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Demystifying HubSpot Operations Hub + Who Is Responsible for Operations? (HubHeroes, Ep. 83)

Earlier this week, George rolled out probably one of the most epic Why Go HubSpot guides for growing businesses I’ve ever seen. In it, he not only make the business case for HubSpot by discussing the platform’s potential overall, you also provide a thorough overview of the promise and features of each hub β€” as well as your thoughts on why each Hub is such a powerful driver for sustainable growth for a business. 

πŸ’₯ Related HubSpot Resources:

Here’s where it gets interesting, though. It’s been a good long while since we discussed HubSpot Operations Hub. But this guide brought the topic back up in our conversations this week.

Specifically the fact that, while this Hub has been around since 2021, we still see confusion all across the Big Orange Sprocketverse about what the HubSpot Operations Hub is, what we mean when we say β€œoperations,” and who is actually responsible for operations. 

In This Episode

This week, George, Liz, and Max discuss the HubSpot Operations Hub and the importance of operations in business. They highlight the confusion around the definition of operations and the misconceptions associated with it. They emphasize that the Operations Hub is a set of tools that improve data hygiene, automate processes, and streamline operations across multiple hubs. 

πŸ’₯ Go Deeper: How Have Inbound + HubSpot Changed?

They talked about the significance of data quality and proper formatting in operations. The conversation explores the role of operations in supporting growth and the need for businesses to master operational processes. They also discussed the confusion around HubSpot Operations Hub and the importance of having a clear definition of business operations. This highlighted the need for someone to be responsible for operations and the role of Operations Hub in streamlining processes and automating operational needs. 


HubSpot Operations Hub, operations, data hygiene, automation, data quality, formatting, growth, operational processes, HubSpot Operations Hub, business operations, confusion, responsibility, data hygiene, custom coded workflows.

Key Takeaways

  • The HubSpot Operations Hub is a set of tools that improve data hygiene, automate processes, and streamline operations across multiple hubs.
  • Data quality and proper formatting are crucial in operations to ensure accurate and effective use of data.
  • Operations play a significant role in supporting growth and improving business processes.
  • Businesses need to master operational processes to achieve efficiency and effectiveness in marketing, sales, and service.
  • The definition of operations can vary, leading to confusion and misconceptions about its role in business. There is confusion around HubSpot Operations Hub and the need for a clear definition of business operations.
  • Someone needs to be responsible for operations and Operations Hub can streamline processes and automate operational needs.
  • Operations Hub is suitable for those who require data hygiene, custom coded workflows, and extended functionality for their teams.
  • Data hygiene and clean data should be a priority for businesses.
  • Custom coded workflows can provide powerful automation and extend the functionality of HubSpot.

And so much more ... 

Additional Resources

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Liz Moorehead: Yeah. Sadly, we do not need all that legal language this week. Devin is out. He has left us to our own devices, Max and George. Can we handle it? Do we think we can handle it?

[00:00:10] George B. Thomas: Oh yeah, yeah, we're ready to rock

[00:00:12] Liz Moorehead: Oh yeah. Okay. I'm going to be perfectly honest. Both of you are way too calm and chill right now, which usually means things are about to become catastrophically chaotic.

[00:00:21] George B. Thomas: get that way.

[00:00:22] Max Cohen: mm, 

[00:00:24] Liz Moorehead: HubSpotters of all stripes. Welcome back to another episode of Hub Heroes. And George, I want to start off today's conversation by giving you a pretty big shout out. You rolled out probably one of the most epic why go HubSpot guides. For growing businesses. I have ever seen.

[00:00:45] George B. Thomas: it's pretty dope.

[00:00:46] Liz Moorehead: Your goal was to make the business case for HubSpot overall, but also give a thorough overview of each platform. And this is going to lead us nicely into our discussion. But just for the listeners at home, why was it important for you to make this guide specifically?

[00:01:04] George B. Thomas: Yeah, I mean, listen, there's a lot of, well, I, I should be ready with the button. There's a lot of humans out there who, um, either aren't using HubSpot in general, or aren't using all of the hubs that they could potentially be using to gain the growth, uh, the streamlined processes, the, um, Just ability to do business in a better way and create a better experience.

And also I think what this guide does really good because it's why go HubSpot. It's not why go HubSpot marketing. Why go HubSpot sales like separate pieces. It's one piece that is looking at it as like a holistic, dare I say, like customer platform view. Of what HubSpot is actually building. Um, and so, you know, it's a, let's be honest, attract new folks who aren't using HubSpot B educate those who are using parts of HubSpot that maybe should use more and see just a really value packed piece of content around all the things that you could be thinking about and doing with HubSpot.

[00:02:13] Liz Moorehead: You know, what was fascinating to me about this guide as I was reading through it, because you and I talked about it earlier this week, which is what is leading us into today's discussion is that what answering the question, why go HubSpot has radically changed Over the years, because HubSpot has challenged us all as businesses and organizations, marketers, leaders, whomever, to grow better.

And I think we had a much more one dimensional understanding of what that was many, many moons ago, growing better was through inbound marketing. And then it was inbound marketing and sales, but then they started going deeper into the, what makes businesses run their operations. Right. So you and I were talking about this earlier this week, because we actually haven't as a group talked about the operations hub specifically since the beginning of last year.

