8-MINUTE READ · By Edward Ford
Many marketers struggle with getting accurate and meaningful reports within HubSpot. Basic reports will only get you so far when it comes to analyzing the performance of all your marketing and sales efforts across the flywheel and their impact on revenue.
So how can you make the most of all your HubSpot data, get a clear overview of your marketing & sales performance, and improve your HubSpot reporting?
Whether you’re using HubSpot as an in-house marketer and want to increase visibility across your business, or you’re an agency marketer looking to better showcase the value of your work to clients, this post will help you get there.
What is closed-loop reporting?
Simply put, closed-loop reporting means aligning the data that the marketing team is collecting with the data the sales team is collecting. When the sales team updates the marketing team on the status of their leads, the marketing team better understands their best and worst lead sources. “Closing the loop” equips marketers with the knowledge they need to keep attracting high-quality leads that deliver a high ROI.
HubSpot closed-loop reporting means centralizing the data from across the flywheel, which in practice means your Marketing, Sales, and Support Hubs in HubSpot, which we’ll describe in more detail below.
The HubSpot Flywheel
1) Marketing Hub
This is where you access the content management system for your website and blog, workflows and automation, email, social management, landing pages, lead forms, chatbots, and funnel tracking.
2) Sales Hub
HubSpot’s freemium sales tools built around their CRM include automated sequences, activity logging, email templates, and pipeline tracking.
3) Support Hub
HubSpot’s customer service and success software allows you to manage relationships, provide a better CX, create support knowledge hubs, gain customer feedback, and increase retention.
Centralizing the data from these different hubs and getting closed-loop analytics allows you to create actionable plans. Since HubSpot offers a full platform of marketing, sales, and CRM software in one central place, closing the loop should be effortless, right?
As you’ve likely seen for yourself, it’s a little more complicated. While HubSpot has a wealth of advantages, you’re limiting yourself if you’re using HubSpot alone to get a complete overview of your flywheel’s performance.
The reporting limitations within HubSpot
Even within this one platform, your sales and marketing data is spread among different HubSpot tools. When going back and forth between different tabs in HubSpot, it’s easy to feel a little lost and overwhelmed. Looking at your sales and marketing data in isolation leads can lead to team silos, and it makes it hard to act upon the data—which is the whole point of collecting data in the first place.
While you can build basic reports in HubSpot, you’re limited when it comes to customization. Plus, you can’t enrich your native HubSpot reports with external marketing data from your other platforms. For example, if you’re running Instagram ads or auditing backlinks in SEMrush, you can only get the in-depth insights you need by checking the analytics separately in those two platforms.
Or what if you want to compare conversion rates by desktop vs. mobile devices for a particular landing page? You’ll have to do some manual work, digging the data out of Google Analytics and supplementing it with your HubSpot data.
With HubSpot, you’re also limited to single portal reporting. If you have data spread across different portals in HubSpot, you can’t easily blend all that data together to see your visits, contacts, customer, or revenue growth across different portals.
Ultimately, you’re partially blinded if you rely on HubSpot data alone. All these limitations make it hard to see the connection between marketing performance and ROI. So what’s a marketer to do?
How can you align your reporting with the flywheel framework?
HubSpot retired the funnel framework a couple of years ago in favour of a flywheel framework. In a nutshell, this framework is all about reducing friction between marketing, sales, and support teams to provide a more holistic customer experience. Whereas customers were seen as an afterthought in the funnel, they’re now the driving force in the flywheel.
Does your reporting align with this framework? Can you easily analyze the data from the different hubs and plan actions to grow with your customers?
To make HubSpot’s massive amount of data meaningful and accessible for both marketing and sales teams, it’s crucial to centralize your data.
Centralizing your HubSpot marketing & sales data
How do you go about centralizing your marketing and sales data within HubSpot?
Before doing anything else, consider your business objectives. Centralizing all of your data will only leave you scattered. If you’re tracking nine metrics at once, you’ll have a hard time following up with any of them.
Instead, focus your efforts by first finding your most important metric. This will be one that directly relates to your business objectives. Then, you’ll want to closely follow this metric.
Create custom reports
To easily track your key metric, create focused and actionable reports. For example, let’s say a number of meetings booked is your north star metric. And as proxy metrics, you want to monitor website traffic growth, content conversions, and the length of the sales cycle. You also want to know how your content is performing in different regions.
To get all the data you need, don’t limit yourself to HubSpot’s native functionality. Instead, you’ll want to blend data within HubSpot and your other marketing platforms by creating custom reports with HubSpot reporting integrations.
A product like Supermetrics allows you to pull data from HubSpot and multiple sources into a single spreadsheet—no flipping around between all your different marketing platforms.
Build automated dashboards
Automated HubSpot dashboards that refresh daily will help you better visualize your data, stay on top of your business objectives, and build transparency between you and your managers or clients.
Products like Supermetrics also allow you to pull all your HubSpot sales and marketing data together into Google Data Studio dashboards without any manual work. Simply choose the KPIs you want to follow, and measure your progress against your goal.
The benefits of HubSpot closed-loop reporting
Get accessible and meaningful data
Marketing reporting isn’t just about vanity metrics like page views and newsletter subscribers. Rather, it’s about getting an end-to-end overview of your flywheel’s performance so you can make more informed marketing decisions.
By combining all the data from HubSpot and your other marketing platforms, you can gain a holistic view of your sales cycle. For example, analyze the path that prospects take from visitor to customer to get a better understanding of your target audience’s needs and pain points. Ultimately, these insights will help you better nurture your prospects.
Monitor and adjust your goals
By setting specific goals and tracking your progress, you’re able to see what is and isn’t working. What’s going well? What areas need to be improved? Are your campaigns generating good-quality leads? Which channels are bringing in the best leads?
Easy-to-understand marketing reports will tell you where to focus your efforts. Without them, you’re just shooting in the dark. Set up reports to compare your current performance to last month’s performance, and adjust your goals when necessary.
Show the business impact of your work
Whether you’re reporting back to your manager or sharing results with your client, closed-loop reporting allows you to build authority and back up your marketing decisions.
Your executive team or CEO, for example, will want a high-level overview of how the work your team has been doing is impacting the company’s bottom line. Many HubSpot partner agencies have shifted from purely inbound services to provide full-funnel services and need to demonstrate business results. By combining marketing and sales data in clear reports, you can easily prove your marketing success. The business impact metrics you might want to report on include opportunities, pipeline generated, and revenue.
Better allocate your marketing budget
Where should you invest your marketing money? By centralizing your marketing and sales data, you can identify what channels are generating results and helping to grow your business.
Invest in the channels that are bringing in the most high-quality leads and stop wasting money on channels that simply aren’t worth it.
HubSpot + Supermetrics = The dream team
While the HubSpot platform is easy to use and great for basic reporting, marketers using it alone face some serious limitations.
But with Supermetrics, you can truly close the loop and create full-funnel reports that enrich your HubSpot metrics with data from all your other marketing platforms.
Why not try it for yourself? Sign up for a Supermetrics 14-day free trial and start effortlessly moving your HubSpot marketing and sales data into Google Sheets, Excel, and Data Studio.