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HubSpot's Contacts & Lists tools - 5 Questions to answer as you get started

by Nick Salvatoriello on

As an Inbound Professor who is part of HubSpot's Customer Training Team @ HubSpot Academy, I get a lot of questions from customers who attend our product training classes each week.  Occationally, I get really really GOOD questions from customers that really make me think and write a long answer.  I expect that other HubSpot users are asking themselves the same thing, so I thought it might be helpful if I shared excertps of the questions asked, and the answers I gave.  

 [I have broken them out below for the sake of this blog post, and my ansers are right after each]

Here's what they asked:

Hi Nick, I just took the Contacts & Lists class and have a bunch of questions, but didn't want to bombard you with them all right after the training. I wanted to follow up with some specific questions

1.   In your opinion, when you're first starting to use HubSpot, how should the process go when setting up contacts, lists and forms? 

When getting started, research your ideal buyer persona and make sure sales agrees with it.  We have a buyer persona class in HS Academy and you could just Google "hubspot buyer persona" and there will be no shortage of articles on this.

  They are foundational.  

Then, ask what qualification questions your sales team asks to identify if their leads as a good fit.   Add these questions as custom contact properties in HubSpot (tutorial on the class resource page).   Also make sure that if there's a data point you're importing in that spreadsheet, that you have a contact property identified in HubSpot to map it to.   Then import.

Then yes you can make your forms.   Add the custom contact properties/fields into these forms (take forms training).

Then make lists looking for contacts who have filled out these forms AND submitted the right type of answers in those fields.   If they did, they are qualified to hand off to sales to engage.

2. Do you know what normal conversation rates are for contacts filling out forms? Are there standardized metrics that can help you gauge how well your contacts are responding to your CTAs and forms? 

Think about this one.  What's normal? What's a normal form? Normal website? Normal company? Hubspot helps you guys get the data you need to determine what's YOUR normal ‰ for submission over time.  You can't steer a parked car.  Gotta try something to get the data and then learn.  It can't predict, only reflect back to you historical conversions over time.   So you want to get these landing pages with forms in front of your prospects asap so they can teach you what are normal submission rates from your own unique persona.   However, if you follow all the best practices we teach in the forms + landing page training, and you are marketing to actual real business contacts you have been in touch with in the past (so you haven't rented an email list of strangers who have never heard of you) I think a 20‰ average is reasonable.   If you get less, go back and make sure you have EVERY best practice. If that doesn't get it over 20‰,come back to me and I'll take a look. ;)

3. Is it possible to get alerts when new contacts are added to certain lists?

Yes. Those are called Internal Email Notifications triggered by Workflows.  Check out Academy's workflows training class (closing leads to customers) or just search for those terms on knowledge (shortcut to get there is click on the "need help?" button in lower right hand corner of your HubSpot.)   set the workflow to trigger when contact is added to list and set action to send internal email to your rep.   Advise the rep in the email to contact you for a link to the prospect's contact record so they can use that data!

4. Do contacts have to fill out a form in order to get tracked? I know there are Smart fields which means they won't have to enter the same information over and over again, but do they still have to fill out a form for their interactions to be tracked? I seem to remember before we got a HubSpot account every time I lookd at anything on it would ask me to fill out a form, but I'm just not sure if that's HubSpot's strategy specifically. Basically, we just think it would be annoying for our clients to fill out something everytime they're on our site, even if it's just with their name or email.

Depends on  what you want to track.   If they are already contacts imported into HubSpot and you email them from HubSpot, then no, they don't have to fill out a form.   We just start tracking their clicks and views into their contact record right away.  For the rest, You can use progressive profiling in forms (another term you can look up on knowledge.HubSpot.Com) to make questions they already answered disappear.

Also, explain on the form's landing page WHY you are asking these questions.   If the form fields/questions are truly ones you got from sales that help determine fit, then explain that their answers will assist your staff in determining best how to guide them and follow up with next steps to meet their needs.

5.  The biz dev people I work with at our company, who actually are the people closing deals on new clients and do a lot of the prospecting, are a little concerned about where it's appropriate to actually talk about the information HubSpot gives us about clients' or prospective clients' activity online. If you could elaborate on this and best practices for using this information in a sales environment that would be wonderful.

I know just the guy to help your sales team.   Check out the Inbound Sales blog.  Michael Pici is one of our brightest minds when it comes to leveraging this data in the contact record when building report with inbound leads you send to them.   Him and John Sherer wrote some amazing "inbound sales" blog articles out there that you should have your advisors check out for how to tactfully use this contact data to make better, smarter sales that the prospect will actually love being a part of such as How to start a conversation with an inbound lead.  These articles are from the guys at HubSpot who use this contact data to connect with inbound leads every day!  Whoah!

I hope that's a start! Come back to me if you have additional strategy questions and remember if it's urgent questions about product functionality, simply click the "need help?" button at the bottom of most pages within your HubSpot portal and there is a support number to call at no charge and our support team gets very high marks for friendliness and helpfulness.   :)

Keep in touch and thanks again for being such a  great participant!  You guys can do this!  Everything is hard before it is easy!

My best,

Nick @ HubSpot Academy

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