So, you've spent some time learning how RevOps can blast revenue bottlenecks in your business (if not, we'll briefly touch on it below). You've already got HubSpot — or you have heard about how amazing it is as an all-in-one CRM, Marketing, Sales, and Support tool. And now, the big question is...
"How do I get started with RevOps on HubSpot?"
Digitopia, a digital marketing agency, takes its customers through a 6-phased journey to getting up and running with RevOps on HubSpot. This is outlined in detail below, but first...let's start at the very beginning.
Here's what will be covered (feel free to jump to #5 if you're already caught up):
Revenue Operations (RevOps) is a business function that aims to maximize an organization's revenue potential. You're probably familiar with:
Marketing operations and
Each has its own set of software, defined processes, and people to make sure each department runs smoothly...
...but, who's in charge of looking for operational bottlenecks between departments? RevOps, that's who!
By putting process, platform, and people in place dedicated to identifying bottlenecks between business functions you're unlocking a whole new layer of revenue potential. This is a huge philosophical shift for many who have been used to working in the siloes of marketing, sales, and service departments for years and years.
But, if you already have a good understanding of RevOps, let's move on...
2. Why are early-stage companies shifting their focus to RevOps?
Business leaders start looking to RevOps when they're ready to scale, when their business growth is faster than their investment growth.
Early-stage companies typically aren't built to scale.
So, when they finally start to outgrow the "systems" that got them off the ground...their operations start to break down. Often early-stage companies begin a good product or service and a bunch of tenacious, scrappy networking by the owner.
This gets them to their first several million dollars in revenue—but, then what?
At about $3M—$5M in revenue, homegrown processes, and cobbled-together software start falling behind the eight ball regarding the actual sales need. It's hard to hire and train an effective sales team when you don't have documentation or software governing and reporting on all activities across the entire buyer's journey.
So, if you feel like you're outgrowing the processes, platforms, and even people that got you HERE...maybe it's time for RevOps to get you THERE.
3. The 6 clarifying questions to ask yourself as you prepare for RevOps
Data — "Do I have high-quality and accessible data across the revenue chain to support consistent and interdependent planning, execution, and measurement?"
Measurement — "Does my company have an integrated and aligned view of our revenue engine (sales, marketing, service) with a shared understanding of performance metrics and KPIs?"
Go-to-Market Strategy — "Is there a consistent agreement and understanding of my company’s GTM strategy across sales, marketing, and customer success?"
Infrastructure — "Are the technologies supporting my revenue engine (martech, sales tech, customer success tech) integrated and sharing data?"
Go-to-Market Planning — "Do I have a cross-functional and integrated process for planning, budgeting, resourcing, and driving revenue engine execution?"
Lead Management — "Do I have an end-to-end process for lead management across marketing, sales, and customer success?"
Most likely, the answer to one or more (maybe all) of the questions above is..."NO."
This is where HubSpot can save the day!
4. How can HubSpot help your company implement its RevOps Strategy?
HubSpot houses (almost) everything you need to manage your customer journey all under one software roof:
Sales tools and automation
Help desk and ticketing tool
Robust custom reporting capabilities
And so much more
And, because all of the data across all business functions live in one system, reporting is a breeze.
No more cobbling together middleware
No more integrating 3rd-party reporting
No more manual imports/exports of data from system to system every Monday morning
HubSpot helps you answer all the questions above (data, measurement, go-to-market, etc.) with a..."YES!"
This makes HubSpot the perfect choice for companies looking to implement RevOps! It allows you to easily identify bottlenecks in your buyer's journey without having to connect a bunch of disparate systems.
HubSpot has shifted from trying to innovate only within the software. They've released a more robust API and shifted toward an approach that empowers App Partners to extend the capabilities through 3rd-party integrations. This is GREAT news for early-stage companies who are highly niched and looking to integrate HubSpot with their industry-specific or proprietary software. And, yes, some businesses (especially enterprise-level) have RevOps far more complex than what HubSpot has traditionally been able to offer. But now there are fewer and fewer applications that HubSpot can't address once extended using their API.
So, now that you've found a platform to help you build a solid RevOps strategy on, it's time to dig in!
