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6 Mistakes You're Making with HubSpot Workflows

Dustin Brackett
September 2, 2019

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One of the biggest marketing buzz (pun totally intended) words right now is "marketing automation". Everyone is starting to realize the benefits of getting things done without having to think about it - plus the elimination of human error is a nice benefit as well. 

That's where one of HubSpot's most powerful tools comes into play - workflows. First, I want to start off by saying that I absolutely love workflows and love trying new things with workflows. We're all busy and any advantage we can give ourselves or anything that we can get off our plates is big.

The problem is that most HubSpot users that we meet aren't actually using HubSpot workflows to their full potential. So, let's take a look at six mistakes that many of you might be making with your workflows and how to correct them.

Forgetting about internal workflows

When most people think about marketing automation or workflows, they naturally think about consumer facing campaigns. After all, it is marketing automation, right? Now, I am definitely not saying that you should only have internal workflows, but they can make your world a whole lot easier, keep your CRM clean, and even keep your entire team up to date.

Utilizing well thought out internal workflows can help you and your team stay on the same page and keep your CRM squeaky clean. Take some time to think through any CRM tasks that you or your marketing/sales teams are doing on a regular basis and I bet you'll be able to find a way to automate that process through an internal workflow.

Some of our very favorite workflows are internal and never have a consumer facing action. 

Not utilizing workflows in your sales process

If you're utilizing HubSpot Sales Professional or Enterprise along with your HubSpot Marketing hub, you have some cool additional tools that you can use in your workflows. This includes deal-based workflows that trigger off of your sales deals and quote-based workflows that are triggered off of quotes. These can be extremely powerful and help to bring some of those deals over the finish line.

If you're not utilizing HubSpot Sales Professional or Enterprise, you still have the ability to utilize workflows to assist in your sales process. Creating workflows to engage old contacts, alert your sales manager of cold/warm/hot leads, and even pinging the contact's owner of actions taken (or not taken) can be very powerful ways to utilize marketing automation for sales.

Getting too complex with your workflows

I was on a webinar the other day and one of the companies couldn't stop bragging about how complex their workflow was. It was a legitimate source of pride for the company's owner. I get it, workflows can do so many things and when you get it just right, it's a pretty great feeling. I can only imagine how great it felt to get that like 300 step workflow to work, but the whole thing felt so unnecessary to me.

Why? That's all I could think when he was quickly scrolling through his workflow to show all of us how complex it was. Just why?

When you build out such a complex workflow, you're just setting yourself up for failure. Think about it - what happens when just one of those 300 steps fails? How long is it going to take you to find that needle in the workflow haystack?

I believe in that old KISS acronym (keep it simple stupid). Instead of having that one gigantic, overwhelming workflow, it could have been split up into several workflows that were triggered at different points. That way, when/if something fails, it'll be so much easier to identify, find, and correct.

More complex ≠ better.

Set it and forget it

We're all guilty of this on occasion. When something is working (or you think it's working), it's easy to just let it do it's thing and not think about it, but that's a recipe for disaster when it comes to workflows. Workflows need to be treated as a living, breathing piece of your marketing and sales processes. They're only effective if you monitor them, improve on them, and learn from them.

Please, please, PLEASE don't just create a workflow and forget about it. Take the time at least each quarter to review your workflows from top to bottom (yes that means reviewing each step in each workflow). It'll make your workflows a lot better and your sales and marketing that much more effective. Review the data, update emails that are not working, test new messaging, add and remove tasks, update your team, etc. and you'll see the results. Data is your friend.

Inconsistent content

With anything in inbound marketing, you have to think through the campaign. Far too often we see businesses start a consumer facing workflow off of a top of the funnel trigger (say an eBook download) and then follow that up with bottom of the funnel emails and outreach. There is a process. People that download your top of the funnel content aren't ready to see your sales messages. In fact, you're almost surely annoying them causing them to opt-out of your emails or reporting you as spam.

Take the time to think through and map out the steps of your campaign and workflow - start to finish. What are the next logical next steps? By putting yourself in the shoes of your visitors and leads, you'll provide a much better consumer experience and that will result in more people matriculating throughout your sales funnel.

Forgetting about integrations

One of the best things (in my opinion) about HubSpot is the number of native integrations. There are SO many. Many of the top marketing and sales tools on the market integrate directly with HubSpot and can be utilized within workflows. Take advantage! 

I encourage you to take a look at all the HubSpot Connect integrations and utilize everything that you can. When your tools all talk to each other, it makes your life a million times easier.

Click below and let's take your sales and marketing to the next level. Your competition won't know what hit them. ;)

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