If you’ve made the decision to leverage the HubSpot customer relationship management (CRM) tool, you’re in good company. HubSpot has more than 120,000 global customers who use the platform to help grow their businesses.
Like the others, you likely recognize the benefits of the all-in-one marketing, sales, and service platform and how HubSpot CRM implementation can help your business grow better, too. The full suite of software has the inbound methodology at its core, and has grown to include different Hubs that do more than just help the marketing team; they serve the entire organization.
It’s also reassuring to know that when you use HubSpot, you’re using a platform that isn’t cobbled together with different code or open-source software, which has notorious quirks and security issues. Simply put, it’s been built intentionally as a single system and all its functionalities “play well” together.
If you’re not ready to jump into using the full suite of HubSpot tools yet and are just getting started with the free CRM, that’s great! Just know that the possibilities of the full HubSpot CRM Suite are endless and, as your business grows, HubSpot can grow with you.
Meanwhile, let’s cover the very basics to help you get started with the free HubSpot CRM.
Getting Started with HubSpot CRM Implementation
Implementation of the HubSpot CRM involves effective change management and communication for successful adoption. For the entire organization to receive the intended benefits from the system, marketing, sales, service, and operational teams need to be willing to use the system.
Here are seven tips to ensure your HubSpot CRM implementation plan is a smooth process.
1. Remember, Knowledge is Power
Before you dive right in, it’s important to understand the main components of the HubSpot CRM and how your data will be organized.
Objects. These are the main overarching categories within your CRM, including contacts, companies, tickets, deals and, in the case of Enterprise accounts, custom objects. You can associate different groups of properties to each different object and even create your own properties based on the information you need to collect about each type of object.
Records. Within objects, each individual company/ticket/contact/deal has its own record where properties, timeline information and interactions such as webpage visits and emails opened are stored. You can include calls, conversations, quotes, and other information in your records and report on them. You can also cross-reference records that are associated with or related to each other. For example, if you have a company record for Acme Corporation, you can link the contacts John Smith and Jennifer Jones who work there.
Properties. Within records are the types of data and information you want to collect about them, such as John Smith’s email, job title, create date, source data, and a lot more.
2. Nail the Basics
Once you have an understanding of how your information will be stored in the CRM, you’re ready to begin the basic HubSpot setup, including things like:
Installing tracking code on non-HubSpot web pages to capture analytics
Setting your default properties, time zone, deal currency, etc.
Importing contacts, companies, and deals
Customizing the company logo, default colors, and company information that display on meetings links and sales documents
Setting up the email integration
HubSpot has great resources in its knowledge base to guide you through these basic set up items, including this free HubSpot Academy course that will help you get started.
3. Work with Sales
One of the keys to successful CRM adoption is to complete a Sales process map to help identify the deal stages and lead statuses that support your main funnel. You also need to understand the automation needs for lead routing and notifications. This is where it can start to get a bit more complicated.
A foundational step is to ensure that your Sales and Marketing departments are aligned and working toward the same goals, and that each has a common understanding of the HubSpot tools and technology. In particular,
In addition to your sales team, it’s important to engage your customer service team. They’ll appreciate the tracking capabilities that HubSpot offers, plus the ability to issue tickets, enter call notes, set up notifications for follow-up, and a host of other customer-centric features.
Consider which other teams need to use the CRM and how they can contribute to your success.
The entire organization really needs to buy into the platform to ensure there aren’t multiple disparate systems floating around. The CRM should be the heart of a scaling business and having a single source of truth in one platform facilitates that.
You’ll want to set up your marketing, sales, and service dashboards which come with default report settings. These dashboards allow users to see the information that’s most relevant to them. These reports can be filtered, moved, resized, and customized in various ways to make it as functional as possible for each department and user.
5. Provide Training
To help ensure user adoption, help teams learn to set up tools that THEY can use right away. Right out of the gate sales teams and marketers can:
Set up lead revisit notifications
Add an email signature in the CRM
Set up a meetings scheduler link
Set up custom contact, company, and deal views
Use the Prospects tool to track website visitors who haven’t converted yet
Install the HubSpot CRM iOS app
In addition to the CRM, HubSpot Sales Hub Pro has even more features that facilitate remarkable experiences for both your internal sales teams and customers/prospects. Email templates, snippets for quick replies, automated sequences for lead follow-up, document libraries, 1:1 web video, and more are part of the paid Sales Hub features that help teams be more efficient and effectively close more deals — but only if they’re actually used!
Just as important as training colleagues how to use the CRM and Sales Hub tools is training them about the expectations for using it. Never forget the “what’s in it for them?” It may be wise to start with one salesperson to serve as the pioneer and advocate before rolling it out to the entire team.
There’s a vast online HubSpot Community that is eager to share their experiences, answer questions, and help troubleshoot when you might hit a snag. You can view examples from other users and even submit feedback to the HubSpot product team.
Take advantage of HubSpot Academy to learn not only about the tool but inbound practices as well. In fact, there’s an online lesson on how to participate in the HubSpot Community that will show you how to get started and interact with other professionals. You can even sign up for the Community newsletter to stay in the know. Additionally, you can earn numerous certifications after completing online courses, and gain a much deeper understanding of how to leverage the HubSpot platform.
7. Consider a Third-Party Onboarding Service
Even though HubSpot has an exhaustive knowledge base with countless tutorials, it can feel a bit overwhelming. With a lot of functionality comes a lot of information to digest. It doesn’t hurt to explore partnering with a HubSpot expert who specializes in helping companies with implementation and onboarding.
Full disclosure: Weidert Group is a HubSpot Diamond partner and we offer such a service. We’re happy to talk through what’s involved and how much guided onboarding costs. In general, the onboarding process takes you through how to properly set up and manage the tools, which saves you a lot of time and helps you implement HubSpot’s functionality more quickly. It’s important to place a value on your time and the underlying costs of delaying your implementation.
We also provide strategic guidance that’s tailored to your business, and help with CRM adoption among teams — a major hurdle that can stop progress in its tracks. Once you’ve launched your HubSpot CRM and are up and running, someone will be there to provide additional support, answer questions, or help with additional templates, sequences, documents, and automation, for example.
If you’re reading this article as a preview into whether you should adopt HubSpot in the first place, then check out our exhaustive list of reasons why we think it’s the best all-in-one CRM platform on the planet. Just click the image below.
Posted by Nicole Mertes As Weidert Group's lead salesperson and business development strategist, Nicole heads up the agency's new business strategy and provides sales consulting services to clients.
Prior to her role at the agency, Nicole was an advertising manager at Gannett, one of the nation's largest media companies. With 10+ years of experience in advertising sales, she understands the complex relationship between marketing and sales within organizations.