Dec 5 Gerda Verbickaite
During his time on stage, he discussed the new, shifted dynamic of power between the consumers and the sellers, which has fundamentally transformed the sales funnel into a flywheel.
More people every day are opening their own companies. It could be said that entrepreneurship is blooming hard. This makes the space cluttered and harder to break through than ever before. Brian shared, that when he found Hubspot, there were only 14 marketing software companies around the world, while nowadays there are over 6,000 companies with a similar business model.
The age of the internet also made it easy for customers to educate themselves before taking any offer.
Instead of being dependent on a sales agent, to inform a buyer about all the product, now we have an opportunity to go on Google and find the prices, specifications, and reviews by ourselves.
These changes are driving companies towards higher transparency, and instead of fighting against it, to nourish one must adapt to the change and place the customer at the center of the circular equation, instead of in a linear funnel.
“It used to be, that if you want to build a great product, your product has to be 10 times better. The new version of that is: Your customer experience has to be 10 times better than your competition.” The companies such as Uber, Dollar Shave Club, and Spotify had their breakthroughs because of their simple -and-smooth approach towards customers. They have created a whole new playbook on how to grow your startup and scaleup.
In the past a company would cold-call a potential lead and the prospect would ask things, the seller has all the power in the world, now the power is flipped. The customer no longer needs the sales representative, they have the power to research online or to talk about the product on Twitter, Facebook, blog. “It has become a world where instead of buyer beware, it became – seller beware.”
During his fireside chat, Brian stated, that the attitude in employee activism has recently changed. He said, that the wall between the employer and employee has been broken, yet there is still a huge trust issue in many companies to be fixed. Brian advises companies to embrace the change, because the worst you can do is fight these trends. A lot of companies spend their time building the best, most unique product, in order to attract customers. In today’s day and age, you need to think about your company’s culture in a very similar way – to be valuable to your customers.
Who does Brian look up to? The CEO’s of Microsoft, Satya Nadella and Google’s Sundar Pichai. According to him, they are great examples to modern management culture, in which they choose to spend more of their time with the company than the press.
Hubspot has built strong cultural value: every potential hire needs to resonate with them. Brian tells, that they are transparent within the whole organisation about the way Hubspot feels regarding both customers and employees. “It helps to attract the right people and repel the others.”
As the discussion was nearing to its end, Brian shared one of the mistakes that he wish he knew back when he started Hubspot. Brian admitted wishing that he would have hired more people who were not his friends from school and who looked and sounded alike. Hiring people who are too similar to you creates a vicious circle in which it becomes harder and harder to reach talent which is different to you. Diversity helps in decision-making. And it helps the most when you make those decisions early on.
The future brings change
As Brian’s discussion was coming to an end, he shared an anecdote about the uniqueness of Finland: “When we went to Helsinki, first day we went for dinner to a restaurant with a sauna. We had dinner, sauna and then a dip in the cold Baltic sea. Finland is a weird country.” Brian smiled and continued by sharing some predictions about the future. He believes, that in the upcoming years customers will get even more leverage. More things will be bought online and more processes will be automated “creating more delightful customer experiences here to stay.”
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