadership in multiple organizations. In addition to doing what he does with apps to date, he also is an advisor and investor in some early stage companies.

Connor, thanks so much for joining us today. Thank you. I’m super excited to be. All right. So I think we’re all getting excited to learn from you as we are kind of getting started, uh, for those who are listening, we are going to be talking probably fairly deep about HubSpot and kind of what, uh, some of our perceptions are and that, so we know that with, with your, your experience Connor, that you and your team see lots of different tech stacks at lots of different companies, mostly with HubSpot, I think.

And I, I know me for one, I, I never worked with HubSpot and I, but I have my own perception, right. That they’re, they’re this things that you start with, if you’re a startup or a small company that really enterprise and I don’t think I’m alone. In fact, we were talking earlier that Naomi had an experience with HubSpot a couple of years ago.

They may add to this, but, um, well, let’s, I’ll let her kind of share her story, but when she’s done, how about you kind of walk through, like how, how do you react to that? And like how, you know, when you hear others clients or potential clients talking about it, like, what’s, what’s your response to that perception?

That HubSpot is just for small companies. So Dami, why don’t you share your. Yeah, definitely happy to. Um, so about two and a half years ago, almost three years ago now, um, we went through a big vendor evaluation at year five. We’re trying to move off of our old legacy marketing automation platform that we had used for a decade, which sounds crazy now that I think about it.

Or just repeat it and, um, you know, did a big call out to all of the major vendors and HubSpot was one of them that we want to evaluate. So I wrote the RFP, there was about 118 or 120 like business requirements. Um, listen, you know, categorize them as nice to have and deal breakers and things like that.

Set them out, um, invited all the vendors, um, to an onsite day-and-a-half boot camp to kind of show. Uh, their, their goods and HubSpot actually backed out. So they, you know, were championing really hard in the beginning to, you know, be included and go up against selects of part OD and, and Eloqua and Marketo and Salesforce marketing cloud, and all of those vendors.

And, um, you know, it was a bit of radio silence from our sales rep for a couple of weeks. And then, you know, I reached out and was like, Hey, are you coming? Like, what’s going on? Like what, you know, Does my do my documents. That don’t make sense. Please let me know. And then, um, it was, uh, yeah, you know, we took a look and we just don’t feel like our platform is going to meet the needs of your business.

Um, we’re not as enterprise ready as we’d like to be, and we just we’re going to, we’re going to bow out. So that was, that was, that was it. And that’s really been my only experience or my only interaction with HubSpot in the last few years fighting words. That’s right. Surprise me at all. Yeah, it doesn’t surprise me at all.

I think that a. To sort of answer Michael’s question, but I think to speak to, uh, your, uh, Naomi as well as is, I think HubSpot a year ago is a radically different product. Um, even as recently as a year ago. And I think the growth story, uh, for them both as a company, I mean, just, if you go look at that.

Their stock ticker. It’s pretty wild. Uh, but it, as a product, uh, the growth has been really amazing. I mean, so a year ago you had sort of the marketing automation solution. They were just starting to push into the CRM space. And we were seeing a lot of early stage companies use their sales product, um, sort of in loo.

And then it was sort of the we’ll set this up and then we’ll move to Salesforce and, and that’ll be the plan. And I think in the last year we’ve seen them had, uh, custom objects, which now sync with Salesforce. So even. A crazy data model or you want to do, uh, you know, marketing automation triggers off of objects in Salesforce that aren’t even contact records.

So you can sort of do that at a HubSpot now, and then they’ve added operations hub recently, which allows you to in natively in sort of a workflow action, um, rightful, JavaScript to automate whatever you want. And historically, um, those types of solutions where you had to have sort of a marketing automation solution, you had to have a CRM.

You had to have like a tray or a Workato on top of that to like connect all of your other tools. And what we’ve seen even in the last year is the addition of custom objects and, uh, coded actions on the operation subside have pushed HubSpot from being this like really amazing SMB stretch at mid-market.

And even if they have, I think this incredibly powerful brand that, uh, even enterprise companies are like, oh, let’s look at HubSpot. Like, that’d be really exciting. And, and it doesn’t surprise me that two years ago you had them be like, Hey, we can’t deliver on. Um, I would be shocked, uh, if they, if they bowed out of that now, and even if they were to lose that, because I think the extent of what they can do on the marketing automation side is not only on parody, but I actually think surpasses a lot of what we’ve seen in some of these other tools.

And we’re, we’re huge HubSpot fans at eight, but we, we still work with and still support, uh, Marquetto instances, part OD instances. Um, we stopped doing marketing cloud because. Uh, it’s really hard to keep people working in that practice because they hate doing it. Uh, but we see it still on occasion. Um, and so I think that the, the product itself has just come an incredibly long way.

