Five Lessons Learned by a CEO – Tal Bar David

Limor
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Tal Bar David is the Co-founder and CEO of Complyt. Tal took a legal background, significant tax expertise and experience working with high-tech companies, and flipped them into an extremely successful entrepreneurship. Tal was able to turn a “Eureka!” moment into Complyt, a leading US sales tax automation platform. Complyt simplifies the compliance obligations for global businesses. With a quick integration, the Complyt automated sales tax platform monitors, calculates and files sales tax returns, all in one accessible platform.

Tal’s journey is one of the most relatable paths to starting one’s own company that you’ll encounter. Any entrepreneur/young CEO will be able to benefit from the personal insights and takeaways he shares in the interview below.

Please tell our readers about yourself. How did it all begin?

I am 36 years old, married plus one child (and another on the way). My story is actually pretty unusual; I studied law and accounting, not the typical origin story of a startup entrepreneur. While trying to decide which of these professions I should pursue, I found myself interning in the US tax department of EY. That is where I first encountered the mysterious world of the US Sales Tax. As I gained experience, I consulted a lot of companies on taxes in general and specifically I had to help them find their way around Sales tax issues. I sensed a recurring pattern among customers, who all voiced the same pain. After hearing their complaints again and again, the need was so obvious and for the first time I felt the entrepreneurial urge to deliver a solution. I was able to raise funds quickly from investors who were familiar with compliance and regulation so they really bought into the idea. Then I quickly got to work before anyone else moved to fill this need.

How did the idea for your current business come about?

The year was 2019 and one customer after another told me that they were incredibly confused by new obligations placed on global businesses when it came to applying and collecting Sales tax. They had good reason to be frustrated; US Sales tax is one of the most complex indirect tax systems in the world. The previous year, the government decided that these taxes, which were originally intended to be local, should be applied on global transactions. The result was a nightmare, since taxes needed to be calculated differently based on the location of the customer and the products and services that were being sold. Customers wondered aloud why someone couldn’t provide them with an easy-to-use technological solution that would take care of these calculations and give them the answer to a simple question: How much Sales tax should I collect?

This actually made a lot of sense to me, since it seemed that this was a problem that could be easily solved with software. The recent changes in legislation provided the compelling event that created a large market for such a solution, so I knew I had to act fast. My goal was to make calculating the Sales tax obligations for any given transaction painless, I didn’t want customers to have to think twice before issuing an invoice.

That’s how I came up with Complyt. It is a system that connects to your ERP and, based on the transaction parameters, advises whether Sales tax is required and how much, as well as handles your filing obligations.

What has been the most satisfying moment in your entrepreneurial journey thus far?

Since I am still on my journey, I don’t think it is possible to point to a single moment. There are many different milestones in the life of an entrepreneur, challenges to overcome and achievements to celebrate. Small satisfying moments; when you succeed in securing investment, when the team achieves a technological milestone, when you win a deal, when you grow the team by adding a new position. The trick is to savour each small victory, as the day-to-day life of an entrepreneur can be very stressful.

What challenges are you facing these days?

One of the main challenges is actually to put together the right team, who can work together with the right chemistry. As a small company, I find that every individual is more impactful, both in their contribution to the solution and as a member of the team. If you are a Google, employees may come and go without making any waves. For us, every addition and every departure has an effect.

Another challenge is keeping track of the competition, constantly checking around to see what others in the space are doing. This is actually something I have made a point of doing from the very beginning and I feel that it was a great contribution to our success. I met with dozens of potential users and my competitors’ customers to analyze what was missing in those solutions, making sure I understood the pain that I could address and the best ways to solve it. Direct communication with your customers is tremendously valuable for figuring out where to devote your energy and resources.

I’ll share an example: I originally envisioned that the product would have a state-of-the-art dashboard, something sleek and shiny, that would allow users to perform all sorts of analytics. When I shared this with customers, their feedback was that they didn’t perceive the dashboard as something that crucial. From their point of view, as long as the system was working reliably and could help them resolve the Sales tax issue quickly, they didn’t have any need for deep analytics. That saved us a lot of effort and allowed us to focus on other priorities. Staying very close to the customers is the key; users should be defining what is important to them.

What motivates and drives you as an entrepreneur?

My biggest satisfaction is seeing my vision slowly materialize, to see how it solves the pain for the target user and watch as they realize how much it can make their lives easier. That is what fuels my motivation. Then I move on to the next challenge, the next pain that can be addressed.

What was the most valuable lesson you learned during your career as a CEO?

