Pay Attention!

In this episode Anis interviews David Barron, Director of Product Strategy & GTM at HubSpot. 

David has been instrumental in taking HubSpot to its status as a global brand. In this episode he shares insights on;
  • The early days at HubSpot and key growth strategies
  • Effective implementation of intent data
  • Transitioning between sales and product roles
  • Retaining top talent
  • Launching new products

Creators & Guests

Anis Bennaceur
Co-Founder and CEO @ Attention
David Barron
Director of Product Strategy and GTM @ Hubspot
Rory McDermott
Growth @ Attention

What is Pay Attention!?

Welcome to Pay Attention, where Attention's CEO and Founder, Anis Bennaceur, interviews some of the smartest minds in sales, growth, and product leadership.

Anis Bennaceur (00:01.774)
Hi David, how's it going?

David Barron (00:03.851)
Good, what's going on?

Anis Bennaceur (00:05.55)
I'm great, I'm great. Very, very excited to have you here today. Ladies and gentlemen, if you're hearing this and watching this, I want to introduce David. David is a legend in the go -to -market space. He's been at HubSpot since the earliest days, having an incredible career going from sales to product to sales and back to product strategy today. And...

So today David is the Director of Product Strategy and Go -To -Market over at HubSpot, has been doing some incredible things, including getting Clearbit over at HubSpot. And David, again, extremely excited to have you here.

David Barron (00:54.539)
Yeah, thank you so much for the wonderful introduction. And I am super excited to chat today.

Anis Bennaceur (01:01.966)
Well, let's start with this question that I like to ask the most. I would love to know about the three pivotal moments in your career that made you where you are today and who you are today.

David Barron (01:17.451)
Okay, so good question. I think what's interesting is two of the three of these actually started or happened very early in my career. So you won't see it on my LinkedIn, but my first role out of college, I was a pharmaceutical sales rep. So outside sales in my territory, three weeks a month, cold calling in person. And I think the thick skin that you develop, cold calling in person is vastly different than the one that...

most of the go -to -market teams in B2B SaaS have today, which is, you know, it can be nerve wracking to pick up the phone and make a dial, but having to walk into an office every day for three weeks, trying to get past an actual receptionist and then trying to sell in person to someone, I think, taught me a lot of lessons about persistence and really built a thick skin. So that's, that's like one experience. The second one was,

um, moving out of sales and kind of working in agency world. And the reason that's pivotal is because I was project managing and product managing and basically understanding how to build software and deliver that to customers working directly with an engineering team. Um, and I think those two seeds basically get me to HubSpot and allow me to move between sales and product to be able to take on new challenges because I understand how software is made.

I think there's probably a question here sometime about, you know, what is advice to sales teams in working with a product org? And I think when you see sales teams, they're like, well, why can't we just build this feature? And I think I have unique experience in that I understand why building software is actually very difficult. And so those asks aren't as simple as some go to market folks seem to think they are. And then a third one, I think, is just my actual transition from sales to

product at HubSpot and being able to see and work with our product leadership team, understand their mindset, understand how at our scale, you have to communicate very clearly and very simply to be able to execute. And so those are kind of the three, what I would say is like big pivotal moments and learnings for me over the last 10, 12 years.

Anis Bennaceur (03:43.15)
That's awesome. There's so much to unpack here. But the first question is, so how did you even pick HubSpot as a company where you wanted to work at?

David Barron (03:53.355)
Um, so I like to say HubSpot picked me. Um, so I was working at, um, a PE backed software company in the Boston area. It was kind of like a consortium of like seven companies mushed together in the dev test space. And, uh, HubSpot reached out to me and they said, Hey, we're going to do this like freemium CRM thing and we need someone who can sell, but also there's going to be some elements of like customer onboarding and product management. I was like, Oh, that's really cool.

And the thing that got me was that I would be working under Mark Roberge. And at the time, you know, Mark had been CRO at HubSpot in the Boston area. At that time, Mark was the go -to sales leader that everyone knew was on the forefront of innovating in sales world. So it was like a no brainer. I'll tell you a funny story about that. I got my offer letter and it had shares in it. And I was like, shares in what? I had no idea.

about any of the concepts of equity or anything like that. It was truly a, wow, this is something new, really interesting and cool, and I get to work on and learn under Mark. And the rest is, yeah, 10 years later, the rest is history.

