Sales & CRM

How to plan for a successful HubSpot Implementation

18 min read


In this article, we look at the key aspects of planning and managing HubSpot implementation. From understanding the key features to how to choose the right approach, we'll guide you through every step to ensure a successful implementation.

No CRM implementation is completed without challenges. Less than 40% of them achieve over 90% end-user adoption. This is mind blowing. That means the majority of CRM migrations fail to bring mass user-adoption, which highlights the importance of planning and management from the outset.

From implementing HubSpot Marketing Hub only, to larger multi-hub complex implementations, HubSpot's product helps solve a wide range of business needs. When implemented effectively, HubSpot is a tool that promises greater efficiencies, revenue and growth.

Implementing HubSpot: In-House vs HubSpot partner

When it comes to implementing HubSpot, companies are faced with an important decision: tackle the process internally or work with a HubSpot partner. Each approach carries its own set of advantages and drawbacks, influencing the success and efficiency of the implementation process.

Option 1: Implementing HubSpot yourself

Undertaking HubSpot implementation internally may seem appealing initially, offering a sense of control and autonomy over the process. However, this approach comes with inherent risks and challenges that can significantly impact the outcome.

Here are some key challenges:

  1. Limited expertise: Without specialised knowledge and experience in HubSpot implementation, businesses may struggle to leverage the platform's full capabilities. Implementing HubSpot solutions in-house requires a solid understanding of the principles of data management, governance and change management. However, without specialised expertise in these areas, companies risk misconfigurations, inadequate workflows and compromised data integrity.

  2. Resource strain: Implementing HubSpot solutions requires a significant commitment of resources, including time and labour. Internal IT teams that are already busy with ongoing operational tasks can come under pressure when trying to balance implementation tasks with existing commitments. This strain can hinder progress and jeopardise the quality of the implementation. In addition, some organisations choose to engage contractors who are fully committed to the project but do not have a comprehensive understanding of the organisation's business processes, exacerbating the strain on resources and potentially compromising the effectiveness of the implementation.

  3. Risk of errors: Inexperienced teams are more prone to making mistakes during the implementation process. From data migration errors to configuration oversights, these errors can have far-reaching consequences, disrupting operations and affecting customer experiences.

  4. Longer time to value: Without the guidance of experienced professionals, in-house implementations often take longer to complete. Delays in deployment mean delays in realising the benefits of HubSpot, prolonging the time it takes to drive measurable results.

Option 2: Working with a HubSpot Partner

In contrast, working with a system integrator is widely regarded as the recommended and most popular option for companies looking for a seamless transition, regardless of the CRM platform chosen, such as HubSpot, Salesforce or Dynamics.

Here are four key benefits:

  1. Specialised expertise: System integrators have in-depth knowledge and experience in data management, change management and governance practices. With extensive training and hands-on experience, these professionals navigate the complexities of CRM implementation and ensure optimal configurations and maximum ROI.

  2. Efficiency and speed: By using proven methodologies and best practices, system integrators streamline the implementation process, minimise downtime and accelerate time to value. Their efficient approach reduces the risk of delays and ensures a rapid transition to full utilisation of the CRM.

  3. Customised solutions: System integrators tailor their services to meet the unique needs and objectives of each client. Through comprehensive assessments and consultations, they develop customised implementation strategies that align with business goals, maximising the impact of CRM’s on performance and growth.

  4. Ongoing support and training: Beyond implementation, system integrators provide ongoing support and training to ensure continued success. From user training sessions to troubleshooting assistance, they offer comprehensive resources to empower businesses in harnessing the full potential of your CRM.

In summary, while it may be tempting to do the HubSpot implementation yourself, working with a HubSpot partner offers a number of benefits that far outweigh the risks, particularly for enterprise organisations that have individual implementation requirements.

A HubSpot Implementation Process 

If you decide to implement your CRM with experts to ensure that everything runs smoothly, you are certainly interested in what this implementation process will look like. In this section, we'll take a look at what the HubSpot implementation with a HubSpot partner will look like so you can get a better idea of what an implementation includes. 

When implementing a CRM system, it's important to realise that every implementation is unique and requires a tailored approach. Factors such as the size of the sales team, the integrations required, training needs, the complexity of data migration, the intricacies of the organisation and the nuances of the sales cycle all play an important role in shaping the implementation process. 

