HubSpot provides a completely free and powerful CRM for small businesses. It offers an all-in-one place to manage every interaction with your customers. Moreover, it allows you to streamline your sales process.
How to Use HubSpot CRM?
In this HubSpot tutorial, we’re going to share with you how to use HubSpot CRM for small businesses looking to get started with CRM activities. If you’re new to HubSpot, then this tutorial is for you. We’re going to cover all the basics you need to know to make the most out of the free HubSpot CRM.
*The link above is an affiliate link, which means we will get a commission if you upgrade to a paid plan (with no extra cost to you). This helps support our education-based website and we thank you in advance!
Step 1: Getting Started
The first thing you need to do is head over to HubSpot’s official website if you haven’t done so already. Once you arrive at their web page, click ‘Get free CRM’. As you can see on your left hand side, HubSpot CRM software is completely free to use, forever. When your business expands, you can choose to upgrade it anytime to a paid plan depending on your requirements.
What you need to do is add your personal details on your right. Signing up with your Google account is also an option. For this HubSpot tutorial, we’re going to sign up with Google since we prefer keeping everything in one place.
Once the signup is complete, you have to add your company domain and company name to create your new HubSpot account. Hit ‘Next’. Your HubSpot account is now ready. Now, click ‘Go to sign in page’. Here, you have to again use the same Google account to sign in.
In the following step, you have to answer a few questions to help HubSpot understand what your business is all about. We have added our information as you can see below.
- Number of employees: 2-5 employees
- Field of operation: marketing
- Role: marketing/content creator
- In the fourth option – select ‘I have never used a CRM before’
Since this is a beginner’s tutorial, we have selected these options. However, you can choose any of the options that best describes your small business. Once you’ve completed those four questions, click ‘Finish sign up’.
You will be able to see your HubSpot dashboard now. Here, you will be greeted with a popup ‘Choose a demo’. HubSpot is basically going to guide you through an interactive demo to understand all the different components. So, we’ll select ‘Start interactive demo’.
We highly recommend watching this demo if you’ve never used HubSpot before. However, in this HubSpot tutorial for beginners, we’re going to cover everything anyway. So, you can skip the demo if you like.
Step 2: HubSpot Dashboard
On your dashboard, you’ll find a progress bar and a bunch of tasks that you’re prompted to complete. We’re going to skip some of these tasks that are either not important or belong to more intermediary and advanced users.
You can also rewatch the demo here if you like. On the top, you can see some features that we’re going to cover in this HubSpot CRM tutorial. Many of these features such as ‘Automation’ are paid. But we’re going to cover the most important features that will allow you to get the most out of the free version of HubSpot’s CRM.
The core features that we’ll talk about are aimed to understand how to manage your clients and customers in one convenient place.
In the list down below, head over to the first task that HubSpot is prompting us to complete – ‘Add the tracking code to your site’. Again, with the free CRM, we have limitations to the tracking. So, if you want to install the code onto your site, then you can grab the code and send that to your developer and they can install the code for you.
Or if you have a WordPress account, what you can do is just install the WordPress plugin which is relatively straightforward. The second task ‘Create your first form’ is too limited in the free version and you’ll see HubSpot branding on your form which doesn’t look too professional for your business.
These two are going to be really important if you decide to upgrade later down the track. Again, you can leave that for now and click ‘I’ll do this later’.
However, in this HubSpot tutorial for beginners, we’ll focus on other tasks like managing your contacts.
Step 3: Manage Contacts
Go ahead and select ‘Import contacts’. To arrive at this page, you can also click on ‘Contacts’ on top-left and then ‘Contacts’ again.
Here, you can see two sample contacts and their corresponding information including:
- Phone number
- Contact owner
- Associated company
- Last activity date
- Lead status
- Create date
Because these are just sample contacts, we want to delete them.
Step 4: Delete Contacts
To delete any contact, all you need to do is select the box on the left-hand side or you can check the box on top to select all the contacts. Next, you can click ‘Delete’. Confirm the deletion in the next step. We now have a clean contacts list.
Before we import some of our contacts, we will connect our email account.
Step 5: Connect Email Account to HubSpot
To integrate your email inbox with HubSpot, go to Settings on top-right. On your left, come down to ‘Integrations’ and select ‘Email integrations’. Now, you need to install a Google Chrome extension by clicking on ‘Install extension’. That makes it simple for recording your contact’s conversations if you use Gmail or Google Chrome (which a lot of people do).
You can also install an add-in to use HubSpot in your Outlook. Now to integrate your email, you can click ‘Connect inbox’. Select your email provider (Gmail for us) in the next step. Now, check the ‘Turn on inbox automation’ option and hit ‘Connect your inbox’.
By doing so, you’re also connecting HubSpot with Google Search Console, Google Drive, and Google Calendar which will further streamline your interactions between your tools and apps. Click continue and then select your Gmail account or business G suite account. Allow access to HubSpot and click ‘No thanks’ because we’re not using the extension for this HubSpot tutorial.
On your HubSpot dashboard, you can see that your Gmail is connected and enabled. You will also find the options to install the add-in, disable, or remove the HubSpot CRM email integration. Now, we’ll navigate back to ‘Contacts’.
Step 6: Add Contacts to HubSpot
On your top-right, you’ll find ‘Create contact’.
