(Update: when we originally created this HubSpot audit checklist, we were mostly working with Marketing Hub and the CRM, so the recommendations are mostly relevant to those Hubs. Now that we’re commonly working across the full suite of the platform, we’ve added steps for more Hubs, and will continue to update this as needed.)
If you’ve recently taken over responsibility for managing your company’s HubSpot account – or it’s just been a minute since the last HubSpot portal cleanup – it’s time for an audit.
It might not sound like the most fun thing in the world, but a methodical audit of your HubSpot portal will establish a more organized contact database, easier segmentation, cleaner data for analysis and better overall performance.
Having conducted our share of HubSpot audits over the years across the full suite of Hubs, we’ve internalized our process and could likely do much of this in our sleep. (Alright, maybe not in our sleep, although I can say I’ve had at least one HubSpot audit dream. Don’t judge.)
While every portal is different and audits are not 100% one-size-fits-all (especially when it comes to the different Hubs) there are certain areas that, from a starting point, we always inspect when we’re taking a look under the hood. If you’re looking to audit your HubSpot portal, feel free to use this checklist to make sure you’re covering your bases.
(Note: the following checklist assumes a working familiarity with HubSpot and related terminology. If the HubSpot/inbound lingo is making this difficult to follow, pull this glossary up for reference.)
Contacts and companies are the bedrock of an effective database and should be cleaned up regularly (quarterly is often a good cadence).
To get a sense of how well things are organized – and how much cleanup work you may have in front of you – start by pulling up your contacts and companies and looking for a few things:
Are your contacts accurately tagged with their current lifecycle? (Subscriber, lead, MQL, SQL etc.?)
Have all leads been assigned owners?
Are hard bounces, unsubscribes and old, unengaged contacts being regularly purged?
Are duplicate contacts and companies being managed and merged on a regular basis?
You might be wondering if doing all of this is really necessary. Short answer: yes, someone should be in charge of this. Regularly cleaning up your contacts and companies will improve reporting accuracy, minimize graymail and optimize email deliverability.
For actionable tips on how to tackle this step, check out the following posts:
Buyer personas are key to effective targeting, segmentation and personalization – and HubSpot has a tool for them built right into the platform.
Make sure your personas are uploaded, and if it’s been a while since they’ve been updated, sit down with folks on the front lines of sales to make sure all of the info is current.
Are your personas still representative of all the target audiences you’re trying to reach?
Are there any new personas that should be added?
Have you updated your personas with any new demographic and psychographic insights you’ve gained since you last developed them?
Once your personas have been refreshed as needed and the updates are reflected in your HubSpot personas tool, check to make sure you have a method for tagging contacts with their persona in your HubSpot database.
There are a few ways to do this that don’t involve individually updating each contact, and these can be done in combination:
Do a bulk import of your contacts with the persona column updated. (All contacts already present in your database will be de-duplicated if their email address is the same – they’ll just have their persona field updated.)
Create workflows that tag contacts as personas based on behaviors or contact properties. (For example, update all contacts with job title Sales VP to Sales Steve.)
Include a self-select role or job title field in contact forms and toggle it to the persona contact property.
For more help creating and refining buyer personas, check out:
Chances are that email plays a big role in your marketing and sales efforts. HubSpot provides a number of helpful ways to analyze your email open and click rates to ensure you’re getting the most from this channel.
As you review your email metrics, consider these in context of industry benchmarks to understand where you’re doing well and where you need to focus efforts for improvement.
For example, according to Mailchimp benchmarks, the average business email open rate is 21.56% and click rate 2.72%. You can also measure your success against rates for your specific industry. For instance, consulting averages at 20.13% and 2.49%, respectively. How do your metrics compare to your industry benchmarks?
If this requires attention or you’re just looking to get from good to better, develop some goals for improvement and plot your plan to get there. Most likely, this will incorporate some mix of
Database cleanup (see above)
Personalization, including smart rules
Consistent iterating and A/B testing of different types of subject lines and send times
Testing different messaging, CTA and content formats
If working properly, your lead scoring system should accurately rank prospects according to their sales-readiness.
Start by reviewing the triggers to see if anything jumps out as missing or weighted incorrectly. If someone else set up the lead scoring years ago and you’re looking at a rat’s nest, consider starting over from scratch. If the scoring system looks overly basic, think about adding or updating your scoring attributes based on engagement recency, and if you haven’t already, consider weighing certain web pages differently based on what intent they signal (e.g. pricing vs. careers).
If you’re using HubSpot CMS, or Marketing Hub to host landing pages and/or a blog, pull up all active templates to ensure that usage of creative assets such as fonts, colors and imagery is consistent across your properties.
Identify and address any navigation inconsistencies across pages and domains/subdomains and take this opportunity to assess your templates for layout and design. Take note any templates that could stand to be updated or refreshed for a better user experience.
HubSpot users should take advance of the integration with Google Search Console so that data from Google searches is being funneled into your SEO tool. (If you’re not familiar with Google Search Console, this free tool lets you see search metrics such as average position in search and the number of clicks and views your site receives for given search terms.)
Confirm that Google Search Console is connected to HubSpot to integrate search data so that you have a complete line of sight to SEO and content performance.
If you haven’t used it yet, consider utilizing HubSpot’s pillar page/topic cluster tool (Marketing -> Planning and Strategy -> SEO -> Topics) to build authority for topics of relevance. Using this tool is an effective way to make sure you’re linking back and forth between pillar pages and related blogs, and it provides data into your performance for targeted topics.
