Ever stopped to consider what happens to your visitors after they land on your site?
While SEO will help you attract relevant visitors to your site, CRM should guide them through the action-taking process.
It goes without mentioning that both SEO and CRM feed off each other.
While SEO supplies the traffic to work with, CRM is there to help you make the most of this traffic.
There are so many CRM platforms you can use, enough to feed an army. But, in this article, we’ll only be focusing on HubSpot, a sophisticated CRM software you certainly wouldn’t want to ignore.
HubSpot is one of the leading Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software on the market. It’s an innovative CRM software designed to manage your clients and prospects throughout their lifecycle with your business.
Aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, the platform has a paid and freemium model and a long list of add-ons you may want to look into.
How Did HubSpot Start?
To understand HubSpot and what it does, let’s circle back to how it started.
Two MIT students, Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan (the current CEO), founded HubSpot in 2005.
They wanted it to be a useful resource for marketers still dabbling with inbound marketing.
The two co-founders would go on to release a series of tools and resources that they thought were useful to inbound marketers.
The next step was to create a cloud-based platform where all these resources and features would be housed. That way, HubSpot was formed.
HubSpot stuck out because it approached inbound marketing from a more holistic angle. Everything, from email marketing to blogging and social media marketing, was combined into a single platform, making it an all-rounded inbound marketing tool.
5 Top Reasons Why You Should Use HubSpot
Marketing and Sales Together
Marketing and sales are two close cousins.
They feed off each other. However, it’s only until recently that people started considering them as a unified entity.
Before that, companies used marketing tools to drive and distribute leads, after which they would add the leads to a CRM system to complete the sales process.
In other words, the connection between marketing and sales was a distant one.
But now, CRM systems have advanced enough to bridge this gap. If anything, that’s how you tell a good CRM software from a bad one.
HubSpot is among the few CRMs that have successfully managed to marry the two. Every single one of their accounts has a tab at the top-left corner that makes it easy for you to switch between marketing and sales.
60% of CRM software out there only covers sales, while ignoring the marketing bit of it. That means you have to get a separate marketing tool or pay extra for an add-on.
Let’s be the first to admit that we’ve experimented with lots of these CRM tools.
With cool gadgets, especially automated workflows, lead scoring, and task management, we fell in love with some. Unfortunately, with most of these CRMs, we never got to understand where our visitors came from.
We couldn’t run an in-depth report.
As a digital marketing agency that’s focused on helping our clients generate leads and crank up sales, we wanted more in-depth insights.
Here’s the data we wanted:
- What pages did our hottest leads visit the previous week?
- What platform did they come from?
- Where was our traffic coming from?
- What’s the percentage of closed deals from paid ads vs. social media?
None of the CRM solutions we laid hands on didn’t deliver this information until we came across HubSpot – a real lifesaver.
When pursuing a lead, you won’t just be sending them one email, and the next thing you know they’re converting. Most of the customers you’re targeting won’t be won over by a single email but by a series of them.
When one of your site visitors requests a consultation, here’s one example of how the conversation might flow:
- Email #1: Hey, we received a consultation from you. What time works best for you? Blah-blah-blah.
- Email #2: We still haven’t heard from you. Click here to schedule a meeting with us. Blah-blah-blah.
- Email #3: We’d love to talk with you. Blah-blah-blah!
- Email #4: Oops! Blah-blah-blah.
This should give you an idea of how things might actually play out. The chances are good that your leads aren’t going to warm up to you with the first email that you send.
You have to enroll them in a sequence that automatically inputs their name, business, and other details.
You have to be prepared to drip them with follow-up emails until they decide to reply or book a meeting with you.
That’s exactly what HubSpot’s sales sequence does for you – and did we mention it’s super-easy and quite effective at it?
It’s simple: you draft an email, click sequence, and then proceed to automate everything.
The next step would be to enroll any lead you get in a sales sequence. You can have a sequence for consultation, order inquiries, and everything else.
Here’s the coolest part:
HubSpot has some insightful data on your sequence performance. They’ll even tell you which step of the sequence gets the highest number of your leads to reply.
