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HubSpot playbooks: What they are and how to use them (HubHeroes, Ep. 24)


Over the past two episodes, we've sunk our teeth into a meaty topic β€” sales enablement. Specifically, why most sales enablement strategies fail even with the best of intentions, and how you actually use HubSpot to scale sales enablement initiatives across your entire organization.

If you missed those two episodes, you can certainly listen to this one first. But if sales enablement is a pain point for your organization, you should definitely check them out:

For this week, we're going to stay on the HubSpot tools train because one of the hottest topics that came up during that part of our discussion was HUBSPOT PLAYBOOKS. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to dig into it properly, so we decided to dedicate an entire episode to one of the unsung HubHero tools in the HubSpot platform.

Especially since its applications extend far beyond sales enablement ... 

Screen Shot 2023-02-14 at 7.26.33 AM

Image credit: HubSpot

HubSpot playbooks are resource guides you can create within the platform for your teams and individual contributors (like someone in sales!) on specific topics, processes, or well pretty much anything you can think of. 

How powerful can a simple documentation tool be? Just you wait. You’re about to find out.

Because when Max asked last episode if we had enough to fill an entire episode about Playbooks, I gleefully replied:

β€œIt’s about playbooks for sales. It’s about playbooks for service. It’s about playbooks for marketing. It’s about playbooks for the entire organization.”

Let’s dig in! 

Here's what we cover in this episode ...

  • What do most folks get wrong about HubSpot playbooks?
  • What are HubSpot playbooks really, and how should they be used?
  • What is the importance of process in an organization?
  • Where's the line between overly bureaucratic processes and agile processes that help you scale effectively?
  • What are the ways you can use HubSpot playbooks for marketing?
  • What are the ways you can use HubSpot playbooks for sales?
  • What are the ways you can use HubSpot playbooks for service?

... and much more! 


If you have access to HubSpot playbooks, the only mistake you can ever make is to not use them in some way. Seriously, that's it. Make a commitment to processes, and look to HubSpot to help you do that at scale.



Intro: Do you live in a world filled with corporate data? Are you plagued by silo departments? Are your lackluster growth strategies demolishing your chances for success? Are you held captive by the evil menace, Lord Lack, lack of time, lack of strategy, and lack of the most important and powerful tool in your superhero tool belt, knowledge. Never fear hub heroes.

Get ready to don your cape and mask, move into action, and become the hub hero your organization needs. Tune in each week to join the league of extraordinary inbound heroes as we help you educate, empower, and execute. Hub heroes, it's time to unite and activate your powers. Before we begin, we need to disclose that both Devin and Max are currently employed by HubSpot at the time of this episode's recording. This This podcast is in no way affiliated with or produced by HubSpot, and the thoughts and opinions expressed by Devin and Max during the show are that of their own and in no way represent those of their employer.

Liz Moorehead: Welcome back to the hub here. Damn it, Max. We're leaving that in because your insubordination must be noted.

George B. Thomas: She said,

Max Cohen: damn it, Max.

Liz Moorehead: There's a delay. I will turn this station wagon around, so help me. I will pull over. Yeah. Okay.

You stay in there. Everybody else, the people who have not displeased me today, welcome back to the Hub Heroes podcast. I am Liz Murphy, your Hub Hero Wrangler and content strategist on call. I also have Max, the insubordinate. Devin, hey, bud.

Max Cohen: Hey.

Liz Moorehead: You never do anything wrong. And George, who apparently is gonna be giving us a

George B. Thomas: When I use words like fuddy duddy and things like that, and, Liz, you you call me on the carpet for am I 80? I'm gonna slip a word in in this episode, and everybody will understand what it is.

Liz Moorehead: You told me not to lollygag, and I thought you were also about to, like, slide a Werther's across the table and ask me to watch father Dowling this year.

George B. Thomas: Well, first of all first of all, don't be hating on the Werther's because my wife knows, like, every birthday, every Christmas, I need some Werthers. Like, those are dope candies right there. I'm just gonna throw that out there.

Liz Moorehead: Thank you for, keeping big Werthers afloat, keeping that part of the economy safe and secure.

George B. Thomas: Yeah. They were they're not sponsoring the show. Just so everybody knows.

Liz Moorehead: Not a shill for big Withers.

Max Cohen: Classic George. Just just chilling for big Carmel.

Liz Moorehead: Speaking of big caramel, over the past 2 weeks, we've sunk our teeth into a meaty topic. That's right. I segued like a swan and it was beautiful. Thank you, Devin. Thank you.

That's why you're the favorite. That's right. That's why you're the favorite. So over the past few weeks, we have been talking about sales enablement specifically why most sales enablement strategies fail even with the best of intentions or when people think they have quote unquote buy in and how you're actually supposed to be leveraging tools and technology to execute and say scale sales enablement strategies across your entire organization. Now if any of that sounds juicy to you, because when I was planning for this episode, I really wanted a steak.

So if it sounds juicy to you, I

George B. Thomas: highly recommend you. By the way, if it doesn't, just hit the stop button and go listen to another podcast.

