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Podcast Pit Stop: Kyle Jepson on “Is Hubspot a CRM?”

Posted by Arielle Walsh on May 20, 2022
Arielle Walsh
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For a long time, there’s been a debate on whether Hubspot is truly a CRM software or not. In this episode of the B2B podcast, Pit Stops to Podium, Kyle Jepson answers the big question and talks more about the CRM platform, the value of rev ops for companies, and his favorite certifications at Hubspot. Take 20 minutes to listen and then head back to the races! 🏁🏆

Kyle Jepson is currently working as a Senior Inbound Sales Professor at Hubspot. Working towards transforming the way businesses sell, Kyle produces educational content for Hubspot Academy. Hubspot Academy is the worldwide leader in inbound marketing and sales education, paving the way for people and companies to grow through online courses, certifications, and software training. 

 

Pitstop Highlights

 Is Hubspot Really a CRM?

In short words, yes. Hubspot is a platform that provides software for managing customer relationships and mapping the customer journey. Within Hubspot’s CRM, you can track interactions, data, and notes about customers or potential. This data is then stored within a central database and is accessible to multiple people in the organization.

What Hubspot is not, however, is software that has infinite customizability and the ability to manage your front office and back-office teams. 

What makes Hubspot unique from other CRMs?

Hubspot is a crafted tool that brings everything scaling companies need to deliver a best-in-class customer experience on one platform. Hubspot doesn’t add the complexity many other CRM software has, it's a single system that integrates marketing, sales, service, CMS, and operations. 

Choosing Hubspot was made to meet business needs without adding the unnecessary complexity other CRMs may have. 

Kyle’s Top 3 Certifications

Kyle was actually brought to Hubspot 5 years ago to teach people how to use Hubspot’s sales tools! These are his top 3 favorite Hubspot certifications:

Hubspot Sales Software Certification: This certification demonstrates the ability to execute an inbound sales process using Hubspot CRM and Sales Hub. 

Sales Enablement Certification: This certification holds close to Kyle’s heart because he was a huge part of its development. The Sales Enablement Certification teaches people how to develop a market-driven sales enablement strategy. 

Sales Management Certification: If you’re a sales manager or thinking about becoming one, this certification is for you! Within it, you’ll learn how to define your target market, create a scalable sales process, and build training and onboarding programs. 

Connect with Kyle:

Full Transcript:

Brendan: Hey everybody, welcome to Pit Stops to Podium, a RevPartners podcast. I'm joined today by a very special guest for a very special episode where we're talking about all things HubSpot and how it can help scaling companies grow. Our guest is, and if you don't know the means, you've never taken a HubSpot certification. Shame on you. But if you don't know him, he is the man, the myth, the legend that creates and probably created more HubSpot certifications than anybody. And he focuses on sales ops for HubSpot. He is, if I was to say anything else, he is the HubSpot admin evangelist, and he's the man with the mission, and those are so welcome to the podcast. Kyle, how are you? 

Kyle: Good Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here. 

Brendan: Me, too. So we like to start off very similar for these, and it is telling us three interesting facts, I want to switch it up a little bit because it is a special podcast. So it's not just three interesting facts about you. It's three interesting facts about you that only your mother or your wife may know. So hopefully I can make a little more interesting for the listeners. 

Kyle: Yeah, so I tried to come up with three. One is I sleep without a pillow. I just I just sleep on my arm. I'm not a pillow person. I've never found a pillow I really liked. 

Brendan: So you're going to get a lot of pillows to your house after this. 

Kyle: So I'm sure that's true. I see ads on YouTube and it's always like, this is the pillow. Like, it's just like, I don't. My mom tells me. She says she used to sleep with without a pillow, so maybe it's a weird genetic thing. But she tells me when I get to a certain age, my shoulder won't be flexible enough anymore. For me to do that, we'll see. 

Brendan: Just like we all start liking tomatoes when we get old.

Kyle: I've always liked tomatoes, so maybe I've just always been old. I don't know.  On the topic, food preferences. I cannot stand peanut butter. And this is like, this is a problem for me because I recently, for the first time ever in my adult life, started exercising recently and I just I am so I'm protein deficient. Like everybody is just like peanut butter and eggs, right? It's just like. 

