August 29, 2012

Lessons from HubSpot: 10 Keys to Ensure Success for Growing Companies & for Sales People

I had to write this post right away, before I forgot some of the
details or lost my train of thought. If you are looking for a technical
post on why HubSpot 3, launched today at INBOUND 2012
is going to represent a real change to the way companies communicate
and generate interest this isn’t it. This post is simply what the title
says it is; my top reasons that HUB3 will represent a phenomenal and
massive success. What I would like all my readers to do is think about
how these principles, if applied to your business might result in
similar successes for you.

As I watched Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah,
the founders of HubSpot talk about the history of the company and
describe the transitions that they needed to make to continue to grow
and to sustain that growth I realized that I was watching a very
significant moment and a moment that many companies only wish for. In no
particular order to these are some key ingredients that will contribute
to the success of Inbound Marketing and of course the company that
coined the term:

  1. Teamwork – it was everywhere. It was in the banter between
    Brian and Dharmesh but it was also in the hallways and workshops of the
    conference. This was a team and a team that not only complimented each other but a team that worked well together.
  2. Vision – they have a clear vision of the decades to come.
    Whether right or wrong great leaders need to look forward with belief
    and absolute determination.
  3. Personal commitment – these guys still put in the sweat
    equity required of a startup and it’s not because they are after a
    payout or they want recognition. (Which they may also want) but the
    driving force here seems to be all about personal commitment to success.
  4. Modeled on the success of others - several times it
    was mentioned that they wanted to develop, grow and innovate like
    Apple. That’s a great role model for business growth; after all they
    just became the biggest company in the world! Many executives are scared
    or too proud to say they have a role model, don’t be.
  5. Raises the Bar – it was not about being good or
    getting there, it was about excellence and overachieving. It was about
    going beyond even their expectations of what was possible.
  6. Connecting the past to the Future – I really
    enjoyed the way Brian connected what was coming with what had been. This
    was not a new business model or a product shift or an attempt at “the
    new coke” this was about building on what had already happened and
    simply taking it to the next level.
  7. An inherent understanding that it is all about the customer – we
    must have heard 100 times that these changes were a result of what the
    customers and the marketplace wants. They didn’t get hung up on their
    own pet peeves or projects, they focused on what the clients and end
    users said they wanted. Too many executives use their R&D to stroke
    their own ego’s and focus on what they would like to see or what they
    find cool.
  8. It’s all about the Product – it’s launched, it’s here and
    being rolled out now. I hate it when companies tell us about what is
    “coming soon” or being developed and then we wait months or years to
    actually see it. Don’t talk about it until it is done.
  9. Great Sense of Timing – it was pointed out this week that
    Inbound Marketing is now a movement and not a fad or a trend. They timed
    the release of this perfectly.
  10. Passion – when they spoke about this it was not just updates
    or data that needed shared. It was passion for what this was going to do
    and how it was going to help.

You may not need to release new software but take a few minutes and
evaluate yourself based on the criteria above. How are you or how your
company is doing when it comes to these 10 points and their connection
to your success? If you are my regular reader, a sales professional do
you see how these 10 points could make a big difference for you?

For those of you that do want to comment on what your thoughts are, technical and otherwise feel free to leave a comment below.

Frank Belzer
is the VP of Corporate Training at Kurlan & Associates. You can
find this post, as well as additional content on his blog clocated here.