A New Normal for the HubSpot INBOUND Experience

by Kierstin Payne on October 21, 2020
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Last year after #INBOUND19, I started a tradition of writing a blog about my experience. This year’s conference, as with so many other things, faced many challenges. While the in-person event in Boston had to be canceled, HubSpot quickly rallied #teaminbound and launched an incredible virtual global experience. 

Due to HubSpot’s history of successfully delivering exceptional events and training programs, I had pretty high expectations. I’m happy to say, they did not disappoint!

With the event being virtual, more of our team was able to attend, so this year I’m going to include a variety of favorite sessions from our GO2 team. Before we jump to that, you can’t talk about #INBOUND without covering the “keynote” from HubSpot’s executive team. This wasn’t at all what I expected, but I LOVED it! HubSpot Executive Team at Fenway ParkThroughout their relaxed conversation in an empty Fenway Park, they talked about the various crises facing our world today and how businesses need to adapt.

Brian Halligan reminded us that “We have to remember that we’re not going back. We have to adapt to the new normal. We need to learn how to not just survive in the new normal, but thrive in the new normal.” Dharmesh Shah introduced us to a formula for businesses to calculate their trust score. Trust is more important than ever and maximizing your trust score will help you thrive.

Their session concluded with Christopher O’Donnell introducing us to all the new features across the various HubSpot product hubs. With their ongoing focus on reducing friction for the customer, they’ve adjusted the Marketing Hub pricing model to better support the CRM functionality. Numerous enhancements to Sales Hub include Sales Analytics and AI-powered sales acceleration features. Lastly, and most exciting, HubSpot has introduced Custom Objects across all hubs! The more you understand this last one, the more your mind will be blown with thoughts and ideas (I know mine is!).

To hear more, you can view a recording of their entire session here

If you love what you read below and wish you had access to all the amazing INBOUND content, no worries. You can still buy a pass to give you access to all the sessions! Visit to purchase your Content Pass 2020 (only available through 10/31/20). You’ll also see that virtual tickets for 2021 are already available! While I hope to be able to attend in person next year, I love that the challenges of 2020 have led to an even better combined experience for the future!

If you have a pass and want to know which sessions to watch, keep reading to take a quick look into the GO2 Partners team's favorites from #INBOUND2020.

Kierstin Payne, Digital Marketing Director
My favorite session from #INBOUND2020 was a HubSpot Case Study:
From Webinars to Certifications: How HubSpot Academy Became an Online Education Leader with the HubSpot Academy Team
by Christopher LoDolce, Director of HubSpot Academy.

Such a long title, but the session delivered! As a new HubSpot Certified Trainer, I was very excited to see this on the INBOUND list. I’ve always been inspired by the HubSpot Academy and everything it delivers. It’s not just about HubSpot; it provides impactful education for anyone in marketing, sales, customer service and much more. The certifications they offer are reputable and have helped thousands achieve personal and career growth.

As a longtime admirer (and student) of the HubSpot Academy, it was amazing to hear the history and everything that has gone into their continued success. From where they began in 2012 with three hour-long live sessions, to where they are today with hundreds of on-demand lessons, numerous certifications, and courses available in five different languages!

HubSpot Academy

The three primary takeaways were focused on developing your own educational content:

  1. Education is a powerful lever for organizational growth.
  2. Plan for the future, execute on the present.
  3. Align customers and organizational goals for maximum impact.

As part of his deep dive into each of these points, Chris focused on the difference between educational content (has objectives and learning assessments) and content that is educational (just content), how to properly focus on creating quality content that can grow with your organizational goals, and how important it is to have an overall methodology to the content you deliver.

Another area of importance was the need to keep your trainings up to date. We’ve all watched that outdated web training that doesn’t match the platform. I recently started a certification course (not HubSpot) and at the end of each lesson they brought up a bulleted list of what has changed since the training was created. So frustrating and confusing!

Lastly, Chris covered a couple of course development frameworks, including the ADDIE methodology that HubSpot uses, how each of these frameworks break down, and various steps to get you started.

