The biggest barrier to using any CRM platform effectively is user adoption. Half of all CRM projects fail because of slow user adoption.
It’s not unusual for any new initiative to be greeted with some skepticism from team members. 70% of project managers describe their staff as cynical about using a CRM, according to Redspire. A CSO Insights report detailed how even when organizations do adopt a CRM such as HubSpot, less than half see adoption rates higher than 90%.
The results are pretty clear. If you want to use HubSpot CRM effectively, you must be proactive and vigilant about driving user adoption. It won’t happen by osmosis. You need to take a strategic approach to the process.
Here are some of the strategies to employ to drive HubSpot user adoption and get the most of this powerful sales and marketing tool.
Explain the Benefits of HubSpot
The best way to introduce any change in your organization is to highlight the way it benefits team members. Many sales and marketing team members will assume moving to a new platform is just another way for managers to keep an eye on them. They fail to see the benefits for themselves and when that happens, user adoption will suffer.
Here are some of the clear benefits teams get out of HubSpot:
- Reducing manual data entry
- Automating follow-ups so customers aren’t forgotten
- Automate the nurturing process
- An efficient way to personalize contacts
- Automated scheduling
- Identify which sequences perform the best
- Better align sales and marketing teams
- Mobile access to customer data and deals
Every one of these saves time for sales and marketing teams and will help improve conversions.
One of the top ways to drive HubSpot user adoption is to provide multiple layers of training.
- Introductory training
Upon your initial rollout, you’ll want to schedule group training sessions and follow up with individual training.
- Ongoing Training
Now that people have had their initial training and started getting used to using HubSpot to manage their sales pipeline, it’s important to provide regular training sessions to showcase new features, updates, or advanced use.
- HubSpot Monthly Videos
HubSpot puts out monthly videos that highlight the latest updates. These are great for group training sessions or as agenda items for regular sales or marketing meetings.
- HubSpot Academy
HubSpot Academy offers free training and testing with hundreds of training modules that are available for self-paced training. These can be used for refresher courses or onboarding new employees.
- HubSpot Certification
You may also want to consider getting HubSpot certification for your sales or marketing teams.
Of course, one of the most difficult parts of training is finding the time to make it happen. Sales and marketing leaders need to schedule the time for the teams to commit to training. Whether it’s group meetings or individual meetings, this commitment will help team members better utilize HubSpot’s tools and improve their productivity.
HubSpot User Adoption Reporting
If your team doesn’t embrace HubSpot, you won’t get the optimal performance. It pays to do spot checks on user adoption.
HubSpot provides several reports to track usage, including the ability to see which features are being used and which are being ignored. This can help managers see where additional training may be necessary or where coaching is needed.
In the early stages of adopting a HubSpot culture, it’s a good idea to meet with users weekly for the first month to check in on use. Pull up HubSpot and review what’s been entered and assess their usage with the reports. Discuss challenges or things that are preventing them from using the tool appropriately.
Providing Recognition and Incentives
Many organizations offer incentives to improve HubSpot user adoption. For example, you might want to highlight top users or team members that used HubSpot effectively. It can be an effective technique to walk team members through how a sales rep, for example, followed the HubSpot playbook and closed a deal. Success stories tell others it works and helps reinforce the behavior you want.
You might want to offer a gift card or some other small incentive as a reward for doing it the way you want.
Some organizations will also provide incentives for completing sales modules or gaining HubSpot certification.
No sales rep or sales manager like monotonous tasks or spending time on tasks that are low value. HubSpot offers a number of features that automate sales so that the rep can focus on selling instead of managing data or research.
Use HubSpot as Part of Everyday Management
It’s going to take a commitment from the top of the organization to drive HubSpot user adoption. This may mean evolving the sales culture. If your organization has been managing without a CRM or using spreadsheets to track sales, it’s going to be a big change. Trust us, it’s worth it.
Once you’re up and running, managers see the most success when HubSpot becomes part of the everyday routine. This means managers need to be well-versed in HubSpot and its features and use it consistently to manage the sales pipeline.
- Clear expectations
When you’re trying to change systems, processes, or culture, it’s essential to set clear expectations for how the team will operate. The best approach is to take the stand that if it hasn’t been entered into HubSpot, it doesn’t exist. In organizations where sales reps compete for prospects, this might mean not allowing reps to claim accounts until they have been entered into HubSpot.
- Manage meetings
Instead of using paper, spreadsheets, or other methods, use HubSpot for meetings and one-on-ones to discuss customers and pending business. For example, you’ll want to focus on HubSpot Deals to track where sales teams are investing their time. This gives you an easy way to discuss each prospect in the pipeline while reinforcing the importance of HubSpot. By using HubSpot to guide strategy sessions, you’ll also set the expectation that all information will be entered into the system.