It's been a really long time and the HubSpot operations hub, let's all be clear, has been around since 2021, which was for, I had forgotten that I thought it was much newer. And George, you and I were talking about this earlier this week, because even though it's been around now for, Three years. It is something that still seems to confuse a lot of people.

There's still a lot of confusion around. Well, when we say operations, what does that mean? Who actually is this hub for? So we wanted to take today that some time today to revisit this hub and specifically talk about operations, the way we talked about customer delight with Christina Garrett, right? Like what actually is operations, who is actually responsible for it.

And since HubSpot operations hub is. Is different, I think, than a lot of the way other hubs are constructed, it's created some, some gray, some vague. So, George, to kick us off, can you give the folks at home a quick refresher on what HubSpot operations hub is? And when we say operations, what does that even mean?

[00:04:14] George B. Thomas: Yeah. So the way that I like to look at this and kind of think about. Operations Hub. It, by the way, is dramatically different than any hub, and I think that's probably half the problem is like, it's called a hub, even though I wouldn't call it a hub. Like Marketing Hub, it's marketing, a set of marketing tools, uh, Sales Hub is a set of sales tools.

Commerce Hub is a set of tools for doing commerce and actually getting paid. Operations Hub is a set of tools that make all of those tools be more awesome, right? Operations Hub is about data hygiene. Operations Hub is about extending what you can do with things like workflows or custom coded bots. Um, it's about making certain things that right now if you don't have Operations Hub might feel very manual.

Um, making them very automagical when you start to think about like data quality and properties and automatic deduplication based on properties and some of these other things that we're going to get into, um, it really does streamline the processes that are wrapped around multiple hubs inside your portal.

So. That's how I think about operations hub. I think that's also why it might be somewhat confusing to people. And also let's be honest, it's one of the hubs air quotes that has kind of the less features. Then any other hub, but those less features might be more powerful.

[00:05:56] Liz Moorehead: Interesting. So let's dig into the second part of my question there, which is really kind of digging into how people define the operations of their business. And I like what you said there just now about the fact that because it has. Fewer features. It showcases fewer bells and whistles. It's power might be missed.

Right. And I think when we think about growth, we think about the shiny stuff, right? It's kind of the way I like to think about it is when you think about your rebranding a business, right? You immediately want to jump into the logos, fonts. Colors, design, aesthetics, visuals, but that's not where you're supposed to start, right?

You start by having conversations about, well, who is your audience? What are your goals? What are your core values? The things that inform those decisions. And I always notice people get kind of bogged down. I don't know what to do. I want to look at the cut. Have you seen this pretty beep boop thing on the internet?

I want to look like that. And I almost think about operations the same way. Right? We want to have the efficient marketing, the efficient sales, the efficient service, but there is some core operational stuff we need to master as businesses in order to do that.

[00:07:05] George B. Thomas: Yeah. Well, and, and let me even go at like, I love your analogy, but it, to me, it's even a little bit like this. So when you think about a house, you think about the house as being finished. You think about the house with the drywall and the paint and the wallpaper and all of that stuff. But imagine if when you were building that house, somebody used the two by fours that actually already had termites in it, or they used a two by fours or four by fours that are already rotted.

And the reason I'm bringing up termites or wood that is already rotted is because if you're not paying attention to your data and your data hygiene and the data quality. That you have, if you're not monitoring that, if you're not paying attention to like the properties and formatting issues that lead into personal, personalization and segmentation and like, like literally operations, a big piece of this, when you think about platform and process is the making sure your foundational pieces don't suck.

So when you go to use some of these other bells and whistles tools that the data actually makes sense and shows or acts in a way that it should versus being rotten, a. k. a. dirty data formatted improperly. Uh, just a bunch of like, and literally I got off the phone with a person who wants us to do an audit and their, their words, not mine.

Our HubSpot portal is garbage. We need to know how to fix it.

[00:08:45] Liz Moorehead: Max, I want to ask you a question really quick.

[00:08:47] Max Cohen: up?

[00:08:47] Liz Moorehead: When, hi buddy. I also want to hear from you. Yeah. So you, when you were at HubSpot, obviously you spent a lot of time. Basically as an organizational and operational therapist for companies. Right before you went over to Haplite. And I'd be curious to hear from you, from your perspective.

How did you see most organizations struggle to wrap their brains around what operations within their business actually was? Were there any themes or common misconceptions?

[00:09:16] Max Cohen: Well, I mean, operations is such a, like, nebulous term. I mean, like, the The way that I understood or the way that I kind of like came to terms with the whole word of revenue operations, like entering the HubSpot space when I was trying to like, figure out what it actually meant and to this day, I don't think anyone's really ever agreed on it.

Um, you know, for me, it's like revenue operations is what you're doing when you're doing all the things in HubSpot together and getting them all to work with each other and all that kind of stuff, at least from a technology standpoint, right? Revenue operations is also strategic and all things that don't have to do with technology.

Right. But like, you know, a lot of the things that you're doing when you're using like a whole hub of, of HubSpot tools is. Supporting a greater revenue operations strategy from a technology perspective. Um, so I think it's tough because everyone had different definitions of what operations actually meant.

