HubSpot Ideas

dan_sitton

What happened to Prospects?

Why does HubSpot no longer track pages visited on a company level in the Prospects tools? That was one of the most valuable parts of the Sales platform, and without that tool I am less likely to recommend Sales to one of our clients. I will send them to Leadlander instead - as they are still offering this information.

 

HubSpot could easily work around the GDPR but it appears that they are more interested in internal ease then building a product that continues to fulfill the needs of customers. This is the second time in two years (technically the third, if you count the Events beta that never worked right) that HubSpot has stripped down the Prospects tool. Why is HubSpot so against smart prospecting? Are they trying to push sales back into the cold-calling dark ages for new customer prospecting?

Actualizaciones de HubSpot
June 01, 2018 02:47 AM

Hi all, 

 

Thank you both for your feedback and your patience as I followed up on this with the Product Team. 

 

Decisions like this aren't easy, so I wanted to provide some additional context on what went into the change.

 

First, a quick summary: last week, the recent activities feature, which shows pages viewed by anonymous visitors in the Prospects tool, was removed. Prospects still shows aggregated analytics about companies, and you can still view the individual pages that your known contacts have viewed from the contact record.


A lot of factors go into a decision like this, but here are a few that were high on the list:

- User feedback. Over time, the feedback on this feature has been mixed at best. While that doesn't take away from the fact that some users find it useful, it gives you some context --- when it comes to prioritizing features, we look holistically across our users, and build the features that will add the most value to the largest set of our customers.

- Usage data. In addition to anecdotal feedback, usage was very low. Less than 6% of all prospects users viewed that section of the sidebar every month --- and, in full transparency, that represents 6% of the fraction of all HubSpot users who use Prospects at all. Again, that doesn't take away from the fact that some find it valuable, but it gives you some insight into the data we take into account when making a decision like this.

- Recent regulations. The GDPR was enforced in the EU starting last week. Under the GDPR, storing IP addresses requires consent. The removed feature didn't play nicely with that requirement.

When taking all these data points into account, it comes down to this: where can we allocate our resources, to best solve for our customers? The work required to enable the feature to support GDPR compliance as well as the ability collect IP addresses without consent would have been an outsized engineering effort compared the value for the entire customer base.

83 Comentarios
bradmin
Asesor destacado

HubSpot announced the sunsetting of Prospects back in February, and was not GDPR-related. There are probably a few Ideas posts asking to bring it back, but the decision is independent of what you'd asked about, and it's probably unlikely they'll bring the tool back. 

dan_sitton
Colaborador

I think you're confusing Keywords and Prospects. It was the Keywords tool in the Marketing portal that they announced they were sunsetting (and is referenced in your link). The Prospects tool in the Sales portal is what I'm referring to. I looked through my announcements and hadn't seen any advance communication.

 

Also, when you go to where you would normally have looked in the Sales portal for this information you get a link to the GDPR page from HubSpot as a reason to why they're discontinuing. But GDPR only applies to the EU, so they could just exclude those IP's. In addition, they can keep this information only at the company level for EU visitors (it was already only at the company level) and it would still be GDPR compliant.

 

But yet they're still tracking that information and letting you see what companies are on your site - just not what pages they are looking at. That's a weird line to draw and takes great value away from that tool.

bradmin
Asesor destacado

You're absolutely right, and I completely misread. My apologies, and I don't have an answer to your question. 

DebbieF
Participante

I am blown away by this as well and have not received an answer from HubSpot on this.  To me, that is a huge value add for my sales team and they are very frustrated about not being able to find this tool since the end of last week.  It would be very unfair to just abruptly do away with this feature as we pay a lot of money for HubSpot.

dan_sitton
Colaborador

@roisinkirby or anyone else on the HubSpot team - any thoughts to add?

 

I was hoping that we could at least get a response.

Marcey
Participante
 
CCNN
Miembro

I agree on all points.

 

1. This is a huge loss in product functionality.

2. This isn't a GDRP that can't be solved.

 

roisinkirby
Equipo de producto de HubSpot

Hi all, 

 

Thank you both for your feedback and your patience as I followed up on this with the Product Team. 

 

Decisions like this aren't easy, so I wanted to provide some additional context on what went into the change.

 

First, a quick summary: last week, the recent activities feature, which shows pages viewed by anonymous visitors in the Prospects tool, was removed. Prospects still shows aggregated analytics about companies, and you can still view the individual pages that your known contacts have viewed from the contact record.


A lot of factors go into a decision like this, but here are a few that were high on the list:

- User feedback. Over time, the feedback on this feature has been mixed at best. While that doesn't take away from the fact that some users find it useful, it gives you some context --- when it comes to prioritizing features, we look holistically across our users, and build the features that will add the most value to the largest set of our customers.

- Usage data. In addition to anecdotal feedback, usage was very low. Less than 6% of all prospects users viewed that section of the sidebar every month --- and, in full transparency, that represents 6% of the fraction of all HubSpot users who use Prospects at all. Again, that doesn't take away from the fact that some find it valuable, but it gives you some insight into the data we take into account when making a decision like this.

- Recent regulations. The GDPR was enforced in the EU starting last week. Under the GDPR, storing IP addresses requires consent. The removed feature didn't play nicely with that requirement.

When taking all these data points into account, it comes down to this: where can we allocate our resources, to best solve for our customers? The work required to enable the feature to support GDPR compliance as well as the ability collect IP addresses without consent would have been an outsized engineering effort compared the value for the entire customer base.

