How VSSL helped Honeycomb Credit Get the Most out of Hubspot’s Sales and Marketing Hubs
Honeycomb Credit came to VSSL because its database was not serving its small and agile teams as it should have. The tool that was supposed to “set them up for success” wasn’t doing what they needed it to do.
The opening audit we conducted revealed that the problem was not the tool but the way it was being used. It had not been set up to best advantage Honeycomb Credit. Seemingly small decisions made early began to ricochet and multiply, leading to a general level of information chaos. With the data severely disorganized, it was misused, sometimes misleading, or simply in the way.
1. Data Storage Issues
There were problems with data storage, redundancy, and other elements. Instead of helping the Sales and Marketing teams work together seamlessly, it was creating problems. These are some issues that would need to be addressed:
- Data was being stored incorrectly, solely on the contact record.
- Multiple users were adding custom fields, which duplicated the same fields, without old or inactive fields being archived.
- Custom single-use fields were being created, often on the incorrect object level.
2. Organization Challenges
There was zero duplication management, no contact organization system, or lifecycle management being done:
- Lifecycles, statuses, or any labeling fields were not used.
3. Pipeline Problems
Leadership had no way to report on how teams were doing, the health of their pipeline, or the health of the database of prospects and leads.
- Pipelines were being overused for sales prospecting. Each sales rep had its own unique pipeline.
- Contacts and companies were being classified as an opportunity before contact was made.
- Accurate reporting on pipeline conversion rates was impossible due to:
- Multiple closed/lost stages.
- Multiple sales pipelines instead of a single pipeline.
The problems were significant, and a six-eight month project was proposed, which would have two components, parts of which would proceed concurrently. One component involved getting the database cleaned up and set up correctly.
The other would be training. The Honeycomb Credit team had to understand how to use and get the most out of the new setup and how to continue adding functions and elements without making the same mistakes that brought us all here. The client had to be able to fly on their own to consider the project a success.
1. Setting Up Hubspot Correctly
Setting up any marketing platform correctly takes experience.
The most amazing feature found throughout HubSpot is the ability to customize it for individual businesses and use cases. To give Honeycomb Credit the full benefit of the Hubspot platform, VSSL took the time to understand the nuances and unique intricacies of Honeycomb’s business and, in turn, understand what they would need. We then applied our years of experience to building HubSpot instances that would get the client where they needed to be.
Here are the changes VSSL initiated:
- Created unique systems to handle client-specific use cases.
- Built the system with enough flexibility for the client to update and customize as desired, but with guardrails to keep it from breaking.
- Distilled multiple pipelines into just one that was manageable and trackable for forecasting and analysis.
- Set contact lifecycles and statuses to track leads and analyze source health.
- Set the system for cold outreach (versus inbound leads, which had a different sales playbook).
- Set deal requirements and tagged fields via automation for advanced reporting and tracking across all objects.
2. Training the Client Adaptively
VSSL developed several different approaches and readily adapted to the methods that were most effective, customizing as needed. Some training was conducted concurrently with the database work to keep new problems at bay as old ones were corrected.
These were the most effective:
- A training philosophy of “empathize and correct.”
- Ongoing at first, then weekly, then biweekly sessions.
- We broke material into “bite-size bits” for easy digestion.
- Team and individual working sessions to address frequently recurring problems.
- Impromptu working sessions as needed.
- If a team member had a particular frustration, we could create a fast how-to video, step-by-step, to help them now and later.
- Creating manuals and other materials for a client’s in-house knowledge base.
Honeycomb Credit has mastered the sales and marketing hubs. The setup VSSL built is working exactly as intended. The sales team is also using it and adding new data in a logical, organized way.
Honeycomb Credit now has a single, streamlined sales pipeline.
Data is being entered correctly, into the right object levels (i.e. the company domain on the company level, to link contacts to companies).
The required data is now copied across objects for reporting and is labeled correctly. 8 cross-object data transfer workflows sending data between:
- Deals <> Companies
- Deals <> Contacts
- Companies <> Contacts
They now have the ability to report across marketing to sales:
- Where leads were coming from.
- Which leads and contacts are converting.
- When they turned into opportunities.
- The overall health of the pipeline.
To quote Rina Caldwell, Honeycomb Credit’s Director of Growth Marketing,
VSSL’s, process-driven approach helped us achieve the tactical sophistication we needed, with rebuilt sales/marketing automations, triggers, and reporting within HubSpot.
More importantly, by training Honeycomb on the new setup and leaving them with ongoing materials, VSSL made sure they were fully capable of making HubSpot work for them to its full potential without us. They are flying on their own.