This article is for SaaS marketing and sales leaders who have or are considering investing in HubSpot as part of your go-to-market tech stack. One of the many choices you may be considering is your CRM and marketing tech which likely means Salesforce, Marketo or Pardot may be in your head. I’m asking you not to consider them for running deeply integrated marketing campaigns.
First, read this article and then decide if you need to consider anything other than HubSpot?
What is a product-led growth tech stack?
Whilst product-led growth is about your software platform and how you open that up to your prospects so that they can define their own best fit, it isn’t a tech stack of its own.
What we are discussing here is the 3rd party software that you need to help your product-led company achieve the desired results from your digital marketing strategy in attracting new customers. Whilst the basis of PLG is that the product is so good it sells itself; like inbound marketing, it also needs propping up with other forms of client attraction.
To clarify for readers, the key areas of focus in this article are:
- Marketing Tech
- Sales Tech
By offering up a marketing technology tech stack that neatly integrates with each other, you reduce friction, have access to better, near real-time data, and make it easier for your internal teams to get access to the real “big picture”. This makes decision-making for your marketing teams and sales teams far more efficient.
In addition to aligning marketing and sales, the following recommendations also help you align all of your revenue-focused operations teams, which is a major requirement for product-led project teams.
Which CRM for Product-led Growth?
This is a no-brainer for me, it’s HubSpot’s CRM. From its free version (a great product-led example by the way) through to its paid suite of integrated tools that can support your software, SaaS, or technology company across marketing sales and customer success.
From its standard features through to custom objects, deal pipeline management, chatbots, live chat, it also integrates with well over 500 other applications without the need of Zapier* through its own operations hub.
So from startup to scale-up, as a standalone CRM, it really packs a punch. Check out these resources to dive deeper into the CRM and how it helps you create a better customer experience and develop sticky customer relationships.
And last but not least, the fact that you can integrate HubSpot through its open API directly into your product to share data and leverage its automated triggers for sending messages and creating workflows, makes this your number one CRM choice for both product marketing and growth teams, or at least for me.
*Some applications may need Zapier for deeper integration
HubSpot marketing automation for a product-led platform?
As the title of this article states, it’s HubSpot's marketing technology stack for marketing automation. There are other choices of marketing tools for marketing automation as I mentioned, consider Marketo and Pardot but neither of these has the flexibility of HubSpot. Check out the following articles for more information and a comparison on the other platforms:
Marketo vs. HubSpot Product Comparison
Pardot vs HubSpot | Why HubSpot is the Best Pardot Alternative
And then there are other technologies that sync with HubSpot through the in-app marketplace like MadKudu which is a marketing operations platform. MadKudu empowers marketers to connect directly to the modern data stack to build and maintain a predictive and data science-powered revenue engine, without reliance on engineers or learning to code.
By adding this to HubSpot and drawing data from other sources, its powerful native marketing automation platform is perfect for managing your educational content marketing, posting social media and running your paid advertising campaigns.
But it doesn’t stop there, its workflow automation and its email marketing capabilities keep this as a leading Martech stack platform as recognised by G2.
Product Analytics Tools for HubSpot CRM?
This part of the stack is far more difficult to cover as analytics can mean a bunch of different things to different people. So to clarify let's remove the marketing analytics which includes Google Analytics and focus on your in-app analytics.
Which platforms play nicely with HubSpot but by design give you all the insight you need to have a better understanding of how your users are interacting with your product? To understand your product usage data and turn that into actionable data you can use to drive further adoption, and impact P&L?
For me Pendo stands out as a wise choice, it has a HubSpot integration that is easy to set up (and a free-to-start subscription) and by mapping contacts and companies in HubSpot to visitors and accounts in Pendo, you get clarity into how the people in your CRM are using your app.
Whilst there is much more on offer, we suggest that you Pendo out for yourself to make sure its functionality meets your specific needs.
HubSpot Sales for a product-led platform?
As some PLG platforms also have sales teams, the CRM and added HubSpot sales professional suite enable this team to have all of the insight they need to build a strong case for adoption.
However, this alone isn’t enough and I’ll dive into that now.
Where I see the future here for SaaS and software companies is that you will also need a tool to help build out “inside-sales”, which is a team that looks inside your product to build upsells and cross-sells. Products like Pocus, a product-led sales tool that integrates neatly with your HubSpot CRM products are ideally placed to help scale this side of your operation.
It will tell you who in your CRM is using your tool, and in what way, and then enable you to use the automated outreach sequences within HubSpot’s sales tool to start the sales process from real in-app user insights.
This gives you the best opportunity to create revenue from both outbound and inbound activity with the added benefit of in-app transparency to boot.
HubSpot customer service for a product-led platform?
For customer success, which goes beyond your product onboarding, the service hub comes into its own. With ticketing, live chat, NPS, surveys, helpdesk automation and so on, keeping your customers happy is what this technology is all about. No need for Zendesk, when you can keep it fully integrated across departments with HubSpot’s single integrated platform.
360-degree view of revenue ops
This article whilst not overly long is also by design supposed to be brief. The combination of technologies discussed in this article goes a long way to give you a 360-degree view of your RevOps team's ability to improve revenue opportunities.
It doesn’t impact the ability of your PLG approach to drive users who can decide for themselves if your product is a good fit, but enhances the ability through data to align operations to greater success.
And with this in mind, it makes sense for startup companies, SME companies and enterprise companies to take advantage of a single source of truth, with the additional integrated product-focused data tools.
For PLG companies that are considering supporting their product and GTM teams with highly integrated CRM tools, Digital BIAS have the insights and capabilities to help you manage that transition or even manage it on your behalf. For a no-obligation consultation please reach out and schedule some time here.