In this episode of the B2B Digitized Podcast, you’ll be introduced to Kyle Jepson, Senior Inbound Sales Professor at HubSpot based in Boston. Kyle will share his thoughts on B2B and inbound marketing, specifically focusing on how marketing and sales can work together more closely.
Kyle produces educational content for HubSpot Academy, which is the worldwide leader in inbound marketing and sales education, transforming the way people and companies grow through online courses, projects, certifications, and software training.
Listen to the full episode of the B2B Digitized Podcast to learn more about:
- Finding patterns in sales research to learn what’s working and what’s not
- Focusing your website content on what your customers need
- Repurposing frequently sent sales emails into videos
- Starting small and basic content sharing
- Supporting the company’s sales team through marketing
- Upskilling digital marketers with HubSpot’s sales certification courses
Watch the Podcast Interview
Listen to the Podcast Interview
Kyle has advice on where B2B companies that are new to digital or inbound marketing should start:
“HubSpot has been doing inbound marketing for more than a decade. We have enormous resources. That is not where you should start. Many people get ahead of themselves. They see companies that are really great at content, and they want to get straight to that. But you can start pretty small and inexpensively. With content, the main thing you need to focus on is understanding what it is your customers need and why they come to you. When it comes to your product, there's always going to be some competitor who is cheaper than you or maybe even has a better product than you. But you can really own content and education. You are an expert in something, right?”
Kyle also talked about creating and sharing video content:
“If you are going into video, and you have a little bit of money to spend, my pro tip is to invest in audio before you invest in video. The webcam I'm on right now is fine. And I'm wearing a headset for the audio. Get a good microphone. You don't need a super fancy camera. You don't need lighting right away. Focus on audio initially for your first set of videos.”
Kyle also shared where he thinks B2B is heading over the next one to three years:
“I think we're going to see B2B, in a lot of cases, becoming much more transactional. The ability to purchase things through a website or to try things out for free is going to become far more common... self-service sorts of things. I think B2B purchases will stop being this enormous, six-month sales cycle sort of thing. We're going to find ways to break it down, to make it happen more gradually in smaller pieces, free or inexpensive bits all culminating in that big purchase, instead of just being one big transaction, that's negotiated over the course of several months.”
All of this and more is discussed in this episode of the B2B Digitized Podcast. To learn more about Kyle and contact him with any questions about the topics discussed, you can find him on LinkedIn or through HubSpot’s website.
Lightly Edited Transcript
Joshua Feinberg: I am Joshua Feinberg from the B2B Digitized Podcast. Today I have with me today. A very special guest with me, Kyle Jepson, who is a senior inbound sales professor at HubSpot Academy in Boston. Kyle, welcome to the podcast.
Kyle Jepson: Yeah, thank you. Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here.
Joshua Feinberg: I'm excited for you to be here as well. And I've known you for quite some time, but I think it would be super helpful if you could start by giving our viewers and listeners some context on how you ended up in your current role at HubSpot Academy, what were you doing before that? What was the journey that led you to this place of being an evangelist for reinventing the sales profession?
