“Back in 2011, I had clients asking me if I could help their businesses grow as quickly as my last business venture had grown (I was sales and marketing director at IT company, s2s), but I had to say no!” says Craig Wiltshire, CEO and founder of Struto. “We'd run some seriously effective SEM and online advertising campaigns, but the financial crisis had changed the whole PPC playing field. Then I found HubSpot, read their inbound marketing philosophy and realised it was what my clients had been waiting for.”
Struto became one of the UK’s first HubSpot partners in April 2012, implementing inbound marketing strategies for HubSpot clients. HubSpot was a leading marketing automation platform with big plans, but at that time, no CRM yet. As veteran entrepreneurs, Struto’s founders knew they needed to implement a CRM from early on and signed-up to Salesforce. But it quickly became apparent that Salesforce wasn’t the right fit for us.
The platform was clunky, and our data disjointed. Recording data in Salesforce was painful, with a non-intuitive user experience and lengthy click-journeys required to input or access basic information. Creating a new account record was a painful activity that took too much time away from selling.
With Salesforce you pay per user, so we made the choice to not give our marketing team access to Salesforce. Setting up an integration to pass data between the two platforms went a long way to fixing it, but we rarely had a full overview of a full customer journey. A lack of closed-loop reporting negatively impacted us, as we struggled to report and optimise our marketing strategies using the data we had available.
We found that we were paying for a tier that included functionality that we never used, simply to get access to one or two of that tier’s inclusions. Salesforce was a financial and administrative drain on our sales team.
Our first CRM migration
We moved away from Salesforce shortly after coming to this realisation. We investigated other CRM’s and settled on Zoho CRM. We migrated our data and our sales team was cutover shortly thereafter. While the price was significantly lower, we were still finding our CRM more of a burden than an asset, taking too much time to complete trivial (but necessary) activities. It didn’t support our team to do what they were supposed to do: sell.
HubSpot saves the day
Then, in 2014, HubSpot announced their free CRM, and we got excited! Finally, we’d be able to have our marketing and sales teams operate from one central platform. And it was free! A few months later, we started our second, and last, CRM migration.
During the last six years, we’ve found that the HubSpot CRM supports reps better than any other CRM on the market. It features extensive reporting capabilities to keep sales leaders happy and informed, and enables sales reps to sell by reducing time spent on admin. The CRM includes HubSpot Insights, a tool that auto-populates known data about your prospects and the companies they work for. The pipeline is easy to use and records include a thorough history of every interaction you’ve had with your prospects. Our marketing team is an extension of our sales team, instead of a siloed departments, with clear closed-loop reporting that feeds back into our future strategies.
The additional tools in the Sales Hub supports and enables your team to book meetings quickly, track data on key sales documents and save time with saved email templates and canned snippets. Being able to automate your one-to-one outreach, is a game-changer, and with Sales Playbooks, you can create effective, repeatable processes right in HubSpot.
The HubSpot CRM allows our team to do what we do best. As Craig said:
"I love helping businesses grow: it's what gets me out of bed in the morning. Tangible growth is what I want to see. It's the reason I started Struto in the first place.”
Our Growth Advisors love the HubSpot CRM, too. Here's Ryan Waters on why: