• Jeff Barkun

Product Review: Hubspot

Hubspot is one of the most popular CRM, marketing automation and customer service tools on the market. I have been using it for over four years and love much of what it does.

What I like:

  1. Fundamental sales process knowledge: Hubspot understands that selling to a person is a process. A person goes through different stages throughout its life-cycle. The platform models this with a core field called Customer Life-cycle stage which is deeply ingrained in how they have built their record types and how they advise you to model your sales process. This shows up differently in their records types where compared to many other CRM's as they do not have a separate 'Lead' record for the same person or company like popular platforms such as Insightly, Salesforce, Pipedrive or otherwise. Lead is a status that a person or company is in and it is reflected as a core field in each of the contact and company records. This provides the additional benefit of not having a duplicate record for a person or company so you have less data to manage.

  2. Timeline is central: Every main record type has the timeline as the central piece. This timeline is a highly sophisticated design element which delivers every update in chronological order with the ability to filter at many levels and record types. It works well with integrations so adding extensions provides additional timeline events for you to see.

  3. Many associated records easily accessible: Hubspot's three column design allows you to see all of the other records associated to the one you are viewing and then preview the linked record without leaving the current one. This provides highly accessible context at high speed so you can get all of the information that relates to whatever you are looking at without having to look very hard for it.

  4. Large integration marketplace: Hubspot has a huge list of other apps that it connects to so you can extend its functionality to the rest of your tech stack to achieve greater efficiency.

  5. Exceptionally active in launching updates: I have used many platforms and while everyone of them releases updates with some regularity, no one does it with the frequency, extent and rigor of Hubspot.

  6. Capacity to support the creation of custom objects: If you want to take customization to the next level, not only can you create customer fields within the default records like a contact, but you can create an entirely new record type. The bad news is that you need to know how to code, so this cannot be done by anyone, but at least you know it is possible so if you can find the talent, you can make it happen.

What I don't like

  1. No dedicated phone number field type: This is a huge pet peeve and I really don't understand why it does not exist. Phone numbers cannot be automatically formatted so you need to come up with a format convention and hope that people follow it if you want consistent looking data.

  2. Cannot delete email addresses: By far my most commented on feature request in the customer forum. Once you add an email address to someone's profile, the only way you can remove it is if you add a second one and make that the primary email first. If you put the wrong email, too bad

  3. Cannot directly relate contacts to each other: Another annoying feature gap is the inability to directly relate contacts to each other. In residential real estate, this is important as many times, multiple people come to visit and you want to be able to see who is linked to who and what that relationship looks like without the need for an intermediary record like a company or a deal. Think husband and wife, parents and their millennial kid who is looking to buy their first condo. Maybe you even want to have a profile for someone's dog and link it to their owner. Many CRM's have this, and I think Hubspot should too.

  4. 1:1 relationship between contact and company: In the world of real estate, it is just not this simple. We have brokers who are tied to many companies. We can also have unique business people who may work for one company, but might also be connected to another as a member of the board and we want to see this link in their profile. Thus, it would be nice to be able to link a person to multiple companies to get a full view of their professional world.

If you think getting this setup for your business will help you grow, contact Barkun Consulting today to find out how we can help you get up and running.

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