One of the first things I learnt in Business School was that the only certainty is change itself.
And of course, it is the bleeding obvious to say that the world of marketing is currently undergoing disruptive change. So, when it comes to your HubSpot portal, just implementing HubSpot isn’t enough. Martech (marketing technology) is a central part of the digital transformation that is affecting all businesses, and if you are a HubSpot user or for that matter, a user of any Martech software, taking some time to conduct an audit and reflect on the findings, is time well spent.
7 reasons to conduct a HubSpot audit:
Broadly speaking an audit can help your sales and marketing effort to be both, more efficient and more effective. However, here are more specific reasons to conduct an audit:
- Over time, the admin tasks pile up and are often bypassed, leading to a messy portal.
- Reporting is not tailored to management requirements.
- Chaos in your contact database with incomplete record information.
- Templates that break the CSS or are difficult to use.
- Syncing issues with 3rd party APIs.
- Missing out on new features.
- Failing to meet objectives and industry norms.
If you and your business have experienced any of these issues then a HubSpot audit can not only help tidy up your portal but more importantly, improve workflow and the performance of your efforts.
Defining the scope of a HubSpot audit + 4 helpful steps
An audit firstly should look at defining your current state. Taking stock of all that you have created with HubSpot. Does it meet industry benchmarks and is it meeting the expectations of your business? Are you using the tools effectively?
An audit then looks at what your future state should be. Remediating recommendations should arise helping you to reorganise your marketing and sales efforts more effectively. And that’s all about performance!
It’s best to get an outside agency to perform the audit – preferably a different one to your current agency to aid impartiality and the ability to step back to see the bigger picture. In-house teams and the agency responsible for execution are likely to be too busy and full of bias which is difficult to shed.
Step 1 – Audit Marketing tools
A good place to start is to review your goals. How are you performing against goals? Are they actually SMART goals? Do they align with your sales goals? Once you’ve recapped or reset your goals, it’s time to review the key success measures like traffic and conversion rates. This will help you to spot issues and opportunities for your call to actions, landing and thank you pages, eDMs and associated workflows and even for your SEO strategy in the content section. Most importantly, review content with the lens of your buyer personas. Is your content truly customer-centric? Are you talking about yourself too much? The latter is all too common.
Tip – Always remember that Inbound marketing is all about ‘dating’ the customer. Sadly, it’s not about you!
Step 2 – Audit Sales tools
An important step is to review your sales process. How often does your business do this? Not very often I’m guessing. Yet, the business environment changes, sales channels evolve, so interviewing key stakeholders, reviewing and tweaking your sales process is a great place to start. Assessing the performance of your ‘Deals’ is a critical part of this review. Are each of the deal stages clearly defined to meet your current business needs? What are the underlying reasons for success and failure in winning and losing deals? Perhaps your ‘Matrix Fit criteria’ can be updated? And should you be prospecting for a different customer persona? You should investigate your sales emails and sequences as well. Is the subject line engaging and interesting? Are they providing value and insight for prospects? Looking at the Contact records, is there enough prospect ‘touches’ across email, phone and social media? Are you using video as a tool? And are your sales team using segmented lists with smart content to customise their prospecting and sales enablement?
Tip – Pay close attention to lead indicators like notifications, website visits and content engagement.
Step 3 – Audit Administration tools
A well administered HubSpot will go a long way to achieving the business success you are looking for. An up-to-date file manager is critical, so a good clean-up of files will help streamline workflow in the future. And double-checking setup items like Google Analytics integration, 404 pages, automated subscription emails and other email types provides peace of mind – particularly that staff members change all the time and assuming that these basic items are ticked off is not a great starting point for success. More strategically, the foundations of your inbound journey are contained within the administration tools and the most important are your buyer personas. Have they changed over time? Is your contact database skewed towards any one specific persona? If so, an audit is a great time to review and update your buyer persona and their buyer journeys.
Tip – Your Contact Record is your ‘one source of truth’ so appoint an admin leader for your HubSpot portal for good ongoing hygiene upkeep.
Step 4 – Audit CRM contacts
Your CRM (Customer Relationship Management System) is the heart of your marketing and sales tech stack. Whether or not you use the HubSpot CRM a regular audit of your CRM should be a hygiene factor for your business. The first place to start is to dive into your contact database records. Are customer records accurate? If not, these records need to be cleaned up. Aside from the clean up the CRM will show you how people enter the CRM and what their buyers journey looks like – i.e. what content they respond to and in what format. This analysis should highlight opportunities and potential ineffective tactics.
Tip – Use filters to ‘weed out’ redundant contacts, or define new segments and generate new insights around your customer acquisition.
Don’t forget to audit your staff’s HubSpot behaviours
As we all know, technology is next to useless if the right human behavioural change is not implemented. A CRM will not be your one source of truth unless everyone uses it, correctly. So, don’t forget to review your team’s usage of the apps. Is further training required? Should we shine a light and reward those who are behaving correctly? Remember that it’s garbage in, garbage out! This last step is the most important and requires emotional intelligence from the auditor to ensure staff are left motivated to improve their performance.
Does your HubSpot require an Audit?
If your HubSpot apps are over 18 months old then the time is ripe to conduct an audit. If navigating your way around is hard, getting access to the right insights or your staff are starting to use alternate workflows then an audit can help streamline your overall strategy and how you execute it.