I be curious, actually, if I were to, um, surface the requirements in front of them again, what they would think based on where the platform is currently. Yeah, I, yeah, totally. You should pull it up again and you should just do a call again and put it out there. And we’re seeing it today. Like right now, inside of the slack channel, the community, the MO Pros community, someone is asking about this idea of like migrating and there’s a lot of chatter back and forth about like whether or not HubSpot is enterprise ready and what have you.

And frankly, like there just aren’t enough people that are versed in both platforms. Like eloquently about it to, you know, you have to have gone through a migration and thankfully there’s enough members in there that I think can, can help the individual who asked. But, but yeah, I personally think, and, you know, Connor, you’re the expert here based on what you just shared.

Like, it sounds like they’re headed in the direction of being able to handle a lot of those requirements, but, um, it’d be interesting to see them go up against that massive 118. Document 120 doc. I feel bad for everybody that had to answer that document because the OMI is thorough so that I can, I came to him.

Can you do it? Yes or no. And if you can’t tell me why no, no robes or gray area, right? Yeah.

I love it. Yeah. So it’s interesting because I think, um, so coming into this, right, I was coming at this thinking about HubSpot from my own perception. Like at least third-party kind of stuff. Right. And now we’ve got this story from Naomi. Yeah. If, if you know, so when you, when you hear this kind of stuff, like, what do you, Connor, what do you see as the biggest challenge of helping people sort of, uh, reassess that PR that, that.

Perception or what was maybe reality, even on HubSpot side, right. That they weren’t necessarily ready for enterprise stuff, but maybe today they are. Yeah. I think, I think it’s really hard to change a momentum. Right? I mean, I think the HubSpot brand engine, which anyone in the marketing space, you have to have respect for just like.

The, the velocity of that machine, right? Is they historically pushed really hard of, we are this SMB solution we’re friendly. We’re, we’re not, Marquetto, we’re not Salesforce. Like we’re very much not those enterprise tools and you don’t need those enterprise tools because you’re not an enterprise company.

And, and now as they’re moving up market and their solution is much more robust and their product can tackle those use cases. Down payment on branding is sort of like becoming a liability, which I think is really hard. Um, and so I think that what they’re doing now and what we’re seeing is sort of the messaging right now is that.

The, I think they’re saying that the goal is to be the number one CRM platform for growing businesses. And I think their tie in on the CRM side is, is really, really powerful. And they’re trying to segment on the product side. So they still have starter, uh, which is incredibly cheap. Like it’s, it’s shockingly inexpensive.

Um, and the starter products are. And they work. Um, they’re not a lot super customizable. They’re great for sort of like works out of the box SMB type focus. They have their pro products, which gives you a lot more functionality. And then at their enterprise level, you start getting access to custom objects.

And I think where things get really interesting, uh, is somewhat on some of the CRM bundles. Right? So. Combining your CMS solution, plus your marketing automation solution. Plus your CRM solution, you can start doing really wild and amazing things that are just unmatched in the market today that you cannot build by stitching together a bunch of other products.

And the value that you’re seeing on companies that are looking at full-stack HubSpot is they can deliver an experience that not only is, is incredibly differentiating, but the. Like cost and complexity. You couldn’t even match it with an amalgamation of other products. If you tried let alone the cost and effort to do so.

And I think we’re seeing, I mean, we, right now, we’re actually, we’re working on a project to pull, um, full Salesforce, recurrently outreach. Marquetto like all of the top of the line stuff, all bundled together, uh, for a SAS company and doing a full rip and replace for a full stack on HubSpot and like, That opportunity wouldn’t have existed to us a year ago.

And if someone had brought it to us, we would have done the same thing as Naomi. Like, Hey, I understand you guys want to pay us six figures to do this, but like, it’s not, it’s not going to happen. Uh, and now the opportunity, I think in the market to say, not only is that possible, but we can make a really, really compelling reason why that’s the case.

And I think the way that you’re going to see. The perception on HubSpot as a platform change is through the partner angle of you’re going to, you’re going to start to see folks like us. And then there’s, there’s lots of other amazing HubSpot partners as well. Um, they’re going to start doing really amazing work.

They’re going to point to the user experiences they’re able to create, and they’re going to say, Hey, we built this and everyone who’s stuck in the, uh, I have a disconnected CMS. I have a disconnected CRM. I have a disconnected marketing automation situation. It’s gonna be. Wow. I wish we could do that. Uh, and they’re going to go back to their team and say, can you make that possible?

And they’d be like, no. Uh, and then that’s going to change the way that people look at HubSpot as a, as a full solution. And, uh, we’re trying to sort of be the front runners on that and I think doing a decent job. Um, but that’s where we’re really excited about, about where the ecosystem is setting. Well, I think it’s, I always, it’s funny cause you brought up the CMS part and even I like, I always forget.

Until someone brings it up that they have that sort of built in with the rest of the tool. And I don’t, I, I do, you know, just having had responsibility for marketing automation and website, you know, they always need to work well together and it’s not, uh, depending on what you’re using for your website platform, right.

