11 Classic Problems in Poorly Onboarded HubSpot CRMs

HubSpot is the leading contact relationship management (CRM) solution to help streamline your business and increase sales. However, if you’ve been poorly onboarded your data management may be worse than ever. If this nightmare scenario resonates with you, you’re probably wondering where it all went wrong.

At Plus Your Business (PYB), we’ve been involved in many ‘CRM rescues’ and have rectified poor implementations for clients over the years. 
In this article we cover the typical problems businesses face when they’ve had a bad HubSpot onboarding implementation. 
If you relate, and need support, you know where to find us.

When HubSpot Onboarding Goes Wrong

Did your HubSpot onboarding partner go through everything with you before you implemented it? Or did HubSpot themselves not give you the right support for onboarding? Whatever happened, rest assured…it’s fixable. 
Here are 11 classic problems with a poorly onboarding HubSpot CRM so you can figure out what happened.

1) Incomplete or Poor Migration of Data From Legacy Systems

Your data in HubSpot will only be as good as the data you put into it. Therefore, you must take time to tidy it up before any implementation. One of the main culprits of bad data is spreadsheets. Your company might have used the same spreadsheet for years, but it must still be ready for HubSpot.

For example, there are instances when “number properties” in a spreadsheet will result in an error when migrated to HubSpot. This error will probably happen because some cells might have had words instead of numbers. The same situation will occur if you have a date property when words are in the spreadsheet.

Also, your company may be migrating from an existing CRM, such as Salesforce or Pipedrive. Just because you already have a CRM, the fields in HubSpot will be different. Many things can go wrong if you don’t check your data, such as duplicate companies and duplicate contacts.

There are two ways around this:

  • You can clean up the data in your spreadsheet or CRM before you move it to HubSpot or move it first and then clean it up afterwards in HubSpot.

You can clean up the data by:

  • Import all the properties you have. For example, you might have three different property names for industry, i.e. sector, industry, business group
  • You need to take all the data for those three properties and streamline it into one property
  • You can then agree on the field and have dropdowns with the different naming conventions
  • You can streamline all this data and then archive all the old properties

You can also use default contact properties and other default areas as much as you can in HubSpot. It will help guide you in what data you need before you start the implementation or migration.

2) Single-Line Text Properties Are Not as Flexible as you Might Think

Another area to be aware of is using single-text properties. These are custom properties that only store one line of data. Organisations use this property type to store information such as names, email addresses, etc. While it might seem like a handy place to store simple information, it can bring issues.

These areas can limit your data management capabilities. For example, a native HubSpot property, “Country/Region”, uses single-line text properties by default. However, these data types lead to difficulties with segmentation or analysing data, mainly because people can write whatever they want in such fields.

3) Poor Preparation of Teams

Transitioning the team to HubSpot can be a challenge in itself! It’s all about getting the right people involved from the start of the project. All companies are different, and while some processes are the same, each has individual characteristics.  Gleaning the right information in the beginning is crucial.

Sit down with the relevant people in all the departments the implementation will affect. Ask as many questions as you can. It will help your company to get as much relevant data as possible into HubSpot. It could be questions such as:

  • How do they work?
  • What types of data do they need?
  • What are their processes?
  • What are the different stages of the lifecycle process?

4) Not Documenting All The Sales and Business Process

Another common onboarding problem is documenting only some sales and business processes. For example, at the end of an implementation, the sales team may express disappointment that a specific method is not in HubSpot. The issue arises from individual departments not properly breaking down their processes. 

Different teams use different processes. Get your sales, finance, and customer service departments to consider everything they do as part of their life cycles. It’s about capturing the information they need most simply and easily.  For example, if it was a sales team, you might need to ask them questions such as:

  • What does a lead look like to them?
  • What are the different deal stages?
  • What are their daily tasks?
  • How do their processes connect to marketing or other departments?

At PYB, we have onboarded hundreds of clients to HubSpot. Consequently, we know what questions to ask your teams to save time and make HubSpot work. Also, because we have worked in many different industries, we usually have real-life examples from your industry to benchmark.

5) Not Automating and Streamlining

While automation and streamlining are at the heart of HubSpot, it’s worth remembering that you are dealing with work from real people. Time management is an area that you need to stay on top of at every stage. It’s all about reducing time and making things more efficient for every department. 

With HubSpot, you can set up time-busting measures such as:

  • Automatic notifications e.g. when ‘something’ moves or changes in the database
  • The ability to move data from one place to another seamlessly e.g. into other systems (accounting, ERP etc)
  • Capturing expiration dates, for example, for products or courses. Marketing and sales teams can then start nurturing contacts at the right time
  • Using Templates and Snippets -save loads of time when sending emails or leaving notes etc
  • Meeting links - saves loads of ‘back and forth’ around making arrangements

6) Not Using HubSpot as Omnichannel

Some clients don’t realise the benefits of adding enough apps into HubSpot i.e. the implementation is too light, treating HubSpot more as a stand-alone tool.

