**Note from Marcus: HubSpot’s new CRM is a big deal, something I’ve been anticipating for quite some time. Over the past week, our team here at The Sales Lion has been busy learning everything you need to know about the CRM, as Rich McElaney and George Thomas have combined to produce what I feel is the most extensive and thorough education source for this new HubSpot feature you’ll find anywhere on the web. That being said, we hope HubSpotters find this post to be exactly what they need to get started.**
The HubSpot rumor mill has been churning in the run-up to this year’s Inbound 2014 event. We’ve been hearing about new product announcements for some time now and speculation has long centered around HubSpot entering the CRM arena. On a recent webinar for HubSpot Partners, HubSpot’s CEO, Brian Halligan, and members of their new product development team unveiled not one, but two new products aimed squarely at sales teams in an effort to equip them with the tools to deal with today’s modern buyer: HubSpot CRM and Sidekick.
As a HubSpot Gold Partner, we had the chance to look under the hood of these new tools before they were announced to the public. Before we jump into the details of what these tools offer to users, let’s take a quick look at what drove HubSpot to create them. As HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan said on the product introduction webinar for HubSpot Partners: “Traditional sales technology is necessary but not sufficient. HubSpot’s Sales Platform is designed to arm sales teams with the context they need to improve how they engage with companies, prospects, and leads to drive sales instead of driving people crazy.”
How People Buy has Changed – Have You Changed How You Sell?
What exactly does the term “modern buyer” mean? Today’s buyers have done more front-end research on your product or service than ever before. According to several studies – as much as 70-80% of the buyer’s discovery journey has been completed before they reach out to your sales team. Salespeople have to be equipped to understand where buyers are in their journey and how they can provide buyers the relevant information and support needed to complete the purchasing process. The modern seller understands her role is more that of a facilitator; assisting the DIY journey of the buyer to lead to a mutually successful conclusion. HubSpot’s new sales tools will certainly support that.
HubSpot CRM – What it Is and What it Isn’t
For those of you reading this thinking you’re going to immediately cancel your Salesforce subscription and make the switch – hold on for a minute. We would classify HubSpot CRM as a lighter-weight CRM tool that offers some really cool features which enhance the power of the HubSpot platform. Where other systems are made up of dozens of tools and complicated features to learn and customize, HubSpot CRM is designed to get your team started quickly and keep them focused on selling without changing the way they already do things. If your sales team is currently using Salesforce – and we mean really using it – it probably won’t make sense to make the switch. The depth of features in the bigger CRM platforms like Salesforce are not currently found in HubSpot CRM and if your team is successful with your CRM tool it may not make sense to change things.
|HubSpot CRM – Salesforce Quick Comparison|
|Ideal for:||Companies not currently using a CRM system or not fully using their existing system.||Companies in need of moving from basic CRM platforms to add advanced functionality and capability.|
|Primarily built for:||Sales reps.||Sales management.|
|Ongoing prospect data input:||Is a natural byproduct of the everyday activities taken in pursuit of opportunities.||Requires significant amount of human input from sales rep to keep information current.|
|Ability to customize views and filter data:||Sales reps can easily customize views.||Salesforce administrator facilitates customization.|
|Onboarding complexity:||Very low. Existing HubSpot users will ramp up rapidly.||Fairly high. Deep levels of functionality add time to mastery of the tools.|
|Cost:||Free.||$25 – $65 per month, per user.|
Where it does make tremendous sense is for organizations that either under-utilize their current CRM platform or they don’t have a CRM platform in play yet, but could benefit greatly by having one. This is the most exciting appeal of HubSpot CRM – closing the loop on all those awesome marketing activities your company is doing by providing your sales team with the information they need to be helpful to buyers at the appropriate stage of their journey.
How Much Does the HubSpot CRM Cost?
You’ll like the number – it’s $0. You read that right – it’s free – for current HubSpot users. Here’s another piece of really good news – ALL HubSpot subscribers get access – Basic, Pro and Enterprise. HubSpot CRM will be offered in beta form to existing HubSpot customers first and in the early part of 2015, will be available to anyone looking for a light weight CRM solution. A little clarification is in order though – just as you pay on a per-thousand contact basis for HubSpot, any additional contacts you add through HubSpot CRM will add to your total. For example, let’s say you’re on the Basic version of HubSpot and your current contact count is 3,000. You are paying $300 per month for those 3,000 contacts. Let’s say you decide to import 2,000 contacts from another CRM platform into HubSpot. You would pay an additional $200 per month for those contacts. As with any contact data imports, you want to make sure the data is accurate and that you will use it in your marketing campaigns. You’ll have one contact database in HubSpot – accessible to all of the tools in the platform. This is one of the key benefits of having CRM and Marketing Automation tools in one platform – it provides super-easy access and much deeper intelligence on prospect activity. And you don’t have to manage multiple systems.
