Breaking Down the Barriers to HubSpot Adoption

What’s standing in the way of your users and your processes? Figuring this out is key to cracking adoption so your team is genuinely excited to use your new software.

Barriers. We all face them every day. When we’re talking about HubSpot adoption, they’re the things standing between your users and their willingness to embrace your new system. 

Understanding what those barriers look like and why they exist matters because they’re the things blocking your users from seeing how great HubSpot is. Take them away, and you won’t need to persuade anyone to use the platform because they’ll want to use it. 

When it comes to adopting HubSpot or any platform, this is a really important distinction. 

Approaching adoption with the aim of removing user barriers instead of trying to persuade your users to see through or climb over them is going to help everyone get to grips with your new platform. And as the person responsible for ensuring HubSpot is being used — properly — by everyone who needs it, it’s going to reflect well on you, too. So what are typical barriers to adoption and how can you break them down?

This article is an excerpt from our definitive guide to HubSpot CRM adoption. For more advice about maximising adoption, click to download your copy of the guide, available now


3 common barriers to adoption

For most people, barriers fall into three main categories. For people to change, they need to be capable of change, have the opportunity to change, and be motivated to change.

  1. Capability. Do they have the knowledge, the skills, or the experience to do what they need to do?
  2. Opportunity. Do they have the resources and the working environment they need? 
  3. Motivation. This is usually the most complex area, there are lots of factors at work: intentions, goals, emotion, positive or negative reinforcement, impact on their perception of their identity etc. 


How motivated are your users? 

When a user’s barrier is their capabilities, they can be trained or upskilled in the relevant areas. When their barrier is not having the opportunity to change, you can change that for them so they have everything they need in their work environment to adopt, adapt, and grow. 

But when a user’s barrier is their motivation, you really need to stop and think about what’s motivating (or demotivating) them when they’re faced with the new system, because it likely can’t be solved with a training session or a higher-spec laptop. When you approach IT adoption as a human process, you need to understand what makes your users tick. 

Consider the following:

  • Bob might not want to use the new hub because he’s worried he won’t be able to.
  • Mark might be six months from retirement and just doesn’t see the point in learning something new.
  • Kirsty may have been involved in the software decision-making process and voted against HubSpot, so she’s not keen on using it to prove a point. 

Each of these users might be doing the same job in the same department, but they all have different reasons for being reluctant to adopt the new system. 

To get all of them to change to your new solution you’ll need to consider solving for each person rather than a blanket approach generally addressing “a reluctance to change”.


How to motivate them

A one-size-fits-all approach won’t cut it. Take Bob from the example above. 

He’s worried that he won’t be able to use the new system. It might seem like the barrier here is related to capability, and it might seem like providing training will be the solution. In fact, the first barrier you need to consider is Bob’s motivation. If Bob goes into your training programme with the belief that he can do it, he’s much more likely to learn. 

Mark has no real reason to care and so no motivation to use the new system. You might position HubSpot as a way of making his last few months that much easier, but you might also lower your expectations around Mark’s adoption level, given the circumstances. 

Kirsty, her nose is out of joint. She might feel like her input’s been ignored. To help her see the value in your solution, you’ll need to understand why she was opposed to HubSpot. Then address those concerns to her satisfaction. She may become a powerful advocate. 


Barriers at the team and organisational level

Individual user’s barriers are not the only ones you’ll face. You also have to consider your teams and the organisation as a whole.

  • Is there a culture of not conforming?
  • Does everyone secretly store everything in Excel?
  • Is there a busy period coming up? 

To remove these barriers and make your HubSpot adoption initiative a success, you need to identify which ones are relevant to your users and work out strategies for addressing them.

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To break down your team’s barriers, conduct a needs assessment

A high user adoption rate starts well before you’ve decided which new platform you’ll implement (don’t worry if you’re already implementing HubSpot; it’s not too late!). 

Before you jump into introducing HubSpot, you need to carefully articulate why you’re considering implementing a new platform, listen to user feedback on the platforms that will be replaced, and ensure your users know how they’ll be involved in the process.

You can find out all about how to do this in the guide we’ve recently launched, ‘The Definitive Guide to HubSpot Adoption’. It’s free to download and you can get your copy now by clicking the image below.

Alternatively, if you’d rather just chat to someone, we’re always available to help. Pick up the phone or drop us a message and we’ll be in touch. No environment is too complex, no challenge too great for our Elite-tier HubSpot platform consultants, all of whom have helped businesses with sophisticated setups and tangled organisational structures streamline their onboarding to drive adoption rates that have made even the busiest CTO smile. 


Want to know more?

This article is an excerpt from our definitive guide to HubSpot CRM adoption. For more advice about maximising adoption, click to download your copy of the guide, available now. 


The Definitive Guide to HubSpot Adoption

Through helping hundreds of companies with HubSpot, we've developed a six-step framework to ensure you're maximising the chance of successful HubSpot adoption at every stage of your journey.