10 Tips to Transform Your Upcoming HubSpot CRM Implementation

Are you planning your upcoming HubSpot CRM implementation? Working with HubSpot is transformational…if you implement it well. But there are a loads of pitfalls you’ll want to avoid.

At Plus Your Business (PYB), we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 tips to help everything go smoothly, based on 150 client projects.

1) Data Structure & Data migration

Before any implementation, you need a plan re: migrating all relevant data sources.

Where is your data housed?” - is one of the first questions we ask.

And there are usually two types of data sources: a) existing CRM (or sometimes ERP systems) and b) spreadsheets.

a) CRM data
It’s also worth remembering that not all CRM systems are structured in the same way e.g. if you are already using Pipedrive or Salesforce, the fields you use there will not always be the same as those in HubSpot.

You’ll need to work through your data ‘one property at a time’, to prevent duplicate data and properties in HubSpot.

b) Spreadsheets
‘Structured data’ coming across from a CRM can often be much less troublesome than spreadsheets - mainly as spreadsheets tend to take on a life of their own.

We’ve seen spreadsheets with “number properties” that have an error when migrated to HubSpot. This error usually happens because some cells have words instead of numbers. We also recommend checking spreadsheets that will ‘migrate to a date property’ in HubSpot. We’ve seen cases where words have been in number spreadsheets, and needless to say, they also create errors during migration.

In either case, you’ll want to look at how to clean up the data.
You have 2 options:

  1. Clean the data in your spreadsheet or CRM before you move it to HubSpot
  2. Move the data first and then clean it later on HubSpot.

You can follow this process to help you:

  • Import all the properties you have in one go. (e.g. you might have three different property names for one industry)
  • Then, the next thing to do is take all the data from those properties and merge them into one
  • The next stage is to agree on the specific field and have dropdowns with different naming conventions
  • Finally, once you have streamlined all the data, you can archive all the old properties

Note: always aim to use default contact properties as much as possible.

2) Processes

A successful HubSpot implementation requires an intimate understanding of your business processes - and the only way for a consultancy to understand this is by working with your team.

As such, you need to ‘get the right people in the room’ - Sales, Marketing, Service/Operations - everyone needs to be involved in the implementation plan. But not everyone needs to be involved ‘all the time’, or right away.

The starting point is the CRM - the data itself, and it’s often best to begin Onboarding on-team first (often Sales or Marketing) and then bringing Service on later.
Reason being, with Service there are often more ‘incoming conversations’ that need change management from the existing platform/processes being used.

For each team, however, you’ll want to consider the following…

  • What do they do daily as part of their job?
  • What are their current processes?
  • What data do they need to help them in their role?
  • What are their different processes?
  • Can they highlight the different stages of their lifecycle process?

These are just some examples, as every department will be different. 
The best tactic is to ask as many questions as possible until a consultant is clear on the process and the plan of action for implementation.

3) Employee Adoption

Following the tip above, it’s all about making the HubSpot implementation work for your employees. Then they will be far more likely to adopt the system, and any new approaches.

Through ‘automation’ and streamlining of tasks there are a load of wins for employees.

Here are some areas to think about before the implementation:

  • Capture ‘specific things’. For example, capturing expiration dates for products and services can help the marketing and sales team nurture contacts at the right time
  • You can create templates to save time on emails or creating contracts
  • Setting up automatic notifications for different stages in a process can help remind employees and speed up the process
  • Your employees will be able to use meeting links inside HubSpot
  • HubSpot (once you set it up) can move data from one place to another seamlessly. Gone are the days of scouring spreadsheets for hours…

4) Question Processes even further…

As mentioned earlier, you might have met with your teams and discussed everything they need in HubSpot. But is it really everything? We’ve had so many situations where we have finished an implementation, and then a few weeks later, this becomes an issue.

Somebody has realised they didn’t mention a specific process, which is now missing from many HubSpot workflows. Imagine a domino run that stops and doesn’t move. You will then know what we mean.

How can you get around this? You can have some departments together in meetings.  It might only be apparent once these people talk together and explain their needs.

Get your customer services, finance, and sales departments together to thrash it all out. When they start listing the different things they need, you can keep asking questions such as:

  • Why is that important to your department?
  • How does it connect to the finance dept, sales dept, etc.?
  • Is there anything else you need?
  • Can you think of anything that is missing?

