As one of the premier marketing, sales and service platforms, HubSpot is in the business of helping companies of all sizes grow better. Taking a page from its own playbook, the growth platform leader is scaling rapidly across the U.S. and abroad.
While the company is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, its footprint extends from San Francisco in the West to Tokyo in the East. To keep its nine offices connected and everyone productive, HubSpot depends on technology that integrates seamlessly with employees’ everyday work—technology such as Slack and Zoom
Andrew Lindsay, HubSpot’s vice president of corporate development and business development, understands the importance of hassle-free communication firsthand. Based out of the San Francisco office, he’s 3,000 miles away and three hours behind his East Coast colleagues. His team also works out of HubSpot’s Singapore location, making in-person communication even trickier.
But Lindsay and his team have landed on a solution. “Slack and Zoom are the two most critical ways within HubSpot that we overcome the challenges of being distant,” he says. “The development of these apps has changed the way that I communicate.”Although apps have improved Lindsay’s workday, he knows that introducing too many apps can also have the opposite effect. “There’s a definite evolution for workers using more and more apps,” he says. “If those applications don’t complement each other, it can be a source of major frustration. When they do integrate well, it can be delightful.” As for Slack and Zoom? “They feel like extensions of the same app,” he says.
Spinning up frictionless face-to-face interactions
Lindsay describes his role as bringing both external companies and internal partners together to solve business problems. “That’s a constant navigation of understanding what customers’ needs are, and trying to find a way to bring them together so that one plus one equals three or four or five,” he says. “For partnerships, it means working closely with the best-in-class businesses and solutions that are solving our customers’ problems and helping them integrate better.” He also helps invest in and acquire companies that bring smart solutions to HubSpot’s more than 56,000 customers.
Lindsay spends most of his time in Slack, dashing off messages and reviewing channel updates to stay in the loop on his team’s progress. Of course, some conversations work better face-to-face, and for that he uses Slack’s Zoom integration. “When I’m sitting in Slack having a conversation with somebody, often we decide spontaneously that we want to start a Zoom,” he says. “It’s as simple as [typing] /zoom, and you have the invite go out and you’re on within 30 seconds.”
This comes in handy for collaborating in real time. “[When] I am communicating with someone back-and-forth around a fairly complex idea,” Lindsay says, “it may just be more efficient for me to be able to see them and talk to them.” He’ll start a Zoom call so they can discuss the issue at hand without disrupting either person’s workflow. “It’s a fully seamless transition,” he says.
Connecting with partners through shared channels
Much of Lindsay’s work involves external partners. In fact, from his base in San Francisco, he’s geographically closer to more of them than his fellow HubSpotters, and because of his role, he often spends more time with those partners too. Luckily, it’s an easy pivot from internal to external communication.
Lindsay sets up shared channels, which enable him to collaborate with people outside of HubSpot, with those he works with regularly. Within those channels, he can go back and forth with partners and spontaneously spin up meetings through the Zoom integration. “The idea of having to schedule a meeting and the calendaring challenges, that’s all in the past,” he says. “Now we set up meetings as we need them, to have more efficient communication.”
Cutting the cost of app switching
Of course, dialing up colleagues and collaborators isn’t worth the effort if it cuts down on productivity. But Lindsay has found that Slack’s Zoom integration helps cut down on context switching. “At HubSpot, we’re fortunate that [the Slack and Zoom] apps work really well together,” he says. “We’re also fortunate that they integrate with HubSpot, where we also spend a lot of our time.”
In fact, Lindsay is convinced that rather than dividing his attention, collaborating virtually can do the opposite—and help people focus. “In some ways, for some people, it’s better than being in the office,” he says, “because they can be in Slack and Zoom when they want, and they can work independently when they don’t want people to come up and disrupt them.”
Joining forces to delight
Not all apps are created equal—or compatible. For HubSpot, the Slack and Zoom partnership has proved both “delightful” and productive. “That’s how we communicate with each other. That’s how we communicate with our customers,” Lindsay says. “And for us to have a seamless experience between those apps makes us much more efficient in our day and helps us to serve our customers better.”