MissyBeynon
Participante

I've read @roisinkirby's reply and just got off the phone with our account rep who reiterated the same message. While I understand how and why the decision might've been made, here's another bit of information: being able to see what companies hit our paid ad landing pages but didn't convert was one of the selling points for HubSpot as a whole, let alone sold us on the Sales portion. Now you've taken away our ability to see which page the company viewed, making it much harder for our sales team to reach out to the companies. Yes, it was cold-calling. Yes, it was already difficult. Now you've made it even harder because they're going in blind. We're seriously considering downgrading to remove the Sales features.

dan_sitton
Colaborador

We were sent the exact same copy and paste message that @roisinkirby posted in the channel. Apparently, HubSpot is getting enough complaints to work up a formal response for all employees to use.

 

I would love to see how HubSpot defines users. Is it anyone with a HubSpot Sales account? If so, that explains the low percentage. The people who do use that tool use it often and act as a driving force for the rest of the sales team. Also, it's really funny that they mention the complaints about the platform because they have been stripping away functionality over the last two years.

 

Earlier this year, HubSpot stripped away other significant enterprise functionality out of the Design editor - claiming low usage. But the only people who needed to use that feature was small because it was only HubSpot designers. So of course usage was low because only 1 person out of 30 (in our company) used the feature. But it was a function that we used for ourselves and every client's website. HubSpot can claim low usage but I think those numbers can be misconstrued.

 

Regardless of the validity of usage numbers, the bigger issue here is communication. HubSpot was touting their ticketing platform since before Inbound of last year. Any new updates get heralded with trumpet sounds. However, when they remove functionality they don't communicate and basically try to get rid of it in the middle of the night hoping no one will care. Communication for significant functional changes has to be improved by HubSpot - that's the "Inbound" methodology all of their branding materials tout. Why can't they follow their own guidelines and communicate with customers?

Cbenson
Participante

It just doesn't stack up,

 

Points 1 and 2 touting low usage on a tool they don't seem to maintain and that uses data they collect anyways is very weird... Surely the cost of support/leaving it was next to null? 

Point 3 about GDPR really isn't clear, and if used as an excuse needs to be elaborated more thoroughly, because using that simple explanation and logic they should just give up providing any analytics...

 

Beginning to feel jaded about a tool we haven't even finished setting up!

 

C.

DebbieF
Participante

Yeah, we're pretty confused by that as well.  It's almost as if they didn't want to put any effort into GDPR support so they just put some blanket features in to cover everything, even though the result is eliminating features people used (I don't buy that only a small percentage of people used it, especially since at some companies one person is responsible for analyzing the data and/or distributing "leads" but it benefits multiple people).

 

We're starting to look at other tools that provide more detailed data on web visits since it was a key reason we renewed with HubSpot.  Not sure what this will mean for our use of HubSpot long term.

MissyBeynon
Participante

@DebbieF can you share what tools you're looking into for web analytics? Thanks.

DebbieF
Participante

@MissyBeynon  I have demos setup this week with LeadLander, Lead Forensics and Netfactor (their VisitorTrack product).  One of those companies in particular was very surprised (and I think happy) to hear that HubSpot doesn't support this any longer.  Said it doesn't make sense. 

 

Of course, until we fully evaluate we won't know if these will be a fit and/or affordable, but they appear to all still track page views, which is great.

MissyBeynon
Participante

@DebbieF thanks for sharing!

eattard
Miembro

This feature was one of the main reasons why we had made the switch to Hubspot. Our CEO checks this sidebar every single day, and given it has now been removed, we are going to have to look at moving to a different provider. I understand that GDPR is to blame for this, however, we are not capturing any personally identifiable information here. If the website visitor agrees to our cookies and privacy policy then there should be no issue. Hubspot should seriously consider re-introducing this, as judging from this forum, I am not alone when I say, we need this level of intelligence.

eattard
Miembro

@Boverstreet - here's the response i got from Hubspot support regarding this topic. I still think it's ridiculous and have started looking elsewhere even though I was very happy with Hubspot up until now. 

 

The Prospects function now no longer shows website activity for all prospects within the tool as we have removed it, to comply with GDPR practices. This is implemented across all prospects as IP address is not a reliable identifier of a person’s actual location or citizenship e.g. if someone is using a VPN for example, it might not be their actual location.

Also, if your audience is one that frequently flies for business, there is a chance that an EU citizen being in America and not seeing the display as he/she should. An EU citizen based in Canada might also be subject to GDPR. To help our customers to be more GDPR compliant around these many possible circumstances, for the time being, we have removed the Prospects Website activity section altogether.

Boverstreet
Miembro

@eattard I have other platforms that rely on IP address identification and when asked if GDPR would affect it like it has HubSpot they said that it is up to the customer and their privacy/cookie policy. I don't know why HubSpot couldn't leave it up to the customer as well. We do not have clients outside of the US nor do we plan on expanding outside the US so I'm not sure why HubSpot felt the need to dictate these regulations for us. 

lthompson
Participante

I'm so disappointed. We're currently testing HubSpot and this was one of the coolest "Wow" features that got our leadership team even interested in considering spending the money on HubSpot. It seems to be an incredible piece of info that you can use to make an introduction into an account. Sad to see it go and I hope that HubSpot will consider bringing it back.

Laura1
Miembro

We are also very disappointed by this feature being taken away. Hubspot, please consider bringing it back, at least for US users, if anything.