- Sales reporting
Sales activity needs to be entered, monitored, and used within HubSpot to be an effective tool. Emails, calls, and meetings should be automatically recorded in HubSpot so that managers can accurately assess performance and help with account maintenance and strategy.
Automate and Integrate
Anything you can automate, do it! If there’s a manual task that can be replaced with automation, you’re giving your team the gift of time. HubSpot can automate low-value tasks so your sales and marketing teams can focus on things that generate revenue rather than doing data entry or managing research.
Part of your success using HubSpot will also come from the successful integration of other software. This prevents sales and marketing teams from having to bounce between different platforms to find the data they need. For example, HubSpot can integrate easily with email. This ensures that emails are automatically logged to clients.
You can also integrate to meeting software, such as Zoom. When you do a Zoom call, do a video meeting, or host a webinar, registrations will automatically be entered into HubSpot to track contacts and flag for follow-up.
When all the data is in one platform, it creates efficiencies that can improve performance. For example, when you’re calling up templates, HubSpot will automatically fill in fields for contacts and companies. That saves time and helps eliminates human error. It also provides additional incentives to drive HubSpot user adoption.
Wean Users Off of Legacy Systems
Once HubSpot is in place, you need to transition to it as quickly as possible. If you allow sales and marketing teams to continue to use legacy systems, HubSpot user adoption will suffer. Put a hard cutoff on legacy systems, give your team advance warning, and then drop them completely.
As long as you keep older methods available, some team members will struggle to make the switch. They’ll find reasons to hang on to the old way of doing things, delay their training, or feel they are too busy to take the time. We recommend setting the expectation from the beginning that there will be an overlap period for training, a cut-over date for adoption, and then a hard date where legacy systems will be sunsetted.
- After data migration
Once you’ve migrated your data to HubSpot CRM, you may want to prevent any new data from being entered into any legacy systems. This ensures the most recent information doesn’t continue to get entered into the old system. This can act as a grace period where team members can see, but not change, data in legacy systems. However, you’ll still need to set a firm end date for access and stick to it. If you don’t, they’ll just keep using it.
- Scheduling tools
One of the advantages of adopting HubSpot is the automation to log contacts for clients. If team members continue to use third-party tools, such as Calendly, SimplyBook, or Square Appointments, they’ll have to enter the info into HubSpot manually. HubSpot’s meeting tool scheduler can provide the same functionality and sync your Office 365 or Google calendar – and it’s free. It can also be used to automate the painful process of finding a time that works for you and the person you’re meeting with. You can set your availability and let customers choose a window that works for them. And, it’s all recorded within HubSpot and sent to your personal calendar.
Set Up HubSpot the Right Way from the Start
The key to successful use of any platform is to set it up the right way – right from the start — to utilize it to the fullest.
Too many people will invest in a new solution but instead of embracing its functionality, they’ll try to duplicate what they already have. For example, HubSpot CRM has an amazing number of built-in tools to enhance productivity and track performance. If you try to turn it into just an updated version of your spreadsheets and legacy tools, you’re likely to struggle to get the value out of HubSpot.
When the Merkle Group analyzed the adoption of Customer Relationship Management software in organizations, it determined that the majority (63%) of CRM integrations failed. That’s a tragedy when you consider that successful adoption was most common in high-growth businesses that fully embraced the transition. Why did they fail? A lack of user adoption. Organizations that failed suffered from a lack of leadership commitment to the platform and a structured, strategic approach to adoption.
The businesses that do embrace HubSpot, see an almost immediate impact in several ways:
- A full and accurate record of a prospect/customer history with one click in a centralized database
- An accurate account of customer communications and contacts
- Simplified management for tracking activity
- Robust tools for managers to track the sales pipeline and assess performance
- More predictable forecasting and results
- Scalable for sustainable growth
If you need help setting up or managing your HubSpot user adoption, we can help.
FounderScale: A HubSpot Solutions Partner
FounderScale is a 5-star rated HubSpot solution partner. As a B2B sales agency for founder-led businesses, we help organizations optimize their HubSpot usage to enable sales strategies that grow sustainable revenue.
Here are just a few ways we can help you set up and optimize HubSpot in your organization:
- Use HubSpot to maximize your deal pipeline and ensure your sales team is engaging with prospects at the right time
- Use HubSpot’s marketing automation to get the right message and content in front of customers and potential customers at the right time, manage lead magnets, forms, and follow-ups, and build your sales team’s online profile.
- Use HubSpot’s reporting to track every stage of the marketing efforts and customer journey
Contact FounderScale today to schedule a call and free consultation. Let us show you how HubSpot can drive your business forward.
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