SalesTechStar Interview with Michael Walton, VP Product, Sales Hub, HubSpot

Michael Walton, VP Product, Sales Hub, HubSpot talks about SalesHub’s recent enhancements with our team at SalesTechStar:


Welcome to this SalesTechStar chat Michael, tell us about yourself and your role at HubSpot…

I’m the GM & Vice President of Product for Sales Hub at HubSpot. I partner with UX and Engineering as we look to empower modern sales teams, giving them the tools they need to sell more and sell better.

A large part of my job is talking with customers to understand their problems, then translating that into a longer-term vision that our product teams can execute on.

This time last year, we were hearing from our customers that their world has changed. Everyone is adjusting to life after pandemic, there is economic uncertainty and rapid changes in technology. Prospects are harder to reach, and deals are harder to close. The growth that felt easy the 2 years prior was not easy anymore. And the old strategies of “more” – add more reps, add more tools, do more activities – simply weren’t working anymore.

We believe the key to breaking through today is relevance; it’s not about doing more, it’s about taking the right actions.

At HubSpot, we saw an opportunity to help sales teams get rid of the busywork that was taking up valuable time, and build a solution that gives them the right tools and insights to do the job they love—selling.

So we’ve doubled down on our commitment to the sales market with a reimagined Sales Hub, built on top of our customer platform to give sales reps and managers the modern solution they need

We’d love to hear more about your relaunched Sales Hub: what are some of the new benefits for end users?

We’ve reimagined HubSpot’s Sales Hub to give teams the modern sales solution they need to prospect smarter, accelerate revenue growth, and scale teams with deep customer insights – all on one connected platform.

When we look at legacy CRM systems, they aren’t the right solution in this environment. They’re primarily built solely as systems of record, and over the years they’ve become cobbled-together point solutions. That’s resulted in expensive and complex systems and a fractured experience for reps and customers.

We went back to the drawing board and added more than a dozen new products and features to Sales Hub. But there are two game-changing areas of HubSpot’s relaunched Sales Hub that illustrate how we’ve deepened our investment for the industry: the launch of new prospecting tools to help sales development teams be more productive, and our new intelligent deal management tools that leverage HubSpot’s data advantage and AI.

We’ve built a new prospecting workspace that consolidates all of a rep’s prospecting activities into a unified experience. This matters because we’ve identified that productivity is a huge challenge for sales teams—especially in today’s economy. By helping them organize their day, stay focused, and surface urgent tasks, the prospecting workspace will help increase efficiency so reps can focus on customer connection.

Sales Hub’s intelligent deal management and forecasting tools enable sales teams to better prioritize efforts and predict outcomes. Our AI Forecasting uses HubSpot’s predictive AI and a business’ historical sales to project future sales. Early testing showed that AI Forecasting helped some teams improve accuracy up to 95%. Deal insights help reps prioritize their deals based on contextual insights about the health of their pipeline and sales process. Deal tags programmatically categorize deals, enabling reps to better focus.

Sales Hub is just one piece of HubSpot customer platform. It’s built natively on top of our Smart CRM, meaning no data silos, seamless integration of tools, and it’s both easier and less expensive to set up and maintain.

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Why is it becoming more integral for businesses today to connect their prospects and customer’s entire journey through better integrations and systems: what are some of the common flaws you still see B2B brands struggle with?

We spoke to sales leaders and they’re having a tough time— it’s definitely been tougher than usual. 88% of leaders told us that customer connection is the most important—but more than 2/3 are spending most of their time on tasks unrelated to actually selling.

Reps are overloaded with busywork and tedious administrative tasks as they’ve been trying to solve their challenges by scaling ineffective activities. We believe it’s not about doing more, it’s about knowing the most effective next best action to take, and that can only be done if your systems and data are truly connected. Because Sales Hub is built on top of HubSpot’s customer platform and powered by our Smart CRM, each customer’s data is unified across the customer journey, enabling us to deliver the best, most effective insights.

How can sales teams today ensure they are using the salestech they have access to in a more optimized manner: when it comes to training and better salestech orientation: what should leadership be doing to drive this?

In the past, selling was all about doing more: adding more reps, more activity, more technology. We know that the default “more is more” playbook of the past no longer works.

In a shifting economy, budgets are shrinking, deals take longer to close, and prospects are harder to reach.

That’s why it’s so important for sales leadership to choose tools that work for their teams, not against them. Leaders need to make sure that their systems are integrated and unified, with views that are tailored for sales teams, insights that drive better activities and connection, and are easy to use so that sales reps actually use them.

How do you feel the salestech ecosystem is set to move in a new direction with the growing benefits of AI / Generative AI?

AI is changing buyer behavior, and it means prospects will expect more from sales teams. With the cost and time to produce content going effectively to zero, generative AI makes the tactics of the waning “more-is-more” playbook I mentioned earlier easier to replicate than ever before.

If teams misuse AI to create more spam, buyers will only become desensitized and even more disconnected.

But we also know that in the midst of an AI revolution, sales leaders agree that human relationships are what’s most important. The technology they use, AI included, should facilitate that connection.

Read More: Building a Winning Tech Stack for Sales and Marketing Collaboration

HubSpot is the customer platform that helps your business grow better. HubSpot delivers seamless connection for customer-facing teams with a unified platform that includes AI-powered engagement hubs, a Smart CRM, and a connected ecosystem with over 1,500 App Marketplace integrations, a community network, and educational content from HubSpot Academy. Today, over 184,000 customers, like DoorDash, Reddit, Eventbrite, and Tumblr, across more than 120 countries use HubSpot to attract, engage, and delight customers.

Michael Walton is VP Product, Sales Hub, HubSpot

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