Achieve Australia pilots HubSpot’s Custom Objects CRM function

Achieve Australia is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to social inclusion for people with disability. Achieve has been supporting people with disability since 1952; their services have now expanded to include long- and short-term accommodation, community participation, employment and support coordination services.

Achieve has a uniquely complex CRM data requirement, as their Service Users are supported by their family and/or other persons who provide other services or handle other important functions in their lives. That means a single User might have four or five other people who need to be included in communications. A CRM that caters for ‘many-to-many’ relationships was a non-negotiable.

Achieve needed a CRM that could:

  • Provide a clear view of the services provided to each Service User, and the locations where these services are provided; and
  • Provide a clear view of key contacts for each Service User, and the different roles those contacts play in their lives.

On its own, HubSpot’s standard Company and Contact structure was not enough to support these requirements. HubSpot also fell short in supporting Achieve’s other main service offering – the provision of accommodation for Service Users.

Given the complexities of the structure of their business and their business information, Achieve was beginning to consider other CRM platforms – that is, until we introduced HubSpot Custom Object configurations.

The problem(s)

Problem No 1:

Achieve’s Service Users rely on other individuals, from family members to external service providers to assist them with decision-making relating to services provided. Given the pre-existing 1:1 contact relationship in HubSpot, it wasn’t possible for Achieve to keep track of those relationships.

Problem No. 2:

Achieve provides services as well as accommodation. They could not previously track which residential locations were available in the system. This led to potential double-handling when the Sales team engaged with a prospective new Service User.

There are a number of internal teams (including Sales, Finance, Legal and Operations) who also track information relating to customers in different systems and spreadsheets, and this made it hard to keep information up-to-date – particularly when it related to changes impacting Service Users and their contacts.

Problem No. 3:

The Marketing team were also working toward sending more tailored communications to the families and key contacts of Service Users; however, they struggled to keep track of up-to-date contact information and contact preferences. In addition, they had also recently launched new digital marketing campaigns and found that they could not establish clear attribution for leads coming from that activity into the HubSpot CRM.

With the data spread across multiple sources, the business was finding it hard to report on the effectiveness of their marketing and service efforts. Because Achieve Australia was on a mission to grow and constantly improve as an organisation, they knew they needed to implement a CRM that better supported their business and their growth.

The solution: HubSpot Custom Objects

Sales and Marketing teams were already familiar with HubSpot for basic lead tracking and marketing activity. They could perform tasks quickly and easily, however, the out-of-the-box data structure was a deal-breaker. It seemed like other systems such as Salesforce and Dynamics would be able to solve for their needs. And until HubSpot launched its Custom Object functionality, this was true.

We were able to demonstrate various HubSpot Custom Object in-portal configurations for Achieve so they could find the structure that worked for them. During these demonstrations, it became clear that HubSpot with two additional Objects (Service Users and Accommodation) would fit their data structure requirements.

The build: A breakdown

From audit to completion, the project lasted four months. This included cleaning up their existing HubSpot Sales and Marketing Hubs as well as replacing various integrations like Typeform and Survey Monkey.

Following is a breakdown of the build phases involved in this project:

  • Review of existing data
  • Audit of existing HubSpot portal
  • Data structure design
  • Demonstration of new basic setup/structure
  • Data clean up and migration
  • HubSpot reconfiguration
  • Data import.

To make sure the build (and project as a whole) was successful, it was important to include the team in some training and Q&A sessions. When you change the structure of CRMs, you’re also changing the processes that are dependent on that data. Giving a visual demonstration of the test portal with Service User contact associations would ensure that they were comfortable with the solution. This demonstration is critical – without seeing the end result, it can be difficult to get a deep understanding of the impact/change to internal processes.

The main risk was that this was a Beta product at the time and under active development so new features were being added daily – we explained this to Achieve and also referred to the roadmap provided by HubSpot.

We also needed to ensure there was zero disruption to existing marketing campaign activity. Achieve’s Marketing team were involved in the project and were able to continue with their existing commitments during and after the migration of the new User data into HubSpot. This was a huge benefit for the team.

The Achieve team are now working with a significantly improved configuration of the HubSpot CRM. They are continuing to optimise the system in-house to improve data quality and extend use of the system across teams.

Why HubSpot was a good fit

As a not-for-profit organisation focused on the needs of Service Users, Achieve operates with very lean central office resources. Providing teams with consistent access to information helps them support their front-line Service Delivery teams and their Service Users more effectively. That made HubSpot’s highly intuitive user interface incredibly valuable as it gave the Marketing, Sales and Service teams the autonomy to manage their own workflows.

HubSpot was always going to be a more cost-effective and quicker option to implement. There are also no bugs between CRM and disparate Marketing Automation platforms with HubSpot given its organic growth as a platform.

The new solution and the use of Custom Objects allows Achieve to really target communications to families of people receiving specific services. This will allow them to meet the needs of Service Users who have been clamouring for more tailored communication. In addition, being able to support families with more information, while we all live through the disruptions caused by COVID-19, is a genuinely great thing.

To conclude

Achieve Australia’s new CRM is a “game-changer”. The team is now in their first phase of working with their custom CRM. We’ll revisit their progress in a couple of months and continue to refine the process with them. It’s important to remember that CRMs need to adapt and refine alongside their businesses to remain effective.