We’re back from INBOUND 2023 in Boston and ready to spill everything we’ve learned throughout the four days of HubSpot product launches and updates within inbound. Many are guaranteed to make your daily HubSpot tasks easier.
A quick reminder: INBOUND is an annual conference powered by HubSpot, intended to unite thought leaders worldwide to come and discuss everything inbound, HubSpot and more.
Not to diminish the value of past conferences – which have always been good – we must admit that this year's conference surpassed our expectations. We were treated to a plethora of exciting product updates from HubSpot, many of which were related to AI. We'll likely look back in some years and pinpoint this moment as the start of a new era.
Introducing a revamped buyer’s journey
The B2B buyer’s journey continues to be a complex one, especially with new technologies and trends emerging. During the conference, HubSpot introduced a simplified look at the buyer’s journey:
As users shift away from traditional search engines, product discovery now occurs primarily on social media platforms and through alternative information channels like ChatGPT. This transformation has significant implications for content marketing. Rather than simply guiding users to click the right links on your website, you should focus on initiating meaningful conversations with your prospects.
Your site visitors today expect to engage in valuable, helpful interactions, whether with a human representative or a chatbot. This means you must put even more effort into shaping your buyer personas and understanding their pain points.
There's an increasing expectation for a personalized experience in the inbound sales process. Buyers anticipate that the salesperson they're working with will offer a tailored approach based on personal insights and information about their specific needs and situation.
Being reactive to support tickets is no longer sufficient. The critical shift is towards proactive support, where companies aim to identify and address customer issues even before they arise. This overarching philosophy of proactive engagement and pre-emptive problem-solving was the central theme throughout the conference days.
HubSpot goes full-on AI
Generative AI and AI's future in HubSpot were major topics at this year’s INBOUND. HubSpot introduced HubSpot AI, a comprehensive suite of AI-driven solutions and functionalities to assist customer-facing teams, boost productivity, and draw insights from data for improved performance. The suite consists of four types of AI tools:
You may have already played around with different generative AI platforms (such as ChatGPT). HubSpot is also aiming to take advantage of the technology. AI Assistants will function across the entire HubSpot platform, aiding teams in drafting content such as text or images, brainstorming blog ideas, or generating instant reports.
For example, HubSpot's Campaign Assistant can create entire campaigns using generative AI based on your prompts, including landing pages, Google ads, and marketing emails. Although some editing is necessary, it significantly reduces campaign creation time, benefiting marketers, especially those in smaller teams.
Agents automate specific manual tasks; for example, it could be a chatbot on your website to take some pressure off of customer support. Historically, chatbots have been limited because they followed predetermined scripts. AI-powered chatbots can autonomously retrieve information and offer real-time customer responses, greatly enhancing functionality. The first HubSpot AI Agents are set to launch in early 2024.
AI Insights refers to predictive AI capabilities, such as AI-driven forecasting. It’s features that turn CRM data into actionable insights, particularly using natural language prompts. HubSpot aims to make reporting more accessible, especially for those who may not be familiar with traditional report-building methods.
ChatSpot (currently in public beta) is designed to enhance user interactions with GPT by employing a range of pre-built prompts tailored to specific tasks. While some of these prompts prove less effective, others offer valuable functionality. For instance, ChatSpot can summarize contact or company records, providing a quick overview of relevant data.
New handy HubSpot features you can try today
New prospecting workspace
HubSpot gave new life to the Sales Hub, introducing a new prospecting workspace to consolidate all prospecting activities in one place. This view offers a summary of tasks due today, including to-dos, emails, and calls, and even allows sales reps to jump directly to relevant records, log calls, and complete tasks seamlessly.
Additionally, the feature integrates with automated sequences, displays calendar appointments, and suggests activities using machine learning, making it a powerful tool for improving salespeople's productivity and workflow efficiency.
New reporting overview
The new reporting overview feature makes the reporting process more straightforward. Instead of convoluted report categorizations, reports are now organized by your active hubs. This streamlined approach improves access to the needed reports. For example, lead reports offer valuable insights into lead engagement effectiveness, and prospecting activity reports give sales managers an overview of how effective outreach efforts are, including conversion rates and activity metrics.
Sales & lead funnel reporting
Sales and lead funnel reporting has undergone a significant improvement, addressing a long-standing issue of funnel breakdown when dealing with "funnel jumpers" – prospects who skip steps in the buyer’s journey. Now, whether it's a deal funnel report or a lead funnel report, HubSpot offers a "skip step" view, highlighting the number of deals or leads that bypass certain funnel stages instead of simply dropping out.
The new funnel reporting streamlines the visualization of the funnel, making it easier to track progress and identify any deviations in the customer journey. If you've struggled with funnel reporting in HubSpot, you'll appreciate this much-needed improvement.
Sequences A/B testing
Sequences in HubSpot now have integrated A/B testing. You can create different versions of an email at specific steps within a sequence and enable these versions to gauge their performance. It's now simpler to determine which email version garners the best open, click, reply, or conversion rates for meetings. This makes it easier to test variations at critical sequence steps (such as optimizing subject lines for meeting bookings).
Middle column customization on CRM records
HubSpot now offers middle column customization on data records in the CRM UI, allowing users to tailor their view effectively. While the left and right columns were previously customizable, the middle column, housing a log and timeline of contact/company/deal activities, was fixed. This feature facilitates personalized HubSpot experiences, with customizations available at a team level, making it easier for users to access role-specific information and even add mini-reports for quick insights.
How HubSpot can benefit your business
This blog post is based on our Nordics SaaS HubSpot User Group (HUG) event. Through HUGs, we share HubSpot know-how and inbound best practices with like-minded professionals.