It’s, it’s sometimes easy, sometimes not so easy to, to connect the dots between those two. So I think that’s a really powerful things as well. So, uh, just, I want to the piece that I didn’t hear you talking about that I’d like to, I know it was part of why I really liked, I’ve used both eloquent and Marquetto, I haven’t used HubSpot haven’t used Pardot, but one of the things I know I liked about both Eloqua and Pardot and Marketo was the ability to do really.

Analytics are pretty robust analytics. I won’t say deep, um, kind of out of the box, how has HubSpot, especially since you’ve seen sort of all of them Connor, like how did you, what’s your take on how, how they are doing in terms of analytics, whether it’s sort of the core things like page views, email opens, click-throughs all the way to maybe attribution or, or ties back to revenue.

Yeah, absolutely. So I think historically right, uh, HubSpot had analytics, but they were asset specific. So you go look at an email, you can see an open rate. You can look at a landing page, you can see a conversion rate, but sort of aggregating or looking at that in a larger way. It was really challenging.

Um, they don’t have a full reporting and analytics solution. Uh, they have a whole reporting and analytics section and the product you can build custom reports, you can build cross object reports, you can build series reports. And I think the other advantage for them, and this is true, even if you’re in.

Course universe as well. Right? So the HubSpot CRM, the Salesforce CRM, uh, have the tightest integration. Uh, I honestly have any two products on the market and the space cause they basically replicate your whole Salesforce data model inside of HubSpot. So HubSpot has a deal object hubs that has product objects as company objects inside of their CRM.

And. Bi-directional even if you’re using something like a Salesforce and then the new operations hub, they’re adding, uh, NetSuite connectors, dynamics, connectors, uh, tons of other sort of CRM solutions as well beyond just sort of the Salesforce universe. Um, and so with their reporting and analytics product, you can start building those cross object reports that historically you can only build something robust, uh, on the Salesforce side.

And now you can tie a lot of that together, and then they also have an attribution. Okay. Uh, inside of the product. And so it’s not quite on par with something like a Bizible yet. Uh, but that, that’s sort of the goal of where they’re taking it. And so that’s on the down funnel, multi object, like attribution, revenue influence.

Um, there’s amazing things you can do with their ad Scion. I actually think. Most incredible parts of the product, which is you can single sign on into any of your ad providers. And you can literally look at closed loop from how many impressions, how many clicks, how many conversions, how many opportunities, how many SQLs, how many ops, how many closed one?

Like for that ad group? Uh, like just by doing the straight connection and having the pixel on, uh, your marketing. And I think that the thing that makes us more interesting is what I’m seeing. And we talk a lot to the product managers and the people who own different hubs, but, um, we’re actually seeing customers that are even moving away from looking at Google analytics entirely because the level of robustness they have with the HubSpot analytics is so high and we’re even seeing them with, uh, new additions, like behavioral events, uh, new additions with some of the different, uh, Slices and cohorts you can do.

I don’t think that it’s, you wouldn’t look at a HubSpot and say, oh, can we get rid of Tableau? Uh, I don’t think that would happen yet. Um, but I think that you’re, they’re investing really heavily in that as a solution. And I think what they’re realizing as a product company is that they don’t have. Today, the momentum and size of the Salesforce ecosystem and the partner ecosystem to do a lot of those things.

And so they’re throwing energy at it as a product to solve that problem, which is incredibly different than if you look at just like the release note history for Mercado, you have like nothing in the last two or three years. And if you look at something like a HubSpot, you will see every, every couple of months, like massive improvements across the entire product suite.

Yeah. So this is, that’s really helpful to know. Cause I think, um, I actually think all the ones I’ve been exposed to have good reporting, but. It’s not enough to replace really like using something like a HubSpot or having a data lake or whatever. Uh, but you, you bring up an interesting point. So one of the, one of the things that’s caught my eye recently, again, just sort of observing the market is how, how active HubSpot has been in terms of.

Yeah, product announcements. Uh, they’re doing that as podcast network that they’re doing things like that, but one of them, I think the biggest news has been the operations, right? Yeah. So first off for those of us who aren’t familiar with it, like what, like what is operations hub and how does that. Is it, I guess, Quip for two questions, right?

Is that the thing that really elevates them to be able to better manage or work with enterprise or large companies? And if so, why? Right. Well, how does it like how. Change the game for them. Yeah, for sure. So there’s, there’s two different th the hubs that’s going to call them like their starter and their pro.

I actually think that they’re very, very different products. So an operations sub starter does data formatting. It doesn’t D duplication staff. It’s a relatively lightweight, uh, kind of add on product. I think where things get really interesting, um, is with operations hub pro. So essentially what operations hub pro does is it lets you write code.

