What Exactly Does HubSpot Do?
by Melanie, on 13 Jul 2021
When I started using HubSpot in 2012, HubSpot was a very different tool than it is today.
At the time, the key things that my company used it for were (a) as the content management system (CMS) for our website and (b) marketing tools like email, web analytics, a landing page builder, and nascent workflows.
Fast forward to today, when HubSpot offers a free CRM, a suite of marketing tools under Marketing Hub, a set of sales tools as part of Sales Hub, customer success/support/service tools in Service Hub, and there is still the CMS for websites.
The most recently added modules provide advanced functionality to keep pace with companies' increasingly complex marketing, sales, and service needs - with the newest suite of tools forming the Operations Hub.
Each of the Hubs is available at different price and functionality tiers, creating a modular system for those who just want part of it.
However, significant power is derived from connecting all of this functionality to one database that all teams and team members access.
So, rather than saying "here’s what HubSpot does", let’s dive into what each of the Hubs does.
The Value of WHAT HubSpot DOES
In marketing, we always lead with value, right? Benefits over features!
What follows isn't some official line – it is my personal opinion about what I see as the value of HubSpot.
HubSpot’s software enables companies to grow their revenue by aligning customer-facing teams around a single-source-of-truth for data and history while arming them with the tools they need to deliver a personalized experience to customers.
In short, delivering a better customer experience without having to hire as many people to operationalize things.
HubSpot also operates within an ecosystem of app integrations, developers, and partners, allowing it to play nicely with other tools you need to run your company.
What HubSpot Does Not Do
HubSpot is not meant to be an ERP system - it is designed to integrate with your ERP. You'll still be looking at Microsoft Dynamics or SAP for that functionality.
It wasn’t built for transactional emails, either. For that, use HubSpot in conjunction with Sendgrid or Mandrill.
You'll also want to use an SEO tool like SEM Rush, Moz, or Spyfu to enhance your search marketing.
And finally, you should not be building a web-based app on HubSpot. Use the CMS and web tools for informational and sales centric websites.
What each HubSpot Hub Does
In a lot of ways, CRM systems don’t seem that special anymore.
Your CRM database is exactly that – a database that houses your contacts (not just your customers) so that you and your company can build relationships with them.
When used correctly, a CRM helps capture and share knowledge about specific individuals and accounts. It's harder for salespeople to hold the company hostage for access to their rolodex.
Even if you only use the CRM as an email and call repository, you can still get more out of it by using it in conjunction with other tools that your customer-facing teams need to do their job.
HubSpot's Marketing Hub houses the key functionality your marketing team needs - including email, landing pages, SEO, social media, and campaign management.
While it's possible to have multiple tools manage each of these different things, there are productivity efficiencies to be gained by bringing this many tools into one software system.
Plus, marketers then get the benefit of being able to personalize marketing with much more data. Personalization is necessary to win today.
Marketing Hub is also home to workflows, where HubSpot's automation lives.
Users can set up workflows to help manage the CRM database. For example, if something changes on a company record, you can set up a workflow for that change to be reflected on all associated contact records.
This Hub is also where you can set up marketing drip campaigns.
These are especially important if your buyers go through a phase where they are educating themselves on their problem, possible solutions, and your company, but aren't yet ready to talk to a salesperson yet.
Marketing emails used here can help your prospective buyers achieve their goals - on their terms.
This is the content management system for your public-facing/marketing website.
We used this module to build the Strategic Piece website, purchasing a template and customizing specific pages to meet our needs.
HubSpot has since replaced web templates with themes, reflecting the marketing and web development worlds' move to no-code website solutions.
One thing we love about HubSpot CMS is that data you are using in other parts of HubSpot (including the CRM) can also be used to create a more personalized website experience.
For example, you might want a prospect who is close to purchasing to see a different call-to-action than someone accessing your website for the first time.
Unsurprisingly, Sales Hub is where you will find sales enablement tools.
While you can give all your users access to the CRM without paying any more, you will need to choose a sub-group of users to access Sales Hub, where you will pay by the seat.
The main benefits of paying for the Pro or Enterprise Sales tiers are more advanced sales reports, especially around forecasting, and sales automation via sequences.
Sequences help automate prospecting, outreach, and engagement with leads that have gone cold.
This is similar to the workflows offered within Marketing Hub but sequences work at the one-to-one level rather than one-to-many (although you can bulk enroll contacts in a sequence).
Service Hub is HubSpot's customer support/service software module.
In it, you will find a ticketing system and pipeline for use with your customers, chat functionality for your support team, and tools for automating the capture of customer feedback via net promoter scores (NPS), customer effort scores (CES), and customer satisfaction scores (CSAT).
Housing your service data in the same system that your sales team uses makes it easier for sales to upsell, cross-sell, or secure a renewal. They can readily understand what the current account "temperature" is and strategize their deal making accordingly.
HubSpot's newest module is the Operations Hub, which is geared towards team members in revenue operations, sales operations, marketing operations, or similar function at your company.
Operations Hub makes it easier to integrate directly or sync data with other tools that you use.
New workflow functionality allows for additional data management rules.
For example, making sure everyone's name is capitalized so you don't send marketing emails that start with Hi fred instead of Hi Fred.
As a bonus, your team can program whatever workflows you need that HubSpot has not made available out-of-the-box.
If you're just getting started with sales and marketing, don't worry about Operations Hub until you appoint someone in an analyst or ops role, supporting your sales and marketing teams. At that point you'll be ready to benefit from the power Operations Hub can add to your software stack.
SO, SERIOUSLY, WHAT DOES HUBSPOT DO?
To put it into a short sentence, HubSpot software allows companies to create information-driven customer experiences that generate revenue. It's software used by customer-facing teams and management to plan, execute, and analyze customer interactions wherever those interactions happen.
Want to talk more about HubSpot?
Let us know if you want to have a free consultation to see if HubSpot is the right fit for your company. Or, if you already have HubSpot and want to get more out of the system, we can audit your software and provide training to your HubSpot users. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.