The most important lesson for me was learning how to accept help from others. The Israeli ecosystem is extremely supportive. I participated in a mentoring program and had a very helpful mentor who taught me a lot. Whenever I get involved in a new domain of expertise, I always seek out a mentor, a domain expert. It’s super important to add expertise from the experts.
For example, if I need to hire a Salesperson, I will try to consult with someone who has experience in that field; how can I know what I am looking for if I don’t have an understanding of the challenges that they might encounter?
If there is one thing I would like to pass on to other founders/CEOs who may be just starting out, is not to be shy about grabbing a cup of coffee with people and seeking their advice. I found that people are more than happy to help and that I was able to learn a lot. That’s not to say necessarily that I always accepted everything they said, but for me, every input is useful and every viewpoint can teach you something.

Do you believe a method or formula exists to become a successful CEO?

No, I don’t think there is, it really depends on the journey. I was an individual founder, simply because I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity, so that is how it turned out. Later on, it took me a while to find a co-founder since it was important for me to find someone who could complete me, not just professionally but also in terms of characteristics, so we could help balance each other out. There is no single template for being an entrepreneur.
You also need to be able to delegate, to rely on others. A CEO needs to understand a range of areas enough to be part of the discussion and have an appreciation of the nuances. And then they need to bring in good people to care of the details, and then they need to trust them to do their job.

Do you have any advice or tips to share with the young CEO?

Something important that I learned along the way is to always maintain a good relationship with my investors. In the beginning I considered them as people I had to impress, and I should show confidence and share mainly good news. Over time I learned to treat them more as trusted advisors, to ask their opinions. Most investors are experienced and before they invest in your company they have been involved with at least a couple of startups. They believed in you enough to make an investment so they want to help. This also creates buy-in, keeps them involved. Asking them questions keeps the communication flowing and, when you inevitably will face challenges and obstacles, this will help keep them on your side.

What’s next? Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 years?

In 10 years I expect both myself and Complyt to still be around, since we are only scratching the surface of this problem. We have a grand vision to become a global company that will provide solutions for companies wherever they want to do business. We want to provide them a solution that, as the name indicates, is a complete one. They can focus on running their business wherever they want to, all over the world, and we will take care of the compliance and taxation issues for them. Our message to them is “We’ve got you covered.”
I would also like to achieve a good work-life balance, I know it is possible (I’ve heard rumors from other founders :-)). Obviously the work of a CEO and founder never ends but I would still like to make time for my family. I believe that it was Bryan Dyson, former CEO of Coca-Cola who explained that of all the balls we juggle in life, a few, such as family and health, are made of glass. Being an entrepreneur and constantly seeking innovation are important but I don’t want to drop the ball on my family and on my wellness.

My journey has taught me that you never know where life will take you. I started with law and tried to avoid taxes, and look where I ended up. You should never automatically say no to new situations and opportunities that you encounter in life, try to give them a chance and see where they will take you.



How to Know it’s Time for a HubSpot Audit?

Roman

If you were to bump into two HubSpot experts at your neighborhood coffee shop, what would you ask them?

Lucky for you, we thought of the questions… and asked them 😉 In this video series, Resa Gooding and Roman Boruhov are talking about the main challenges that marketers face with HubSpot. If you watch this video and think to yourself, “You’re talking about me!” It’s time to take action and squeeze every drop of potential from your HubSpot!

How to migrate from Pardot to HubSpot: A step-by-step Guide

Ma'ayan

Are you considering starting your marketing journey with HubSpot? 

Making the right choice when it comes to your marketing automation platform is crucial for the success of your business. HubSpot offers a comprehensive suite of tools and features that can help you streamline your marketing efforts and drive growth. However, the decision to embark on this new venture can be overwhelming. 

But fret not! In this step-by-step guide, we’ll provide you with valuable insights and actionable advice to help you navigate the process of getting started with HubSpot, empowering you to make the most of this powerful marketing platform.

What’s the first step?

First and foremost, like all good moves, you need to do a cleanup first, and only then can you move all your assets over to this superior platform. 

Here’s how: Start with a data cleanup: Before migrating, clean up your data and determine which contacts you need to transfer. The cost of migration depends on the number of contacts involved. Then once you have done that, prioritize your data by identifying the importance of fields and activities associated with the contacts you’re migrating to ensure a smooth transition. You will then need to work to rebuild your assets. This entails determining which assets you need to rebuild after the migration, such as lists, files, landing pages, forms, email templates, lead scoring, and drip campaigns. After all that, the next step includes setting up your social account in HubSpot for easy management of marketing activities and seamless integration. You’ve finally reached the point where you are ready to onboard your team. Don’t forget to include training that educates your team on all of HubSpot’s functionalities, features, and benefits. You’ll need everyone’s support. “Teamwork makes the dream work!”

