What is HubSpot?
HubSpot is an all-in-one CRM and marketing tool. Some of its more well-known competitors include Salesforce and Pipedrive.
What is a CRM? CRM stands for client relationship management. Its primary goal is to make it easy for you to keep up with your client’s needs and resources. I have been using this tool for a few months now and love it.
In this article, I will discuss why I chose HubSpot, how I use it, and how it has benefited me and my business.
My business, Render Results, experienced rapid growth a few months ago which caused me to realize how I needed to organize things. I started by using tools such as Microsoft Planner and Google Tasks. However, I felt I needed something a little more intricate. I began looking at different CRMs.
I first looked at the industry leader, Salesforce. I liked what it had to offer, but I didn’t quite like the user interface. I then looked at Pipedrive, but I did not feel it suited my business.
Enter HubSpot. HubSpot was recommended to me by a client. The first thing I liked was an unlimited free version. Unlike many other free plans, it gave almost complete access to the tool. As a small business, the more you can keep your costs down, the better.
I like the overall user interface and the simplicity of the tool. Ultimately, this is what drove me to choose HubSpot.
How I use each part of HubSpot
As the name suggests, I use this for my client management. The core feature of the CRM is the contacts tab. I log any prospect, lead, and client. It gives you the ability to log notes, emails, calls, meetings, and tasks.
For prospects, I use the notes tab to log any information about them or their business. For clients, this is where I log important information I come across while working on their project.
The emails, calls, and meetings tabs are quite self-explanatory. I record any necessary information from them. You can connect your email to HubSpot, which then automatically tracks your conversations. I have found this to be very helpful.
I use the tasks feature like I would Microsoft Planner. I assign anything that needs to be done either to myself or other employees. Simple things I assign are to send invoices, update headings, or reach out.
The next part of the CRM is the conversations section. In this section, you can manage your email right from inside of this tool. I do not use this feature, but my vice president does and loves it.
Something I find very helpful is what HubSpot calls snippets. It allows you to create shortcuts for common responses. For example, let’s say I use the following sentence often: Your site does not have proper security. I recommend you update your SSL settings. I could then create a shortcut called #ssl; whenever I type #ssl, it will insert the sentence. Cool right?
One very cool feature of HubSpot is what it calls ChatFlows. It is a live chat service that you can automate as much as you want. It can be put on almost all websites. For WordPress websites, HubSpot has its plugin which allows you to manage things directly in your WordPress dashboard.
The marketing section of HubSpot is just as strong as the contacts. However, not as many of the functions are free. In this article, I will only be going over the free tools. The free tools include an ads manager, email service, landing page creator, and a forms creator.
Do you hate not having all of your ad data in one place? Yeah, me too. HubSpot easily solves this issue by providing an ads dashboard. You can connect your Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn ads accounts, and are able to edit and view all of your data and campaigns easily. This has saved me hours of work.
HubSpot also offers an email service very similar to MailChimp and Constant Contact. This is the first tool of HubSpot’s that has not helped me in any way. I experimented with it when I first started using it, but with the free version, it is nothing compared to MailChimp. Is it another tool that can be added with everything else, yes, but I still use MailChimp and recommend others do the same.
However, I am very impressed with the landing page creator. It is not for a complete landing page, but rather for a small page to encourage email subscribers or a lead magnet download. They offer plenty of responsive templates and function perfectly.
Finally, the last free function of the marketing section of HubSpot is the forms feature. It is what it sounds like, it allows you to create normal forms, pop-up forms, and even grabs data from other existing forms on your website. This is an easy way to grow your contact list and get more leads.
This is the third and final section of HubSpot. I have used this section the least of all, but I have still used it and found that it is very helpful. It allows you to keep all of your pending deals organized and helps you create more leads for clients.
The first feature is the deals tab. It allows you to create pending deals. It gives you many different organization columns to track where each of your deals is in the sales process. This is much more helpful than I first thought it might be. It allows me to see and project what needs to happen next.
For each deal page, it is structured the same as the contact pages. They allow you to create notes, assign tasks, and set up meetings.
Something that saves tons of time is the document and quote functions of sales. They allow you to store and create different pdfs, documents, and client quotes to easily supply your deals with them.
Now, something I have used a lot is the meetings function. It is very similar to another one of my favorite tools, Calendly. I have contemplated changing completely from Calendly because this service is so great.
It provides you with a link to give your clients or leads and allows them to book a time that works best for them along with allowing them to pick a meeting length.
Who is HubSpot for?
I think HubSpot will benefit any business looking to organize and streamline their workflows. For very small businesses, the free version is satisfactory, but for larger businesses, their prices are still very affordable. Since using this tool, I don’t see a reason not to use it. Try it, you won’t regret it.
About the Author
Carter Stroup is the founder and president of Render Results, a full-service web design company dedicated to providing professional services at an affordable rate. He has been a web developer for over four years and holds many certification for both web design and search engine optimization. You can find him on LinkedIn here.