And once they do, they’re automatically unenrolled from the sequence so that they can no longer receive the emails.
The Calendar App
With HubSpot, you don’t have to integrate the platform with a calendar. They already have one integrated right into it, and it’s super easy to use.
It’s a great app for organising your campaign by marketing channel or campaign. You can schedule your content by day, week, and even month.
Better, you can colour-code your content to get a visual overview of how everything ties together.
And here’s where their Calendar blows all the other calendar apps out of the water:
With HubSpot’s calendar, you can coordinate all your content activities from a central place—from social media publishing to email automation to blogging.
Imagine receiving an email every time an assigned lead visits your product page or service page — or being notified about all the companies and prospects that visit your website or a particular page on your website.
Your billing team will also be notified when it’s time to invoice their clients.
That’s how powerful HubSpot is—you can automate these notifications.
You can automate it and set it so that HubSpot will provide you with a list of prospects that visited your website or page the previous day.
You can even set the notification to be notified when a particular lead visits certain pages on your website.
In other words, there’s no limit to what you can do with HubSpot’s notifications.
8 Robust CRMs and Use Cases for Business
If we were to name our top five picks of CRMs, then we’re placing HubSpot at the very top of the pile.
The first reason is that it’s one of the most advanced CRM systems you’ll ever come across, with loads of use cases than you can afford to ignore.
Here are 8 ways you can use HubSpot CRM:
1. Inspiration on What to Post
The most important part of running an effective inbound marketing campaign is establishing the right data points.
You have to see the impact of what you’re doing to tell if it’s working or not.
And it’s not as easy as telling your clients to write X number of articles and watch as more and more customers flock to them.
The data you collect has to be very specific and detailed.
It could be that the client gets great results by writing comparison reviews. Or the client gets more conversions by publishing an image-heavy, aesthetically pleasing piece of content.
The only way to find out what resonates best with your target audience is to get the engine roaring as you track everything and analyse the results.
You need a CRM tool such as HubSpot for this.
2. Automate Your Sales Process
It’s only natural that when you hire a sales team, you’ll want to use them to their maximum potential.
The problem with business owners is that they’ll want to see them spend every minute of their work time trying to sell their products or services. But as it turns out (from recent research), an average salesperson only spends 36% of their time selling.
The remaining 64% of the time is spent on non-revenue-generating activities, most of which can be automated with a CRM tool such as HubSpot.
3. Take and Record calls Without Necessarily Leaving Your CRM
Here’s another great HubSpot feature you may want to take advantage of:
Maybe you didn’t know, but you can take and record phone calls without necessarily leaving the HubSpot CRM. All you have to do is take a few minutes of your time to verify your phone.
This should see to it that you’re able to call your prospects with just a few clicks. Once you’re done making the call, the HubSpot CRM will automatically log the call and record it (if you opted for it, that is).
All this will be saved alongside the other information right under the client’s details. You’re also allowed to add quick notes, set follow-ups, and see your sales reports calls.
4. A Comprehensive View of Your Sales Pipeline
The best thing about using a CRM instead of a spreadsheet is the clear report on your sales process.
HubSpot has one of the widest reporting features you’ll ever come across. You’ll be provided with a comprehensive view of your sales pipeline, stage by stage.
You can track individual tasks and set your account to receive real-time notifications.
5. Updating Contact Details
Your users aren’t going to maintain the same job title or continue working with the same company all their life.
People change their job titles and companies all the time, and it’s up to you to figure out how to stay on top of these changes when they occur.
Your contacts live within your HubSpot CRM, tagged to their corresponding company files.
You should therefore have an easy time managing and updating their contact information. Any change in their company role, job title, or attempt to switch companies can be updated in a matter of seconds.
6. Assigning Your Prospects to Your Sales Team Members
HubSpot makes it simple for you to manage your marketing and sales teams. You can have an alert sent to one of your team members when it’s time for them to manage a current or incoming prospect.
In addition to that, you can tag each contact file with a specific member of your team to reflect ownership.
