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If you're considering switching from a simple CRM to HubSpot, you've probably noticed the numerous blogs and articles out there talking about the problems people experience with the tool. What's more, is that if you're already a HubSpot user, chances are you have these same doubts and questions too.
And before continuing with this blog, I must admit that I am a strong believer in HubSpot. I have been since the beginning, and I will continue to be one for a long time. If you think that this takes away my neutrality, you may be right. However, I also know that the issues that I will mention later have more to do with the tool’s use than with its operation.
With so much information about HubSpot’s value, it’s clear how its operation can become complicated. Being a tool where automation plays a key role, its settings and configurations may not always be the simplest. Therefore, perceiving its value and knowing if it has a return on investment can be complicated. Any CRM you decide to work with will have its level of complexity. The important thing is to move past those obstacles efficiently, whether you use Salesforce, HubSpot, Zoho, or any other platform.
These are some of the problems I noticed when using and implementing HubSpot for others.
It's Not That Flexible
When you compare it to other CRMs, HubSpot probably seems more rigid when it comes to customizing it to your business need. This is essentially what enables its scalability and adoption. The fewer moving parts there are, the easier it is to grow your business. Before jumping to the solution, it is important that you are clear with the needs of your company and with what fields and categories you need. Once you understand what will benefit you, you can see if HubSpot actually offers these alternatives for your company.
Another way to increase flexibility is through custom objects. They make it possible for your automation to meet your specific requirements. When going through the customization, it’s crucial to correctly map the functions and fields that will be used.
It Doesn't Adapt Easily
Ideally, you want the new CRM and automation tool you use to fit seamlessly into your sales process. But let's be honest, no process is the same in any two companies (even those from identical verticals). Ideally, it would be a plug & play. While this is one of HubSpot's greatest strengths (being easy to use and understand), it's also no guarantee that HubSpot can be customized to your unique sales flows.
As mentioned previously, evaluating the needs and automation that your company needs is the first step. Then, make sure that you can adapt them to this CRM. There are some adjustments that you can make within your pipeline by using the available/default options, but if you really want to get specific, it’s best to use programming and coding. This last option is not something you can do without the help of experts or professionals, but that doesn't make it impossible.
Partly because of the two previous points, another problem that constantly arises when talking about HubSpot is reporting. The platform has the necessary tools to make reports and panels. However, they may not be as deep as you would like. The information could be scattered in different reports, so it becomes necessary to use other tools to complement this analysis. If they’re set up right, most of your sales and transactional data will be available in HubSpot. The only drawback will be that you'll have to pull it from multiple reports to get full visibility.
Yes, HubSpot is one of the best platforms when it comes to analyzing user journey data (to see what's working and what's not), but once you step outside of HubSpot's area of expertise, reporting gets a bit sketchy. To solve this problem, you can use Google Analytics and Search Console for additional clarity.
Complex Revenue Projection
In addition to difficulties with reporting, another area where HubSpot can struggle is sales projections. Something as simple as a linear projection of a sales flow can become complicated to set up. This happens because the first requirement is an estimate of the weight of the contract value for every flow stage.
Another challenge occurs when you want to make reports on recurring revenue (a monthly payment contract, for example). In that case, you will need to customize a solution or, like many users, transfer the information to spreadsheets and make projections on the other platform. While this works and aligns with HubSpot, it leads to other dilemmas, like the everlasting question: HubSpot or Excel?
First of all, it is not. There is a difference between expensive and costly. The first term does not take value into account, while the second one does. A Tesla, known for its technology and goal to protect nature, works as advertised. That makes it a worthy investment more than expensive. The same thing happens with HubSpot. Its success comes from it being profitable from the start.
Solving this is more about having a different perspective than changing something about your purchase. The first thing you should take into account is all the tools that come with the platform. It’s not only a way to store your contacts but also an automation ecosystem that saves you money on external tools/apps and helps make your sales processes efficient. It’s like a 2 in 1 purchase geared toward a brighter future for your business.
However, making HubSpot work requires effort on your part. You will need to feed the platform with the necessary data, create sales content, and design an automation strategy that fully highlights the benefits of HubSpot. Otherwise, you will not see the value of your investment.
Not Migrating All Areas
While one of HubSpot's goals is to break down information and help companies align their marketing, sales, operations, and customer service departments, it is not uncommon for only one of these areas to be migrated. Most people start by migrating one department to this new platform while the rest remain on other platforms. Sometimes this is done intentionally as a trial period to gradually introduce each team to HubSpot. This is not only not recommended, but it can even be counterproductive because instead of resolving the lack of connection between areas, more inaccuracy and confusion are created. If you migrate your company's operations and database to a CRM like HubSpot, the faster you do it, the better it will be because you will have clarity between everyone.
Struggles with adoption are one of the most recurring problems when it comes to HubSpot. The funny thing is that is not a mistake made by Hubspot. It is usually made by the companies that are adopting the platform. I'm not saying that the issue is directly their fault either. It stems from the lack of a correct implementation process.
Trying to master HubSpot on your own, hoping that your team can organize it and explain it to the rest of your collaborators is not something that usually works. HubSpot is an intuitive tool to use. That does not mean that anyone can master it alone.
In addition, misconfiguring any of the tool's features from the start can be detrimental in the long run. Remember that this automation will improve your team's sales flow, but if they are not set up as they should be, you could be creating an avalanche from a small snowball.
Finally, without a solid HubSpot implementation strategy, the main risks are that users will not enter the data correctly, will not take advantage of the tools, and will end up underusing the product, considerably reducing the performance and return that you can receive from such a powerful tool.
There's No Exit
Yes and no. Like any tool you use, what you want is a long-term relationship. However, thinking that once you have HubSpot, there's no turning back is a bit dramatic. If in the future you want to try another CRM, the migration will take time, but it's possible. It would be best to receive help from a specialized team. The deeper you are into HubSpot, the more automation and flows you will need to map into the new software, and if you use the CMS for websites, you will need to adjust the buttons and links.
Although it is not the easiest thing in the world, thinking that your commitment to HubSpot needs to last forever will only harm your business.
You're Not Alone
As you may have already discovered, your company will not be the first or the last to encounter these difficulties. In addition to using the solutions listed above, teaming up with a HubSpot partner who will help you with the necessary settings, migrations, and implementations will expand your use of HubSpot. That way, you can adopt the CRM and count on the support of experts.
Before you hire an agency or decide to do it on your own, I recommend you schedule a call with me. I would love to know what your main problems and headaches are, understand the needs of your business, and help you find a solution that maximizes the potential of your business.
Learn how to utilize every tool inside of your HubSpot.
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Ranya is a serial entrepreneur with over 8 years of experience working on the HubSpot CRM. She loves pushing her sleeves up , and getting s*** done. When she is not running her HubSpot partner agency, you can find her upside down on her yoga mat.
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