Running a business requires getting acquainted with many business platforms. They all have pros and cons. They all serve a specific purpose — accounting, payroll, marketing automation, and customer service, to name a few. Some integrate well together. Others end up being a pain in the rear because you have to enter everything manually.
So when a name keeps popping ups as a possible panacea, you pay attention. One of these solutions is HubSpot. No matter which area you research, they will likely have a link or two on your search engine results pages (SERPs): B2B Saas solutions, customer relationship management (CRM), content management systems (CMS), service desks. What gives?
To better understand how this technology can help you grow your business effectively, let’s take a look at (a) what it is in the first place, (b) its many benefits, and (c) suggestions for a smooth onboarding process.
What Is HubSpot?
HubSpot is an all-in-one SaaS platform that offers several hubs to help your teams run their departments more efficiently. Each of them offers different plans designed to help different types of business, depending on their budget, size, and goals. Let’s go over each of them.
HubSpot Marketing Hub
HubSpot’s marketing hub comes with a wide array of tools to help you attract the right audience, and then nurture them. Both steps are crucial in developing qualified leads. And the platform helps you do it with the following features:
- Contact management
- Email templates
- Follow up emails
- Marketing automation
- Ad management and retargeting
- Live chat
- Conversational bots
The marketing hub also sets the stage for inbound marketing — a way of attracting people to your site organically, such as with blogs, eBooks, and other forms of lead magnets. These strategies help you establish yourself as an industry expert, especially if you create content consistently. In addition, it helps you educate your audience on your goods, services, and other industry-related topics.
In addition, it provides tools to create attractive landing pages and call-to-action creators, templates, and drag-and-drop functionalities, so that even if you don’t have any coding knowledge, you can build assets that match your style and brand.
HubSpot Sales Hub
Next up is the sales hub. Because at the end of the day, the reason why you want to attract the right audience is to get them to eventually become customers. HubSpot’s sales hub makes it easier to do so with tools that help your sales reps do their jobs more efficiently, including:
- Custom objects
- Lead scoring
- Account based marketing (ABM)
- Meeting scheduling
- Conversation routing
- Native payments
- Sales analytics
Many of these tools help you keep a healthy pipeline thanks to their targeted, personalized approach when interacting with leads. You can also set up certain user behaviors to trigger automation based on deal stages, forecast revenue, and create a quote and send documents to prospects when they’re ready to close that deal.
HubSpot Service Hub
Finally, there’s the service hub. Offering an extraordinary customer experience will always give you a competitive advantage, and Hubspot helps you achieve this by enabling you to create self-service resources, such as a knowledge base or discussion forums. In addition, the hub offers the following capabilities:
- Help desk
- Team email
- Automating service ticket creation
- Workflows to route queries to the right person
- Gauging team performance
- Many support options, such as live chat, email, and phone
- Conversational bots
- Customer feedback surveys
- Customer support data reporting
And since HubSpot’s CRM keeps each contact’s information and prior interactions in a single centralized location, your reps can approach every communication within context, without requiring the contact to repeat their concerns, or putting them on hold while being transferred from department to department.
Although you could use other platforms to manage your website, they usually offer a limited list of services — such as a place to write content, load photos, and customize a meta description.
But if you want to be able to leverage better SEO tools, customize pages, and keep track of pretty much everything related to your marketing, you’d need to know a whole lot about coding and purchase a wide array of plug-ins and integrations. This can be messy for people who use other CMS platforms, like WordPress.
HubSpot streamlines the process by keeping all the tools you need for your marketing under one roof. And beyond that, thanks to the free HubSpot CRM, you can get your entire company, including your marketing, sales, and customer service teams, all working together seamlessly in the HubSpot platform, which is just one of the many reasons that businesses use it.
It Provides a Centralized Hub For All Your Business Needs.
Not only does HubSpot provide a space to create a full marketing campaign, it also allows you to organize everything in one single account — contacts, buyer personas, content strategy information, website content, sales sequences, lead nurturing campaigns, help desk and ticket automation, and so much more.
Gain access to tools to help you create forms, marketing emails, and call to action buttons without the need to know anything about coding. And as if that weren’t enough, you can also automate customized follow-up communications and schedule your entire social media posts in your calendar. All. In. The. Same. Place. Life can get complicated. HubSpot makes it easier for you.
It’s User Friendly.
You would think that with all the available tools, you’d need to get a PhD to learn how to use them. Not so much.
You can either take the time to sit around and play with options, watch instructional YouTube videos, or go through HubSpot Academy training (more on that later). You’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly and, frankly, will be blown away at how you ever lived without it.
It Provides Detailed Analytics.