If this tool isn’t being used or the topics are outdated, give yourself a task to do some keyword research for new pillar pages.
HubSpot also analyzes your blog and provides optimization recommendations (Marketing -> Planning and Strategy -> SEO -> Recommendations), including word count, meta descriptions and more.
Document any recommendations that look applicable – especially those tagged high impact.
Reviewing the performance of your forms and CTAs provides a good view of how well your lead capture assets are optimized for conversions.
Use your HubSpot analytics tools to analyze the performance of both your forms and CTAs and make a note of where performance needs the most improvement. For example, organic search conversion rate is usually around 1-2%.
If you’re under that, consider adding CTAs and/or gated content to high-traffic blogs and pages to convert more visitors
For underperforming forms, consider removing unneeded fields to remove friction
For underperforming CTAs, create a plan to test and measure different iterations of the CTA by tweaking the color, copy and placement (one variable at a time)
Step 10. Archive Unused Assets and Organize Active Assets
Review and archive any old and unused forms, lists and workflows. If you have a high number of these assets that are active, make a note to create folders and use a systematized naming convention as this will allow for more organized and efficient usage for your team. This may feel like busy work while you’re doing it, but you’ll be saving time and preventing confusion in the long run.
To get the full potential from the Sales Hub and use it as a reliable forecasting tool, it’s critical to maintain an accurate, up-to-date deals pipeline. On a quarterly cadence, review the following:
Are deals being added and updated with the needed information by all sales reps?
Are there any deals that are older, have no recent activity and/or are well past their close date that should be moved to closed no decision or closed lost?
Are deals being titled and organized in a standardized way?
Are revenue and close dates correct?
Compare actual vs expected conversion rates between deal stages; are any updates needed to make this more accurate?
Step 2. Assess Sequences Performance
While the Sequences tool is a great way to automate and scale prospecting efforts, it’s not a set it and forget it situation. Like any sales cadences, this should be regularly reviewed and tested to continue improving results. Have the sales team use the analyze tab on the Sequences tool to regularly assess and compare performance between their cadences. If a certain cadence is seeing exceptionally higher engagement rates, be sure to share that across the team.
Step 3. Audit Sales Activities
Most sales teams have a defined set of activities that need to be tracked in HubSpot. This might include tracking calls, emails, meetings and notes. Typically managers will want to set up reports that track these activities by sales rep. Use these as a starting point to audit if anything looks off or missing. Is anyone forgetting to log calls or track meetings?
Step 4. Products and Line Items (If Applicable)
This step will be most relevant for businesses that have a large and evolving product library. Over time, products and line items can become disorganized and confusing if a large sales team is creating and updating them in different ways — which can result in problems when attempting to pull reports, use quoting tools or other sales tool integrations that rely on line items. When auditing products and line items, pull a representative sample of deals with line items and note any discrepancies in how they’re being used.
Step 5. Clean Up Tasks and Task Queues
The moment a task list becomes outdated, overwhelming or confusing, you can expect users will stop using it. Make sure all tasks have correct owner assignments and due dates, that task details are clear and uniform and that there are no red flags in terms of excessive incomplete and overdue tasks for any users. If your sales team creates a high volume of tasks, this will need to be reviewed on a frequent basis – every month or so.
Service Hub Audit
Step 1. Audit Tickets Pipelines
Regularly reviewing your ticket pipelines helps ensures that your customers are people handled efficiently and that your customer success teams are staying current with the flow of support requests. When auditing tickets, be sure to note any tickets that appear to be overdue, missing critical information, have no activity or have been sitting in your team’s court for too long.
Step 2. Review Your Knowledge Base Engagement
Your Knowledge Base should be a continuously growing and evolving feature of your Service Hub. To ensure the updates are improving your customer experience, take time to review performance every three to six months depending on your volume. The Knowledge Base insights dashboard is a great tool to uncover insights about what your customers are struggling with and how you might add or update articles to better serve them. For example:
Are there articles with high bounce rates or that lead to tickets, suggesting they could be improved?
Are there any trends in search terms with no results that indicate new articles should be written to answer common questions?
Do any frequently searched terms signal something requires attention related to your product or service?
Step 3. Audit Surveys
Your surveys are useful to the extent that a) your customers are actually filling them out, and b) the responses are actionable.
Pull up your Feedback Surveys page:
Take a close look at the number of surveyed and the response rate. Are any surveys seeing a lower response rate, or a rate that’s decreasing over time? If so, drill down to see what might be happening.
Check with your customer success team to confirm if and how responses are being used to continue improving service. If there’s a disconnect or the responses aren’t especially instructive, consider replacing the survey with something more aligned with our service goals.
Taking the Next Step
Once you’ve gone through the steps above and noted the gaps and areas of lagging performance, there’s likely a lot of work to be done.
Acknowledge that you’ll probably need to chip away at this over time. Prioritize the updates by front-loading the work that will have the biggest impact, such as content that generates a lot of traffic but converts poorly.
Want a little help getting started? Get in touch for a free quick-start portal audit.
Charlie is the Chief Strategy Officer at Simple Machines Marketing. When he's not doing the marketing, he likes playing guitar, hanging with his family in Chicago and lots of other stuff too but this seems like a good amount for a blog bio.