Kyle Jepson: Yeah, for sure. So I guess one relevant piece of information while I was an undergrad when I was in college, I got married. And my plan was always to graduate and go straight to grad school. But my wife was a year behind me in school. So when I graduated, I had this year I had to kill before I could go off to grad school. And I joined this SaaS company, kind of a late-stage startup. They were building out their first inside sales team and I was hired onto that team. And it was rough. I did not excel. And part of that was, I understand now, their approach to sales was not ideal. They were scraping names and phone numbers off of the internet. And just feeding that up to me. I was calling people, I should not have been calling people. We were selling online tools for apartment complexes. And sometimes I would call people and get into my pitch and realize this is a tenant of the apartment complex. They don't actually have any say with the apartment, it drove me crazy, it made me cringe. But I really liked the company. So I moved from sales into customer service, sort of a CSM role, and really enjoyed that and then helped found their technical support team. And I ended up staying at the company for three years just because I found the whole thing so enjoyable and I was learning and growing so much and the company was doing great things. But ultimately I decided I still wanted to go to grad school. So, I left that job. We moved to Boston. And I went to grad school at Boston University, got a Master's degree in Linguistics. The most important thing I learned is that I don't like grad school, no offense to higher ed, but after spending three years at a tech startup, it just seemed so slow and rigid. And I needed something faster-paced and more adaptable. And so I decided to leave higher ed, which made me sad because I loved teaching. I loved research. That's what I wanted to do. But we had fallen in love with Boston. I looked around at tech companies here quickly fell in love with HubSpot and joined their support team in the summer of 2015. And at that point, HubSpot had just launched their CRM at the Inbound event previous to that. So it had been out less than a year, had its own little dedicated support team for the CRM and a couple of sales tools we had at the time, which we called sidekick. And that's where I started. It was just this little sales team, the support team, the engineering team for these sales tools, which were an experiment at that point. We operated like our own little startup within the company. But fast forward, six or eight months the sales products are taking off. People are liking them. And so our CEO, Brian Halligan announced you were going to stop operating like two companies. We're going to have one support team, one sales team, one engineering team, and the HubSpot Academy is going to start teaching sales stuff. And the people on the Academy team at that point were shocked and overwhelmed. Because they'd only been teaching marketing things. Most of them hadn't even seen or used the CRM at that point. And so they asked my manager if there was anyone on their team that they thought would be into this? And he said I know Kyle wanted to be a professor, so he'd probably be interested. And so I came over and this is early 2016. I joined the Academy team and my initial heading was just to teach people how to use the CRM. And as a support rep who had been teaching people to use the CRM, that was pretty easy for me, but then that slowly expanded into teaching sales strategies. And I had a short and miserable failed career in sales a few years earlier. That was really daunting to me. But what I quickly learned is that there are lots of experienced sales practitioners out there who are happy to tell you how to do things the way they do things, right? They say this is how I beat the quota every month. You can be like me if you just pay me money and I'll tell you what I do instead because I can not claim my own expertise as I operate as a sales researcher. I talked to a whole bunch of different sales reps who were having success. I talked to a whole bunch of different sales managers who are having success. I talked to a whole bunch of different VPs and CEOs and just anyone in the company that's doing well, who will talk to me. I ask them what they're doing, what mistakes have they made. What is working, what's not working. And then I can find these patterns that exist out in the world and package them together into education. And it's no longer, this is just my opinion. This is no longer just a, it works for me in my career. So maybe it'll work for you too. This seems to be a lot of the way the modern world operates. And that combined with HubSpot's, intense focus on inbound, our helpful approaches, our flywheel model of business.We roll it all together and it helps a lot of people in various sales roles sell better.
Joshua Feinberg: Yeah, I think it's been super effective and I was just going back a little bit down memory lane and thinking about that time, like 14, 15, when the CRM had just come out. And I remember specifically giving feedback a number of times, when is there going to be training on how to use the CRM. There were almost no knowledge base articles that I remember. Getting two different invoices really made it feel like two distinct companies. And I remember talking to one of my friends from our HubSpot User Group (HUG) who had figured out how to use HubSpot as a CRM, even before it actually was a CRM. And there was just like a huge shortage of tools and training, but I knew at some point Academy would end up putting some resources into this, but what you've done has just been phenomenal. I was just thinking, as you were describing, going out and curating all these great experts, when the original version of the sales management course came in, what was there like eight or 10 or 12 different subject matter experts in there? It's fantastic.
Kyle Jepson: Thanks. Yeah. So I, in 2017 so I've been on the team a few years.
