BOSTON -- HubSpot on Wednesday unveiled new tools for HubSpot AI and released new capabilities for Sales Hub.
The products were introduced at HubSpot Inbound 2023, the CRM vendor's annual conference for business, marketing and sales teams.
One new AI tool, AI Forecasting, improves the accuracy of future sales projections by tapping into HubSpot's predictive AI and historical sales feature. Another new AI resource, AI Agents, is a group of AI-supported tools that assist small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with customer service automation and communication in live chat and email.
AI Forecasting, offered in Sales Hub, is available in private beta. AI Agents will be available in early 2024, according to HubSpot. Pricing for Sales Hub Professional starts at $450 per month and includes five paid users with $90 per month for every additional user, according to HubSpot.
Using AI to help customers and sellers connect
Preserving the mission of using technology to simply create unique connections between customers and sellers is vital to rendering value in HubSpot's new AI tools, according to Liz Miller, principal analyst at Constellation Research.
Liz MillerAnalyst, Constellation Research
"Far too often when AI is blindly applied to CX strategy, once a customer is drawn in, they are met with what can only be called an ocean of sameness: content that sounds the same as all the other content, experiences that feel the same, images that have an uncanny and unnerving sameness," Miller said.
"But this is exactly what HubSpot will need to amplify -- that at the core of an inbound strategy, there is a person waiting to engage with another person," she continued.
Miller said that is why she is "keeping a cautious eye" on HubSpot's new AI Agents. The agents will cut into the human-to-human relationship between buyer and seller with automated communications, which may be in danger of becoming ersatz if the data is not accurate and voluminous, Miller said.
"AI Agents will require lots of data about customers, about questions, about products, about language, and strategies on where and how AI Agents transition and hand off to live agents," she said.
Tools to monitor daily tasks
New tools for Sales Hub released on Wednesday include a prospecting workspace, which centralizes prospecting tasks including messaging through email, calls and LinkedIn, and advanced lead management and reporting to help sales reps prioritize leads using lead reports and prospecting activity reports.
Such tools are useful for SMBs' sales and marketing teams to track down customers in an organized, effective way, according to Miller.
"HubSpot's Sales Hub announcements are right in the sweet spot of where fast-moving small and midsized organizations want to be -- working smart and in a single pane of glass from the point of prospecting and initial engagement through to deal configuration and close," Miller said.
HubSpot's new AI tools relieve sellers of various mundane operations that take time away from finding and building relationships with customers, Miller said.
"Sales reps and sales supervisors are bogged down in administrative tasks that are still critical to business operations," she added. "This is where AI -- and especially generative AI -- tools are being put to work for sellers and their managers. Where AI is most meaningful, at the moment, is in removing the unwanted friction of overwrought process."
Mary Reines is a news writer covering customer experience and unified communications for TechTarget Editorial. Before TechTarget, Reines was arts editor at the Marblehead Reporter.