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3 min read

Optimizing Revenue Operations: 5 HubSpot Documentation Tips You Need To Know

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Documentation. Few like doing it, and few do it well, especially in the tech world, where speed is always of the essence. And HubSpot instances tend to grow organically, rapidly, and with many hands touching, resulting in an undecipherable mess. Maintaining HubSpot documentation for your revenue operations function is essential – especially if your company is rapidly growing and your processes keep expanding in complexity.

Good HubSpot systems documentation makes changing and updating your processes easier, onboarding new team members quicker, and handling transitions clearer, particularly during sudden or unexpected personnel departures.

While it is usually possible to determine what purpose a HubSpot workflow serves or how a particular property value is being used by digging into the data, you save significant time and effort by simply referring to a document or spreadsheet. We recommend spreadsheets over docs for documentation (with Google tools being our tools of choice), although wiki-type pages will also work if your organization uses tools like Atlassian Confluence or Clickup with such functionality.

Here we dive into five tips for creating solid documentation that makes it easier to maintain your CRM and revenue operation processes on an ongoing basis:

1. Create Definitions

The first thing you should document is the definitions and use cases for key indicators, such as lifecycle stage, lead status, and unique properties for your company which not only gives you a reference for how these should be used but provides an opportunity to evaluate how your definitions are determined when things go awry. 

This exercise helps you structure your automation (or allow you to identify opportunities to revise or optimize), and it will enable documenting your marketing > sales > support handoff process, which plays a crucial role in effective automation maintenance.

2. Document Workflows

Next, you’ll want to document your workflows – yes, even if you’re starting out and only have one or two set up.

You’ll want to include the workflow's name, the URL, how it's triggered, and what purpose it serves. Additionally, it is helpful to document any crucial properties it is updating or controlling. For more compact workflows, you can be more precise: e.g., “sets the property to value x), while for more complicated workflows, you can just describe the purpose it serves in your ecosystem–such as “qualifies and routes leads based on form submission."

For workflows that send notifications, it is helpful to document who receives the notifications and how they are sent (e.g., Slack or email).

HUGE TIP: Using the unpopular Microsoft Edge can save significant time here, as URLs copied from this browser paste with the page title as the link text instead of the address. For some reason, this functionality does ot work on Chrome. This way, you won’t need separate columns for Workflow Name and URL.

3. Document Properties and Other Assets

Organizations that rely heavily on custom properties should document them and their purpose. In the case of selection-type properties, you should record available options unless it's immediately apparent – for example, the options in a “Referral Partner” property would usually be self-explanatory. You can note these in the same way as workflows.

You can also document landing pages, emails, sequences –  any other asset type found in HubSpot – but documenting your workflows and properties is most important.

4. Perform Periodic Maintenance

Regardless of how extensive the documentation you create is, it will rapidly decline in its usefulness if it is not maintained. Ideally, every time a change occurs to a documented asset type, the documentation should be updated to reflect the change, whether it’s a workflow update, a new workflow, or a new property. 

If only it were that easy.

Maintaining updated documentation is incredibly challenging, especially in smaller organizations where one person handles multiple portfolios. In most cases, the need to execute will take priority over documenting work. And even where teams are on deck and know they should make consistent updates, this will only sometimes happen. People get busy, lazy, and just plain forget.

Fortunately, HubSpot makes executing periodic documentation maintenance projects easy, which can be a quarterly task. For everything but properties, you can use the “Created On” and “Updated On” values to determine if documentation for a given asset needs to be updated. Sadly, you won't know created and updated information for HubSpot propeties.

HubSpot doesn’t provide this information for properties, so staying on top of property documentation is essential. However, since you won’t be creating or changing that many properties, the section of your documentation will age the slowest.

5. Make Sure There’s an Owner

It's essential to determine in advance who will own the documentation and manage updates. Who that person is will depend on your team size and structure, mainly if multiple teams are involved. Assets used by sales and marketing get intermixed within HubSpot. Maintenance work may only get done if each team has operations personnel if a specific owner is assigned.

Also, leadership should know that this person is responsible for updating documentation, and keeping it current should be treated as one of their KPIs.

Need Help Making Sense of Your HubSpot?

Whether your organization has recently undergone changes and needs help understanding what’s going on in HubSpot or your HubSpot has grown organically and your entire team is afraid of it, you’ve come to the right place. Do you need your workflows and properties audited and documented? We'd be happy to help.

We’ve been helping SaaS companies get the most out of the HubSpot platform for years and will happily work with you to review your assets, determine which ones are important and which aren’t, and identify opportunities for optimizing your implementation. Get in touch today!

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