The most requested HubSpot feature updates during consultancy
It's very common during HubSpot consultancy to come across something that HubSpot just can't do.
HubSpot is a powerful piece of software, but it's also constantly being developed to become a better platform and the HubSpot community pages are filled with great ideas for new features, or frustrations that users have encountered during their day-to-day usage.
Here are some of the most common feature requests and frustrations I come across from users during consultancy sessions. Hopefully some of these are on HubSpot's road map to address in the near future.
Clearer custom report writer and unifying functionality across report writing tools
The new custom report builder in HubSpot is a big step forwards for creating reports within the software, but it's also simultaneously an odd step back.
Many users don't initially realise that the two initial report creation options within HubSpot are different report builders, with different functionality.
Crucially, the old, simple, report builder, which can only look at one object, has functionality that the new custom report builder does not.
For example, in the new report builder you can't develop reports which feature a comparison aspect (current month vs last month, for example).
In practical terms this means that you can often find a requirement for a cross-object report (which needs the new report builder) featuring a comparison (which needs the old report builder).
The new report builder was a big step forwards for in-HubSpot reporting, but with issues such as the above remaining it's still fairly common to find users who take their reporting requirements out of HubSpot into either Excel or a significant data and reporting solution.
In an ideal world the internal reporting capabilities in HubSpot would make the need to do this a thing of the past. We're not quite there yet.
Cross-object data sync
Most pro-level HubSpot portals have workflows which copy data between properties that belong to different objects.
Reporting is a common use case for this (see above reporting issues), but there are also viable reasons why these workflows are needed for using the data in other workflows.
Users who primarily use one area of the system (sales people who live in Deals, for example), also frequently request data to be available in their object of choice, rather than needing to hop between objects, in the case where data is held against the Company object, for example.
It feels like a neat solution to this could be made available at the property creation stage, rather than forcing users to further clutter their workflow functionality (more on this below). The requirement is so common that not adding the functionality here means that users on pro portals are guaranteed an extra 'job', and extra ongoing maintenance, rather than having the software handle things for them.
This is an oddity, because usually when features are requested within the HubSpot Community dating back to 2017, with a significant swell of user support behind them, they get developed and implemented within HubSpot.
Compulsory associations would mean that you can make it mandatory to create contact and/or company associations when you create a deal, for example. Currently that is not the case, which often means that users find their systems with swathes of deals that are not associated to other objects. This, in turn, creates another workflow-driven fix, where users are prompted to correct the data issue at point of input... a data issue that wouldn't exist if association was mandatory.
HubSpot updated the above Community thread in October 2021 to say that the product team were exploring the functionality and the request shows a 'being reviewed' status.
As of this week, users are still visiting the thread to request HubSpot add the functionality in. Hopefully this one makes it to the top of the list relatively soon.
More help organising workflows
In recent times HubSpot added much-needed folder functionality to workflows, which was a big (if basic) step forwards in organising what can be a messy and confusing area of the system, particularly in mature, complex portals.
I'd argue that much more than this and the search functionality is needed to prevent future problems for users before they arise. It's all too common of a requirement for users to have a consultancy request along of the lines of 'we just need help sorting our workflows out'.
When you think about the potential fixes for this, it's easy to say to users that they should use consistent naming conventions in workflows, for example, but when the system was purchased six years ago under a different system admin, that recommendation isn't much use at the point of access to consultancy. Put simply; it's completely unreasonable to out the onus on the user to think about what their system will look like in 6 years time and fix that issue on day one.
How about HubSpot recommended some naming conventions at the point of first workflow creation? Maybe there could even be a setting where you could automatically update your workflow naming conventions and roll out the new conventions amongst your existing workflows?
And yes, we've now got folders. But you can't create sub-folders. Yes, really. So some more work is needed on even the basic bits of organisation that do exist.
Filtering could also be much improved. How about filtering workflows by the properties they update? Or by whether they send a marketing email or not? Or on what factors are used in the enrolment criteria?
This sort of filtering would greatly simplify workflow audits, which are a common action for mature HubSpot portals and, yes, HubSpot consultants and agencies the world over.