Max Cohen: Just I

Liz Moorehead: heard that's a really great way to build listeners. Wow. All of you are punchy today.

Max Cohen: Yeah. One with less juice.

George B. Thomas: Because we like our podcast juicy. Just saying.

Max Cohen: We have the juice. Juice We have the juice.

Liz Moorehead: Or juice free. Go back to listen to the last two episodes of sales enablement is a problem in your business. But for this week, we're gonna stay on the technology side because one of the topics that came up in that last episode that we had, because we were all like, we gotta talk about HubSpot Playbooks. We gotta talk about HubSpot Playbooks. They're so freaking important.

It's the unsung hero of HubSpot tools. And then we didn't do that. And then we realized, maybe we should talk about it. Now for those of you who don't know, HubSpot playbooks are essentially resource guides you can create within the platform for different teams or individual contributors to use, like maybe someone in sales, on specific topics, processes, pretty much anything you can think of. Now, I am a knowledge management nerd and mouth breather.

So like when I read that, I'm like, that's amazing. I love it. That's awesome. But for many of you, you're like wonderful documentation. I'm so freaking excited.

You should be hyped about this and you're about to find out why. Because when Max asked at the end of the last episode if we actually had enough to fill the entire episode just talking about HUD Spot Playbooks. George was like step back and he was like it's about playbooks for sales. It's about playbooks for service. It's about playbooks for marketing.

It's about playbooks for the entire organization. It was like Oprah, he's You get a Pontiac G6 that you have to pay taxes for by yourself. Oh, yeah. You get a Pontiac G6 that you have to pay taxes for by yourself. And that is why we're here today.

George B. Thomas: Yeah.

Liz Moorehead: What are HubSpot playbooks really, and how do you actually use them?

Max Cohen: Yeah. So

Liz Moorehead: I'm gonna open up the floor with the first question. Why are we dedicating an entire episode to HubSpot Playbooks? Because there's something about the vision obviously that people are not catching. George, talk me through it.

George B. Thomas: Oh, well, so first of all first of all, I want everybody that's listening to know this is not gonna be just a sales specific episode. So we are gonna talk about sales name, but we're gonna talk about the this as playbooks as a sales tool, but everybody needs to realize, buckle up, hold on, that we're gonna talk about playbooks for service, playbooks for marketing, playbooks for an overarching just way to do several different things. For me, I think that playbooks are important, and the reason that dedicating an entire episode to it is because there are so many places that people are having conversations that vital information data, aka insights, things that can help us make smart decisions, create better content, or prove a better experience as we move forward. And they just get lost in the conversations because nobody is documenting in real time. Nobody has a thing that they can follow a lane.

Right? Like, if you think about the Wizard of Oz for a second, the reason that story works is because they could follow the yellow brick road. Do you and your HubSpot portal have a yellow brick road to the proper data in insights that you need? That's my question right now. If you're sitting here listening to this and you're like, I wish I had a yellow brick road, then keep on listening.

Devyn Bellamy: It is how you duplicate your success, and it's how you take your rock stars and make more rock stars. It's the foundation of greatness when it comes to your organization, getting everybody on the same page. There's so many different opportunities for training in so many different ways that I've seen different places do training. One of my favorites, however, was an Asana project that linked out to HubSpot Playbooks. It was beautiful.

And you're going down this checklist of things you need to know, things you need to read, and then you go do it. It's fantastic.

Liz Moorehead: Okay. So I have I have a question here that I wanna throw out here, because it's something I've heard a lot from different organizations and agencies. I don't know know if there's some sort of trend happening recently or it's just the circles I've happened to swim in recently, which is there's an aversion to process. Process is bureaucratic. Process stands in the way of agility.

We need to be agile. See, Devon knows what I'm talking about. You know, I could see the smile, and I wanna hear the counterargument because I put I'm of 2 minds about it. I understand the agility piece. There is a big difference between an agile process that enables scalability that you circle back to when you need to iterate, and and stuff that's just so stuffy that it basically brings everything to a grinding halt.

It's red tape, not a process. So what's your response to that? And George, I saw you making some faces too. Don't worry, I'll come to you.

Devyn Bellamy: Yeah. So there are companies, especially startups, especially nonprofits, especially agencies that are used to operating like the building's on fire. That's their comfort zone. When it's like a deal comes in, and instead of getting the job done, someone pulls a fire alarm, and it's chaos until you get across the finish line. And the reason why they're comfortable with that is because it's how they've experienced success.

In some cases, it's the only way they know, but the one thing they all have in common is is that they have a talented group of individuals who are able to move mountains in order to achieve goals, which is cool. I mean, I'm not saying that that's bad. What I'm saying is I'm too old for that, for me.

George B. Thomas: Yeah. Man, I feel that. I feel like see, I at my age, I just wanna be able to lay back on the Davenport and take a nice little nap.

Liz Moorehead: There it is. Oh my god. I told you I'd fit it in.

Devyn Bellamy: Oh, yeah. No. And and I'm with you right right there. I I took a nap like 2 hours ago. I I have no shame in saying that.

