We started using Hubspot’s robust automated marketing platform at CQL over a year ago. It's allowed our team members to access analytics, customize pages, create and monitor calls-to-action, and much more.
We’ve found Hubspot to be a strong tool, so when they announced a new CRM (Customer Relationship Management) we were immediately interested. This announcement pushed us to look seriously at implementing a CRM into our business and overhaul some of our systems.
Implementing the CRM is a process in itself. Between researching different CRMs to training our team and holding each other accountable, the process takes time and patience. More importantly, making this change successful will take teamwork and cooperation. Everyone involved will need to get on board and participate at some point in the process.
After going through this process ourselves, here are the steps we’d recommend other businesses take to set up their Hubspot CRM.
Review Your Options
There are plenty of options to consider when you’re choosing a CRM for your organization. Whether it’s Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Hubspot, or one of the many others, take time to research your options and choose the CRM that’s the best fit for you.
At CQL, we’ve implemented and configured CRMs many times for customers. We know just how important it is to choose the right CRM, so we chose two teammates to review a few different systems.
We wanted to make sure whichever option we chose would work with the processes that have made CQL successful. Ultimately, we decided to use Hubspot because it integrated with our marketing system, was easy to use, free to install, and had the functions we needed.
Often, companies choose a tool before making sure it fits their culture and team. Make sure you do your homework and test multiple systems before deciding on any new CRM system.
Use a Trial Period
Having a team member or small team champion the full implementation is key. Even from the beginning, giving one or two people time to figure out the details of a system is important. This means that later when the entire team uses the system they have a resource to turn to with questions and comments.
Letting a small team initially try out the system helps you preemptively address most of the questions or problems that arise. When it's time for the whole team to get on board, you can answer common questions and concerns immediately and build trust in the new system from the beginning.
Train in Small Groups
Train in small groups to give each person the help they need and walk through steps that might be confusing. It’s also easier to keep everyone’s attention and keep them on the same page when you use small groups.
You’ll soon see who your early adopters and late adopters are once you start training your team. A few skeptics may appear as well. Stay focused on the agenda you set for the group and keep moving forward.
Our first training session included our core team that would use the CRM most often. I wouldn’t recommend more than 8 people in each group. Emphasize completing the readings you have sent out ahead of the meeting, but understand not everyone will follow through with this assignment.
Create Training Documents for Reference
We created spreadsheets for the team to use after our initial training meeting. These included best practices, ground rules, definitions, and the requirements we established for inputting contacts and deals.
We also included FAQs to help answer the questions we anticipated our team would have, or those that came up during the process. We didn’t have all the answers when we started, but when we were stumped we would do some research and report back.
The ground rules are the 10-12 items we decided were necessary to successfully launch the CRM. We wanted to focus on the big picture and create a reasonably sized, manageable list. Choose your points carefully and focus on the most important items.
Standard definitions are also important. They create a consistent language the whole team can use. If someone has to ask what a word means, your definitions might not be clear enough. Getting a team on the same page is crucial and defining the terms you will use is an important step to help you get there.
Inputs are the standardized information that everyone will set up in their CRM to have the same views. We use the CRM as a tool to look at our sales pipeline and forecasting. By populating and viewing the same information, we get the team on the same page.
Define the language you'll use, standardize the inputs, and create a document to hold relevant information to make CRM implementation successful and smooth.
This is where the ground rules and definitions documents are important. By creating a list of essential rules to follow, we’re able to hold each other accountable and encourage each other to use the CRM in the way we’ve established as a team. Some of the words used in the CRM are different than what we’ve used until now. We politely correct each other when we use terms that don’t match those in the CRM. Over time, these terms and best practices will become second nature.
Launch Your CRM
Excitement has finally built for the new tool and training is complete. Keep your documents handy because a lot of similar questions will come up and you can direct people toward the answers.
Launching a new system creates change, and change is hard. Make sure you stay consistent, positive, and helpful.
Some people may enjoy a new CRM and others may need to have incentives to use it. We recommend tying in incentives to create new behaviors. In the long run, the CRM will help the business grow and become more efficient so this incentive system makes economic sense. These incentives might be financial compensation, a friendly competition among peers, or even simple recognition. Ultimately, the goal is to make sure your team understands that the CRM is only as successful as the team makes it.
Use the CRM as a Meeting Tool
At CQL, we have weekly sales meetings and common stand ups. We use the CRM as a tool to guide us through these meetings and direct the conversation. This may take a few weeks to get right, but in the end it allows everyone to see and hear the same information.
Also, don’t forget to make updates to the CRM as you meet. Make sure you update tasks and configure deals so people see and hear the most relevant information.
A CRM is a great addition to your workplace - get excited and embrace it! This new system will improve efficiency, foster teamwork, establish transparency within the organization, and even create better customer service. Do your homework, create the necessary documents, implement, and make adjustments as needed. Your CRM will soon become a new business driver in your organization.
Do you have any further questions about implementing Hubspot's CRM? Ask us in the comments below or contact us here.