HubSpot Implementation Challenges: 9 Lessons for Manufacturers
Every HubSpot implementation has its challenges, and each sector has unique hurdles to jump. Here's 9 we've learnt from working with indusial businesses.
Published: 28 Apr 2023
6 minutes read
What specific issues do manufacturers face when they implement HubSpot CRM?
We've implemented CRMs for various industrial businesses and have noticed unique industry specific challenges, in addition to the typical implementation hurdles.
In this blog post, we re-cap the four general challenges that you'll need to consider in implementing CRM, but then detail the five industry specific issues that manufacturers need to address.
Top 4 HubSpot Implementation Challenges for ALL BUSINESSES
The following 4 areas are common challenges that we see across the sector. These are the project risks that any organisation - including those in the industrial sector - will need to address when they embark on a CRM implementation.
1. Process Engineering
All systems need to be setup properly to support your business process, and industrial businesses are no exception to this.
You will have unique workflows and processes in your business, and it will be essential to ensure that the CRM is set up properly to meet your specific needs. At the same time, you'll need to consider the functionalities being offered by the HubSpot package.
We've found that businesses that take the opportunity to reengineer their processes around their HubSpot package where possible achieve more ROI and internal change than those who don't.
The best way to maximise your ROI is to work with a well established HubSpot CRM implementation partner, like Axon Garside. Unlike other agencies, our packages and pricing are flexible to your needs.
To find out more about what we can achieve for your business, download our pricing guide.
2. Data management
Accurate data is critical to any CRM system's success.
Typically, your data is currently sitting in a combination of legacy systems, spreadsheets, and possibly personal notebooks. This data needs to be compiled and cleaned before being loaded into the CRM. This is because if you put bad data in a CRM, you'll get bad data out.
Data cleansing is often a challenge that requires work and, if not addressed properly, will seriously hinder your chances of success.
Therefore, in order to maximise your investment, it's crucial to delete the 'bad' data from your CRM. This can include data that is:
- Incomplete. With crucial fields missing, such as full name, company name, or email address, this will make it difficult for you to market to your audience.
- Fake. If you put a form or survey online, it's possible that you could receive incorrect information from spambots or people who are in a hurry. When rebuilding your CRM, it's crucial to filter this fake information out of your data base.
- Out of date. According to GDPR, you should not hold personal data necessary to fulfil the purposes for which it was collected. Before you transpose personal data into your new CRM, it's important to consider deleting old or outdated records.
3. User adoption
Without proper user adoption, the system will fail. CRM is often seen as a system that “takes” more than it “gives”.
HubSpot shifts this expectation because it's so easy to use and is designed with the end user in mind. It also uses automation to do a lot of the heavy lifting for the end user, minimising internal admin.
That all helps with user adoption, but you need to provide proper training, ongoing support for your team and ensure that users understand the value of using the CRM, to maximise user engagement.
4. Integration process
CRM success requires integration between the CRM platform and various other technologies needed to support all marketing, sales and service processes. This can include basic connections to your website and office applications (e.g. email, calendars), as well as other internal systems such as finance systems.
Integration is also needed to ensure that the customer data held in your CRM is properly synchronised with other systems to provide users with a single view of the customer across departments.
Successful integration processes require expert support. See how we can help you, and how much it could cost, by downloading our CRM pricing guide.
What's unique to the manufacturing sector?
Like every sector, manufacturing faces particular sets of challenges. Unlike companies that exclusively sell directly to end-users, manufacturers operate in a complex supply chain.
To successfully navigate this ecosystem, manufacturers need to collect and manage data on each of these groups, as well as the relationships between them. We will explore the unique challenges faced by manufacturers, and how a HubSpot CRM can be used to address these challenges and help manufacturers optimise business operations.
1. Mapping your market
A particular issue that is faced by manufacturing companies is that they operate in a supply chain. This means that the CRM needs to hold data on each part of the supply chain to reflect this, such as retailers, installers, and end users, and track their relationships between your business and the consumer.
It can be a real challenge to collect data on the market, map the relationships and to manage the ongoing maintenance of that data. You need to give careful thought to how you will collect data from parties further down the supply chain.
For example, we worked with a manufacturer who developed a training programme for installers to properly install their products. They used their CRM system to manage the training process in a way that enabled them to connect installers to stockists and end-users in their database.
2. Marketing attribution
In sectors where technology suppliers sell directly to their end customers, a good CRM can be used to link marketing activity to sales pipeline and closed orders. This allows you to measure return on marketing activity and ultimately optimise the marketing mix based on data that shows which marketing channels provide the best return.
However, in the industrial sector, manufacturers have viability of sales into the retail channel but often not beyond it. It can be difficult to attribute results to marketing campaigns targeting end users and other supply chain intermediaries.
Your CRM HubSpot implementation should consider how to address this issue by using proxy results that measure end user engagement, customer satisfaction, or even direct sales to end users through eCommerce.
Looking to maximise your ROI and minimise potential HubSpot implementation challenges? Work with implementation experts that know your sector.
Download our pricing guide now and discover how we can help you.
3. Account reviews
Manufacturers regularly sell through a number of key retail relationships. Therefore, an important requirement is to support account managers in conducting regular reviews with those customers.
Preparing and conducting those reviews typically requires information to be collected from multiple sources. Naturally, this takes time. Your CRM system should be designed to support this process - helping your account managers to prepare for the review, conduct the assessment and manage the actions arising.
4. Sales forecasting
Related to account reviews is the need for manufacturers to produce accurate sales forecasts.
Again, this process is much more complicated for manufacturers than for companies that are exclusively selling directly to their end users.
Typically, manufacturers need sales forecasting systems that consider both supply and demand. HubSpot CRM can help with reporting and analysis tools to identify trends and opportunities. Integration with the company ERP solution is a key requirement here, which typically requires careful consideration.
Integration projects are more likely to be successful when working with an implementation agency. As a HubSpot Diamond Partner, we can help ease your transition throughout the implementation process and beyond.
To see how we can support you, download your copy of our CRM pricing guide now.
5. Field Sales and Service
Manufacturers often have sales and service reps that are on the road. Ensure that the CRM system is mobile-friendly, allowing reps to access critical data from anywhere.
The field service system is typically specialised and requires configuration to cater to the specific requirements of both the service agents and the products being serviced. This functionality is not available natively in most CRM’s and will require you to configure the system or integrate with specialist third party software.
The path to success
To achieve a successful implementation of HubSpot CRM and reap the benefits of a more efficient organisation, a holistic view of the market, and enhanced customer experience, it is crucial to make informed decisions on both the platform and implementation approach.
This includes deciding whether to work in-house or with a HubSpot implementation partner.
While the challenges may seem daunting, with proper management, they can be overcome to ensure a seamless transition to a fully connected CRM.