Brendan: So the real question is, do you eat jelly?

Kyle: I do. Yeah, yeah, I love. I love most things that go on bread, but peanut butter, for whatever reason, just like the smell of it is nauseating to me. So like, I don't I don't even get around to tasting it all that often. Just because, like the smell is, it puts me off. 

Brendan: Ok, so we’re sending you some pillows and we're sending you almond butter. Well, I would love to try. I love almonds. So yeah, like, maybe, maybe that's expensive, though. Like, I don't think I could keep up that habit. And then the third thing I have, I'm having trouble here thinking of a third thing that only my wife or mom would know about me. So I don't. This is actually something I'm not aware of, and maybe I've broken the habit. I don't know, but I did. I made it to adulthood and got married and did not realize that, like when I eat my food, if I'm talking, I like, divide my food into categories and eat them one at a time. So like if there's like mixed veggies on my plate, I will eat all of one veggie and then all the veggie number 2. And then I'll have veggie number three. I do not know I did this until I got married, and my wife was like, why do you do that? I was like, I don't do that. And I started noticing like she would interrupt me. She'd be like, you're doing it again. I look at my plate and like, you know, we're having peas and carrots and like, the carrots are all gone and I'm working on the peas. She talked to my mom about it. She's like, yeah, he's always so mad because there may be other things that my, my wife and mom know about me that I don't know about myself. don't know. 

Brendan: OK, I like it. Well, I feel like we know a little bit more about the legend that is Kyle getting this in. So we have one big idea, and this can lead us a lot of ways. But big idea today and I hear it coming up, especially this is where RevPartners is talking in conversations like venture capitalist funds that are looking at like how we invest in a company. Then like what? What platforms are we using to help them scale? Or even if you're talking to a company that just got like seed fund or the series AAA and they're looking to pick a platform that's going to help them scale their business? And it's this and I've seen it, and it's a total re branding. But it's this idea is HubSpot a CRM or is it just a really fancy marketing automation platform? So I just want to make this the big idea today, and I wanted to start with that question. I'm sure you get it. It's also about CRM and not with what HubSpot would say, but what would Kyle say to that? What's your response? And we'll just go from there? 

Kyle: Yeah I mean, actually. I mean, the short answer is Yes. I don't want to beat around the bush too much. And like I will, I will fight you on this, but like to back up. The thing I would say if I didn't jump right out the yes, the thing that might make you think I'm sort of waffling around is, I mean, I studied linguistics before I got into. I got a master's degree in linguistics. And so words to me, like as soon as someone ask me a question like this, my question is like, well, define CRM, right? What do you mean by that word? And I'm amazed when people come out and say, like, HubSpot isn't a CRM, it doesn't do this really obscure, highly technical thing that has nothing to do with managing customer relationships, right? Like, like, maybe I am wrong in taking CRM down to the roots of the acronym, right? But like if you are just like, solely interested in managing your customer relationships and mapping their journey from their first interaction to your website through close one, and they're a happy paying customer or an unhappy paying customer like HubSpot lets you map that full journey. And if that is what we mean when we say CRM, then absolutely. HubSpot is a CRM. If you mean like something, you can build and deploy apps on like, I don't know why that means CRM. Right? and so. I think we get into these sticky situations where people are arguing like it is or it isn't when they haven't taken the time to agree on what the actual question is. 

Brendan: OK, so what I just heard you say is HubSpot is a CRM and it's based definition because if you take the word for what it. It says it's a customer relationship management that's where they see and they are in the income from. So if you do, it does that thing. So like in what case is then is hubspot? What HubSpot not be a CRM for people then? Like what? 

