Cradle & HubSpot Integration

In this Sprocket Talk thought leader interview, we talk to James McCarthy from We chat about the Cradle & HubSpot integration, competition, cost and so much more.

If you are looking for a cloud-based phone system that your team and customers will love, then this interview might be for you.

About the Expert

James McCarthy

James is a dairy farmer's son who gets frustrated with problems. He helped grow an aviation software business to be one of the largest aircraft tracking companies in the world, whilst being profitable, over the course of a decade.

He's now turning his attention to a problem that seemed to persist throughout his time at Spidertracks: helping people talk to people. Communication is one of the things that sets humans apart from other animals. Communicating complex ideas and sharing experiences enables us to build large and complex organizations. We do this best by talking to each other.

Cradle is a small business tool that helps delight your customers by facilitating informed conversations with the right person when your customer needs to talk. Recycle your phone system and get something more human. Visit


Full Transcript

James McCarthy 0:00
Didn't find another phone system that was doing something like updating properties at the end of every phone call so that you can launch automation on the back end of a phone call. Are you a HubSpot user looking for fun and interactive education that helps you be better at HubSpot then. Welcome to sprocket talk.

George Thomas 0:18
Alright, sprocket talk viewers, you know me I'm your boy, George B. Thomas. And I'm super excited to be able to talk to you today about something that maybe all of you at least some of you need to be paying attention to. I've got the man the myth, the legend, James McCarthy all the way from well, they'll tell you and he'll even tell you what he does. James, why don't you go ahead and say hi to the sprocket talk community, explain who you are, what you do and who you do it for. Cool. Thanks, George. My name is James McCarthy. I'm talking to you today from Auckland, New Zealand from tomorrow Actually, I am the CEO and co founder of a company called cradle and in one of my previous roles with the team that I work with, we got really frustrated

James McCarthy 1:00
that our customers couldn't talk to us when they wanted to, and have us answer the phone with context to who they were. So what we wanted to do was make a phone system where customers could actually call us talk to us. And when we answer the phone, we we knew exactly who they were and then we could quickly get to the solution for them. So we wanted to make a kick ass phone system. And HubSpot seem to be the best thing to bolt ourselves on to. So we've really integrated ourselves deeply with HubSpot.

George Thomas 1:29
So let's actually dive to the deep end because it's funny, like we just kind of got going, you're explaining who you are and what you do you you probably said my favorite word on the planet that's HubSpot. So we'll circle back around to some of the other questions that I have for you. But because you're so focused on HubSpot, the HubSpot community, like what is it look like as far as like an integration or an understanding of the intelligence or the data that you get when it comes. To the phone solution, let me

James McCarthy 2:02
sort of answer that in a roundabout kind of way. So we really believe in having one one view of the customer like one view of the people who you're dealing with right having all of your information. In one place. HubSpot is a fantastic tool that does a lot with the digital world. So any interaction that they have with you through your your marketing campaigns, and your sales team, and any interaction with your website, or your blogs, or your or your email based content. All of that stuff is tracked in HubSpot, but it is not kept up to date. If someone goes offline. If they take you off paste and they they end up calling you or they walk in through your door and your shop, you lose that continuity of data so you no longer have that full picture of them. And the same is true when when you're talking to them on the phone. If you can't link all that data back together, you lose that picture. So we're really passionate about full picture of the customer giving your team the best toolset to talk to your customers in an informed kind of way

George Thomas 2:57
when I'm a HubSpot customer. I think of using your service. What does it actually look like? How difficult How easy is it to integrate the tool into the HubSpot system.

James McCarthy 3:09
So we've tried to make it as super simple as we can. And basically with one click of a button once you've signed up for our service, you can integrate the two. And what we do is we put a few new properties into HubSpot, that basically, we drag the contacts that you have in HubSpot across the cradle. And once your team is set up with our app, it's just like a Windows or a Mac OS app. So once I set up with the app, they can make and receive phone calls. And by typing a name in our app, anyone with a phone number and HubSpot will come up. And then the matching person they click on and the phone call goes out to that person. At the end of the call. We post that call as an engagement to that person's timeline, or that company's timeline in HubSpot with a with a few other bits and pieces but the cool stuff that we do is we as I said we put some extra properties into HubSpot. What we do is we update those properties at the end of every phone call. And what we saw a lot was that the automation tools within HubSpot were unavailable to a lot of external tools. And we didn't find another phone system that was doing something like updating properties at the end of every phone call so that you could launch automation on the back end of a phone call. And we heard that people want to do that they wanted to send follow up emails or set follow up tasks automatically. They wanted to deal with voicemail automatically, and use that automation power of HubSpot, but with an offline tool like a phone. So we've tried to make it super simple to get set up. And we're and we automatically update and create all of those properties people.