My thing is that process is only bureaucratic when you build process on top of broken process on top of broken process. When your process becomes a band aid for other processes, then you have a problem. Part of being agile is evaluating and reevaluating. Agility is not the enemy of efficiency. You can be efficient and agile.

It's just a matter of documenting your process, evaluating your process, and then iterating on the process. You can't just create something and expect it to be perfection. If you don't hate your v one, then you're doing it wrong. You you should the the the mentality is growth. And if you want to keep doing the fire sale method of business and here's an objective, everybody run run until it's done.

Like, go ahead and do that. Just don't ask me to submit an application because that's not how I get down. I do things, I believe there's a group of people who like to say decently and in order. That's how I roll and, that's most efficient and then that and completely different episode here but that is how you separate your people power from your money power as far as growth is concerned. If you wanna talk about moving, divorcing your growth from your headcount, playbooks are the way to do it.

Liz Moorehead: There are so many nuggets in there. I wanna touch on a couple of things. Number 1, before anybody gets in their mind some sort of subversive version of what my platform is, I am pro NAP, anti Jabbin board. Let's be very clear here. Number 1.

Number 2, I love this conversation about process because if you have a process and it's not written down, that is a wish. If you're saying, well, everybody knows what the process is. No. No. No.

They have the version in their head of the process that they like the most, and they are very glad that it's not documented, so nobody catches explode. Bring it on.

George B. Thomas: I am. I am. Because there's a key point here that we have to pay attention to. The problem is, Liz, at that point with what you're talking about, it's their process, not the process. Right?

It has to be the process. For the 17 things we do, here are the process for that one, this one, and the other one. The other thing too, I wanna circle back around real quick because, Devin, you said something that I absolutely love, but I would say a yes and to. You said make your rock stars better rock stars. I would even say playbooks help your non rock stars become rock stars in training

Max Cohen: Exactly.

George B. Thomas: Because they can learn off of the back of everybody who has done it for 2, 5, 17, 22 years. Because now it's like it's like Star Trek and the Borg knowledge to create this path that everybody is taking with the right questions that they need to be asking. And so it's like talk about enablement. And, again, this is enabling your sales team, your success team, your marketing team because, Liz, you said something that just like completely exploded my mind, and that is you were talking a little bit ago about it's or maybe it was Devin. It was like, why are you putting this first thing out there?

Why are you putting this first thing out there and just rolling with it? Liz, I know I remember what it was. You came to my brain because as a writer, I was like, yeah. This is dumb as all because no writer will ship the 1st draft. They're gonna edit it.

They're gonna iterate it. They're gonna process it. So why is your sales team literally shipping your first draft? No. No.

No. No. No. There needs to be time. Time out to think about it.

Devyn Bellamy: Well, time out for real because you're over modulating just a skosh, George.

George B. Thomas: I'll back up from my mic.

Max Cohen: Back up off the mic, George.

George B. Thomas: Quick getting so damn excited is what I heard Devin just say.

Liz Moorehead: Alright. There's a lot of excitement happening right now. But Maxi, sweet pea, talk to me. Yeah. What's up?

What you love about playbooks?

Max Cohen: Well, I think let's let's let's do this before we even, like, go any further. For anyone who doesn't know what playbooks are, because there are a lot of people who don't know what playbooks are, which I think is why we're doing this episode. Why don't we catch them up to speed? If you're not already familiar with a playbook, a playbook is a little thing that shows up on any one of your object records inside of HubSpot. So think your contacts, your companies, your deals, your tickets, the things you're going into and interacting with when you're when you're having some sort of conversation with your customer or doing something or following some sort of process, whether it's in the middle of solving a ticket, sales

Liz Moorehead: process, and it's

Max Cohen: not a deal.

Liz Moorehead: Is it for all HubSpot customers, or

George B. Thomas: is it

Max Cohen: at a certain time? Have to have Well,

George B. Thomas: go go ahead, Max.

Max Cohen: Service hub and sales hub, historically, this was an enterprise only feature. More recently, they brought it down to professional, which was just a glorious moment for me because I want the people to have their hands on playbooks. There's a very special feature that is reserved in the enterprise version, which we can talk about later. But, essentially, what these are is these are little

Liz Moorehead: you can almost think of

Max Cohen: them as like little documents you can open on those records. That can be something as simple as words on a page that tell you how to do something, such as a call script or or a a process outline or like an FAQ for anyone using your your CRM. But they can also be interactive. You can add videos to them. You can add a whole bunch of like stuff into them.

But more importantly, you can input data into them. It's great for like questions that you're asking on calls. You can input data into it. It's a great way to to take notes on calls and have a more structured, standardized way for people to do that. That's sort of, like, level 1 of like what play

Liz Moorehead: One thing I wanna throw in here though. Hold on, George. I know. Hold on. This is important though.

I'm gonna play the Elliot Page character in inception who only existed to ask questions for the audience, prove me wrong. I think sometimes people could get really confused about the terminology, Max. So can you just take a moment clarify what an object is? I know we have a whole episode dedicated to objects, but I think sometimes people get abused. Objects, properties, whatever.

