Everyone I know who has decision-making responsibility in a marketing agency receives cold email messages and phone calls from Hubspot agency partner reps on a recurring basis, whether we like it or not. About every six to nine months, they crawl out of the woodwork.

Here’s the most recent attack:

Hi Liz, I shot a note to Mindi as well and though I don’t often reach out like this, I’ve had a chance to really poke around your site and am very impressed with the scope of work. Our focus is on increasing revenue for you while adding value for clients and looks like The Conversion Company might be an interesting match, granted it’d be hard to guarantee a perfect fit quite yet. When do you have five minutes to see if we have a good alignment? Rob

 

If Rob had time to “explore” our website (which I doubt he did), why didn’t he look inside his CRM and find us marked as “don’t bother”? Over the last four or so years, we have repeatedly told Rob’s fellow sales people that we have no interest in becoming a Hubspot reseller. It doesn’t fit our business model. And our client relationships are already of greater value than what Hubspot pitches.

I don’t hate Hubspot. I’ll be the first to admit that they are a powerful voice in inbound marketing. They consistently publish some of the best content around.

But then they cross the line from inbound to interruption marketing so quickly – without much of a real attempt to qualify their targets – one has to wonder. Is their CRM that bad? Have they found that inbound marketing doesn’t work as well as they claim it does? Or is it that they really don’t care how many inboxes and voice message boxes they junk up with irrelevant pitches as long as enough of their efforts are successful.

I suspect it’s the latter, and it’s not just Hubspot. Somehow, even with all the information available at our fingertips today, we’ve arrived at a point where marketing, sales and prospecting teams the world over are too quick to assume interest – or too lazy to take even baby steps to qualify out those who are not prospects. Instead we blast out messages as if it were the job of the prospect to let us know they’re not qualified.

This approach is a numbers game that has dramatically reduced the effectiveness of email. It’s killed telemarketing. And it’s severely wounding LinkedIn.

It’s time to do something different. I suggest those who sell or market complex products and services would do well to think about this:

Which is greater – the cost of reading my LinkedIn profile or history in your CRM versus the cost of alienating potential future customers and/or people of influence who can damage your brand?

I think I know the answer Hubspot came up with. Hopefully, you’ll have a better one.