On top of that, you know, before the whole revenue operations thing really kind of came around, you saw a lot of the teams kind of siloed doing their own thing. There was sales ops, marketing ops, service ops, uh, you know, and nothing was really kind of like connected under like a single, uh, Uh, you know, title or department or, or methodology or practice or whatever you want to call it, right?

Like, I don't want to say this one right word for it, right? Um, but you know, there's certainly a lot of confusion businesses had evaluating operations hub because To put it quite as nice as I can, HubSpot sales reps didn't even know what Operations Hub was, right? So yeah, like I can't tell you how many times I had to explain it to people, right?

Um, you know, so again, it's just one of those words that, you know, everyone has a different definition for, right? Um, yeah, Chris in the chat and still don't, you're correct. Um, you know, any HubSpot sales reps that want an easy way to pitch Operations Hub hit me up. Um,

[00:11:11] George B. Thomas: you. We love you

[00:11:12] Max Cohen: so much. I do love you.

No, I, I do

[00:11:14] Liz Moorehead: Yeah, especially all of you folks out there who are like, Oh, Content Hub is just AI. Mmm. We love how ha Mmm.

[00:11:21] Max Cohen: um, yeah, I mean, it's.

[00:11:23] Liz Moorehead: I'm sorry to bring up something so violent.

[00:11:24] Max Cohen: yeah, I mean, everyone has their own different. It's just like the word campaign. Everyone has a different definition for the word campaign. Everyone has a different definition for the word enablement. Also, everyone has a different definition for the word operations, right?

So I don't want to necessarily think that customers were generally confused around it, right? It's more so it either wasn't something that was paid attention to. They had their own definitions for it. Sometimes they were doing it without knowing they were doing it. And sometimes they didn't have it. Nah, at all.

Um, you know, so it's in terms of the businesses themselves. I mean, it's just generally all over the place. And you see that a lot working at HubSpot because you're talking to businesses of all sorts of maturity levels and organization and size and scope and types. And, you know, it's, it's never the same conversation, I guess, is the easiest way to say it.

[00:12:12] Liz Moorehead: Do you know what I'm hearing? And George, I would be curious to get a pulse on what you think, uh, on what I'm about to say, I'm, I'm noticing globally. I made that as a joke, right? Like the content hub AI comment. If you're wondering what I'm talking about, go back to our first conversation about content hub AI in this feed, because it was emotional and upsetting, but when I think about what you're saying there, Max, you know, these lack of shared definitions, I think for a long time, we didn't necessarily have to have them.

I think. As as growth and what it means to do business as a modern business and a digital world has changed, it's forcing organizations to become much more sophisticated in a scalable way that was maybe not necessarily it. As much of a requirement in a more analog or less digital dependent world. You know, I remember when I first started out in inbound, when I was at Quintane marketing, this is about 10 years ago.

You know, we used to have to talk to our clients and say, you don't have a process. A process is in a process. If it's only in your head, a process is written down. And so I think for a long time, we were able to get away without having Shared definitions, because when you start adding technology and automation into the mix, if you don't have shared definitions, if you don't have clear processes, it scales your inefficiencies, it scales your problems and it starts bringing a spotlight onto the problems or the things you haven't defined.

Like into harsh relief. And so I think that's part of what we're seeing. We make jokes about, you know, what can you, do you know what enablement is or can you just spell it? You know, I think we're seeing that across the board thematically as we're starting to automate and scale more parts of our business as we're being asked to do more with less because of all different factors, this is something that's, I think becoming more noticeable, a problem that maybe has been there for a really long time, but it's been dormant.

Until we started scaling different parts of our business.

[00:14:11] George B. Thomas: I agree with all of that. The other thing that comes to mind that I think is very interesting is, um, and you've all kind of probably heard the saying of like, we'll build the plane why it's flying or build the ship why we're sailing. Um, literally since 2012. It's like, we've been in this vehicle called HubSpot and, uh, let's just call it like a Volkswagen bug in 2012.

Right. And we're driving down the road and we're trying to do better business and we're trying to be more human. And all of a sudden we get to like 2014, 2015, we're still driving the VW bug. What we look around. And we realized, Holy shit, I'm in a Mitsubishi Cordia. Like how'd that happen? I thought I was in a Volkswagen bug and we're driving down the road and we're trying to do better business.

All of a sudden we realized it isn't an automatic anymore. It's a stick shift. So now we now have to figure out what a fricking clutch is and how that works. And so then we're driving down the road a little bit further and we get to like 2018, 2019, 2020, and we'd look around and we're like, Oh my God, like I'm.

I'm in a Lexus. I thought I was driving a Mitsubishi, but originally I was in a Volkswagen bug. We haven't ever gotten out of the car. We're still using the vehicle that is HubSpot, but it's literally changing around us. We haven't gone in to look at what has changed in the engine. The fact that we now have a turbo in there, the fact that it's a timing chain, not a timing belt, the fact that there's all these, we got a new CD player.

It used to be a tape deck shit. When we started, it was an eight track. And here's the, here's the, yeah, we're going to get canceled. Here's that was a, that was a little late, but we're still going to get canceled. But like, here's the

[00:15:51] Liz Moorehead: Yes, George. Cause you always say the worst

[00:15:53] George B. Thomas: this is literally what's happening in the HubSpot ecosystem is all of a sudden we're driving down the road.

