Have you ever heard of “field mouse syndrome?”
Most likely not, as I’m pretty sure the manager I heard it from made it up, but it’s so apt to the life of a modern startup CEO or CMO that I wanted to introduce it. The idea is pretty self-explanatory—it’s the sense you get that no matter what fires you put out in the present moment, the next catastrophe is just over the horizon. Have you ever watched a field mouse scurry around, seemingly unsure whether it should be collecting food, digging a new burrow, or fleeing an imagined fox? Same thing, right?
Startups have enough going on to run anyone ragged, so if a product existed that could take some of that pressure off of you, and put it on technology, you’d be silly not to take advantage. Hubspot is one such suite of products. Offering a robust customer relationship management (CRM) solution as well as a lesser known content management system (CMS), it’s nearly a one-stop shop for marketing and sales.
Today we’re looking at several of the features Hubspot offers, to either give you an idea of how powerful this suite is to help you decide if it’s right for you; or to help ensure you’re getting the most out of it if you’re already a customer.
The ability to create templates is a major piece of Hubspot that a lot of users aren’t aware of. Or if they are, they aren’t taking full advantage since you can actually create templates for, well, everything. Emails of every variety from sales pitches to thank you messages to follow-up polls. Then you can create a template landing page for your campaigns that re-use formatting, but change the content to match the campaign.
You can even template your blog posts so come time to schedule or publish, you can simply paste in your copy and you’re good to go.
Got a new lead? Awesome, get them entered as a contact and let your sequences take control. You can create a sequence for brand new prospects that will send a series of emails over the following 2 weeks full of general company or product information. Then, as they move through the funnel, every change of status can trigger a different sequence, full of emails, requests to schedule demos, or whatever action you’re looking to persuade the contact to take next.
Getting a prospect to jump into the sales funnel and convert to an active lead is difficult enough, don’t put up roadblocks in the form of clunky calendaring and meeting scheduling systems. Hubspot’s built-in meeting calendar can be integrated with sequences, allowing people to schedule right from an email template, and that action can trigger a new sequence or can alert a sales person to give the contact a follow up phone call.
Continuing with the fully integrated nature of Hubspot’s ecosystem, contact profiles can include a complete history of every interaction between them and your staff. WIth the available plug-in, you can even include emails sent from your hosted Gmail. Every note, every touchpoint, and every time the contact visits your website (if it’s hosted with Hubspot’s CMS, see below) will be recorded. Even if the account manager steps out for vacation, anyone on the team can step in and answer questions or help the prospect continue their trip down the funnel.
Knowing where a contact is in the funnel benefits everyone, from sales to marketing to support. By creating custom deal pipelines and establishing stages for each, you allow everyone to follow along as the contact moves through the stages. And that means they can provide appropriate content or assistance to that contact to aid them in converting to a happy customer.
Hubspot allows you to create as many pipelines as you need, so you can have different paths for different products, services, sales teams, or pretty much any other criteria that’s appropriate to your situation. Same goes for the stages within those pipelines, they can be custom tailored to each scenario as needed.
So far, the features discussed have all been sales-oriented and fall on the CRM side of Hubspot’s offerings. Don’t be fooled into thinking that’s all Hubspot has to offer, as their CMS is top notch as well. And staying with their modular approach, it’s not an all-or-nothing tool, letting you customize it to fit your needs now, and add or subtract features as you grow.
Want to keep your blog on Wordpress for now, but would love to take advantage of templated landing pages for some upcoming campaigns? No sweat. And perhaps the best part is, the customer will never see the difference, with the pages integrating into your domain seamlessly.
A commonly overlooked aspect of the CMS is the ability to target content and CTAs to specific segments of your contacts. If a visitor is already registered as a lead, you can show them custom content directed at their actual stage of the funnel. This includes personalized messages, CTAs that are relevant to the product they’re interested in, and more.
Another often overlooked feature that can be a big help when it comes to monitoring a leads journey. The calendar gives you a snapshot of active leads/prospects and what they’ve received when, allowing you to make on-the-fly adjustments to their touchpoints. This ensures that each person stays engaged with their journey, yet isn’t getting inundated with unwanted emails or phone calls.
Unlike most CMS solutions, Hubspot has SSL built right in. One checkbox is all it takes to install a certificate that will give your page that coveted lock icon that tells visitors that you care about their security and are doing what you can to ensure their data stays safe. Another aspect of this security is the relative obscurity of Hubspot. Not to sound crass, as we are truly fans of this suite of products, but there are many, many times more sites hosted on Wordpress out there, making them much more attractive targets for hackers.
No CRM, or CMS, can truly be a one stop shop. In our opinion Hubspot comes about as close as possible, while still allowing enough flexibility to let you integrate the pieces you need into your existing infrastructure.