Inbound 2015 was a great experience for 14,000 marketers, agencies, partners and vendors who attended this week in Boston. It was a testament to the Inbound Movement, the product vision for Hubspot, and their executive commitment to investing in their marketing community. It wasn’t a Hubspot sales pitch, it was an educational revival – with something to learn in every session and event. In a standardizing and commoditizing Marketing Automation world, Hubspot continues to emerge as the differentiator. While others ‘automate’, and focus on the technology, Hubspot differentiates with its focus on content, outcomes, training, philosophy and methodology for the most unique approach in the category.
As Hubspot innovates with both product and strategy, they often do so on the dichotomy of ‘Inbound’ vs. ‘Outbound’ sales and marketing approaches. This has created wonderful clarity for those with experience in primarily outbound operations consisting of lead buying, cold calling and ‘Always Be Closing’ as rule number one. If that is ‘Outbound’ then Hubspot preaches a superior alternative – the exact opposite – and thus, Inbound Marketing is gaining major popularity. If marketers can attract clients with premium content, and do so consistently, the hope is a new level of marketing and a better world for sales and marketing professionals.
One issue that loomed large at the event, however, is that despite the promise of Inbound Marketing, sales cannot be forgotten. While Inbound Marketing promises rich leads, only those with the effort and acumen to follow up, educate and close their leads will return their investment. Sales Enablement and paid media were two solutions presented at the event. With these complements to content and organic traffic, marketers can be more confident about the results they can expect.
But perhaps Inbound doesn’t quite suffice in explaining the value prop. In evaluating the best practices presented at the event, it became obvious that HubSpot solves marketing challenges in a much more holistic manner than simply ‘Inbound’. With a focus on getting revenue results the right way, HubSpot is too conversion oriented to be noted for any single practice. And while their Inbound moniker won’t be going anywhere any time soon, let us propose an alternative that speaks to the results Hubspot enables: SalesBound Marketing.
SalesBound would not care whether the lead was generated passively, actively, inbound or outbound. It’s more about best practices and results. With SalesBound, your marketing process drives towards the most important goal in any company – sales. SalesBound delivers technology, tools, insights and leads to empower the marketer and the sales professional to get more deals. Because at the end of the day, Inbound Marketing is not a replacement for the human sales connection, but instead a supporting infrastructure.
SalesBound recognizes the proactive approach that best serves sales teams – whether or not the lead self-subscribes. It recognizes the value in information for buyers that HubSpot enables, delivering more informed prospects in a more informed market. SalesBound thrives on the developing sales tools to complement traditional Inbound, such as CRM. And most importantly, a SalesBound approach focuses on results and return on investment. Because Inbound without Sales is just an expense. Marketing done right should instead be an investment.
HubSpot is doing a lot right with Inbound Marketing. And as the anchor concept behind the brand, it serves to encourage marketers to think differently about how they drive value for prospects and deliver leads to sales teams. In practice, Inbound Marketing should remain the title for the marketing practice, the movement and the description of HubSpot’s value proposition. But in considering the results, the quality, the collaboration between sales and marketing and the bottom line, ‘SalesBound’ is a great direction for your marketing efforts to be heading, and where there is a strong sales team, there is a healthy opportunity to deploy sustainable best practices as a HubSpot enabled marketer.