And it's a completely different vehicle. And so if we take this and we dive into this, uh, conversation or specifically the operations hub, when all of a sudden we're driving a vehicle that has this additional part on it, which, by the way, Okay. If you were to ask people before operations hub came along, what are the two places that you have the most difficult time in with HubSpot?

One would have been reporting. The second one would have been workflows. Well, holy crap. What is operations hub actually leverage in a couple of its major pieces, HubSpot workflows with reoccurring, uh, you know, things that you can do and different custom coded workflows and like, uh, All of a sudden, something that was already complex in the vehicle that they're driving becomes more complex, or at least feels like it now has this level of complexity of features, which then going to your point, Liz, creates this thing of like not shared definitions or what we can easily say is lack of understanding.

Like we haven't gotten out. We haven't checked the oil. We haven't checked the coolant. We don't understand what the engine is We're not even sure how the seats changed right underneath us as we're driving down the road So of course people are confused and they need this uh, you know terminology and new understanding and and they need to um be able to be Okay With what's happening in the ecosystem.

We talked about it last week, but this rapid development of this car called HubSpot that we're driving down the road is, is somewhat insane at this point of trying to keep up with it right now, today. You're in a fricking Lamborghini. Or a Bugatti. You, you pick. It's up to you. But what vehicle are we gonna be driving in three months or six months?

I have no clue. Cause it's always

[00:17:55] Liz Moorehead: Something hopefully with bigger bucket

[00:17:57] George B. Thomas: Well, I, yeah. Big, Big Bucket sees us good.

[00:18:00] Liz Moorehead: No. So, you know, George, when I hear you saying these things, you know, honestly, when you said that whole thing, you know, build the boat while we're sailing it. I had just like. Vietnam level flashbacks to all the different startup cultures and agency cultures.

I have been a part of because whenever people say that it's like, guys, you know, at some point, we do actually have to have a boat. We can't perpetually be in a state of building. And what I think operations hub does nicely. And what it throws a spotlight on is the fact that if you have like, If you're telling everybody to build a boat, right?

You're talking to your marketing team, you're talking to your sales team, you're talking to your service team. They're all going to focus on building a boat in a way that serves them. At some point you need someone who's focusing on the entire boat, all the teams together to make sure none of us sink.

And that's where holistic overall operations comes in. But I just want to say this one more time for my agency pros who are listening right now. It is okay to keep saying we need to build the boat while we're sailing it, but once more with feeling at some point you need a boat.

[00:18:58] George B. Thomas: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:18:59] Liz Moorehead: It's a, at some point you actually need to get to boat status.

So okay,

[00:19:04] Max Cohen: Tell him to bring out the whole

[00:19:06] Liz Moorehead: a lot about,

[00:19:07] George B. Thomas: ha ha!

[00:19:09] Liz Moorehead: so we've talked a lot about why folks are confused by the idea of operations and HubSpot, Operations Hub overall and its potential, but I want to lob a potentially, I don't know, let's see what happens when I just ask this question. Who is actually responsible then for business operations? Who is it?

[00:19:25] George B. Thomas: See, my brain goes in two different directions. Max, what's your thoughts before I go?

[00:19:29] Max Cohen: I mean, I, I, I, yeah, this is one of those things where I don't think there's one right answer for it. Right. Um, and it also, I think depends on like, I mean, ultimately the answer is the COO, right? If you don't have a COO, I mean, whoever's in charge, making sure people are setting up processes and, and, and things like that.

Um, you know, I, if we're, if we're looking at it through the, through the lens of HubSpot, the product. I mean, that's falling on your admins, right? The people who have the most line of sight to everything going on, right? Um, you know, maybe you have a revenue operations team, maybe you just have one or two, you know, more siloed teams, things like that.

Um, it's gotta be somebody. Right? And I think it's not so much more like who's responsible for it is like, why is it important to have someone responsible for it? Right? Um, especially when you're using a tool like HubSpot, if you've got a whole bunch of different teams and they're all doing their own different stuff.

Right. And again, this is, this is true for any system you're using. Not just, it's not just a HubSpot thing, right? If you've got, you know, multiple teams that are all using their own technology or, or in charge of their piece of that same technology, and no one is, you know, considering like, well, what if we do this thing here, how's that going to affect You know, team number two and what they're doing and the things that have, they've set up for team number three and like all this kind of stuff.

Like you need someone to be responsible for how it's all tied together and how it's all working together. Cause that's where you have, you know, bad customer handoffs, really shitty marketing communication. Um, you know, really, you know, tough processes that customers have to go through that no one cares about fixing things like that.

Right. So it's not necessarily, I think who is supposed to be, it's just someone needs to be. Right? In terms of making sure it's all working together and functioning properly. Right? And I think that's kind of like You know, where you start to think about revenue operations. It's like someone who's not just looking at, you know, the, uh, has the responsibility for operations within their own segment of the business.

But someone who's actually saying how, how are we, you know, orchestrating, if you will, the operations across all areas of the business. So we're all working in the same direction and not, you know, fucking things up for each other. Oops. Sorry. Shit. There we go. Anyway, got two in. Um, but you know,

[00:21:40] Liz Moorehead: just as effective afterward, just as effective. I

[00:21:43] Max Cohen: you know, that's how I think about it.