Inside of HubSpot, but the way that that’s implemented is a really, really interesting. So essentially historically, in any marketing automation system, right. You can build journeys. So if it’s in like something like a part out, you’re using your engagement studio, it’s in something like a Mar Marchetto, you have your automation journeys.

Sort of nurture drips and you’re defined, and you’re more confined to the actions that the tool builds for you. Right? So one action is send an email, create a task, augmented lead score, add someone to a list. Um, and you can do some really compelling things, right? As I’m sure the audience of this podcast are people who like to take those systems to the next level and, and release.

Tailor those those tools, but ultimately you’re running into limitations. So you can’t move data across tables. You can’t do sort of different advanced functionality because the declarative automation just only goes so far. Um, operations hub lets you essentially do whatever. Uh, all of the time and you can automate all of the things and the way that it does that is it allows you to have a node in your sort of marketing automation journey.

Right? So you have like if then, and all the standard automations, and you can have a node that’s custom code. So for instance, you could have something that said. Uh, what’s an example we ran into recently. Um, you can use standard automation so you can use an if then. So take all the people on this list.

Check. If they’ve purchased a product in the last 30 days, if they have purchased a product or if they have not purchased a product and send them down one journey, if they have purchased a product now that’s where things get interesting, because maybe you want to be able to send them an email, but you want to be able to include content in that email about what their recent web views have been.

What skews have they looked at? What sort of other pieces, but that’s stored in a data. Somewhere else. Uh, you can use a coated operations of action to go grab data from that database, grab those images, put them into an email and send them an email that includes here are the skews that they looked at last.

Even if that data isn’t in HubSpot at all, or you can do really advanced functionality. Go create a customer in our ERP. Go create an invoice, go find out if this person has an account in our software and if they have a free trial and how many days they have left. But the way that operations is brilliant is it is code.

So you’re writing JavaScript directly inside of a workflow. So at one of your steps, but those steps work with all the declarative automation. So you can use a developer to write one script and then you can use. Uh, declarative if then’s or other sorta standard node actions before or after the code. And so you’re essentially taking something historically that you would have needed, um, a Workado or a tray or some other solution that connects to other products and lets you sort of write code in the application and you can put that right inside of HubSpot.

And so now the question is not, Hey HubSpot, do you have an action that does this thing? It’s Hey, do we, is this out of the box or do we need to code it? The question is not if it’s. So curious, are, are there, uh, did they also have then an ecosystem or a place where people can create state sort of standard?

I don’t know, w what do you call it? Objects or, or scripts, um, that they can then either sell or share with other folks in the, in the HubSpot community. So, so as someone who does not work at HubSpot and is not responsible for the product roadmap, I would say not. Uh, with, with a heavy emphasis on the yet.

Um, but I think that the, I, my understanding of sort of the, the product plan here, right, is how do we create all of the different components that people could be building all of this together? And then how do we build a marketplace around that so that people can be putting those components in and on the HubSpot marketplace for the landing pages, CMS modules, apps, all of that’s really well-defined.

And so this coded action operations hub. Functionality has been live for what three months, two months. Um, and so I think we are going to see that it’s something we’re prepping for already. Uh, and we’re looking at how we can be commercializing some of these scripts and functionalities and sorta selling off a pre-baked custom, custom coded action.

Uh, right now the answer is no, but I know that that is a focus for, for a number of folks. Yeah. I mean, I think as a SPECT for folks like you and other agencies who are doing a lot of HubSpot work, right. Even if you don’t end up with a marketplace where you could do it. Okay. That way you still can have kind of a, a briefcase for, uh, things that you bring to the table as part of your added value as a, as a consultancy.

Right. Um, so that I’m interested that the power of that as a consultant, as an agency and as a partner, as you kind of echoing what you were saying before Connor like changing the hearts and minds of people about whether or not HubSpot is going to be enterprise ready is gonna, you know, start with those partners that are doing it, those things.

And you’re going to. Repeatable actions and examples that, you know, and I’m sure there will be tools for you to go leverage and kind of move those, those actions, not just from a copy paste perspective, but you know, at some point like, yeah, here’s exactly what we did to solve some kind of similar problem that you’re having in this portal.

We can actually kind of recreate a lot of that, that same process for you. I think that’ll be super, super powerful for changing the hearts and minds of. Everyone who’s looked at HubSpot as that SMB stretch to mid market to, you know, to quote Yukon or, and, uh, almost quote you. I think I got that. Right. And then, uh, I would also say like, just one, one thing I wanted to add to that is like, you know, HubSpot sponsored our state of the Mopro research, um, project that we did earlier this year.

And so we’ll see a lot of the data coming out of that soon. I think we’re going to see some of the perceptions shift in the market through not just the partners like yourselves that are really rev ops focused, but also trying to hone in on speaking to an audience of. They’ve largely ignored, which is marketing operations, because they tried to make marketing really easy, right.