Anis Bennaceur (05:04.462)
That's incredible. At the time when you joined was kind of like PLG sale because I assume HubSpot was kind of a pioneer in PLG, the PLG motion. There was probably not even that name at the time for that. You guys, yeah, how did you, how did it all start?

David Barron (05:19.147)

David Barron (05:24.043)
Yeah, so right, the letters PLG did not exist in that specific order at the time. We just thought of it as freemium. I think we looked out at the market and how folks were starting to adopt and buy software and in general, just seeing a big shift and HubSpot being an SMB player. We just felt like there was a lot of overlap here. And then you look at the incumbents in the CRM space as we're entering.

The incumbents obviously won't name them, but there's probably one name that comes to mind. And so, yeah, that was really the start of freemium. So we looked at companies like Dropbox Box. I think in the SMB space, we look a lot at Atlassian and Intuit. Much different spaces. I think obviously PLG works really, really well in developer world. It's a tough nut to crack because you really need the networking community effects, but if you crack it,

It goes really well and really fast. So yeah, I think I don't remember if it was OpenView or someone who coined PLG. And I remember reading the first thing with I think it's Kyle Poyer or Blake over there. And I was like, oh, that's like, yeah, we've been doing that for like four years. That's that's what we're doing. So it was nice to have a name to call what we're doing. But yeah, we just thought about it as freemium.

Anis Bennaceur (06:46.19)
Yeah, that makes sense, right? Especially as you guys were focused on the SMB segment, which at the end of the day is how you get so much velocity, right? So focusing kind of on velocity, I'd love to know how you guys managed to bring in 964 logos into HubSpot in one year. What was your secret to success?

David Barron (07:09.227)
Okay, so this is like a, so I will brag for just a second and then I will tell the truth on this stat. So that was actually just me personally. So 964 logos attributed to me personally. Okay, so the truth is, is that we had a very small sales team with very massive distribution. And so this was like, we had launched free CRM in 2014 officially. There were five of us selling it to cover the entire globe.

And a lot of those sales were touchless, right? Because we were running a PLG motion, so people were signing up and going in, and then I would have the responsibility to go upsell. I think realistically, I touched probably 500 or 600 of those customers. All about efficiency and repeatability of process. That's what we were really big on. It's like understanding who, as a human salesperson, who I should be talking to. And so we had this concept that we implemented really early on, which we called like

Tier one, tier two. It was basically firmographic information about the customers coming in and signing up and based on regression on retention and upgrade rates and ASP, it was pretty easy to draw a line. Remember back in 2015, it was super simple. It was like, has more than 10 employees. That's a tier one customer. Like we probably shouldn't spend three hours on the phone with someone who has four employees, likely half a person doing sales.

And so once you figure that out, and then we automated a lot of the top of the funnel. So I was showing up to work every day, 10 half hour meetings on my calendar, discovery demo close in 30 minutes. And when you do that over and over again, every day for a year, you get so incredibly efficient at selling. I will say, I remember some times where I was in team meetings and Mark.

Robear's used to like to run like film reviews. We'd all get in a room and we'd listen to a call and everyone would go around and coach it. And I could spend 15 minutes just talking about why I think that's an incredible practice that everyone should do. But I remember one time he was like, Dave, bring a good discovery to this film review. In the last week, I did not have a good discovery because I was getting so efficient at just short cutting the sales process because I was having the conversation so much. I would skip giant portions of the discovery.

David Barron (09:29.995)
because I knew I didn't have to ask the questions to close the sale. So certainly some bad habits formed throughout that process, but yeah, just efficiency, prioritization, and then just the repeatability of process really helped. And then like product market fit solves almost all problems. We had incredible product market fit and incredible product that got better really quickly. So yeah, I was the benefactor of a lot of really great and smart people and a lot of really great and smart decisions.

Anis Bennaceur (09:56.846)
Yeah, that, I mean, product market fit is the number one thing that you have to nail if you really want to have super linear growth, right? That is, a lot of people kind of forget that and ask me, hey, you guys have been growing so fast, like, what was your secret? First of all, nail product market fit before you do anything else.

David Barron (10:20.459)
Yeah, it really, I really am like a firm believer that product market fit solves almost all problems. And I think over the course of HubSpot's history, like we're very good, very effective, very operationally minded, very data driven, but there are processes that you would look at inside of HubSpot and say, how does a company with this much revenue and this many customers operate in this way? And we can...

make those sacrifices on building overhead into parts of our business because the product is excellent and our customers really love it.

