HubSpot has a strong and favorable reputation in the marketing world and with this they have developed a complimentary sales platform to go along with it. New updates are made to their CRM platform constantly thanks to the feedback they receive from their loyal customers. Continual improvement is one reason I love working within their sales platform and building a system where sales teams can grow and scale. However, sales processes can be complex and require unique needs that the out of the box CRM does not offer. Thankfully, HubSpot offers open API (application program interface) documentation and with some developer magic we have been able to build custom record widgets to solve for our client's many needs.
The examples below demonstrate how we have applied our knowledge of HubSpot Sales and the capabilities offered through using open API, strategic thinking, and some problem solving. My hope is that these examples will inspire some curiosity in you for imagining what is possible when working in your HubSpot portal.
Eliminate Duplicate Work
One of my favorite opportunities for creating custom widgets in HubSpot is to remove unnecessary duplicate work! We have done this in a number of ways. My first example is the Duplicate Deal Widget. This widget, which can be found in the HubSpot Marketplace, allows the user to clone a deal without manually having to re-input the data which can often lead to errors. This feature is great for companies who use their pipeline for renewals, projects completed in phases or production jobs and the data points such as Company & Contact associated, Deal Owner, Amount, and Deal Name are the same from deal to deal.
A more specific example includes a Mortgage company that wanted to start their loan application process in HubSpot to better attribute marketing efforts and borrower behavior to completed or lost loans.
As you may be aware, HubSpot is not a mortgage platform. So, we solved this by creating a customized widget that allowed the Loan Officers to start the application process in the HubSpot Deal record. Some of the less sensitive data for starting the loan process was already getting capture from within HubSpot, so we made it possible for that same data to populate into the deal widget if it was known. Syncing data between contact & deal records saved time and prevented the Borrower from having to repeat answers to questions they may have already provided. Once the non-sensitive data was captured in the widget, the Loan Officer hit save in HubSpot and the data was pushed to their Loan Origination Software were the application was created.
With the Loan Officers new capability of saving, updating and publishing this data to their mortgage platform without leaving HubSpot we have eliminated a redundant step in the process and improved insights into when loans are getting submitted and funded through automatic milestone updates. The incentive for the team is that if they create the deal, and start the application in HubSpot, then custom coding will take care the deal stage updates, while still being able to track their closed win rates and loan amounts towards goal.
Prospecting is easily one of the top areas where I notice the process is not standardized within an organization. I understand, why hold back your top sales managers to a standardized process if their way of doing things closes the deal. But as an executive can you easily identify the steps your team is taking to follow up on prospects? Without insight you could be leaving money and opportunities on the table.
For clients who do not have access to Playbooks in HubSpot, an Enterprise tool, we have created a customized widget in the contact record that the sales team uses during initial outreach or demo calls. This widget is set up as an internal form with pre-populated fields, text fields, multi-check boxes or date fields.
- Helps your team better organize their prospecting questions and qualifications in one spot
- Quickly gives additional team members or executives insights into the call without having to search HubSpot for each individual property
- Improve the hand-off process between BDRs and Account Executives
- Use automation to create follow up tasks based on the data input during the exploratory call
By creating a centralized place for storing notes, or comments left by the prospect, you provide opportunities for your team to dig deep and input their vision and mission for solving for their prospects. Not only does it give the executives insights into how their sales team is working their prospects but also teaches the sales team to be more insightful and thoughtful before reaching out to a prospect, while making it more personalized in the long run.
Centralize Customer Data
I have worked within many sales systems that are cluttered with properties on contact, company and deal records. One team sets up their own properties for prospecting. Another team sets up properties for customer service, and more properties get added for billing & invoicing. This is not ideal when it comes to streamlining client retention processes.
Retention is the key to company growth. Keep your customers happy and they will continue to stick around. So, finding a way to make it more simplified for your retention team to follow up with current clients is very important. We did just that by creating a widget to gather and pre-populate contact & company data so the Client Success Team had the insights into the current contact relationship. Imagine a personal contact insight card with key information such as survey results, product information, monthly subscription and notes from previous check-ins. This makes the information readily available in case the contact were to call in or opened a support ticket and will increase response time by your customer support team.
Improve Organization and Efficiency
We have identified use cases for creating customized widgets that extend pass using the data in HubSpot but also pulling in data from other third parties. These integrations have reduced time spent on manual processes and have provided more insights into the progress of a deal and optimized how we use and gather data.
HubSpot has a native integration with Pandadoc that allows users to track all the documents created or sent from Pandadoc right within the CRM. If there are a number of stages in the process it can get cumbersome for your team at each stage to search the deal record for all the corresponding properties to accurately fill out the PandaDoc documents when utilizing tokens.
To streamline processes we have built a single widget that captures these data points, as forms, at each stage.
- First, PandaDoc templates were customized and organized to cleanly present the data to the user
- The sales team fills out the first form found in the HubSpot widget which only focused on the first step in the process. This form corresponded to a template in PandaDoc.
- When the template is created in PandaDoc it mimics the form in HubSpot but provides an extra layer for improving internal processes such as routing documents for approvals, including attachments and adding comments.
- From there, the user will move onto the next step by using the next form in the widget to complete step two of the process. All forms are found in the deal records where the PandDoc documents exist as well, keeping all data easily accessible in one place.
The widget has been able to remove the frustration from having to dig through all properties in the individual records to input finer details that improve data accuracy. These customized widgets & incremental improvements to their processes have increased visibility into sales activity and performance, effectiveness in quote follow up, active selling time and accuracy.
No one Solution is a Fit-All
As I have learned, along with my colleagues, there is no single solution that will solve for all clients. Many CRMs have built out tools that will help increase efficiency, reduce redundancy, and improve sales processes. However, as a scaling company you will find ways to stand out from your competition, and in doing so, you will require a unique and customized approach in reaching those goals. Let our expertise guide you through the necessary steps and help you build the tools and widgets that will get there.