For example, you can connect your:

  • Business emails
  • Calendar
  • Slack
  • Microsoft Teams
  • ERP systems
  • Account systems etc

Once you set things up like this, you will be able to view the following in a contact inside HubSpot:

  • The person is associated with a specific company
  • That person is related to certain deals

For example, a salesperson who has been talking to “contact Brian” can see:

  1. what he has ordered in the past
  2. which forms he has filled in
  3. which emails he has opened 
  4. what blogs they are interested in
  5. which ads he looked at
  6. are there any tickets raised for him

If Brian has a problem, the salesperson has visibility.
This information is powerful because the salesperson can offer to help with the problem. Additionally, while being helpful, they can go on to offer new products, etc., at the right moment without upsetting the customer.

Additionally, it can help to nurture leads that may have gone cold. 
HubSpot can show you if the customer has engaged with anything. If they haven’t done so for a while, it is a valuable indicator that it is time for a salesperson to reach out and engage them. You can also tier these contacts depending on their engagement level.

7) Employees Are Reluctant To Change From a Legacy System

It can be daunting for some employees to think their work will now only be in one place. However, the positive practicalities of this for a company are endless. Some people are open to change and welcome new platforms with open arms. Others might feel quite territorial about spreadsheets they’ve used for many years.

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

How can you get around this? The answer is to get them involved in the process in advance. If you are onboarding HubSpot in your organisation, be transparent about the coming changes at work.

You can have regular discussions about the HubSpot implementation so employees can understand the benefits for them. HubSpot gives management an overview of the company. However, it also gives employees the power to demonstrate how hard they work as everything is in the platform. 

8) Not Reducing Your Tech Stack

The best way to optimise your usage of HubSpot is to view it as “one source of the truth”. This means everybody using HubSpot can find what they need to do their job. Nobody has to go to another platform and search for the information there. HubSpot holds everything, which increases efficiency and productivity.

For example, you use Zendesk for customer service tickets, Mailchimp to send out information on your email list, and a CRM to update notes on a contact record. In that case, you are using multiple platforms and cannot be ready to act if something happens in one of these areas.

Ideally, for any system that needs to feed into HubSpot or HubSpot needs to feed out to it, look to integrate as much as you can. It will save you time and money for your business due to increased productivity, as employees will be more focused on using HubSpot for the data they need.

9) Still Having Data Silos After Onboarding Into HubSpot

After onboarding into HubSpot, sales & marketing & service can access each other's data. Sometimes, however, these departments may still want to stay entirely separate from each other. Data silos after onboarding are wasteful and can end up causing more problems in the long run.

Plus, you are actually defeating the whole point of HubSpot in the first place! Once all the data is in HubSpot, every department can work together to improve the organisation.

For example, a salesperson can look on HubSpot and access the following information, which they would never be able to see before using the platform:

  • The customer has been to this page
  • The customer looked at a specific blog
  • The customer opens up a particular email

Additionally, the salesperson could receive live notifications when a customer enters the website. This live information can help them engage with the customer. The salesperson could quickly email the customer or even pick up the phone and call them.

This liaison between the sales and marketing departments can help to create more cohesive strategies. For example, the salespeople can grade the quality of leads and give this information back to the marketing department. This information can help the marketing department to adjust paid advertising to areas that work better.

The marketing department can use HubSpot to see:

  • The contact coming in
  • They know where the contact came from, e.g. paid, search, social, organic

The sales department can then:

  • Grade the lead according to their own grading system
  • Or mark it as a (Sales Qualified Lead) SQL because they think it is a good

Then the sales team sees that they have a lead on the board. This move changes the lifecycle inside HubSpot. Marketing can then use this feedback to assess the leads they received. The information from the leads can then guide them to the source of the best leads. The sales team then benefits from better quality leads.

10) Not Customising Views in HubSpot

In large companies there are generally lots of different teams with different needs and goals. For example, one team may be selling a certain product or service. 
When that team looks at a contact, company, or deal record, they might want to see different things to somebody from a different team.

In this case, you can customise the contact, company, or deal record so each team sees the information that is relevant to them.

11) Post-Onboarding Assessment and Training for Knowledge Gaps

After onboarding HubSpot, you can be happy knowing you have levelled up your business and will be quicker and more productive. At this point, some clients believe that’s the job done and are ready to move on to the next thing on their to-do list. However, Your HubSpot journey does not end there.

Before implementation, put somebody in charge of a post-onboarding assessment. This person can conduct the evaluation and look for knowledge gaps. If left unchecked, these gaps could cause long-term problems. By nipping them in the bud and plugging the gaps, you can organise the needed training.

You also need to give consideration to access levels within the organisation. Set up rules for who can:

  • Delete data
  • Change data

Placing guidelines in place for who is responsible for different things on HubSpot can help employees understand who does what. Maybe only certain people can import data who have had training in this area.

Your company has adopted a new system so it is imperative that you have ongoing training so you can continuously improve it. You have the basic knowledge but you can take it to the next level.

Also, three weeks or so after using HubSpot you might have new ideas on what you would like in the system. You can create a document which lists all the feedback from employees so you can optimise the platform. When employees have more confidence using the system they can start looking at areas such as sequencing.

HubSpot Perfection is Waiting For You

If you relate to these problems in your own HubSpot CRM set up, then get in touch and ask for a FREE audit. From there we’ll tell you exactly what’s involved in fixing the issues - and how much it will cost. Sounds good? Simply fill in the form below…