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Planning Your Move to HubSpot in 2023

Are you considering a significant shift in your tech stack in 2023? Front office teams like sales, marketing, and customer support are eager to move to HubSpot for a number of reasons, including:

  • Aligning teams around a customer-centric process
  • Avoiding unnecessary extra work with centralized customer records, showing each team’s relationship with a given contact, company, or sales opportunity
  • Consolidating tools to reduce expenses and technical debt
  • Simplifying and automating processes that are often seen as busy work

The move to HubSpot can be a big undertaking, depending on your team’s size, temperament, data, and more. Let’s jump into a few areas of focus you’ll want to include in your transition planning.

Know and Communicate Your “Why”

This is obvious advice if you’ve ever personally undertaken a large life change.. Having a few key goals to lean back on can help sustain motivation and rally the troops. Here are a few steps on how you can collect them:

  • Centralize feedback from internal stakeholder interviews and make the findings accessible
  • Ask teams to document and identify gaps in specific processes they run
  • Tackle market research to understand gaps in your offerings and the way you support clients
  • Review your tech stack to see which platforms are doing double duty

After you’re done, synthesize the common themes and communicate those. Tie the pain points of those gaps in with the ease of use with your new platform choices. How you communicate should be weighed against your company’s culture. Take these tips and ideas into consideration when moving on to this step:

  • Conduct weekly, monthly leadership or all-hands meetings
  • Use an assigned project team to distribute individual strategic or configuration tasks to individual team members
  • Go beyond live meetings and consider what channels your team uses to stay in the know like chat, wiki, and project management software

Always consider a storytelling approach. What’s the before and after of this move? How does it impact the teams on the ground? Once you’ve established and communicated your goals, you can move on to building out your individual teams for implementation and onboarding. 

Build Your Project Implementation and Onboarding Team

Often, the internal team assigned to shifting from one tech stack to another is much broader than it appears at the onset. Some obvious members of this team:

  • Project management teams keeping track of scoping the entire effort, keeping internal and external resources on track
  • Individual implementers you’ll assign to build and document how the new tool is used
  • Individual stakeholders responsible for documenting, educating internal staff, and escalating edge cases that might come up during the training and launch phases
  • The operations teams of current tech stack resources that are familiar with the data structures
  • Senior leadership to support change management communication and otherwise fund and drive focus for the migration efforts

Some not-so-obvious members of the team:

  • Day-to-day resources with a strong grasp on how particular processes work  can give real-time feedback on how effective a new implementation strategy will be
  • Third-party partners to redesign or rebuild assets and optimize processes built using marketing and sales enablement tools
  • Technical resources responsible for security protocols, DNS management, and more

Understanding and defining the responsible and informed stakeholders can be helpful to keeping the work on track. Make sure they are aware of the role they play and the importance of the project so they can support and inform the main resources.

Also, keep in mind that the resources executing the project may not also be the long-term resources supporting your organization’s HubSpot administration. It can be helpful to outline those key roles in advance as well — whether it’s a CRM administrator or a marketing operations specialist.

Know Your Scope

Confirming the scope can help team members stay on track. This may involve collecting projects that should be tackled after a move to HubSpot – including net new processes or the creation of new roles. Your project management team should be detailed in auditing:

  • Data sources and types — where they live and how they can be moved
  • Processes that need replicating in HubSpot — where they live and who’s responsible for re-building, auditing, and training on them
  • Apps and other connections that will need to persist to maintain operations (especially knowing where data comes from and where it goes)
  • Assets like templates, files — where they live and how they can be moved
  • Other settings that need to be tackled so your HubSpot portal is set up for success (permissioning and partitioning, native integrations like calling and meetings, etc.)
  • Teams and resources that will be impacted

Be Open to a Phased Rollout

Tackling too much all at once can add undue stress to the project team and slow down the everyday operations of the business. Some ideas for phased releases to avoid this from happening include:

  • Identifying which of your processes can move over vs. stay as manual efforts in the short term
  • Identifying pilot teams that can move into the new system
  • Identifying existing operations that should be retained vs. net new features that can be rolled out in future phases

Discuss these ideas as a team — not every rollout will be able to be phased based on the dependencies. If maintaining operations in two or more platforms is more work than it’s worth, be transparent about that story, so all team members are aware of the timeline needs.

Plan for High User Adoption

A powerful suite of marketing, sales, and service tools in HubSpot can be configured to match all the requirements — and still fail. Not understanding how your team reacts and receives change can be one of the biggest blockers to a successful HubSpot rollout. Defining a training strategy as you understand the impact of your work can help prepare stakeholders for the launch and onboarding prep. A few questions can help shape out a strategy that drives high adoption:

  • Who needs training, and what questions or resistance should you expect from each team?
  • What forms of training have been successful in the past? Recorded and live training, videos and written, wiki, or in-app training (playbooks)?
  • What components need to be configured to help these teams get rolling quickly (filtered views that match what your teams are used to seeing, reports, their data being in the system, etc.)?
  • Who needs to be involved in reinforcing the training, and what resources can you provide to them to escalate and solve issues in near real-time? This might include IT to support SSO rollout or pushing the HubSpot email app.
  • How can you roll out training to lessen the overwhelm? Which tasks can they complete in advance of training to make the transition easier — like creating account credentials or setting up email and calendar connections?
  • What types of documentation — positioning why this change is being pursued now — should be reformatted for a larger audience to bring them into the vision?
  • What types of incentives or processes can be implemented to reinforce usage? How will you resolve issues or lessen the impact of detractors from the change management process?

A Special Note: Launch Planning

Your launch planning, even if you are rolling out in phases, can instill confidence in the teams using the new tools. Start early with understanding the steps and effort required and who will manage them. Then back into a timeline that makes sense and confirm that all responsible stakeholders are on board. A common launch plan considers all the areas of the scope, including communications to all impacted teams, and in certain circumstances,your customers. Include notes like:

  • Data migration completion
  • Training completion
  • Day-of Q&A support
  • Key stakeholders for escalations

Get Help Moving From Your Current Platform to HubSpot

At first glance, moving to HubSpot from another platform may seem like an overwhelming task. However, with these tips, tricks, and best practices outlined for creating a tailored plan with the correctly designated teams taking the right action, you should see success. As an added bonus, you can always reach out to our team for more specific help with implementation and onboarding.