5. Digitopia's 6-phased approach to setting up RevOps on HubSpot?
Okay. So you've decided RevOps on HubSpot is the way to go—but, how do you get started?
Well, it's a long, ongoing journey to truly realize the full potential of RevOps in your business. But, here are the practical steps we guide business leaders through to get their HubSpot portal ready for RevOps.
We call them "phases" because some are no small task. Each phase can take a week—or months—to accomplish.
Don't give up. Remember, RevOps is a journey...not a destination.
What are Digitopia's 6 phases for setting up RevOps on HubSpot?
Phase 1: Onboard and understand your data by better visualizing it
First, get all your basic HubSpot settings and templates in order. This can happen pretty quickly.
Next, import and audit your existing (and new) marketing and sales data.
The best way to know if your data is good or bad is to start pulling it into visual reports—charts, graphs, and tables. Since you're primarily concerned with bottlenecks in the customer journey (which equals missed revenue opportunities), here are a couple of easy ones to start with:
Lifecycle Stage Conversion Funnel Report
This shows you conversion percentages at each stage and allows you to identify where prospects are getting stuck along their journey to "customer."
In this example, Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) aren't converting to Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) at an acceptable rate...probably means marketing and sales need to be better aligned on their definition of "qualified".
This is something you, as a RevOps leader, can actually address and fix!
Lifecycle Stage Distribution Report
This shows all of the database contacts and which lifecycle stage they are currently sitting in. Look at the high counts in the "Subscriber" and "Lead" stages. Even though we'll always have more contacts there than in "Opportunity" and "Customer" you need to investigate why it's SO high.
Are you bringing in too many unqualified leads? If so, tighten up your lead capture, perhaps by optimizing ad spend.
This will help you stop eating into your revenue!
Or...are you not properly nurturing what ARE good leads? If so, optimize your BDR/SDR efforts and start qualifying and creating conversations.
And, pick up more revenue once-and-for-all!
Again...something you, as a RevOps leader, can actually address and fix!
These are just starter examples. There are many more reports that can (and should) be pulled to start understanding whether or not your data is good enough to be trusted.
Phase 2: Define your lifecycle stages and triggers
HubSpot comes out of the box with lifecycle stages and basic definitions. But, RARELY do we find marketing, sales, and service teams all aligned around what defines each stage AND, more importantly, what moves a contact from one stage to another once they meet the appropriate criteria...
...does their lifecycle stage change manually? ...does it change through automation? ...OR, does it change through an API update from a 3rd-party CRM?
You need to define what is responsible for this lifecycle stage movement. And, then you need to set up your workflows, validation, and permissions to ensure that it happens the same way—every single time.
Here's a sample of a few stages defined using Digitopia's Technical Lifecycle Journey Mapping Tool...
HubSpot recently released the ability to create custom lifecycle stages. This can be very useful and very dangerous. If you decide to add custom stages, be careful to not make the mistake of adding lifecycle stages that are actually better served as lead statuses and deal stages. Lifecycle stages should be reserved for macro stages that will help you identify bottlenecks in revenue — not whether or not they showed up for a sales call.
Phase 3: Establish your method of measurement
In order to monitor and optimize for bottlenecks on an ongoing basis, you need to know what you're looking for. Take each of the lifecycle stages in HubSpot and assign the following to them:
Accountability — This is someone who will answer for the problems and help implement solutions for fixing them. Usually, the marketing, sales, or service leader takes the lead on one or more lifecycle stages.
Conversions — Document your current conversion rates from one lifecycle stage to the next. You'll likely see you have a huge drop in conversion from MQL to SQL if you've never analyzed this before.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) at Each Stage - Pick the one or two main metrics you want to see on a dashboard at each level. These should be big things that allow you to easily identify a bottleneck. Examples are "# of MQLs" at the Marketing Qualified Leads stage; or "$ Amount of New Opportunites" at the "Opportunity" stage.
Metrics at Each Stage - These are leading metrics at each stage. If the KPIs are the end result, after-the-fact number, what are the numbers leading up to that letting you know you might have a bottleneck on the horizon?
Here's a sample from Digitopia's Implementation Matrix tool. It shows an example of how you can lay it out...
