| 29 April, 2020

How to Make the Most of Your HubSpot Investment: A Checklist

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Last month, millions of workers in the US transitioned to working remotely — a shift that happened almost overnight. Events and trade shows have been canceled or postponed and in-person sales meetings are on indefinite hold. Marketers and salespeople who are able to work from home during the pandemic are lucky, but they’re also facing new and unforeseen challenges. And with schools and childcare centers closed, many marketers we know are feeling the pressure to do more with less time.   

If that’s you, you might be looking at your digital tools and trying to figure out how to make them work better for you. Perhaps your team has invested in marketing automation software or sales enablement tools that you’re not fully leveraging. No judgment — some of these tools have a ton of capabilities, and trying to learn them all during implementation can be a tall order.

The goal of the check-in is to help the client achieve a better ROI.


That’s actually why, in normal times, we recommend regular check-ins for our clients who are using HubSpot, our preferred marketing and sales software. During these check-ins, we take a look at what’s going on in the account to see (a) if there are features the client is paying for but not fully utilizing and (b) if there are features the client isn’t currently using that could help achieve their goals. From there, we determine whether it makes more sense to adjust the client’s HubSpot tier or optimize their use of the tool. Either way, the goal of the check-in is to help the client achieve a better ROI. 

For marketers who need to quickly deploy new digital campaigns, automate more tasks, or support a sales team that’s learning how to sell remotely, now may be the perfect time to audit your digital tools. If you’re using HubSpot, just follow our steps for a full account check-in. If you’re using another marketing automation software or CRM, this can still serve as a general guide. 

First, Figure Out Which Features You’re Paying For 

Each HubSpot tier includes dozens of features, and if you implemented HubSpot years ago, your subscription may include tools you don’t even know you have. For example, we recently onboarded a client who was an existing HubSpot user, so we started our discovery with a full HubSpot audit and found that they were paying for a third-party live chat integration, even though their HubSpot tier included a (better!) live chat tool. 

To determine which tier you’re at, log into your HubSpot account, click your profile photo in the upper right-hand corner, and click Account & Billing. 

HubSpot Account and Billing

Then, head to HubSpot’s pricing page to see a comprehensive list of the features that are included in your tier. 

See anything surprising? Tools you forgot about or didn’t realize you had access to — tools that might come in really handy right now? Good, we’ll get to that. 

Next, Document What You’re Using HubSpot For Now

Before we can dive into all the exciting things you could be doing with your HubSpot account, we need to document what you’re already doing. When conducting an account audit, it’s important to keep the customer experience front and center. For example, before setting up Sequences in the Sales Hub, make sure you understand all the automated Workflows that are already running — basically, you don’t want your contacts to feel like they’re getting email spammed.

We like to go through each section of the account in order to get an overall snapshot of what’s going on in the account. As you go through this checklist, jot down your action items. 

HubSpot List Performance

Contacts

  • Browse your recent contacts and make sure you’ve got good data. Occasionally, people will fill out forms using dummy data (asdf is probably not someone’s real first name). Delete these to ensure a clean, healthy list. 
  • Under Lists, click the Unused Lists tab. These are lists that haven’t been used in a while. If there are any you don’t need, delete them. 
  • For the remaining lists, click the button next to each that says “More” and select “View list performance.” This will show you how the list has grown over time, where new contacts in the list are coming from, and how engaged contacts in the list are. 

Conversations

  • Navigate to your Inbox and view your recent conversations. Note any trends that are coming up when visitors chat with you, as it might spark ideas for helpful website content.
  • Take a look at your Snippets and Templates. Are there any you aren’t using or that need to be updated? 
HubSpot Marketing SEO

Marketing

  • Under Ads, navigate to the Analyze tab and take a look at your recent ad performance. What is your conversion rate? What is your ROI?
  • Head to your Email and click Analyze. How have your emails been performing? What is your open rate, your click-through rate, and your unsubscribe rate? You’re probably already looking at these metrics on a monthly basis, but now is a good time to take a higher-level view. Mailchimp’s marketing email industry benchmarks are a helpful tool to see how you’re performing compared to your industry’s average. 
  • Back on the Manage Email tab, click “More tools” and select “Create list of hard bounced contacts.” Delete these contacts — again, we want to keep your data clean and healthy.
  • Under Social, navigate to the Reports tab to see how your social media marketing is performing. Take a look at your top posts to see what’s resonating. Again, this is a good time to survey your activity and engagement from a high level. 
  • Under Website, clean up any draft Landing Pages or Blogs. View your analytics to see how your content has been performing. This is more insight into what’s attracting, engaging, and converting your leads. Evaluate any landing pages that are performing poorly to see how they might be improved. Remember, A/B testing is your friend!
  • Go to Files and Templates and review your filing system. Clean up any stray files and make sure that your files follow any naming conventions you have in place. 
  • Under Planning and Strategy, select SEO and view your recommendations. You can also use HubSpot’s Website Grader to get an overview of your website’s health. 
HubSpot Team Meetings Link

Sales

  • Take a look at your Deals. Do your deal stages still make sense? If not, get together with your team to figure out how you can adjust them so that they reflect your real-life workflow. 
  • Go to your Tasks and review how your team is using this tool. Are you making use of the Queues feature to collaborate on shared tasks? Would it be more useful to switch your Tasks view from a table to a board (or vice versa)? Tasks can be one of the most powerful time-saving and collaboration tools in HubSpot — if it’s set up well and the whole team is trained on it. 
  • Review your Documents. Are there any you no longer use that you can delete? Any that need to be updated? Any that are missing and need to be uploaded? Make sure your team has all the latest versions of useful documents at the ready.  
  • Consider how your team is using Meetings. Does each team member who needs one have a personal Meetings link integrated with their calendar? Would it be useful for your team to set up a Team Meetings link? 
HubSpot Feedback Surveys

