Ask Me Anything and Panel Discussions

Mike_Eastwood
Key Advisor | Gold Partner
Key Advisor | Gold Partner

On-Demand AMA: HubSpot Portal Audits and CRM Health

 

 

 

 

In this “Ask Mike Anything” (AMA) we’re discussing HubSpot Portal Audits and CRM Health.

 

If you’re a HubSpot Admin, the person in your organization that everyone asks for HubSpot help, or maybe you can see your organization needs someone to take control of how HubSpot is managed in your organization then say hi and ask me anything. 

 

Hello, my name is Mike, I’m a geek.

 

Who am I to tell you how to run your HubSpot Portal? I’m the founder of Webalite, a Gold HubSpot Partner Agency based in Wellington, New Zealand. We’ve been a Certified HubSpot Partner since 2016, I’ve been a HubSpot Community Champion since 2019 and a Certified App Provider in the HubSpot Marketplace since 2022. 

 

I’m also the founder of Portal-iQ which is the world's first fully automated HubSpot Portal Audit. Using HubSpot’s APIs we can scan your HubSpot Portal, analyze your setup, CRM and Hubs. We then use the HubSpot CMS to compile a report with 91 prioritized actionable recommendations, 47 tips, 17 [friendly] warnings and 5 appendices. 

 

So yes, I know way too much about HubSpot. And yes, I need to get out more. 

 

What can I ask in this AMA?

  1. When is it a good time to run a full audit? 
  2. What are some of the common mistakes that most people make?
  3. When I visit Wellington, New Zealand can I come for dinner?
  4. Can I check my data using AI?
  5. I inherited a HubSpot Portal from my predecessor – and it’s a mess – where do I start?

I’m based in New Zealand so there may be a delay in answering your question because of the timezone. 

24 Replies 24
TomM2
Key Advisor | Partner
Key Advisor | Partner

On-Demand AMA: HubSpot Portal Audits and CRM Health

Hey @Mike_Eastwood not sure if I'm too late or not, but how would you address the idea of property consolidation/minimisation? 

It's quite often for a new CRM user to create properties for specific questions and not have the mindset of them being scalable datapoints. What's the best way to approach a CRM and define which properties/fields can be merged and what is needed? 

Tom Mahon tom@hub-spark.com
HubSpot Expert | Digital Marketing Specialist | Community Champion
HubSpark

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Mike_Eastwood
Key Advisor | Gold Partner
Key Advisor | Gold Partner

On-Demand AMA: HubSpot Portal Audits and CRM Health

Good question @TomM2 

 

Unfortunately, merging properties often ends up being long, tediuos and manual job – property by property.

 

Consolidating Custom Properties is an 9 Step process per Property:

 

1. Identify the duplicates, triplcates, sometime manyplicates (yes, I just made that word up). Check each property use (e.g how many Contacts) and where it's used (e.g. Workflow, Form, etc.). You can see in this screenshot this test property is only used in 1 Form, and 0 Contacts, so it's easy to remove.

 

Screen Shot 2023-11-23 at 9.27.39 AM.png

 

2. Decide which property will be the one you continue to use (usually the Property that's used the most in Forms, Workflows, etc. because it's a pain to replace the Property everywhere it's used).

 

3. Check the name of new property (or the one you are keeping) has a sensible Property Name, a Property Description and is in a Property Group that makes it easier for everyone to understand.

 

4. Back up the data. I like to create a filter, with all the properties I want to delete, then edit the columns to show the Object ID and all the Properties I want to delete (and no personally idenetifiable information i.e. I do not include email, nor names. I only use the ID to matcht he data if I need to revert any data). I then export the filtered data to excel.

 

5. Append the other property names (the ones you will delete) with DEPRECATED or DO NOT USE so other people don't make the mess bigger while you are working.

 

6. Work through each property you're going to delete, replacing where it's used, with the property you want to use. In the example above I only have to replace the Property in the "Test Onboarding Programme..." Form. But, it could be in multiple Forms, Workflows, Lists, etc.

