1 min read

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

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 — 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:

“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.”

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.


HubHeroes Community

(We've made it easy!)

⚠️ What do davenports, pizza bagels, Big Sprocket, and fiber have to do with #HubSpot playbooks?

You're going to have to tune into this week's WILD (and crazy packed) episode of HubHeroes to find out. https://hubheroes.co/3KblXtT 

#hubspotplaybooks #businessoperations #processbuilding #processdevelopment #knowledgemanagement #growbetter #hubheroes

⛔ If you're not using #HubSpot playbooks, you need to pay attention.

In this week's episode, we unpack one of the most under-appreciated tools in the entire HubSpot ecosystem - one you can use in #marketing, #sales, and #service to make your entire organization more efficient: 


#hubspotplaybooks #businessoperations #processbuilding #processdevelopment #knowledgemanagement #growbetter #hubheroes

🤔 Did you know that HubSpot playbooks is probably one of the most under-appreciated tools in the entire #HubSpot tech stack?

In fact, while many know of its uses for #salesenablement, what you might not know is that this powerful tool can make you more efficient and effective across all of your teams, including marketing, service, and operations.


#hubspotplaybooks #businessoperations #processbuilding #processdevelopment #knowledgemanagement #growbetter #hubheroes

A Totally Unforgettable, Unhinged HubHeroes #INBOUND23 Recap (HubHeroes, Ep. 52)

A Totally Unforgettable, Unhinged HubHeroes #INBOUND23 Recap (HubHeroes, Ep. 52)

Hey, everybody! It's Liz here, your friendly, neighborhood content strategist and co-host of the HubHeroes podcast. Now, you may be wondering why I'm...

The Ultimate HubHeroes Sales Enablement Strategy Round-up (Best of the Podcast)

The Ultimate HubHeroes Sales Enablement Strategy Round-up (Best of the Podcast)

Look, there's been some speculation that this particular charismatic HubHero (with volume control issues) was unable to attend HubSpot's...

hubspot forms contacts strategy conversions cro

HubHeroes Lampoon's Wild, Wacky, Winning HubSpot Forms Adventure (HubHeroes, Ep. 51)

In our world, where HubSpot, inbound, and content reign supreme, it's easy to overlook probably THE MOST ESSENTIAL HubSpot tool that exists. No,...

Meet your HubHeroes

Liz Murphy


Agency vet, content therapist, messaging strategist, HubHero wrangler.

Devyn Bellamy


HubSpotter, partner enabler, strategy wizard, BLACK@INBOUND.

Max Cohen


HubSpotter, senior solutions engineer, CRM evangelist, a millennial on TikTok.

George B. Thomas


HubHeroes leader, growth catalyst, guardian of humans, HubSpot expert.

[00:00:25] Liz Murphy:
I will turn the 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. 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. You never do anything wrong. And George,

[00:00:49] George B. Thomas: 
Yeah. Yeah.

[00:00:50] Liz Murphy: 
giving us a vocabulary lesson leader today, that is mildly concerning, but apparently we're just gonna quote know when it happens.

[00:00:58] George B. Thomas: 
Yeah, I mean, listen, when I use words like fuddy duddy and things like that, and Liz, you, you call me on the carpet for m i 80, I'm gonna slip a word in in this episode and everybody will understand what it is.

[00:01:12] Liz Murphy: 
You told me not to lolly gag, and I thought you were also about to like slide worths across the table and ask me to watch Father Dowling

[00:01:20] George B. Thomas: 
Well, first of all, first of all, don't be hating on the Worders because my wife knows like every birthday, every Christmas, I need some weers. Like those are dope candies right there. I'm just gonna throw that out there.

[00:01:30] Liz Murphy: 
thank you for, uh,

[00:01:31] Max Cohen: 
good caramel.

[00:01:32] Liz Murphy: 
big worth afloat, keeping that part of the economy safe and secure.

[00:01:35] George B. Thomas: 
Yeah, they're not sponsoring the show, just so everybody knows.