Brendan: Yeah so yeah, I think the difficulty and like as we go deeper into this conversation, you will quickly realize I'm not a super proficient Sales Hub user or I'm not a super proficient Salesforce user. I'm all in on sales of stuff. But like, I feel like a sales force, which is like, you know, their stock simple as CRM, right? They sort of created this space. And so every time you start talking about is, is HubSpot CRM, if you're asking is HubSpot Salesforce, now we start getting to a lot of no's, right? And when we look at how I understand that developmental philosophy of like what the salesforce.com team is building versus what the HubSpot team is building, they're actually really divergent, right? They are in the same category. They're trying to solve the same sort of problems. But like Salesforce seems as I understand it, to be going for like this infinite customizability, right? And HubSpot is trying to go for this streamlined you open the box and it just works kind of solution, right? And we have in the last few years started introducing more robust customization than we have historically had. But we are a we're a highly opinionated product. We think there is a right way to market and a wrong way to market. We think there's a right way to sell, the wrong way to sell. We think there's a right way to service customers the wrong way to service customers. Same thing for building websites and we build that into our our, our software. And we want our platform to enable you to market and sell and sell and service and build websites and do these things in the best, most modern way. And we believe in the heart of it. It's all about inbound and meeting people where they are and attracting them to you and winning them over into raving fans. And we have built a system that does that right. And so it is in some ways more rigid. It is in some ways less customizable. There are fewer bells and whistles, but really, if at the heart of it, you're just trying to get your business to do that right, and that's how you grow in the modern world is the story we're telling everyone like you, you win over your customers, you make them such fans that they go out and attract more customers to you. That's what you want. That's what we're building, right? If you want infinite customizability, if you want to be able to represent all the different aspects of not just your front office, but managing all your back office teams to well, then HubSpot stops being that thing. But I think when people say HubSpot is not a CRM or like, oh, I was thinking a CRM was this thing in HubSpot doesn't do that. That's where the differences are. 

Brendan: I mean, there is a lot to peel back on what you just said. Yeah, there's the normative of what should people want? So like. But there's also the like is and they almost define you almost what you define. The question is, is HubSpot CRM. It's redefining the question is HubSpot. Salesforce, or HubSpot versus Salesforce, is where the conversation quickly goes. So if you were talking to somebody that was trying to like is, hey, I know I need a sales platform or I know I need more marketing team has using HubSpot. Like, how would you help them navigate that? Instead of  of saying because they know that CRM, instead of saying it's about CRM, it's saying HubSpot versus Salesforce, how would you help that person navigate on which one they should land and use?

Kyle:  Yeah so one thing I really love about the HubSpot platform that I think I know makes us different from Salesforce and I think makes us different from most CRM systems is the way it was built, kind of the playbook. If anyone out there is looking to compete against HubSpot and Salesforce and pipedrive and Zoho and all these and you want to start a CRM company, right? The standard playbook is you build something that is a piece of that that works really good. And then when you're big enough, you acquire all the other necessary pieces and glue them together into a system and package them under your brand, right? HubSpot has not done that. We have built everything basically in-house and and so as opposed to this cobbled together, held together with gum and baling wire and twine like, we have crafted this thing from the beginning and it works. It's all seamlessly connected, and it was designed that way from the start, right? And so like, I think, yeah, you know, something we come up against a lot is you mentioned like sales, right? Like, if you want to do sales outreach, right? Like HubSpot has a calendaring tool, you can send a link and people can book with you. Calendly is a company that's what they do, right? They do calendaring links. And if you want to go feature by feature talent, Calendly will beat us 100% of the time because that's all they do. Right? so it was like, we have sequences, which are these, but like, you want to compare that to like outreach or others like, OK, you want to go. But but what HubSpot gets you is all this stuff built together and working together, right? So like if you create a sequence in HubSpot that sends out a meeting link and someone doesn't reply to your email, but they use that link to book a meeting, that's all one connected system. It terminates the sequence automatically, right? Because they all talk to each other. That would be a very hard thing to build. I imagine using Calendly and outreach. And so inside Hubspot, you start getting all these things where because the system is designed to work together, you might not have that depth of features. And we've been leaning hard into integrations. If you want kalandia, we have a calendar integration, right? But like we have designed our system to make as many pieces, talk to each other, or use the same sort of design and framework pieces so that it's just consistent across and everything works. And if something is updated in one place, is a place that's reflected everywhere. It's not multiple databases that are integrated, it's a single contact database that everything else is built on top of. You start to feel like this is a single system instead of multiple systems that have been brought together. 