[00:21:44] George B. Thomas: So it's, it's interesting because our, our answers are going to slightly rhyme. Here's the thing. I totally agree with you, Max, where it should be somebody because somebody's better than nobody, but be careful because it shouldn't be everybody. This is definitely a place where too many chefs in the kitchen is not going to make a good soup.

And, and the place that I'll go, like typically when you think about operations, Max, you're right. It's like a chief operating officer. It might be an operations manager. It might be a business operations analyst. It might be even in some organizations, IT manager or director, heck, it might even be a department head, but here's where, when I said my brain goes in two different directions, that's almost like, uh, just getting started with HubSpot or pre HubSpot, maybe business mindset that might be in place, but when you talk specifically people listening to this podcast, if you have HubSpot and you have multiple hubs.

Like literally this is the super admin should be the person paying attention to operations and what the operations hub can do. And if you're sitting here listening to this, you're like, well, I don't have a super admin in your organization. Actually you do.

[00:22:53] Max Cohen: You've at least got one.

[00:22:54] George B. Thomas: yeah, you haven't defined them yet.

And it might be you, by the way, because if you're doing the thing and paying attention to multiple departments and multiple, uh, hubs, you're a super admin. You just don't know it yet. And so when, when the conversation comes to, should we upgrade to operations hub starter pro or enterprise, or who should be digging into these features and seeing if they're right for what we need to fix the potholes that we have?

Guess what? Um, it's probably you with a slight conversation to whoever pays the bills to be able to actually buy Hmm.

[00:23:30] Liz Moorehead: am having way more thoughts and opinions during this episode than I thought I would. I'll be honest because I'm the content nerd, right? I didn't think I was going to get as, as hyped up about this, but I have a thing I need to throw out here to you, George and Max, because when I think about the past, the organizations that I have worked with, some of the organizations that I do work with, and I think about The way most people hire and have historically hired HubSpot expertise into their, into their company, usually they're not hiring a HubSpot specialist specifically often.

In many cases, they are hiring a marketer with some sort of marketing automation expertise where it is a delegated responsibility that falls under a much more focused discipline, a marketing person, a this, a that, Of that. And so I, I love this idea of what we're talking about from the ideal state of, you likely already have a HubSpot super admin in your care.

That's true, but that also may look like for many of the people listening to this podcast, a, an inbound marketing or con specialist or marketing content marketing manager, where they. That's part of what they do, but it's not all of what they do. And they were brought in as part of a specific team. So when we look at it through that lens and I all like George, you even, when I said that, when I said earlier, when Max was talking about, you know, whomever is in charge of your operations, part of me wanted to go bold of you to assume that many of these organizations have someone in charge of operations.

Often it's like delegated as weird responsibilities. You kind of own what you own. And I, most of the organizations I talked to do not have that. They're not that mature or sophisticated, not because they aren't mature or sophisticated organizations. Their sides just, their size just doesn't require a COO.

[00:25:18] Max Cohen: Yeah. And the other thing

[00:25:19] Liz Moorehead: I don't know, George. I see you.

[00:25:20] Max Cohen: But yeah, the other thing I want to add into is like, I don't want to draw a false equivalency from, uh, you know, saying operations hub is for operations team teams, right? Like, if anything, operations hub should really be called data hub, because it's really just, you know, if you.

It's the best way to get control of your data inside of HubSpot, right? And like, you know, a, a, a marketing operations team or revenue operations team or whatever, an operations operations team, whatever, it doesn't really matter, right? Like if they're using HubSpot, it's them using the sum of all the parts is doing operations at HubSpot.

It's like how you set your stuff up, how you set your customer handoffs off. How do you, Build processes, like how does the thing work? Like operations hub can play a role in that, right? But it's not like it's like the hub built for the operations team, right? It's really just the, it's saying, Hey, super duper admin, you want to get hella control of your fricking data.

Like this is going to give you some extra tools to be able to do that. Right? So data operations is probably like a, I guess a better, more specific way to say it, but you know, I don't know, operations hub, like the name to me is like, You know, it's, it's a little too broad and a little wild. Yeah,

[00:26:33] George B. Thomas: It literally is misleading to like. To be honest, like, and I think that is why it adds to the confusion. And I agree with you. Like if it was data operations and hygiene hub or something like that, it would make a lot more sense.

[00:26:46] Max Cohen: CMS, a bunch of content hub, maybe the operations hubs, you're going to get that data hub rebid. Okay. That would make so much more sense to people. Cause like, if you think about like all the core features across everything, all for each, each, whether it's free to pro or enterprise or whatever, every single feature that it adds in there, that's unique to operations hub.

Has something to do with data, right? You could argue, you could argue scheduled workflows is not necessarily like a data specific

[00:27:15] George B. Thomas: Bull crap, bull

[00:27:16] Max Cohen: I know workflows are about data, so

[00:27:18] Liz Moorehead: Oh boy,

[00:27:19] George B. Thomas: listen,

[00:27:19] Max Cohen: no, no, no. I know.

