The Importance of Connection in a Changing Landscape
In a world where technology is rapidly evolving, the way people interact, buy, and seek information is constantly changing. However, one thing remains constant: the importance of connection. At the recent INBOUND 2023 conference, HubSpot CEO Yamini Rangan introduced changes to the customer journey driven by the surge of AI technology. This exciting time presents an opportunity for businesses to leverage technology to forge deeper connections with their customers and drive sustainable growth.
AI technology has become increasingly powerful in helping businesses create meaningful connections with their customers. HubSpot’s AI features, such as Content Assistant and ChatSpot, provide businesses with the tools they need to create compelling content and engage with customers on a more personal level. These features leverage the language model of OpenAI’s ChatGPT and are conveniently integrated within the HubSpot portal.
At HubSpot, a special group of customers known as “Connectors” have prioritized the art of forging deep customer connections in their growth strategies. These businesses understand that meaningful engagement with customers is not just a buzzword, but a powerful catalyst for driving sustainable growth and building lasting relationships.
Digging Into the Data: The Link Between Connection and Growth
To understand the impact of customer connection on growth, HubSpot’s Product Analytics team analyzed data from over 184,000 customers across 120 countries and 149 industries. The team focused on a growth metric: year-over-year closed-won deal volume. By isolating customer behavior impact and comparing performance among different customer segments, they uncovered some interesting insights.
1. Customer Connection Drives Growth
Through conversations with HubSpot’s top connectors across various industries, it was discovered that these connectors are growing 29 percentage points more than average companies. This means that connectors are growing 5 times more than companies that do not prioritize customer connection in their growth strategies. Additionally, it was found that customer in less digitally mature industries, such as manufacturing, experience an even larger connection gap (40 percentage points) and can benefit greatly from focusing on customer connection.
2. Growth Compounds as You Connect Across More Lifecycle Stages
Connecting with customers across all five stages of the customer journey (aware, prospect, lead, deal, customer) leads to greater overall growth. On average, companies that connected with customers across all five stages grew 19% more than those that only connected in one stage. Interestingly, each additional lifecycle stage a company connects in adds more incremental growth than the previous stage. This highlights the importance of implementing an end-to-end customer connection strategy throughout the entire company.
3. Growth Increases When You Connect in Multiple Ways
Using multiple channels and features to engage with customers at each lifecycle stage leads to better connection and, subsequently, better growth. Companies in the top 20% of connections are committed to meeting their customers where they are, utilizing various features to engage with them. The specific features that drive growth vary based on industry; for example, outbound calling, tickets, and meeting links are significant drivers for growth in the manufacturing industry, while sales email, ads, and meeting links are more effective for software or IT companies.
4. Growth is Maximized When Combining Scaled and Human-Led Connection
A combination of both scaled (one-to-many) and human-led tactics across each stage of the customer journey is key to maximizing growth. Companies that leverage both tactics throughout the customer lifecycle see a 19% growth. Human-led connection tends to be more impactful in the later stages of the customer lifecycle. On the other hand, companies that omit human connection in the deal and customer stages experience negative growth (-1%). This emphasizes the importance of maintaining a balance between technology-driven scaled tactics and personal human connections.
Closing the Connection Gap: Taking Action for Growth
The data clearly shows that the fastest-growing companies prioritize customer connection. They adopt a holistic approach to the customer journey, utilizing multiple modalities and channels to engage with customers, and employing both scaled and human-led tactics. While it may seem daunting to implement these strategies, the potential for 5x growth makes it worthwhile.
HubSpot is committed to making this process easier for businesses by investing in AI technology to level the playing field. Even with a small team, businesses can win on customer connection by rethinking how they market, sell, and support their customers. HubSpot’s “Guide to Connection in the Age of AI” offers valuable insights and strategies that can help professional services, software, and manufacturing companies drive growth through building meaningful customer connections at scale.
In conclusion, the age of AI presents a unique opportunity for businesses to connect with their customers on a deeper level. By prioritizing customer connection, adopting a holistic approach to the customer journey, leveraging multiple channels and features, and balancing scaled and human-led tactics, businesses can drive substantial growth and build lasting relationships. The time to start is now, and with HubSpot’s resources and AI technology, businesses have the tools they need to succeed in the age of AI.