Max Cohen: So we think objects, the big 4. I mean, technically everything's an object. It's a database. But like the big 4 when we say objects, contacts, which are people, companies, which are the businesses or organizations they work at or associated to, deals, active you selling, ticket, active you helping.

George B. Thomas: Yeah. You're good. Now I'm gonna piggyback on that because and I'm glad you did that, Liz. But Max blew by something real quick that for me is the real poignant put the stake in the ground of, see, I told you they were for the whole organization. Because if playbooks were just for sales teams, then deals and, like, contacts playbooks would make sense.

But the fact that you can find playbooks in tickets is proof in the pudding that, no, there are a lot of people in your organization that should be using playbooks. I would even say Mhmm. That the content creators inside of your organization because here's the other thing. We always talk about playbooks as external. They can be ran internally as well.

Like, imagine you're a content creator, you're on a call, you're trying to create the dopest case study known to man or woman on the planet, and now you've got a case study playbook that you can literally run them through and get all the information, ask all the questions, and have all the notes that you need.

Max Cohen: Yeah. And and, like so, like, if you even look at that, like, level one use case. If we say sales rep or, like, a business development person is, you know, taking notes on a call and, like, sure. It tells them what questions to ask, what answers to get, gives them a clean place to put in the data. That's not just for salespeople to have some sort of conversational aid or, like, you know, clean way of taking notes.

This sort of like level 2 or level 3 thinking beyond how you're using that is how marketers can use that data. And this is where sort of like the creativity side of this comes in. Wouldn't it be great if you have all of these people that are talking to these customers, even if it's maybe a little bit too early, or they're not such a great fit yet, or you tend to have customers that engage with you and then fall off the face of the planet. A big thing people try to do as marketers is reengage those folks after. But what if you could passively collect a lot of very pointed information that your sales reps are asking during those discovery calls, capture it in a way that is easily segmentable on your end.

And then when you start to do these, like, reengagement campaigns with these, like, past opportunities or people who closed lost, you now have this hyper specific information that you can use to send super segment like, segmented and, like, targeted content. And, like, the sales rep was none the wiser to it. Right? But it could be updating properties in the back end that you're creating lists off of. And as a marketer, that's, like, a really, really big advantage for you that you know what these past prospects were literally saying was important to them.

Right? And you can tailor that message in now a hyper specific way.

Liz Moorehead: For once, no one wants to just jump right in?

George B. Thomas: Well, I do, but I wanna give Devin space to actually say something if Devin wants to say something. But I I have something that I can piggyback off of Max, and that is I love that Max brought up the fact of it being then data that the marketer can use. Because this is the perfect opportunity to talk about a reason why you might want enterprise. Because here's the thing, there's 3 layers of love, at least for me when I think about HubSpot Playbooks. There's the fact that with Pro, you can literally do an open text field, which means if you set up your settings, it could be open text into a note, open text into a call, open text into whatever.

Like, there's there's these ways that you can put it into a place in your HubSpot record that you can get back to and see it and everybody can see it. That's the other thing too, by the way. Visibility across all humans instead of just stuck in your little, like, word doc piece of crap. Like, that's a huge piece. But at the end of the day, we have open text.

The second thing we can do is we can actually do a list of answers in enterprise where now we give them the top 5 buckets that they might wanna select and actually put that information in. But there's also an open note section under that that you can type in, like, for the for the people who know, like, well, what if they say this and it's not one of the choices and we then can show other? Well, you've got that note section for what might be the other. And then the the the magic place, the nirvana of playbooks, if you will, is the ability to actually update a property in your HubSpot records. Man, this means that somebody could be filling out a playbook and firing a freaking work flow at the same exact time.

Yes. I mean, talk about process automation and streamlining what it is that you're doing in your business. It's absolutely ridiculous when you start to think of it at that layer. Right? And so so, again, if I take a a a step back, knowing that at least at a fundamental level today today, if you have pro, you could be doing some type of products and service features and specifications playbook.

You could be doing a discovery call playbook. You could be doing pricing guidelines. You could be doing the difference between company and competitors, negotiation tactics. There's just a, like, a metric button that could be then shown in a call, a meeting, an email, or a note inside your HubSpot record dependent upon what it is that you're actually freaking creating or the information where it needs to be found. But again, at the next level, it's no.

We're literally putting the properties. They don't need to fill out a form. They could fill out a playbook or your internal team could fill out a playbook. Oh, my god. Never just just let's see.

Max Cohen: Devin Devin Devin, hop in if you want us to and I I I wanna throw in a good example.

Devyn Bellamy: Yeah. No worries. The thing that I wanna make sure that we differentiate here is between a playbook and a HubSpot playbook. A standard playbook is just really about codifying your process. And a playbook can live in a slide deck if you want a pretty playbook.

It could be a text document. Glow growth platform ever, then what you wanna do is, at the very least, figure out a way to document. Find a place for these things to live. What sets up

Liz Moorehead: It's not a doc if it's not a process, if it's not documented.