Suffice it to say that it’s an incredibly valuable tool for organisations with complicated sales processes or large sales teams.
7. Setting Reminders
Your sales teams can set reminders by date within the HubSpot CRM.
Not only that. Your team members can also note specific details for each task for efficient task management.
As the due date approaches, HubSpot will automatically send you reminders. This is incredibly useful when scheduling meetings or business calls.
8. Tracking Your Prospects and What They’re Looking At
HubSpot will track any company that looks at your website or any particular webpage in real-time.
It’s a CRM software you probably wouldn’t want to ignore if you’re running a B2B company.
It’s like magic.
Imagine being able to see which company is viewing your website and which member of their team is specifically doing the viewing.
By knowing what the company is viewing and who specifically is doing the viewing, your team should have an easy time establishing key talking points or initiating a conversation.
This makes HubSpot a powerful CRM tool — and must we mention that this only scratches the surface of what this amazing inbound marketing tool can do.
How to Know If HubSpot is Right for You?
At the end of the day, it all boils down to what you’re looking for and the goals you’ve set for your business.
But this is how you tell if HubSpot is the right tool for you:
- You’re looking to invest in attracting and delighting your customers. You want to focus on your customers and be in control over everything they’re doing.
- You want to start pumping warm and hot leads into your sales pipeline.
- You want to control how your customers or prospects make their purchase decisions. You want to effectively manage them and ensure that they’re not getting misled.
- You’re looking for that one tool that will unify all your marketing and sales processes—a tool that will have you manage your marketing processes, sales processes, and supporting teams from a central place.
- You want to start analysing and optimising your marketing and sales campaigns.
HubSpot offers all this and so much more than we can manage to cover in a single article.
12 Real-life Examples of What HubSpot Can Do for You
- A random user (let’s call her Sally) comes across one of the posts you’ve written when running a search query on Google. (Marketing Hub)
- She reads the article and she’s hooked. She decides to sign up for your newsletters (Marketing Hub)
- HubSpot begins to track all of Sally’s interactions with your website. (CRM)
- Based on what you have learned about Sally from her interaction with your website, you decide to send a series of emails to her with more resources she may like. (Marketing Hub)
- Your sales team gets to learn about Sally. She looks like a potential lead to them based on how she interacts with your website. (CRM)
- Your sales team decides to reach out to Sally via email or phone call. (Sales Hub)
- Sally schedules a meeting to learn more about your product or business. (Sales Hub)
- After the meeting, she ends up making a purchase. (Sales Hub)
- It’s not done with Sally. She has a question concerning the purchase she made. (Service Hub)
- She first heads to your knowledge section to see if she can sort out the issue on her own. Unfortunately, she didn’t find the solution she was hoping for, so she decides to live-chat with your support team. (Service Hub)
- She has an amazing experience with your company. So, she goes on one of the review sites she found online and decides to leave you a raving review
- Online users come across this review and are intrigued. They also decide to check you out. So, they come to your site and also make a purchase.
This is one possible example of how inbound marketing methodology works. Rather than actively pursuing your customers in a traditional sense, inbound marketing is here to help you attract customers to you.
It’s about providing value and positioning yourself to be found. Ultimately, it’s a system designed to help you drive sales – and it’s worth mentioning that all these user activities can be easily tracked within the HubSpot CRM.
10 HubSpot Features to Check Out
- Unlimited Users: With HubSpot, there’s no limit as to how many of your company’s team members can access the CRM.
- Unlimited Contact Storage: You can store up to 1 million contacts on this CRM platform.
- HubSpot will automatically record and store your conversations with any of the contacts you have stored.
- Outlook and Gmail integration: You can integrate your HubSpot CRM with Gmail or Outlook. That will ensure that you’re able to handle all your business right there on your CRM dashboard.
- Email Scheduling – schedule your emails for your email marketing campaign and newsletters
- Team Email: This will ensure all your team members are on the same page and that they’re all working on a similar goal.
- Live Chat: They have a live chat feature that you can integrate with your website to catch your leads in real-time and after your working hours.