We had some base level education in there about sales. And I had this realization, HubSpot Academy teaches a lot about marketing and HubSpot has marketing tools. HubSpot Academy teaches a lot about sales and we have sales tools and we imply that the two should work together since we offer one platform that has both, but we didn't explain how to make that happen in reality. And so I said to my leaders, the heads of HubSpot Academy I think we should create a course that teaches sales and marketing how to work together. And they said to me, okay, how do you make sales and marketing work together? I said I don't know. And me and a guy, Steven, on the video team here at HubSpot, we basically just took a camera and interviewed anyone who would talk to us who was a leader at any sort of company, just to hear their horror stories about marketing and sales not working together or their success stories about marketing sales, working together effectively and figuring out what that looked like and packaging it together. And that eventually became what is now known as the Sales Enablement Certification, because the patterns that emerge about how a marketing team can support a sales team around content and training and these sorts of things all kind of fall under this umbrella of sales enablement just counter-intuitive because usually sales enablement is handled by someone in the sales department, but I think there's a real opportunity for marketing to, to add a lot of value there. And so we published that course in late 2017. And there's this guy, Cory Bray. He and Hilman Sorey are great. They wrote this book called the Sales Enablement Playbook. It's short, it's pithy, it's super actionable. They write a lot of really short, really helpful books on sales-related things. He showed up on some internet forum somewhere, somewhat a couple of days after sales enablement certification went live. Someone posted, hey, HubSpot just released a sales enablement course, anyone taking it, and Corey hops on it says I've taken it. It's terrible. I hate it. Here are all the things that are wrong with it. And I was crushed but I was like, who is this guy? I look up and see, he's written a book and I read his book and I was like, Oh man. This book is actually really good. This is someone whose opinion I value. So, I got in contact with them and I said, Hey, loved your book. Just want to let you know. I think it's great. By the way, I’m the guy who headed up a sales enablement course. You were not a fan of, I would love your input on how we can make it better. And he was just floored and he said, wow, thank you. I'm so sorry. Are there things that are good? I think the main thing I was offended by is you focus so much on marketing. You didn't talk about all the things the sales team has to do for itself. And he came up with a list of five or six things. And so then we did the same thing, set up a camera, interviewed him. I asked him, who else should I be talking to? He sent me off to people in his network. And that's where the sales management course came from. It came out. Less than a year later. And it was just this follow-up to here's the stuff we missed in the sales enablement course. And those two courses together, I find a lot of people seem to take them together. We don't package them that way, but I think just organically they cover related enough topics and have the same look and feel that people take them together. And then you get this really holistic approach to what a sales team can do for itself, to improve itself over time in the sales management course, and then what the marketing team can do to add additional value there in sales enablement. And it is just so fantastic that. That just started as a question I had, we had internally, how do you get marketing and sales to work together? And as I went out and talked to people, we discovered so many companies are asking the same question. And so many of them have a piece of the puzzle, right? They find one little thing that works, but they're not noticing this other thing over here. And as you pull it all together, it comes together into this really pretty remarkable piece of content.
Joshua Feinberg: I think part of it too, is the more of a startup kind of environment you work in where everyone's expected to be really resourceful. The more critical it is for marketing to have a little bit of hands-on day in the life experience of what sales is going through and vice versa. So it's almost as if you could just get your sales team to not only go through some of the sales resources but take the one-on-one like the intro to inbound marketing and vice versa. If he could just get the inbound marketers to take the inbound sales training program, a couple of hours there to understand the best practices they'd be in so much better shape to be better team members, a better drive, right?
Kyle Jepson: Yeah, for sure. I spent a lot of time on LinkedIn. People post their certifications they get from HubSpot Academy and I try to congratulate everyone and I'm surprised how often they are marketers, right? Their title on LinkedIn is digital marketer or whatever or marketing intern even. And here they are inbound sales certification and I'll ask them like, Oh, why don't you take it? What did you learn? They're like, Oh, I understand so much better. Now what the sales team is doing. I find salespeople are a little less inclined to do that sort of empathy, kind of research. I think they're just heads down and under a quota and it's hard for them to look up and. Do any sort of personal enrichment, but I do occasionally find salespeople taking just the inbound course or like a sales enablement or even a social media marketing certification. And I think anytime anyone does that, not just marketing and sales, if you can invest some time in understanding what your colleagues need to do not so you can tell them what to do, but so you can understand better what they're trying to do. I think that goes a long way.
Joshua Feinberg: I think too, at some point with getting rid of the potential for silos, having that buy-in from the top down in a small company, it'd be a CEO in a larger company would probably be someone in a senior role. That's a champion of the whole thing of bringing everyone together is so critical. I remember a couple dozen of us went down to Richmond, maybe five or six years ago at Marcus Sheridan. While he was still actively building Sales Lion led a great workshop with a couple of dozen HubSpot partners, specifically around this, on leading great workshops and getting the sales and marketing and CEO all working together to buy into the whole idea of using content. And it was before They Ask You Answer. But it's the same basic idea.
Kyle Jepson: Yeah, man, I'm seriously envious. I was not invited to that.
