A New [Old-ish] Project
I haven't updated this blog since July 2009. That's almost 3 years. Wow! Talk about an unintended hiatus.
As of June 1st, I've officially been promoted to Sales Director at HubSpot. I've pretended I've had that job for a few years now and sorta had the title for more than a year. The promotion was actually officially announced 6 months or so ago at an internal meeting. But, in the last 6 months, I've juggled quite a few responsibilities: channel program director, sales director and sales manager. My managers and I have grown our team from 6 to 26 salespeople in 14 months (plus 12 others in post-sale roles), all while exceeding quota for 17 months in a row and achieving the highest retention rate among our sales teams. Currently, we account for about 40% of HubSpot's new sales every month. In hypergrowth at any company, it's common for people to juggle lots of different responsibilities. But as of June 1, I have one less job. I no longer manage sales people directly. While I loved my sales team and they are the reason I have been successful at HubSpot, (thanks Johnson, Heidi, Buck, Alexis, Frank, Jeetu, Dannie, David, Kevin, Jennifer, Mark) doing all of those jobs at once was extremely difficult. I never really felt like I did any of them well.
So, now I get to completely focus on being a sales director. So, what do I do as a sales director? My high level responsibility is to manage my part of the business's growth and profitability. But, frankly, I'm still figuring out 'what being a sales director' means, with some guidance, of course... Mark Roberge, HubSpot's SVP Sales & Service (my boss) told me a few months back that, "If I failed to delegate something, I've failed as a leader". My managers joke that I should now teach a course on delegation. I have amazing sales managers in place, as well as a bunch of great managers who support our partners and customers: a great marketing manager, a great consulting manager for onboarding our new partners and customers, and a great manager for supporting our partners for non-sales-support activities. Many of them have even stepped up to take on key strategic projects above and beyond their regular responsibilities. I'm extremely blessed with an awesome group of people who work their asses off to hit our numbers, prepare for the future... all while helping lots of companies improve their marketing. While I certainly feel like I get a "lot less done" because I don't do much myself these days, the impact we're having is greater than ever.
Which brings me to my next project and where I'll get to focus a bit of my time... In the time since I wrote this "[very outdate] about me page", we've helped several hundred marketing agencies help 1,000s of companies grow their traffic, leads and sales. While most people find this impressive, I feel like we're only scratching the surface of the potential of this new and better way of marketing, that we call inbound marketing. I feel there is a huge opportunity to expand the mission of inbound marketing even faster and more convincingly...
To fuel inbound marketing's growth, my time will increasingly be spent on a handful of strategic projects. I'll be using this site and this blog to develop one of these strategic projects. The site and the project is called the Collaborative Growth Network. I started this project - to a certain degree - 5 years ago. But, it's been on ice as I've built out HubSpot's agency channel. I'll be taking what I've learned about networking and partnerships (before and after joining HubSpot) and applying it to the development of this concept. Specifically, I'll be developing systems that help companies partner with each other to do their inbound marketing more effectively. My theory is that a group of like-minded companies who trust each other and who target the same markets can work together to market all of their businesses online much more effectively than working at it alone. The system will be a combination of referral networking and inbound marketing which will make both much more effective. I'll probably be calling it "Inbound Networking".
Update: I've written up a few more articles fleshing out the "Inbound Networking" concept inlcluding.