Hubspot CRM Inbound Sales Best Practices

How to Implement 10 Hubspot CRM Inbound Sales Best Practices

Table of Contents

Inbound Sales Using Hubspot CRM Best Practices



Professional Services firms, such as SAP Partners, typically struggle with keeping track of all the opportunities they are working.


Learn 10 Hubspot CRM Implementation Best Practices based on our extensive experience with Inbound Marketing for SAP Partners and IT Service Providers.

Ideal for Small Business as Well

Hubspot CRM is made to be extremely easy to use, and even offers free CRM software, which allows you to store up to 1,000,000 contacts (million contacts) for free, for life.  With all of the Hubspot tools it offers, plus the simplicity of operation built in by design, you'll never lose track of another opportunity.  Even if you traditionally use CRM outbound marketing, the tool can still support you fully.

All Versions Include Live Chat!

Just about every business is expected to provide live chat on their website.  With Hubspot's CRM system, you not only get a live chat system, you get the ability to unify everything into one universal inbox.  That means you can not only respond to queries of people on your website, but to queries on other sites, like Facebook Messenger.  It also allows you to unify messages with inbound email, which is a huge time-saver!


CRM Software to Support Your Sales Pipeline

Hubspot CRM Key Features


The Hubspot CRM Platform comes with an ever increasing array of tightly integrated, simple-to-use, Customer Relationship Management features you'll find critical to your success:

  • Sales Email Template Library. 

    One of the most frequently used elements of the Sales CRM system is the ability to create libraries of Sales Email templates that are customizable on the fly.

  • Support for Multiple Communication Channels

    Hubspot CRM, aside from providing industry leading marketing campaign support, provides your sales team with the ability to send emails, make and receive calls, stay on top of "To Do" List, respond to customers via online chat, send behavioral based SMS messages and even to send out physical gifts (via a partner solution fully integrated into Hubspot CRM).  This is part of an overall design philosophy of eliminating menial tasks.  As your business grows, it is important that your CRM software grows with you, while not increasing in complexity.

  • Marketing Campaigns

    While Hubspot is an Inbound Marketing and Sales Platform, it is when it helps both teams work together to deliver profitable marketing campaigns that it really shines.  The highly integrated nature of the Hubspot marketing and sales platform means that marketing and sales can work to deliver full funnel marketing and sales messaging to close the deal faster, and at higher values.

  • Content Management System

    The Hubspot CMS is a critical component of delivering a delightful customer experience, as well as getting maximum value from your marketing and sales assets.  It can host a huge variety of marketing assets, including video, web pages, email templates, ebooks, and many others.  In addition, on the sales side of the house, it allows Account Executives to deliver and measure the effectiveness, of one-on-one sales presentations.  It also provide drag and drop functionality for most content elements you will use, such as email templates and landing pages.  In short, you can provide complete inbound marketing campaigns, coupled with robust KPI reporting capabilities, that rival many data warehouses.

  • Customer Data Management Software

    One of the most critical functions the the Hubspot software provides, even including the free CRM that is available to everyone, is to keep track of all contact data, across the full customer lifecycle.  This capability makes everything work better.  For instance, customer support will have access to the same customer activity data as the sales team and the marketing team.

  • Branded Quotes and Payment Collection

    While sales teams and marketing teams should work with one goal in mind, the sales team is normally focused on closing the deal.  With the ability of the Hubspot Sales system to deliver complex, branded quotes and collect payments, right from those same customer branded quotes, you have a fully functioning ecommerce platform.  Sales reps can work at warp speed to get customized quotes out-the-door and into anxious buyers hands.

  • Product and Service Catalog - CPQ

    A real time saver is the product and service catalog.  It allows you to fully define products and services, and set up prices and discounts, as well as recurring revenue models.  These elements then become customizable components of the aforementioned branded quotes, and make managing your sales pipeline much simpler and most importantly, consistent from a customer data management standpoint.

  • Unlimited Users - Hubspot FREE Versions and Up

    One of the unique aspects of Hubspot is the fact that you can have an unlimited number of users.  That means you can have a hundred market users on it and it is still the same price.  This is true on both the Hubspot Marketing Free and Sales Free versions. 
  • Hubspot Ads Add-On - Customer Journey Management on Steroids

    While most Inbound Marketers admit to employing some paid advertising, the very top advertisers recognize that it is one of the best ways to assuredly hit your lead generation and sales revenue goals

    The Hubspot Ads Add-On allows you continuously create feedback to both Google and LinkedIn as to who is where in their customer journey, and deliver contextually optimized advertising messages to them, at just the right time.  It can help you achieve much higher ROAS with much less effort, and make your sales team much more productive.  They should never be cold calling when the outbound CRM capabilities of Hubspot and extended digital ecosystem is properly employed.

  • Free Features

    There are many free features available with the free Hubspot CRM system.  For example, you can set up landing pages with content offers behind a form, starting with the free version.  You can also set up email marketing campaigns, even with the free version.

    You can also set up an ecommerce sales pipeline fully integrated with several ecommerce platforms, such as Shopify.

    The free version offers considerable advanced Inbound Reporting options.

    Finally, all versions, both free and paid, work on many devices.  It has a fully functional mobile version as well as desktop version.

Ideal Solution for SAP Partners


With the recent release of the Hubspot Inbound CRM system, which is built by Hubspot and within Hubspot, SAP Partners now have an extremely easy to implement CRM (Customer Relationship Management Solution) system that provides, bar none, the best value out there for CRM, because right now, it is FREE for Hubspot customers! 