- Deals, Ticketing, Tasks, and Prospects: You can keep track of your prospects and where they are in the sales process. HubSpot will also create a ticket for any client who has a question.
What Features Are Included in the HubSpot Marketing Hub?
- Landing pages
- Social media
- Marketing automation
HubSpot CRM will help you track and organise your customers and leads. It’s a super-advanced tool that was designed to save you and your team from using a spreadsheet to organise your contacts.
What Features Are Included in HubSpot’s Sales Hub?
- Email templates
- Email sequences
- Free calling
- Pipeline tracking
- Meeting scheduling
HubSpot’s sales hub manages how you communicate and track your leads. With a bird’s-eye view of your sales processes, your sales team will be empowered enough to know how to interact with your customers and prospects without wasting time on non-revenue-generating activities.
What Features Are Included in HubSpot’s Service Hub?
- Support tickets
- Customer feedback
- Live chat
- Reporting and goals
- Conversation bots
- Knowledge base
HubSpot understands the value of post-purchases engagement. Their service hub allows you to connect with your customers and establish meaningful relationships. The whole point of doing this is to make your customers happy.
As you can see, HubSpot is more than a CRM system. It’s a powerful inbound marketing tool that’s second to none.
HubSpot Pricing (Free, Starter, Professional, and Enterprise)
- HubSpot Marketing Free ($0)
We’ve listed almost all the major features of the free HubSpot tool. But one thing you’ll have to remember is that any asset you create in the HubSpot free tool will bear the HubSpot branding.
That includes their lead forms; there will be a bar at the bottom asking this question: “Not Using HubSpot Yet?”
It’s free but with a small catch.
But for a serious marketer with enough bandwidth on your team, the free version of the tool isn’t cut out for you. You’ll be frustrated with some of its limitations. But if you’re a beginning marketer still experimenting with inbound marketing, then the free tool might be a great place to start.
HubSpot Marketing Starter (at $50 per Month)
The difference between HubSpot Starter and HubSpot Free all boils down to one thing, email.
Unlike HubSpot free, Marketing Starter lets you take full advantage of HubSpot’s email marketing tools, including its drag-and-drop editor that takes the hardship off creating promotional emails and newsletters.
Also, when you start using HubSpot Starter, you’ll be able to segment your database using HubSpot’s Lists tools.
Needless to say, the HubSpot branding will also be removed from the assets you create.
Here’s what you get with HubSpot’s Starter on top of what’s offered in HubSpot free:
- Email Marketing
- No HubSpot Branding
- 1000 contacts included
We’d like to remind you that the amount you pay only covers 1000 contacts. Once you get to 1, 000 contacts, you’ll start paying $20 for additional 1000 contact on top of the indicated monthly rate ($50 for HubSpot Starter).
And once you get to 10, 000 contacts, the amount reduces from $20 per 1000 contacts to $10 per 1000 contacts.
The Starter tool has a few added advantages over HubSpot free. But it can only get you so far – if you’re a serious marketer looking to automate your marketing, CRM, and sales processes, you might want to try out HubSpot Pro.
HubSpot Marketing Professional ($890 Per Month)
This is where things get a little spicy. While the free and Starter tools are excellent ways to get started with HubSpot, HubSpot Marketing Professional was specifically created for serious marketers.
At the pro level, you can start automating your sales processes and creating and tracking your content right there in the HubSpot platform.
Here’s what you get by signing up for HubSpot Marketing Professional (on top of everything provided at the Starter and Free level):
- Blogging: Set up a blog for your website using HubSpot’s turnkey templates or a template you’ve purchased from HubSpot’s marketplace.
You’re also allowed to create a customised template best suited to your blogging needs.
- Landing Pages: If you don’t have a website or landing page to place the lead forms you create on HubSpot, there’s a landing page tool that you can use to create a template-based landing page and thank-you page for your content assessment, offers, and other conversion opportunities.
- Content Strategy (SEO): Creating a blog section and landing page is only the first step to running a successful inbound marketing campaign. Even more important will be how you plan and execute your content strategy.