Click on it and enter your customer’s information, including:
- First name
- Last name
- Contact owner – here, you can add other team members who are responsible for managing this client
- Job title
- Phone number
- Lifecycle stage – we’re going to click ‘Lead’ for this contact
- Lead status – because this is a new customer, we’re going to select ‘New’
When you’re happy with all the information, you can select ‘Create contact’ or ‘Create and add another’. But for this HubSpot tutorial for beginners, we’re only going to create one contact. You will now be able to see your contact’s profile on the screen.
You can add an image if you like or add notes for your team members.
Apart from that, you can:
- Send an email
- Call the customer/client
- Schedule a meeting
If required, you can edit the contact information at any stage in HubSpot CRM software. For this particular client, you can view all the activities. Heading back to ‘Contacts’, you can add more information like ‘More Filters’. Under ‘My contacts’, you can view all clients/customers added by you. Each team member can view ‘My contacts’.
Then there are ‘unassigned contacts’ next to it. You can also ‘Add view’ like ‘Needs email follow-up’.
Step 7: Import Contacts
To import a list of your existing contacts, you can click ‘Import’ on top-right. Amongst the two options, select ‘Import here’ and this is where you can upload a file from your computer. So, put together a file of all your existing contacts and then you can upload it to the HubSpot CRM.
The process of importing contacts is quite straightforward. But if you still need guidance, you can click on ‘View import guide’ or ‘download sample spreadsheet’ where you can just edit your own contacts into that and upload that to HubSpot. We’re going to click ‘Cancel’ and navigate back to Contacts.
Step 8: Add Team Members to HubSpot
With a CRM, you ideally want to work together with a team to manage your clients/customers interactions or relationships. To do that, you need to head over to Settings again and then click on ‘Users & teams’ on the left to add your team members that you want to collaborate with on HubSpot.
Now, select ‘Create user’, add the email address of your team member, and click Next. You can also add multiple users at the same time by uploading a CSV file. In this HubSpot tutorial, we’ll add just one contact. Now, we want to assign permissions here. For now, we’re going to allow access to everything for now.
Under each category (marketing, sales, service, and more), you can limit access permissions. Once you’ve navigated through all these different elements, click Next. When you’re ready to invite your teammate, click ‘Send’.
With the users you have added to HubSpot, you can also create new teams too.
Step 9: HubSpot Inbox
Under ‘Conversations’, click on ‘Inbox’. This is where we can connect our first channel – email, chat, and forms. Once you connect one or all of these channels you can see all the conversations on your left. Under ‘Conversations’, you also have Chat Flows, Snippets, and Templates.
Now, under ‘Marketing’, you can select ‘Ads’. With your HubSpot CRM, you can connect all your Google, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook ad campaigns. A great thing about the HubSpot CRM software is that they provide demos that you can watch to learn more about each feature.
Under ‘Marketing’, you can now select ‘Email’. With the free HubSpot CRM, you can send out 2000 emails a month, create 5 smart lists and 25 static lists.
You can also have a look at ‘Landing Pages’ and ‘Social’ under Marketing. We have video tutorials to help you create a landing page for free with HubSpot.
Step 10: Create Deals
Now, if you click on ‘Deals’ under ‘Sales’, you can create a winning sales pipeline. You can edit pipelines here and add value according to your requirements.
By clicking on ‘Import’ on top-right, you can import your sales pipeline or just select ‘Create deal’. A lot of this is under the paid plan so we’ll exit out of that for now.
Step 11: Manage Tasks
Under ‘Sales’, you’ll find ‘Tasks’. Select it to create tasks, manage tasks, and interact with your team. To create a new task, just head over to ‘Create task’ and click on it. Add the appropriate information and assign it to your team members. Overall, it’s a great place to engage with your team.
Apart from that, you can also upload documents by selecting ‘Documents’ from ‘Sales’.
Step 12: Manage Meetings and Connect Calendar
You’ll find ‘Meetings’ from the ‘Sales’ drop-down. This is where you can connect your Google calendar or Office 365 calendar with your HubSpot CRM. You can also check out other paid features such as ‘Playbooks’ and ‘Quotes’ under Sales.
Step 13: Create Tickets
You can create tickets on HubSpot CRM software by selecting ‘Tickets’ under ‘Service’. If you have any issues with your customers, this is where you can raise tickets. You can create filters and add information around those here. Moreover, you can add a date and priority for each ticket raised.
Step 14: Library Dashboard
In HubSpot’s free CRM, you will find Analytics Tools under ‘Reports’. This is where you can track your analytics on your website so you can understand what your visitors or customers are doing. Again, a lot of this is only available on the paid version.
Head back to ‘Reports’ and click on ‘Dashboard’. This is where you can create, manage, and view your dashboard – everything that’s happening within your CRM. You can also create your own dashboard here with the reports that are important to your business.
It’s essentially a great place to manage all your reporting.
HubSpot Tutorial for Beginners
That is essentially everything you need to know to get started with HubSpot. With the free version, you can add unlimited users, have unlimited data, and add up to a million contacts. When you’re ready to expand, you can just upgrade to s paid plan at any time.
If you are a beginner and want to understand the steps visually, I will walk you through HubSpot’s free CRM in this Video Tutorial for beginners.