Anis Bennaceur (10:56.366)
What would you say kind of, so you guys had so much inbound, obviously that's the testament of having an incredible product and product market fit, but what would you say were the main funnels of inbound distribution that really got you guys to grow this fast? Was it SEO? Was it kind of referrals? Was it, I mean, it could have been a mix of...

many things, but what was kind of the history of things and what do you, if you had to say this funnel, this part of the funnel was a bit more important than most of the other ones, what would you say it is?

David Barron (11:40.395)
You're probably not gonna like this answer, but the truth is that every 18 months or so it changes. And so I don't know that a lot of people know this, but HubSpot started as a blogging tool, right? Like HubSpot really created the concept of inbound marketing and content marketing. And so in the early days, that was it. I think if you fast forward, you know, four or five years into when we started CRM and the PLG motion there, we were pretty early on Facebook and Google ads as a B2B business.

that was super fruitful for us. And then we made the jump into community and selling through channel and all that sort of stuff. So I think like, you know, we have SEO built up over 18 years. There's stuff we've written about, like, for example, like as we're starting to work on Clearbit, we're like, oh, we actually have a lot of content already that we've written about this space before. And we wrote about it seven years ago and it's been ranking for seven years. And so I think it's like,

You know, you plant the seed and you hope that you see the tree in a few years and live under the shade kind of thing. That is the story. I think we're just always a little bit ahead of where the market is with the best and most effective distribution channels.

Anis Bennaceur (12:56.75)
Yeah, that makes sense. And I think something that's key in what you said is just actually being ahead of everyone else, right? If you're able to implement the newest tactics before everyone else, that's just how you're going to grow faster because then a lot of these tactics and growth hacks just kind of end up being overused and being less effective over time. And I'm sure that you guys were extremely smart and clever at kind of coming up with new things and implementing them, right?

David Barron (13:26.923)
Yeah, and I think you've seen that you've seen this true, right? Like, you know, we've been close for coming on maybe two years and some of the things that you were doing in the early days of attention. And I was looking at it, I was like, wow, this is this is super unique and super interesting. And now you probably look out to other founders and other companies and everyone's doing it. And there's probably four or five SaaS businesses that just built the little piece of process that you did. So, yeah, it's just it's just true. You just have to be.

little bit ahead and that is really just hiring really smart people. Like that's the that's the other thing that saves you a lot on things is just having really smart folks in your organization.

Anis Bennaceur (14:07.502)
Thanks. Yeah. I remember actually two years ago, we were sending emails written out by AI by these large language models before even chat GPT came out. And I was showing that to you and you were like, holy shit, you know that you can build a company out of this. And then the next thing that we were doing was kind of SEO, highly ranking SEO pages with AI that we were creating thousands of pages very quickly that were very much customized. And we were like,

You were like, that's another company that you could create. And now, yeah, you're seeing a lot of YC startups that are doing it, and also everyone is kind of starting to do it too. So how do you get on to the next level of being ahead of the curve, right? Which...

David Barron (14:38.443)
Yeah, yeah.

David Barron (14:54.571)
Yeah, and I think for you all, that's like, when you look at your growth, I think you can draw a straight line to those activities, right? And then you start to get to a certain scale where those things just become part of the operating model and what you're doing, and then you're just kind of stacking channels and stacking different ways to grow on top of that and adjusting in between them.

Anis Bennaceur (15:16.238)
100%. We call it over here growth stacking instead of growth hacking. It's like, hey, you grab something, you leave it there, you keep trying to grow it, and then you stack another layer. I love that. So speaking of being ahead of the curve, everyone today speaks about signal -led outbound, about...

David Barron (15:21.387)
That's right.

Anis Bennaceur (15:41.966)
data intent and obviously intent has been, you know, first party intent, third party intent have been around for a while. But now, you know, that outbound is being less and less effective. Everyone just talks about intent, right? And so over here at Attentions, we're big fans of Clearbit and obviously you are too. What are your main tips for companies looking to implement intent data and being successful with that?

David Barron (16:10.283)
So this is a really good question. I want to actually answer it in a few ways based on how you ask the question. I think the first is with like the explosion in go -to -market software that is AI powered. I think in a lot of cases, what we're doing is actually just giving go -to -market teams more fuel to do bad things with. It's one of the things that I actually really love about attention is like,

A lot of the tooling is built specifically to make the individual and the sales experience much better. I don't know that there is a ton of value in giving a really bad outbound team a way to send more bad messages. And so to me, like there are parts of selling and yes, outbound channels are clogged. Intent is where you start, right? Like spray and pray definitely does not work.