Like right. Content it’s super easy to publish, send an email. It’s real easy to build an email. Um, and, and marketing ops people were still needed, but like, They were, they were basically saying like, Marquetto, Parda, y’all got that figured out. Like you’re talking to those people, like we’re not, we’re talking to everybody else.

Uh, and now I think that’s changing and, and I think them being involved with us as, you know, sponsoring that research, uh, I recently talked to somebody on their team about some other kind of user research that they’re doing. I think you’re going to see. This like bottom up approach to, to them entering the enterprise space.

And it’s, it’s exactly what you said, Connor, right? Like someone somewhere is going to say, Hey, I want the ability to do that. And they’re going to go to their team and then they’re going to find out that they can, and then they’re going to be the internal champions bottom up saying, Hey, here’s how we can get there.

This tool can potentially take us there. We just need the. We need to rip and replace. And every single executive in the world is going to go. Why? And so it’s terrifying to think about like rip your hair out. I have to take my whole tech stack and try to put it somewhere. Not true, but like it’s possible.

And the idea of ripping, replacing any of these platforms is yeah, it’s a little bit, it’s horrible, Gary. Yeah. It’s not, I mean, the thing that’s funny right as is we do this all day. Uh, but I think that the thing that’s so interesting God’s right, is, uh, when everyone starts wanting heart transplants, it’s a really good time to be a surgeon.

Uh, and, and that’s kind of where we’re looking at. That makes it great. I like that analogy. I really like that too. So, you know, as you were describing some of the different components and things, uh, Connor of HubSpot, uh, what are the ones you sort of talked about? Uh, how the HubSpot CRM, the sales automation component of it, uh, works with, or, or, uh, In conjunction with Salesforce, which I think is, um, especially for sales folks, right.

That seems to be the default. Uh, they’ll use HubSpot if they, if they have to write in air quotes, um, you know, what, you know, from your perspective, what do you like? What do you see as the trade-offs between the two, if you’ve got HubSpot for say marketing automation and maybe. You know, content management as well.

Yeah, for sure. So I think that the, uh, there’s two elements here. So when we talk about Salesforce on the CRM side, I actually think that with the app with so custom objects and then with the custom objects sync to Salesforce, I have different. Two different folks that we’ve worked with. It’s like the marketing cloud killer, which is, I think that you can now sync custom objects into HubSpot.

So if you have like a, uh, let’s say you have an order object and every time an order is created, you want to send an email to the person that says, Hey, your order has been created. Here’s your confirmation. And here’s what you go doing that with other platforms. If Salesforce is where that data is, is really hard, right?

Because you’re only thinking with contacts. And even if you have custom objects, think it’s not in a native data model. Hubsoft pulls that into their native data model now. And I think if you’re deep on Salesforce, HubSpot. Option for you. And I’d highly recommend you look at it and they get far outstrips part on, I think it’s, uh, it’s on par in terms of functionality with something like a marketing cloud and just like a million times easier to use.

But I think the more interesting comparison is on HubSpot CRM and their sales product to Salesforce, the CRM. And I think that the important thing to remember is Salesforce is the leading CRM provider. And that’s been true for a long time. And the reason why that was the case, this. Benioff, who is a genius, uh, to read about, right.

It was highest paid executive at Oracle, walked into the boardroom and said, Hey guys, are we thinking about the internet? And like, should we be putting this stuff on the internet? And everyone just like laughed at him and was like, no, one’s going to use the internet for business. Like, that’s ridiculous.

Uh, and he like quit and started Salesforce and everyone thought he was crazy. And, you know, look, look at Salesforce now. And I think what’s happening is. I actually think that looking back, you look at that and say, oh yeah, duh, like the internet. But at the time, like the smartest people in tech thought that that was a ludicrous idea.

And I think we’re actually seeing something really, really similar happen, um, that I think HubSpot’s doing an amazing job of capitalizing on which is that historically you had your CRM platform, which is here’s where my sales team is. They have sales data. I want to access some of that from marketing, but it’s a distinct and separate.

Tool and product, and it has a different owner. And then you looked at your website and you said, I want to access some of that data for marketing, but that’s also, we have a web team, they manage it, they host it. We don’t have to worry about servers or DNS. And like it’s really complicated and they have a team over here that’s managing our theme and everything else.

And then you have your marketing solution. And I think what’s happening is. Those things are all becoming the same thing, which is where does your customer data live? How do you engage with that customer? And how does that customer engage with you? And the overlap there is what is your front end user experience, and then comes out tackling with, with CMS.

What is your, uh, marketing experience is all the marketing automation solution that HubSpot has comparative products. And then you have w where does your team manage their data and their process and what they do on a day-to-day basis, which is your CRM. And I think what’s happening is we’re seeing really remarkable things become.

When you combine all of those together, because you can start having your website have completely different content, completely different messaging and completely different functionality based off of where someone’s at in the buyer’s journey. If they’re an active customer, you can show them completely different content messaging images.

