We’ve found that HubSpot isn’t enough. Yes, it is clearly one of the most powerful CRM and marketing platforms on the market. But the reporting doesn’t answer all of our questions.
HubSpot’s custom report builder has been a welcomed leap forward for dashboards. While it does many things, we still create multiple reports using external tools like DataBox. Then we import them into a Hubspot dashboard.
We believe any report that is needed more than twice should be built into dashboards. Too much time is wasted in Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets trying to manipulate data in pursuit of an answer. We believe these answers should be built into 30-Second Dashboards. That’s where you spend the first 30-seconds of your day to set your priorities.
The Pipeline Report is the centerpiece of the 30-Second Dashboard. It’s not the same as a Deal Pipeline. Deal pipelines only report activity within a deal. We create the Pipeline Report in DataBox and embed in multiple HubSpot dashboards. It reports progress on every milestone from first touch to money-in-the-bank. Once you identify your milestone owners and how they want to be measured, it becomes the main management tool to quickly and effectively run your business.
We set the date range for the pipeline to a rolling 90-day window because that’s slightly longer to the sales cycle for most of our clients.
Key Metrics: Identify how the Dashboard Will be Used
Don’t get ahead of your skis with HubSpot dashboards. You’ll find it tempting to start creating dashboards based on the instant reports built-into your HubSpot account. This feels good because it gives you all the data you want. But you’ll quickly find yourself swimming in data and feeling overwhelmed. We recommend a four-step process.
Step 1: Map all the milestones in your top three pipelines. The pipeline is more than just your sales funnel. Identify the milestone owner for each milestone. It should be a single owner.
Step 2: For each milestone, ask the milestone owner how they want to be measured and the questions they need answered to effectively manage the milestone.
Step 3: For each milestone, wireframe reports to answer the questions the milestone owner needs answered. IMPORTANT! Do not make the dashboard yet. Just start with wireframes. These wireframed reports will be the basis of a single 30-second dashboard for that milestone owner.
Step 4: Identify the data sources you need to answer those questions. You’ll quickly discover that HubSpot doesn’t have all of the answers. You’ll need other data sources like Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Configure each data source to deliver data in a form for your dashboards.
Step 5: Convert the wireframed reports into individual dashboards for each milestone owner.
Managing HubSpot Dashboards
HubSpot dashboards can quickly overwhelm you. Instead of adapting your existing dashboards, we recommend starting with a blank dashboard for each milestone owner. A typical HubSpot account gives you up to twenty dashboards. At the top of each dashboard, add the Pipeline Report. This is so every milestone owner can start with a high-level view of the company-wide pipeline performance, and then look at their specific milestone performance.
For marketing milestone owners, they’ll want to track the marketing assets like landing pages. For sales team milestone owners, they’ll want to track sales performance across different sales reps.
How to Add a New HubSpot Dashboard
From any dashboard, click on “Create Dashboard” in the top-right. You have a choice of selecting a curated list of reports by using the dashboard library. Or click create dashboard to start with a blank dashboard and customize it to your unique needs.
Once your dashboard is created, use the “Add report” dropdown menu to add a built-in report from the report library.
We also recommend being specific with the dashboard name. Expect other users to look at your custom reports and dashboards and not remember some of the context. We’ve even been so specific to set the dashboard name to the milestone owner’s name. So, we have “Craig’s Dashboard” or “Elena’s Dashboard.” This makes it clear who the primary consumer of that customized dashboard.
Custom Reports: Use HubSpot With Other Marketing Tools
Around 2020, HubSpot started focusing on increasing integrations with other marketing tools. This brings the best of both to a single platform. One of our favorite integrations is DataBox. It’s another tool that allows you to customize dashboards for your unique needs. Because of it’s direct integration with the HubSpot CRM, it has full access to the HubSpot CRM data. It’s rare that an entire dashboard is filled with HubSpot reports. It’s often a combination that includes DataBox custom reports.
Most website traffic reports suck. They either tell you nothing actionable, or they lead you to make bad decisions.
It’s easy to get caught up in vanity metrics that focuses on the volume of traffic while missing the purpose of traffic. Ultimately, you want the traffic to result in some financial benefit to your business. For most HubSpot users, this is leads that eventually convert into sales.
So, the relevant metrics are really about website traffic that results in leads. Yes, you can show leads by source or channel. But you probably want to use an existing report that’s built-into HubSpot. It’s an attribution report that shows how your content works in conjunction with other content to create leads. Rarely does a lead convert on a single visit. You can find this in HubSpot’s report library.