The human time should be spent on the personalization and connection. And intent gives you the way to actually see where you should prioritize your time. Now I'm not saying that you shouldn't use something to help you get started with research or to craft emails, but certainly if you're using a tool to just blast a message based on AI, like I can still tell when I get prospected into, which I do every day.

what was written by a human and what wasn't. And I think you're starting to see like, I would suspect over time, buyers are going to en masse start prioritizing the human written word, because it's like that person took the time and selling and the network effects of building your business are still all about today, at least the humans that are transacting. And like, I don't know if that changes. If we're just going to be like,

AI selling to AI and like, what do we do as the human operators in the business? That's a little bit beyond me to think about today. But yeah, I think that personalization is really important. And in order to do that at a high level, you need the right signal. You need to know who to go after. And intent and buying signals, I think is the clear way to figure that out whether that's obviously first party intent is much easier and much more effective because you're inherently lower down the funnel, but you know, third party intent.

David Barron (18:28.299)
Um, also gives you clear direction, but then it also feeds into a lot of other things in your business. Like who is your actual ICP? Like how, I don't know how many founders you talk to or companies you talk to. It's surprising how little folks understand about their target market and their actual customer and who's a good fit. And so by merging these intent pieces together, you can start to paint this really good picture of prioritization. And that's what it's all about is prioritizing the best fits and then doing.

a really, really strong outreach and building a relationship with those folks.

Anis Bennaceur (19:04.366)
100%. I think one of our sales reps over here was he's an LP in a VC and a bunch of different sales leaders were all talking about intent on a webinar. And out of these 20 people, no one was doing anything out of intent. Most of them were thinking that intent was not.

doing anything for them. But the reality is it's not just one signal that will get you new things. You have to cross these with other elements, right? Like, let's say someone mentions on their LinkedIn profile that they migrated CRMs, that they are hiring someone that is experienced in Metpick. And then the third thing is that they've been visiting your website. The...

accumulation of those different signals will actually get you to not only understand that that prospect might be way lower in the funnel, which is great for you, but also send a very smart and relevant email to that person saying, this is why I think we're going to have a great conversation and we can create a ton of value for you. And most people aren't.

thinking about this the right way, they still even try to spray and pray across just people who have been visiting their website without trying to cross this with other data points.

David Barron (20:34.155)
Yeah. And like, I didn't come here today with you to like pitch Clearbit, but I think one of the, one of the many reasons that we thought Clearbit was a great fit with HubSpot was that concept of all the data that we have in HubSpot to start painting this holistic picture and making our, making the sales and marketing teams a lot more effective at what they're doing. Um, because the incomplete data piece is obviously like a pain for everybody.

And then, but it's to your point, it needs to be merged with all the other things that you know about the individuals or the companies in process from like, they just put out a bunch of wrecks for a specific role that happens to be in the area or vertical that you sell into, mixed with company news, mixed with visiting your website, like you're starting to get a really good picture of they're doing something here that's a really good fit. And that makes that outreach.

if it's personalized and human, much, much more effective.

Anis Bennaceur (21:35.694)
100%. Not only all the public data that you're getting, but even kind of like the private data that you're logging into your CRM at the sales level. So that once you're starting to saturate your, your, your time or your actual market, you can just go back to the closed nurtures and reach back to them with a, a, a combination of private data that you captured in your conversations that actually, actually product like attention can help get into your CRM.

David Barron (22:02.219)

Anis Bennaceur (22:03.918)
But also on the other hand, anything, a new compelling event that is just public and that you can just leverage. And that will help you have some more impactful outbound. That, yeah.

David Barron (22:15.979)
Yeah, I can tell you folks don't look hard enough at the conversations that have already happened within their org and their go -to -market teams. It is surprising, like the gold in them hills, if you have a way to pull the relevant pieces of data out and merge them with what is now true in your business.

Anis Bennaceur (22:38.798)
Absolutely. I could talk about this with you forever. One of the things I wanted to ask you, right? So you've been going from sales to product to sales to product. And I'm pretty sure that whenever you're in product, you're also involved in sales and vice versa, right? First of all, what is kind of your preference when you're working on these things? And second of all,

David Barron (22:42.219)
Yeah, I think so.