I’m not talking about like tokens swapping. I’m saying the entire website is a different place for that person. If they’re a customer, then if there’s somebody. It has never talked to you before. And similarly, if they’re mid mid cycle and what we’re seeing, it gets even more interesting is we’re seeing companies that, Hey, I sell three different products to three different types of audiences.

And based off of what I know that person’s interested in, cause they’re talking to our team, I can radically change, not just their email journey, but their entire web experience. And the only way to unify that is by combining sort of your system of engagement and interaction and your content, and then where your backend team is going.

And I think. Salesforce is, is still the best product. If you want to create a really defined, structured, like enterprisey type of, uh, I, I describe it as like the rat maze of you can’t make too many decisions. Right? It’s going to tell you which way to go. And it’s great at that. Um, and if you’re trying to create something that’s really serving for, how do I deliver this really amazing customer experience?

I think Hudson is. Really recently, but, but really tackling that opportunity with so much efficacy, uh, that it’s, we’re, we’re seeing opportunities that just like blow our minds every day with the types of stuff that we’re going to get to build on the platform. Yeah. I mean, I would agree with that. Just wanted to jump on that mic Michael really quickly.

Um, and I think one of the key differentiator, cause like, uh, just taking a step back for a second and um, since we’re talking about Salesforce, like. We’ve all been to Dreamforce conferences, I think. Right. And, and you’ll see, um, you’ve been to one, Michael Michael says, um, yeah, one, one was enough. One was enough.

Yeah. I’ve been there like two or three. I also, I love Salesforce. Like I grew up on Salesforce and I like my highest technical skills, still Salesforce like this, it comes entirely. I think a lot of people in the HubSpot ecosystem are like down with Salesforce. I think Salesforce is so good at what it’s good at.

Uh, and it’s just. Yeah, I’m with you. I think they’re super good at what they’re good at. And, but like, look at what they’ve been doing. It just kind of, it echoes a lot of exactly what you’re saying. One of. I think the punchline for all of this is that like HubSpot’s had an infrastructure layer, they built a foundation that allows them to keep building components that are connected into one ecosystem.

And the struggle, the struggle is super real in Salesforce because they built this environment and then they keep trying to bolt on more and more and more. And they’re totally different. Things. And they would argue that you can go create an entire custom journey for everyone at any stage of your funnel as well.

It’ll cost you a shit load of money to do it, but you can do it. And then you saw what they released with all their e-commerce stuff in the last year and a half, two years. They want to take out the Shopify of the world. They want to be the leader of e-commerce transactions and allow people to create entirely customized e-commerce experiences backed by CRM data.

Like they’re trying to get people to tell the whole story of an end to end ecosystem to manage your customer journey through Einstein and dah, dah, dah, and all of those things. The. Is that the foundation isn’t as easy to build upon. And the reason you’re seeing like HubSpot start to accelerate more rapidly beyond the innovation that they’ve just made in the last year or so is that that foundation was easier for them to keep bolting on top of, and I think Salesforce struggles with that a lot.

I’m not an employee there I’ve never been and looked inside their code, but from an outsider, looking in at how long it took them to bring part into the fold and some of these other technologies that they’ve acquired. Clearly it’s difficult. And as soon as you try to actually integrate those, like we’ve all experienced how painful that can be.

So I think that’s why we’re starting to see some of the acceleration from HubSpot as well. But yeah, a lot of the argument could be made that, like, what you’re saying is true, Salesforce is also saying the same thing is happening. The world is changing. They want to create these end to end experiences through one kind of unified platform.

It’s just, how, how possible is that with given the layer of technology that was kind of laid down at the foundation. Okay. This has really been eyeopening for me. I know that. So I want to take us back a little bit to Naomi’s scenario from a couple of years ago. And for folks who are kind of, who are maybe looking at re-evaluating or evaluating from scratch, right.

Different players in call it like revenue operations is really revenue technology stuff, you know? We’ve talked already a little bit about like, where does HubSpot play in kind of size and stage of a company. Um, but I’m wondering kind of your, from your perspective, Connor is, is, is that a more important driver, like the size of stage of the company or is.

Your go to market motions, right. Are you doing traditional lead generation handoff to sales or are you doing an ABM or some sort of combination or are you doing more inbound or outbound, but what do you think that part of it should be a bigger component to what you’re doing in terms of evaluating these platforms?

Or should it really be more about your size and scope and. Yeah, for sure. I, so my opinion and it’s, it’s interesting. I need to go do sort of like a video series or something. Cause I feel like I answered this question, uh, multiple times a day, every day to different constituencies and I, and it’s, it’s a fun one though.

I think it’s super interesting. Right. So I think it’s entirely go to market strategy driven and, and completely divorced from company size. And so what I mean by that is historically. You had to use Salesforce if you were a mid-size or a big company, because you needed scalability and you needed customization and you made compromises on user experience, you made compromises on cost of ownership and how hard it was to build, because you had to make it happen.

