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HubSpot brings popular enterprise features to pro-level customers in its latest release

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HubSpot's release brings quoting and payments improvements

HubSpot rolls out new product features almost every day, and some of the most exciting updates from the past month include: 

  • Playbooks, call transcription and call coaching are now available in the Professional level of Sales and Service Hub.
  • Records imported from Salesforce to HubSpot can now be filtered using the native integration.
  • Social media creation and scheduling tools received efficiency improvements.
  • Payment links can now be associated with a meeting scheduling page.
  • Line items in Quotes and Deals now support fractional quantities.
  • Commenting features are improved inside Forms and Campaigns.

Greater access to Playbooks and call transcription and coaching

Enterprise-level HubSpot customers have enjoyed using Playbooks, call transcription and call coaching features, and now Professional-level HubSpot users can benefit from these powerful tools.

Playbooks are interactive content cards found in deal, contact, company and ticket records that guide users and can help create standardized notes during calls.

Professional-level users can create up to five Playbooks. Enterprise users can create 5,000 playbooks. Professional-level Playbooks cannot add embedded properties, so the only option is to use an open text field for the answers. At the same time, Enterprise users can create a set of custom answer options or save answers to a property.

Call Transcription and Coaching are features related to the hot topic of Conversational Intelligence. At the Professional level, HubSpot allows for 750 hours a month of transcription, compared to 1,500 hours a month on Enterprise. The Professional level does not have tracked terms, which in Enterprise is the ability to report on metrics related to specific keywords mentioned in the call. 

Why we care: In their quest to be the CRM platform for scaling businesses, Hubspot first added value to its Enterprise-level tools to eliminate the myth that when companies grow over a specific size, they need to switch to a different platform. We’re now seeing limited versions of Enterprise features appear at the Professional level, for companies earlier in the scaling journey. This brings hope for seeing even more highly-requested Enterprise features in the Professional level in the future, which will help smaller budget customers achieve a similar efficiency and usability as customers with a budget for the Enterprise tools. 

Customers often uplevel to Enterprise for one feature, so this limited access lets Professional level users try before they buy, and build processes around the features before jumping into Enterprise when they scale further. 

Allowing Professional level users access to sales enablement and conversational intelligence tools helps HubSpot compete with other software in this growing space. This move indicates that it may soon be possible to reduce the need for additional third-party tools, slimming down the tech stack complexity and budget.


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With predictions of tech company layoffs, reducing budgets may be a top priority. Eliminating the need to upgrade to Enterprise immediately while still accessing versions of these powerful tools as they scale could help save the budget to retain more jobs.

In addition to the big-picture benefits of bringing Enterprise features to Pro levels, these particular features help HubSot users close more deals in less time, improve their sales process more efficiently, spend less time on data entry, and ramp up new team members faster. 

Improved data filtering options in the HubSpot Salesforce integration

When using HubSpot’s Salesforce integration to bring Salesforce data into HubSpot, you can now use two new filters to make sure they are not importing irrelevant, duplicate, or otherwise unnecessary data. Previously, all historic data would be imported or synced for the chosen objects.

The two filters are:

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  • Create date. For example, only importing records created on March 1, 2022 or later.
  • Update date. For example, only importing records that have been modified in the past month.

Why we care: Adam Stahl, HubSpot strategist at Remotish, said, “The ability to use filters in HubSpot’s Salesforce integration is an update that may seem small but is mighty. There are many reasons why you may not want to pull in all historical data for each object you’re bringing over. For example, a company may have been using Salesforce for a decade but recently added HubSpot to their tech stack. If Salesforce remains their primary CRM, they may not want to import every lead and every one of their up-to-decade-old interactions. Most importantly, in that scenario, they now have an easy way to follow through on that decision right in the integration.”

This update saves time cleaning the irrelevant and/or duplicate data out of HubSpot compared to when you had less control over what data came over from Salesforce. You can now rely on more accurate data in HubSpot and have more time to concentrate on higher-level work.

HubSpot’s social media publishing tools for creating posts now have a full-screen experience instead of only using the right-side sidebar. 