Brendan: You start to get to a point where I just want to transition. The conversation as we talk about the CRM and tools is the rise of this thing called revenue operations. And it's like the word, the Zinger sort of change in five years. I think people are talking about today, DevOps and part of the premise of DevOps is decreasing silos between systems. So you have divergent marketing, sales and customer ops tools. And I hear you say, well, HubSpot is the revenue operations because it connects those. But my question is revenue operations professionals have made their money fixing heart problems. If HubSpot fixes the problems already. Like how can I revenue operations professional like. Why would a robotic operations choose HubSpot. If you would get rid of them? Because like as we answer that question like Salesforce stood up the revenue operations profession, it's so complicated. If you use Salesforce, you got a job. So just like, let's have that conversation about if it really is so easy to use, aren't you? Aren't you trying to? Are you? Aren't we just creating the robot that is the robots team? So this is a fear that exists a lot of places. 

Kyle: I usually hear this conversation in terms of salespeople, right? Like automation is going to make this salesperson obsolete. I actually much prefer this conversation, the DevOps conversation, because like, yeah, have I've been researching revenue operations lately? HubSpot has become very interested in this idea because we've been saying for years now that sales and marketing, customer service need to be all aligned and working together and using a unified database and all that. And so it makes sense that the operations team supporting those customer facing roles should similarly be unified and using the same systems. 

So I've been looking into this a lot and the story I hear from a lot of revenue operations professionals or people in ops in general, even if their company doesn't have a unified DevOps structure, is that they have this dream right there. Hope when they came into the role was that they would be like this strategic partner and they would come into the executive meetings and be like, hey, I was looking at the data and did you know this trend is happening? And if we do this thing, we can really. But then they get to work and they have like a million emails of things that are broken. And there's a, you know, a critical situation over here. And they're basically a firefighter and they run around all day putting out the fires and then they go to bed feeling more behind than they felt when they woke up, right? And so the question I hear you asking is like, hey, if we stop, if we stop planting fires in our business, what will we do with the firefighters? Maybe they could do something other than put out fires, like maybe they could be that strategic partner they've always wanted to be who. Instead of trying to put out the fires and fix all this stuff and maintain all the customization they put in place, they could just actually look at the data and study it deeply and pull out that insight that the executive team was going to miss. That's going to change everything. Right and and that is our hope for them.

Brendan: I love it, so we position the revenue operations professional. If you are in a Frankenstein instance, whether that is hubs, just make whether it's like a sales force combined with a Pardot combined with a CDP, some like you, just you just make it you make your tech stack versus if you're able to centralize more of a tech stack, you're saying rather than put out fires, you can do what? You could do the hindsight, insight and foresight function in New operations better, and that's what I heard is your hypothesis. I agree with you about this. That's what I heard as robots. OK yeah, I have this other thing as we talk about revenue operations, because right now we've talked about it in terms of tools and revenue operations. I'm going ask this first semester. You define it in your mind because, you know, spoiler, you may or may not be coming out with a bright spot about certification, right? But so I'm sure you've thought about it is what is definition? And then I want to go and ask the second question. I'm going to ask it now. So you just were thinking about it is revenue operations done inside of a tool like hubspot? Let's just use HubSpot is what that person is using or is it done outside of hubspot? And then how does the inside and outside intertwine to complete a full revenue operations team? So good first is what is roll-ups? 