Devyn Bellamy: That's right.

Liz Moorehead: It's just not.

Devyn Bellamy: That's right. It's just a very familiar fire sale. So with the difference between that and a HubSpot playbook is HubSpot playbooks do all of that and they're interactive. They're a way for your team to be engaged 1 to 1 with the data.

Max Cohen: What is it? Okay. So what is And it's where you're doing your work too.

George B. Thomas: Tool to highlight the very important pieces of the conversations that people need to have, the fact that you can add links to additional resources or scripts that they need to get to from the playbook, the fact that you can add video into there, the fact that you can embed stuff in there means the only thing that is stopping you is the idea of what you need to show, what you need to say, and what you need to document, and it can be literally anything. It is a very interactive document that you are creating that is sitting on the exact record that you need to be, like, functioning with this data and this information that you're gonna have to use through the process as you move forward.

Max Cohen: And the best part is, like, it can just be something you look at and read and consume information from. For instance, you could use it as like a competitive battle card if you know you're going up against a certain competitive, you know, or competitor for whatever you're selling. You could also use it for common troubleshooting guides if you have these showing up on tickets. Right? So if I'm a support person, someone says they have, oh, this issue, I could have recommended, tickets show up based on, like, the category of the ticket, or I can just search and say, oh, they're having this problem.

Let's see if there's a guide to help me walk them through the issue. Or it literally could be something that you're using to log a call, log a meeting, log some kind of interaction. Right? Where you're actually inputting data into it, and that's getting logged on to the record. Right?

And into properties. So it's not just something you look at, it's something you can also, like, use. The the I I did wanna, like, go and and hit one of, like, a a really good example of when George talked about workflows. Because people don't love manually creating deals, for example, and typing in a whole bunch of information they've already somehow kind of collected. A lot of times, typically, when you're opening up a deal in HubSpot, usually, you've had some kind of, like, discovery call or gathered some information before you're just, like, blindly opening up a deal for a prospect.

A a playbook is a great way to kind of bridge those two things together. Because you could have, like, a discovery playbook where you ask a whole bunch of questions, right, and information that's that's gonna be relevant if you ever end up opening up a deal. And as you're capturing that information, depending on how you capture it and the answers that you get, you could trigger workflows off that contact to either, like, disqualify them and, like, change something about the record, or if it ends up being a good fit, automatically creating a deal off of that information once it's logged. That way you don't have to play the game of, like, copying information over into properties, and you just have deals get created for you that have all that information you gathered on that discovery call. And you're eliminating a bunch of extra work people would have to do to manually create the deal, manually bring over all the shit.

And so it's just it once you start getting creative with how you can use this data you're collecting in context throughout all the other stuff you're automating and the stuff you're doing in HubSpot, you start unlocking all these, like, wild use cases that aren't necessarily so obvious at face value when it looks like it's just a document.

George B. Thomas: I don't know if this is the place to let my nerd light shine or not.

Liz Moorehead: You mean, like, right now? Yeah.

George B. Thomas: This

Liz Moorehead: is okay. Hold on, George. I gotta be perfectly honest. I feel like a mom, like, all my millennial and gen xers will know exactly what I'm talking about. I'm the mom in the mini pizza bagels commercial where the her boys are not paying attention to her, but suddenly those mini pizza bagels come out and they're like falling over her and themself.

This is, like, hurting middle school boys who are excited to eat pizza bagels. So pardon me if I I regret to inform you, your nerd flag has been flying since the moment you sent to Davenport.

George B. Thomas: Dang it. Okay. Well, then That's

Liz Moorehead: why you love this. The weakest is why you love this.

George B. Thomas: I'll I'll let it shine.

Max Cohen: Let it rip. Let it rip, Georgie.

George B. Thomas: Let it shine. First of all, I would probably work for pizza bagels, by the way. Like, I need a cardboard sign will work for pizza bagels, and just, like, stand out in front of my house and see

Liz Moorehead: how many people stop by and, like, ask me to do something. Yeah.

George B. Thomas: I'll bow your yard pizza bagels. Alright. So here's the thing. Here's where I get really nerdy and my brain starts to work. It's like, I'm gonna go back a little bit where we talk about its process, its iteration.

Anybody that's ever done really great AB testing or multivariate testing knows that you can test your way past what actually was success, and you need to go back to what was working better previously. The fact that in playbooks, you have version history and you can see, like, oh, man. Last quarter, we were doing way better. What changed? Well, Marky Mark changed our playbook, and our freaking close rate went down.

Well, sweet. Let's revert back to before Marky Mark touched our and let's go back to the way it was. And so you can literally see back to the things that you've changed inside of the playbook as you're building them, iterating them, and using them over time. Like, my nerd mind just loves the fact that that's there.

Max Cohen: Dude, I didn't even know we used to do versioning

George B. Thomas: Oh, yeah, dude. Right hand side under the publish button. It's freaking amazing.

Max Cohen: Woah. Woah. Woah.

Liz Moorehead: Did you outshield the shill?

George B. Thomas: No. I just outshielded the shill. You know what?