 

7. Migrate the data once you've removed the places the property is used. There's a few ways to migrate data:

  • filters are good if it's a simple property e.g. yes/no. Simply filter all the Objects (e.g. Contacts) that have the old property as "yes" then bulk select the Objects and set the new property to "yes". Repeat for "no".
  • workflows are better for more complicate properties. Enroll the Object if the old Property is known. Then set the new Property to the same values. Then unset the old property to unknown. You can then filter to see if the Workflow worked properly.
    IMPORTANT the properties will need to be exatcly the same, otherwise you will need to set up conditional branches in your Workflow (which isn't difficult and it's still easier than manually changing things).
  • export, then import, the data. You can export the old property value(s), rename the column header, and reimport the data. I recommend you use the Object ID in the import to make sure your import is 100% matched. IMPORTANT your property names and values will need to be exactly the same for this method to work. If your property values are even slightly different you will get an error.

8. Quality check your data to make sure everything has been migrated before deleting the old property.

 

9. Delete the old property!

 

And....

 

0. Optional step, before step 1, put on your headphones and crank up some fast repetitive music for example Connecting the Dots by Jonathan Kaspar

 

Have fun

Mike

 

 

 

owork138
Member

On-Demand AMA: HubSpot Portal Audits and CRM Health

Thanks for this post

kvlschaefer
Community Manager
Community Manager

On-Demand AMA: HubSpot Portal Audits and CRM Health

Hi @Levi@johnelmer@Olivia_Bagnall@jforte@TomM2@EmmaAtKiwi@DAnaGuiloff@elizheleva@MrJustinGivens@HubDoPete - Do you have any HubSpot portal audits or CRM health questions or comments for @Mike_Eastwood


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owork138
Member

On-Demand AMA: HubSpot Portal Audits and CRM Health

Thanks for sharing this post, very helpful and informative. Keep sharing.

 

danmoyle
Most Valuable Member | Elite Partner
Most Valuable Member | Elite Partner

On-Demand AMA: HubSpot Portal Audits and CRM Health

@Mike_Eastwood first, I'll definitely be visiting for dinner if I can make it to NZ! 

 

In your experience, do recipients of audits want your opinion or do they want "best practices" from a "bigger" source? Or is it a mix? 

 

I find that some best practice resources differ from my own experience, and that oftentimes opinions just get messy. How do you handle that?  

 

Thanks for the nudge @sharonlicari

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Dan Moyle

HubSpot Advisor

LearningOps | Impulse Creative

emailAddress
dan@impulsecreative.com
website
https://impulsecreative.com/
Mike_Eastwood
Key Advisor | Gold Partner
Key Advisor | Gold Partner

On-Demand AMA: HubSpot Portal Audits and CRM Health

Firstly @danmoyle , if you make it all the way to New Zealand and don't come for dinner I will be offended.

 

I think our opinion - as HubSpot experts - is extremely valuable.

 

In my experience - with HubSpot health - people often don't know where to start. So we can guide them to set up best practices and clean up HubSpot to align the data with the new best practices.

 

As a HubSpot Partner, the conversation, when reviewing the audit, is extremely valuable. While we can recommend best practices they may not apply to some organisations. For example, if your "Contacts Unworked" is 100% then there may be a good reason e.g. an online store. So, as always, it's about solving for the customer.

 

And, I've never seen a perfectly set up HubSpot Portal (including my own) so remember:

 

Progress over perfection.

Let me know if you'd like me to share a Portal-iQ Report to read over the weekend.

 

Thank you for your question.

Mike

 

danmoyle
Most Valuable Member | Elite Partner
Most Valuable Member | Elite Partner

On-Demand AMA: HubSpot Portal Audits and CRM Health

Appreciate the perspective @Mike_Eastwood

 

Did my answer help? Please "mark as a solution" to help others find answers. Plus I really appreciate it!


Dan Moyle

HubSpot Advisor

LearningOps | Impulse Creative

emailAddress
dan@impulsecreative.com
website
https://impulsecreative.com/
sharonlicari
Community Manager
Community Manager

On-Demand AMA: HubSpot Portal Audits and CRM Health

Hi @danmoyle@chrisworqflow@jolle@Dan1 , @Whathcock@Jnix284 , @BukunmiOdetayo@Phil_Vallender  @Josh @HFisher7 -  Do you have any questions or comments for @Mike_Eastwood? 🙂 

 

Thanks

Sharon


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Malabaro
Participant

On-Demand AMA: HubSpot Portal Audits and CRM Health

I can see this sort of activity being something that we respond to with AI. It seems as though we should be able to say, "what steps should I take to optimise my portal for job X, or job Y?" Even though I think that is going to happen in some way, I'm not sure whether it will be doing the grunt work or the brain work. The other concern I have is that I don't like the idea of an LLM slurping up all the data in my portal. I know that big companies are able to implement LLMs inside their own networks and they are doing that to ensure data security. That makes me feel that we shouldn't be trusting AI unless we own the LLM. That's probably way off-topic for what you're doing here but I wonder if portal-IQ is already AI supported? And if so, what are the data security and privacy issues around that?