Right. And like that, that, those were part and parcel with the decision. And I think. That’s not really true anymore. Right? So like products have become a lot easier to use technology and UX and UI has become a lot better. And HubSpot fields a lot more like a consumer driven type of product. So what, what, and Salesforce, lightning is a lot easier to use, right?

Like it doesn’t look necessarily a good nineties and it’s still got issues. But the point is that like the usability of business applications has come a really long way from everything, very like dos screen type of focus. And so the distinction, I think. Um, there are things that Salesforce and I, I said this at the front end, I’m still a big Salesforce fan.

Uh, the, there are things that Salesforce is just better at. So if you want to build a very, you have tons of reps, tons of regions. You want to build a very defined linear process. You want rules, you want to make sure you have validations. You want to make sure data entry is followed the right way, and you want to create something that is.

Sort of that rat maze of, if you, uh, the first answer is, you know, do you want to go a or B and then based off of that outcome, you want to do the next action. And you’re really focusing on how can I enforce a top down designed process at scale. Salesforce is bar none the best product to do that. If you’re trying to build a call center, if you’re entirely outbound, like you have junior employees, you’re just trying to plug them into something that’s predefined and set in front of them and have the system tell them what they need to do.

Salesforce is fantastic at that. The problem that comes with that is. You have tons of operational infrastructure that you need to maintain and manage. You have huge admin overhead and change takes a long time, right? You’re only going to get a release best case, quarterly, more likely annual that you can really fundamentally change what your business process and tooling looks like.

And I think the flip side of that is HubSpot. On the other side, says we have tons of tools out of the box. You can buy the product, you can turn it on and you can get value out of it. In your first seven days, you don’t need to go through a six month. One year implementation cycle and they have native email, they have native calendar booking, they have native calling.

They have conversational intelligence. They have e-sign, they have CPQ. All of these functions and tools are built into the CRM on day one. And it’s a lot simpler. It’s a lot easier to use, and it’s a lot easier to pivot what your teams are working on. And so that simplicity comes at a slight cost, right?

They have to be easy to use and they have to be something that’s accessible. And that means that the depth of customization, the depth of rural setting. And the amount that you can really define what someone’s process has to be ends up getting tighter simply because you can’t have infinite flexibility while also being sort of like incredibly easy to use, but that’s where they’re chipping away.

And I think we’re seeing changes there with some of those other pieces and what’s happening is that I think what the market is seeing as a shift from, I have to, I can customize this forever as being a feature to. It just works as a feature. And I think when people look at, you know, when you look at the success of companies like apple and the iPhone, and some of these other pieces is they’re saying like, we make products that work and we don’t let you just build whatever you want, because we want it to be functional for you.

And we want the overhead to be lower and we want it to, to, to actually be executable. And I think. Anecdotally something that one of you guys brought up before on like a Salesforce demo, right? Is Salesforce can demo you this end to end experience. And it’s going to go from commerce cloud, community, cloud marketing, cloud service cloud, like service desk, field service, and that, and, and they can totally build that.

And the answer is we can build this, you have to work with Accenture, it’s going to cost $5 million, and it’s going to take you five years. And what you see on the demo to what you have in hand. Are radically different things. I think the flip side is HubSpot can show you a demo of how you can build that Yenta and user experience.

And you could have that solution in hand working for your business and in 30 days. And like, I think that is a massively differentiated perspective. And so the short answer to your question is if you need to define process, you have lots of operational administrative, uh, functions and you have, or you have cash to spend on consulting.

Bully Taylor specifically what you want to build. Salesforce is the best product for it. I don’t think that there’s a question on the flip side. If you have sales users and marketing users and service users, and you want to give them a tool that will help them be better at their job, and you want to be able to customize it to your requirements, but it’s less of a top down approach and more of a let’s build tools for people to use.

HubSpot, I think is going to vastly over-perform and that type of dichotomy. That’s interesting. So Naomi, now, you know, if you open it up again, right. You have different, a different set of requirements, maybe. Yeah, no, I’d be, I’d be curious if I were to just, you know, just to, for research purposes, take the list of requirements and put them in front of a rapid again, I’m curious as to how they would score themselves this time.

Cause I think last time it was, you know, and, and they said this totally, it was something like less than 50% of the requirements. So I’d be curious, like where that stands. Does that mean Hudson HubSpot reps that are listening. There you go. Awesome. Uh, this has been great. Okay. So one more question that we’re trying to, like, this is one of the things about the MO Pros community and what Mike’s really trying to do is provide, you know, a place for people to connect and help each other, which is one of the things I love about the community of marketing ops folks in general.

