In 2019, only 21% of inbound marketers use HubSpot despite the inbound marketing tool's many features. HubSpot is not a perfect solution for every marketer, but this article explains 4 ways that businesses can maximize the use of their HubSpot accounts.
Updated September 9, 2022
HubSpot is an inbound marketer’s dream tool — an all-in-one platform where people can manage contacts, social media, email, and content marketing.
HubSpot boasts glowing reviews on third-party platforms. Our 2019 data, however, showed that only 21% of businesses that practice inbound marketing use HubSpot. This is despite the fact that HubSpot coined the term inbound marketing. Why?
We asked 4 businesses that use HubSpot how they get the most out of this complex but powerful tool.
4 Ways Your Sales Team Can Use the HubSpot CRM
- Be selective about what you pay for on HubSpot
- Only train employees on what they need to know about HubSpot
- Use HubSpot's library of resources to customize features
- Integrate other apps with HubSpot from the start
Hire an inbound marketing agency to assist with your HubSpot marketing and sales.
1. Be Selective About What You Pay for
HubSpot’s pricing structure might intimidate businesses with limited budgets. HubSpot, however, offers free product demos and tiered pricing so companies can pick and choose which features to invest in.
A business interested in HubSpot’s Marketing Hub, its all-in-one marketing automation tool, can pay $50 for 1,000 contacts and basic lead capture and conversion tools.
However, if a business wants content or social media tools, your marketing team will have to spend nearly $850 more to access those features in HubSpot.
This might seem like a high sticker price for smaller or younger companies, but it’s still possible to get the most out of HubSpot features without breaking the bank.
Additional Reading: ‘4 Inbound Methodology Stages for Your Marketing Campaign’
Case Study: Edge Marketing Uses HubSpot to Meet Specific Goals
Start by identifying the specific tools you need from HubSpot and decide which tools will help your customers the most.
In 2019, Sean Clancy, SEO director at Edge Marketing in Queensland, Australia, only uses the parts of the HubSpot CRM that help him best meet his goals.
“I make sure we’re using HubSpot to achieve results our clients need, not just for the sake of using the tool,” Clancy said.
Clancy uses HubSpot’s social media campaign tools to provide value for his clients and their marketing efforts.
Instead of paying for the entire tool, direct money toward your business’s biggest pain points when using HubSpot, such as contact management, lead nurturing, or marketing automation.
If choosing a sales hub or CRM for your company, HubSpot can provide different functionalities that your company feels fit your marketing strategy. HubSpot allows you to be selective with your choices.
Interested in learning more about customer journeys? Check this out: “How to Create an Effective Buyer Journey Map"
2. Only Train Employees on What They Need to Know
HubSpot isn’t just a customer relationship management (CRM) tool – it’s a marketing automation hub, a sales pipeline platform, and more. However, the all-in-one platform for inbound marketers can be complicated for users to understand.
HubSpot’s training resource, HubSpot Academy, is a useful knowledge hub for marketers to become “certified” to use the tools effectively. All resources are free with a HubSpot subscription but can be lengthy. Small businesses might not have the time or resources to put staff through hours of training and onboarding to fully understand HubSpot.
For example, HubSpot’s popular Content Marketing course, which teaches the basics of content marketing and the HubSpot software suite, takes 6 hours to complete.
Many of the other popular choices on HubSpot Academy take 2 hours or more.
You should make sure you budget time effectively when training employees on HubSpot.
Case Study: Clutch Completes Trainings Based on Employee Needs
Kimmie Restificar is a Director of Operations at Clutch, a B2B market research platform in Washington, D.C., which owns and manages Visual Objects
Restificar identifies which HubSpot courses are useful for each team member by thinking critically about each course. She tests it with a few team members before rolling it out to the entire team.
“To match a course with my team, I scan the section titles and spot check several of the videos before trialing it with 1-2 team members,” Restificar said. “I usually wait for their feedback before making a final call and asking more teammates to complete it.”
Restificar also only asks teammates to invest time in courses she believes are essential for their roles. For some courses, she will dedicate her time solely to watching the videos. For less complicated ones, she will multitask and listen to the course audio while performing administrative tasks.
Businesses can delegate one person to identify the appropriate HubSpot courses for each teammate. You can save teammates’ time by determining in advance which courses are most valuable.