Opting for an off-the-shelf CRM solution may therefore not meet the individual requirements of your company. Caution is advised with agencies that offer standardised packages for implementation, as these pre-packaged options may not adequately address the individual complexities of your business processes and objectives. Instead, a reputable agency should initiate a thorough discovery phase to fully understand your organisation's specific needs and challenges. This will allow them to prepare a customised proposal and implementation strategy that is tailored to your exact requirements and ensures that the CRM solution seamlessly aligns with your business goals and workflows.

If you choose to have your CRM implemented by experts to ensure a smooth transition, it's important to know how the implementation process works. In the following section, we'll go over what a HubSpot implementation with a HubSpot partner typically entails and highlight the key steps and considerations during implementation.

1. Initiation, Architecture & Strategy

Before diving into the implementation of HubSpot, it's essential to lay a solid foundation through architecture, strategy, and blueprinting. This step sets the stage for the entire implementation journey, ensuring alignment with business goals, mitigating risks, and defining a clear roadmap for success.

This consists of the following process:

  • Establishment of Steering Committee: At the outset, it is important to establish a steering committee made up of key stakeholders, project managers, consultants and solution architects. This committee is the driving force behind the implementation process and provides oversight, direction and strategic decision making throughout the process. By clearly defining roles, responsibilities and expectations, organisations can ensure effective collaboration and accountability within the team.

  • Setting the frequency of meetings and agendas: Regular meetings are important to maintain alignment on project goals. Establishing a consistent meeting rhythm and predefined agendas helps keep stakeholders informed, engaged and driving progress.

  • Risk mitigation: Anticipating and addressing potential risks is critical to the success of any implementation project. Developing a comprehensive risk register allows organisations to identify, assess, and prioritise risks based on probability, impact, and urgency. By proactively planning risk responses, organisations can minimise disruptions and navigate challenges effectively.

  • Compliance with standards: Following industry standards and best practices is vital to ensuring the security, integrity and reliability of the implementation process. Adhering to ISO standards, following ITIL for change management and performing InfoSec audits for third-party applications are essential measures for risk mitigation and security and compliance in HubSpot.

  • Architecture & strategy alignment: Alignment on project goals and objectives is achieved through comprehensive business discovery sessions. This involves mapping current business processes, reviewing existing systems, and identifying integration and migration requirements. By compiling business process diagrams, integration flow diagrams, and technical specifications, organisations can develop a robust solution design that aligns with strategic objectives and stakeholder expectations.

  • Documentation: The Architecture and strategy stage includes the development of comprehensive documentation, including governance guides and standard operating procedures (SOPs). These documents outline roles, responsibilities, and protocols for managing and using HubSpot effectively. Governance guides establish rules and guidelines for data management, security, and compliance, while SOPs provide step-by-step instructions for common tasks and processes within HubSpot.

  • Website strategy: For organisations that include website creation and marketing automation alongside CRM implementation, developing a solid website strategy is paramount. Through strategy workshops, organisations can identify goals, requirements and user expectations, laying the foundation for designing and implementing websites that align with their overall objectives.

This phase sets the stage for a successful HubSpot implementation by establishing a clear roadmap, mitigating risks, and aligning stakeholders around common goals. With a solid foundation in place, organisations can move forward with confidence into the subsequent phases of implementation.

2. Implementation 

With the groundwork laid, the focus now shifts to configuration and integration of the HubSpot implementation process. This phase involves the technical implementation of HubSpot's features and the integration of systems to ensure seamless operations across the organisation.

  • CRM - Configuration & Integration: In this phase of the implementation, organisations should focus on configuring the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system within HubSpot. This involves setting up the CRM system according to predefined requirements and workflows, customising fields, and establishing data management protocols. Integration with existing systems and third-party applications is essential to ensure seamless data flow and interoperability across platforms.

  • Perform QA & UAT before Sign-Off: Quality Assurance (QA) and User Acceptance Testing (UAT) are critical stages in Phase 2, allowing organisations to validate the functionality and usability of the implemented solutions. QA involves rigorous testing to identify and address any defects or inconsistencies in the configuration and integration of HubSpot features. UAT involves engaging end-users to test the system in a real-world environment, gathering feedback, and ensuring alignment with user expectations.