[00:01:39] Max Cohen: 
[00:01:39] Liz Murphy: 
Not a sh for big worth.

[00:01:41] Max Cohen: 
George. Just, just shilling for big caramel

[00:01:44] Liz Murphy: 
Speaking of big caramel over the past two 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 two 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, how you're actually supposed to be leveraging tools and technology to execute and SA scale sales enablement strategies across your entire organization.

Now, if any of that sounds juicy to you, cuz when I was planning for this episode, I really wanted a stake. So if it sounds juicy to you,

[00:02:25] George B. Thomas: 
the way, by the way, Doesn't just hit the stop button and go listen to another podcast. Just

[00:02:30] Liz Murphy: 
I've heard that's a really great way to build listeners. Wow. All of you are punchy today,

[00:02:34] Max Cohen
Yeah. One with less juice.

[00:02:35] George B. Thomas: 
because we like our podcast, juicy just saying.

[00:02:38] Max Cohen: We have the

[00:02:39] Liz Murphy: 
juice or juice free. Go back to listen to the last two episodes. The sales enablement is a problem in your business, but for this week, mm. We're gonna stay on the technology side because one of the topics that came up in that last episode that we had, cuz 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 like didn't do that. And then we realized, huh, maybe we should talk about it now for those of you who don. 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 breathers. So like when I read that, I'm like, huh, 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. 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 HubSpot playbooks, George was like step back. And he was like, it's about playbooks for sale. 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 G six that you have to pay taxes for by yourself, and you get a Pontiac G six that you have to pay taxes for by yourself.

And that is why we're here today.

[00:04:08] George B. Thomas: 

[00:04:09] Liz Murphy: 
What are HubSpot playbooks really, and how do you actually use them? So I'm gonna open up the floor with the first. 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.

[00:04:23] 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 we're dedicating an entire episode to it is because there are so many places that people are having conversations that vital information, data, a k a insights, things that can help us make smart decisions, create better content. Prove a, 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.

[00:05:46] Devyn Bellamy: 
It is how you duplicate your. 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.

[00:06:27] Liz Murphy: 
Okay, so I have, I have a question here that I want to throw out here cuz it's. I've heard a lot from different organizations and agencies. I don't 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, Devin knows what I'm talking about. You know, I could see the smile and I wanna hear the counter-argument. Cause I put I'm of two minds. 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.

[00:07:14] Devyn Bellamy: 
Yeah, so there are companies, especially startups, especially nonprofits, especially agencies that are used to operating like the buildings 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.

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 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. for me,

[00:08:00] George B. Thomas
Mm. Yeah, man, I feel that. I feel that. See I at my age, I just wanna be able to lay back on the Davenport and take a nice little nap.

[00:08:12] Liz Murphy: 
There it is. Oh my God.

[00:08:14] George B. Thomas: 
I told you I'd fit it

[00:08:15] Devyn Bellamy: 
Oh yeah. No, and, and I'm with you, right, right there. I, I took a nap like two 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 bandaid 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 v1, 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. Don't ask me to submit an application cuz that's not how I get down. I do things. Um, I believe there's a group of people who like to say decently in an order.

That's how I roll. And, um, 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 want to talk. Moving, divorcing your growth from your headcount. Playbooks are the way to do 

[00:09:51] Liz Murphy: 
There are so many nuggets in there. I wanna touch on a couple of things. Number one, before anybody gets in their mind some sort of subversive version of what my platform is, I am pro Nap anti Davenport. Let's be very clear here, number one. Number two, I love this conversation about process because if you have a process and it's not written, That is a wish. If you are saying, well, everybody knows what the process is. No, 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 the fact that they're not following best practice. Like it's, it's absolutely a Also, what if you get hit by a bus, there's no security, George, you're gonna explode.

[00:10:32] George B. Thomas: 
I am. 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. Uh, the other thing too, I wanna circle back around real.