Joshua Feinberg: It was good. So what I wanted to get your thoughts on today is for someone that is brand new to B2B marketing, B2B sales, but is thinking that digital content inbound needs to be a core part of their playbook. Where would you tell them to start? What's supercritical for a beginner to focus on this brand or to B2B?
Kyle Jepson: Weird piece of advice here. Don't really it don't come to me HubSpot's website and see what HubSpot is doing. Right? HubSpot has been doing inbound marketing for more than a decade. We have enormous resources we put into it. Now that is not where you should try to start. I think a lot of people get ahead of themselves. They see the companies that are really great at content and they want to get straight to that and you can start pretty small and pretty inexpensive. With content. I think the main thing you need to focus on is just understanding what it is your customers need. What is it they come to you for and understanding too, that, when it comes to your product there's always going to be some competitor who is cheaper than you? There's always going to be some competitor who has a better product than you do. But you can really own content and education. You are an expert in something, right? Your sales team, especially. As they're on the phone or however they communicate with your leads, they hear the questions and the problems that people are trying to address. They hear the solutions they've tried that haven't worked, they hear the dilemmas they're stuck in as they try to choose between option A and option B. And that is what people come to your sales team for. That's what they need help sorting through. If you can package some of that into online education written content or video content that will go a really long way. And your sales reps today, I can almost guarantee you have emails that they write the exact same email over and over day in and day out. If they're smarter, they have some sort of template tool, but still, they're sending the same email over and over to answering these same questions day in and day out. And if you could just have them take a five-minute break and turn on their webcam and record a video explaining answers to freak one of your frequently asked questions and put that on YouTube. Now you have content, right? And it didn't take you long to make, and it's not fancy and it's not polished, but if it's helpful, it'll resonate. And that's then a resource that either your marketing team and your sales team, when they get questions like, Hey, you know what, we have a helpful video on that, send it on over or a blog post. If you want to take the time to write it up, whatever form the content is in, and then you have one piece of content, and you can do that over and over again. And start to build out this library. This is very much the Marcus Sheridan approach. I realize now, as I'm saying it but just like answering these questions that's where you can begin and you can do, you can take our content marketing course and learn a lot about content strategy and you can take our SEO course and learn about that. And you should invest in all those things. But I think before you do any of that, just backing up and understanding who your customer is and what it is they want help with. And then helping them help themselves is going to build a level of trust with your brand. That that is really the precursor to having a steady flow of customers in the digital space. And that, yeah. Anyway, that was a long answer. I think the short answer is just to start small and start cheap. I filmed my lessons here at home, I have a fancy DSLR camera and it has a teleprompter housing. But when the pandemic first hit a year ago, I was recording my lessons on an iPad. And they were fine. They work. And it's nice that I work at a company that has the resources to invest in bells and whistles. But if you're just looking to educate people, your smartphone will probably do the job. If you need to record a video or your webcam I post totally unscripted, short little videos on LinkedIn all the time, and they help people a lot. And I've realized you don't need high production value. You don't need a huge investment of money or time. To create content that makes a difference. And thinking of it in that way. I think we'll take some of the edge off of trying to jump into the water, right? Oh, it seems so intimidating. How can we afford this? Who's got the skills to write a blog post worthy of a Pulitzer Prize. Maybe nobody, but don't worry about that. Just start and then you can improve over time.
Joshua Feinberg: I think some of the silver lining of the past 12 months we've gone through is going back four or five years ago when I talked about video content with clients, they all of a sudden tensed up and they were thinking that they needed a videographer for the day. And it was going to be a $5,000 video. And now people are super comfortable realizing that Zoom and GoToMeeting and WebEx and all these other teams are the studios essentially. Hey, you can buy some bells and whistles, but like a couple of hundred dollars can really check off the box to get you exactly. And at some point, it becomes more of a strategic issue than tools and tactics.
Kyle Jepson: And if you are going into video and you do have a little bit of money to spend my, my pro tip there is invest in audio before you invest in video like this webcam I'm on right now is fine. And I'm wearing this headset it's for the audio. The audio is probably not awesome. I do have a fancy mic I could use, but then you would pick up my son who is in his first-grade Zoom right now. But it's just as long as people can understand the words you're saying, the video piece is secondary. You don't need a super fancy camera. You don't need lighting and things. At least not for your first set of videos.