Now that we’ve helped you clean house, let’s get you into the nitty gritty of the how-to’s for migration with our step-by-step guide. It is divided into three parts: administrative, Sales Hub, and Marketing Hub tasks. It will be comprehensive and helpful so you can easily understand it. 

Let’s get started!

How to Migrate from Pardot to HubSpot: Administrative Tasks

  • Create and assign user roles

In HubSpot, the Super Admin has significant control over user permissions and access within the CRM. Start by defining user roles, specifying what each role can access in the Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Service Hub, Reporting, and Account sections.

Once roles are set, you can create Teams and add users to them. With HubSpot’s granular control and team functionality, you can effectively manage user permissions and streamline collaborative efforts.

  • Set up your subdomain and connect DNS

To build HubSpot landing pages or to send and receive emails through HubSpot, you’ll need to set up your subdomain on your DNS server. If this step sound a bit too technical, Hubspot has a pretty detailed explanation (or you can have us help you)

  • Add tracking code to your website 

Unlock the Power of Lead Tracking with HubSpot! By utilizing tracking capabilities, you can gather valuable insights into the behavior of your leads, such as their interactions with content and emails and see their real time customer journey. 

  • Install the Salesforce connector

Seamlessly connect HubSpot with Salesforce by accessing the app marketplace and installing the HubSpot-Salesforce integration. This integration facilitates data synchronization between the two systems, ensuring consistency.

How to Migrate from Pardot to HubSpot: Sales Hub Tasks

  • Build lists

This will be the basis of your communication ruling with contacts within HubSpot. There are a couple of definition regarding lists you’ll need to familiarize yourself with:

Active vs Static HubSpot Lists & Behavior and interaction-based lists

HubSpot has active and static lists, similar to dynamic and static lists in Pardot. Active lists update automatically based on criteria, while static lists represent a specific point in time. When migrating from Pardot to HubSpot, it’s recommended to convert top lists to static lists and rebuild dynamic lists later. Activity-based lists from Pardot cannot be directly migrated, so exporting and importing into static lists in HubSpot is advised.

HubSpot lists are either Active or Static – an active list updates automatically based on criteria and a static list represents one point in time.

How to Migrate from Pardot to HubSpot: Marketing Hub Tasks

  • Upload your brand assets 

Add your logo variations, headshots, stock photos, email banners, PDF downloads, one-pagers, and any other elements required for emails or landing pages.

This will facilitate future organization and accessibility.
>> It is advisable to create folders beforehand to contain your uploads and keep things nice and tidy.

  • Consider and define subscription types

While having a general catch-all subscription is an option, it is beneficial to create specific types to give users the ability to opt-out of certain emails without unsubscribing from all messages.

>> Some common options, to begin with, are Newsletters, Product Updates, and Promotions. Additional types can always be added later on.

  • Create email templates

Create email templates in HubSpot for efficient and consistent communication.

1.Determine the email templates you need, such as: newsletters, product updates, workflow templates, and sales messaging.

2. Choose whether you want the email to be a one-time send or an automated email for Workflows. Note that this choice cannot be changed later.

3.Construct your email template (organizing everything in folders and unified naming is extremely valuable to keep your hub in order)

Once your templates are created, it’s time to rewrite the emails themselves. These email will be used within your defines workflows, sales sequences, and periodical emails (such as newsletters, product updates etc.)

  • Landing pages

HubSpot has a simple drag-and-drop landing page builder. Recreate your landing pages in HubSpot to access more tracking and the ability to include your page activities within Workflows.

  • Rebuild engagement studio programs as workflows

When migrating from Pardot to HubSpot, one significant task might involve rebuilding engagement programs into HubSpot workflows. Workflows are based on contacts, companies, deals, support tickets, or quotes, depending on your subscription.

During the migration, it’s crucial to plan how to handle contacts currently in an engagement program. We can help you through this >>>

  • Recreate and embed website forms

Rebuild your forms within HubSpot and embed them onto your website. HubSpot has the added benefit of using progressive profiling. When a user has previously completed a form and is cookied, then new fields will replace those that they have already completed. 

The progressive fields can also have dependencies based on previously completed forms. This next level of contact information can empower your sales team to make deeper connections with your leads. Make sure that you only replace forms on a staging site or in drafts until you have everything connected and launched!