Kyle: Sure Yeah. So revenue operations is really I mean, I had this idea when I started researching this that it was kind of represented by an organizational structure with all the ops people being in a single team. I've learned that actually some companies find value in that. And some companies find no value in that. And some people, like some companies, go one way and then end up going the other way as they grow. It just becomes like a huge team and it gets divisions in any way. And so I really think it's more of a mindset or a belief or a dedication to the idea that those operations teams, like all the functions and roles and whatever else technology going into powering the operations of the business should be unified, right? If your sales team has a CPK tool that they use to generate quotes and process payments and stuff, and then your customer success team has a separate process and separate tool for generating renewals. That's probably bad, and you can iron that out, right? Because you want you want. Even though we all know your marketing team is separate from your sales team and separate from your customer success team, your customer, it's all one big company, right? Your company is just your company, and every time they interact with your company, they want to feel like they are not starting from scratch. They want to feel like that relationship that they built with you, however long or short is intact and they can just move forward, right? And so that requires a lot of operational work and revenue operations is kind of the belief that the best way to do that, the best way to have these happy companies, the customers, the best way to scale your company is to have a unified operations structure running in the background across all your customer facing teams. So I heard and we'll get to the second question here. Second, I heard revenue operations is a methodology and mindset, not an organization structure or a reporting or reporting function. Yeah And so it's applied to Tools and processes. So as we think through that is robotics done inside of a tool or outside of a tool? And is HubSpot synonymous with devops? I would actually say HubSpot is not synonymous with web ops. I'm hopeful that that HubSpot makes DevOps easier, right? As I was describing a little bit earlier. But it's interesting, as I've my research into DevOps has been asking people in operations roles what it is, how do you do, what you do, what you wish you could do all these things. And like for a while, I perceived this, this conflict, this in congruence where people would say like, no, no, no operations is way more than just managing tools. And they asked them what they do, and it's all managing tools. I started to realize that that is actually not incompatible. There is, I think we kind of need to divide our tools. I was just touting the goodness of a unified tool stack, right? But there's kind of two separate things. If you are going to do revenue operations, you need really good customer data. You need it clear and clean and you need as much history as possible, right? And that's going to require some sort of tool, right? Probably a CRM or a CDP or an ERP or whatever it is you call it these days, something that is collecting and aggregating and visualizing customer data in a way that you can understand what's going on, right? That is like this core piece you have to have in place. And I think HubSpot can be that for you, and I think that's really great. But then what often happens is, is not necessarily the operations people themselves, but maybe like the sales team is like, you know what? We need to go faster. Let's get this automation tool and the marketing team is like, you know what? We need, we need this website thing, and they apply the website thing or the social media platform. Then and then you start to have all these things that are not connecting and putting that data in, right? And so I think the role HubSpot plays or can play is providing that foundation that really good data. So a lot of the rev ops work will happen there, you know, getting that all set up and. Architected and keeping it clean and maintaining it over time. But then, you know, if we are realizing this sort of utopian dream of the operations person being taken seriously at the highest levels of the company and being able to make recommendations, all that work is going to happen in meetings like or over Zoom or something. And so hopefully you take something out of SWAT or whatever system and then you go make recommendations to the team. And then, yeah, eventually you get to that part of managing the tech stack and deciding, you know what, what tools, different teams are using. But I think it's dangerous to conflate, like all the different point solutions. You might need, whether those are included in the platform or they're completely separate versus like the heart, the core system, which is tracking your customer data and giving you the information you need to make good decisions. 

Brendan: Yeah, I was just I would add one thing here is because we think about it as I think there's a portion of revenue operations that exist outside tools and it's like how to run a good sales call. 

Kyle: Yeah. 

Brendan: It doesn't matter what tool you have, that is separate. So there's like there's the tools that may be first in class, but then there are the running of a sales meeting that or how do you separate a deal review with a sales forecast? And what is the end results and when should they be done? How do you do quarterly reviews? I think there's some revenue operations professionalism that exists outside of tools that isn't talked about a lot. So I just think it's a point. 

Kyle: Yeah, and I think that's really important. I mean, a lot of times the way people talk about operations, both those inside of operations and those outside of it, if you didn't hear if you didn't see the subject line of the email, you wouldn't know if they were talking about operations or it, right? And actually, those are two separate functions. Right and and they both have, you know, tool aspects, and they both have recommendation aspects, right? But I think revenue operations should very much be thinking about these, these processes that aren't happening in tools, right? Like what? What are your sales reps actually saying when they're on the phone? And is that how is that affecting revenue? Is it good or bad? Right? and and that is the thing that is a core part of it that, like you said, it has really nothing to do with the tools you're using. 

