Hubspot Steps up Competition with Salesforce with the launch of Hubspot Social Inbox

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Hubspot Social InboxWe want more sales from social media channels and we want to track that conversation to a sale.

As social media tools and social media mature we will see new and innovative ways of generating sales through social media.

Yesterday Hubspot announced the launch of their social inbox.  I can’t say it’s particularly innovative but it makes perfect sense.  It links social conversation to leads and customers so you engage and track the most relevant conversations.

About Social Inbox

When you have a lead in your CRM database and your customer talks about a competitor product it makes sense that your sales guy is notified of this so they can take action.  Any social content that your lead or customer is sharing is important as it’s a chance for  you to engage with them.  That could be just retweeting their content, answering their concerns or interacting with them to build a relationship.

Maybe there’s also conversation that’s happening on line that is not related to a lead or opportunity that you should be considering.  Maybe somebody is thinking about buying a product or solution that you offer.  By listening you can jump in and steer that conversation to your products and services.

The promise of HubSpot was always the notion that customers expect and deserve more lovable marketing. Over the last five years, social media marketing has been far from lovable; in fact, brands were typically using social media to push out contests, sweepstakes, and promotional content—tactics that are impersonal for customers and ineffective for marketers. HubSpot Social Inbox allows marketers to create, share, promote, monitor, respond, and integrate social media into their overall marketing approach. Social Inbox is a powerful vehicle for marketers that results in a singular narrative for customers.” – Hubspot CEO, Brian Halligan

 

Hubspot Social Inbox

Hubspot social inbox is launching in June 2013

 

The social inbox provides the functionality which allows you to find and engage with conversations that are new opportunities for your business or are related to opportunities you are currently progressing.

 

 

Is this competition for Salesforce?

In 2011 Hubspot raised a lot of cash and Salesforce were one of the companies that contributed.  What’s interesting now is that with the launch of this new functionality do you really need Hubspot and Salesforce to work together?  It looks to me like now you have sufficient functionality in Hubspot to remove Salesforce from the equation.

Salesforce is a Customer Relationship management tool that added social media functionality.  Hubspot have an module for integrating with Salesforce where information can be shared in both directions.  As Hubspot continue to link their social data with leads and customers it will make better sense for a company to use one tool or the other.

Hubspot have typically focussed on the small business market but it’s likely they will do more in the Enterprise space.  There is certainly room for both companies so maybe neither are concerned but it’s going to be interesting to watch.

Final Comments

We’ve covered tools on this blog recently that provide similar functionality to the social inbox.  Nimble is all about following real people and conversations wherever the occur and Needtagger is about listening to find opportunities.

With Social Inbox this attempts to add similar functionality to Hubspot.

What is your opinion of Hubspot Social Inbox?  Do you think they will start competing more head to head with Salesforce?

photo credit: Rosaura Ochoa via photopin cc




 

About the author

Ian Cleary

Author: Ian Cleary is a technology guy with extensive experience in Social Media. He is a writer for Social Media Examiner and other high profile blogs and is very passionate about Social Media Tools. Ian is the CEO of RazorSocial and also RazorCoast which is a Digital Marketing Agency.

  • http://www.leadgenix.com/ LeadGenix

    It’ll be interesting to see how many companies will start using only one or the other or if they’ll see value in having both. Thanks for sharing Ian!

  • http://jeffkorhan.com Jeff Korhan

    Ian – My estimation is all of the CRM’s will have to develop or buy another service to have deep social integration. I was a Salesforce subscriber for a year but found it to be too clunky. I’ve studied Hubspot, but there is a lot there that I already have in place, especially in terms of the CMS.

    As a result, I recently started using Infusionsoft and I’m finding that it works quite well for where I am now in terms of sales automation, and especially where I plan to go in terms of a fully robust CRM. At least for my brain I find its functionality intuitive. That, combined with Nimble, Hootsuite, and Newsle seems to get the job done.

    I think Gmail is going to play a big part in this too moving forward – and that is one reason I like Nimble, i.e. the integration with Gmail. I’m not sure if anyone can do it all well, and that is what Salesforce tries to do, which is why their product is too clunky for most small businesses as far as I’m concerned.

    Jeff

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks Jeff, I think Salesforce is the old kid on the block and bolting on products such as Radian 6 just doesn’t wash. They are a big corporate so will move slowly. Nimble is the new kid on the block and with Jon Ferrara steering that ship it’s going to do very well. I like Newsle also! I haven’t spent time on infusionsoft yet but I guess I need to! Thanks for your feedback, Ian

      • http://jeffkorhan.com Jeff Korhan

        I agree – Jon is on top of his game.

        You make a good point about Radian 6 and its integration with Salesforce, the cost is just prohibitive unless you are a larger enterprise. All of this is creating opportunity for Hubspot and Infusionsoft to better serve small businesses.

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