A customer relationship management (CRM) system is the backbone of any business. HubSpot describes it as the “heart and soul of your HubSpot software.” Like any tool, what you get out of it, depends on the effort you put in, and the consistency in which you use it. HubSpot’s CRM is no exception to this rule. Thanks to HubSpot’s generous inclusion of many additional features in its free CRM software package, learning how to use everything can be overwhelming. We’re here to help you ramp up to pro-level in no time.
Below are 5 helpful tips to get the most out of the free HubSpot CRM tools. Watch the video overview then read on for more details!
HubSpot CRM Pro Tip #1: Educate yourself
HubSpot Academy’s courses are constantly updated, so you don’t have to worry about learning out-of-date information and you can focus on what you need to know now. This course on setting up your HubSpot CRM for growth is a great place to start.
HubSpot has a Knowledge Base with over 100 articles about CRM alone. Chances are, other people have had the same questions you have, and then HubSpot created a wiki about it to help more people get answers fast.
Attend your city’s local HubSpot User Group (HUG) to meet experts and gain in-depth knowledge of specific features and strategies using your software.
We’re also happy to help teach you everything you can do in HubSpot’s CRM. And if you’re ready for even more awesome knowledge, check out our tips in our recent blog,'HubSpot CRM: What You Need To Know.'
HubSpot CRM Pro Tip #2: Keep your data clean
Garbage in equals garbage out!
If you can’t trust the data in your reports, you’re going to end up using the CRM and related tools less and less over time.
Learn how to input and import your data into the HubSpot CRM correctly the first time and save yourself major clean-up headaches later on.
In addition to the article above, here are a few tips we’ve learned from cleaning up massive HubSpot CRM chaos for our clients:
- If there are multiple HubSpot users at your company, one person should be the designated Hubspot administrator. This person should be the only user with importing permissions, and they are the person in charge of maintaining a clean database. Importing spreadsheets is the #1 cause of creating a messy CRM, from what we’ve seen. Limiting the importing permission to one knowledgeable person creates less havoc in your database.
- In the “Create contact” form for manually creating contacts one-by-one, set up required fields for all the info you need. That way your team can’t add people to the database unless they include the info you need to do your job (hint: lifecycle stage is a big one for most companies).
- Create maintenance reminders to keep the database clean, such as:
- Checking for and merging duplicate records monthly. Learn how to remove duplicate contacts and companies in your HubSpot CRM.
- Deleting hard bounced email addresses, spam report email addresses, and global unsubscribe emails every month, or after each big email send.
- Setting up lists for common issues that arise, to check periodically and fix. For example, we don’t use the “Leads” lifecycle stage, so if we notice any contacts in our CRM designated as Lead, we know some clean-up needs to happen. If they were marked incorrectly, the next step would be to investigate how to prevent that from happening again.
HubSpot CRM Pro Tip #3: Connect your inbox and calendar
An overlooked and valuable free feature included in the HubSpot CRM package is the meeting link tool.
One of the first steps we walk new HubSpot clients through is connecting their calendar to HubSpot, so they can set up a meeting link. This way they can quickly schedule calls with their prospects without the back-and-forth conversation about availability. Learn how to connect your calendar to HubSpot, so it knows when you can and cannot book a meeting.
Similar to connecting your calendar, connecting your Gmail or Outlook365 email inbox is another great and often overlooked feature. It allows you to use HubSpot tools within your email inbox, such as tracking and logging. The easier it is to log and track emails, the more likely you’ll have a complete activity view of the contacts in your HubSpot CRM. Connecting your inbox also allows you to use HubSpot tools such as snippets and documents within your email inbox.
HubSpot CRM Pro Tip #4: Automate your reporting
One of the top reasons businesses invest in a CRM is the robust reporting features, especially when compared to simply using Excel spreadsheets to organize your contacts.
HubSpot CRM includes the dashboards tool which allows you to view up to ten reports at one time. You can customize the dashboard to see only reports that are important and useful for you. Did you know you can also set up an automated email of this dashboard? You could set up the dashboard to send the report via email to yourself or to stakeholders at regular intervals, such as once a week, to allow you to keep a pulse on your business without logging into HubSpot at the time.
Learn more great tips about growing your business using reporting in the HubSpot CRM.
HubSpot CRM Pro Tip #5: Use the sales pipeline tools
The HubSpot CRM sales pipeline tools let you keep track of all your potential sales in progress in an easy-to-use format. The sales pipeline uses the company and contact info in HubSpot CRM as well as providing an additional area for notes and activity, and the boards format allows you to have a full view of sales progress at a glance.
Using the boards format of the sales pipeline tool lets you see where deals are currently getting stuck, so you can develop processes to help overcome the hurdles of that stage.
The sales pipeline in HubSpot CRM also allows you to customize the stages of your sales process, including calculating how likely each stage is to progress to a closed deal and the potential revenue that could be earned. This allows you to forecast what sales numbers could be in the future based on the deals currently in progress. You can also view and report on historic data by week, month, quarter, or year, and set goals and quotas.
HubSpot CRM’s sales pipeline tools can also report on individual salesperson productivity and entire sales team productivity such as emails sent, calls made, meetings set, and more.
Bonus Tip: In 2019, HubSpot added free email marketing tools to its CRM package ... find out why bundling your email marketing into the same platform as your CRM can be amazing!
HubSpot CRM Pro Tips in Review
- Educate yourself on using the HubSpot CRM correctly and efficiently
- Input and keep your data clean so you can trust your reporting
- Connect your inbox and calendar to access useful meeting and tracking tools
- Automate your reporting by setting up custom dashboards to email people on a regular basis
- Take advantage of the sales pipeline tools to make sure opportunities are progressing into customers
That’s a wrap!
Are you ready to get started with HubSpot CRM? Great!
If you found this article helpful, you may also enjoy:
- Learn How To Remove Duplicates In HubSpot
- Want Better Results? Organize Your CRM System
- HubSpot CRM: What You Need To Know
- What is HubSpot's CRM?
- How To Get Started With HubSpots CRM System
- Why Hubspots Customer Relationship Management Is The Best
- HubSpot Free CRM: How Valuable Is This
Set up can be intimidating, but there are many online resources (see below) and some professionals (wink wink) that can help you get the job done well and quickly.
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