Old experience:

New experience:

Other improvements include:

  • Choosing all accounts in one step instead of choosing each network and then choosing each social media account to post.
  • Editing drafts of each post most quickly.
  • Easily tailoring the messaging and media for different audiences.
  • Removing the additional step for previewing.
  • Reviewing all posts at the same time on the Review screen.

If you don’t notice these options in your HubSpot portal yet, opt into the beta. When you’re inside the social tools, click on the teal button on the lower left side of your screen that says “Beta.” 

You can watch this video for a walkthrough of the new features from HubSpot product manager, Jacqui Malis.

Why we care: The previous layout made it hard for users to know about or use any new or existing helpful features. These recent updates will save time when posting because it takes fewer clicks to create more posts and prevents errors since the review functionality is better. This update hints at the possibility that HubSpot will release future improvements to compete with the integrated third-party social media tools, which could reduce the marketing tech stack and tools budget.

Collect payments from meetings scheduling page

This beta allows HubSpot users to associate a payment link with their meeting scheduling page. Previously, several workarounds and steps were required to have a customer pay for a meeting using HubSpot. 

Why we care: This is a simple and easy way to get paid for meeting time, especially for people who already use HubSpot meeting links in their processes. It also makes it easier for HubSpot users with less technical expertise to quickly start collecting payments for their time in meetings.

For a specific example of how this improves processes, at Remotish we have one-off consulting calls available to purchase on our website. Still, we had a two-step process of collecting payment first and then redirecting the success page to a calendar link to schedule their meeting. This new beta could cut that process down to one step and more easily associate the data about which meeting was paid, allowing customers to feel more in control by choosing a time and date before paying. 

Another important benefit is previously, once a customer had access to a meeting link, nothing prevented them from booking another session without paying first. This new update prevents that issue, eliminating any awkward follow-up communication to collect payment.

Line items now support fractional quantities

Deals and Quotes now allow fractional values, such as 1.33 or 2.275, in the “quantity” field inside Line Items. The quantity field now has up to seven decimal points to precisely sell a partial quantity, such as 2.75 hours of consulting. It is available to all levels and all users.

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Why we care: This is an anticipated update, evident by this HubSpot Community post from 2020, with 161 upvotes and 67 replies. Previously, if you wanted to sell a partial amount of a line item, it would increase the number of Products or custom line items. Users were forced to break up the item into the smallest amount possible and add multiple quantities on the quote or deal, or users needed duplicate Products in different quantities.

This workaround created a mess inside Line Items and Products, leading to more time in data entry, more errors and more issues when integrating accounting systems such as Quickbooks. If you sense a common theme to these releases, this update also saves time, keeps the data cleaner and reduces potential errors, which saves the company money.

This public beta allows users to comment on various parts of the screen inside Campaigns and Forms in Marketing Hub, using a crosshairs tool to select items to comment on. Previously, comments were limited and somewhat hidden in the tiny commenting sidebar. Now, you can select certain properties or options inside of forms and campaigns and have a threaded conversation where you can tag another HubSpot user to discuss ideas. This feature has existed in Workflows and is expanding to other tools.

Why we care: As users become accustomed to commenting abilities in other tools such as Google Docs, they expect similar features across all tools. Remote work also requires improvements such as this for asynchronous collaboration. Providing clearer direction to team members will save time commenting back and forth to identify the specific items being discussed. The ability to highlight or pinpoint a certain part of the page will help teams to finish campaigns and form creation or edits more quickly and accurately. 

The improved commenting features could also start important discussions amongst the team, which Kyle Jepson, senior inbound sales professor at HubSpot, said in a LinkedIn video. He mentioned some of the comments could ask: 

  • Should we turn this option on?
  • Who should receive this form?
  • Do we want these to be marketing contacts?
  • Can we discuss revenue attribution for this campaign?

He said the email composer tool would be the next Marketing Hub tool to receive this commenting upgrade. That will be exceptionally helpful to ask questions while editing another user’s email and helpful for the email content creator to get their own questions conveniently answered inside the email draft.

All the updates, all the time

If you are a HubSpot user, you can find a complete list of recent updates by clicking on your profile picture, Product Updates, and filtering for the last 30 days, past three months or past year.  

HubSpot also describes select new features and shows roadmaps of future items in development on its website, and the HubSpot Community has a releases and updates section.

