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HubSpot CRM for Law Firms: Best Practices for Success

by Kevin Vermeulen • May 17th, 2023 • Marketing Technology | Blog

HubSpot is one of the best CRM systems available. Paired with a robust inbound marketing platform, HubSpot makes it easier to increase your firm’s awareness and reduce the time spent tracking down data and contact information. That being said, the tool is an investment. Are you getting the most out of yours? We’ve worked with law firms of all sizes, and have discovered several best practices from those who make the most of their HubSpot CRM.

How HubSpot Can Impact Your Law Firm 

1. HubSpot lists

Lists are a truly valuable tool for both your marketing and business development purposes. They can help you to ensure you’re not spending resources on leads that won’t convert. They also prioritize leads and help users to maintain data hygiene. These lists should be active and part of your automated processes. You can use folders to organize, and begin by splitting lists into “client” and “sanitation” folders. Client lists can be put through further segmentation for marketing and sales efforts, while sanitation lists need more work to be valuable (incomplete contact data will go into these lists and folders). You can (and should) make lists for all sorts of campaigns and purposes, but we suggest starting with:

  1. Clients who are well-positioned for an upgrade in services or crossover services
  2. Contacts who fit a certain role in their company that makes them ideal for nurturing
  3. Clients who have expressed dissatisfaction or a low NPS score
  4. People who you’ve determined aren’t a good fit for your firm and need to be cleared out during data cleansing
  5. Contacts that are missing vital pieces of information needed to market to them (that will be sent over to marketing for more work)
  6. Contacts or companies who’ve recently hit a certain lead score threshold (such as a score of 100)

2. Reports and dashboards

HubSpot CRM offers several pre-populated reporting options which can be helpful, but you’ll want to generate custom reports for deeper dives on data. Creating custom reports and dashboards will help you to get access to actionable insights. You can use their report builder to create robust dashboards that are more tailored to your firm’s needs. However – your access to reports isn’t unlimited. Your dashboard should be composed of the reports that are most useful to your firm. Here are some good ones to consider: 

  1. Sessions to client
  2. Contacts to client
  3. Current lifecycle stage count
  4. New contacts by source
  5. Contact lifecycle pipeline
  6. Average days to close
  7. Active campaigns
  8. Organic keywords
  9. Contacts by lifecycle stage and/or client persona
  10. Contacts filtered by “became a” client date

3. Custom properties and lead scoring 

Properties are the fields that are used to store and understand all of the data stored in your system. HubSpot CRM is already able to collect basic information across contact, company, and deal records, but you’ll need custom properties as well. Those are fields that help you to collect more data on contacts. You can use them in forms to collect data or they can be updated manually within the tool. You should also make sure you’re taking advantage of the lead scoring options. This is one of the best ways to identify “hot leads” based on behavior. Remember that you can give actions a positive or negative impact on overall lead score. Lead scoring can get pretty complex, but the goal is a more streamlined method to assist your sales team in prioritizing and qualifying leads. 

4. Business development pipeline 

Similar to properties, there is a default business development pipeline option. If that doesn’t work for your team, though, you can customize it. Your business development pipeline should be actually useful, and in order for that to be true you need a formalized sales process with the team’s buy-in. Other best practices include making sure that each stage in the pipeline is one that future clients actually touch, and that everyone is diligent in updating their opportunities and the pipeline. Keep it simple and ensure everyone is properly trained in how to use and read the sales pipeline. 

5. Workflows and automation

Even the most savvy marketers can get intimidated by workflows, but they are an important way to set, clear, or update properties based on dependent properties. Setting up workflows is one of the best ways to ensure that things don’t fall through the cracks of your client journey. Automation is particularly helpful for email workflows like welcome and nurturing sequences, and for setting up tasks, reminders, and follow-up prompts for the sales team. That being said, not everything should be automated. Ask yourself the following questions before you automate a process: 

  1. Will my data be as accurate as if I handle the process manually?
  2. Is the process truly a burden on my team?
  3. Is the process formalized or will automating only try to add structure to an unformalized process?

Workflows must begin with a trigger that then ‘triggers’ an action to happen. Think of the structure as something like ‘If X happens, then Y happens’. Some types of workflows that are useful are:

  1. Sending an email drip campaign to specific lists
  2. Assigning leads to certain owners
  3. Updating lifecycle stages of leads
  4. Setting up internal notifications
  5. Send a welcome email

6. Chat with Prospects

You can enable live chat on your website through HubSpot. This way, you can allow your business development team to chat with prospects and move them down the marketing funnel.

7. Leverage ABM

HubSpot offers a range of built in ABM tools:

  • Segment lists into targeted companies and contacts
  • Keep track of campaigns on reports and dashboard
  • Set up your CRM integration, migration, and configuration so that you can track and manage the time it takes to move leads into an active conversation with business development

8. Clean Up Contacts

You can easily merge duplicate contacts or mass delete contacts. Consider adding a filter to view only contacts that have hard bounced, not engaged, or not visited your website, and then mass deleting them. You can also use HubSpot’s merge tool to merge any duplicate contacts.

9. Assign Contacts to Personas

You can enter any personas you’ve created into HubSpot and then associate certain contacts with these personas. You can manually do this on your own or in the future you can add a field to your forms that will indicate which persona a person is.

10. Work with a HubSpot Solutions Partner

If you’re not getting the most out of HubSpot or want more hands-on help, you can work with a HubSpot Solutions Partner. They can assist you with onboarding and setup, or simply help you get the most out of the platform.

Takeaway: 

HubSpot is a very sophisticated platform that offers so many opportunities to streamline your sales and marketing efforts. It’s important not to get bogged down in details and start with these quick wins. Begin with these five areas and build more programs from there. It’s often a challenge to make sure your marketing technology is delivering a return on investment. It’s worth having an expert review your environment to ensure you’re choosing the right marketing technology and using it in the way that’s most effective for your firm. 

Is your firm using HubSpot but not getting the value you expected out of it? Are you considering using HubSpot as your CRM but are nervous about setup and onboarding? As the leading HubSpot Partner in the legal industry, we have worked with many different law firms to help them to get the most of their HubSpot investment. Contact us today for help.  

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