George Thomas 4:38
Okay, so the sprocket talk viewers and listeners that have listened to other interviews, you realize we're at the deep end of the pool, and I'm not really ready to get out and dry off yet. Because you just said something, James that actually, I hope I urge you, right and so I have to ask a question. You said that to be able to fire a workflow off of a Phone call meaning and I, I'm I'm guessing here, I hang up the phone. And I could have like a set of actions happen through the HubSpot workflows tool based on the phone call that I just completed. Okay, so Mind blown, we could just end the interview. No, I'm just kidding. We're not gonna end it. But But I do want to I do want to ask you like, what are some things that you've seen companies do that are really smart, as far as like automated messages or tasks or things along those lines that are happening after you end a call with a potential prospect, lead or even customer so

James McCarthy 5:36
give you an example. So you can run campaign phone numbers through our system. And basically, if you receive calls and through campaign phone numbers, we ought to create new contacts with the the email address that the person who answers the phone types into our app and we add them to HubSpot, and then we're updating all of those properties at the same time. So at the end of the workflow, you can create your own attribution for all Line conversions basically. So if someone calls you through a phone, CTA, instead of clicking on your phone, you can do that attribution automatically. And we've seen those workflows used. We have seen people more on the service end. So if people are calling in and they're coming in through a support phone line, they can automate automatically be creating tickets at the end of phone calls. If calls are missed, they can automatically create tasks for the people on their team, maybe the contact owner gets assigned a task. And I've seen one workflow that someone set up actually where they they're setting up a task for someone to respond to a missed or a voicemail phone call. And if two hours later, that phone call hasn't been responded to, it sends them another notification and says, hey, you've got this outstanding task, you're letting your customer down. So all of the power of those workflows can be launched off the back of a phone call and with with checking a whole lot of detail into that property, so that you can vary how those workflows are used. Absolutely.

George Thomas 6:57
Okay, Mind blown, James. This is amazing. Because just being able to automate the fact that, hey, you're letting your customer down, there's this thing that happened, there's this thing that you're supposed to do this absolutely amazing. Now, I gotta be honest with you. And we're gonna circle back to some of the regularly scheduled questions that I have for these interviews. When I got on the call before I got on the call even I was like, okay, it's probably like a tool for sales. And it's gonna be sales, lead intelligence and being able to, but you've said words campaign, you've said service. So walk us through, like, who will get the most value out of out of the tool,

James McCarthy 7:40
we've made a phone system for an entire business. And a business is made up of lots of different areas and the parts of the business that you know, interface with the outside world, in the most frequent kind of way are typically from our perspective, the marketing teams, the sales teams, and then the customer teams and those are the three areas that HubSpot is particularly focused on, we think that each one of those areas individually can get a huge amount of value from our tool. But coming back to what I said earlier, if an entire organization has all their customer data in one place, they have that one view of the customer. So having the whole business in there having everyone on the team have access to a phone system that they can talk to all of their customers if they need to, is where we see people getting the most value out of our system.

George Thomas 8:25
People. Yeah, I'm telling you you got to go over to their website. You got to check it out. I'm I'm just intrigued. I'm really just intrigued and I'm, I'm, I don't know I'm at a loss for words with the way that this is laid out the way that you're even able to communicate about it being for the entire business showing the use cases. I'm curious because there are some people who are going to be watching this James and they're going to be like, Okay, cool. I'm down like this seems like a really good solution. But I know my boss or my boss's boss, is gonna make me do research. When you think of your space, who are some of the competitors that they might run into?