I also recommend following HubSpot Academy Senior Inbound Sales professor Kyle Jepson on Linkedin or Twitter. Search for #HubSpotTipsAndTricks.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.


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About The Author

Jen is the head of operations at Remotish, a HubSpot RevOps and WebOps agency. Her work includes creating plans, processes and programs such as a knowledge management program (wiki), a comprehensive employee onboarding program and a referral partner program that generates 45% of company revenue and earned her the 2022 Heroes of RevOps award from Revenue.io. She was a lesson professor for the HubSpot Revenue Operations certification, a RevOps correspondent at INBOUND2021 and a panelist on the INBOUND After Hours show and the MoPros Career Fair. Jen is currently writing a book about RevOps, to combine her love of research, writing and lifelong learning.

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MARKETING

Follow This Purpose-Driven Path to Greater SEO Success

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Follow This Purpose-Driven Path to Greater SEO Success

Historically, getting content to reach the top of a search engine results page usually hinged on your team’s ability to fulfill the rules of Google’s algorithm – no matter how complex, obscure, and sometimes unwritten.

However, that picture is changing now that AI has arrived behind the scenes of the top search engine, says Dale Bertrand, Fire and Spark’s content and SEO strategist. Its machine learning delivers more precise, adaptive, and contextual search results. It also gives marketers another approach to search result success – a purpose-driven strategy.

Develop a purpose-driven #SEO strategy that would please @Google’s #AI algorithm, says @joderama via @CMIContent @pageonepower. Click To Tweet

At the 2022 ContentTECH Summit and a recent Ask the CMWorld Community interview, Dale discussed what Google’s heavier reliance on an AI-controlled algorithm means and how a purpose-driven approach can help your brand compete with – and even beat – bigger fish in the SEO sea.

Search for greater SEO intelligence

In the early days of digital search, Google’s founders used the web’s link structure to rank the most relevant page results. “Basically, if you had the right links to your website and the right keywords on your pages, you would rank well,” Dale says.

But now, it’s more important to understand how that AI engine gets trained than to follow technical SEO rules. Dale says making this mindset change can help set your content on a path to increased visibility on search and stronger marketing performance overall.

It’s more important now to understand how that #AI engine gets trained than to follow technical #SEO rules, says Dale Bertrand of @Fire_and_Spark via @joderama @CMIContent @pageonepower. Click To Tweet

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Engineers set the technical quality guidelines

Human engineers are still involved in ranking content relevance. But instead of programming the algorithm, their role is to rate a site’s trustworthiness, content accuracy, authoritativeness, and connection to other relevant content providers on the topic at hand.

“That quality information is collected as a big dataset from websites that have been graded, which is part of what they feed into Google’s algorithm to train the AI,” says Dale. There’s a big, long document out there – the web quality raters guide. Any marketer can read it to see what the raters look for when building the training dataset for Google’s AI.”


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AI adds behavioral signals

From that point, Google’s AI engine takes over, tracking search behaviors, analyzing signals of intent, and correlating those insights with the quality rating data to determine the most relevant content to a search query.

But, Dale says, keep in mind: “Google’s AI engine doesn’t care about your content – it only cares about its own performance.” It’s looking for confirmation that the content it selects will deliver a satisfying experience for searchers. Your job is to make sure it sees your brand’s content as a likely win.

Prove your #content has what it takes for better search results. Build momentum through community and demonstrate multifactor authority, says Dale Bertrand of @Fire_and_Spark via @joderama @CMIContent @pageonepower. Click To Tweet

Shared purpose promotes multifactor authority

Dale discusses two ways brands can prove that their content has what it takes to deliver the AI’s desired results:

  • Build momentum through community. A community behind your brand frequently visits, engages with, and links to your website. They recommend your products and services and amplify your site. Dale says these actions demonstrate a high level of customer intimacy. Google’s AI uses the artifacts of success from this content – high engagement, low bounce rate, and a high click-through rate – to confirm your site and content are loved.
  • Demonstrate multifactor authority. Part of AI’s investigation of brands that resonate with online consumers is the company you keep, Dale says. Authoritative individuals, organizations, and influencers can contribute to your brand’s authority by linking to, citing, and amplifying your content across their channels and platforms.