Liz Moorehead: You know

George B. Thomas: what that means? That means after this is over, I'm gonna go out to my veranda and take a nap.

Liz Moorehead: It's pronounced ver ronda.

George B. Thomas: Well, whichever, but that's two words that I threw in this episode because I'm 80.

Liz Moorehead: I feel like you're taking

Max Cohen: It's my wife's favorite coffee.

Liz Moorehead: Personally, do you need a little metamucil? Are we okay?

George B. Thomas: I get plenty of fiber, but nobody wants to know that on this podcast.

Liz Moorehead: I feel like there's a lot of talk to Devon, I have a question for you. What is the stuff that people get wrong about HubSpot Playbooks? Please save us from ourselves.

Devyn Bellamy: Oh, it's just right over the top of what George was saying. You're not iterating and you're not deprecating. You're not taking your old stuff and doing away with it. He I mean, he nailed it. You can iterate past success, and you you need to be able to roll that back.

And you also need to be able to do away with what wasn't working. Going back to the beginning, the the v one, you shouldn't be shipping your v one and just letting it ride. That's not that's not gonna work. What you need to do is constantly update and change, but also be prepared to roll back. But, most importantly, be prepared to scrap something that is no longer relevant.

If I were going to create a playbook for my agency today, it would not look like the playbook that I would have created 5 years ago. It wouldn't even look like the playbook I created last year because times have changed. I've changed how I do things. I've found new ways to be successful. I wanna duplicate that success.

Max Cohen: Another thing I wanna I wanna talk about too is tying, like, playbooks into sort of the greater enablement argument, especially specifically as it has to do with HubSpot and, like, the software itself. So, like, whenever you're thinking, kinda like, how are we gonna, like, long term scale out our employees proficiency of using HubSpot, but also doing their job correctly in HubSpot. HubSpot's got a lot of resources for you. Right? We've got we've got, we've got HubSpot Academy.

We've got our support team. But you know what we don't have? That inside context and nuances of how your business works and operates. Only you have that. Right?

As the customer. Maybe you could argue your customer success manager or your onboarding person who gets really, really tight with you can can can pick up on some of that. But what's really interesting is when you think, like, how are we gonna onboard new users to HubSpot that haven't used HubSpot and haven't used our HubSpot before. And, like, a lot of times, you'll see people say, like, yeah. We've got HubSpot Academy.

And people can go on there, and they can learn how to use the CRM. They can learn how to do stuff inside of HubSpot. And don't get me wrong. HubSpot Academy is amazing. Like, you're gonna learn how to use the software in there.

But what you're not gonna learn is how your specific business operates within HubSpot. In the context of what's unique to you and your processes and your specific nuance around how you're using it. Playbooks gives you the opportunity to bridge that gap. Yeah. So you've got HubSpot Academy so that when you get butts in seats and people start using HubSpot, they go, okay.

Liz Moorehead: I know how to use the buttons and hit the right buttons to do the thing.

Max Cohen: Right? And I know how HubSpot works. But then you could say, here are playbooks for how our specific processes and best practices go that take that even further and puts everything they learned about how to use the software into the context of how you're actually using it. You know? So there's that just think about how you're layering that stuff together.

George B. Thomas: So I wanna double down on that. I wanna double down on that, Max, because what I want people to realize is that your employees are probably gonna be in HubSpot as HubSpot contacts. They should be. If not, get them in there. There's a reason because imagine a world where you live in that one of the things that you have to do on a monthly basis is go into your own contact record, and you're told to run the internal questionnaire playbook.

And now all of a sudden, they do a note that they're answering these questions to know how well they know the new release of the product. And you can then go back to their notes and see how they did and what additional training. Right? So what I'm positioning here is, again, we always talk about external, but playbooks could be an internal tool for you to see the knowledge and information that your team understands or does not understand and training methods that you would go moving forward or even onboarding. Imagine onboarding and they go through a week of what you tell them.

If your company is sitting here and you don't have an onboarding test or quiz or onboarding certification or you don't have the platform or the finances to actually implement something like that, yes, you do. HubSpot Playbooks. You just have to build it, and you can literally have an onboarding quiz or exam or whatever you wanna call it. Oh, by the way Yeah. By the way sorry.

One more thing. Liz, you asked Devin, what is the most common mistake people are making with HubSpot Playbooks? I wanna swing back to that for a second.

Liz Moorehead: Oh, I was gonna swing us all back to that.

George B. Thomas: Yeah. Good. Good. Good. Because I I think it's very important that I just get a chance to state the biggest thing that I see wrong is that they go with creation before strategy.

They just go in and they start to create something, and they don't even know what it is in the hell that they're trying to create. Like, no. What is it that you need? What do you how do you wanna build it? Like, whiteboard and, like, 5 other humans Yeah.

Brains working together. Okay. Now let's go build it in HubSpot. So it's definitely strategy

Max Cohen: and work creation. And also, how are you communicating that those are even there and when to look for them? There are a couple of things that they've done recently because they're they're they're doing a ton of work on the back end of playbooks. There's a lot of stuff I know about that I can't talk about.