[00:27:20] George B. Thomas: You know what I'm

[00:27:21] Max Cohen: know. I know. I know. I

[00:27:22] George B. Thomas: using that to delete contacts out of different lists, because, which is cleaning up my data, because it's people I shouldn't be talking to anymore. So like, that's the thing. If you pull

[00:27:33] Max Cohen: the only reason I bring that up, George, is I just think I think gating scheduled workflows behind operations hub is trash. I think everyone should just have it right. That's just me. Um, I don't think you should have to buy because a lot of people need that, right? And oftentimes that was like, it would be super awkward for me as an S.

  1. When someone said, well, I want to run. I want to be a little or can I build a workflow that'll, um, you know, every day at five, it'll do this thing and I go, yeah, but you gotta buy a whole nother hub for that. And they're like, That's weird. I don't have any other use case for it. Right. And so like that to me is like kind of goofy.

Like I could understand putting it at like maybe a enterprise level of any other hub. Right. But having it be its own separate hub just for that seems like a, you know, weird way to just get people onto it for that one reason.

[00:28:19] George B. Thomas: Well, well, don't even get me started on that. We once had webhooks and then we didn't have webhooks. Anyway, that's not what we're here for. So I'll be quiet.

[00:28:28] Liz Moorehead: George, do you need a hug?

[00:28:29] George B. Thomas: Uh, no, I've, I'm already part of HubSpot user group.

[00:28:32] Max Cohen: Ooh.

[00:28:35] Liz Moorehead: And here, I like how it's a shots fired when I was trying to be nice to you, but we'll just go ahead and move along. Look at you carrying your heavyweight championship belt when I was just trying to be nice. Let this be remembered. You know what I think is fascinating about this conversation, though, when we think about Business operations and whether it's called data hub or operations hub.

What I think as a part of this messaging that was missed and is an opportunity is that HubSpot with the introduction of operations hub is encouraging people to stop looking at your HubSpot data through the lens of a specific team. Don't just look at your marketing data and then look at your sales data and then look at your service data is encouraging them to put a human resource, a human perspective.

Somebody who looks at your data overall and says, how is it moving around my organization? How is it moving between teams? Is it moving as efficiently and effectively as possible? Because again, when you think about it, it's, it's like the boat thing earlier, right? If the marketing team is always going to look at it through the marketing lens, the sales team is always going to look at it through the sales team.

And that's what they should do. Those are like, they have KPIs, they have goals. It is really this push toward. Your operations are now more sophisticated. You used to be able to have this as a decentralized set of responsibilities, maybe a delegated set of tasks that rolls up under somebody else on a specific team.

It just doesn't work that way anymore. So I'd be curious to hear from both of you. Who HubSpot Operations Hub is actually right for, because I think to your point, George, earlier, when we were talking about the confusion around it, it makes it hard to understand who should be investing into it, particularly since it has powerful features, but fewer shinier ones.

[00:30:23] George B. Thomas: Yeah. Max, you want me to take this one? You want to take this one first? Like, what, what?

[00:30:27] Max Cohen: Yeah. I mean, I have a lot of thoughts on this. Like a lot of the time I think it's, it's great for people who have a particular need that operations hub solves for it. I know that's like a really boring answer, but like one of the biggest things that like Made my blood boil, right? Is when I would watch sales calls on gong and, you know, the salesperson would identify that somebody needs an integration to some tool that doesn't exist on the app marketplace and they'd go, Oh, you can do it with operations hub.

Right? And it's like, Oh, no, like operation hub does not mean easy button integration with anything that doesn't have an existing integration. Right? What I will say it is, is it's a great companion to integrations in that not all integrations are built the same. There are probably, you know, uh, there's an infinite amount of ways that integrations can push data into HubSpot.

That data may not be clean, right? It may be in a weird format. It might be coming through in strange ways, right? Operations Hub gives you a lot of really cool tools and workflows to clean it up and to format it in a correct way. Right? And sometimes HubSpot serves as a destination point for data to come in and then go land somewhere else in some other system.

And oftentimes you can use, yep, HubSpot or like your central point of truth or however you want to kind of think of it As a place to cleanse that data before it makes it to its final destination, right? Um, so I think, you know, while Operations Hub doesn't let you just create integrations out of thin air, right?

Uh, with tools that don't have native integrations, it serves as a great companion to integrations that you've either built or integrations that do exist on the HubSpot app marketplace that throw data into HubSpot in a really shitty way, right? So that's one thing. Um, I think it's also like a lot of the, uh, you know, If this is happening to you, you probably could benefit from operations hub, right?

So like, for example, if you're planning on using any of HubSpot's data sync integrations, you at least want starter because that gives you the ability to do custom field mappings, right? Um, if you want to be able to run workflows on a schedule, right? So every day do this instead of dealing with like, weird roundabout ways to do workflow re enrollments and stuff like that.

Uh, then, yeah, Operations Hub makes sense. If you want to be able to make workflows do almost anything, it makes sense because you can do custom coded workflow actions, right? Um, what is the other one? So it's, it's, oh yeah, it's triggering webhooks, right? So if you've got to send data to systems outside of HubSpot and you just have like an API endpoint you can send stuff to, right?