Joshua Feinberg: So that's great advice that people when they think about emulating HubSpot from 2008 to 2010.
Kyle Jepson: Absolutely. Everybody has to start there. We didn't start where we are today. HubSpot Academy. Grew out of this thing called content camp. And it was, I, it was webinars, it was not prerecorded. I don't even think there was a video portion. I think it was just like voiceover slides, and look here we are today. I remember growing up it's an extended metaphor here. I got lots of advice from like church leaders and people like teachers at school and stuff who would say, look at your parents today, they have a house, they have a car, they have all this nice stuff you need to remember when you become an adult, you won't start there. You will be living in a small and dirty apartment and eating tortillas, and then you grow from there, and as a kid that was just like, yeah, I get it. Okay. That's obvious. But I think in every aspect of our life, we do that, right? When we go into a career, we want to be great at it. The first day, when we, when our company launches digital marketing, we want it. We want to be awesome at it the first day. And that's just not the way life works. You start small, you start basic, you start rudimentary and you grow from there. I saw it. I forget who posted it. Someone on LinkedIn recently posted a quote saying if your old work doesn't make you cringe, you're not growing. And I think that's an important thing to remember, right? Like you don't have to make something today that you will be proud of forever. You just need to make something today that you can build on tomorrow. And so that's my advice there.
Joshua Feinberg: I remember right around the time we started using HubSpot, which would have been the summer of 2010, Brian Halligan was actually still doing webinars and was still blogging and talking about how the blogging process that they were utilizing. Companies at the stage where there are a few dozen employees. It's very much an all-hands-on-deck with getting the content marketing. So thinking about now, someone that's been at this for quite some time, maybe they've had HubSpot been doing content inbound digital for five or 10 years, and they had a really tough year the last year. And they're trying to reset and get back on track. But what advice would you offer to someone to relaunch and get their content and whole digital program for B2B back on track?
Kyle Jepson: I think my advice would be very much the same as my advice for the new people. I think there's this tendency with digital marketing to, as you grow, start making improvements and investments that your customer doesn't feel right. Those bells and whistles, I was talking about. Do people get any more learning out of a HubSpot Academy video that is filmed on a DSLR camera versus one filmed on an iPad? Probably not. There are things, there are reasons internally that are advantageous to us. It makes the editing process much easier. And so that's why we invested in it. And we think the end result looks better. But as far as education goes, We need to be focusing like me and the other professors on the team need to be focusing on what topics do we need to be teaching? How can we teach them better? How can we make them clearer, more accessible? And I think the same applies to all sorts of digital transformation things. If you're looking at your website or if you're looking at your blog, or if you're looking at your social media strategy or your education or your video or whatever you do in your digital strategy And you're looking for ways to make improvement. You've got to tie yourself back to what it is you're trying to help that customer do. Otherwise, you'll make improvements, that make your website prettier, maybe. But don't necessarily make it more accessible or useful. I feel like all the time. These days this seems to have happened recently. I don't know if this is like a milestone for me getting older, not that I'm super old, but like I visit websites all the time now and I can't find what I'm looking for because they've invested so much in a cool design, things are moving as I'm scrolling and there are different colors and the menus are all over the place and things appear and disappear. And I just want to know where the information I'm looking for is. I don't care if it's a single column of unformatted text if the information I'm looking for is there. That's what I want. And if you've got all these cool transitions, when I click buttons and add different colors and things, that's fun. But if it makes it harder for me to find what I'm looking for, that's actually a step backward. And so I think design is important. I don't mean to say design is not important. I think if you're in a position to invest in design, but make sure you're investing in usable accessible design. That user experience is very important and just surfacing the things that people are looking for, prioritizing the things that they want and need should be your top priority always. So whether you have been in a bit of a slump and you're resurfacing, or, if your Zoom and this pandemic is the best thing that's ever happened to you I think just never losing sight of what it is you're trying to help people do. What is it that people come to your website to accomplish? Make that the main purpose of it, not the brand colors and the coolest transitions as we're scrolling and clicking and that sort of thing.