Service

  • How are you using your Tickets queue? From time to time, we encounter HubSpot users who ignore this hub because they don’t have a customer service team, but these folks are missing out. Even if you haven’t opted into the tiers of the HubSpot Service Hub that offer things like Feedback Surveys and a Knowledge Base, Tickets comes free with every HubSpot instance and is a flexible queue that can be used for everything from checking off post-sale customer touchpoints to internal project management. 
  • For those using Feedback Surveys, review your recent surveys and make sure the insights you’ve cleaned have been communicated to your team and acted upon. (As a customer, it’s disappointing to take the time to provide feedback and then see nothing change.) 
  • On the same note, check to be sure your team has a process in place for following up on low NPS scores or negative survey feedback. 
  • For those using the Knowledge Base tool, now is a good time to review which content visitors have found most helpful, which content may need to be updated to be made more helpful, and any content that might need to be added. For this last one, look at questions that come in through Live Chat or that your sales team frequently gets during the sales process. These are great topics for either Knowledge Base articles or blog posts. 

Automation

  • Clean up your workflows. Move any workflows that are no longer active to an archive folder so that you can easily view workflows with active enrolled contacts. 
  • Review your active lead nurturing workflows by opening each and navigating to the Performance tab. Are you meeting your goal conversion rate? If not, look at each email within the workflow — its open rate, click-through rate, and unsubscribe rate — to determine whether your content needs to be updated. 
  • If you’re using Sequences (part of Sales Hub Professional and above), evaluate your Sequence performance using the same indicators. 

Reports

  • You’re probably already checking your dashboards either daily or weekly and running more robust reports on a monthly and quarterly basis, but now is a good time to review the metrics that are in your reports to be sure they’re actually helping you by providing actionable insights. Check in with your team to learn which metrics are most needed, and then move, remove, or add reports to your dashboards as needed. 
  • If you don’t see the dashboard you need, use HubSpot’s robust Report Library to build a custom dashboard from scratch. 
HubSpot App Integrations

Settings

  • Finally, make sure all your settings are up to date! Click the gear icon and start with your basic info. Scroll down to update things like the default page you see when you log into HubSpot and your email signature. 
  • Going down the left sidebar, review your Notifications. There are a ton of options to customize the notifications you get from HubSpot, so make sure you’re getting the level of information you require to do your job well. 
  • Check your Security settings and consider enabling two-factor authentication. 
  • Under Account Defaults, make sure your communications comply with GDPR as necessary. (Take a look at the Cookies section for this, too.) Navigate to the Branding tab to make sure your company address, colors, and logo are up-to-date. 
  • Under Contacts & Companies, review the default properties that your team sees on contact and company records. 
  • Under Conversations, review your filtering rules, inboxes, and profile (this is the profile used when you’re chatting with visitors on your website). 
  • Under Integrations, select Connected Apps and review your third-party integrations. Are there any connected apps that you’re actually not using anymore? If so, it’s best practice to disconnect those. Are there tools your team uses on a daily basis that are not connected? Chances are, there’s a HubSpot integration that could make your life easier. Check the App Marketplace to find out. 
  • Under Integrations, selected Email Integrations. If you have yet to do so, this is where you can connect your email inbox to HubSpot so that you can track and log emails in the CRM, right from your email. (This is a key tool for sales team members.)
  • Back in the left sidebar, open up the Marketing dropdown and select Ads and make sure your ads accounts are connected, if you’re running digital ads. 
  • Under Marketing, check Email and Forms to be sure your settings and branding for each of these are up-to-date. 
  • Review your Sales settings. This is where you can update Deal stages and create your personal Meetings link if you have yet to do so. 
  • Review your Tickets settings. This is where you can configure your Service pipeline to reflect how your team is using the tool. 
  • Navigate to Users & Teams and audit who’s got access to your HubSpot account, along with their permissions. Make any changes or invite new users here. 

Finally, Understand How You Could Be Leveraging It Better

The act of taking a magnifying glass to your HubSpot account probably sparked about a thousand ideas for how you can better use the system to collaborate with your team and automate your workflows. Here’s how we recommend prioritizing your next steps:

1. Fix any issues and take care of low-hanging fruit like incorrect user permissions, outdated logos, or bad data in your Contacts. 

2. Optimize your HubSpot account by cleaning up each hub and by updating campaign content that’s underperforming. 

3. Envision ways these tools can be molded to your organization and your workflows to take work off your team’s plate while delivering a better customer experience. Perhaps you’ve only been using the platform for marketing and now it’s time to bring the sales team on. Or maybe you’ve been sorting through your contacts manually because you didn’t understand how to harness the power of Lists. HubSpot is an extremely flexible platform, and we use it with both B2B and B2C clients across a range of industries. If there’s something you want to automate in your marketing and sales process, chances are it can be accomplished, and if you’re not sure how to do it, we’re happy to help.

Your next steps from there might involve onboarding and training your sales team, going through a full content audit, or mapping out a new lead generation campaign. Now at least you know you’re moving forward with the right set of tools. 

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