Anis Bennaceur (23:08.27)
What tips do you have for someone in sales that's trying to break into product or vice versa?

David Barron (23:16.139)
So did you just ask me if I like sales or product better? Okay, okay. I'm gonna take a political answer here because I have plenty of friends and much respect on both sides of the house. I'll be honest, like my career path at HubSpot, the reason I move around is because I like to work on new things and big hard problems. And so like,

Anis Bennaceur (23:19.054)

David Barron (23:39.403)
If I had stayed in sales and those problems were always persistent for me personally, and the types of things I like to work on, like I might have been in sales this whole time, but I move around based on whatever strategic initiative kind of Venn diagram of like strategic initiative, plus something I'm really interested in doing and doesn't exist yet. That little loop in the middle or circle in the middle of the Venn is what I like to do. For salespeople looking to get into product.

I think you probably need a slight reality check of what being in product and a product manager is actually like. I think it's a, it can be glorified by folks on the outside. It is heavy, grindy work. And a lot of times there's not enough appreciation for those folks. And you're dealing with a lot of stakeholders trying to get through to an engineering team.

to align with them, trying to get through to the rest of your org, trying to tell the story and deliver for customers. It is very, very difficult. I think where it starts and where I've suggested this to folks at HubSpot who are in the sales org or go to market order, like I really want to work in product, start delivering value for product today. If you're talking to customers all day, you have unique insight. And so the big gotcha in that process, I think is, I'm sure you've seen it working with sales teams is,

Sales will just go to product and be like, we need this button in the tool. If you make this button, everything is better. And that is not the way that you talk to a product and engineering team. Your job in the go -to -market org is to concisely understand the problem and articulate that back. And so I remember in my early days in sales, I basically like would have a spreadsheet. I'd be recording my calls and I'd type up notes when I noticed people were having the same types of problems.

And at the bottom, I just have a little blurb, three to four sentences. Here's the specific problem all these people have. Here's all the customers that set it. And then you hand it over, right? Because that is PM work, like to really understand and concisely articulate the problem. And then whatever, like you don't want to be solutionizing as a go -to -market person. That is product and engineering's role here is to figure out the best solution. It's like the Henry Ford quote, right? It's like, if I asked people what they wanted, they would have set a faster horse.

David Barron (25:59.435)
It is totally true. And so yeah, kind of those two things really, really important. It's like, what value can you start delivering to product today to build those relationships and those ties? And then how do you start really understanding and distilling the feedback and the things you're hearing from customers or prospects into an actionable problem that a product engineering team can solve?

Anis Bennaceur (26:20.622)
100%. Right? If a lot of the time these customers will be biased by other features that they've seen at other companies and they might just give you something that might be 60 or 70 % there. But in reality, if you just articulate the problem statement, the use case, the final outcome and benefit to your product team without

Having that bias, they might actually build something that is 10x better than what the customer will kind of suggest, right? And might or might not be the case, but hey, you should not take a bet there. You should actually just go back to first principles.

David Barron (27:04.747)
Yeah, I am totally with you. I think we see it a lot in HubSpot world where like there's this like a problem that continually comes up and then you look at it more closely and you realize, well, what people are asking for isn't actually what they want. It is what they've seen solve their problem, but it's not the optimal or best or simplest solution for them. And then you layer in like, you know, what is the current product context and the jobs to be done for that person and.

I think that's how you end up building, building like actual valuable software that gets used by, by teams.

Anis Bennaceur (27:40.27)
I love that. All right, I want to move on to kind of detecting exceptional talent and filtering for incredible people, right? And, you know, one of the questions I can ahead for you overall is, well, first of all, what do you think is the most common denominator for the best talent that you've brought in so far? And how do you filter for that specifically through your interview questions?

David Barron (28:10.603)
Um, so for me, and this is like me personally, based on the roles I've hired for, I think really understanding someone's intrinsic motivation, like their, their ability to take on challenge and persevere. And so I have kind of a line of questioning around this. Um, and it kind of probes at like what people do outside of work.

And there's some bias that can creep in. So I don't want to start like throwing out a bunch of really like specific interview questions because it's more of like how you flow in the interview process. Um, but like, I'll give you an example on my last team. I was hiring sales reps. Um, and it's like, you know, you do this top layer of disqualification. It's like, did you hit your quota? Like what percentage were you in the list of reps? Like, what was your ranking? Um, but that doesn't really get you too much because.

