Hubspot CRM

A great Free CRM

Hubspot CRM

Hubspot CRM is our number 01 free tool for anyone starting their Journey as an Entreprenuer or for a Small Business. However if you have never used a CRM, Hubspot CRM can be a little intimidating and become a challenge at times. Here is our Guide that would help you get started.

Let’s get Hubspot CRM to start working for your Business and automating things for you. Visit the Website and Sign up if you have not already done so.

Once you have signed in you will be greeted by the welcome screen, where they want you to go through the getting started Guide. Very beneficial if you want to take a deep dive into the system which would be forming the backbone of your Business.
(I totally recommend doing this once at least) 

The next step (whether you are completing the getting started guide or not) is to configure your email address for the emails to be received in the Hubspot CRM itself. 

Hubspot CRM

On the Top Panel next to your name you would see a bell icon and a setting icon (looks like a wheel) click on the wheel and you would be on the settings page. All the settings you need are here. Look for Integrations on the left panel and open it. 

Click on the email Integration here and it would take you to the next step.

Hubspor CRM

Any inbox as you see can be connected to Hubspot CRM and this is what makes it so unique. Once this is done you would be able to see all your emails directly under the contacts and yes the contacts would also be created automatically from the incoming emails.

Once you have connected your Inbox please go to contacts and delete the 2 existing contacts that are there. These are demo contacts and we don’t really need them.

As the next step proceed further to your settings again and click properties, by default the contact properties open us, here we need to create a custom property

Hubspot CRM

Name this property as Tag and towards the very end uncheck the Show in forms, pop up forms and bots box and press create.

Tags are a great way for you to segregate your contacts. This is especially very useful if there are only certain people you wish to push for marketing or if you sell multiple products and wish to tag prospects based on Products or Service you sell.  

While still in settings scroll down to Sales and click log emails in CRM. You will see 2 addresses. Forward and bcc. If you and your team prefer to continue using your own Email Client like Outlook or Thunderbird or whatever your client of choice is you can add a bcc email address to all outgoing emails. 

With this once you send an email it would automatically log the email to the contact and if the contact doesn’t exist it would create a contact and log the email. 

Microsoft Outlook does not allow for this to be done by default, since we use a paid Service called Newton Mail as the default email client, we have the option of sending a bcc for every outgoing email. (you can achieve the same thing by using Spark if on MAC 

For Outlook users on Windows there is a native Hubspot Plugin) which you can download and use

Once you have set up your Inbox you can also go ahead and connect a Team Inbox, This could be your default email address like info@XXX.XXX or or any other team Inbox. This is particularly helpful as it once again helps you in making sure that every email that comes in is being documented and contacts being created.

To connect your team Inbox head over to conversations and click on Inbox

Hubspot CRM

Once you have connected the team inbox the next step is to create your Team account or users

As next steps to properly understand Hubspot CRM, it is recommended to study their Knowledge Centre. The Initial steps have been given here just to help you get started with it without being overwhelmed. is your best resource.

Hubspot CRM Features

Hubspot CRM can help you with every aspect of your Business, plus it helps that it is visually appealing on the eye as it has a great interface.

Let me explain here the basics of what you can do with your Hubspot CRM (as mentioned the learning centre would be the best place to get detailed answers always)

The first tab is Contacts, under contacts you have contacts, Companies, activity feed and Lists. As the new emails keep on coming in and you start answering these, the contacts, companies and feeds keep on building up. Hubspot picks up a lot of data from the emails but some data needs to be input Manually, like company name and Phone numbers etc. You can configure which fields you want to see in the settings tabs as the admin and only those fields would be visible to your team members.

PRO TIP here: Before you proceed further create a custom property called Tag. As mentioned above Tags could be based on your Product or Service you offer. A little later we discuss how tags will help you make sure that your Data gets segmented using the lists feature.

Next Tab is conversations inbox: This is a great way for you to have your team email (inbox@ or sales@ or ops@ email ids here) if this is where most of your teams emails come then it is from here that they can look at the emails and answer them as well. This also helps in creating the contacts and populating your database. After this it is upto you how you wish to tag them. Remember your tags would be pushing your customers into your mail automation software.

Hubspot CRM has a feature called Lists under contacts. This is what you Should set up as early as possible. Go to lists and create a list.

Hubspot CRM lists

Name your list and choose Active List from the next column

Hubspot CRM

Just below this you would see filter type. Here we would use Contact Properties as the filter and choose Tag as the main contact Property

Hubspot CRM

Press Contact properties and Type Tag

Hubspot CRM

Now type the Tag you had chosen earlier exactly with this Option

Hubspot CRM

It says here is equal to any of (fill the value of the Tag and press Apply Filter)

Hubspot CRM

Press Save and let Hubspot CRM do its work. Everytime now you add a Tag to your contacts they will automatically be added to your active list.When you automate your Sync between Hubspot and your Email Marketing software the segmented data from these lists is what would make it easier for you to have a granular control over your Contacts.

