Disappointed With HubSpot [Video]

We’ve heard time and time again that over the lifetime of using HubSpot, people become disappointed. But why is that? And what can you do to prevent these feelings and get the most out of this tool? Watch this video to find out.  

If you’d rather read than watch the video, the complete transcript is below. (But, honestly, why read when you could watch?)

I’m just going to cut to the chase. I’m 43, and about a year ago, I was having some eye trouble—I suddenly couldn’t read. So I went to the eye doctor, and he had me do the whole exam, and I flunked. He gave me some progressive lenses. Now I had done no research on that, but he told me, “This is what you need.”

So I went back several days later and put the glasses on for the first time. Everything suddenly that was *like this* before—now looked *like this.* I took them off and said, “Man, this is such a disappointment. A $600 disappointment.” I don’t want to talk about glasses today, but at least I can get some value out of these if I can use them as an illustration.

We are an inbound marketing agency, and a lot of the folks that we work with have heard about HubSpot. It’s a great tool—they do a tremendous amount of content that gets people interested in using their tool. But what we hear over and over again is that over the lifetime of using HubSpot, many people become disappointed with it. And there are several different reasons for that. So what I would love to do is cover a few of these reasons, what you can do to take the next step, or if you’re considering HubSpot, how to avoid these disappointments maybe before you plunk down all the dollar bills.  

#1: There’s a misunderstanding of what HubSpot is.

HubSpot does a fantastic job of marketing itself and they tell you that you’re going to get all kinds of leads, it’s going to be wonderful, and suddenly you’re going to have to hire new people. But really, HubSpot is a tool. Just like a cool drill, or an awesome saw, or a really fancy machine, it’s a tool and you have to use it correctly to get the right results.

What I love about HubSpot is you can see the interactions from a user with your company online—from the first time they visit a website, every time they look at an email, all the way through as they download stuff, as they get closer and closer to wanting to do business with you. That’s hugely valuable. But here’s where the disappointment takes place: A lot of people don’t need that kind of insight. And so after a year of HubSpot, they might say, “I just don’t use this. What’s the point of having all this tracking?” To be candid, if that’s your case, if it doesn’t give you value to be able to see what that user is doing on your website, HubSpot may not be a good solution for you.

But here’s the real issue with not understanding what HubSpot is. HubSpot itself delivers you zero visits. It delivers you zero leads… without one important thing. And that’s content. You have to have content to attract the visitors and you have to have content that makes them want to give lead information to become a lead—you have to have that in place. Once you have that in place and if you’ve set it up correctly, HubSpot works great. But this is where a lot of people get frustrated. This leads me to the number two reason why people are disappointed, which is…

#2: There’s an underestimation of how much effort it takes to generate content.

I’ve heard some marketing consultants talk about just adding inbound marketing to your current marketing repertoire as a company. And that’s great—it’s super advice. If you can somehow do that where your internal team suddenly generates all this really great content and you’ve done your research and know how it all works together, then good for you! That’s fantastic.

Get your nagging questions about HubSpot answered without feeling like you’re getting sold down the river.

But here’s the deal that you know about your marketing team, and it’s true—every marketing team that we’ve talked to is already running a million miles a minute trying to get stuff done. Marketing is a challenging thing to do, because you have to try so many different things. You have to try to measure what’s working and what’s not. So your marketing team is already up to *here,* right? The last thing you need to do is give them one more thing to do—especially content marketing, which is so time-consuming.

Here is something you can try if you want to see if your team is ready to handle inbound. Call an all-staff meeting, and just ask them one simple question. Say, “Alright, I just want you to raise your hand—who in here has extra time?”

People usually laugh at me when I say that because I’ve never been in a meeting where anybody volunteers saying, “Yeah, I’ve got a lot of extra time on my hands!”

If you do, that’s great, and you should probably go with it. If you don’t, what you should do is think about, “What can I do to extend the power of my marketing team?” That could involve bringing in an agency, that could involve hiring some external writers, or that could mean doing several other things—getting other people involved within your company to power marketing. But don’t underestimate the hard work that it takes to generate content to power HubSpot.

The third big reason people get disappointed with HubSpot is…

#3: The overestimation of inbound results from HubSpot.