That's easy to fake, hard to verify. Right? So I would just kind of probe around what people do like outside of work, like what motivates you. And I had someone I remember really specifically, he was like, I run marathons. I was like, oh, cool. Like, have you run in any like big ones? He's like, no, I don't run in official marathons. I run marathons on my own. Like, whoa. Okay. So that is someone who like has something they're super passionate about that is, that is quite.

difficult, like, you know, I don't like running, so I can't relate at all. But you just kind of start seeing this picture of someone who is doing something really, really difficult. And it doesn't have to be sport or anything. I remember we hired someone in the early days of HubSpot CRM, who's kind of like this hybrid support service onboarding. And we're like, what do you do in your spare time? He's like, oh, my brother and I are rebuilding a boat engine for our boat. You're like, okay, cool.

That's really amazing. And you can kind of draw parallels between the role you're looking to fill and the attributes of the person against possible success. And then maybe as like a bonus question for sales leaders who are hiring, I always ask, what's a piece of feedback that you constantly receive that never sticks? Because it shows what is someone's potential weakness as a seller. So I can say like mine.

David Barron (30:33.195)
I always lead with mine because it's a hard question for people to wrap their heads around. And mine is always, I never stayed consistent with my discovery. As I mentioned earlier with you, I would shortcut it because I knew I could. And so that was like every feedback and coaching call I got for two years at HubSpot was like, Dave, like this was a good call, but like you didn't ask the second or third level question. Why didn't you do that? Would I have sold more? For sure. It was great feedback and it was the right feedback. And so I want to understand.

what feedback someone is getting and not applying. And then I want to hear the rationale for why they're not applying it as well. And you would be surprised because some people respond with, yeah, my manager just doesn't know anything. I'm like, cool, disqualified. Like, even if that's true, that is not a comment I would ever want someone to make on one of my teams, because that is not a productive or useful comment or view of the world. So yeah, that's my kind of two buckets of importance.

Anis Bennaceur (31:31.79)
I love that for those listening to us, I have a very similar question. When I start any single employee candidate interview, which is described yourself and your life and who you are today through the main failures that you've had. Right. And if they describe fake failures, I know from the first three minutes that the interview is going to not last a long time and you're not going to be honest about the whole conversation. So I think we're very much aligned there. So.

My follow -up question to that is like when you know when you grow as a company you like HubSpot has the types of profiles that you attract in the earlier stages are extremely different from the ones that Come later on right both from a risk appetite, but also a mindset perspective so Overall, like how do you manage to retain the best talent and the I would say kind of the best earliest talent over the years outside?

or in addition to salary and titles.

David Barron (32:36.843)
There's like two pieces here. I think the truth is like you don't. Like over time, the people who've been at a company the longest will slowly a trip out because I believe that you are a small company person or a big company person. And for better or for worse, as you scale, that does mean more overhead in your day to day role because communication.

and ties between orgs become even more important when you're trying to deliver something across in HubSpot's case, like 200 ,000 customers across the globe and 8 ,000 employees. You can't just ship stuff. It just doesn't work. I think the other thing is like the mission and vision has to be super clear from the leadership team. I think that is one of the things and one of the reasons HubSpot has been so successful over the years. Very clear mission, very clear.

vision of what the company is and where it is going and who we are serving. And does that change? Sure. But the ethos are the same. And that is anytime we talk to it, like our founders speak or our CEO speaks, it's like, you see the slide every time. And if you were attached to that vision and mission at the beginning, you're probably still attached to it now as time moves on and the company evolves. And I think that creates a retention lever.

you know, obviously in addition to title and promotions and recognition and compensation obviously makes a difference for folks. But I mean, we have people who have been at HubSpot a long time that leave constantly. And I think it's an evolution of them wanting a new challenge. And I think maybe in very small cases, just like not aligned to the mission anymore. Like, you know, when you work at the same mission for 10 years, I think the only people you can expect to do that are the

or the founders, right? Like if you're going to start a company, you have to expect to be on that mission for a long, long time. As you, as you know.

Anis Bennaceur (34:36.046)
Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. Kind of like, you know, tied to the vision, the mission. And one question that I really like to ask is, what do you think is kind of like the unique insight, your secret on the world that you think that very few people get right? It could be anything around good and market, and it could be anything around the business world, or just anything.