If you are on windows operating software and using Microsoft Outlook, hubspot crm has a connector which can be installed. If you are on G Suite and use the Chrome browser (both Mac and Windows) you have a hubspot plugin which can be installed and activated. By doing this all your outgoing emails would automatically get logged into the CRM. Imagine not having to search for that one single email from a client. It’s all logged under the Contact.`

Also under the Conversations tab are chat flows, snippets and templates. Chat Flows is something you can revisit later. But Snippets and templates are extremely useful and something which you should be using on a daily basis. Under the free plan you can create 5 templates and 5 snippets. 

If your team or you send any standard one or 2 liner replies, these become snippets and if there is a longer email like a contract or a sales pitch that is sent out regularly which your team was copying and pasting this can become a template. You can go ahead and customize the template section with contacts name, company details etc so each email is individual. (naturally for this you have to make sure that your team updates the contacts and enters all the information in the CRM) If you or your team do a lot of this repetitive tasks, you can save upto 20 minutes a day using these tools.

Next Tab for you which is of relevance is the Sales tab. Under the sales tab we have deals, tasks, documents and meetings. The way we recommend that you begin here is first customize the deal stages. Every Business has a process when it comes to deals. This could be 2-3 steps or 7-10 steps, depending upon your Business. 

Name the stages as your team knows of them and understands them. Everytime a fresh lead comes in we recommend to enter it in the deal stage, even if the value at that stage is unknown. With this activity you have all your deals in your visual view and no deal slips your eye. This also helps in knowing how your pipeline is shaping up. Maybe your sales team needs to scale up activity or focus on the next quarter, having a visual overview is a great help.

Tasks: Not only can you assign the to-do tasks against the customers/prospects you can also set up calls and meetings and reminders for sending out emails to your clients. A typical case study here would be, you call a client or a lead and log the notes against the client’s name. You have also promised to follow up on a particular date and time. You can set a reminder and the system would send you a reminder at the time you have chosen. Plus it integrates with your existing calendar solution whether it is Google or Office 365 easily and syncs in real time.

Another functionality, that we use a lot is that of preparing the emails in advance and scheduling them to go out on a particular date and time. For example a follow up template is ready made and good to go with us. After the call we prepare the email to add what was discussed or what we want to share and schedule the email to go out on a particular date. 

So if we had a call scheduled with a client 2 weeks after the last call and had to send the email / contract information a day in advance, we would prepare it and save it to go out a day before the call and when the reminder pops up we open the contact details and have a 360 degree view of what was discussed and what communication we have had with the contact.

Documents lets you store 5 documents that you need to regularly share, we feel it is a bit limited in functionality as we have a lot more and we tend to prefer dropbox for this or Google drive or if you are on Office 365 onedrive. These are more convenient options to share documents.

Meetings is another feature which is very useful if you allow your customers to book time with you. You can embed the link in your signature and the contact / customer / prospect can book time with you as per his convenience. This works well if you regularly use a calendar app to block your meetings.

Services Tab: If your organisation has a system where a support team is needed for ensuring that SLA’s are met with regards to all incoming emails then the service feature is a great tool for you. Every Incoming email generates a ticket and it is grouped by the emails if the subject line is not changed. 

This helps in quickly resolving all queries. If your organisation does not use this feature as yet, we recommend that you start using it. Very helpful to get an insight into getting information how your teams are responding.

Automation tools under Hubspot CRM are a paid feature. If you have a small Business with less than 1000 contacts then maybe the 50$ for marketing hub is a good spend, but it comes with its restrictions. To achieve a complex automation which lightens your work load you would need to spend at least 800$ per month with Hubspot CRM not something which every Solopreneur or Small Business can do.  

If you are only getting started with a CRM and need Automation, then using a Tool called Zapier we connect Hubspot with various other services and it would be a lot more affordable for your Business. 

Also there is a feature called Sequences, under the sales starter plan for $50 per seat. Sequences are pre written emails which automate your follow up process. Let’s say you send an email to your lukewarm leads, who have already moved through your Education Series, but not converted as yet. The Sequence feature would keep on sending them emails as defined by you when setting it up (In some Industries and countries you seldom hear before the 5th follow up) This is a great tool to have as Follow ups close more sales. ((but you don’t have to spend $50 a month. There are cheaper and more robust options)).

This is not a standalone process and needs to be done perhaps with a lot of clients. The Sequence part takes care of this and sends email at predefined intervals unless an objective is reached. The Objective is usually till they reply back. If the prospect replies back to the first email or the second one the sequence detects the reply and stops. 

Lastly we have the feature called Marketing which we had skipped earlier. Marketing on the free plan is pretty basic and only helpful if you have installed the code on your website because then it can store the website visits of the last 7 days. The Information stored is pretty basic and doesn’t help much. If you connect your facebook page you can get the performance metrics of your Ad’s that you may be running. However it is pretty limited in functionality. There are better ways to create Ad and Monitor Ad’s.

Hubspot CRM has recently also started the Option under Marketing called Emails. They let you send 2000 promotional Emails a month to your contacts. If you are a Solopreneur who is just getting started then this could also serve as your E-Mail Marketing solution at this stage as long as you don’t send more than 2000 Emails a month. 

This post is a follow up to our earlier post on CRM and why every Business should invest in one. Read the Post here

The post is rather long, you may want to download this post as a PDF. 

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