While HubSpot’s attribution report gives insights on attribution, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) offers different details. That includes information about the devices your visitors are using, their geographic location, and their browsing behavior, such as the number of pages they visit and the amount of time they spend on your site. HubSpot allows you to embed external reports into the HubSpot dashboards. From the dashboard, click the “Actions” dropdown menu and select “Add external content” to pull your GA4 data into HubSpot. We typically use DataBox to do this.
HubSpot (Landing Pages Performance) Dashboard
Landing pages are essential marketing assets for any lead-based business. So, if you’re the milestone owner for lead generation, you want quick clarity on your landing page marketing efforts. We find sorting through individual landing page reports to be tedious. So, we use DataBox and GA4 to give us better insights.
We want to know more than traffic sources and conversion rates on our landing pages. So, we use GA4 to program unique events for landing pages. Here’s how it breaks out for us:
- Aware: Fire and measure a GA4 event for every landing page view.
- Engaged: Fire and measure a GA4 scroll event every time a user reaches the bottom of the landing page (where we put our forms).
- Conversion: Fire and measure a GA4 page view event when someone lands on the “Thank You” page for that landing page.
This allows us to better diagnose what’s working and what’s not through these simple reports. Even though this data source is GA4, we’re able to embed this report in the dashboards in our HubSpot account.
Key Metrics: Dashboards for Email Open Rates
Emails are one of your top marketing assets. And open rate reports in HubSpot report the success of your marketing efforts. With a clear view of who opened, clicked on, or replied to a given email, marketers can analyze the success of their marketing assets and develop better strategies for future campaigns. Reports also provide insight into how one-to-one emails fare compared to automated email sequences.
For example, if you find that your automated emails perform well early on but tend to dip quickly over time, you can create new content specifically tailored to boost engagement at the midpoint of the sequence. Similarly, if personal emails from team members drive higher open rates than automated messages, then add a mix that includes more one-to-one emails.
Unfortunately, the most powerful email report can’t be added to any of your dashboards. It’s found by going to Marketing => Email => Analyze. Then you must scroll to the bottom of the page. And there you’ll find pure gold. It quickly shows you emails that are high performers vs. emails that are under-performing. Use this to find the messages that are resonating with your email list.
Key Metrics: Dashboards for Blog Performance
Many people believe organic traffic is your free traffic. It’s not. You invest time and money into generating organic traffic. So, treat your blogs like other marketing assets and track the performance.
You can get these answers from GA4, or even from the traffic analytics reports in your HubSpot account. But that takes work, and our goal is for everyone to have a 30-Second Dashboard they review at the beginning of every day. So, we build this report in DataBox and embed it in one of the customized dashboards in HubSpot. To embed it, click the “Actions” dropdown menu and click “Add external content.” Here’s an example of what that report looks like.
How to Move and Resize a Report in your HubSpot Dashboards
HubSpot makes it easy to resize reports in your dashboards. Simply grab the lower-right corner of the report and resize it to fit your screen. We’ve found that reports that are sized correctly for our display are sometimes poorly sized for our client’s displays. So HubSpot made flexible dashboards that work for your unique needs.
PRO TIP: Keep Track of Your Sales Team’s Performance Like a Pro
HubSpot’s dashboard library is a great place to start quickly. It has multiple reports that give you a quick overview of how your sales representatives of performing. The default reports are:
- Deal closed totals vs. goal.
- Deal leaderboard – all time amount closed by sales reps.
- Activity leaderboard by team with type breakdown.
- Deals open by close date of this month.
- Deals closed won all time by sales reps.
- Deals closed lost all time by sales resps.
- Deal created totals vs. goal.
- Activity leaderboard by sales representative with type breakdown.
This starting point gives you basic sales reports to track the effectiveness of your sales team.
Sales Example: Sales Leaderboard
A good sales leaderboard does more than just track individual performance. It shows how the overall sales team is functioning. With the right data points, a sales leaderboard can give your sales team insights into how their efforts are impacting the bottom line and help them adjust their strategies for better results.
We believe you should have real-time sales data on closing rate, time to close, average deal size, and total revenue generated. Then your team can refine their processes. In the example below, you’ve got two sales representatives with high activity. One has more activity. The other has more meetings booked. Wouldn’t you like to know how to work less and get more results?
