As familiar as using HubSpot CRM as an outbound sales tool may be, how do you know if it’s actually serving your sales development needs? It might be a comfortable solution, but if you can’t easily explain how it’s helping your business grow then it’s likely that it’s preventing it from expanding.
You might be thinking, “Of course it’s helping us grow! We’ve been using it for years!” — but that’s not nearly a good enough answer. With any sales prospecting tool worth its salt, you can pinpoint exactly how it’s been able to help you capture, nurture, and convert leads into sales.
Let’s get straight to the point: When you use HubSpot as an outbound sales CRM, you’re simply not getting the level of customization that your sales development team needs, or that your business deserves.
From time to time, maybe you’ve found yourself wishing HubSpot CRM did this better or had that feature. If you take a step back, you’ll realize that the system as a whole is not robust enough for your outbound sales needs. Stay with us as we go through 8 signs that you’ve outgrown HubSpot CRM and are ready for a dedicated outbound sales platform.
HubSpot’s CRM platform is relatively inflexible when it comes to mapping out your unique sales development process. Of course, HubSpot CRM does allow a degree of customization of features to suit your sales development team’s needs. However, as you grow and your sales development processes evolve to become more complex, you’re likely finding yourself wishing for more from your CRM.
HubSpot CRM is a solution that comes with good features for sales — opportunity stages, close dates, and opportunity amounts. But sales development teams often need fewer features with more depth, rather than an abundance of half-baked features. A prospecting platform that you can customize to your team is far more valuable than a cookie-cutter tool such as HubSpot CRM.
While HubSpot CRM allows an unlimited number of users to access the system, to unlock more advanced features such as sales automation workflows, teams are required to upgrade to HubSpot Sales, which requires users to move to a price per seat model.
If your team has more than three SDRs, then you’re likely finding that HubSpot CRM isn’t advanced enough for your more robust prospecting processes. With one or two SDRs, you don’t need a system that assists them — you as a manager can do that instead.
HubSpot doesn’t assist SDRs with helping them identify the best ICPs to add, or what the best message is depending on ICP, target market, and scenario. In terms of sales automation especially, the larger your sales development team is, the more workflow and sequencing automation, visual cadence overview, and assistance you’ll need from a prospecting platform.
The bigger your sales development team becomes, the more you’ll realize that HubSpot’s features aren’t comprehensive enough for what you want to achieve. With HubSpot, you’ll need to start paying for more solid features such as lead scoring and advanced reporting — add ons that come as standard with an outbound sales platform.
Rather than sales cadences, HubSpot CRM functions with sales sequences — of which there are limited templates per sequence offered with certain versions of HubSpot. HubSpot’s sequences tool is also only available to users with assigned Sales Hub Professional, Enterprise or Service Hub Professional, or Enterprise seats. For sales development teams, a multi-channel cadence option is crucial for focusing their efforts on the rigorous outreach necessary to get in touch with a lead, and determining which forms of communication are best for certain ICPs — this also allows you to continuously optimize your outbound sales approaches.
Though HubSpot does allow for dependability, it’s also not possible to pause and restart overall sequences. Given that your sales processes are based on your unique ICPs, HubSpot’s limitation on sequences impairs the ability of sales managers to time the perfect sales cadence.
This is frustrating for sales managers who are obviously invested in aligning their sales cadences with their goals and KPIs. Kevin Probst, Business Intelligence Manager for construction and real estate software Alasco, says that “HubSpot uses sequences that can be modeled to look like cadences, but really they’re meant for email outreach for marketing purposes.”
Being forced into an imperfect sales cadence because of your tool’s limitations can lead to burned leads and thousands lost in potential sales.
Rather than targeting your ICP, HubSpot’s sequences make SDRs rely on more of a “spray and pray” approach. Probst goes on to say that, “With HubSpot, there’s no focus on reaching the correct persona, which makes the whole process unstructured.”
Furthermore, HubSpot’s sequences are lead-based, rather than account-based. Your sales cadences should be designed around accounts with multiple ICPs, and your outbound sales platform should be flexible enough to scale up and down when necessary — not hold you back.