Joshua Feinberg: It's interesting. As I remember, years ago, we had a number of, or have heated conversations at the user group at the HUG meetings about this very issue. And a lot of times internal marketers were butting heads with it that was controlling the website. And I think a lot of times what ended up happening is they just didn't want to burn the political capital on owning the main website. And they did their thing just really aggressively on the blogs and on the landing pages and on email and social and let all that stuff play out. But when I think about the whole growth-driven design movement and being able to optimize and really do true conversion rate optimization and everything, it's really hard to eventually have to confront the battle of making sure the strategy on the site aligns with everything else that's been doing.
Kyle Jepson: Yeah, for sure. And everything I just said is a bit of a hot take, I guess even internally HubSpot has an internal Wiki for employee information. And there's been a lot of design investments in that recently. And I don't know, six months ago or something, I was just posting a short, informational post. I ran it by my manager first. Hey, is this okay? Oh yeah, but here we have this fancy new template. Can you just use the template? And then there's like multiple columns and things are in different spots. And for me, I published it. I was just like, I wrote this thing and I'm confused by it now. I don't know which piece of text I was supposed to read first and it looks nice, but it's not as readable. Anyway, I suppose I'm old-fashioned in this regard, but if you're marketing to me, keep your website simple.
Joshua Feinberg: When we think about simple, you have the advantage in working with a team of Academy professors, where there's still very much more resources going into the marketing side than in the sales side, but you're very much infused with that. When you think about the strategy that takes someone through the journey, and they move through awareness, consideration, and decision, what do you think is super important for people to keep in mind to get that right aside from just the basic awareness of contextualizing what they're creating content around?
Kyle Jepson: Definitely contextualizing is really important. But when I think about the inbound methodology, which for anyone who is not familiar with the really short version is there are three stages. You attract people, you engage with them, and then you delight them so much that they attract other people to you. Word of mouth goes out and it accelerates that. Of course, I would never say anything disparaging about the inbound religion that's certainly, or the inbound methodology is the religion of HubSpot. But like the word delight is the one that stands out to me. And I think at every phase of everything you're doing, you should be delighting people, right? Why can't it be enjoyable for someone who first lands on your website and is navigating and learning about your company? Why can't there be delight moments in that, why can't it be a delightful experience when they're on the phone with your sales rep and negotiating pricing or whatever, how do you make this enjoyable at every step? Or at least beneficial. And then, at the end, when you actually deliver your product, yes. That absolutely should delight them so that they go out and tell other people. But the sales team is pretty fantastic and we get emails occasionally from people who were just like, wow, we really thought we were going to go with your competitor, but then your salesperson was just so nice. And that salesperson was trying to stiff-arm me into buying something I didn't know if I wanted it. And that's why I went with HubSpot because the guy was just so nice, and I think that's real. I think that really matters. People in a B2B setting your potential clients or customers or whatever you call them are looking for a partnership of some sort. They're looking for someone who can help them succeed in whatever their job is. And so you've got to make them feel that you're invested that you care about them from the very beginning. There should not really be any part of that, the funnel or flywheel or cycle, or however, you think about it, where they feel like they're jumping through hoops for you. You should be the one it, serving them from the beginning. And I think that is true at every stage, beginning, middle, and end.
Joshua Feinberg: The usability and even that whole concept with the frictionless sales, it scratches the itch of people that are just doing so much more research on their own that they don't want to talk to a salesperson anymore. They want to talk to a salesperson after they've done all the research and they're going to bring tough much tougher questions than they would have five or 10 years ago. Because they can get all the easy answers before they ever get there.
Kyle Jepson: And hopefully, like again, backing up our conversation, invest in that. Make sure you are providing those answers. If they come to your website and you don't have answers to their questions, they'll go to someone else's website and then they might never come back.
Joshua Feinberg: What are your final thoughts on where you think B2B is headed? What's the big thing that you think that you see changing in the next one to three years with B2B, that's going to catch a lot of companies off guard and where the ones on the leading edge are already starting to figure out?