James McCarthy 9:07
I think if we're talking about the US, the people, the companies up in the US that you're definitely going to run to run into will be a call equals an obvious one. There's a company called Dialpad, there's another company called talkdesk which is more at the call center end of the market. And then you've got your more traditional sort of cloud phone systems like ringcentral for example. So those are the those are the sort of the same sort of groups that we would put ourselves into and then there are UK based company called circle Lu and these are all these are all really good companies with really good products as well. We've got a lot of respect for everyone that I'm that I'm talking about here today. By the way,

George Thomas 9:43
I'm setting you up for success that's enough competitors and and I'm glad that you said do you respect them? And I'm glad that you said that they're great companies, but I was really playing interview volleyball with you are setting you up as giving you the ability to list all those people out because now I'm ready for you to spike the ball and I want you to explain to the sprocket talk viewers and listeners. Why is cradle

James McCarthy 10:06
a better solution. This is obviously a sprocket talk interview here and everyone who's watching this is on HubSpot, and we we use HubSpot ourselves. We are evangelists for HubSpot. I'm going to there's an event in Sydney next week called grow. And of course inbound in Boston in a month's time. We believe in in HubSpot ourselves. We use it we use every aspect of it that we can we use the Service Desk we use marketing tools and the sales tools because we want to really understand how we can help businesses who are using these tools themselves. Have a bit of phone system calls you're all on HubSpot. We believe that you'll get the best phone experience and the the best set of tools to help your customers if you if you come in this cradle, basically,

George Thomas 10:47
it's for service. It's for sales. It's for marketing, it's really for a whole company. You can do I should have not said anything other than you can do workflows off of hanging up The phone like that should have just been my mic drop moment there. But when I when I think of all these good things that we've talked about thus far, my mind immediately rushes to, and probably the viewers as well, who we that's probably like an arm and a leg. So maybe walk us through cost and what that looks like if we wanted to implement cradle for our company.

James McCarthy 11:21
Okay, so it's not it's not a lot of money. It's, um,

we think we're really reasonably priced. We've got two plans that integrate with HubSpot. And they're 35 or $40 a month per user. As I say, we'd like to we'd like to see everyone across an organization using us. And it's a very typical sort of SAS model where you're only committed once a month. So $35 gets you basic integration with HubSpot, and $40 gets you everything including the power to launch those automations cheap for what you get. And you get to talk to your customers, right and you get to update their data and all of that good stuff.

George Thomas 11:54
Boy, exactly with with everything you're listing there, it's a bargain at twice the price. So so we're talking about phones. We're talking HubSpot. We're talking company wide, you really have a large playing field for this next question. I'm curious what are one, two, maybe even three if you feel like it, but one two is fine, too. What are some words of wisdom or some actionable like tactics or strategies that you would want to share with the sprocket talk audience, when it comes to the phone systems, the automation, the lead intelligence, all the things that we've talked about today,

James McCarthy 12:27
we've done a lot of reading around the value of presenting a phone number to customers. And in spite of the fact that people don't necessarily call a business anymore, there's a decent amount of research Google have done a quite a lot of research around this and as well as a bunch of other people. There's a decent amount of research that states that people feel much more comfortable doing business, even online business with a company that gives you the option to call him so having a phone number, even if people don't call it that often is a really strong indicator. have increased sales performance. So that's that's probably one of the things that I would say using the automation tools that you can get with HubSpot in order to give your customers a better experience. Having your phone system built into HubSpot, and having that data available so that the phone isn't a difficult thing to serve people on, it's actually quite fast, you can see that the details as soon as they've called you, is a great way of servicing your customers really, really well. At a reasonably low cost.

George Thomas 13:26
Perception is everything right? mindset is is a miracle when you really stopped to pay attention to it. And the fact that a number even on your website makes you feel like a more valid, like there might be bricks and mortar and doors and people at desks because there's a phone number there. It's so funny. So James, if people want to get in touch with you, if they have questions about cradle if they want to maybe I don't know buy you a steak dinner next time they're down in your neck of the woods are over in your neck of the woods. How do you want people to get in touch With you online,

James McCarthy 14:01
so people can go to our website, it's And I'm sure that there'll be a link to that somewhere where you can chat with us on there. And phone number, of course is listed listed on there. We have numbers all around the world. So you can just hit one of those numbers and give us a call. We'd love to hear from you. Alternatively, you can just flick us an email and we're basically first so on James at cradle IO, if you want to talk to me, get in touch.

George Thomas 14:25
Awesome, James take thanks for taking time to do this interview. I'll let you get back to your regularly scheduled life and really appreciate it and so to the sprocket talk viewers and listeners