Carl Ferreira, prior Sales Team Lead, Hubspot (Current: Director of Sales, Refine Labs)
Breezy Beaumont, Head of Growth, Correlated
Note: this conversation was originally recorded live and transcribed into this Q&A
Tell me about yourself
I am living in San Diego married with two little girls, a six year old and a four year old. I was at Hubspot for 2 years and now Director of Sales at Refine Labs. I’ve been in the software space for about four or five years now. I came from the nonprofit, enterprise, donor management sales area. That’s where I cut my teeth in tech sales.
Looking to continue to grow here at Refine Labs and super fired up about product-led growth. I think it's the future for a lot of different aspects of organizations. Not just their go to market strategy, but I also for the sales process.
What is Hubspot’s product-led strategy?
HubSpot’s product-led motion comes from two angles. If you go to the pricing page, you'll see that with the lower tiers you can purchase self-serve, which we call “touchlessly.” I think we are one of the very few companies that has an SMB to Enterprise offering and we make the pricing entirely transparent, even on our enterprise tier. It's not gated by contact sales and I think that speaks to that product-led vision.
It also expands into the product as well. As a customer you can upgrade touchlessly in your Hub. You don't have to call your sales rep if you want to upgrade to Marketing Hub Enterprise. All of that reduces that friction which I think is division for product-led growth, product-led revenue.
How do you balance your sales motion and product-led motions?
From a direct sales perspective it's really just extra data for me to be able to reach out in a relevant way. So as you get started and begin to learn and explore the tool on your own, that's all great usage data for me to better understand what you're trying to do before we even have a conversation.
In a selling position, what type of the product usage are you able to see and use for your conversations?
From a usage perspective I can see the last time people have logged in, who's adding users, how many users, which users are assigned specific seats, and then I can see areas of the tool that are being used the most.
So I might be able to see that Breezy and the Correlated Team are Marketing Hub customers and they’re using workflows in one way, but they haven't really broken into campaign analytics or they're not using landing pages. Maybe they're still using a third party tool. That all adds color and context to how I envision you all and see you all using the tool. It allows me to make recommendations and have a relevant conversation making sure that you're maximizing the value that you're getting out of your investment.
Is the sales team notified on product usage data?
We have some pretty cool dashboards that show usage on accounts, so I can go and have visibility into that. But we get notified as well.
We have a scoring model and historical data that's shown when marketing directors are leveraging certain tools in specific ways, there's a 40 percent chance that the close rate is 60 percent higher than another scenario. We get notifications on that.
It's pretty basic. We get email notifications like: “Breezy is using these tools. She might be a good fit for these things. PQLs close at this percentage rate higher than something a little bit colder, reach out.” So we are definitely getting notifications on the higher intent usage in the hub.
How does Hubspot define their PQLs?
So our PQL model is also dependent on what Hub you’re in. If you're a customer and you were to add a new marketer that your team hired in Sales Hub Pro, I'm probably not going to get notified about that now that you're a customer. But I might get notified if you trigger a trial for something in Enterprise. If you go and try to play around with multi-touch revenue attribution or you try to start to partition content or something that's in Enterprise, those are the things that I'm gonna get notified on.
So it's typically notifications that there's intent and usage in the direction of a product that's in a higher tier where there's an upsell opportunity. It wouldn't be just generic usage. I can go find that, but I'm not going to get notified.
How would you define product-led revenue?
I think product-led revenue is putting your money where your mouth is when it comes to your product. A lot of times in sales processes there's a misalignment between the story that's being told and the reality.
I can tell you that this is easy to use - I'm a seller. I can tell you that you'll get to value quickly. I can tell you that it's gonna change your life, but product-led revenue means that story aligns with reality.
Legacy sales motions historically have blocked access to the tool. You have to talk to sales, you have to demo. You have to take the seller at their word and put all your trust in them. There is risk there. The modern buyer is very risk averse. Product lead revenue means accessibility and transparency, there's no blocking. Control is now handed to the buyer. And now they can see, touch, feel for themselves how this product is going to change their strategy, change their career, instead of just taking a sales reps word for it. Instead of having to figure it out after ink hits paper.
It means frictionless access to tools that I'm about to invest a lot of money in. I want to be confident before I sign that this is the right thing. I think the only way to build that confidence is to get into the tool.
I'm very bullish on product-led revenue, product-led growth. I think that buyers are sick and tired of being gated and blocked from products and pricing. They want control. They want to be empowered to make good business decisions based on their own experience.
From a direct sales perspective what sticks out to me is that product-led revenue is really just a mask, underneath that is really just a better buying experience. I feel like that's the core. Product-led revenue means buyers buy on their terms, that there's buying alignment, that there's a buying experience that’s now crafted with the buyer in mind..
PLR is changing all of that. Now crafting this entire customer experience where the buyer experience is product first, buyer first, customer first. I think that's what's most compelling about it.
People that adopt the model early - sellers that adopt the model early - are going to close more deals. It's very hard to win against me and in the way I sell Hubspot. We can see that if you're selling in that legacy sales model and you're up against a seller like me or most of the sellers at Hubspot, you have a tough time. The sales process in a PLR model is more show and less tell which is what buyer expect in 2022.