Establishing these now will allow you to build dashboards in HubSpot to help you easily spot revenue bottlenecks in the future.
Phase 4: Map out the flow of your buyer's journey
With your lifecycle stages defined and their movement governed by documented standard operating procedures (SOPs) and the proper HubSpot setup, it's time to make sure everyone in the company knows exactly how leads (ultimately revenue potential) flow through your organization.
And the truth is, YOU probably don't even know yourself...be honest.
And since you can't fix what you don't know is broken, this is how you're going to see where data could be breaking down.
Gather up your marketing, sales, and service leaders and hash through an actual flow chart of how leads move through your organization. It's important to talk through every entry point, every decision path, and every experience that a customer may have.
You'll be amazed at how many "cracks" you'll find that prospects are falling through. These could be:
Cracks in hand-offs between departments
Cracks in automation where prospects are getting stuck and forgotten about
Cracks in data syncs between software systems where prospects are never making it to your sales team
Build this flow chart as a digital slide. Just use PowerPoint or Google Slides—unless you have a fancier tool at your disposal. Now, fill in all those cracks! Get as detailed as you need to and make sure you have a path for every possible scenario along your prospect's journey.
Here's an example of the first part of a lead flow. This is just a sample. The actual chart is 6 slides long...
Click the image to open in a new tab.
Recently our team has had time to experiment with HubSpot's Journey Analytics reports. These are helpful in seeing where prospects are falling out of your funnel. While it can't be used to map the entire buyer's journey, it can be very enlightening to see microflows within the buyer's journey.
Phase 5: Create the automation to govern your lead flow
This one is going to be VERY custom to your specific needs. You need to strategically wield HubSpot's plethora of tools including:
Deal stage validation
User and group permissions
It would be nice if there were a playbook and a silver bullet here... but it's no small task.
Basic HubSpot setup tasks like template customization, DNS setup, and user management can all be done in a relatively short amount of time. But this level of customized setup can take months to complete.
So, mentally prepare for a journey...but once on the other side of this setup, you'll see that it's well worth the investment of both time and money!
You'll have your well-oiled marketing, sales, and service machine ensuring the very best, seamless experience for both your prospects/customers AND your internal team.
You'll know your data is clean and reliable.
You'll have the ability to pull meaningful reports at the drop of a hat...and, this is more than half the battle when getting properly set up for RevOps.
Phase 6: Follow a monthly roadmap to optimize your HubSpot continuously
This phase is ongoing — For...Ev...Er.
There's no such thing as "set it and forget it" with HubSpot.
Just like buying a car that you want to keep running for many years to come, your HubSpot will need constant tune-ups, oil changes, and upgrades as your business evolves. Realistically, the first 5 phases just got you off to the races with RevOps on HubSpot...they didn't give you your dream setup.
Do one "special project" a month for a year to get the most out of HubSpot
A lot of the features in HubSpot are point-and-click and ready to use out-of-the-box. But, there are a ton of tools that are like a blank canvas waiting for a HubSpot artist to come and turn them into something beautiful.
For those heavier-lifting setups, many of which involve strategy and buy-in from your executive team, you'll want to put in place a monthly (if not weekly) Smarketing meeting. This will make sure your marketing and sales teams are aligned on both the efficacy of incoming leads AND your HubSpot optimization roadmap.
Here is a very common HubSpot optimization roadmap example we see many businesses adopt after their initial HubSpot onboarding and setup is complete. It is one "special project" per month that ensures you are systematically chipping away at all of the important, often-under-utilized magic in HubSpot:
Email and landing page customization
Chatbot setup and monitoring
Custom object creation
Sales sequences for outbound
Sales snippets and templates setup
Marketing nurturing workflows
Content funnel automation
In-depth lead scoring
Target account setup and training (HubSpot's answer to account-based marketing)
Product library setup
Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey setup
In addition to a monthly special project, you should also be doing the following recurring maintenance in your hub:
Monthly on-site technical SEO cleanup using HubSpot's SEO tool
Monthly removal of unqualified leads
Quarterly buyer persona review and maintenance
Custom report creation and maintenance
6. Your next steps for RevOps on HubSpot
Well, that was a lot.
So, your very first next step is to decide if RevOps on HubSpot is right for your company.