In this exclusive interview, Kevin Dunn, the host of Agency Unfiltered at HubSpot, talks to Patrick Biddiscombe, the CEO of New Breed, about the company's success as the only three-time North America Partner of the Year. They discuss New Breed’s approach to revenue performance management and how they shifted from a traditional marketing agency to a holistic focus on revenue and customer acquisition, as well as expansion and renewals.
Patrick shares insights on the value of enriching data for clients, lessons learned on team growth, and plans for expansion into the global space:
- New Breed shifted its position from a traditional marketing agency to a revenue performance management firm, focusing on a holistic approach to revenue and customer acquisition, expansion, and renewals.
- The shift required internal communication strategy changes and hiring people with different talents such as software engineers and data analysts.
- New Breed expanded the types of businesses they worked with, including working with CFOs and analyst teams, and the shift broadened who they work with.
- To adjust to the shift, New Breed's sales team was trained to sell to multiple stakeholders and personas, while the company created a culture around team selling.
- New Breed is making a big bet on data and plans to expand its footprint into different geographies to make a significant play in the global space.
Dive into the full conversation to learn more about how New Breed is driving revenue through every facet of its business. *The below transcript has been edited to improve readability.
Agency Unfiltered: Shifting from Agency to Revenue Performance (and Planning for the Future)
KD: Congratulations on becoming the North America Partner of the Year, Patrick. Can you tell us more about this achievement and what it means for New Breed?
PB: Thanks, Kevin! It's something we're going for every year. We were HubSpot's North America Partner for several years before HubSpot had Global. We were the top partner before that was officially announced, and it was a great team effort this year. It was really fun to watch how the team stepped up, competed, and did a great job. We solved for the customer, we solved for the partnership, and we came out on top. It was really exciting to be able to do that this year and spotlight what New Breed has been up to.
Can you share some insights on how New Breed achieved this accolade and any tips for other partners aiming for the same goal?
For partners aspiring to achieve this goal, I suggest taking a holistic approach to revenue performance management, which goes beyond traditional marketing agency services. At New Breed, we help clients acquire new customers, and renew existing ones, and expand those relationships. It's important to stay current with industry changes and choose your own destiny as a partner. As the partner ecosystem evolves, there are many opportunities for growth and category creation.
That's great advice. Can you explain what revenue performance management is and how it differs from a traditional marketing agency approach?
Revenue performance management is a holistic approach to revenue and customer acquisition, expansion, and renewals. It goes beyond traditional marketing services and focuses on driving revenue through every facet of a business. As a HubSpot partner, you can choose to specialize in one category or go broad and become experts in every component of the platform. At New Breed, we chose to go wide to help clients with every aspect of their revenue strategy.
New Breed has shifted its position from a marketing agency to a revenue performance management firm. Why? What’s the difference?
Like many other HubSpot partners, we started out in the marketing category. As HubSpot evolved over the years — and our vision alongside it — we wanted to take a much more holistic approach focused on revenue and customer acquisition as well as expansion and renewals. So we not only help our clients acquire new customers, but we can help them renew existing customers. We can help them expand those relationships. It’s really become holistic around the whole revenue line item inside of a business.
What did the shift to revenue performance management mean for the New Breed team? Did you have to rethink anything or operationalize it in a way that you hadn't previously?
There were a couple of things we did. Internally, we had to say the word agency was dead. That's not a word we talk about inside New Breed — agencies. People have a preconceived notion of what that means to a customer and then to an employee. The way we think about it at New Breed is we've got two types of customers: internal customers and external customers. When we're talking about our vision and mission, we need both parties to understand it. So, we developed a communication strategy around why we've evolved away from an agency.
Additionally, we had to hire people with different types of talents. We now have software engineers and data analysts on staff. These are folks that aren't traditionally at a marketing agency. New Breed is both a solution partner and an app partner. So as a revenue firm, we're not only thinking about how we can solve a problem with managed services, but also how to solve that problem with technology for our customers as well.