Storing customer data is not enough: you need to be able to analyze it to glean actionable insights. Having visibility into forecasting and sales tracking is a critical part of growing your business.
HubSpot’s basic CRM option only offers pre-configured reports on sales activities and pipelines. Even the premium sales reporting package (which costs an extra $200 per month) only allows for 200 cross-object reports per account. Plus, in terms of data visualization, the pre-configured reports generally only offer standard bar graphs, line graphs, and numerical counters of purely tactical data.
Here are just a few areas where HubSpot dashboards are lacking:
Because of the lack of advanced reports and customization available with HubSpot, you are likely to feel that you’re only gaining surface insights and have nothing strategic to work with.
Your outbound sales platform should be able to provide a detailed view of your most critical metrics. More than that, they should provide answers. Instead of only seeing how many companies were approached during a month, you should be able to see what target market is the most effective, which buyer persona is the most responsive, and the conversion rate of your best pitch.
In the same vein as dashboards and analytics, as a sales manager, you’ve got aggressive goals to achieve. Without dynamic visibility into your sales pipeline, it’s near impossible to understand — or explain — why you might not be hitting them. You’ll also find it extremely difficult to budget and plan properly because of this lack of pipeline visibility.
If you can’t forecast revenue a month in advance, don’t know how many stalled deals are in your pipeline, or know what’s taking up the majority of your SDRs’ time then you’re using the wrong outbound sales tool.
Without pipeline visibility, how can you expect to train your SDRs properly? As a sales manager, you’ll have multiple tips up your sleeve for solving pipeline problems. The issue is, if you don’t know what the problems are, then coaching your SDRs is all but useless.
If your pipeline doesn’t teach you anything, then you can’t coach your SDRs.
Even if you’ve defined your ICPs down to minute detail, you’ll still need to know why your SDRs are or aren’t booking meetings. Making assumptions about why accounts went cold, why they were discarded, and where your best and worst leads come from is not in any way strategic, and your bottom line won’t thank you for it.
Your outbound sales platform needs to have the capacity to intuitively capture insights on discarded accounts, which leads need to be nurtured and why, and at what stage the prospect went cold.
It’s no secret that most sales software is designed with sales leaders in mind, while the regular users — your SDRs — are often an afterthought. This lack of intuitiveness is often the reason SDRs don’t use the software as it’s intended, and why you’re spending your days chasing them to get them to fill in the necessary fields.
Sales prospecting tools should also make data collection easy. Though the system does collect standard data, HubSpot is not designed with the need of collecting strategic information in mind. Managers need to constantly remind SDRs to fill in information, only for it to still be incomplete.
If your SDRs are using HubSpot daily, but not entering critical information into the system, how can you rely on it to accurately track your sales processes and performance? And how much time are you wasting daily on pushing them to input data into the system?
When software isn’t intuitive to use, SDRs won’t use it properly — especially when mission-critical fields aren’t available in the first place. Important fields will be missing, and it doesn’t matter how advanced the forecasting and reporting features are, because, without the correct data, your sales processes can’t be improved. Just as SDRs want to spend their days booking more meetings, you want to spend the majority of your days working on high-level, strategic tasks.
There could be countless reasons why your SDRs aren’t performing as highly as you’d like them to be. But, if your CRM hinders rather than helps them to do their job, then the software is holding them back from performing.
Because your CRM isn’t accurately capturing what and how SDRs are doing, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why they’re not meeting monthly goals.
Because of HubSpot’s limited sales cadences (or sequences), it’s also hard for both you and your SDRs to see how their accounts are progressing throughout the contact cycle. It’s also impossible for you to provide feedback or give accurate performance reviews when you don’t have the necessary information.
Because HubSpot is limited in what dedicated outbound sales features it offers, your ability to integrate your sales development playbook and processes is also restricted. In short, HubSpot falls short of the mark when it comes to the unique needs of sales development teams.
Bloobirds’ end-to-end sales prospecting platform is specifically customized for B2B SaaS companies and built for the SDR use case. It provides the tools and granular metrics you need to ensure that your outbound sales strategy is being properly executed, and you’re achieving the growth you work so hard for.
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