HubSpot is an amazing piece of software. When implemented correctly, it can be powerfully leveraged to attract and nurture leads, then help you turn those leads into sales. But “implementing HubSpot correctly” is not just turning it on and uploading your list. It doesn’t work automatically.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked with CEOs or COOs that have said, “We’ve got HubSpot, but I know we aren’t using it the best we can.” That’s because implementing HubSpot correctly means fully integrating it into your business systems and making it central to how your Sales and Marketing teams work. It takes more than just a simple on-boarding to get HubSpot working. It must be customized to work for your business. People don’t think that sales and marketing need “Ops and SOPs” but that’s exactly what is needed for a well-oiled, modern sales and marketing machine.
In this blog, I’m going to review the 4 common mistakes companies make with HubSpot and some tricks on how to eliminate the mistakes. Let’s get started.
#1 – Not Aligning Sales and Marketing in HubSpot
Sales and Marketing are notorious for not being completely aligned in most organizations. Marketing is focused on attracting and nurturing leads, while Sales is focused on closing deals. And there’s typically disagreement on when a lead is “warm enough.” When things are working smoothly, Marketing is regularly passing warm and engaged leads to Sales (and Sales agrees that they are actually warm and engaged).
With HubSpot, the process of attracting and nurturing leads, then passing them to Sales for direct selling, happens inside of HubSpot. It’s a great tool for keeping track of what’s going on, so that no lead gets lost.
But what happens if a lead is passed to Sales, but they aren’t ready to purchase? Should Sales set a task to follow up with them later? Should Marketing continue to nurture them and then notify Sales if they show engagement again? What if both departments are talking to the lead at the same time, but with different messages?
Defining the processes through which leads are passed to and from Marketing to Sales is a key piece of implementing HubSpot. If Sales and Marketing are not aligned in the process, I can guarantee that HubSpot isn’t working as best as it could for the company.
As part of most of our engagements here at 1 Bold Step, we create a Service Level Agreement (SLA) between Marketing and Sales that documents how leads move through the funnel and between the two departments so that it is clear to everyone and can be implemented in HubSpot.
#2 – Not Modifying Business Processes to Work with HubSpot
HubSpot is very flexible, but it has its limitations. To implement HubSpot for your business you are going to have to be flexible too and make some changes to how your existing Sales and Marketing processes work.
In my experience, this is one of the biggest challenges (and reasons for implementation failure) when a company tries to implement HubSpot. It’s hard for organizations to make changes to what’s working just to “implement a piece of software.” But the process of implementing HubSpot is also the process of automating some of your business processes — and that requires some changes to be made.
To do this well, I recommend you work with an agency that not only understands HubSpot, but also understands Sales and Marketing operations and processes. That’s what we do here at 1 Bold Step and that’s why HubSpot often calls us in to help their new clients implement the software. We are experts at both.
#3 – Not Developing Closed-Loop Metrics
One of the greatest features of HubSpot is that it can help you calculate Return on Marketing Investment. It can tie your Google Ads to your Closed Won deals so that you can see what your return is. It can tell you which lead sources, like organic search, social media, or Zoom info, are generating the most Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs). It can tell you which landing pages are converting the most visitors to leads. It can tell you a lot of valuable information, but you have to set up closed-loop metrics so you can generate this kind of data.
For example, tracking Lead Source is important for closed-loop metrics, but takes some finesse that comes from experience. It requires some custom fields to be created along with workflows to properly attribute the right Lead Source to contacts. For B2B companies, I also like to attribute 1st Lead Source to the company. This helps when running a Lead Source to Revenue report because Deals are usually tied to Companies not Contacts in the B2B world.
Tracking Lead Source, getting Deals into HubSpot, and properly assigning Contacts and Companies to Lead Sources and Deals are all part of building closed-loop metrics so powerful reports can be generated.
#4 – Not Implementing Effective Lead Scoring
Lead scoring is tricky. When done well, a lead should be scored for demographics as well as engagement. Leads should earn points for how close they are to your target personas. They should also earn points for engaging with your content.
At 1 Bold Step, we start building Lead Scoring by creating a multi-tab spreadsheet that details points earned for various demographic and engagement attributes. We then create a set of calculations that tell us when a lead should become a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) or a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). And in some cases, we also rank qualified leads “hot” and “warm” depending on the intensity of their engagement.
Lead scoring is the monitoring system that keeps an eye on your database and alerts you when leads need to get special attention. This is impossible to do without software like HubSpot and HubSpot does a great job of it. If you haven’t implemented lead scoring, put it on your list of things to do soon.
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I’m a huge HubSpot fan. I’ve seen how much leverage a company can get using HubSpot. We like to say, “Implement HubSpot correctly so your humans can work smarter.” When HubSpot is implemented well, Marketing is more effective and Sales will close more deals. It’s that simple.
If you have HubSpot but you don’t feel like it is doing all it could be for your company, please contact us and let’s have a conversation about how we can help. To learn more about our HubSpot practice, visit the HubSpot Consulting page on our website.