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5 Hidden Gems of the HubSpot CRM

by Ari Plaut

Date

April 18, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Your HubSpot account holds a wide range of tools that can help you grow your business. That's the beauty of all-in-one software. But some users find it to be both a blessing and a curse.

More tools means more to master. You want to take advantage of everything HubSpot has to offer, but learning the functions of every feature takes time. In this post, we'll walk through a few of our favorite hidden gems in th HubSpot CRM -- features that sometimes fly under the radar but are powerful when used just right.

Task Queues

In a world where salespeople spend only 30% of their time actually selling, every second saved means more deals closed.

Imagine a world where you never have to leave your to-do list, where you never have to manually schedule your next follow-up, and where you never have to click into every CRM record to figure out what to do next.

With task queues, that world has arrived.

While using the tasks tool in HubSpot CRM, your sales team will increase their productivity because they’ll stick to what they do best: Selling.

Tasks are a sales rep's to-dos. Let's say you're a sales rep and you're trying to sell your widget to Acme Corp. You might create a task on Acme Corp's company record in your CRM that simply reminds you to follow up with the Acme team.

Here's a quick tutorial of how task queues work: 


Let's say the first two tasks in your queue are “Call Andy” and “Follow up with Acme Corp.” You’ll first be taken into the “Calling” tab within Andy’s contact record. When you complete the call, the task will be automatically completed (no need to head back to the tasks home screen), and you’ll be brought directly to the emailing tab on Acme Corp’s company record, which is the next task in line.

No clicking back and forth between the tasks home screen and your contacts, companies, and deals. No distractions, just your tasks.

Press play. Do your job. That's it.

Pro tip: What criteria make up your "ideal lead?" Someone who's engaged with your website? A certain company size? A job title of director or higher? A specific industry? Use those criteria to create a view. Then create tasks for those contacts by selecting them and clicking "Create tasks."

Create Tasks.png
 

Add those tasks directly to a "high-priority follow-up queue." Then head over to that queue and run through it, beginning to end.

This could be a big part of your daily routine. Build a view of leads that need follow-up. Create tasks for them, and add them directly to a task queue. Run through the task queue. Rinse, wash, repeat.

Pinned Notes (With @-Mentions)

Whether you're in marketing, sales, customer success, support, or any other customer-facing role, you need quick access to the most important information about the leads and customers you talk to every day. That's where pinned notes come in.

Here's the basic idea: On any record in HubSpot (contact, company, or deal), you can affix a note to the very top of the timeline, like this:

Note-1.png
 

That way, the next time you or anyone else on your team comes back to the record, that note will be the first thing you see.

Here are few ideas for pinning notes:

  • Pin a note from the customer support team on the record. Is this customer dealing with an ongoing technical issue that's still being fixed? Note that on the record so sales doesn't try to upsell into a sensitive situation.
  • If you're a sales manager, pin a note to a record with suggested next steps for the rep.
  • Pin rapport-building talking points. Where's the company located? Which sports team does the contact root for? How many pets or children does the contact have? That way, you'll know where to start on the next conversation.

HubSpot Inbound Sales Consultant Ryann McGrath pins notes every day because they save her time in her call-to-call routine. "I use pinning notes when I have a call with a customer and want to remember to bring up a certain topic on the next call. I'll pin that note to the top of the record so I'll see it when I jump into that next interaction."

Pro tip: Use @-mentions in your notes to bring your teammates into the conversation.

Filter Timeline

Here's a quick and easy one: Choose which activities should show up on any timeline in your HubSpot CRM.

filter timeline.png
 

Are you a sales rep looking to see your next task? Filter for only tasks. Are you a marketer simply seeking a glimpse at a contact's email history? Make it so.

Note: These settings apply to all records in your database. Set them in one place and they'll automatically carry over to any other record you view in the future.

Auto-Calculated HubSpot Properties

In HubSpot CRM, your data is stored on three primary objects: contacts (the people in your database), companies (their organizations), and deals (sales opportunities). All three of these objects have properties, or fields, that store their information. As an example, contacts house properties like first name and email address.