You’ve done it; you’ve gotten this far; now you just need to hit that button. Stressful, I know. When it’s time to make the switch from Pardot to HubSpot, there are a number of items to complete at once. Swap the forms from Pardot to HubSpot, and configure redirects from Pardot pages to new HubSpot pages. Then activate your HubSpot workflows and deactivate your Pardot Engagement Studio programs and automation rules. Last but not least, QA test all forms, workflows, and auto-response emails. Now you are truly done. 


If you are looking for some SAGE’ advice, Talk to our Hubspot experts at SAGE that will help you unlock your marketing success!


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Why Should You Choose HubSpot Over Pardot?

Ma'ayan

Here’s some background:

When it comes to choosing a marketing automation platform, the market offers a multitude of options, each with its own set of strengths and capabilities. Two prominent players in this space, HubSpot and Pardot, have garnered significant attention. While both platforms offer valuable features, we believe that HubSpot edges out as the preferred choice for businesses seeking a comprehensive and user-friendly solution.

In fact, it’s become more common for many marketers and companies to ask about migrating from Pardot to HubSpot. We explore the key advantages of HubSpot over Pardot, highlighting the reasons why it stands out as a top contender in the realm of marketing automation. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of why HubSpot may be the ideal choice to elevate your marketing efforts and drive tangible results for your business.

> If you’re already considering migration from Pardot to Hubspot, we suggest our Step-by-step guide!

Why HubSpot Takes the Lead Over Pardot for Marketing Automation?

Pardot and HubSpot are great platforms offering marketing automation tools to help make your campaigns run more efficiently. 

Pardot, Salesforce’s marketing automation platform, is a popular tool. None the less, based on the companies who’ve engaged with SAGE Marketing in order to migrate to Hubspot, we most commonly hear how Pardot’s features and functionalities often fail to deliver the desired results for marketers.

HubSpot’s CRM, on the other hand, offers a comprehensive platform for marketing and sales, operations, and services teams. That’s why many companies are making the switch to HubSpot. 

Benefits of Switching from Pardot to HubSpot

  • ABM

HubSpot’s Marketing Hub is equipped with account-based marketing capabilities, allowing you to plan and execute targeted campaigns seamlessly. With HubSpot, there’s no need for additional integration or third-party tools, making it a convenient solution for marketers.

  • Social Media

Simplify your social media management tasks with HubSpot’s integrated tools. From tracking to sharing and monitoring social media campaigns, HubSpot streamlines the complex process, saving you time and effort.

  • Reports & dashboards

Gain valuable insights into the performance of your marketing campaigns with HubSpot’s improved reporting features. The platform offers customizable reports and dashboards, allowing you to visualize and analyze your marketing efforts effectively.

  • CMS integrations

HubSpot’s seamless CMS integrations empower marketers and enable developers to create exceptional websites focused on delivering a superior customer experience. With the right tools at your disposal, you can create engaging and user-friendly websites that drive results.

  • Customer Support

Experience enhanced customer support with HubSpot. The platform offers multiple channels for customer assistance, including live chat, phone, email, knowledge base, and community forums. You can rely on HubSpot’s comprehensive support system to address any queries or concerns promptly.

  • Marketing and Business Intelligence

Consolidate your marketing tech-stack with HubSpot as the central hub of knowledge. By eliminating the need for multiple platforms, you can save on subscriptions and integration maintenance costs. Additionally, having all your data and insights in one place provides a holistic view of your marketing efforts, enabling you to make informed decisions.

  • User Friendly

HubSpot’s Marketing Hub offers a user-friendly interface and plenty of resources for support and guidance throughout the implementation process. 

  • Automation

With HubSpot, you can automate various marketing activities like email marketing, social media management, chatbot support, sales sequences, contact workflowa, A/B testing and more. You can even get to know your customers by using features like group inboxes, live chat, and AI-based chatbots.

  • Revenue Attribution

And last but certainly not least, it offers a revenue attribution feature (kind of the holy grail of marketing). With this feature, you can track and analyze revenue generated from various assets, such as form submissions and email clicks, facilitating data-driven decision-making. Pardot lacks this feature altogether.


To sum up:

While Pardot and HubSpot are both reputable marketing automation platforms, it is clear that HubSpot takes the lead when it comes to providing a comprehensive and user-friendly solution for businesses. 

Ready to make the switch to HubSpot and elevate your marketing efforts and drive tangible results? Contact our HubSpot professionals!

 If you’re already considering migration from Pardot to HubSpot, we suggest our Step-by-step guide!