If you have a blooming business, chances are you also have many contacts. Clients that send e-mails, prospects filling in website forms or sales conversations that need following up. Are you still using Excel to manage your contacts? Or are you having trouble keeping track of everything that's happening in your marketing, sales and support flows? Then a decent CRM - Customer Relationship Management - can be the solution for you. In my quest to find something suitable and not too expensive, I came across HubSpot.
HubSpot is marketing automation software to manage your online marketing and sales process. It is a complete solution that has a many functions, but it is based on an straight forward CRM. The automation features (like workflows and sequences) are part of the paid version. The free version however, offers enough features to use HubSpot as a complete CRM.
This is why you shoud use HubSpot for your business
All the features described in this article are part of the free version of HubSpot.
1. Centralise your data
You can keep all of your customer data safely in one place. This makes it easier to find the correct data using the search tool, filters and custom made views. You can easily import and export data and connect other tools and software to keep it all synchronised. Adding extra company specific fields can come in handy. Every touchpoint like meetings, notes, phone calls and emails can be registered. Different users within the same company can have separate accounts. Contacts can also be assigned to a dedicated team member who will be informed when there is a new message or submission.
2. Automate data collection
Chances are that your website uses forms to enable visitors to leave their contact information. Standard website forms send the submitted data to a mailbox. This makes copy/paste data collection one hell of a job, especially when you have many forms or submissions. With HubSpot, you can create webforms and embed them into your site. Similarly, you can use a free plugin for Wordpress, Drupal or other website platforms to link your forms directly using an API. This way, all submitted data will be injected into HubSpot, linking it to the corresponding contact.
3. Keep track of visitors activity
With a tracking script added to your website, HubSpot can track all user activity on your site. When a visitor submits his email address, name, phone number etc, this tracking data is linked to that user. This way, if you receive an email, or if the visitor submits a form, you can check the history of the visited pages. In some cases this can be useful information like detecting his or her interests.
4. Make collaboration easy
When you work in a team, it can be interesting to know about the conversations colleagues have had with customers. With HubSpot you get an overview per contact with a summary of emails, website submissions, phone calls and notes. It is also possible to manually assign a client to a user, keeping the history for future use.
5. Unified communication by email, chat and social media
HubSpot can connect with several communication channels which provide a centralised overview of all messages linked to the right contact. By adding your Office 365, Gmail or IMAP mailbox to HubSpot, you can use it to send emails while keeping all of your conversations linked to your contacts. This makes them easy to retrieve. You can also check if your contact opened your email. Apart from using your personal mailbox, it is possible to add a team or corporate mailbox that can be used by multilple users.
One of the great features is adding Facebook Messenger as a channel. All messages that are sent to your Facebook page will end up in your HubSpot Inbox. HubSpot also provides a chat widget that can be easily added to your existing website. These chats will appear in your centralised inbox.
In some cases, the free version of HubSpot provides an email marketing tool that enables you to send mass emails to some or all of your contacts. You can create email lists using filters on one or more fields like interests, activities, region or whatever information you have stored in your contacts database. Not all free accounts have this feature enabled however.
6. Keep track of your deals
Keeping track of all your marketing and sales efforts is great! But what if you could take it a step further and manage your deals in the same place? Well, you can! In HubSpot you can create deals in different stages e.g. meeting, offer, contract sent, confirmed, closed. All of which are linked to a contact. By adding an amount to each deal and a success percentage to every stage of the pipeline, HubSpot will give you a forecast of the revenue to expect in the next months.
7. Take your contacts with you
By installing the free HubSpot app for Android or iPhone on your smartphone, you will always have the contact information, tasks and activities with you. When something important happens, the app will notify you so you can take action immediately.
There is no reason not to try out the free version of HubSpot.
In short, there is no reason not to try out HubSpot to manage your contacts, conversations and deals. When you create an account, you will notice that HubSpot is very intuïtive and that using it is a piece of cake. We, along with many of our customers, started using it for free a while ago and enjoy the benefits. The free version is not limited in time and it's always possible to export all of your data so there are no strings attached. And if you want to level-up, the professional version with marketing automation and workflows is only a few clicks away.
- Start here: www.hubspot.com