If you have been following and applying this series from the start, you will have evolved your CRM to be an asset of significant value to your business. However the steps are a little laborious, so I’m always on the lookout for little hacks that can be used to automate some of these tasks. I have found 3 that I really want to share – but would love to hear from you if you have come across others. There are free versions of each of them that are perfectly usable, but even the paid-for versions are inexpensive and can save you hours.
If you’re not already familiar with it, Zapier is a nifty little automation utility that connects together a multitude of otherwise separated applications. The principle is straightforward – a cloud service waits for a specifc event to happen and then launches a simple workflow in a separate application as a response. Fortunately there is a multitude of pre-canned worklows (called Zaps) already available to select from.
One such connector is with the Hubspot CRM (there’s also a separate connector for Hubspot itself). This opens up some very exciting possibilities.
For instance, it can integrate with Google Sheets – this means that any data that I can paste into a spreadsheet can be imported automatically into Hubspot CRM. I use this feature to automatically load new blog subscribers from my website into Hubspot.
Better still is the integration that it has with Google contacts. There is a Zap that takes updates in Google Contacts and passes them to Hubspot CRM, and there is a separate Zap that goes from Hubspot to Google Contacts. Once set up this therefore means that my Google Contacts and Hubspot CRM contacts are kept fully in synch with each other automatically – whether the update happens in Hubspot, Google Contacts or even initiated via a business card. For this last piece I use the Evernote app to scan a business card straight from my iPhone into Google Contacts – and from then the Zap takes over…Personally I find this integration a big deal.
2. LinkedIn Hubspot Connector
If you use Chrome as your browser, you have perhaps already experimented with a few browser extensions that add functionality to the browser. One I have recently discovered is the LinkedIn Hubspot connector. It does what it says on the tin! When I am looking at one of my connections in LinkedIn I now have the ability update my Hubspot CRM with the latest information from LinkedIn – fantastic when someone moves roles or company. It also allows me to synchronise conversations from LinkedIn Messages back to Hubspot so that they are all in one place.
Note: Unfortunately LinkedIn have now requested that this service be suspended. Increasingly we seem to moving to a world where LinkedIn insights are only available within the LinkedIn platform itself, which personally I believe undermines some of its utility and repositions itself as not much more than a digital Rolodex. If anyone is aware of a product that performs a similar function please let me know. But the key lesson is: don’t base your whole strategy on repurposing LinkedIn data.
Another recent find of mine is EverContact. I’m sure many of your address book contacts only have an email and name associated with them. EverContact cleverly analyses the email signatures of people you’ve had email conversations with and then puts the extracted details into Google Contacts – and then on the Hubspot via the Zapier workflow I already described. There is even a chargeable option to analyse all your email of the last 12 months (or 5 years) and update your Google Contacts in one bulk process. Powerful stuff.
Have you discovered additional utilities and processes that you use to make your CRM maintenance easier? I would love to hear from you.
Build a Regular Maintenance routine
With any data cleansing project it is important to establish a process for maintaining the quality of the data on an ongoing basis. Refresh your data from third party sources (such as Contact Intel) and check that your automated processes are all working as expected. My recommendation would be to document your maintenance process into a set of checklists that your execute on a monthly or quarterly basis. Writing the steps down is an essential step if you want to go through the steps in a methodical and structured manner – trust me, you won’t remember all the steps in 3 months.
So I hope you’ve enjoyed this series on getting the most out of your Hubspot CRM – and that it’s given you some ideas that you can put into action. If you don’t currently use a CRM at all today, I think you should at least take a close look at it – after all, you can’t argue with the price! And if you already have an established CRM – great! But perhaps there may be a role for this free CRM to play in helping you clean up the data you already have.
If you want to review any of the previous articles in this series you can find them on my blog here:
- Part 1 – Developing a Hubspot CRM Data Strategy
- Part2 – Gathering all your Data into one place
- Part 3 – Cleaning your data to make it usable
Finally – let me know if you find this series helpful. I’d really love to hear from you.