Make Influence Scaled Across Europe and Saved $300K in One Year
Make Influence wanted to grow across Europe, but a disconnected tech stack held them back. With HubSpot for Startups, they got a scalable CRM that helped them identify ICPs, increase pricing, and optimise operations to expand into new regions.
About Make Influence
Make Influence is a Copenhagen-based solution that helps over 200 brands and 2000 influencers across Europe to partner together using performance-based pricing.
|Industry: Software and Technology
Company Size: Small Business
Use Case: HubSpot for Startups
| HubSpot Products Used
A Danish B2B SaaS Startup
Make Influence is a solution that helps businesses and influencers collaborate and grow. Its online marketplace provides tools and structure to build partnerships where pricing is based on performance, making the relationships feel more fair, and helping both parties operate more strategically.
CEO and co-founder Rasmus Bruus Larsen says the platform is a uniquely Danish solution.
“In Denmark, we’re really good at creating B2B SaaS companies. Compared to our population, there are a large number of unicorns. The business ecosystem is expanding, and so is our mindset.”
Although Nordic companies have traditionally focused on growing locally, Make Influence is part of a growing movement toward inter-regional and global expansion.
“We are scaling quickly and trying to grow into more markets using our existing team.”
A disconnected tech stack
With a background in B2C ecommerce, Rasmus focused on learning the nuances of B2B marketing to help Make Influence grow. His team signed up for ActiveCampaign for content marketing, SEO, and inbound email campaigns. They later added Pipedrive to manage the sales process.
But the team quickly realised that they needed more functionality than the two tools could deliver.
“Pipedrive worked fine, but it couldn’t deliver more than just an overview of the pipeline. ActiveCampaign eventually added a pipeline feature, but it didn’t work because it couldn’t integrate with the other tools in the business.”
Unable to leverage data
It was essential for Make Influence to gain actionable insights from the data within their app.
“We have a lot of data on our platform, but nowhere to make that visible. We tried to push it into Pipedrive or ActiveCampaign, but we couldn't get either system to show everything in one place.”
Not having a single source of truth made it impossible to empower the customer success team with account data.
“We offer extensive support to two different types of customers. Having that blindfold on meant it was really hard to support them and nurture sales efficiently.”
Nordic business culture
Rasmus found that certain aspects of Nordic culture challenged his company’s ambitious plans for growth.
“We have a Danish term called janteloven, which says that you should not say you are the best, that your business is the best, or even that you’re the first in the market. It keeps us stuck thinking locally, when we need to think globally.”
Gaining a growth-friendly technical solution was critical for Make Influence to develop their scaling strategy.
Choosing HubSpot for Startups
After struggling with ActiveCampaign and Pipedrive, Make Influence started looking at HubSpot.
They were already relying on HubSpot’s knowledge base resources, when they were introduced to the HubSpot for Startups program by one of their funders, Vaekstfonden.
Through HubSpot for Startups, they could get a powerful CRM platform to accelerate their growth, and keep it as they scaled through each stage of funding and beyond.
They would also benefit from startup-friendly pricing and specialised customer support to help them increase leads, accelerate sales, and streamline customer service.
“It was an opportunity to leverage really good software that could scale with us for a fraction of the price. So we took the jump."
Implementing HubSpot’s full CRM
Rasmus and his team focused on making the most of the HubSpot for Startups program.
“With the discount, we could afford to upgrade to the Pro level for Operations, Service, and Marketing Hubs, and Enterprise level for CMS and Sales Hubs. We decided to really invest in getting the system structured and working for us.”
They started by creating a sales pipeline inside Sales Hub and structuring the data fields so it could easily share account information with their ticketing pipeline in Service Hub.
Next, they moved their website onto CMS Hub, unlocking huge amounts of first-party customer data to empower their marketing, sales, and customer success teams.
Integrating their own platform
A key benefit of using HubSpot CRM was being able to sync data from the Make Influence app.
Rasmus says, “We turned every bit of data from our app into properties that we could import into HubSpot. Our developers used Operations Hub to build custom objects and create a complex structure that allowed us to sync info from both our business and influencer type of accounts.”
With the custom integration, every member of the Make Influence team could leverage user data within the HubSpot platform.
“We work completely in HubSpot all day. It’s so nice to have it all structured together. For us, data is king.”
Ease of scaling with HubSpot
The Make Influence Team noticed that it was extremely easy to onboard staff with HubSpot.
“The ramp-up time has been a lot faster compared to other tools. Our newest employee got going within just one week.”
They’ve harnessed the CRM to improve lead quality, using data from website activity and email automations to prequalify leads. They’ve also standardised the sales cycle, using workflows that track the sales pipeline.
The integrated CMS has also been game-changing. It’s allowing the growth development team to work more closely with their lead gen and content marketing colleagues, and saving them significant time keeping all data in one place.
These optimizations have multiplied productivity to power growth for Make Influence.
“We actually scaled our team down from 28 people to 11. With our new structure and focus, we’ve become very efficient. We’re doing four or five times the work with less than half the people.”
Raising prices thanks to ICP
One of the biggest wins that Make Influence gained was defining their ideal customer profile (ICP).
“HubSpot was extremely valuable in finding our ICP. We were finally able to harness our own platform data and combine it with our CRM info to understand our best customers.”
Rasmus says the insights helped Make Influence develop a product-market fit more quickly, and they were a key factor in the new positioning that helped them raise their prices.
“We could identify what activities on our platform, what company dynamics, and even what social media attributes were indicators of our ICP. We used that information to score leads and prioritise our sales activities, and it increased our efficiency even more.”
Expanding across Europe
HubSpot’s integrations, automations, and data insights were key to creating an efficient process that Make Influence uses to sell in new markets.
“We were able to leverage data from Shopify and our ICP shops in the UK, Germany, France, and Spain, create and score lead accounts, and set up tasks for our sales team to approach the highest priorities.”
Without HubSpot’s capabilities, Rasmus and his team would have to resort to arduous manual research and inefficient cold calls.
Scaling throughout Europe
With HubSpot for Startups, Make Influence has optimized their marketing, sales, and customer success operations to expand throughout Europe.
“We are opening up six different European countries right now. HubSpot made it extremely efficient for us to validate and test new markets.”
Rasmus says that by harnessing HubSpot as a single source of truth and integrating with their platform, they were able to leverage ICP data and increase pricing by 6x.
“Since we defined our ICP, we’re closing bigger deals, and we’ve increased our price by six times. We’re about to raise them again. We’ve found out who we should be targeting and are refining our efforts every day. It’s a tremendous benefit from the insights you can gain with HubSpot.”
The efficiencies they’ve developed have reduced the cost of customer acquisition by -50%.
“We’ve definitely halved our customer acquisition cost. We had five sales people at our largest, and now we only have 2.5. We’re also not doing a lot of ads anymore. Our inbound methods are working, and we’re very well positioned with organic traffic.”
Rasmus says that the increased productivity has helped them save up to $300,000 per year in staffing costs.
Next, Make Influence plans to create a freemium account on their platform to develop product-qualified leads.
To other founders, Rasmus recommends going all-in on HubSpot for Startups.
“If you’ve got a startup, take the opportunity. The economic investment is so small. Really invest your time in it, and get it working for your whole company. HubSpot is a very good system and it works beautifully when you make it central to your operations.”
Grow better and faster with HubSpot for Startups
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