Triggering webhooks is great. Um, But then I think also like a big one is if you're using op, if you're using, uh, uh, business units. And you have like multiple teams with multiple brands and a lot of different like teams working inside of HubSpot and they're all putting like their own properties and like all this stuff that's like relevant to one team, but not another data sets in operations of enterprise is going to be your best friend because you can enable those teams to create reporting using data that's just relevant to them.

Instead of going into the custom report builder and seeing everything in there and making it really confusing and adding a ton of friction to those different teams needing to report on stuff, right? Um, I guess. Also, you could say, like, if you're if your company uses snowflake and you want to dump your hub spot data into their right enterprise is also great.

But I think also to the reason it's good as well. It's like for folks like stepping into a hub spot portal. For the first time and doing like an audit of like what the heck is going on in here, right? You've got your data quality command centers. You've got your property analytics or like whatever it is.

It'll kind of show you how your properties and stuff are being used, right? Um, you know, a lot of the duplicate management stuff is super sweet. So it's like if you have like specific problems like around data, there's likely something in operations hub that's going to help you out, right? Um, if you're, if you're syncing a ton of data from.

Other systems into HubSpot through either homegrown integrations or just third party tools. You're almost always going to find a use case for it, at least on like the data hygiene and formatting and cleanliness side of things, right? Um, so you can kind of get a handle on all that stuff, right? Um, so yeah, really, if any of those like use cases, like, you know, come up in someone's head as they're listening to this and you don't have operations up, you should probably check it out.

I think everyone should have pro at least just because of scheduled workflows alone, right? Um, but

[00:35:09] George B. Thomas: So, I'm going to go, uh, I agree, believe with everything you said, Max. I'm going to go at this a little bit different. And I know usually I start with the humans. But this time I'm not going to start with the humans. I'm not going to start with the humans this time. Cause if, if, if you're a company looking to streamline your processes and automate the operational needs in your organization, it doesn't matter if you're small.

Or enterprise. If you're a company trying to do those two things, then operations hub is probably a good fit for you. If you're on operations team or a professional in a team that might not be called that, but is focusing on managing data quality. Um, integrations and process automation, then the operations hub might be right for you.

If, if you are handling the system integrations and you require these deep, dope, custom automation solutions that will tie into, like Max kind of said, the partner, uh, or the sidekick, if you will, to those, Then like it would be good technical, uh, you know, teams, these would be, uh, reasons why they might be a good fit for operations.

If you start to think about, um, individual departments, all of the individual departments will, uh, enjoy clean data. We'll enjoy automated workflows. We'll, we'll enjoy integrated systems that are tightly integrated together with things like data sync to enhance their efficiency and effectiveness. So this could be marketing, sales service, whoever, heck, if your company is sitting here and you actually have a position that is a data analyst.

You know, the individuals who have to focus on advanced reporting and data manipulation capabilities. Max mentioned data sets, but even just being able to report on fricking clean data is, is beautiful. Right? So any of those things that you need, or if you're any of those types of people, humans or companies, then you're probably heading in the right direction.

And Max, I would agree with you. Like starters. Cool. You can do data sync and custom fields, but when you get into pro operations Now, all of a sudden you're really, um, Unlocking some sweet stuff, and I think it's Yamini. She calls it like the secret sauce or the sweet sauce or something like that. That operations hub is like the sweet sauce, sauce of HubSpot because again, it's just helping everything be better than it potentially is, even though as it is, it's pretty dang cool.

So. There's my thoughts.

[00:37:53] Liz Moorehead: So Max, I want to come back to you for a second because a little birdie told me you've been doing some really cool and interesting stuff in HubSpot Operations Hub. What, what, what can you share with the rest of us in the

[00:38:06] Max Cohen: Yeah, I mean, the, uh, you know, I'm not a coder by any means, uh, except I've been going crazy building, uh, custom CMS modules using Hub Helper,

[00:38:16] Liz Moorehead: I wish you could see how happy he is listeners look at him.

[00:38:20] Max Cohen: I literally just built a, I built a module today that like sends an email to someone who registered for an event and shows all the different sessions they signed up for.

And I felt like a God. Uh, but anyway, that's not operations hub stuff. Um, I, one of the more cooler use cases that I've, I've kind of done in like, this is great for any. Uh, HubSpot sellers out there, um, or solution engineers, whether you're at HubSpot or you're at a partner, uh, agency, um, something that I really always struggled with, um, you know, when I was in a role selling HubSpot was, uh, having like good demo data.

Uh, to be able to like demo HubSpot with like, make it look like the portal is lived in and alive and breathing. Right. And so like things like contacts moving through lifecycle stages, deals getting created and, um, you know, being able to, uh, like move through different stages and either close win or close lose and stuff like that.

So like when I brought up reports. I wasn't bringing up a report that had like a bunch of data that was brought in like two years ago, and I had to like awkwardly filter it to make the reporting not look stupid, right? And so for a while, I got really obsessed with the idea of like, you know, how can we make a HubSpot portal?

Kind of go on autopilot and make it look like people are using it. Right. And things are happening. Like deals are getting closed. Contacts are getting created. Like this, things that, and,

[00:39:47] George B. Thomas: Lifecycle stages are being

[00:39:48] Max Cohen: life cycle stage is being changed. Yeah, yeah. All this kind of stuff, different records are getting created, all this kind of stuff, right.

