HubSpot to take on Microsoft and Salesforce in enterprise market

6 Sep 2018

HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan on stage at Inbound 2018. Image: HubSpot

HubSpot wants to make selling more efficient at an enterprise level.

Watch out Microsoft and Salesforce, customer relationship management (CRM) player HubSpot has revealed ambitions to bring its popular growth platform into the enterprise.

In Boston yesterday (5 September) at the company’s annual Inbound 2018 conference, CEO Brian Halligan and CTO Dharmesh Shah revealed new products under the Enterprise Growth Suite.

These products meld seamlessly in with the generation of enterprise tools devised by players such as Slack, which are enjoying widespread adoption across the business world.

They include a native Slack integration that helps teams to stay connected wherever they are as well as machine-learning capabilities to power features such as predictive lead-scoring. Other new tools included in the Enterprise Growth Suite are Goals, which allows sales team to report on quotas and service-level agreements; and Playbooks, which allows firms to build a library of resources for sales and services teams.

Driving for enterprise scale

It is a somewhat strikingly ambitious move for HubSpot, which has traditionally helped businesses that are trying to negotiate the digital transformation journey through CRM and sales and services.

HubSpot is a global inbound marketing and sales platform that is used by more than 48,000 businesses in more than 100 countries.

In 2016, HubSpot announced plans to create 320 new jobs at its European headquarters at One Dockland Central, in a bid bring total employment at the company in Dublin to about 500 people.

Halligan and Shah founded HubSpot 12 years ago when they were both studying for MBAs at MIT.

Halligan said that the move in the direction of the enterprise CRM market traditionally dominated by Microsoft and Salesforce is the result of major R&D investment. “Over the past year, we increased R&D spending significantly as we pushed to expand our platform of products to address the needs of any company, regardless of where they are in their growth journey.

“Today, our customers are getting the results of that investment.”

HubSpot’s Sales Hub Enterprise is designed to help advanced sales teams improve efficiency, reduce time spent on administrative tasks and increase time spent selling.

Recent research from HubSpot found that 64pc of sales managers in the UK and US experience some form of unwanted challenge in the way they report on the performance of their teams. Additionally, the research found that, on average, sales managers are spending 60pc of their time working on administrative tasks such as data entry and scheduling meetings – time that could be spent prospecting and selling.

HubSpot’s research also revealed that nearly seven out of every 10 sales contracts require approval from either a legal department, product manager or senior executive before sign-off.

HubSpot’s Sales Hub Enterprise includes features to address these specific challenges, such as a cloud-based contract approval system.

Updated, 8.52am, 6 September 2018: This article was updated to clarify a figure in relation to HubSpot employment in Dublin.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years