Obviously, my brief summary barely touches on all the helpful content included in this session. I can’t wait to put it all into practice as I create our future training programs at GO2.

Rachel Roberson, Brand Manager / Account Executive
Rachel’s favorite session from INBOUND was:
Why Every Employee is on the Customer Success Team 
by Heidi Lasker, VP Customer Success, Americas, Bynder

Heidi shared some awesome stories and practical ways to build a client success team and culture. I learned that customer success is a culture, a mindset and a company commitment. It really goes back to how client success is NOT a single team, department or function. Even if it’s in our company values, and we constantly say “the client comes first," do all departments believe that? If they don’t “touch” the customer, do they understand the true impact they have on the big picture of the success of that customer?

Heidi broke it down into three starting points:

  1. Establishing a strong foundation, there are key qualities one must have when going through this shift in mindsets: Empathy, Context, Feedback and Transparency.
    • Empathy is important both internally and externally. If you put yourself in your customers' shoes when they have feedback on a project, do you see where they’re coming from? Do you see why they’re asking for what they’re asking for? Why do customers have this feedback? Acknowledge why they feel the way they do. It’s important as we take a long-term view.
    • Context – It’s the “why” – why do we do what we do? How do we make our work meaningful? It’s important to review our mission and vision as individuals in this company. We need to know where we’re going.
    • Feedback – It’s asking for feedback and using it (act, listen, respond and adjust). It’s important that our customers feel like they have a seat at the table. How do we come up with action plans? Internally and externally, customers will want to know what steps are being taken.
    • Transparency – Customers prefer we are straight with them. “I’d rather you tell me no instead of stringing me along”. It’s an extension of our feedback.
  2. Customer successHeidi then discussed banishing silos – my favorite. To take a look at all the departments that function around our client success was awesome to see. I’ve shared a visual because I liked it so much! Really, if you look at all these departments surrounding the customer, you’ll see that we have to work together to really create that seamless process for the customer to truly be successful. Heidi broke down specific barriers and how to approach each one within each department.
  3. Lastly, she discussed how to make data and success measures the cornerstone of our culture. She explained how setting objectives and key results helps the “function” of areas stay organized, and allows each individual to truly see the impact they’re making. I thought this was a very interesting approach to data and analytics. It brought the human element to the numbers!

I loved her energy and the way she explained it so easily. Overall, it was awesome. INBOUND was great – but this session by far stood out to me!

David Oeters, Digital/Inbound Marketing Specialist
David’s favorite session was:
10 Scientific Secrets that Make Your Content Impossible to Ignore
by Nancy Harhut, Chief Creative Officer at HBT Marketing

It’s funny that my absolute favorite session happened to be the first one.

I love science, and I love writing. This session combined both, focusing on how you can use science to make your writing even more appealing, more must-read, and more effective. Nancy discussed how techniques based on psychology, social sciences and behavioral sciences can shape and improve your writing so you can better connect and reach an audience.

For me, many of the tricks were things that I already knew (like using certain words in a title, or asking questions of the reader), but by digging into the why through science and studies, you can see how to weave those tricks and lessons even more into your work. Think of it like next-level writing science.

I’ve been using those techniques even more in my writing. In fact, I wrote a blog immediately after the session using several of the techniques I learned (parentheses in the title, questions in the blog, talking directly to the reader, asides).

Overall, I loved many of the sessions and enjoyed talking to so many marketing people.


Phil Russell, CTO / Partner
Phil's favorite session from INBOUND was:
Here's Exactly How to Sell the C-Suite 
by Ryan Longfield, Chief Revenue Officer,

Ryan gave great insight into the mind and the approach of C-level leadership.

The session offered practical strategies, like front loading a discussion with the most important facts and how to work with assistants to support sales to the C-suite. We also learned how and why the sales process works the way it does with C-suite prospects, and how you can use it to your advantage.

Rather than just digging into instructions, we learned the psychology that sales needs to assume with the C-suite. Ryan shared great tips on doing discovery, meeting dynamics, and how decisions really get made.

Cheers to everyone that actually made it to the end of this long blog.😀
Hope to see you all at #INBOUND2021

Topics: Inbound Marketing