Having worked with many clients implementing HubSpot Sales Hub, I’m asked frequently about the key elements of a successful implementation. Surprisingly, my answers don’t revolve around technology at all. HubSpot is flexible and scalable enough to adapt to your organization’s needs. The three elements I’ve found critical to a successful HubSpot implementation are process, pilots, and properties.
Some of my first questions during a HubSpot implementation or onboarding focus on the sales process. How does the sales team do things currently? How do they track leads, qualify leads, and assign leads? When does a lead become an opportunity? What are the deal stages for an opportunity? Many times, the answer I’ll get is “it depends...” It depends on the department, the location, the salesperson, the [insert your variable here]. That’s when I ask folks to define their sales process or link me to a sales process document, which sometimes doesn’t exist. Simply put, if you don’t have any defined sales process before beginning your implementation project, you should.
Why? Process should drive the technology rather than the other way around. Every business has a particular way of doing things, and HubSpot can adapt to it. That’s true whether you’re a new organization or not. So, try and document your process. Any part of it! It could be as simple as diagramming your lead flow routing. Whatever you can put down on paper will help when onboarding because you can take that documentation and align HubSpot to it. For example, say a new lead comes in through your website. What happens next? Do they get an email? Does your sales team get an alert? You can set HubSpot up to work whichever way you need – but you need to have a process first!
Another common misstep I see companies take is rolling out HubSpot to an entire organization all at once. While that’s possible and could potentially work for a smaller organization, it’s typically better to have a pilot group. A pilot group is a controlled group of users who understand the benefits of HubSpot, see its value, and have good executive sponsorship at your company. This group will essentially “fly” your HubSpot portal before everyone else comes on board. They’ll test your setup and determine if anything is missing, like specific automations, notifications or workflows. With fewer people at the controls, you can get quicker, cleaner feedback that you can then utilize to optimize your Sales Hub instance.
Who should you include in your pilot group, though? My best piece of advice is to start small. Try and identify sales executives who are early adopters of technology in your company. Also, try to look for people who’ve raised their hand and said, “Our current methods and systems are challenging and could be improved.” As you continue your implementation, you can always add to your group as others become interested in your new Sales Hub tool.
Most of my clients implementing Sales Hub are often moving off another system. Because of this, I consistently stress the importance of properties or fields in HubSpot. In HubSpot, we use properties to store data on any of HubSpot’s standard CRM objects, custom objects, and products. And there are a lot of default properties. Some will work; others won’t. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, think back to your process. You want to align any properties of your current system or existing process in HubSpot, whether it’s available as a default property or not. For instance, if you’re migrating from Salesforce, you’ll typically want your properties to be named the same in HubSpot. A service line in Salesforce should be a service line in HubSpot. It makes training a lot easier too when you tell your class it's the same property just in a new system.
You don’t have to lock yourself into HubSpot default properties either. As I mentioned, HubSpot is flexible. You can make it work the way you want to. An example I’ve seen with past businesses revolves around lead status. HubSpot offers a ton of basic default properties that you can alter in a multitude of ways. In a similar vein, if you have any unique part of your sales process, you’ll want to use a custom property to transfer that over. Our team at Lynton can help you define what you need, so there’s no need to feel stressed when it comes to properties!
Bonus: Some Helpful Implementation Tips
A Sales Hub implementation project is a huge undertaking – even if you have your three P’s squared away! Here are a few more considerations that can help ensure success. They include:
- Have your team take Sales Hub training in the HubSpot academy – it’s free and packed with valuable tips and tricks and will establish a foundation for live training.
- Understand all your internal processes – not just sales; the more you can document how your company runs, the better
- Make sure your data is as clean as possible – working with dirty data can bog down your project and lead to errors and frustration
- Work with an experienced partner like Lynton – I’d love to meet you! And pronounce my last name for you!!
And that’s it! The three P’s, plus some additional advice, to a successful implementation of Sales Hub. By following these, you’ll get more than a fancy new piece to your tech stack. You’ll get clearly defined sales processes backed by a robust platform that will lead to real business growth.