Mike_Eastwood
Key Advisor | Gold Partner
Key Advisor | Gold Partner

On-Demand AMA: HubSpot Portal Audits and CRM Health

I agree @Malabaro 

 

While I am excited about AI – I use AI every day – I've disabled Customer Analysis in our HubSpot Portal. I see the advantages but I've taken a more cautious approach to LLMs.

 

And, if a customer doesn't have an AI Policy, or a good understanding of the implications, we recommend turning off AI in HubSpot until standard operating procedures are in place.

 

Here are the 3 settings I recommed every HubSpot Admin checks now:

 

  1. Settings (cog top right) > Tools (left menu) > AI Assistant (sub menu). 

    Turn off Customer Analysis (it should be off by default).

  2. Settings (cog top right) > Tools (left menu) > AI Assistant (sub menu). 

    I recommend turning off Content Prompts until an AI Policy is established.

  3. Settings (cog top right) > Tools (left menu) > Chatspot (sub menu). 

    Turn off Chatspot AI in HubSpot until you have a clear AI Policy and rules around what AI can access and how your team uses it e.g. proof reading, fact checking, etc.

 

While I am confident AI will be a great partner for HubSpot health in the future I have chosen to play it safe.

 

As for Portal-iQ we've decided to never use AI to analyze customer HubSpot Portals.

 

While Portal-iQ neither collects, nor stores, customer data (privacy first) we avoid the risk associated with 3rd party data processing necessary for AI. In short - with AI - we have no control, nor oversight, so it's easier to just say no auditing with AI. 

 

Thank you

Mike

 

p.s. I'm sure ChatGPT could have written a more concise answer with less commas.

hkoops
Participant

On-Demand AMA: HubSpot Portal Audits and CRM Health

Hi @Mike_Eastwood , 

I am struggling to make the SMS texting add-on from HubSpot usable. After I figured out all the consent requirements, but now I am struggling to figure out how to automate their communication subscription to include SMS.

After working with Support, I learned the phone numbers have to be formatted in a specific way, but there is no way to automate the format changes (ie from 555-555-5555 to +1 (555) 555-5555). It's a lot of work to monitor and manually update every single phone number and then go back and manually subscribe them. Workflows are not helpful in this area - as far as I can tell (the 'Format your data with a workflow' option for Operations Hub doesn't let you format the phone number to fit the requirements for the SMS add-on.)

Anyway, if you have any advice on how to 1) automatically have phone numbers formatted as +1 (555) 555-5555 and 2) automatically have their communication subscription changed to include the SMS add-on after a contact gives consent, please let me know.

Mike_Eastwood
Key Advisor | Gold Partner
Key Advisor | Gold Partner

On-Demand AMA: HubSpot Portal Audits and CRM Health

Hi @hkoops 

 

Unfortunately I can't get HubSpot SMS because I live in the Third World (outside of the US) so I haven't played with HubSpot's SMS yet (I did code my own version to wrok in New Zealand).

 

Here's how @karstenkoehler explains how to format phone numbers with a Workflow... you will need to tweak the formula to get the exact format you want. Also, I recommend you add a step in the Workflow to notify the Contact Owner if the Workflow cannot format the phone number correctly. 

 

My assumption (without testing) is the SMS will send if the subscription is unknown or set to consent. The Workflow should show an error if the SMS isn't sent, but it's worth doing a test. 

 

Have fun

Mike

franksteiner79
Key Advisor

On-Demand AMA: HubSpot Portal Audits and CRM Health

Hi @Mike_Eastwood 

 

What would be your top 10 things / settings / setups to check or look for in a customer portal you have just gotten access to?

 

I know this somewhat depends on what Hub the customer is subscribed to and what subscription tier do they have, but from own experience working at HubSpot and now as a freelancer I have a few "go-to" things I check in order to see what I am dealing with and also to ascertain what level of knowledge/understanding the customer has.