David Barron (34:59.531)
Okay, so I will answer this from my specific context in my career at HubSpot, which is if you boil down my HubSpot career, really what I work on is launching new products. And so I think there's two unique insights that I have there. One is I don't think people launch a second product early enough. I think you end up creating a pretty bloated first product. And then I think you have an opportunity to actually like unbundle a lot.

earlier than you think to provide very specific value to a very specific job to be done or persona or bundle those things together to get better mechanics. And then I believe that the way you successfully launch new products is by building at least one new feature in what I call like the end plus one product. So any product that's not the core first one that provides passive or easy value to your existing customer base. Right? So the example I give here is I worked on our service up or a help desk ticketing tool.

as we were going to launch it in a year past launch. So we're building a help desk. It's like, cool, Zendesk does that, Front does that, Intercom has a version of it. Great, our customers already use those tools. And one of the things we realized is that, well, surveys, which is pretty easy to build and a pretty simple functionality, can be used by marketing teams to do better customer marketing and to do it.

to do NPS and all that sort of stuff. And so we built that in Service Hub. And so for our customers who weren't a fit for help desk yet, we were still able to sell them Service Hub because they could use this one feature and it was the value was super easy to understand and super easy to get, super easy to adopt. And it played in really nicely with the other products that we had. And so yeah, those are kind of the two things like seriously look at launching a second SKU or a second access on pricing.

probably pretty early and even if you decide it's not a good fit, like I think people wait too long and then when you do that, what is the passive value so you can bundle that back in really easily to the thing you're already selling?

Anis Bennaceur (37:06.638)
That's really interesting. And didn't you get any pushback from, you know, clients or prospects who said, Hey, we were really using these other tools. Sure. There's this one feature that they don't have, but there's all the other overlap. How would you deal with that?

David Barron (37:23.339)
Yeah, I mean, I think we deal with it every time we launch a new product, which is if you've been a customer for a long time, you say, well, why can't I just get this for free? And I like from the customer's point of view, I can understand that. I think the real secret sauce here is how you align the price to value with the new products and what your bundling mechanics look like. So we're getting kind of like deep into like pricing and packaging world. But for us, when we launched Service Hub,

you could buy all of our products together with Service Hub for a very low additional dollar value. And so that low additional dollar value we thought matched with what you would get with that survey feature. And that's kind of how we do it over time. And that's actually better for the customer because they're using more of how we designed the platform to be used, which is kind of all together. And they're not paying too much more for it. And the other great piece of that is when they're ready to adopt

the rest of that feature set on that new product, they already have it. Like we are already there. And so it's really easy for say, someone to say, oh, we're using Helpdesk over here. I haven't looked at your Helpdesk tool in three years. It looks pretty good. What do I need to start using it? You already own it. So like, what can we do to help you get set up? And then you start that like really nice loop of usage and value and...

upgrades and upsells and usage and value and upgrades and upsells and that's how you spin the flywheel.

Anis Bennaceur (38:53.422)
That makes sense. No wonder you guys grew so fast and have sold so much, your entire customer base as well. Awesome. David, last question here. Who are the top three sales product growth leaders that you'd like to shout out and that you'd like to see as guests on this podcast?

David Barron (39:17.163)
Okay, so I had to, like candidly, you know, as you know, I have a newborn and I like was deep in acquisition of Clearbit for the back half of last year. And then I was on parental leave. So I'm not really consuming a ton of content at the moment, just trying to like survive day to day with no sleep and a newborn and a two year old. My two, one would be Sam Richard who leads growth at Engrock.

Um, I think she is incredibly insightful, incredibly smart. She ran the growth team at open view prior to moving over to NGROC. I think, uh, obviously NGROC is on fire as a business. Like that is PLG at its core. As I said earlier, they have the perfect persona. They've cracked the nut on it. Um, I think she's really great. And then on the revenue side, I don't know, do you know Kyle, Kyle, uh, Norton? Um, so he's the CRO at, um, order. And I think.

you know, we have this conversation about intent earlier. I think he thinks about it the right way. I think he gets it. And he puts out some pretty phenomenal content. So both, if you had both of those folks on, I would certainly listen and watch.

Anis Bennaceur (40:29.87)
I'll definitely reach out to them. David, thank you so much. This was incredible. I loved every minute of our conversation and I'll see you soon. Thanks, bye.

David Barron (40:38.411)
Okay, sounds good.