However, with HubSpot Professional, this should be the least of your worries. First, you’ll be provided with a series of SEO and content analysis tools to map out your content and analyse it to find out whether or not it’s been optimised for search engines.
- Social Media: Do you find it hard to manage all your social media accounts separately? Well, HubSpot offers native social media tools that you can use to schedule and publish your posts on almost all the major social media platforms from one central place.
You can also monitor the performance and engagement of these social media posts to find out if your marketing efforts are paying off or if you’re wasting your time.
- Call to Actions (CTA): When people land on your website, CTA is how you get them to take action or convert.
A CTA can come in the form of a hyperlinked text, linked image, or link button. HubSpot’s CTA tool also tracks views or any other form of user interaction with the CTA elements you create. This will not only help you to optimise your CTAs but also allow you to A/B test them and collect valuable data that you can use to segment your database for customised CTAs.
- HubSpot Videos: Including videos in your content marketing strategy can increase your conversion rate by 80% or even more. They’re the most consumed type of content, and it’s for a good reason.
HubSpot Video makes it easy for you to integrate videos into your content marketing strategy. With HubSpot pro, you can upload up to 250 videos and easily embed them in any of your HubSpot-hosted pages.
- SSL Certifications and Subdomains: You’ll be provided with a standard SSL certificate for any domain that’s connected to your website or landing page at HubSpot. You’re also allowed to set up one domain name for your site should you see the need for it.
HubSpot Marketing Enterprise ($3200 per month)
This plan comes with the following additional features on top of everything provided in the professional plan:
- Additional Contacts (10000): With the Enterprise Marketing plan, 10000 contacts will be automatically included in your base plan, instead of 1000.
- Custom Revenue and Event Reporting: How much do the HubSpot Sales tools excite you? What about their custom reporting?
Not very much, I guess. But with HubSpot Enterprise, the custom reports are a little bit more advanced – you can run custom revenue reports and connect the dots between your sales revenue and marketing actions.
- Predictive Lead Scoring: Lead scoring will help you to prioritise and manage the inbound leads you’re getting. This always requires a lot of digging and data analysis. However, with HubSpot enterprise, all this work will be done for you, courtesy of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.
How to Setup HubSpot CRM: Step-by-step Guide
STEP 1# Choose Whether You Want to Set Up a Marketing Hub or Sales: First, you’ll have to decide on whether you’re going to set up a marketing hub or sales hub.
Based on your business goals and the activities you’re looking to perform, go with the option that makes the most sense to you.
Go with sales if you plan to track sales conversions and marketing if you’re planning to capture leads and optimise your funnel.
Pro tip: Use Google Chrome browser. Otherwise, you might encounter some serious issues while setting up the account.
STEP 2# Fill Out the Prompted Information: Signing up on HubSpot isn’t any different from normal signing up. Just fill in all the requested information – your name, email address, and so on.
A confirmation email will be sent to your email address. Log into your email and open the HubSpot email you’ve just received to complete the registration process and activate your HubSpot account.
You’ll be prompted to set up your password – choose a password that’s secure, strong, and memorable for your users.
STEP 3# Enter Your Company Domain: You’ll be asked to provide your company domain name and specify what number of people will be using the account. Go ahead and provide all these details and your account will be up and running in no time.
After you create a HubSpot account, you’ll be granted access to your platform’s vast knowledge base. It’s best to encourage your team members to consider checking out these courses. There’s a lot they can learn from them.
They’ll be provided with certifications once you opt for a paid account. The course modules are incredibly valuable to a serious marketer.
It’s a great platform to polish and brush up on your skills. Not only that. The courses may also help you to strengthen teamwork.
After Creating a HubSpot Account, What Next?
There’s a learning curve involved, whether you’re operating with a Sales Hub or Marketing Hub account.
The problem with most marketers is that they don’t leverage the platform to the fullest.
Unless you have a dedicated, in-house HubSpot expert to help you take full advantage of this inbound marketing tool, then you’re missing out on a lot of sales opportunities.