Each object has a set of properties that come out of the box in HubSpot called default properties. Some of these properties are simple and straightforward, such as industry, country, and phone number. Others, though, are straight-up magic, filling in automatically with insights that make your life easier and your customer interactions smarter.

Here are a few examples:

  • Recent sales email opened/clicked/replied. This property stores exactly the information you'd expect. When did the contact last interact with your sales emails? Use this data to find your hottest contacts, and follow up with them in a timely manner.
  • Number of website visits. Are you using HubSpot CRM alongside HubSpot Marketing? The website analytics data that's automatically collected in HubSpot Marketing lives in HubSpot CRM, too -- the two systems live on the same database. Use this data to find your most engaged contacts. Chances are they'll be most receptive of a sales call.
  • Next activity date. This property holds the date of the next call, email, meeting, or task for any given contact. It's set automatically by HubSpot based on the actions you take throughout the day.

Pro tip: These properties are most powerful when used to create custom views in your CRM. Views are collections of contacts, companies, or deals that meet a certain set of criteria. Here's an example of a view you could create using these criteria to figure out which leads to follow up with next.

custom view.png

In other words, this example shows that contacts in your database who are engaged with your website have recently clicked one of your sales emails, but you don't have a next step planned for them.

Deal Source Reporting

For both marketing and sales, one simple question underlies all else: "What worked best at bringing in business?" More specifically, which marketing channels brought in the most deals, the most pipeline, and the most revenue at the end of the day? The answers to these questions are pivotal in determining future strategy. Here's how to track down that data using HubSpot CRM, HubSpot Marketing, and the reporting add-on.

First, a bit of background. As we walked through in the example above, when a contact gets created in HubSpot, it gets automatically populated with a slew of useful analytical information, like their first page seen and their total number of page views. One of those key analytic properties is called original source type, and it gets automatically assigned a value based on how the contact first found your website: organic search, email marketing, social media, paid search, paid social, other campaigns, or offline sources.

Two additional properties -- original source data 1 and 2 -- are automatically populated with additional details about the original source. For example, if the original source type is organic search, original source data 1 will include the search term (if available) and original source data 2 will store the search engine (Google, Bing, etc.).

After a recent update, these three properties are now automatically brought over to your deals. The values in those properties are now copied over from the first contact associated with the deal.

As an example, let’s take the following scenario:

  • John Sweet finds your site via a LinkedIn link and fills out a form on your site.
  • One of your reps creates a deal in HubSpot CRM called “Sweet Deal” and associates John Sweet to it.
  • Three other contacts are subsequently created and associated with Sweet Deal.
  • Original source type on both John Sweet’s record and Sweet Deal will be social media.
  • Original source data 1 on both records will be LinkedIn.
  • Original source data 2 on both records will be the name of the campaign.

original source deals.png

 Pro tip: Seeing these fields on one-off deals is valuable in itself. But the reporting these fields enable make this feature a game-changer.
 
Here are just a few examples of reports you can run in the reporting add-on using this data.
 

Closed revenue by social channel

Is Twitter actually working? Does it bring in as much revenue as Facebook? Use this report to determine which social platforms bear the most fruit over time.
 
Revenue by SM Channel.png
 

Pipeline created by source

Is your SEO work actually contributing dollars to your bottom line? Do your paid social ads create deals for your sales team? Use this report to find out.
 
Pipeline by Source-1.png
 
Deal source reporting takes the guesswork out of your marketing-sales relationship. For marketers, the data tells you what you should do more of and what you should drop altogether. For sales people, original source data is a key indicator of which leads you should follow up with. If organic leads close fastest, call them first. If social leads have the biggest average deal sizes, call them next.
 
Which hidden gems of the HubSpot CRM did we miss? Let us know in the comments below.
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Written by Ari Plaut

Ari Plaut is a Product Marketing Manager at HubSpot. Outside of HubSpot, he can be found taking in a game at Fenway, baking bread, or hiking in his native New Hampshire.

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