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 because they can learn off of the back of everybody who has done it for 2, 5, 17, 22 years.

now it's like, it's like star Treking, the Borg knowledge to create this path that everybody is taking with the right questions that they need to be asking. And so it. 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 their first. 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.

[00:12:00] Devyn Bellamy: 
Well time out for real cuz you're over modulating just akosh.

[00:12:04] George B. Thomas: 
I'll back up from my mic.

[00:12:06] Max Cohen: 
Back up off the mic. George

[00:12:07] George B. Thomas: 
Quit getting so damn excited is what I heard. Devin just say,

[00:12:11] Liz Murphy: 
All right. There's a lot of excitement happening right now, but Maxie Sweet P. Talk to me what you love about playbooks.

[00:12:18] Max Cohen: 
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 HubSpots.
I think your contacts, your companies, your deals, your tickets, the things you're going into and interacting with. 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, a sales

[00:12:50] Liz Murphy: 
Does everyone have access to it? Is it for all HubSpot customers or is it at a

[00:12:55] Max Cohen: 
so you have to have,

[00:12:56] George B. Thomas: 
go. Go ahead, max.

[00:12:57] 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 cuz 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. You can almost think of 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 'em. You can add a whole bunch of like stuff into 'em. 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, Level one of like what

[00:13:58] George B. Thomas: 

[00:13:58] Liz Murphy: 
thing I wanna throw in here though, hold on, church. 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 and clarify what an object is?

I know we have a whole episode dedicated to objects, but I think sometimes people get confused. Objects,

[00:14:19] Max Cohen: 

[00:14:19] Liz Murphy: 

[00:14:20] Max Cohen: 
So we think objects. The big four, I mean, technically everything's an object cause it's a database. But like the big four, when we say objects, contacts, which are people, companies, which are the businesses or organizations they work at, are associated to deals. Active. You selling ticket, active, you helping.

[00:14:33] George B. Thomas: 
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now I'm gonna piggyback. Because, and I'm glad you did that list VAX 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 that the content creators inside of your organization, cuz 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.

[00:15:35] 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 two or level three, thinking beyond how you're using. Is how marketers can use that data. And this is where sort of like the creativity side of this comes.
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 re-engage those folks.

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 re-engagement campaigns with these like past opportunities or people who close lost, you now have this hyper-specific information that you can use to send super.
Like segmented in like targeted content, And like the sales rep was none the wiser to it, right? But it could be updating properties in the backend 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.

[00:17:08] Liz Murphy: 
For once. No one wants to just jump right 

[00:17:10] George B. Thomas: 
Well, I do, but I want to 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 three 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 OpenText field, which means if you set up your settings, it could be open text into a note, open text into a call, OpenText 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 acrossed 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 OpenText. The second thing we can do is we can actually do a list of answers in enterprise.

Where now we give them the top five 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. 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 fricking workflow at the same exact time. 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, 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 on that could be then shown in a call, a meeting, an email, or a note inside your HubSpot record. 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.

[00:19:44] Max Cohen: 
Devi. Devin. Devin, Hopman. If you want, and I, I want to throw in a good

[00:19:47] 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. it's, that is the foundation of what a playbook could be.

So even if you are for some reason, not a HubSpot customer, even

[00:20:16] George B. Thomas: 
Oh, good point. Good point.

[00:20:19] Devyn Bellamy: 
If for, for, for some reason you, you haven't made the leap to the greatest growth platform ever, then what you want to do is at the very least, figure out a way to document, find a place for these things to live. What sets

[00:20:33] Liz Murphy: 
It's not a doc. If it's not a process, if it's not

[00:20:36] Devyn Bellamy: 
That's right.

[00:20:37] Liz Murphy: 
it's just not. Mm-hmm.

[00:20:38] Devyn Bellamy: 
It's just a very familiar fire sale. So with the difference between that and a HubSpot, Is HubSpot playbooks do all of that and they're interactive. They're a way for your team to be engaged, one-to-one with the data.