Sales Process: HubSpot Sales Rep Performance Dashboard
What gets measured gets done. And people behave differently when they know they’re being measured. So, you absolutely want dashboards for your sales team. Obviously, you want to measure sales performance by sales rep. You also want to segment between new sales to existing customers vs. new customers.
You also want to track how many deals your sales reps are working. If your sales process numbers are dialed-in, you’ll have a reasonable deal forecast. The more you measure, the more you learn. The more you learn, the more you’ll be able to identify the common metrics that move the needle in your business. Then customize the reports and dashboards to give your team the tools to drive their actions. Don’t feel like you need to keep all the reports or dashboards you create.
Sales Process: Average Days to Close
The contact close time is the time from the first touch with a contact until they became a customer. On the other hand, the deal close time is the time elapsed between the creation of a deal and the moment the deal was marked as won. These reports should absolutely be on your dashboards.
To access these metrics, go to the Reports section in Hubspot and select the Sales Analytics dashboard. From there, you can view the average time to close for your deals and contacts. You can also segment the data based on various criteria, such as the type of deal or the source of the deal, to get a more detailed understanding of your sales process.
Marketing Qualified Leads and Sales Qualified Leads
You want to be following metrics on your MQL to SQL handoff. This is important for both your sales and marketing teams. It keeps your sales team focused on qualifying the MQLs. It also provides feedback for the marketing team to understand the types of leads that aren’t working.
Custom Report Builder – Deep into the Rabbit Hole of Reporting
Your HubSpot account includes powerful reporting tool. The Custom Report Builder combines multiple datasets into one report. This helps you get a more comprehensive view of your business’s performance across different channels or departments.
For example, if you wanted to compare how many leads each marketing channel was generating, you could create a report combining both marketing and lead generation data into one visualization. But it’s a deep rabbit hole.
For best results, prototype the new report you want on a whiteboard before diving in and building reports. Also pay close attention to your report filters.
HubSpot Analytics Tools
Your HubSpot account includes a powerful reporting tool that’s a bit hidden. Select the “Reports” dropdown menu and select “Analytics tools.” From there you can build a new report from the different analytics frameworks.
In the example below, we used the Sales Analytics tool to build a new report for for one of our dashboards. We set our report filters to rolling 90-days to track our recent performance. Next click save and add it to a new dashboard or any single dashboard.
Again, we recommend caution. It’s easy to get into these tools and start adding reports to your new dashboard. And soon, you have too much data. Instead of being helpful, it’s overwhelming. So, before you dive in head first, start with pen and paper to build your reporting strategy. Look at other dashboard examples, and keep everything as simple as possible.
How to apply filters in a HubSpot dashboard
A strength of your HubSpot account is the ability to filter individual reports on a dashboard. Simply click the filter icon on the top-right of the report and it will bring up a dialog box with different settings. You can use the dropdown menu to set the specific date range. Then, click save and it will update the report.
Unfortunately, there’s no dropdown menu to filter dashboard. It must be done report-by report.
Top Features of HubSpot Reporting Dashboards
If you want to change a report from a line chart to a bar chart (for example), it’s a similar process. Click the filter icon on the top-right. This time, click “customize” on the dialog box. That will take you to the report editor. Make your changes and click save.
HubSpot has made it easy to build dashboards. Which is a strength. But it can also be a weakness. Sometimes it’s like sitting in front of a bowl of chocolate and figuring out when to stop.
Other Dashboard Examples Built in HubSpot
Deal Revenue by Sales Rep
Average Wait Times
Performance Overview Marketing Report
Deals Closed vs. Goal
HubSpot dashboard examples built outside of HubSpot
Combined Advertising Channel Effectiveness Report
Parallel Sales Funnel Report
90-Day Week-by-Week Closing Rate Sales Report
Create Looped Reports
Databox allows you to loop reports. So you can embed one report and have it loop to other reports. This saves space, but it’s not always in your best interest.
Obviously, there’s no end to the discussion on dashboard details. It’s also easy to build reports beyond your ability to digest them. It’s also important to have all reports visible from one platform.
That’s why we recommend starting with pen and paper to start your plan. We believe all the users should start their day with a 30-second dashboard to begin their day. Then, perhaps, there’s a diagnostic dashboard that is also quick to digest. If you overwhelm your team with data, then you’ve wasted everyone’s time without much to show for it.