Brendan: Well, There are ways to collect calls and know if you're doing well and there are ways to have playbooks and phone calls and turn calls to be able to lead that. So as we go to final thoughts and we lead this, I'm going to have some too. Actually, I'm going to add a third question that we did not talk about. So question number one, what are your thoughts? And just reiterate,  Kyle creates HubSpot certifications, and he is the voice of the Sales Hub admin. So as we think about this, what is the thing you would want to say to encourage all your sales helps your sales or just HubSpot admins in general? One of the things you'd want them to hear, to feel, to feel, to sleep better at night

Kyle: I would tell them we were talking about them a lot internally here. It helps a lot. I don't know how well that comes across, right? Like, I mean, you sort of hinted at it several times. I am a champion someday. Mark my words. You heard it here. I will create an admin course for you all. I promise. But the reality is the tools, the admin focus tools that a good admin in HubSpot is using on a regular basis are fairly new, right? Like we started out, we were all in on this idea that we wanted a platform that was easy to use for the end user. And we were thinking about marketers and we were thinking about salespeople, and we did a great job making it nice for them. But like, we have the opposite problem with a lot of CRM, which are a lot of CRM, it's like, here's all the reporting for your executive team, like your sales team is going to hate using this. But if you could actually get them to do it, look at the party reports you get right. HubSpot did just the opposite thing. It's going to be so easy for your sales team and your marketing team to use this. Not a lot of value to you executives, but your team is going to love you. And we've corrected that and we were continuing to crack that. And so admins, I hope you were finding that there are more and more of the commissioning and the teams and the granularity and that you have wanted and not had in the last couple of years. We've added a ton of that and there's more coming, which is kind of why I think there's resistance to me creating this, this HubSpot admin course because we haven't quite completed the swing on that one yet. There are more things coming. And so if you were an admin and and there are things you think are missing, I invite you to reach out to me directly and let me know because I am very much trying to set myself up internally as like the guy who has championed the HubSpot admin. I think there's such an exciting story we're beginning to be able to tell, but we don't have that HubSpot admin certification course does not exist yet, right? I consider that almost like a personal failing. So I'm continuing to fight that battle. 

Brendan: Well, the day will come when someone on LinkedIn post they have completed the HubSpot certification, and that will have it directly linked to their livelihood. Like, like what happens with Salesforce, it will happen because Kyle has said so, like there is hope. Next is if you were, what are your three favorite certifications? 

