If you work in marketing, sales, or customer service, you've probably heard of HubSpot. The software provider offers tools for all three business areas. At the core is HubSpot's CRM. In this article, we'll show you which functions it contains that might help your company with customer relations and how agencies in particular can benefit from HubSpot.
What is a CRM?
Before we discuss the specifics of HubSpot's CRM, let's take a closer look at the term. The acronym CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It is both, a discipline of marketing and a software solution used to implement those marketing efforts.
With a CRM, you can collect and sort the data of customers, suppliers and other contacts and use it for relationship management. The more you know about a contact and can approach them accordingly, the more likely they are to become a long-term customer or even a partner.
Closed deals can then be stored in the CRM. If you use them properly, the relationship will grow stronger over time.
HubSpot: Who is behind the company?
HubSpot is a company that was founded by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2005. The founders got to know each other during their master’s studies.
There, they realised that broadcast advertising becomes too intrusive for most consumers over time. They wanted to invent a solution where customers come to the provider instead of being "bothered" by them. This is how the "inbound methodology" was born.
In 2014, HubSpot finally launched and is now represented internationally. The concept seems to work: The company was able to establish itself as the founder of the inbound methodology. It now teaches this methodology to all interested parties. Among other things, the HubSpot Academy was founded for this purpose, a collection of free courses on marketing and sales topics.
What is the inbound methodology?
The special nature of this method becomes clear when you look at outbound marketing: In outbound marketing, the company searches for customers by placing commercials on radio and TV. With inbound marketing, the costs for outreach are being saved.
Instead, problem-solving content (explanatory videos, blog posts, case studies, white papers, etc.) is published on the company's own website, which then presents the company as an expert or thought leader. The customer should find the company through this "added value" instead of being bombarded with advertising by the company.
Up to this point, inbound marketing overlaps with content marketing. But it also includes the subsequent steps, namely search engine optimisation (SEO), lead generation, communicating with the leads, guiding them through the sales funnel and ultimately closing the deal and continuing the customer relationship. Everything happens directly within the company, without paid and intermediary agencies.
HubSpot CRM feature overview
The basic version of the CRM programme can be started after a short online registration and is free of charge. Contacts can be created with address, email, phone number and categorisation. In addition, e-mail accounts can be linked.
For recurring messages, there is an option to create templates. If a phone call has taken place, notes can be added to that call. A chat function can also be built into your website and managed via HubSpot.
If you do need to advertise, ads can be created on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google. You can then use these to direct interested parties to landing pages that were created directly via HubSpot. At the end, you can include a form to collect their contact information. The visitor receives your in-depth content, for example an e-book, in return for their data.
In addition, a simple tool for tasks is integrated into the CRM, as well as a ticket centre for customer enquiries. In the reports area, you can view your statistics, i.e., see from where you generate the most traffic or where the strongest leads come from.
For more functions, you need to pay for HubSpot extensions. But even the free solution offers you a wide range of services.
Hubs: Possible extensions to HubSpot CRM
The system can be extended for a fee. You can integrate the management of social media channels into HubSpot, for example. Only one login is then needed to post anywhere. The software manufacturer also offers an integrated SEO tool.
If you want several functions at once, the following "hubs" can be connected:
- Marketing Hub
- Sales Hub
- Service Hub
- CMS Hub and Operations Hub
The prices are staggered according to Starter, Professional and Enterprise.
The Marketing Hub includes email campaigns and marketing automation, A/B testing and campaign reporting. The Sales Hub allows a meeting schedule, electronic signatures, the display of who has bought which products or, in the Enterprise version, "predictive lead scoring".
HubSpot: Advantages and disadvantages
A big advantage is that you can start for free and then scale the costs. Not every CRM offers such a functional basic version. This should be enough for the start, especially for small businesses. But if you want to use the full scope, it can be quite expensive. Therefore, you should find out exactly what you really need.
HubSpot also scores with its user-friendliness. It only takes a few minutes to find your way around the system. Most of it is self-explanatory and you don't even need any developer knowledge to create landing pages or forms. To expand your knowledge, there are extensive tutorials that you can find in the HubSpot Academy.
One disadvantage is that HubSpot wants to cover a lot of areas and therefore only scratches the surface in some cases. The free version is a basic tool that is more suitable for the limited contacts in B2B than for thousands to millions of customers in B2C business, especially with marketing automation.
The Solution Partner Programme for agencies and co.
Do you work in marketing, sales, customer service, web design, CRM, or IT service? Then HubSpot offers you a partner programme. It is particularly suitable for agencies that resell their services to customers.
If you are a Solutions Provider, you receive a commission as soon as you turn your customers into HubSpot customers. To ensure that this choice offers both you and your customer added value, you will receive training offers from HubSpot and can pass this knowledge on to your customers. You will also become part of a community and be included in a provider directory.
As a Solutions Partner of the higher level, you will have a personal contact person at your disposal as well as demo access for interested parties. Your customers do not pay for HubSpot onboarding.
Additional benefits are activated with a certain generated turnover. However, there is one restriction: Your company needs to be a certain size for the programme to be profitable.
We'd be happy to discuss whether HubSpot is the right choice for you. Contact us if you want to learn more about which digital tool is best for your business! We look forward to hearing from you!