The Long-Term Issue with Salesforce
The lack of customer support at Salesforce was the final straw for Dakota Hebert, Chief Marketing Officer at Checkwriters.
Whenever his team needed to make changes, whether updating an email campaign or organizing sales processes differently, they couldn’t get anyone at Salesforce to help.
“It was almost impossible for our admins to get a Salesforce support specialist on the phone, and they had no chat functionality,” says Dakota. “You had to log a ticket for everything and wait days or weeks to hear back.”
Checkwriters had been using Salesforce for 15 years to power its sales organization. Unfortunately, the reps found it cumbersome and difficult to learn, which made onboarding new hires time consuming and arduous.
As a result, Dakota spent a lot of time troubleshooting Salesforce, partly because the platform is so complex and partly because the admin rights were so tightly locked.
“Our sales team couldn’t contact support or log tickets on their own, so I’d have to do it on their behalf,” says Dakota.
Just as importantly, Dakota didn’t like the information divide that separated sales, marketing and client onboarding.
“We had information silos within our organization,” says Dakota. “Customers would have a great experience during our sales and onboarding processes but, without a common CRM binding those and other departments together, our internal communications and processes suffered.”
Dakota considered rolling out Salesforce more broadly across the organization but rejected the idea because of its complexity and how it prices its seats. Salesforce charges for every user regardless of role. Giving access to people across the organization, even if only for reporting purposes, is costly.
So Dakota and his team started looking at other options. Dakota had used the HubSpot CRM platform in a previous role and was impressed with how sleek and intuitive it was to use. When they investigated further, they found that the HubSpot CRM platform is designed to facilitate interactions among departments, not create barriers, and could be rolled out company-wide without incurring prohibitive costs.
“With HubSpot, we could get everyone under one system of record with built-in collaboration tools like tasks, comments, and shared reporting. It was a great choice for our cross-functional teams because it didn’t just serve sales alone” says Dakota.
Aligning Sales and Marketing With the HubSpot CRM Platform
Having decided to make the switch and move from Salesforce to HubSpot CRM platform, Dakota opted to work with Trujay, a HubSpot Solutions Partner, to implement Sales Hub, Marketing Hub and Service Hub.
They were assigned a HubSpot implementation specialist who worked with them for three months. For Dakota, the most valuable aspect was learning how to set up new client onboarding.
“Our setup process is different than most because we’re a software solution provider,” says Dakota. “Our specialist showed us how he sets up new clients in HubSpot and helped us replicate that process in our own HubSpot instance.”
The HubSpot CRM platform proved so easy to use, employees didn’t require much training.
“The system is so intuitive and visually appealing to navigate, users can jump right in,” says Dakota. “Plus, the HubSpot Academy is an excellent resource people can refer to if needed.”
Facilitating communication among sales, new client onboarding, and customer service
Checkwriters has set up three pipelines: one for sales, one for inbound leads, and one for onboarding, with each pipeline flowing seamlessly into the next with the help of automation.
“When a sales deal moves to the closed category, for example, it automatically generates a new onboarding deal for the onboarding team,” says Dakota.
Automated notifications also play an important role in keeping teams in sync.
“We’ve set up internal and external notifications, so when a client hits the training stage, for example, trainers are notified and customers are introduced to their trainer via an automated email,” says Dakota.
The new onboarding process has received rave reviews from customers, reflecting higher customer satisfaction levels.
“Switching payroll companies or HR platforms is usually a tedious, awful process,” says Dakota. “People say ours is unlike anything they’ve ever experienced before.”
Improving sales connect rate
The built-in ability for prospects to conveniently reschedule sales calls, instead of cancelling them, is another important feature for the Checkwriters’ sales team.
Typically, the sales team schedules sales calls with prospects before demoing the Checkwriters software. It wasn’t uncommon for people to cancel those calls and not reschedule. That changed with HubSpot’s built-in meeting scheduler feature.
“Every member of our sales team has a meeting link in their email signature, making it easy for people to rebook rather than just cancel,” says Dakota.
Prospect nurturing through one integrated database
Dakota and his team have organized the sales pipeline into seven stages and built automation into each stage.
“We can send out compliance resources, a customer success video, or a case study depending on where leads are in the funnel and their interests,” says Dakota. “And it all happens automatically.”
Finding the right content to send at the right time has been a key area of focus for the team. They’ve experimented over the past 24 months to identify the most effective emails to use at each stage as a way to improve even further on their results—a process that has been greatly facilitated by HubSpot CRM’s A/B testing feature.
The HubSpot reporting dashboard makes the testing results transparent and easy to digest, which yields even greater collaboration between sales and marketing. This is a marked contrast with Salesforce, which gave Checkwriters little visibility into its clients, with performance and success metrics taking hours to piece together.
Campaign orchestration improves cross-team communication
One of Dakota’s favorite features in the HubSpot CRM platform is the ability to create and pin notes for quick communication, which is crucial in the fast-moving world of payroll and HR. Running campaigns in HubSpot allows the whole team to create and assign tasks, set due dates, add notes and, most importantly, keeps the whole team connected.
“People need answers quickly to get paid on time, so you can’t waste time trying to get caught up on past interactions. With the notes feature, anyone on our sales, onboarding and customer service teams can leave notes and tag other users. This means a service specialist can pick up where another one has left off and immediately know what’s going on. It’s really increased our flexibility and nimbleness as a team.”
Empowering team members to help themselves
Today, when team members reach to Dakota for help, he directs them to the support that’s built into the HubSpot CRM platform.
“I can point them to the chat feature so they can talk to HubSpot directly,” says Dakota. “It saves me time, and they get the answers they need faster.”
Dakota has also found the need for support has declined sharply because the HubSpot CRM platform is so much easier to use than Salesforce—and he’s able to make most system changes himself.
“HubSpot allows you to organize your teams any way you want,” says Dakota. “It simply rolls with the punches.”
20% Increase in Revenue
Once Checkwriters migrated from Salesforce to the HubSpot CRM platform, its revenue increased 20%—part of which can be attributed to its improved sales and marketing processes and better customer experience.
Specifically, the HubSpot meeting scheduler feature and built-in automation led to a 25% decrease in the number of cancelled prospect calls.
In addition, Dakota is saving two hours a week in not having to troubleshoot Salesforce issues.
All of these impressive results are made possible by aligning sales, marketing and onboarding on the same platform.
Dakota couldn’t be happier about the decision to switch from Salesforce to HubSpot.
“Without HubSpot, Checkwriters would be back in the Dark Ages,” says Dakota. “Today, our entire team can get the information they need to complete the job for each customer. It’s a fantastic tool for sales and marketing teams that want to increase communication, nimbleness and flexibility.”