Well this is a loaded question and the answer is yes...
We are often asked, "So does HubSpot work? Should I use it?" And even though we are a HubSpot Partner Agency, the answer is not always yes. Not everyone is a good fit for HubSpot or for inbound marketing. It's different for every business, but that's not the answer that you really wanted, was it? I know that I hate when I click on a blog title that seems like it will answer the question that I have and then they give some vague "yes and no" answer like that. So, let us clarify a bit.
HubSpot works if...
You and your team are dedicated to it
The first step to having success with HubSpot is to completely dedicate to it. That means from the top down, every single person in the organization has to buy in and make a concerted effort to have the software work for you.
We like to make the analogy - HubSpot is like a beautiful G5 jet. It has all the tools you need, gets you to your destination in style, and gives you features you can't get elsewhere, but if you don't have a skilled pilot, it's just another expensive toy. If you and your team don't commit to it and use it the way it should be used, it's just an expensive bill.
You have a long(er) sales cycle
This is really more about inbound marketing, but overall businesses with longer sales cycles and the need to educate their customers tends to lend itself to a successful campaign and successful experience with HubSpot. Businesses with a longer sales cycle are more apt to use the many features in HubSpot to convert leads and nurture them into customers such as workflows, landing pages, calls-to-action, forms, and lead scoring.
You use all the tools
We do quite a few audits of HubSpot portals and one of the things that we routinely find is that businesses aren't using all the tools at their disposal within HubSpot. We recommend that everyone using HubSpot get HubSpot Marketing Software certified to get a better idea of what you can (and can't) do with HubSpot. Why wouldn't you want to use it to its full potential?
Your prospects are online
It may sound crazy, but not every business' prospects are online. Obviously if your target market is not easily found online or even if they have inconsistent online habits, your experience with HubSpot will likely suffer. Doing a thorough persona development will help you identify who your target personas are and where they spend their time. If they're spending their time online, HubSpot and inbound marketing concepts can help you get in front of them.
You continue to refine your strategy
HubSpot is not the kind of tool that you can set and forget. It's meant to be an ever changing optimization tool. Using the data in HubSpot will help you refine your strategy, content, and personas throughout your time using the software.
HubSpot doesn't work if...
You expect immediate results
Inbound marketing and HubSpot are part of a long-term strategy to generate visitors to your website, leads, and customers. If you're expecting to start raking in leads immediately, you're going to be sorely disappointed. While it can happen quick, HubSpot is meant to help you create and manage long-term assets that will help you in your lead generation and customer acquisition goals long into the future. This isn't to say that it's going to take forever to see results, but if you can't be patient, it's going to be unsuccessful.
You have a transactional business or sell low priced goods or services
Transactional businesses and businesses with low prices typically aren't great fits for HubSpot. The HubSpot marketing software is not the cheapest software out there (we never recommend less than a Pro subscription) so if you have a business that relies on quick and frequent sales of low priced items or services, it's going to be more difficult to see a positive ROI.
You wear all the hats
Most businesses start as a one man show and there are even many successful businesses out there that run well as a one man show, but if your attention is being pulled in 100 different directions, marketing is typically the first item to slip. If you can't dedicate adequate time to HubSpot and your inbound marketing campaign, it's not going to work. At the very least, you should be dedicating 5-10 hours per week to your campaign.
You don't learn how to effectively use it
HubSpot is not a software that you're going to learn how to effectively use in a week, or month, or really even six months. Let me give you our experience as an example...
So we became a HubSpot Partner Agency in 2015 and expected that we would be up and running on all cylinders within a few weeks. We were already executing on most items involved in an inbound campaign (email marketing, blogging, website design, social media, etc.). The transition was going to be a piece of cake. Wrong. HubSpot is so robust that it took us several months before we were fully confident in our ability to deliver a good product to our clients. There are so many moving parts that understanding each tactic that is involved (even at an agency level) is just the tip of the iceberg.
A key with HubSpot is to always be focused on learning. There are new features being released all the time and new ways of using old tools. There are plenty of training opportunities out there to learn and grow with the software, but if you're not willing to invest the time, it'll fail.
You don't utilize the people at HubSpot
We LOVE HubSpot and have had tremendous success for ourselves and for our clients with the software, but honestly, the best part about HubSpot is the support team. The tech support team is the best I've ever seen in any industry. I have never had a problem that wasn't resolved within a single email or phone call. They care about your success and want to help you solve your problem as fast as possible. Plus, every HubSpot account also has a CSM that is dedicated to your success. If you work with an agency, you likely will never deal with this person (it's a CAM on the partner agency side), but they're there for the sole purpose of making your campaign successful. The businesses that are successful with HubSpot are the businesses that utilize these people frequently. Super duper über shout out to our CAM Jacob Carlson (@Jacobin617)!
You have a poor sales process or close rate
All the leads in the world won't matter or be of any value to your business if your sales process isn't tight and you haven't figured out the best way to close your leads. The businesses that aren't able to close a good amount of their leads into customers will not be able to realize a positive ROI and will thus view HubSpot as a failure - even though the real failure was the sales process.
So while we wholeheartedly believe in HubSpot and the inbound methodology, it really isn't for everyone. And not only that, but not every level of HubSpot Marketing is for everyone. If you're still unsure, there are plenty of free products that they offer as well to dip a toe in! Check out these great free & less expensive resources from HubSpot:
HubSpot Marketing Free
HubSpot Marketing Starter
HubSpot Sales Free
HubSpot Sales Pro
So there you have it. The answer to "Does HubSpot Work?" is - it does if your business is a good fit for inbound marketing and you're dedicated to making it work. Want to see the marketing software in action? Join us for a free, no obligation, no pressure software demo!