Many founders make the same mistake in the early days of their companies -- instead of building an integrated tech stack, they use a bunch of disconnected tools because these tools are cheap, or maybe even free.
I know because I made this mistake.
I started my first company in my early 20s. We were a web development shop building pretty cool technology, and yet could not figure out a good system to track our sales pipeline or manage leads. I actually taught our sales team a manual process that included flipbooks of business cards and tick sheets to track who needed a follow-up. 🤦
We also struggled to manage lead flow. While our Wordpress site could collect leads, those leads didn't automatically sync to a CRM (we didn't even have one). Instead, leads were forwarded to our only marketer, who manually distributed them to our sales team via email. When this person was on vacation, our sales team didn't get leads. Even if they did get leads, I never knew if they were following up or not.
There was no doubt in my mind that we were losing money -- both in time spent on these manual processes and also lost deals -- but we were also creating pain for our customers and prospects. How weird is it to reach out to a company you're interested in working with only to not hear from them for days, weeks, and maybe ever?
What a mess.
I'll admit, some of this was my own fault. Salesforce and email tools like Constant Contact did exist at the time. In retrospect, I was definitely suffering from what I later dubbed "poor business syndrome" -- afraid to spend what little money we had on the thing that would help us grow -- but at the same time, CRM, lead management, and email tools all together were expensive! I could never bring myself to spend the money.
It felt like I only had two choices: cough up the money for pricey tools that would give me a unified (but painfully expensive!) view of our customer experience, or just hope that prospects would be persistent in contacting us and would forgive the email we sent them that 100% lacked context on previous interactions they had with us.
As of today, no startup will ever again need to make the same concession I did.
Today, in addition to giving our CRM away for free, we’re also giving away free email. This means that if I were a founder today using HubSpot's free tools I would know where our leads were coming from, whether or not our sales team was following up with those leads, how much money is in our pipeline, and could even write personalized emails based on where prospects are in their customer lifecycle! That's a solid sales and marketing setup for exactly $0. No hefty price tag, no pain to endure.
And there's more …
We're adding Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn Ads tools to the CRM -- for free. Now you can report on your ad campaigns across networks, and see exactly who converted on your ads.
This is a big deal.
It has literally never been easier or cheaper to start a company. Our CEO, Brian Halligan showed this chart at INBOUND 2017:
With free, integrated tools it’s not only easier to startup -- it's easier to scale-up.
When companies manage customer data well, they're empowered to create great customer experiences. And we want you to start creating those great experiences on Day 1 of your business, not Day 1,000.
We want to give businesses the tools they need to be successful when they're acquiring their very first cohort of customers, so they can acquire (and retain!) future customers even faster.