Are you using Hubspot for your inbound or outbound marketing? If you are, I wonder if you are making best use of the pretty handy CRM that you already have as part of your license. In this four part “How-To” series I’ll share with you my Hubspot CRM journey that has helped my take my client and prospect records a strategic asset rather than, well, a bit of an embarrassment.
Not currently using Hubspot? You should probably consider using their CRM anyway (it’s free!), irrespective of your company size and whether you are already using another CRM platform. This series of posts explores the steps I’ve recently worked through with my own CRM data – after following this series you may wish to do something similar.
Why Use Hubspot’s CRM?
Here are my main reasons for taking a look at the Hubspot CRM:
- It’s Free! That’s a pretty compelling reason for starters.
- Grow your CRM contacts automatically. Every business email you send can automatically be logged into the CRM against your contact. If the contact is new and from a company you haven’t contacted previously, a new contact record will be created. Even more impressive, a new company record will be created from the email domain, and will be magically populated with firmographic insights such as company address, industry, employee numbers, annual revenue and more! I have clients who leverage this single feature to clean up their existing CRM data before re-importing back into their “strategic” CRM.
- Build Target Segments. Simple views/queries can be created from any of the contact or company fields. This can really help both with data maintenance and with segmentation for campaigns, as we shall see.
4 Steps to Heaven
The main steps that I went through with my CRM evolution were as follows:
- Draw your strategy
- Connect your main inputs to the CRM
- Clean up the mess (the hardest bit)
- Keep it clean with some automated help.
I’ll address the first topic in today’s post – the rest will be covered in subsequent posts…
Getting Started with my CRM strategy
My first step was to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with my CRM, and what data I wanted to get into it. Starting with a blank sheet of paper I sketched out a picture of my main data sources and potential workflows. I’ll share some of the technology that I leveraged later on, but initially the priority was to define what I needed and why.
I wanted to have a trusted source of all my contact data. The trouble is that contact data comes from several different sources – email, LinkedIn, business cards to name just three. I also wanted to keep my setup as synchronised as possible (so that I can still find phone numbers when there’s no wifi, for instance) and connected to other data sources (including the recently acquired Contact Intel data that I wrote about here).
Armed with my picture of what I was trying to achieve I now needed to build a workflow for bringing all my data together and into Hubspot CRM. As a one-man business I can’t justify having access to a fill blown marketing automation system (from Hubspot or elsewhere), but I do have a need to segment the data that I have for prospecting purposes. So it would be important to build a few simple views that allowed me to isolate contacts in specific industries, or that I hadn’t contacted recently etc. More of that later…
In the next post I’ll outline the steps I took to get the data from these different sources into one place. Then in future posts I’ll cover how I cleaned up the data and how with a little automation I found a way to keep the data all spick and span.