  • Integration with third-party applications: To enhance the capabilities of HubSpot and streamline business processes, organisations integrate the CRM system with third-party applications and services. This includes tools for marketing automation, email marketing, analytics, and more. Thorough testing is conducted to ensure seamless data synchronisation, functionality, and security compliance across integrated systems.

This part of the HubSpot implementation process focuses on configuring HubSpot's features, integrating systems, and conducting thorough testing to ensure a seamless transition and optimal performance. With the CRM systems configured and integrated, organisations are ready to move forward to the training phase where onboarding and training take centre stage in preparing users for the full-scale adoption of HubSpot.

3. Training

As the HubSpot implementation journey progresses, Phase 3 focuses on documentation, onboarding, and training to ensure a smooth transition and empower users with the knowledge and resources they need to leverage HubSpot effectively.

  • Change management plan: Finalising the change management plan is essential to prepare the organisation for the transition to HubSpot. This includes defining communication strategies to keep stakeholders informed and engaged throughout the process. Training programs are developed to equip users with the skills and knowledge required to navigate HubSpot confidently. Additionally, user support resources such as FAQs, tutorials, and help documentation are created to provide ongoing assistance and troubleshooting. At Huble, we implement comprehensive training programmes where dedicated champions are trained to lead and support their respective teams to ensure widespread adoption and proficiency of HubSpot.

  • Launch HubSpot: With the change management plan in place, organisations execute the go-live plan and transition to full-scale usage of HubSpot across the organisation. This involves activating HubSpot features, migrating data, and configuring settings according to the finalised specifications. Training sessions are conducted to onboard users and ensure they are familiar with the functionalities of HubSpot relevant to their roles. As HubSpot becomes fully integrated into daily operations, organisations monitor usage, gather feedback, and make adjustments as needed to optimise performance and user satisfaction.

Phase 3 marks the culmination of the HubSpot implementation process, with a focus on documentation, onboarding, and training to facilitate a seamless transition and maximise user adoption. By providing users with the necessary resources and support, organisations empower them to leverage HubSpot effectively, driving productivity, efficiency, and business growth. With the successful launch of HubSpot, organisations are poised to realise the full benefits of their investment in the CRM platform.

4. Hypercare + Ongoing Managed Services

In Phase 4 of the HubSpot implementation process, the focus shifts to hypercare and close out, including hypercare, user acceptance, financial closure, document handover and retrospective as well as ongoing support to ensure the continued success and effectiveness of the platform post-go-live.

A HubSpot partner like Huble plays a crucial role in providing continuous support and monitoring to address any issues, optimise system performance, and ensure user satisfaction. Let’s look at this in more detail:

  • Hypercare and ongoing support: After the initial implementation of HubSpot, companies often encounter new challenges or opportunities to further utilise the platform. A HubSpot partner provides ongoing support services to address these evolving needs promptly and effectively. This includes troubleshooting technical issues, offering guidance on best practices and providing expert advice on optimising HubSpot workflows. Our team at Huble actively participates in brainstorming and proactively suggests innovative strategies and features to enhance the customer's HubSpot experience and increase their success.

  • Continuous monitoring & retrospective: Huble's team of experts continuously monitors the performance of the HubSpot platform to identify any potential issues or areas for improvement. By proactively monitoring system metrics, usage patterns, and user feedback, Huble ensures that HubSpot operates smoothly and efficiently, minimising disruptions and maximising productivity.

  • Optimising system performance: To ensure optimal performance, Huble collaborates closely with organisations to identify opportunities for optimization and enhancement within the HubSpot platform. This may involve fine-tuning configurations, implementing new features or integrations, or providing additional training to users. By optimising system performance, Huble helps organisations maximise their return on investment in HubSpot and drive business growth.

  • Ensuring user satisfaction: User satisfaction is paramount to the success of any CRM implementation. Huble focuses on ensuring that users have a positive experience with HubSpot by providing responsive support, relevant training, and ongoing guidance. Additionally, Huble offers Huble Flex, a comprehensive managed services subscription that includes all Huble platforms and various integrations. With Huble Flex, organisations gain access to an expert team, proactive improvement suggestions, and flexible service levels, ensuring that their HubSpot ecosystem remains optimised and aligned with business goals.