You can have general goals, such as having more people visit your website, gaining more subscribers to your blog, or increasing sales by 30 percent by the end of the year. But in order to actually reach those goals, you have to track them. This is why the HubSpot analytics tools are vital.
HubSpot lets you create your own dashboard that reflects the numbers that matter to you. Learn how many visitors come to your page — and what are the sources for such visitors (Google search, referrals from other websites, social media clicks, etc). Or analyze your sales cycle and find ways to improve the amount of time it takes to close a deal.
Whatever your key areas of focus are, with HubSpot, you're able to identify strengths and weaknesses in your marketing, sales, and customer service efforts and tweak your strategy accordingly.
Tips for a Smooth HubSpot Onboarding Process
Ok. So now you know that HubSpot is the Holy Grail of business software. But what do you need to do to get started?
1. Create An Account.
As with everything else online, start by creating an account. Then, as an admin, invite your marketing, sales, and customer service teams to become users in the same portal.
Remember to grant permissions for people to use all tools that are relevant to their roles. If you don’t have the time or the desire to play around with the settings, follow the step-by-step instructions from HubSpot's knowledge base. There’s a page for everything you need.
2. Connect Your Website.
Next, connect your domain name to the platform. Before doing this, make sure your website’s URL is compatible with HubSpot. It cannot have any special characters, and it cannot exceed 64 characters.
You are also required to have access to the CNAME records with your current web host. This sounds a lot more complicated than what it actually is. As usual, HubSpot makes it easy to connect your domain.
3. Import Your Contacts.
Something that’s really cool about HubSpot is that you can segment your contacts into where they are in their buyer’s journey. That way, you don’t annoy them with cookie-cutter marketing communications that are impersonal or irrelevant.
But before being able to do so, you have to transfer over their names and information. And of course, HubSpot’s knowledge base has detailed, user friendly instructions on how to do so.
4. Set Up Tracking.
If you’re creating your website from scratch on HubSpot, you don’t have to worry about setting this up. But if you’re importing an existing site, you’ll have to install a tracking code.
You do this by clicking on the Settings icon > Tracking & Analytics > Tracking Code, and copy and paste the tracking code. Simple as that!
5. Connect Your Social Media Accounts.
Depending on your industry and target audience, you may be using social media as an essential marketing tool. If so, it behooves you to connect all relevant accounts to HubSpot.
Doing so will allow you to schedule all your posts, as well as track engagement. You’ll be notified of all likes, follows, comments, and shares from all accounts in one place.
6. Watch the HubSpot Academy Instructional Videos.
There are only so many step-by-step guides you can read before your vision becomes blurry, and you suddenly remember that you have to water the plants and clean your windows. To avoid that from happening, take the free online courses available on HubSpot Academy.
Warning: It’s an extensive course catalogue, and it will take several days to get through the ones that are relevant to you. So get some snacks and set aside a good chunk of time to get through them.
7. Complete Exams to Get HubSpot Certifications.
At the end of every certification, there’s a one-hour exam (although honestly, most of them can be completed in much less time than that). It’s a multiple choice format, with a couple of true/false questions sprinkled in. Some also include short practical exercises.
Once you finish, you’ll get industry-recognized HubSpot certifications! It’ll be good for two years, and you can flaunt it on your office walls and LinkedIn account. Granted, you can bypass this step if your line of work doesn’t require it — or if you hire people who already know the platform like the back of their hands.
Benefits of Working With a HubSpot Partner Agency
While HubSpot is effective and user friendly, it still comes with a learning curve — especially since there are so many tools. However, once you get the hang of it, you’ll wonder how you ever ran your business without it.
That said, going through the onboarding process and learning how to use the features you need can get frustrating if you don’t know where to start. Having a HubSpot partner agency significantly simplifies this process and saves you a lot of time.
You can also choose to simply have a certified HubSpot expert act as a consultant, or have the agency fully manage your campaigns while you focus on your actual business duties.
At Bluleadz, we’ve been using HubSpot for over a decade. Collectively, our team has more than 100 certifications, and we are a HubSpot Elite Partner — the ultimate validation of our effectiveness. If you’d like some guidance on how to get started with the platform, we’d love to help.
Get a Free HubSpot Audit
Let us help you figure out which HubSpot tools would best suit your needs. We can go over your quarterly goals, look at the tech stack you’re already using, and conduct a HubSpot audit. We’ll then provide you with actionable steps so that you can move forward with your business growth goals with confidence.
Alejandra Zilak is a content writer, ghostwriter, blogger, and editor. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism and a Juris Doctor. She's licensed to practice law in four jurisdictions and worked as an attorney for almost a decade before switching careers to write full time. She loves being part of the Bluleadz team and implementing SEO best practices with her content. When not working, she loves to read, write fiction, and long distance running.