Discover seven use cases for Operations Hub and see how its advanced data handling and automation will take away your admin, save you time, and improve your business.
Say goodbye to boring admin, repetitive tasks, and dirty data. While you’re at it, why not set up some codeless integrations and exception handling for those times when you or someone on your team needs to step in and make the right decision on something in real-time?
Unlike the department-specific Hubs like Marketing Hub or Sales Hub, HubSpot’s Operations Hub has the ability to transform the way your teams work across your whole business. This is because at its core, Operations Hub is really an extension of powers in the HubSpot CRM.
In a nutshell, Operations Hub works by leveraging the data from your CRM — and any other systems you use — to automate any kind of repetitive, administrative tasks normally undertaken by you or any of your teams and enable real-time decision-making.
So what does this look like in practice? To help you visualise what Operations Hub can do and how you can benefit, here are seven use cases demonstrating exactly that.
Prefer to read about Operations Hub’s product features first? This article will help.
USE CASE #1: Make spreadsheets obsolete
Let's say you're looking at your company’s data and you want to answer a question that HubSpot’s standard dashboards don’t answer because the columns don’t exist in-platform.
- Perhaps your salespeople are exporting information out of HubSpot because they need to find out how many contacts have been associated with a deal.
- Or maybe they’re trying to work out the number of days between the start-date and end-date of a quote.
In order to do that they have to export the data, go into Excel, and actually build some formulas in an extra column. Ops Hub means they can do all this inside of HubSpot instead.
Simply create a data set and it will allow you to add formulas, which are effectively more columns. You don't have to export your data. You don't have to build the formulas manually in a spreadsheet. You don't need to copy and paste anything or leave HubSpot at all.
If you need to make decisions based on any kind of data and you only have it once you've exported it and handled it, that's a huge manual drain on your time and resources.
If it's live in HubSpot, you can run automation off the data in there to tell you there's a decision here to be made, now, in real-time.
USE CASE #2: Reduce dirty data
Sometimes people will write their name lower-case when they fill out a form. When they do, that lower-case spelling is going straight in your CRM, where it will filter through to your emails and anywhere else that pulls a more personal greeting from your contact records.
Or perhaps they’ve formatted their telephone number in a way that’s inconsistent with how your CRM needs it to be presented.
Small ‘errors’ like this might not seem like a big deal but when you use your data in your marketing and wider business operations every day, you never know where they’ll crop up.
Of course, you could go through all your data manually looking for errors like this and fixing them yourself, but who’s got time for that with a database of 10,000?
Operations Hub’s workflow tool solves this neatly, across all your data, by giving you the ability to autocorrect these kinds of mistakes with the click of a button.
Don’t miss: How to Clean You CRM Data in 7 Simple Steps
USE CASE #3: Create custom coded actions
A workflow is only as good as the responses it enables.
Using Operations Hub, you can actually put code into your workflows. So if a lead does X or goes down Y route, you can code any kind of trigger response you want — even if that includes making an API call to another system to pull information from somewhere else.
You’re effectively saying to HubSpot “when this trigger happens, tell that system to change”. It does it based on the user/buyer interaction and it does it live, in real-time, opening up an almost limitless range of new possibilities across your sales and marketing.
BONUS: Set up codeless integrations
As well as supporting custom coding, Operations Hub also enables codeless integrations. Non-developers rejoice — this means you don't need to do development to set up integrations between HubSpot and your other backend systems — it's just a handshake.
You might want to configure rules about what information passes where and when. And if there's a clash, a conflict in the data, you can choose which system automatically wins.
USE CASE #4: Improve sales performance
It used to be quite typical for marketing managers to produce a spreadsheet at the end of the month of all the leads that have been generated and pass it across to the sales team.
But by the time this reaches the sales team, it’s far too late to be of any use to them.
Now, if Operations Hub was in place to serve this information to Sales as it happens, your salespeople can use it to take meaningful actions — and quickly, while the lead is hot.
This use case clearly applies to Sales but in reality, wherever there’s something happening in the data that can be surfaced by a trigger, say a numerical threshold, then using Ops Hub you can set up a trigger, enabling decisions can be made — in this case, prospects engaged — in real time.
USE CASE #5: Strengthen client services
Looking beyond the sales team to services, it’s quite common for there to be a whole load of manual admin that the client services team needs to complete when a new deal closes.
While this will vary from business to business, it generally looks like:
- Information gathering
- Documenting everything in spreadsheets
- Creating new client folders in GDrive (or corresponding platform)
- Chasing business development reps/salespeople for additional information
- Perhaps there’s been special payment terms agreed, an unusual invoicing schedule or unique contract length, impacting the way the business services the client
At the point the deal closes, this information should all be in HubSpot already, spread across contact fields, company fields, deal fields, and within the quote itself. The services team has to manually gather and record all this information because they didn’t have Operations Hub before and that’s how they’ve always done it. Now, Operations Hub will do it all for them.
It does this by automatically gathering and populating all the data points the service rep needs using its IPaaS (integration platform as a service) to effectively say “when these conditions are met, create a Google Sheet and insert this information”.
Did you know…
This functionality makes Operations Hub and Service Hub the perfect match. Between them, it’s never been easier for service reps to report on all manner of business-critical data, from the different contract types coming through to how long onboarding is typically taking — ideal for proving the value service delivers and improving customer experience.
Don’t miss: 8 Service Hub Use Cases for First-Time Users
USE CASE #6: Commission calculations
Commission calculations can be a particularly sensitive task, especially if your commission structure is complicated. In practice, this often looks like — you guessed it — a spreadsheet full of complex formulas.
This means it’s somebody’s responsibility to build the spreadsheet, create the formulas, process the equations, pass the spreadsheet across for someone else to validate… You can practically hear the inefficiency at every turn. And this is assuming mistakes don’t happen.
When they do, the salesperson impacted won’t find out until payday itself when they take a look at their paycheck and are disappointed to see it hasn’t gone through correctly.
Somebody then has to revisit the spreadsheet, unpick the equations, and discover where the mistake lies — usually an incorrect number added in or a deal missed altogether.
Operations Hub turns all this stress and admin on its head.
Your calculations all live in HubSpot and they all update live, as deals happen. So at any given time, a sales rep could jump into HubSpot and see their commission figures in real-time rather than waiting a month to discover the most recent deals aren't even in there.
USE CASE #7: Exception handling
Let's say you've got a contact who converted on a form using the company's .com address, generating a contact record and a company record.
If that contact gets back in touch using a different email address, HubSpot won’t be able to match them, so it will create another company record.
This isn’t usually a big deal — in most cases, you will just go into the CRM and merge them. But what happens if there are multiple email addresses in use for a reason? Email addresses that shouldn't be merged, for example different regions or divisions?
Instead, they need to be turned into a parent-child relationship. This is where real life tests the limit of modern automation capabilities and finds it wanting. In a situation like this, you really want the situation to be reviewed and resolved by a human, not a machine.
When something like this happens in your data that doesn't conform to your normal workflows, you can use Operations Hub to have it flagged up for exception handling.
Operations Hub handles this by enabling you to set up a custom workflow to identify the owners of the different companies and flag up to an account manager or other responsible person that they need either merging or associating as a parent-child relationship. It's not merging them mindlessly or leaving them disconnected, neither of which is appropriate.
Another example of this could be when you have multiple companies with the same name but using different domains. It's one company, but should they all be merged or should they be parent and child? It can't tell, so it routes it to the account holder for human intervention.