Prove your #content has what it takes for better search results. Build momentum through community and demonstrate multifactor authority, says Dale Bertrand of @Fire_and_Spark via @joderama @CMIContent @pageonepower. Click To Tweet

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How to use purpose to build SEO power

Dale describes an SEO strategy that can help build authority and momentum by focusing on a purpose your brand believes in: “Hopefully, your brand stands for something. But [for SEO], it’s even better if your brand is actively promoting a change that you want to see in your industry.”

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By using your content to build valuable conversations around that change, you give the tools to those with an established interest to spread your brand messages. This data around this reciprocal relationship demonstrates the brand traction Google’s AI sees as proof your content is a solid search bet.

Dale shares a client example:

I worked with one brand that was selling handmade children’s products. The US government was about to pass a law that would have made it so [small businesses like this] would have had to do $100,000 worth of testing before being allowed to sell a single product. We were able to lead the movement against that law and turn that into an SEO campaign that generated authority, backlinks, and website engagement – all the things that Google’s AI is looking for.

He explains the process he used to achieve those results:

Step 1: Find high-profile groups and learn about the causes they support

Find potential partners – influencers, non-profits, advocacy organizations, and others who are working towards a purpose in which your business might have a stake. It could be an organization that’s written about helping previously incarcerated people find jobs, influencers promoting veteran-run businesses, or an event that supports disadvantaged youth in your local community.

When you’ve identified viable candidates, research their positions and how they communicate about them in their online conversations. “You need to understand what issues these influencers care about, what they’re writing about, what’s going on in their social conversations. All of those things are targets for your purpose-driven SEO campaign,” Dale says.

Step 2: Choose a mission your content will support

Once you find an area with enough grassroots supporters, craft a mission statement around it for your brand’s SEO campaign. It should be something your brand can speak to authentically; otherwise, audiences will see right through it. “It has to be based on your organization’s values because you’re going to get behind it. At the end of the day, if you don’t care about feeding hungry children, that just can’t be the mission,” Dale says.

If you’re on the B2B side or operate in a crowded market, it may be worthwhile to adopt a unique or even slightly controversial mission to differentiate your brand. “[You might think] sustainability is a good [purpose to build on], but so many companies have taken this topic on that it doesn’t move the needle from a search marketing perspective,” Dale says.

Rather than just choosing a hot topic, he suggests looking for a niche, such as a critical change affecting the supply chain for your industry or a regulatory issue that impacts product costs, to rally around. Doing so can help insert your brand name into relevant conversations that your bigger, higher-profile competitors may not be associated with.

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Step 3: Create “citable” content aligned with your mission

The goal isn’t to promote your brand’s involvement with the chosen cause; it’s to create content your partner organizations can cite when making their case for the cause. “The content is fuel for their advocacy – it gives them credible, authoritative information they can use in their arguments,” Dale says.

For example, Dale says, interview someone personally affected by the mission, write an opinion piece about the change your business is advocating, or publish an original research report. “This is the type of content that [they] would organically mention and link to while trying to get their point across in their own content conversations. That’s how you’re going to get the deeper engagement and increased backlinks that Google’s AI can see,” says Dale.

Step 4: Reach out to other like-minded influencers

With a body of purpose-focused content cited and linked to, you can increase your content’s authority and reach by sharing the outcomes with other influencers who care about the topic. But rather than conducting a blast email campaign, contact them individually by email or personal message on social channels.

In this outreach, focus your messages on furthering the mission. “We’re not promoting our business, our products, and services, or our content. We’re saying, ‘Hey, I saw that you’re a big advocate for helping previously incarcerated youth find jobs. We’ve got an interview your audience would be interested in … would you help us promote it?’” Dale explains.

Not only are influencers more likely to respond to this type of outreach, but they may be more willing to promote your content without compensation because it helps them create content in an area that they’re passionate about, Dale says.

Fuel a shared purpose and find greater search success

In a crowded landscape, where reaching a top spot on SERPs is harder to achieve than ever, it’s time for marketers to stop trying to outsmart the search algorithm. By putting a shared human purpose at the center of your SEO strategy, your content will broadcast all the signals of authority, relevance, and value Google’s AI is looking for.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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