[00:20:56] Liz Murphy: 
What is it? Okay, so

[00:20:57] Max Cohen: 
And it's where you're doing your work

[00:20:59] Liz Murphy: 
what does interaction look?

[00:21:00] Max Cohen: 
you're doing your work.

[00:21:00] Liz Murphy: 
What does interaction look like? Because I've got very excited. It's all that and a bag of chips. And then you said it's interactive, it's engaging. Fantastic. What does that bag of interactive chips

[00:21:10] Devyn Bellamy: 
Go for it, George.

[00:21:11] George B. Thomas: 
All right. Of all, the fact that you can create a playbook and you have the ability to actually have like a highlighter 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. 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.

[00:22:02] 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, uh, 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 'em 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 onto 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 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 inform. 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.

[00:24:13] George B. Thomas: 
I don't know if this is the place to let my nerd light shine or.

[00:24:17] Liz Murphy: 
You mean? Oh, right now this is, okay. Hold on. George. I gotta be perfectly honest. I feel like a mom, like all of 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 themselves.

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

[00:24:49] Max Cohen: 

[00:24:50] George B. Thomas: 
Okay, well

[00:24:50] Liz Murphy: 
But that's why we love this. We, this is why we love this.

[00:24:53] George B. Thomas: 
I'll, I'll let it shine.

[00:24:54] Max Cohen: 
it rip. Let it rip. Georgie,

[00:24:56] George B. Thomas: 
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 let's like stand out in front of my house and see how many people stop by and like ask me to do something yamo your.

Pizza bagels. All right, so here's the thing. Here's where I get really nerdy and my brain starts to work, is 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 multi variant 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 fricking close rate went down. Well, sweet. Let's revert back to before Marky. Mark touched our ish, 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 'em, and using them over time. Like my nerd. Just loves the fact that that's there.

[00:26:06] Max Cohen: 
dude, I didn't even know you could do versioning

[00:26:08] George B. Thomas: 
Oh yeah, dude. Right hand side under the published button. It's freaking amazing.

[00:26:12] Liz Murphy: 
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Did you out shill the shill?

[00:26:15] Max Cohen: 

[00:26:16] George B. Thomas: 
outhill the shill. You know what? You know what that means? That means after this is over, I'm gonna go out to my veranda and take a nap.

[00:26:23] Liz Murphy: 
It's pronounced Verda

[00:26:25] George B. Thomas: 
Whichever, but that's two words that I threw in this episode. Cause I'm 80

[00:26:31] Liz Murphy: 
I feel like

[00:26:32] Max Cohen: 
that's my wife's favorite. Coffee from Starbucks.

[00:26:35] Liz Murphy: 
Metamucil? Are we okay?

[00:26:36] George B. Thomas: 
now. I get plenty of fiber, but nobody wants to know that on this podcast.

[00:26:40] Liz Murphy: 
I feel like there's a lot of

[00:26:41] Max Cohen: 
can I tie in?

[00:26:42] Liz Murphy: 
Devin, I have a question for you. What is the stuff that people get wrong about HubSpot? Playbooks, please save us from ourselves.

[00:26:48] Devyn Bellamy: 
Oh, it just, right over the top of what George was saying, uh, you're not iterating and you're not deprecating. You're not taking your old stuff and doing away. Um, 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 v1, you shouldn't be shipping your V1 and just letting it ride. That's not, that's not gonna work. What you need to do is constantly update and. 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've created five 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 want to duplicate that.

[00:27:52] Max Cohen: 
another thing I want to, 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 kind of 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. We've got, uh, 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 a hubs spot. And don't get me wrong, HubSpot Academy's 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 and the context of what's unique, unique to you and your processes and your specific nuances around how you're using it.

Playbooks gives you the opportunity to bridge that gap, So you've. HubSpot Academy so that when you get butts in seats and people start using HubSpot, they go, okay, I know how to use the buttons and hit the right buttons to do the thing, 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 are actually using. you know, so there's that. Just think about how you're layering that stuff together

[00:29:49] 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 'em in there. Uh, 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 you're a company 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 hub swap playbooks.