It sounds like New Breed is rethinking what a partner can be and what a partner should be. How is the ecosystem prime to create new categories, new ways of thinking about what a partner can be, and what they can do for their customers?
It really is. We're always looking for the next category we can create. I think one of the things we're really excited about right now is this idea of app development on the platform. That’s the next stage of creating a solution to solve a customer problem, and we've got the team to do it. We're really excited about our future prospects and how we can continue to evolve and provide value to our customers.
How did the shift to revenue performance management affect the types of businesses you worked with?
The customer profile didn't change much. The shift allowed us to work with a wider variety of departments within each customer’s organization, including the CRO and VP of Sales, and we could now work closely with their CFO and analyst teams. It quickly broadened who we work with and gave us the chance to create board-level reporting with our data products.
How did the shift to revenue performance management change your sales process, and do you have any recommendations for other partners who want to learn how to talk to sales leaders, the CFO, IT directors, etc?
We had to train our sales team to be comfortable selling to multiple stakeholders and personas. We launched a sales engineering team to help with product knowledge so that account executives can sell to a wider range of buyer types. We also enabled team selling by building a culture around it and creating a process for splitting deals. This removes the friction that comes with commission splits and incentivizes co-selling. Co-selling is at the heart of our complex B2B product.
Can you tell me more about how you split out the product knowledge requirement that was on the sales rep’s plate and established the depth of knowledge a sales engineer would need around the HubSpot Product?
It's one of the hardest roles to hire for, in my honest opinion. We found that people who grew up inside the ecosystem had a lot of success because their knowledge grew over time. They were better able to get competency across a lot of product expertise and understand how the product evolved. So that was our approach. We found great success in reaching out to the HubSpot alumni group, where we found some really talented folks who joined our company.
What changes have you seen happen to the HubSpot ecosystem, and what has New Breed institutionalized to keep pace?
HubSpot has shifted to becoming a CRM company, which means that New Breed has built services around CRM implementation. Integrations are complementary to CRM, so building that integration side as well was essential for us.
What big bets are you hoping to make this year or a big swing you took last year that paid off for the business?
We’re making a big bet on data. I’ve joined the board of SaaSWorks, a revenue analytics platform that provides private equity-, growth-, and operator-level reporting. It's a big bet for us, but we're very bullish on bringing it to the mid-market.
What kind of data is the most valuable for New Breed's clients and how do you plan to expand globally in the future?
A few examples of valuable data we provide to our clients are lifetime expectancy, lifetime value, and revenue per head, which we can segment for different industries and businesses. We’ve built an engine that can answer these questions for large organizations struggling to get their systems and data to work together. As for our future plans, we want to expand our footprint into different geographies and make a significant play in the global space.
Any advice for agencies looking to grow their team?
If you're in growth mode, hire a head of sales sooner than you think to offload that responsibility from the CEO or owner. Also, invest in your people and your culture by hiring a people leader early on, ideally around the 50-100 employee range.
What's the strangest part of agency life?
The pace and diversity of agency life can be both exciting and challenging. Working in the world of digital transformation, technology, automation, and AI, you need to thrive in a fast-paced environment to succeed. If you enjoy and thrive at a fast pace, agency life can be a fun and exciting experience.
As HubSpot continues to evolve, there is ample opportunity for partners to carve out their own niche and build successful businesses. New Breed's story serves as a great example of how a strategic approach, dedication to customer success, and a focus on revenue can lead to sustained success in the HubSpot ecosystem. To watch the full episode, go to Spotify, Apple, or the Agency Unfiltered page in HubSpot Academy.
If you’d like to learn more about how to implement our success story into your sales operations and revenue growth, contact our experts for a free sales and enablement assessment of your company.
Tag(s): HubSpot Editor Pick
A former art kid with a passion for all things strategic and creative, Liza is on a mission to shake up B2B spaces. When she's not busy launching brands and driving revenue, you can find her chasing down Brooklyn's best food truck (Tacos El Bronco), or cuddled up with her dog to decode Reddit conspiracy theories.