Kyle: So as far as a favorite, well, let's see. I it shouldn't be this hard. There are five that I have personally created, so I have to choose, I guess, three of those. So the HubSpot sale software certification is really my pride and joy. That's what I was brought on to the HubSpot team or the HubSpot Academy team five years ago to build. They were like, hey, we need to teach people how to use HubSpot sales tools and we'll hire you to do it like great. And so it's what you see today is the V three of it. And it's really like, I try to make it like if you just came to the HubSpot office, not I mean, I work at home right now. Obviously, if you came to my house and sat down and said, Kyle, teach me how to use Sales Hub. And I just pulled out my computer and sat down next to you at my kitchen table. That's basically what this certification is. That's I was designed to feel. And I hope like it's very clear and approachable. I'm very happy with how that one has turned out, and I have exciting ideas for what V4 will look like when I have the bandwidth to do that. But then there's the sales enablement certification and the sales management certification, which of all the certifications I've worked on, those two have a really special place in my heart because there was a time I had been on the Academy team a couple of years and we had lots of good marketing education and I was starting to have some OK sales education. And there was sort of this idea, this assumption that marketing and sales should work together. But we didn't have any education, the top people, how to do that. So I reached out to my leader, says, I would like to create a certification course that teaches people how to get marketing and sales teams working together. And they said to me, how do you get marketing and sales teams to work together? I said, I don't know what it needs to happen, but it needs to happen. And so they said, sure, if you can figure it out, do it. And so I just we had never had any interviews in any HubSpot Academy courses before. There's not a format we had done. And I talked to the guy who shot the videos before, like the person who would stand behind the camera and record me when I did certifications like, how about we just go interview some people? So I started reaching out to everyone and successful companies that I was willing to talk to me like, hey, if you work in sales leadership or marketing leadership, I would love to hear what your relationship with your counterparts or parts are like, what works, what doesn't work. And slowly, we did that over the course of four or five months. These patterns started to emerge. I had all these interviews I recorded and I printed out the transcripts. It was almost a full ream of paper, and for weeks I just sat under my desk at HubSpot and I physically cut it up with scissors. I was like, here people talking about content. Here's people talking about sales process. Here's people talking about lead qualification, right? And like, oh, this is a big pile. That should probably be a topic I focus on. All these things like, wow, everybody agrees on this point. This must be like an unwritten rule and like, nobody agrees on this point, this must be a personal preference thing. And eventually, that turned into the sales enablement certification course. We called it sales enablement because it seemed to hit a lot of the same sorts of things sales enablement people talk about. We published it and there's a sales enablement society that I'm now a member of, but I was not at that time and someone posted there like, hey, HubSpot just came out with a sales enablement certification. Is anyone taking it? And this guy, Corey bray, who is now a good friend of mine. So I don't I don't feel bad. I tell you a story post. He's like, yeah, I took it it. It's terrible. I hate it. I hate everything about it. And I looked at, I like, how dare he, who is this guy? And he had written this book called The sales enablement playbook, which is fabulous. I bought a copy and read it, and I was like, man, this is good. I was hoping it would suck, but it's really good. And so I reached out to him. I was like, hey, I read your book. I thought it was really cool. Thanks for writing that. I am the one who created that course, you hate to look back on how I could make it better. And he actually turned out to be really nice. It was mostly just he and some other people at the sales Naval society have been trying to build up this idea of sales enablement and been trying to formulate how would we teach people to do this? And then I come out of nowhere with no sales enablement experience at all. And just like here it is right. And kind of using Hubspot's reach, a bullied my way into the space. And so I teamed up with him, and he had co-founded a company with a guy named almansoori. And so I interviewed them and they introduced me to their friends and they introduced me to their friends. And that's where the sales management course came from, which is basically like all the stuff that actually happens has to happen inside the sales department for the sales team to succeed because it's great if marketing and sales are working great together. But if you're not managing your sales team, well, like, that's not going to matter, right? So those two courses are kind of like they work together. Sales management is sort of the SQL to sales enablement, and they're both in this interview format, and it was just such a blast to work with people who are so passionate about these things and to kind of win over folks who were like, I don't know about that. Kyle Guy at HubSpot. Like, no, actually, he seems OK, and I'll introduce him to my friends, you know, so that, yeah, sales team and then the HubSpot sales software certification, I would say, are my three. 

Brendan: That's awesome. Side note after getting the certification for sales management and sales enablement, I bought his book called sales enablement. 

Kyle: So there you go. 

Brendan: So it was a great move by him to get in the course. 

Kyle: Yeah, I've also sold a lot of books for Clay Christensen, I think. 

Brendan: Yes Yeah. So yeah, so I'm going to make sure you're getting your percentage, I hope. OK, last question. And the 3’s is, what are your favorite, today, HubSpot features. And this is hard, but like things have come out, you just man, I couldn't live without this. 

 

Kyle: Yeah so honestly, like. I guess we'll start with a boring one first, I love deals like that was like when HubSpot decided I was going to come up with a CRM, it was basically like, yeah, we're having a Trello board to track your sales. Happy 2014. Whatever year it was, you know, but I just I love the I think the simplicity of it kind of belies the power of it, that you can customize those stages and you can have required, you know, properties associated to them and you could have them triggering automation. And then you have all these reports that come off the back of them and just what it is at its heart, a very simple interface if we are just dragging cards across the board empowers all this stuff that if you take the time to understand the data and what's going on in your sales process, there's so much optimization and and magic you can build into that. I post a video on LinkedIn recently, our playbooks tool, which I also like. Maybe I'll include that as one of these, I feel like playbooks doesn't get a lot of love because it's up there in that sales enterprise tier. 