You just have to build it, and you can literally have an onboarding quiz or exam or whatever you want to call it. Oh, by the way, by the way, sorry, one more thing, Liz, you asked Devi. What is the most common mistake people are making with HubSpot playbooks? I wanna swing back to that for a second,

[00:31:14] Liz Murphy: 
Oh, I was gonna swing us all back to

[00:31:15] 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. what do you, how do you wanna build it? Like whiteboard and like five other humans brains working together. Okay, now let's go build it in HubSpot. So it's definitely

[00:31:40] Max Cohen: 
And, and also, and also how are you communicating that those are even there and when to look for 'em? There are a couple of things that they've done recently cuz 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

[00:31:54] George B. Thomas: 
Oh no,

[00:31:55] Max Cohen: 
there's a lot of cool stuff.

Yeah. Yeah. I'm not gonna, I'm not 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 y'all should use that playbook. And 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 deal, you know, all that kind of stuff. 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

[00:32:42] 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 up because it's one of 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 one set, when to recommend.

And what it does is it gives you a dropdown where like deal, deal, stage, contact, lead status or lifecycle 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. Cuz 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 in playbooks. And so if I can at least levitate it to the top, I'm good to go.

[00:33:28] Max Cohen: 
Wait, I'm pretty sure you

[00:33:29] George B. Thomas: 
Can you?

[00:33:30] Max Cohen: 
playbooks from the

[00:33:30] Liz Murphy: 
bar and it should bring up playbooks

[00:33:32] George B. Thomas: 
Well, no, no, no. I mean, on the record, if you're on the record and you wanna run a playbook, can you search it on the record? Uhoh? I might meet.

[00:33:39] Max Cohen: 
I am pretty sure you can A, a, a. What's up Devin

[00:33:45] Devyn Bellamy: 
Honestly, I'm learning new stuff here myself. So the advanced functionality,

[00:33:50] Max Cohen: 
this whole podcast is

[00:33:51] Devyn Bellamy: 
advanced functionality of HubSpot playbooks. some of this is news to me, man. I just traditionally am using them to document process. 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, uh, for, for the knowledge to live. But no, this advanced functionality, I'm, I'm sitting along with the listeners like, oh,

[00:34:19] George B. Thomas: 
Okay. I. I 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

[00:34:33] Max Cohen: 
It's always been there.

[00:34:34] George B. Thomas: 
there. Max, shut up.

[00:34:36] Max Cohen: 
It's always been in there

[00:34:37] 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 cuz 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. Compared to where you need to go, cause maybe you're running two or three playbooks on a particular contact company ordeal.

[00:35:03] Liz Murphy: 
All right. Let's get outta the weeds here. Three minute guys. Also, the chaotic energy of this episode. I'm here for it. I'm also scared, but I'm here for

[00:35:12] George B. Thomas: 
Be very afraid.

[00:35:15] Liz Murphy: 
I would think we've learned a lot about each other today. Uh, George will be on the Davern port waiting for people to feed him pizza bagels in exchange for goods and service.

[00:35:23] George B. Thomas: 
And on a good day, it's my Davenport is on my veranda and I have pizza bagels.

[00:35:28] Devyn Bellamy: 
way he can yell at the kids to get off his lawn and stop playing the loud

[00:35:32] George B. Thomas: 

[00:35:32] Liz Murphy: Meanwhile, Devin remains the favorite. And Max, I love you, but you screwed up my introduction and

[00:35:38] Max Cohen: just a piece of

[00:35:39] Liz Murphy: that'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?

[00:35:45] George B. Thomas: Oh my God.

[00:35:46] Max Cohen: I can't 

[00:35:47] Liz Murphy: 
Do you know who we haven't talked about today? George, the humans?

