It has been our great pleasure to implement HubSpot for UK accountancy firms and see the huge difference this software can make to a business.
With the current situation (early 2020) many firms are using this time to re-evaluate how they do business. Processes that enable staff to work from home have been at the forefront of many minds, and, being cloud-based, HubSpot absolutely meets that need.
But HubSpot enables firms to go beyond just being able to do the same work in remote locations.
HubSpot enables firms to automate processes with the aim of doing more work with the same team, whilst simultaneously improving both employee and customer satisfaction.
And, in an industry that relies very heavily on reputation and word of mouth for sales and recruitment, employee and customer satisfaction should be the focal point of any accountancy firm business strategy.
Here's a run-down of some of the ways HubSpot can be used to improve business processes, accelerate sales and improve customer retention in UK accountancy firms:
1. Access to ALL client data
HubSpot allows you to set up as many user-defined fields (properties) as you need in order to run your business. VAT registration details, company year end and more.... You can set up fixed choices through radio buttons, check boxes and drop downs, or allow free text and document uploads where flexibility is needed.
You can customise the properties that are visible to the user on company records, contact records, tickets and deals.
And you can create reports and devise automation based on your own user-defined fields.
No more fiefdoms of information.
No more multiple versions of the truth contained in copies of spreadsheets.
No more missed opportunities to sell and service clients.
No more effort to create MI for board meetings.
2. Automation to accelerate sales
Do you find yourself constantly asking your team "What happened to that sales opportunity for Company X" or "When did we last speak to client Y?"
There are four features of HubSpot that will help:
- User-defined dashboard reporting
HubSpot enables you to set up your own dashboards to report on marketing, sales and service work for your team / location / client set. These can be exported as a PDF on a regular basis, or viewed on line with the added benefit of drill-down capabilities. All information in the dashboards is literally up to the minute.
- Automated reminders - never miss an action
HubSpot allows you to set up reminders for tasks / deals / service tickets that are beyond your set service levels. So, if a deal doesn't move forward within a defined time period or a client issue is not resolved quickly, the right people are alerted to do something about it.
- Meetings link to improve efficiency
Does your team waste time going back and forth to set up a meeting with potential clients?
The meetings link function in HubSpot provides clients with access to view and book available time. Simply keep your google or outlook calendar up to date, set some parameters for meeting lengths and the time you'd like between meetings, and let your clients choose a slot that suits them. To see how this works (and book a slot with one of us) click on the link at the end of this article).
- List management for opportunity spotting
Use HubSpot to automatically maintain lists of potential prospects. The list tool enables you to set parameters for ideal prospects for each service line. As you add new contacts into the database, they will automatically be added to the appropriate list(s) for you to prospect.
3. Fully integrated automated ticketing system
HubSpot's Service enables accountancy firms to record, manage and report on all client requests in a systematic way. Service tickets can be automatically routed to the right team / person, and their progress can be monitored though visual dashboards and reporting.
We automated the creation of tickets for VAT returns and year end processing for one firm of accountants with some outstanding benefits. Here's what we set up:
- Instead of referring to a large complex spreadsheet to understand what work needed to be done when and by whom, tickets are created automatically and emails sent to the right people at the right time.
- The ticket information is linked to the CRM for a complete history of activity and full information about that client.
- At the start of the process, personalised client emails are automated to remind them to provide the relevant information. They look like 1:1 emails that have been manually generated and contain all the necessary details.
- If clients do not reply to email requests within a certain time, an automatic reminder is sent to them. No more having to remember to chase up clients!
- As soon as a client replies, the ticket moves to the next stage and the accountant is informed by email that the ticket is ready for them to work.
- Approval stages are built into the process.
- When the work (VAT return or year end) is completed there is the option to send a customer satisfaction survey which is a simple score.
All in all, this is a very smooth process that enables accountants to spend more time doing the job the qualified for and less time on administrative actions.
4. Online help for employees
Keep employees productive by ensuring they have access to helpful information and the ability to raise tickets for IT, telephone or other problems that get in the way of them doing their job.
Just as HubSpot Service can be used for clients, it can also be used to provide efficient support services for employees. And the knowledge-based can be used to store documents, videos and guides to provide self-service password-protected online help.
5. Online document e-signatures
HubSpot's quotes module is integrated with HelloSign to provide a seam-free approach to online signatures. Signed documents are stored within HubSpot, but can be exported or printed if needed.
6. Mobile app to work on the go
Business card scanning and sales opportunity updates are just two of the features of the HubSpot mobile app. As soon as you scan a business card, the details are set up as a contact in the CRM and you can start to record details of any sales opportunities.
7. Fully integrated marketing
HubSpot is synonymous with Inbound Marketing and provides blogging, social, forms, CTAs, email, PPC, website analytics and a host of other marketing tools.
The great thing about these tools from an accountancy firm's point of view is the control you have over who gets what.
- No more sending irrelevant emails to clients.
- Easy to approve, schedule and send social posts direct from Partners and Managers (without having their personal LinkedIn log in details).
- Easy to identify up-sell and cross-sell opportunities from the database
- Integration with tools such as Eventbrite and Go To Webinar for event management
- Templates, wizards and tutorials for fast, easy set-up
- Single set of images that can be accessed by all marketing tools
- Online help, lessons, videos, guides and 24x7 support
8. 360 degree view of the client
Last, but by no means least.....this one is so simple, yet so very powerful.
When anyone in your firm views a contact or a company, they can see - ON ONE SCREEN - all of the following:
- basic information
- associated deals and full details
- associated service tickets and full details
- all emails between you and the client (even if you sent them from Outlook or gmail)
- all notes
- all calls (even call recordings!)
- all tasks and their status
- visits by clients to your website showing pages viewed, links clicked
- marketing emails, social posts and blog posts viewed and clicked
So, if you're trying to sell a new service line, you can see any outstanding service tickets and gauge whether or not this is the right time to contact them to sell more!
Or, if a client raises a query, you can see record any potential sales opportunities.
And something everyone loves - access to the CRM is free! You pay for marketing, service and sales functionality but after that, anyone in your firm who wants to view information can do so absolutely free of charge!
All in all, HubSpot is proven software for accountancy firms that delivers real benefit, not just client record keeping functionality.
If you'd like to find out more about HubSpot, eg:
- get a demonstration,
- talk to us about using HubSpot in your firm,
- get some HubSpot training and/or
- leverage our HubSpot implementation experience