5 Ways to Build a HubSpot Instance that Scales

Diana Scott

Diana Scott

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Are you beginning a HubSpot CRM implementation and don’t know where to start? You’re not alone—it can feel daunting to embark on a CRM implementation of any size.

Your HubSpot may have all the bells and whistles, but without thoughtful configuration, you’ll leave revenue opportunities on the table, overlook personalization opportunities, and cause unneeded confusion for your team. Your CRM implementation may seem overwhelming, so to help simplify the process, we’ve outlined five key steps you need to take to ensure your HubSpot instance is set up for success.

#1. Define your lifecycle stages

The HubSpot property called “lifecycle stage” is used to help categorize where your contacts are in your marketing and sales processes. HubSpot has default lifecycle stages, but you may prefer to create and customize your own lifecycle stages to fit your unique business needs. 

While the default lifecycle stage property contains seven stages, you might opt to simplify this. For example, you may decide that only the marketing qualified, sales qualified, and customer stages are important to you. Or, if you have contacts in your database that will never be associated with a revenue opportunity, you might consider including an additional stage to define this; for example, PR contacts could get tagged as a lifecycle stage called “media.”

Get started by gaining input from your sales and marketing teams to align on the stages and their definitions. Done correctly, your lifecycle stage will give your team a complete picture of the customer and highlight areas of improvement. Every customer’s journey is unique, and their experience with your brand should be too. Having the contact in the correct lifecycle stage will help foster these impactful connections. 

#2. Identify your pipeline(s)

Deal pipelines help visualize your sales process to predict revenue and identify selling roadblocks. In general, having one pipeline is easier to manage and report on. However, you may want multiple pipelines when you have several sales processes that need to be tracked separately. 

If you have numerous product lines, you may be enticed to track them via multiple pipelines. However, this tracking and reporting can still be accomplished with one pipeline in addition to a custom deal property that identifies which product the deal is associated with.  When deciding how many pipelines you need, ask yourself, “Am I complicating the life of our sales teams by using the same sales stages for multiple products? Am I loosing information by trying to squeeze the sales process into one pipeline with identical stages?”. If not, it is recommended to stick to one pipeline for the sake of simplicity.

#3. Align with your sales team on deal stages

Deal pipelines are a good segue into deal stages, which, you guessed it, are the steps in your pipeline that signal to your sales team that an opportunity is moving toward the point of closing. It’s best practice to speak with your sales team to understand their process and how that translates into deal stages. Ensure the stages are named in the same verbiage that your sales team uses, as not to cause confusion. 

Deal stages are entirely customizable. You can even have multiple closed won and closed lost stages if desired. However, with all the customization possibilities, you can quickly overcomplete things. Try to be concise with your stages and include only the necessary steps. 

#4. Set required properties for new contact, deal, and company creation

Customize the create record form for contacts, companies, and deals to ensure that relevant information is being collected for your objects. You can make fields mandatory during manual creation and set required properties for certain deal stages. 

The steps you take during the early days of your HubSpot configuration can help ensure clean data in the future. For example, if you only require only the contact’s email address, when your sales team is manually creating contact records, they likely won’t add additional information past the required email address.

In effect, your marketing team would have limited data points to use to create segments and buyer personas. Keep in mind that while demographic information is important, there might be other points you need to inform smart re-targeting for a one-to-one relationship.

There isn’t a one-size fits all approach for which properties should be required. It all depends on your business. Some examples of required properties include:

  • Contact properties: First and last name, email, contact owner, lifecycle stage, and job title.
  • Deal properties: Deal name, pipeline, stage, amount, and deal source. You can also require an object association. For example, some businesses want all deals to be associated with at least one company and one contact.

Ask yourself, “What customer data is important to my sales and marketing teams?”. The answer to this question will help guide you as you decide which contact, company, and deal properties you’d like to require. At the end of the day, keep in mind that your contacts are humans and should be marketed to on a human level. Make sure you are collecting the relevant data to accomplish this. 

#5. Determine how you will receive leads and how they should be assigned

Now that you have these important configurations in place, it’s time to map out how you will receive and manage leads. 

Your HubSpot team will most likely create contacts via imports and the contact creation form within HubSpot. 

In addition to this, ask yourself, “If a prospect submits a form on my website, how is that lead being captured in HubSpot?”. Most HubSpot customers either:

If you are receiving leads from third-party sources, a HubSpot integration may be applicable. Browse the app marketplace to see what’s available. If an app is not available, check out HubSpot’s API documentation and create a developer account.

Now that you’ve mapped out your lead sources, you’ll want a plan in place for distributing qualified leads to your sales team. Lead distribution will inform how your sales organization will assign the lead. Listed below are a few methods of lead distribution.

  • For example, your organization might prefer to use a prospect’s geographical information to distribute the lead to the appropriate sales team overseeing that location.
  • Another option is to route leads based on data points collected.
  • An additional lead distribution method called round robin requires that each new lead is assigned to a different salesperson until everyone is assigned the same amount; then, the cycle repeats. 

Regardless of the lead distribution method you choose, a HubSpot workflow can take the manual assignment process out of the equation. This ensures that your team receives the lead in real-time and is notified immediately, contributing to a smooth customer experience.

Impactful Human Connection

As you navigate your HubSpot implementation, keep in mind that you are working towards building a proficient technical setup that fosters Impactful Human Connections. HubSpot should empower your teams to market in more personalized ways and sell smarter, all the while cultivating a brand experience that keeps your customers coming back. If you’re faced with a difficult decision, return to your north star, and use this to help guide you through the process.  These five steps will help build the foundation for your CRM, but if you need additional guidance, turn to the MarTech experts at M&C Saatchi One-to-One to help architect your HubSpot instance. Get in touch with us at letschat@mcsaatchi121.com or on our website.


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