[00:35:52] Devyn Bellamy: 
I've been waiting for it.

[00:35:54] Max Cohen: Oh my

[00:35:56] George B. Thomas: 
It's a lot of pressure. It's a lot of pressure, but at the end of the day,

[00:36:00] Max Cohen: 
gimme a real, just gimme a real breathy one. Wow. Okay.

[00:36:05] Devyn Bellamy: 
Ah, yeah. I'm not gonna be able

[00:36:07] Liz Murphy: 
at least buy me a steak dinner first. Okay.

[00:36:11] 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, uh, about you, the 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.

[00:36:34] Liz Murphy: 
So we were just teeing you

[00:36:35] Max Cohen: 
we're definitely not a cult. We're definitely not a cult. Just I promise.

[00:36:41] Liz Murphy: 
hail. Big sprocket. Not a

[00:36:43] Max Cohen: 
We're definitely, when, when someone asks you, we're definitely not a cult. All

[00:36:48] Devyn Bellamy: 
Now if that were the case, I would paint my walls orange or something.

[00:36:52] George B. Thomas: 
Oh, here we go.

[00:36:54] Liz Murphy: 
All right. 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? Devin, you go.

[00:37:12] 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. 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 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.

New hires burn out personally seeing them burn out just because of the amount of figuring it out as they go that they need to do.

[00:38:28] Max Cohen
There are only two limits of playbooks. The first one is the tier of HubSpot you have, but the second one is your creativity. I'm gonna leave it at that.

[00:38:36] Liz Murphy: 
God, George

[00:38:38] George B. Thomas: 
No, I, I, I agree with that. I mean this,

[00:38:41] Max Cohen: 
Am I wrong?

[00:38:43] Liz Murphy: 
Rainbow? Is this reading

[00:38:44] Devyn Bellamy: 
I was gonna say it just needs to end with the more, you know,

[00:38:48] Liz Murphy: 
Well, you know,

[00:38:50] Max Cohen: 
Take a look. It's in the playbook. Go close that deal.

[00:38:54] George B. Thomas: 
Oh, okay. I don't even know how to follow that. Like, that's some, some straight up just

[00:38:59] Liz Murphy: 
don't have to, you could help me preserve my sanity.

[00:39:02] George B. Thomas: so here's, here's the thing, right?
[00:39:04] Devyn Bellamy: Right. Preserve your sanity. Yeah. Just kidding. Moving on

[00:39:07] George B. Thomas: 
uh, Mo. Moving on, moving on to playbooks. Um,

[00:39:12] Liz Murphy: 
do I need to give you?

[00:39:13] 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 micro success. And if you have micro success for each individual, you have company that is macro success. You're moving the needle in the right way. One brick or one human, one And so if you're listening to this and you're not using playbooks in one shape, form, fashion for.

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 success.

[00:40:09] Liz Murphy: 
I give you so much crap during this episode, George, and then you had to lay it down

[00:40:13] Devyn Bellamy: 
It's beautiful. You're just beautifully

[00:40:15] George B. Thomas: 
I, that's what I do people. That's what I do.

[00:40:17] Max Cohen: 
Laid it down right on the Davenport.

[00:40:19] George B. Thomas: 
Yeah. I

[00:40:20] Liz Murphy: 
oh my God. You know what, everybody get off my lawn. Everyone get out to everybody else listening. Do you like us? Do you have suggestions? George Work 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 hundred, but I wanna start with 50. Help us get. And please

[00:40:44] George B. Thomas: 
us out, folks. I'll ship you some pizza bagels for a

[00:40:47] Liz Murphy: 
no, he won't. He will eat them. You will eat them.

[00:40:49] George B. Thomas: 
I would eat

[00:40:50] Liz Murphy: 
And uh, don't lie to the humans.
Don't lie to the humans. And on that note, we will talk to you all next week.

[00:40:56] George B. Thomas: 

[00:40:57] Liz Murphy: 

[00:40:58] Max Cohen: 
Love you.