HubSpot debuts Operations Hub

The new offering aims at helping operations to be strategic rather than reactive, and promotes a unified RevOps philosophy

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HubSpot today announced the addition of a fifth hub to its CRM platform. Joining the Marketing, Sales, Service and CMS Hubs is Operations Hub, aimed at empowering ops teams to become drivers of revenue and growth.

We asked Andy Pitre, HubSpot VP of Product and General Manager of Operations Hub, whether the launch was aimed at breaking down silos — between, for example, marketing, sales and service ops functions.

Aligning operations. “That is the driving force behind HubSpot’s thinking about operations and Operations Hub,” Pitre said. One term which has come to represent aligned, or actually combined operations teams is RevOps. “It’s really over the last couple of years that RevOps has come to our attention. As we’ve gone from marketing to sales to service, we started talking about this concept of the flywheel — and naturally started to talk about breaking down silos and thinking across the entire customer experience.”

This led to an internal embrace of RevOps, which fits naturally with the flywheel idea. Originally, the plan was to introduce operations capabilities to the existing hubs. “The more we started discovering and talking to operations teams,” said Pitre, “we realized we needed more than that. We couldn’t just purely do it through the individual departments because that was embracing the silo model. If we were specifically to solve for a connected, unified operations team, what would we build? That’s what brought us down the path of operations hub.”

Building RevOps internally. Discovering operations teams meant discovering their significant pain points, added Ari Plaut, Principal Product Marketing Manager heavily involved in the launch. “We hear pain from operations people. We hear reactivity; they’re overwhelmed, they’re underwater. They want to be strategic business drivers, but they just get JIRA tickets from various stakeholders and take orders from their go-to-market VP. They never get to have that broader view of the business.”

HubSpot’s own operations team had reflected this, Plaut admitted. “We’ve felt these pains ourselves internally.” In Plaut’s nine years with HubSpot, he’s watched it grow from a 200 to a 5,000 person company. “We built out our own operations function, and we built it out in silos. Marketing ops and sales ops were trying to get at the same data but struggling to do it. They were re-inventing the wheel; their communications lines weren’t super open. Along with the launch of Operations Hub, we’re also launching a RevOps team internally. We’ll be sharing a lot of our secrets along the way as we build RevOps internally.”

RevOps is not the starting point — it’s the outcome. For all the talk about RevOps, many companies are not yet ready to combine their operations teams. Can those companies get value from Operations Hub? “Totally,” said Pitre. “When we were designing Opetrations Hub, we thought about three scenarios. The most rare of those scenarios is companies which have already embraced RevOps. We want those companies to use HubSpot, but they’re the smallest piece of the pie.”

The next scenario fits those companies which still have siloed teams. “We want them using Operations Hub, and we’re hoping that it will inspire them, and give them the tools they need, to move from siloed operations into a RevOps operations function.”

Finally, there are companies too small to have operations team — where ops functions are essentially handled by knowledgeable individuals in other primary roles. “Can we solve for that person, and give that person the ability to grow their career on top of HubSpot, and skip over legacy operations and bring them right to the promised land of RevOps?”

Capabilities at Operations Hub. HubSpot has announced four main capabilities with the new product:

  • The adoption of data sync tools which sync customer data between applications to ensure it is up to date;
  • Flexible automation of business processes, from lead rotation and territory management to post-sale handoffs and renewals;
  • Creation of workflows that automatically update key data points, offering customer-facing teams a single source of truth; and
  • Scalability: Operations Hub customers will get increases to their existing limits on lists, reports, and workflows.

The Hub is available in a free version, as well as starter and professional.

Why we care. Marketing operations is a space undergoing radical changes. The more marketing has martech at its core, the more important the people who run martech become — and they’re arguing for a voice in strategic decision-making. A tool like Operations Hub is likely to raise their profile — and the growing profile of RevOps — even further.

About the author

Kim Davis
Kim Davis is currently editor at large at MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for almost three decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Shortly thereafter he joined Third Door Media as Editorial Director at MarTech.

Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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