Kyle Jepson: I think we're going to see B2B in a lot of cases becoming much more transactional. I think the ability to purchase things through a website or to try things out for free is going to become far more common. Self-service sorts of things in B2B. Some B2B things, right? If you are negotiating a long-term contract that is worth millions of dollars, there's always going to be in-person interactions there. And I do not believe that the end of B2B salespeople is anywhere in sight. I don't think we should want it to be. I think salespeople can add a huge amount of value, but I think many companies will find smaller offerings for events or for consultations or something e-commerce feel will appreciate it. And you'll find more and more self-service just in general. So whether that's those smaller transactions that can be paid for through the website or if it's live chat or chatbots answering questions in real-time or whatever the case may be. I think B2B purchases will stop being this enormous, six-month sales cycle sort of thing, where we are investing and in conversations and at the end you sign and then you get everything. I think we're going to see it broken down into little bite-sized pieces, and these are the bits you get for free. And these are the bits that are self-service. And these are the bits that you just transactionally pay with a credit card through a website, just like B2C sellers do. And then, it all builds up in the end to that big purchase. But I just think we're going to find ways to break it down, to make it happen more gradually and smaller pieces, free bits, inexpensive bits all culminating in that big purchase, instead of just being one big transaction, that's negotiated over the course of several months.
Joshua Feinberg: Yeah, no, that makes a lot of sense. I don't remember the exact data, but I know a lot of the VCs that are big on SaaS have looked at the lifetime value where a company can afford to do inside sales. What's the lifetime value where a company can afford to do field sales. And then now what we've gone through the last 12 months, the whole field sales model has been rethought. Like he's still with the conventional wisdom is get close to a six-figure deal without flying out to the prospect and visiting them in person. But somehow, companies have managed to close six figures, seven-figure deals over Zoom.
Kyle Jepson: Yeah. And I'll be really interested to see how that shakes out. Once we are all safe and healthy and we're able to go back to flying around and being in person without fear or restrictions or danger of any sort, I assume the answer is a qualified yes. I think there will still be times that are valuable and that we do invest in that. But I hope every company will be a lot more thoughtful about if the sales rep talks to them over Zoom, instead of us having to pay tickets and lodging and fancy restaurant bills where can we reinvest that money in other ways that our customers will actually appreciate even more. And the answers to that are they remained to be seen. That's a big TBD, but you said one to three years, I bet. In one to three years, we're starting to see some patterns and answers emerge there.
Joshua Feinberg: After every big economic shock, the housing collapse in 2008 and following 9/11, there was just so much transformation that happened with it, prior to it, early generation WebEx, more video-conferencing more digital, the emergence of the smartphone, social cloud, consumerization of it, all of these were largely happening at the same time. I'd probably had a more warm, receptive environment just because of the hardships that so many companies were dealing with and being forced to be creative.
Kyle Jepson: There's a lot to be said for the value of constraints on creativity. I don't know. I don't wish for these downturns. I don't wish for these global crises. From the ashes of disaster rise, the roses of success. So it forces more creative solutions.
Joshua Feinberg: Kyle, this has been super helpful to get your thoughts on B2B and inbound and providing helpful content and marketing and sales working more closely together and just focusing so much more energy on what potential customers need to hear before you get to a sales conversation. I know in terms of people being able to follow what you work on, you're super active on LinkedIn and have those great videos they seem to do just about every day. Now you have great courses at Academy. What are the best social media channels, the best website, where people can learn more about what you're working on, what Academy is working on, if they want to get more plugged into this?
Kyle Jepson: Yeah, you can definitely find me on LinkedIn. It's LinkedIn slash Kyle Anthony Jepson, all one word, no hyphens or anything between it. That is definitely where I am most active online. And then all my official Academy content is, is at Academy.hubspot.com. I am a little bit active on Twitter. Mostly when I post things on LinkedIn, I check the box to have them also post on Twitter. That's at Kyle underscore Jepson. But LinkedIn, if you send me a connect request, let me know you heard me on this podcast. I'll be happy to connect with you. We can DM. We can even set up a Zoom meeting if you have things you want to talk about. I love to interact with anyone who is in this space and thinking about things or trying things or struggling with things.
Joshua Feinberg: Kyle's content is just as fantastic. The value that you're going to get from going through the courses that are on HubSpot Academy, between inbound sales and sales enablement, and sales management, frictionless sales. If I was the Dean of a digital marketing program or an expensive private university, I'd be very nervous about how fantastic HubSpot's free training is. Thank you. I'm a huge fan of it. I've been recommending it for years. Can't say enough great things about it, but thanks so much, Kyle, for joining me on this podcast, that's been super, super helpful. Thank you.