    By addressing user needs and feedback proactively, Huble helps organisations maintain high levels of user satisfaction and engagement with the platform. For organisations seeking comprehensive support and guidance throughout the HubSpot implementation journey, partnering with a trusted HubSpot partner like Huble is highly recommended. Huble offers 24/7 Managed Services and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that provide organisations with peace of mind, knowing that they have access to expert support and resources whenever they need them.

  • Financial Closure: In this phase of the implementation, we’re finalising financial aspects such as budget reconciliation, invoicing, and contract closure. This includes ensuring all financial transactions are accurately recorded, contracts are closed out, and any outstanding payments or invoices are settled.

  • Document Handover: Handover of documents: Lastly, we have the handover of relevant project documentation, such as user manuals and system configurations, to the client for future reference and maintenance. This includes organising and compiling all relevant documents in a comprehensive handover package and providing instructions on how to access and effectively use the information.

In conclusion, Phase 4 of the HubSpot implementation process focuses on ongoing support and optimisation to ensure the continued success and effectiveness of the platform. By partnering with a HubSpot partner like Huble, organisations can access expert support, guidance, and resources to maximise their investment in HubSpot and achieve their business goals.

Tips for a Successful HubSpot Implementation

Implementing HubSpot successfully requires careful planning, effective communication, and a focus on meeting business objectives.

Here are four essential tips to ensure a smooth and successful HubSpot implementation:

  1. Define clear requirements: One of the fundamental steps in any CRM implementation is to define clear, explicit, and unambiguous requirements. Organisations should thoroughly assess their business needs, processes, and goals to determine what functionalities and features are essential for their HubSpot instance. By clearly defining requirements upfront, organisations can ensure that the implemented solution aligns with their specific needs and objectives.

  2. Gain stakeholder buy-in early: Involving stakeholders from the outset is crucial to ensure alignment and support throughout the HubSpot implementation process. By engaging key stakeholders, such as executives, department heads, and end-users, organisations can gain valuable insights, identify potential challenges, and secure buy-in for the project. Building consensus early on helps foster a sense of ownership and commitment among stakeholders, increasing the likelihood of a successful implementation.

  3. Establish clear time requirements: HubSpot implementation is not a one-time event but rather an ongoing process that requires continuous involvement and commitment from business stakeholders. Organisations should establish clear time requirements and expectations for stakeholders, ensuring their active participation throughout the implementation process. Regular check-ins, progress updates, and milestones help keep stakeholders engaged and accountable, driving momentum and progress towards implementation goals.

  4. Test thoroughly: Testing plays a critical role in ensuring that HubSpot functionality aligns with requirements and meets user expectations. Organisations should conduct thorough testing at each stage of the implementation process, including configuration, integration, and user acceptance testing (UAT). By testing for functionality, usability, and performance, organisations can identify and address any issues or discrepancies early on, minimising the risk of disruptions or delays post-launch.

In summary, by defining clear requirements, involving stakeholders early, setting clear timelines and testing thoroughly, companies can lay the foundations for a successful CRM implementation and maximise the value of their investment in HubSpot. 

Why invest in CRM now?

In the current global economic climate, digitalisation and improving the customer experience are crucial for sustainable growth. Companies are increasingly turning to customer relationship management systems such as HubSpot to streamline processes, optimise customer interactions and achieve long-term success.

A staggering 47% of businesses say that CRM software has a significant impact on customer retention. By understanding customers better through data-driven insights, organisations can deliver personalised experiences, anticipate needs, and foster long-term relationships. Studies also show CRM systems can potentially increase revenue by up to 245% when adopted by businesses.

Getting HubSpot implementation planning and management right is crucial, as demonstrated by the significant impact CRM software has on both customer retention and revenue generation.

By using data-driven insights and personalised experiences through CRM systems, companies can not only maintain long-term customer relationships, but also achieve significant revenue growth. Therefore, it is important to invest time and resources in properly planning and managing the HubSpot implementation to realise the full potential of the software and maximise the benefits for your business.

To summarise, by utilising HubSpot's capabilities together with the expertise of a HubSpot partner like Huble, you can unlock the full potential of your CRM system. Contact our team to find out how Huble can help you succeed with your HubSpot implementation.

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Book a demo with our team today.

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