HubSpot formally announced the release of HubSpot CRM at the annual Inbound conference in Boston back in September, putting all other lightweight cloud-based CRMs on notice. This week, HubSpot announced that the new CRM would be made available to all HubSpot subscribers, which should have those of you looking for CRM solutions for your small business very intrigued.
For many companies, this may not seem like a big announcement, but for Big Presence, it feels like a custom tailored solution. I’ve been working in CRMs on and off for 14 years now, and have spent the past 6 months trying to nail down which CRM Big Presence will be using internally as we scale up our sales team. As we’ve gone through the testing, we found that choosing a CRM is not about which is the best, rather which is the best for you, and internal adoption will only work if it makes your sales team’s job easier, without taking their attention away from closing deals. (Being in control of choosing a CRM is definitely way more satisfying than walking into a company that bought into one that doesn’t fit the need, by the way.)
Obviously, we’ve been testing Salesforce because of the close relationship between HubSpot and SF and many of our clients are already using Salesforce, ZOHO CRM has been sitting idle in the background on my laptop for the better part of a month despite my taking the time to configure Zapier to zap new HubSpot contacts into ZOHO as leads, and well, all the other CRMs I’ve been bouncing to and from are kind of meaningless now.
Why HubSpot CRM is Perfect for Us
One of the great things about HubSpot’s marketing automation tool is the simplicity of design and accessibility of only what you need. This carries right over into the new CRM, and even goes a step further when you’re utilizing the new version of Signals (now known as Sidekick). Sidekick connects your Google Apps for Work email to HubSpot CRM, and allows you to now create contacts and leads automatically from the comfort of your inbox. (They’ve already automated your marketing, now they’re automating your sales processes. What more could you want?)
Here’s a look at HubSpot Sidekick within my own Google for Work Inbox (far right of the image below). It shows me the most recent interactions with emails and links I’ve had with a particular prospect or client, so i know he context of emails, can refer back to recent conversations and resources, or just have a better general idea of what is most pertinent to what they may be needing help with.
Here’s a look at the contacts page where your most recently added contacts can be sorted with any number of filters.
How HubSpot CRM Reduces the Work in Managing Leads
For most account executives, the biggest reason CRM becomes a chore instead of a tool, is that you have to stop what you’re doing, and remember to log everything in CRM as you go about your business. By allowing AEs to work in CRM from their inbox more efficiently, lead management becomes just another thing that’s happening while you work. This may not be entirely new to those of you with fully scaled implementations of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, or SalesForce, but the little companies looking to improve the way they function with CRM, this can be a big improvement.
Below is a screenshot of what you should be looking at any time you’re speaking with a contact or lead. From this page you can look at your interaction history in a timeline view, take notes on the current call which you can make through HubSpot CRM now, and even record the call to reference later on. Create tasks to follow up with them later in the week, register a deal with their company, or build out their HubSpot contact profile as they dish the good info out in a casual conversation.
Tracking Deals and The Sales Cycle Stages
Once you’ve uncovered an opportunity with a client or prospect, one of the other major activities we manage in sales is tracking a deal in their different stages of the sales cycle. Some of us more stubborn people like to think we can manage all that in our heads, but let’s be honest, having a nice orderly view of all your possible deals is really the most effective way of not letting that low-hanging fruit slip through your finger.
Below is a heavily blurred version from our CRM early on in testing HubSpot CRM, but it gives an idea of the drag and drop functionality by which you can move deals from stage to stage. Picture a bunch of little post-it notes that you can pick up and move from one stage to the next, which automatically updates your sales projects, and closes the ROI loop in HubSpot.
Is HubSpot CRM Right for Your Company?
I see HubSpot CRM as a great fit for new teams just ramping up their sales processes, small specialized teams that only need the basic functionality of a lightweight CRM, and for any HubSpot customer that feels like SalesForce or Dynamics is just overkill for what they’re currently doing.
That being said, just try it out! If you’re already a HubSpot customer, you should now have access to CRM through your dashboard (ask your Partner Agency for help if you can’t figure it out). If you’re a new business looking for both a CRM and Marketing Automation, test them together to see how great life can be.