Various Integration Scenarios Supported

SAP Partners also can take advantage of the various integration scenarios available using the Hubspot Connect system, which provides a way to integrate Hubspot and SAP, as well as over 8,000 other software systems. And remember, even if you're not a customer, you can still get a FREE version of this incredibly powerful and useful tool!


Hubspot CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

 A View of the Companies it Creates from the Contact Database



Implementation Best Practices


Hubspot CRM Implementation Best Practices


We have been ramping up on it since it was released officially at Hubspot’s Inbound 2014 conference and thought I would share some of the usage Best Practices I have picked-up so far:


  1. Do the training! It is very short and will get you set up quickly. Just do it.

  2. If you, like me, receive leads from many sources, not just your Inbound Marketing website, then, develop the discipline, company wide, to create the companies, contacts, and deals from those inbound opportunities using the Hubspot lead management system.

    After all, you spent time and effort (money) making those leads knock on your front door.  The Inbound Sales Methodology depends on a steady stream of qualified leads to work, so help yourself out and don't let any get lost.

  3. Every deal will involve more than one contact fulfilling more than one role. I recommend you enter them all as contacts against the company and or deal.

    It is the only way you have to gain a somewhat complete picture of the deal and all the relationships. 

    Don't forget, at the end of the day, these types of deals still rely on smart people keeping track of and using a lot of moving parts.

  4. The system requires the use of google business apps for folders, calendaring and email support.

    Be smart about your folder structure in google docs.

    If you just drag documents onto the google docs icon and let the system create that one folder for that one company, it will work, but as soon as you have more than 2 documents you stored for that deal, you will want to have arranged them into folders with appropriate naming implemented. 

    Best practice here is to decide on the four or five types of documents you typically exchange with a client to get to deal signature and just create those folders after you let the system create that first company folder.

  5. You will want to create templates for your emails, even if you typically have to modify them somewhat for each deal (and who doesn't).

    Use Hubspot personalization tokens to save a few minutes.

    Templates, by their very creation, force you to think about your sales process well in advance.

  6. You will need to set up lists and workflows to auto-assign contacts to your Account Executives (done on the Marketing side of the house).

    It can be done manually as well from the CRM side, but we use workflows and SMART lists extensively to manage our lead flow - if we didn’t we would drown!

    Contrary to what you may have heard from certain sales managers in the distant, foggy past, this isn’t really a good problem to have.

    It is actually wasteful of your resources and makes you look unresponsive to customer inquiries if you don't have those set up so you are alerted by the system that you have another opportunity to respond too.

  7. Having the company creation capability is a lifesaver!

    If you monitor your prospect list, you will quickly notice you are getting a lot more visits than actual conversions.

    If you take the time to study what they looked at on your website, yet do not keep a record of the company, you are losing hugely valuable deal intelligence when the company finally falls off the prospect list after 6 months.

  8. Hubspot says that until your website is delivering at least 150 leads per sales person per month, follow-up on all of them.

    I agree, but would add that for SAP sales, you also need to keep in mind the magic 30 to 50 accounts that you need each AE to be working on at any one time.  

    Experience tells me that for larger, complex deals, even 30 is too many for one AE to handle, but for smaller deals, those with an average deal size in the 100k range or less, then both need more of them in their pipeline and you can’t afford to invest so much in the pre-sales efforts as on the larger deals.

    Don’t be afraid to drop a prospect that you will lose money on or hand them off to partner who can focus on those size deals profitability.

  9. Keep the sales funnel simple but include enough steps to actually understand your typical sales process.

    Too many, it won’t be maintained.

    Too few, you will get push back from the sales force that it doesn’t cover what they do.

    Be prepared to iterate on this.

  10. Learn exactly what SideKick is actually doing.

    It is ideal that it is telling you when someone opens your email.

    However, unless and until you have or are a master salesman, who can, on the fly, answer every possible question or objection about your product or service, then learn to sit on your hands for a few seconds and gather all the available ‘context’ you can about the person you are about to call.

    If they are an Inbound Marketing driven lead, then be sure to review all their downloads and actually read through and know what they have already consumed from you.

    Otherwise, you will have an awfully awkward conversation.  


There you have it.


My Current Top 10 Hubspot CRM Sales Best Practices.  


Though I wrote this with a focus on SAP Partners, if you want to know how to implement CRM, it is equally applicable to any other business, with modifications, of course, made based on what and how you sell.


In my next “How To”, I will explain some of the limitations you will encounter, why they exist in SAP CRM and how you can work around them.  


Get Help Implementing Hubspot CRM


Implementing the Hubspot CRM system is as simple as 'turning it on' but still requires some expert level coaching with Inbound Sales to get full value out of it. 


Many Full Hubspot CRM Implementation Lifecycles


We have now this many, many times and can bring customized Hubspot CRM implementation and sales support to you.  Just click the button to get started.



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Lonnie D. Ayers, PMP

About the Author: Lonnie Ayers is a Hubspot Certified Inbound Marketing consultant, with additional certifications in Hubspot Content Optimization, Hubspot Contextual Marketing, and is a Hubspot Certified Partner. Specialized in demand generation and sales execution, especially in the SAP, Oracle and Microsoft Partner space, he has unique insight into the tough challenges Service Providers face with generating leads and closing sales using the latest digital tools. With 15 years of SAP Program Management experience, and dozens of complex sales engagements under his belt, he helps partners develop and communicate their unique sales proposition. Frequently sought as a public speaker in various events, he is available for both inhouse engagements and remote coaching.
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He also recently released a book "How to Dominate Any Market - Turbocharging Your Digital Marketing and Sales Results", which is available on Amazon.

View All Articles by Lonnie D. Ayers, PMP

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