Devyn Bellamy: Oh, no.

Liz Moorehead: But there's a lot of cool stuff. Yeah. Yeah. I'm not gonna I'm not

Max Cohen: getting into it. But but a big but a big thing but a big thing that they've done recently is those recommended playbooks in context. For example, you can have certain playbooks show up when, like, tickets are in certain categories or deals are in certain stages. So instead of searching for it, it's showing up as recommended and you go, oh, maybe you should use that playbook in this, you know, now that this deal is at this stage. Right?

It's like, how to build a quote, how to request a quote, like, approval, how to do you know, all that kind of stuff. So they're doing a lot of really good work in terms of surfacing them and the visibility. But a lot of it also comes down to creating a culture around saying, hey, all the FAQs that you have about how to do your job and a lot of the aids you have and the conversations that you're having with customers or kicking off internal processes, they're all sitting in these playbooks. You gotta use Okay.

George B. Thomas: So dang it. Devin, right after this, dude, you gotta unlock, lay it down. But, Max, I am so glad that you brought that

Liz Moorehead: up because it's one of

George B. Thomas: the things I wanted to bring up and so the listeners understand what we're talking about. If you go into playbooks and go into settings, there's literally a thing that is when you create 1, set when to recommend. And what it does is it gives you a drop down where, like, deal deal stage, contact, lead status or life cycle stage, ticket, ticket status, or category. And based on those things, you can say, I want this playbook to be at the top of the list, because by the way, the bane of my existence is every HubSpot user always scrolls before they search. And right now, there's not a search functionality

Liz Moorehead: should bring up no.

George B. Thomas: No. No. I mean on the record. Yeah. Yeah.

Yeah. If you're on the record and you wanna run a playbook, can you search it on the record? Uh-oh. I might

Max Cohen: I'm pretty sure you can. Oh. Hey. Hey. Hey.

Hey. Hey. What's up, Devin?

Devyn Bellamy: Honestly, I'm learning new stuff here myself. So the advanced functionality That's

George B. Thomas: what this

Max Cohen: whole podcast is for, man.

Devyn Bellamy: Advanced functionality of HubSpot Playbooks. Some of this is news to me, man. I just traditionally am using them to document processes. That's that's the primary function of playbooks for me because, like Liz said, what if somebody gets hit by a bus? That knowledge deficit is terrifying.

So you you gotta have a place, for for the knowledge to live. But, no, this advanced functionality, I'm I'm sitting along with the listeners like, oh, really?

George B. Thomas: Okay. Man, I gotta apologize to the whole HubSpot ecosystem. Son of a gun. There is search functionality for playbooks. I don't know when that arrived.

I don't think it was always there that I remember, but it's there now. However, when I did go over to

Max Cohen: the port,

George B. Thomas: it was always there, Max. Shut up.

Max Cohen: Shut up. Let me

Liz Moorehead: feel good about myself.

George B. Thomas: So so here's the thing. What I did see that I don't think I've seen before but, again, maybe it's always been there. Max will let me know because he doesn't want me to feel good about myself. There's literally a recently used tag on playbooks that were recently used, which is very interesting to me so you know where you've been compared to where you need to go because maybe you're running 2 or 3 playbooks on a particular contact company ordeal.

Liz Moorehead: Alright. Let's get out of the weeds here for a minute, guys. Also, the chaotic energy of this episode, I'm here for it. I'm also scared.

George B. Thomas: You're afraid.

Max Cohen: But I'm here

Liz Moorehead: for it.

George B. Thomas: Be very afraid.

Max Cohen: It's definitely thick for sure.

Liz Moorehead: I would think we've learned a lot about each other today. George will be on the Davenport waiting for people to feed him pizza bagels in exchange for goods and services.

George B. Thomas: And on a good day, it's my Davenport is on my veranda, and I have pizza bagels.

Devyn Bellamy: That way he can yell at the kids to get off his lawn and stop playing the loud music.

Liz Moorehead: Meanwhile, Devin remains the favorite. And, Max, I love you. But you screwed up my introduction, and I have forgotten. Yeah. It's fine.

It's fine. It's fine. But you know what? We get to shame George for one more thing. Are we ready before we go into the wrap up today?

Max Cohen: Oh, my god. I can't wait.

Liz Moorehead: Do you know who we haven't talked about today, George? The humans.

Devyn Bellamy: I've been waiting for it.

Max Cohen: Why? Oh, god.

George B. Thomas: It's a lot of pressure. It's a lot of pressure. But at the end of the day

Max Cohen: Just give me a real just give me a real breathy one. Humans. Oh, wow. Okay.

Devyn Bellamy: Yeah. I'm not gonna be able to

Liz Moorehead: At least buy me a steak dinner first. Okay?

George B. Thomas: Oh, shoot. We have too much fun on this part. I hope listeners, I hope you have fun when we go through this because it really is, about you, the humans, and humans, and entertaining and educating and really giving you a journey along the way where you're like, god. I love HubSpot. I love to learn about HubSpot.

