When HubSpot announced the CRM custom objects feature in the highly anticipated new Sales Hub Enterprise, their team boasted about being able to “store any data” and create “anything you can think of” in your CRM environment.
Very exciting, and also true! But potentially overwhelming. When the sky's the limit, what do you create? For some who’ve been searching for something beyond standard objects, they already know. For others, you may need some help to get your creative juices flowing.
Good thing we have some ideas! Keep reading for a custom objects synopsis and examples of how you could take advantage of this new HubSpot feature.
Quick Recap of Custom Objects
As noted by HubSpot, custom objects work just like standard objects – like the contacts and companies objects, but instead, you can store any data in HubSpot. So, if your business requires a different object other than the four standard types (contacts, companies, deals, tickets), that’s when you define (or set up) a custom object.
When creating one, you’ll be prompted to include its properties and associations between the custom object and other objects, such as HubSpot’s standard objects. Once you’re set up and ready to go, you can manage and use it in HubSpot just like a standard object: personalizing email marketing, enrolling in workflows, and running reports.
But enough of that, right – it’s time to get to our use cases.
Custom Object Use Cases
With custom objects, you can access data like SaaS subscriptions, students, shipments, and more in HubSpot – so you can make your data schema work for your business processes or methodology. You can also create associations that aren’t possible with HubSpot’s standard capabilities. Some examples of use cases that touch on these points:
- Overcoming limitations, such as one contact to multiple companies, or parent/child hierarchies
- Associating a contact with multiples of one kind of entity (ex: certifications)
- Creating objects that represent products (ex: subscriptions, courses, and programs)
- Building entities unique to the client’s industry or business model (ex: media companies, markets, radio stations)
- Needing entities specific to the needs of the business’s operation (ex: invoices, freight contracts, etc.)
For a more illustrative version, here’s how custom objects could be used in real-life CRM scenarios:
Media or radio enterprises are typically built on layers. Different radio stations may work within one distinct radio market – but all of that is owned and operated by a single company. A brand representative or disc jockey may be employed by one market but represent or work with several different stations. Custom objects are the best way to tell this story in CRM.
A similar situation to the above could arise in the healthcare industry. The medical device industry may not only have employees that associate with various branches while interacting with the larger parent company, but they may also need object data that doesn’t exist in a standard object. A custom object can ensure the contact is associated with multiple companies appropriately with the right contact, deal, parent/child associations, and the correct property name.
Approving someone for a home loan is a layered process. A mortgage company can have multiple contacts with duplicates in their CRM, with each contact having a different loan officer. On top of that, each individual loan will be linked to multiple contacts with different roles - borrower, co-borrower, agent. The loan object will also contain information about the loan, and the person associated with it, that the entire company may need. With custom objects and workflows, loan email alerts can be sent to the right person at the right time to keep the process moving along.
A software company could have dozens of different products, apps, or integrations that contacts purchase or “subscribe” to (in our environment, we use subscriptions). Some may have one or two, others zero, and others could have all of them. Custom objects will store all this relevant data - and make it easy to find!
- Property Management
Property managers manage different buildings; property owners own different properties and construction managers oversee several projects. They’re all connected throughout the process, from starting a new project to finishing, and one singular client can purchase or re-purchase different services for different applications during it. You’ll need to see all that opportunity and pre-opportunity data to close a deal. With the correct associations and workflows, custom objects make it possible.
Gyms or fitness studios may need data related to membership, registration, and more. Suppose they’re national chains that allow users to visit multiple locations. In that case, they’ll also need to associate the membership or registration to the person and see what location they’re visiting. With custom objects, you can associate all these records, the various services they use, and where they use them within a single contact.
Brainstorm with Us
CRM custom objects open up a door of unimaginable flexibility to build and scale on HubSpot -- and we couldn’t be more thrilled about it. From unique entities to complex object associations, it will definitely make an impact on Sales Hub Enterprise users. If you’d like to brainstorm use cases that would work for your organization, let us know!