But one of the things we know is missing, I think all of us would admit is that there’s not really. A standard set of this is what a marketing operations professional needs to know or do. So if there was such a thing as a certified marketing operations professional, right, what would you say are like, these are non-negotiable these one or two or three things need to be a part of that.

Oh, someone, please just go start a school. I will hire all of the people you graduate. Uh, that would be fantastic. I think, I think the things that we typically look for in folks, right, um, is having a really good handle on, uh, logic driven and, and that that’s ultimately comes down to automation, which is like, if then’s and loops and understanding how all of those different things combined together to deliver something and be able to look at a big branch of logic and complexity and.

Tease out mentally, all of those different spaghetti strings and make them work. And I think when our team looks at people who Excel at that and they’re like, Ooh, let me go grab Nikki. Cause she can, she can totally solve this puzzle. Uh, and that’s something that I think is really high on the list. Um, I think a good handle on being a general technologist is really valuable as well.

Um, I think that, especially in marketing ops, it’s, it’s so much. Less of, I know this one platform and so much more of theirs. There’s a hundred things going on and I understand all of them and how to work with them and how to connect to them. And, uh, I think the last piece that extends to that is, um, a really good handle on data, uh, and both did analytics, but also understanding how to use data, what data is useful, what data is not useful, um, and how you can leverage it to sort of, uh, deliver a unique experience or a segment and really analyze what’s going on.

And, um, those are the things that we look for outside of. I understand email marketing or some of that, what I would consider table stakes these days of what’s a good CTA. Okay. Right. No, I really, I, I like all those, uh, I especially am on the bandwidth. That we’ve as bargaining ops and the technology out there has generated so much data that we’ve actually not done a really good job of actually leveraging it and understanding it and getting insights out of it.

Cause we’re all, we’ve all been so focused on execution and just getting shit out the door, right. That we all say, okay, we’re going to generate all this. So we’re going to make data-driven decisions about. You know, what, what channels we’re going to use and what we’re not going to use and what’s working.

But the reality is I think 98% of us probably don’t do much of that. And part of that is just it’s time. Right. You just, but it’s, I think a part of it is people don’t understand it. You know, I’ve got teenage kids who are taking things like algebra one and two and calculus. I’m an engineer by training and I think that’s great at the same time.

I’d rather have them learn, you know, uh, statistics. I mean, I use that more than I do anything else on a day-to-day basis. Yeah. Yeah. I totally agree. I was in business school and I took business stats and I thought, what in the heck am I ever going to use this? And then I went into marketing ops and I was like, uh, All right.

I take that back entirely. So the developer joke that I always remember on this is like, when there’s people is like, Hey, can you just whip up this report for me? And it’s like, oh yeah, I’ll just select from perfect table and with exactly the data you’re looking for. And I’ll just, I’ll just hand it over to you.

It’s no problem. Uh, and I think to your point, it’s like, it’s all over the place. Uh, and it’s hoarded and it’s disconnected and, uh, it all gets really interesting. It’s like, why do we have five versions of this country name in our database? Right, right, right. Or like, that’s a duplicate, but it’s not really a duplicate.

Like it’s a different, like it is, but not really, like, we are separate. That’s a that’s that’s Naomi soft spot. She’s like intentional duplicates. Yeah.

I know, I heard her say that and I was like, why? Because hardware, software. Oh, okay. I’ve been in the same boat where we had, we had intentional duplicates, same thing. Right. Um, so it’s, it’s a real problem. Especially at companies that sell across multiple, multiple things. Connor. This has been really, really informative.

I think for those of us like me and maybe Naomi and others who are less familiar with HubSpot and how it compares to some of these other platforms, I think it’s going to be really, really helpful. So, yeah. So first off, thank you. And then for those, for folks who want to maybe follow up with you, or just want to start following you on LinkedIn or wherever you are, like, what’s the best place for them to find you and maybe find out more about.

Yeah, absolutely. LinkedIn is good. Uh, it’s just Connor Jeffers, uh, happy to, happy to connect with anybody. Happy to talk to anybody about marketing ops stuff is always a really good, a fun topic for me. Uh, and then our site is just aptitude, eight.com. Nate’s a number and you can drop us a line there too.

Um, come check it out. We put out tons of cool stuff. And uh, if you want to talk about HubSpot and your, and your HubSpot curious, uh, I’m, I’m happy to have a conversation with you as well.

It’s been awesome. It’s been a pleasure. All right. So as we wrap up, uh, thanks also, Naomi, for sharing your story and Mike for jumping in, it’s always fun to have everybody here on this. Thanks for all of you who are listening and remember to. Give us your feedback, you know, share, share these episodes, uh, subscribe rate, uh, and get back to us.

And so, thanks for being a part of this. If you are not already subscribed, you can subscribe through almost all of the major podcast platforms at this point. Um, you can always get to it at, uh, OpsCast at the MO Pros dot com as well. So thanks everyone. And we will look forward to sharing more with you in our next episode.

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