That's that's my hope. So it is really everything we talk about is about the humans.

Liz Moorehead: So we were just teeing you up

Max Cohen: for stuff. Not a cult.

Liz Moorehead: Not a cult.

Max Cohen: We're definitely not a cult. Just I promise.

Liz Moorehead: All hail big sprocket.

Max Cohen: Mostly.

Liz Moorehead: Not a cult.

Max Cohen: We're definitely when when someone asks you, we're definitely not a cult.

Liz Moorehead: Definitely.

Max Cohen: Right?

Devyn Bellamy: No. If that were the case, I would paint my walls orange or something.

George B. Thomas: Oh, here we go.

Liz Moorehead: Alright. No. No. No. Before we go into another take no.

No. No. We have to wrap this up. We have to wrap this up. I love you all, but get off my virtual lawn.

So if the humans only remember one thing from today's conversation, what is it and why? Devon, you go first.

Devyn Bellamy: Playbooks are one of the single greatest resources you can utilize for onboarding your team members, for getting them to do the job right the first time the way that your best people do it. If you are if if you are sitting down with your best players and documenting how they achieve success and then using that as a blueprint to teach others, then you're winning. And if you're not doing it, then you're making life a lot harder than it needs to be. You should be using playbooks not only to document process, but as your one of your primary onboarding tools into how your company gets things done. One of the hardest parts that I found in agency life is going into the agency and and you expect it.

It's it's something you expect. Right? Where you're just supposed to just hit the ground running, trial by fire, learn as you go. And then once you achieve something, you can take a shallow breath because, oh, look. Here comes another wave of stuff you need to do.

And with playbooks, it it lessens that anxiety. I've seen so many new hires burn out. Personally, I've seen them burn out just because of the amount of figuring it out as they go that they need to

Max Cohen: do. There are only two limits of playbooks. First one is the tier of HubSpot you have, but the second one is your creativity.

Liz Moorehead: Oh, god. George.

George B. Thomas: No. I I I agree with that. I mean, this

Max Cohen: am I a

Liz Moorehead: little on? Reading rainbow? Is this reading

Devyn Bellamy: I was gonna say

George B. Thomas: it just

Devyn Bellamy: needs to end with the more you know.

Max Cohen: You know. Take a look. You're in your playbook. You close that deal. Oh,

George B. Thomas: okay. I don't even know how to follow that. Like, that's some some straight up just stuff.

Liz Moorehead: You don't have to. You can help me preserve my sanity.

George B. Thomas: Moving on moving on to playbooks.

Liz Moorehead: How many pieces of makeles do I need to give you?

George B. Thomas: So so here's the thing. For me, I would want the humans to know that playbooks equals process, and a well defined process for each individual on your team equals success. And if you have success for each individual, you have company that is success. You're moving the needle in the right way, one brick or one human, one and so if you're listening this and you're not using playbooks in one shape, form, fashion for marketing, for sales, for service, for operations, for the c suite, for whoever. Sit down with a team and figure out how do we want to implement HubSpot playbooks across the organization.

What's the 3, 5, 7 things that we could start doing today that are gonna impact that micro success because we're actually documenting, iterating, and refining the processes that make us successful.

Liz Moorehead: I gave you so much crap during this episode, George, and then you had to lay it down like that.

Devyn Bellamy: Beautiful.

Liz Moorehead: You just

George B. Thomas: I mean, that's beautiful. That's what I that's what I do, people. That's

Liz Moorehead: what I do.

Max Cohen: Laid it down right on the down. Yeah. Yeah. I did. Oh my god.

Liz Moorehead: You know what? Everybody get off my lawn. Everyone get out. To everybody else listening, do you like us? Do you have suggestions?

George works works for pizza bagels. What do you work for? Let us know by leaving us a review. It helps us get found. I would love to see us come out of this year with 50 reviews.

Reach goal of a 100, but I wanna start with 50. Help us get there and

George B. Thomas: just Help us out, folks. I'll ship you some pizza bagels for every No.

Liz Moorehead: You won't. You will eat them. You will eat them.

George B. Thomas: Yeah. You will eat them.

Liz Moorehead: And I don't lie to the humans. Don't lie to the humans. And on that note, we will talk to you all next week.

George B. Thomas: Bye bye.

Liz Moorehead: Bye.

Max Cohen: Love you.

George B. Thomas: Okay, hub heroes. We've reached the end of another episode. Will lord lack continue to loom over the community, or will we be able to defeat him in the next episode of the hub heroes podcast? Make sure you tune in and find out in the next episode. Make sure you head over to the hub to get the latest episodes and become part of the league of heroes.

FYI, if you're part of the league of heroes, you'll get the show notes right in your inbox, and they come with some hidden power up potential as well. Make sure you share this podcast with a friend. Leave a review if you like what you're listening to, and use the hashtag, hashtag hub euros podcast on any of the socials, and let us know what strategy conversation you'd like to listen into next. Until next time, when we meet and combine our forces, remember to be a happy, helpful, humble human, and, of course, always be looking for a way to be someone's hero.