This is a controversial one—I realize that our situation may be unique, but we work with a lot of people, so we at least have some data to go off of. What we have found is that companies that have clients that are worth a lot of money [have the most success with inbound]. In other words, if you have a client that pays $1,000 every year and you keep them for 12 years, your client value is $12,000. And if you require some sort of a sales process to get someone to purchase (it’s not just, “Hey, let me go in here and click and add this to my cart and buy,” but there’s some sort of a sales process where it’s helpful for me as a sales guy to know what that prospect was thinking when they got to my site)… if you have those two things in place, chances are you could have some really great results with inbound marketing.

I think some of the confusion with the results comes in at not understanding what you could realistically expect for conversion rates at each point in the buyer’s journey. So I recommend the “3-10-10” rule. That basically means that however many visits you get to your site, you can count on 3% of those visitors turning into leads—people who give you an email address. Ten percent of those leads would actually become a marketing qualified lead or show enough interest in your company that your salespeople should reach out to them and start talking to them.

Now, if your salespeople are like most sales teams, you can close about 10 out of 100 marketing qualified leads, which is where the third “10” comes from. So if you have 30 marketing qualified leads, you can expect to close three.

The fourth reason people are disappointed with HubSpot (and it’s a little touchy) is…

#4: HubSpot’s cost structure.

If you’ve done your homework, you’ve gone into inbound with your eyes open, and you know what kind of results to expect, chances are you’re investing in HubSpot because you know it’s going to return a greater amount than what you put in.

The part that frustrates a lot of people, and I’m going to be honest (don’t tell the people over at HubSpot)—I get frustrated with the fact that a lot of the extra things are add-ons. It seems like everything is an add-on. I’m thinking, “You guys already have a high price point—this stuff (especially the reporting add-on) should already be included.” So people get disappointed with it.

What I would tell you is this: You don’t need all of those add-ons. And if you can get some facts before you sign up, you might be able to cut your budget just a little bit, even though the price structure is difficult.

The third piece (and actually, we’ve had two clients talk to us about it just this week!) is that the more you succeed with HubSpot—in other words, the more leads you generate and keep in your database—the higher your price goes. Now HubSpot is going to say, “Now that’s fair because you’re succeeding, so we get a piece of that.”

But the deal is, if HubSpot is the right platform for your company, you want to make sure that you’re investing the right dollars in the right place for the right things from HubSpot.

The Takeaway

Alright, I feel like this has been kind of a disappointing video, because all we’ve talked about is all the ways you could be disappointed with HubSpot. But I have to be honest—as a company, we have not been disappointed with HubSpot. We have absolutely loved using the tool. Yeah, sometimes I get a little gripey about the marketing and reporting add-on for instance, but in general, we love using the tool and our clients have seen a lot of success from using HubSpot.

So the best advice I can give you is to talk to someone who can give you some objective advice about using HubSpot. Not to toot our own horn, but we feel like we’re fairly objective about HubSpot, and I’m going to tell you why.

We are a part of their “Partner Program,” which basically means we’ve gone through some training and taken some tests and so forth so that we can be a certified partner. But one of the things that we decided early on as an agency is that we don’t want to take any sort of commission from clients signing up with HubSpot through us.

In other words, if you sign up with HubSpot, we don’t get anything from that. That allows us to be objective about the tool. We don’t always recommend HubSpot—in fact I’ve recommended several times that people go a different way. (I’ve even recommended people not use inbound marketing!)

What I want to do is offer you the chance to have a little conversation with me about what you’re trying to do with HubSpot—maybe some of the disappointments and what you’re concerned about. I’m a terrible salesperson—I just want to listen to what you have to say. I’ll give you some objective advice, and you will be so much more informed to make the right decisions as you go forward.  

So if you’re interested in that, there’s a link right here on this page. I would love to talk with you.

Thanks for listening, and I hope that moving forward, you won’t be so disappointed with HubSpot. 


What disappointments have you had with HubSpot? Or what have you loved about the tool? Let me know in the comment section below or on Twitter @nectafy!

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  • Great video Lance

    your presentation skills are have really become super sharp. You should definitely do more video!

    • Lance Cummins

      Thanks, Will. We’re trying to get better so that encouragement means a lot.

  • Great Video Lance!

    You say your are not a sales person but I can tell you are!

    Really good insight.

    • nectafy

      Thanks for the kind words, Emilio. Hope it was helpful.

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