 

Cheers

Frank

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Frank Steiner

Marketeer | HubSpot Expert | CRM Consultant

InboundPro

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Mike_Eastwood
Key Advisor | Gold Partner
Key Advisor | Gold Partner

On-Demand AMA: HubSpot Portal Audits and CRM Health

Hi @franksteiner79 and @OlawuyiMayowa 

 

Over the last few years I've written hundreds of pages for Portal-iQ, which currently runs up to 81 Benchmarks. It was a real challenge to condense 106 pages into 10 bullet points, but here we are:

 

10. Published default content - publicly displayed on Websites, Blogs and Landing Pages. Search for "Default HubSpot Blog" in Google, today there is "About 14,600 results".

9. Workflows that don't work - either broken, unfinished or not being used. 

8. Complex Workflows - that look like a plate of spaghetti, they are easy to break and hard to debug. Here's a blog post about Go To Action in Workflows.

7. Badly named properties - can you tell at a glance why that property is there and what it's used for?

6. Too many custom properties - which usually means there are duplicates and/or unused properties.

5. Contacts without email addresses - why pay for Contacts you cant contact?

4. Storing sensitive information in the CRM that shouldn't be there e.g. credit card numbers. Storing some information is against HubSpot's T&Cs e.g. Social Security Number.

3. Logging everyone's emails to everyone - a privacy and business risk. For example your CEOs internal emails shouldn't be logged in the CRM for everyone to read.
Here's a blog post about Never Log Emails  

 

2. Too many Super Admins - a security risk and an issue with portal management (too many people fiddling with stuff they don't understand).

1. incorrect domain settings - which reduces email deliverability, so more of your emails end up in the spam folder.

 

Actually, I could go on for hours... but only after I've made coffee.

 

Mike

 

p.s. Hit the Upvote Button if you'd like me to do a webinar on this topic.

sharonlicari
Community Manager
Community Manager

On-Demand AMA: HubSpot Portal Audits and CRM Health

Thank you for hosting this event @Mike_Eastwood 

 

I'd love to invite @Jason17 @inscopixdev @LSalazar2 @RFeldman @DNilssonLenna @blaloggia  to this conversation. I'd encourage you to ask any questions about how to keep your CRM healthy to our Community Champion Mike!


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OlawuyiMayowa
Member

On-Demand AMA: HubSpot Portal Audits and CRM Health

What are some common mistakes that people do

dennisedson
HubSpot Product Team
HubSpot Product Team

On-Demand AMA: HubSpot Portal Audits and CRM Health

@Mike_Eastwood !

First time caller, long time listener!

Let's pretend that I have a business that has been using various tools outside of HubSpot for years.  Why?  Because we were figuring things out and learning as we go.  

Do you have any advice on how to audit my assets outside of HubSpot and even better, do you have any recomendation on how I should execute a migration to HubSpot that would set us up for success and not make us regret our decision.  Lastly, do you have a recommended cadence of auditing and actioning the audit of your CRM.  

 

Having fun,

Mike_Eastwood
Key Advisor | Gold Partner
Key Advisor | Gold Partner

On-Demand AMA: HubSpot Portal Audits and CRM Health

Hi @dennisedson 

 

I think the best plan - when reviewing entire systems – is to analyze and document EVERYTHING, repeatedly. 

 

I like to start with interviews to uncover all the systems and pices of the puzzle. Then, workshopping processes (e.g. buyers journey, fulfullment, customer success) with the team. Over a few session you find out what's working and what's not.

 

Once I understand the big picture then I zoom into details in the data. For example carrying over Unique IDs form legacy systems into HubSpot.  I map every piece of data in a table, from old system to new system.

 

Because of my background I like to draw – if I can draw it I can build it.

 

The more time I spend documenting, drawing and creating diagrams the less time I have to spend coding. And, it's much easier to change a diagram before anything is built. There will always be changes, nobody ever gets it perfect first time.

 

With most migrations there's a time where I spend lots of time with the customer, training and making sure everything works as planned. Eventually we'll set up 90 day reviews to check the system, review processes and address any new issues that come up.

 

Great question, thank you

Mike

MMalik6
Member

On-Demand AMA: HubSpot Portal Audits and CRM Health

It very good. Thank you.