The HubSpot CRM Test-Drive
Getting to the CRM tool is easy. On the top left side of the navigation bar next to the HubSpot sprocket, click on Marketing and you’ll get a drop-down menu showing Marketing (all of your HubSpot marketing tools) and Sales (HubSpot CRM tools). Select Sales and you’ll see the CRM Contact dashboard.
Getting into HubSpot CRM The main dashboard on the CRM tool is divided into five areas as shown below:
The Contacts view shows key information in columns that are customizable by selecting from a wide variety of fields from the Contact Properties list. This way, you can populate your Contacts view with the information that’s most relevant to your sales process. A second way to customize the view is to use the Filter option, which is located in the left hand side bar of the Contacts page.
The Companies view lists columnar data by Company name and allows for the same two options of setting columns and filters as the Contacts view does. Next up is the Deals view and this offers a great range of customization that reflects the buyer’s process for your products or services. You can add stages, adjust closing probability ranges for each stage and define the stages in terminology that’s most meaningful to your sales team.
The Tasks view keeps all your tasks, calls and emails in quick reach for reference and management. Like the Contacts view, you have the ability to filter your tasks by a number of different parameters (status, timestamp, type – to name a few) to zero in on the ones most important to you. The Task information can be displayed in line item format or in a board view (current users of Any.do will feel right at home!).
The Settings menu item allows users to customize contact properties, display options, lead scoring, lifecycle stages and form field mapping. A Quick Recap of HubSpot CRM Features:
- Database – Collect and store data on contacts, companies, deals, and tasks with a reliable, easy to use database that is built for the scale of today’s data. Automatically creates company records, associates contacts, de-duplicates leads, and takes care of all the little details your team shouldn’t be distracted by.
- Timeline – Today’s sales process happens across thousands of touch points and dozens of channels. Timeline organizes every email, call, note, even website visits into one simple, intuitive view. Make calls, send emails, set reminders, and organize your day in one place.
- Email – HubSpot CRM connects to Gmail, Google Apps, Outlook, and Apple Mail, logging emails with your contacts easily and automatically. Send emails right from any contact’s record in HubSpot CRM.
- Phone Integration (additional cost) – Make calls with one click in your CRM system. Easily and automatically log notes and recordings of your calls. (Recording optional.)
- Google Calendar Integration – Connect Google Calendar to HubSpot CRM to see scheduled meetings and create new meetings in seconds without ever leaving your CRM.
- Data Enrichment – Instantly see new, useful information about any contact or company. Background information, details on key employees, social data, related companies, and more.
The Sales Lion’s Search for the Right CRM System
Over the last 18 months, we reviewed and tested a number of CRM platforms in the search to find the right tool for our needs. Going into this process, we started screening by what we didn’t want in a system:
- Difficult to learn
- Complicated to use
- Expensive to start and grow with
Once we narrowed the list down, we focused on what was most important to us:
- Easily and cost efficiently integrates with HubSpot
- Easy to use (Apple-like intuitiveness)
- Reasonably priced (now and with future growth)
- Depth and breadth of support resources (from the platform provider and the “ecosystem” around the platform)
We eventually narrowed down our list to Nimble, Highrise, Pipedrive and Zoho. All of these are “lighter weight” CRM platforms that don’t aim to be like Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics in scope and functionality. They are developed to help visualize, organize, manage and report on the various activities the sales team undertakes in the pursuit of new business, in a “frictionless” way. We’re currently using Zoho and it fits our needs pretty well. With the introduction of HubSpot CRM, we now have a decision to make: do we stay with Zoho or do we migrate over to HubSpot CRM? Keep in mind, even though we’ve had the luxury of an advanced look at HubSpot CRM, we’re still in the early stages of testing out its features and assessing the fit. If you look at our decision points above, you’ll see that it’s a highly appealing option for us.
- Easily integrates with HubSpot: It’s already an integral part of the HubSpot platform’s DNA
- Easy to use: pretty darn intuitive so far
- Reasonably priced: free is very reasonable
- Depth and breadth of support: it’s the same team and process already in place – and if you’ve used HubSpot’s training materials and worked with the support group, you know how efficient they are
From what we’ve seen so far, HubSpot CRM can provide us with a big boost by providing real-time prospect intelligence that will help us close more business and grow our company.