At PYB, onboarding clients to HubSpot is our superpower. Consequently, we know what questions to ask your teams to save time. We also have real-life examples because we have worked with clients in different industries.

5) Use HubSpot as an Omnichannel Platform

You’ve probably read the testimonials and blog posts and done your research as best you can. However, most clients are amazed at what HubSpot can do. You will have the power to integrate practically everything you can think of.

With this in mind, remember that you can use it as an omnichannel platform. Many companies don’t view it as another tool - they see it as THE TOOL.

You can connect your business emails, calendar, Slack, and Microsoft Teams. Once you have everything set, you can view everything related to a specific contact, such as their company and related deals.

This access to quick information can ramp up things for sales (and other departments). As an example, a salesperson who has been in contact with “Brian” can see:

  • What web pages/blogs they’ve visited
  • What things have they ordered in the past
  • Which emails they open
  • Which ads were interesting for them
  • If there are any tickets raised for them
  • Which forms they’ve filled in…

This information gives you a deeper understanding of Andrew and (just about) everything he’s interested in. 
It can help you make contact with the right people, in the right way, at the right time.

Tip: you can also colour-code your contacts in HubSpot depending on their engagement level, giving employees a snapshot of your contacts in the CRM.

You can only achieve this stage organisation if you set it right before your implementation.

6) Focus on Positive Change Management 

As Abraham Maslow said, “In any given moment, we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety.” Change can be scary for some people, and some employees will be apprehensive about implementing HubSpot.

In 2016, 74% of employees supported organisational changes. However, this dropped to 38% at the end of 2022. The Gartner survey found that change fatigue at work has occurred over the last few years.

Why did this happen? In the same survey, 82% of workers said it is essential that the company sees them as people instead of their employees. This request is reasonable because we always want our employees to adapt as we grow.

You can do this by explaining to them why you are moving to HubSpot. Also, reassure them they will receive the necessary training and support. You can detail how it will help their jobs and make things easier.

By taking the time to do this, you can create a workforce that is excited about using HubSpot rather than nervous or critical about it. Encouraging your staff to embrace the change will make it easier in the short and long term. 

7) Further consolidating your tech stack

Even if you don’t do so right away, know that many businesses will ‘grow into HubSpot’ - brining in data from other sources later down the line.
You can build this into a Roadmap - and is especially relevant for ERP and finance systems.

Don’t scare the horses, but know that information relating to a customer that exists ‘elsewhere’ can often easily be integrated and used in HubSpot.

8) Avoid team ‘silos’

You have an opportunity to transform your business with HubSpot.

Whereas before, different departments may have had data silos, HubSpot allows you to transcend them - and bring everyone onto the same page.

What if a Sales Team member can see an ‘open Service ticket’ for an existing client? Could they support successful resolution of the issue before attempting to upsell them products/services?

How about Marketing supporting Sales through LinkedIn campaigns to warm up targeted accounts?

The possibilities are endless…

9) Detail Customised Views for Each Department

In large companies, multiple teams may have different data needs.

For example, one team may be selling a specific product, and when they go to HubSpot, they only want to see information about this product. All the other information is irrelevant to them.

Every department and team can opt for customised views within HubSpot. 
Employees will then have a clearer view of the data than a cluttered one. It might be a case of pressing only one or two buttons, and they have everything they need.

Ascertain what everybody needs before the implementation.

The departments can then log on and get work immediately, making the transition to using HubSpot easier.

Note: before implementation, think about access levels within the organisation. You can set up rules for which employees have access to change and delete data. Establishing guidelines is essential so everybody knows who can do what.

10) Post Onboarding Assessment and Continuous Training

These are tips for your upcoming HubSpot CRM implementation, but it’s also essential to consider post-implementation. You don’t want to set it up and let everybody do what they want on the platform.

Before implementing, select somebody at the company who will handle a post-onboarding assessment. This assessment is crucial as it allows your employees to keep your feedback on how they are using HubSpot.

Create a document that lists all these things so that you can optimise HubSpot to your employees' needs.

Are You Ready to Get Started With Your HubSpot Implementation?

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