Hubspot announced a free version of HubSpot’s core marketing platform, joining already available free versions of its CRM and Sales systems.
In Hubspeak, CRM is the underlying database that tracks and manages customer interactions, while Sales is tools for salesperson productivity in email and elsewhere.
The company also announced enhancements to existing products. Many were features that already exist in other mid-tier systems, including branching visual workflows, sessions within Web analytics reports, parent/child relationships among business records, and detailed control over user permissions.
As HubSpot explained it, the modest scope of these changes reflects a focus on simplifying the system rather than making it super-powerful. One good example of this attitude was a new on-site chat feature, which seems basic enough but has some serious hidden cleverness in automatically routing chat requests to the right sales person, pulling up the right CRM record for the agent, and adding the chat conversation to the customer history.
The most interesting announcements at the conference were probably about HubSpot’s alliances. A new Facebook integration lets users create Facebook lead generation campaigns within HubSpot and posts leads from those campaigns directly to the HubSpot database.
A new LinkedIn integration shows profiles from LinkedIn Sales Navigator within HubSpot CRM screens for users who have a Sales Navigator subscription. Both integrations were presented as first steps towards deeper relationships. These relationships reflect the growing prominence of HubSpot among CRM/marketing automation vendors, which gives companies like Microsoft and LinkedIn a reason to pick HubSpot as a partner.
This, in turn, lets HubSpot offer features that less well-connected competitors cannot duplicate. That sets up a positive cycle of growth and expansion that is very much in HubSpot’s favor.