How to Implement 10 Hubspot CRM Inbound Sales Best Practices

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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.  


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!  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



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.  


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Lonnie Ayers

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.

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