3. Use HubSpot’s Library of Resources to Customize Features
You might struggle to customize features on HubSpot when first using the CRM software.
For example, companies might have trouble customizing contact fields in HubSpot’s CRM or building unique email templates for their brand.
Fortunately, HubSpot has chatbots and user-friendly help center content that can help you customize features.
Users open a resource hub on their screen by clicking on the icon in the bottom right corner of the main HubSpot page.
Users can type in search queries and be directed to relevant knowledge base content. The HubSpot community also has forums where HubSpot users can problem-solve together.
In HubSpot, you can create custom workflows, dashboards, contact properties, and more that fit sales processes or email marketing efforts that impact all sets of teams.
This content can help you customize HubSpot to best meet your company’s needs.
Case Study: Revenue River, LLC Customizes HubSpot for Marketing, Sales, and Client Service Needs
In 2019, Marc Herschberger was the director of people and process at Revenue River LLC, a digital marketing agency and Diamond-Tiered HubSpot Partner Agency.
As a Partner Agency, Revenue River helps other organizations build their HubSpot portals and execute marketing and sales campaigns using the tool.
Revenue River uses each of HubSpot's main services: marketing, sales, and CRM.
“From a marketing perspective, we’ve built a custom attribution model using custom properties and the campaigns tool that helps us better understand which of our marketing efforts are the most successful,” Herschberger said.
Herschberger also customized Revenue River’s CRM pipelines to collect specific information for the business. Finally, he uses the CRM tool to keep all client communication in one place.
HubSpot developers and Partner Agencies help businesses customize their HubSpot experiences, so they don’t have to invest in custom software.
4. Integrate Other Apps With HubSpot From the Start
Most teams use more than one tool to manage day-to-day operations. They use Outlook or Gmail for email, Slack for internal communications, and social media to promote products and services.
Toggling between HubSpot and other tools can cost businesses valuable time. Make sure you integrate HubSpot with popular tools such as Gmail and Microsoft Outlook from the beginning of your investment to save resources.
Case Study: Tutor House Integrates HubSpot With Other Tools
According to HubSpot developers, a knowledge base for development teams that use the tool, companies can use an application program interface, or API, to customize their HubSpot experience.
Businesses should start with a clear idea of what the API should do first: Should it enable your team to work faster, provide extensive data on customer services, or allow transactional emails based on user triggers?
Information fuels CRMs such as HubSpot. For successful API integration, businesses must determine exactly which information should be integrated and how. Then, they can work with a software development company that truly knows its business to implement their changes.
Tom Baker, head of growth at U.K.-based tutoring company Tutor House, started by using a tool called Zapier to integrate with HubSpot before developing his own API.
“We now have our own API, which makes HubSpot completely customizable,” Baker said. “Using Zapier initially worked well, allowing us to utilize HubSpot effectively, and affordably, while our API was built.”
API integrations with other tools can improve metric tracking and contact management while allowing your business to scale its efforts with minimal manual data entry.
Read this: ‘Best Practices for Email Automation’
Businesses Can Get More out of HubSpot
HubSpot can be a useful tool for digital marketers when used strategically. Marketers should start by putting money toward the essential features they need and upgrading when they need to.
Marketers should also invest time in learning to use the tool effectively. HubSpot’s courses are easy to use and understand.
HubSpot’s chatbot and other customer service features allow marketers to request new features or ask about customization options. HubSpot can also integrate with other apps such as Gmail to increase productivity.
For businesses of all sizes, think about how to optimize your current services with HubSpot’s CRM.
About the Survey
Visual Objects surveyed 501 businesses in the U.S. that use inbound marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy.
Almost one-third of businesses surveyed (29%) have more than 500 employees, 20% have between 101 and 500 employees, 27% have 11-100 employees, and 24% have 10 or fewer employees.
Most respondents (71%) are managers or more senior employees; 28% are entry-level or associates.
Almost one-third of businesses (30%) are from the South region, 25% are from the Northeast, 23% are from the Midwest, and 18% are from the West.
Nearly half of respondents (48%) are millennials, 44% are Generation X, and 9% are baby boomers.
Almost three-quarters of respondents (74%) are female, and 26% are male.