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HubSpot Buys Clearbit to Add Sales Intelligence, Moves Closer to Being One-Stop Shop

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On Wednesday, November 1st, HubSpot announced that it was acquiring Clearbit, a sales intelligence platform that competes with the likes of Zoominfo and LinkedIn Sales Navigator. It's HubSpot's first acquisition in two years and could be it's most significant one to date.

In case you're not familiar with sales intelligence (it’s okay; the MarTech space is massive!), sales teams use these tools to find new prospects and to get more information about existing ones. Clearbit, a leading B2B data provider, provides intent data, which identifies when visitors from target accounts interact with your content.

In its announcement, HubSpot said that Clearbit will “eventually be integrated as an offering within HubSpot's customer platform.” Here's our take on what this could mean down the line for HubSpot users.

How Does HubSpot Benefit?

Here is how HubSpot describes what they will be able to do with Clearbit: 

"HubSpot will be able to bring rich third-party company data into its system of record, making HubSpot the central source of truth for go-to-market professionals.

From tracking website visits to monitoring a company’s news announcements, HubSpot will be able to provide front-office teams the most comprehensive context about their customers and prospects–at a time when it is so critical to identify best fit customers and purchase intent.”

So, first and foremost, of course, the primary benefit is the extra product functionality integrating Clearbit will add to HubSpot. Once it's fully a part of its system, sales users won't have to leave HubSpot for prospecting activities, which will substantially smoothen out workflows. This aligns with HubSpot's strategy of becoming a one-stop shop for its customers.

Access to Clearbit's Data

But perhaps more important than the product functionality is the data it depends on. Clearbit claims its data set has records for 20 million companies and 500 million individuals, with over 100 potential data points in each one. While HubSpot's own data set is plenty rich, Clearbit's is certainly more comprehensive, as that has been their business focus.

Having this data, as well as access to its sources, opens up a number of new monetization opportunities. Based on HubSpot's established product approach, expect Clearbit to become another 'Hub' within the CRM experience - say, "DataHub" - with the usual starter/pro/enterprise breakdown. Lower tiers could have access to fewer data points or be limited to automated enrichment, but HubSpot will undoubtedly find a way to charge for a premium Enterprise experience.

What are the potential benefits for HubSpot users?

As touched on above, the primary benefit for sales teams will be a streamlined prospecting process and the removal of a separate tool from the stack. The existing Clearbit integration already allows real-time data enrichment, so no new functionality would be made available that isn't already. 

What could improve, however, is the ability of non-sales teams to be able to access this functionality. Sales intelligence companies know their data is valuable, and they don't make access to it cheap. 

Many companies buy only as many seats as is needed by sales teams, and with MarTech budgets shrinking and tech stacks compressing, it's harder than ever to convince finance (and/or IT) to spend money on yet another tool. Convincing them to open the purse up just a little bit for an upgrade to an existing tool is a much easier ask. Sales teams that currently don’t have budget for an intelligence tool may benefit from this effect as well.

With access to enriched data, sales and marketing automation can become even more targeted, precise, and personalized. But there’s one much-hyped tech development that makes the potential for what HubSpot can do with this data almost limitless: AI.


Yes, AI. It’s 2023, which means it’s almost impossible to look at a development in tech without considering what part AI can play – and this move by HubSpot is no different.

You see, it's possible to see a (not too distant) future where HubSpot's native AI functions effectively as an SDR, automatically engaging in prospecting, outreach, and perhaps even qualification. 

Here's how you might handle a new contact conversion:

  • When a prospect converts on a form, the system automatically enriches the record from the intelligence database.
  • AI scores the contact and sets properties as necessary.
  • AI crafts a personalized outreach email based on that enriched data and their activity history (landing page visits, sources, etc. – Hey marketers, this would mean no more need for thank you emails!). These emails could even include meeting links tied to AE calendars.
  • AI continues to create and send follow-ups based on pre-set parameters. Thanks to its direct access to performance data, it can automatically determine the best time to send an email. It could even use intent data to create targeted outreach in real-time. 
  • If the prospect responds, the AI routes the contact to an AE or ends the outreach sequence. 

The AI could also run personalized nurture sequences, adjusting the cadence automatically based on performance data – and perform a long list of other tasks—but how HubSpot can inject AI into its processes is a separate discussion.

Is this coming soon?

HubSpot’s product team moves fast, but it’ll probably take a few months for the deal to close. The existing Clearbit integration is quite robust, however, so they’ll be starting with a good base. A good bet is we'll see some big announcements around HubSpot adding sales intelligence capabilities at Inbound 2024.

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