And, um, you know, I sat there for a while and I was just like, man, if there was like a, uh, if there was like an app that you could just do a random number, And then split a branching workflow based on that random number. Right. Uh, you know, and, and be able to do a different outcome, right. Either create a record or move a stage or do something you can simulate some pretty cool stuff.

Right. And so, uh, I was sitting around waiting for happily to build. You know, uh, this app that, you know, generates a random number, right. You know, something simple, nice, nice little easy utility app. And then I was talking to, um, I can't remember who I was talking to. I think it was Carter McKay. And, uh, he's like, dude, it's really easy just to like generate a random number using a custom coded workflow action.

I'm like, sick, show me how he showed me or whoever it was showed me. And, um, you know, I ended up building this whole portal out that would take contacts that were like dumped into HubSpot. And then run them through these workflows that would hit a custom coded workflow action that would simply just generate a random number.

And then what I could do is I could build branching workflows that would look back and say, if that number from that action equals whatever. And I basically did it like a dice roll. So I just did choose a number between 1 and 6, right? And then I could build these branches that say, all right, if the number is 1, 2, or 3, Do this if it's not do nothing or like, you know, if it's one, do this, if it's two, do this, if it's three, do this, like whatever.

Um, and so it's like a, you know, a cute, like little use case that like, let me do, you know, some stuff like that. But like the other thing too, is like for us on like the happily side, like it's a really good way for us to like prototype. Like workflow actions that we build into our apps, right? Like we could easily build a proof of concept instead of like standing up a whole, you know, app and everything.

We can be like, all right, well have one of our delves build the code that, you know, makes the workflow action, do what we want it to do. And then we could test it and see how it works and all that stuff. And then they can go build an app or build it into an app that does it using a workflow extension.

Right. Um, but like, you know, there's cooler things you can do besides that. Right. But like, if you ever wish a workflow action could do something else. Like custom coded workflow actions like are the way for that because you can literally code it to do almost anything with your HubSpot data, right?

Whether it's looping through something or or changing some properties in certain ways, if then statementing things like within, you know, one single action and like just doing stuff that's hard to do just by like stringing actions together like individual ones. Um, it's great, right? You can even reference data in like a outside source to make a decision about something that you do like inside HubSpot.

There's. So literally, if you can code it, you can do it, right? Um, you know, sure, I'm pretty sure there are, like, some limitations in terms of different things that, uh, custom code workflows can do, but they're so way above my head in developery that I'm not even sure they're even worth talking about, right?

But, um, yeah, I've been doing that, which is really cool. Um, I do a lot of stuff with, like, scheduled workflows as well, so, like, You know, I built our whole partner payout system to run on like monthly, you know, uh, uh, uh, workflows that will, you know, combine a bunch of data from, you know, stuff that we know about in terms of like, which partners are associated to what app subscriptions and payments being made and like all that stuff.

So there's just like an infinite amount of stuff you could do with it, really, but

[00:43:12] George B. Thomas: What I heard there is Max is a nerd.

[00:43:14] Max Cohen: Yeah, I'm a, I'm a nerd.

[00:43:15] George B. Thomas: a nerd. That's what I heard.

[00:43:17] Liz Moorehead: He's our happy little

[00:43:18] Max Cohen: Mm hmm.

[00:43:19] Liz Moorehead: little nerd. George. Okay. I need you to put on your simplifying the complex hat, although actually I'm not sure you ever take it off, but we've had some pretty complex discussions today about what business operations actually means, who the HubSpot operations hub is actually for.

We've covered a lot of ground. So if our listeners today, only walk away with a few takeaways from today's discussion. What do you want them to be?

[00:43:45] George B. Thomas: Yeah. I think there's a couple of things, whether you can get operations hub or not. My hopes is that in the future, by the way, this is not an upsell, but in the future, I hope that if you don't have it, you can get it, uh, fundamentally data hygiene. Um, de duping contacts, um, keeping a shiny, clean HubSpot portal is one of what should be your main focuses on a daily, weekly, monthly basis.

Um, there's ways that you can do all of this manually. But again, much of this becomes automagical. If you have HubSpot operations pro, the other thing that I would want people to think about is as fast as everything is changing business, the way we sell, the way we service the, the, the things that humans need from us, knowing that you can reach into your pocket.

AKA HubSpot workflows and custom coded workflows. And you can extend what is already super powerful for all of your departments with a, with a nicely, uh, strategized, optimized, and created custom coded workflow that when, when it's in place, people just step back and go, holy crap, that feels like magic. So that's the two things is one be hyper focused on how do you have the dopest cleanest data hygiene, uh, portal possible to man.

And how can you enable yourself to extend? The needed functionality for the teams to do the things that they need to do.

[00:45:28] Liz Moorehead: Fantastic.

[00:45:29] George B. Thomas: Love it.

[00:45:29] Liz Moorehead: I think we got it.

[00:45:31] George B. Thomas: Well then bye everybody. See, I miss the days where we used to have like a poem or like something weird or

[00:45:39] Max Cohen: poems are probably crazy that we could make a chat

[00:45:42] Liz Moorehead: Roses are red. Violets are blue. We love HubSpot Operations Hub and you should too.

[00:45:48] Max Cohen: I don't want.