Brendan: Don't get it unless you paid lots of money, right? 

Kyle: And so, yeah, I have an educator in my heart, and HubSpot Academy gives away our content for free. If I could give away sales help enterprise for free, I would totally do it. That's why it's not my decision of how we price these things. HubSpot does have to make some money somewhere, but I made this video on LinkedIn, where you can make a playbook that automatically updates all the properties that are required to move a deal to the next page. And so like, you know, a rep is just on a phone call and they're clicking interactive buttons. What problems are you having? Tick, tick, tick. You know, when can we meet again? And then, like all that is recorded exactly where you want it, and now you can move the deal to next page. And like, I think there's so much you can do with your deals and deal stages. That is just so fun to just dig deeper. And deeper and deeper into and get more and more optimized. So I put deals at the top there.

Brendan: Deals, you have talked about playbooks and what is I'm going to say you've done one and two. What is number three? 

Kyle: All right. Oh Yeah. If I've only got one left, I got to be there and I got it because you did deals and you mentioned a lot under deals. So that's true. Yeah, that's very that's frustrating. But let's go with one tool of I, I would say, a sort of unsung hero inside of HubSpot is snippets. And here's a totally free tool, right? Playbook sets in sales type enterprise snippets. It's free. If you have Hubspot, you have snippets and snippets is basically just like you put some text. It can be format task. You can even have like personalization tokens in it and then you give it like this hashtag shortcut. And then it's like Easter eggs all through the HubSpot platform of places that snippets work right. Like you're creating an email template, you can drop in a snippet, right? You're you're sending an email. My favorite places. If you're generating a quote, here I go, mentoring lots of products again. Maybe this is just how my brain works. You're generating a quote, right? There's a place to put in the terms of service and what sales rep is ever going to type out your entire terms of service every time they're generating it. Quote, we'll just turn that into a snippet. They can do hashtag, toss and boom. There they go, right? And so I think snippets is super handy. Also, if you don't want to buy Sales Hub enterprise but you like the idea of playbooks, you can create snippets that are call lines, right? And then when you open up your call feature in Hubspot, because there I go talking about another feature and you go to your notes, you can just put in discovery, call right hashtag discovery, call and boom. There's all your bullets all laid out. Here's the places you're going to take the notes. Here's the questions you're going to ask. And basically, you get playbooks for free. What I'm hearing out of all of this is it's impossible to talk about one feature in isolation because HubSpot revenue operations platform, that's a great summation. Maybe, maybe just publish you saying that that'll be the whole episode.

Brendan:  I love it. Well, this has been great and all. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Is is there anything that has been left unsaid that you'd like to say regarding the big topic of today, Is HubSpot a CRM or is HubSpot revenue operations before we end today?

Kyle: I think the only thing that's unsaid is like, I am. I say, I'm researching this, I am actively researching this. So if anybody listening has thoughts, even if you disagree with me, maybe especially if you disagree with me, my circle tends to be people who agree with me. If you think anything I said is just, I'm off my rocker by all means, connect with me on LinkedIn and let's Duke it out. If you tell me You heard me on, you know, Pit Stop to Podium and and you have thoughts, whether they're positive or negative, I'm happy to have happy conversations to just connect with me on LinkedIn, and I'll send you my HubSpot meeting link and we can book some time to have it out. I would love to hear your perspective. 

Brendan: Especially if you put the if you have the boxing emoji. She's getting ready to Duke it out, be that's really responded. Look, I appreciate today and I really appreciate your time I go forth and make sure every HubSpot sales admin knows they're loved and continue doing a big search. You have a good one. 

Kyle: Thank you. You, too. 

 

Pit Stops to Podium: A RevPartners Podcast

On the RevPartners Podcast, we talk to executives who have competed and won, accelerating their companies from High Growth to High Scale. Hosted by RevPartners Co-founder and CEO, Brendan Tolleson. Take some quick notes from each week's "Crew Chief" and then head back to the races!

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