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HubSpot Reporting mindsets, misconceptions, and marvelous disasters! (HubHeroes, Ep. 35)

hubspot reporting hubheroes podcast


Someone crazy smart once said, "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it."

That couldn't be more true in the inbound space, when you're using HubSpot. You see, as all of us are spinning around the HubSpot Flywheelattracting, engaging, and delighting customers (new and old) along the way — we need to measure how effective our collective marketing, sales, and service efforts are. 

Now, we've talked a bit about measurement before in our content marketing ROI episode. But this week, we want to get more tactical and talk about the tools of reporting at your fingertips in HubSpot — no matter what you're measuring.

So, if you're a HubSpot user, and you are in any way responsible for surfacing reporting data — or you're expecting others in your organization to do that for you — for performance, grab your notebooks and listen up. 

This is the HubSpot reporting primer you've been waiting for! 


  • What has our relationship with HubSpot's reporting been over the years?
  • When we think about the HubSpot reporting ninjas out there in the world, what are the beliefs or mindsets they possess?
  • What's the one thing you think most of the HubSpot reporting users may be missing when leveraging those tools?
  • What are our favorite HubSpot reporting tools and features?
  • What are the most common misconceptions you've seen about HubSpot reporting?
  • What reporting actions should listeners take right now if they haven't already?

And that's only the beginning ... 


HubHeroes Community

(We've made it easy!)


🔥 Do you know the one thing you're totally missing with HubSpot's reporting tools?

🔥 Do you know the mindsets the most powerful HubSpot reporting ninjas possess?

🔥 Do you know the most common misconceptions HubSpotters like you have about reporting?

If you care about ROI, and you're sitting there stumped trying to answer those questions, you're in luck! We answer those questions (and more) in this week's episode of HubHeroes! 


#hubspot #marketingROI #reporting #hubspotreporting 

😱 Listen up, HubSpotters! Some of you might THINK you've mastered HubSpot's reporting tools and features ... but you're wrong. 

So, grab your notepads and a pen! This week's episode of HubHeroes is dedicated to unpacking our collective decades worth of knowledge and experience in HubSpot's reporting tools ... and it's gonna rock your world! 


#hubspot #marketingROI #reporting #hubspotreporting 

⛔  STOP! If you're using HubSpot and often left scratching your head at its extensive — but sometimes confusing — stack of reporting features and tools, this episode is for you.

In this week's episode of HubHeroes, we're unpacking our favorite HubSpot reporting secrets, the most common misconceptions about reporting in HubSpot, and what the most powerful HubSpot reporting ninjas all have in common ... 


#hubspot #marketingROI #reporting #hubspotreporting 




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.

[00:00:00] George B. Thomas: man, you know what I, I don't know why, but today that educate and empower piece like just jumped outta the audio to me, and I'm like, yeah, yeah. That's what we're about to do.

We're about to empower and educate. You know what's sad though? Hmm. It's just us three guys here today. I know. Don't tell nobody. Where's Liz? How? Well she's, she's running around doing stuff, helping people, like being a catalyst for catalysts, if you will. Hmm. So, you know, sometimes that takes you where you just can't be somewhere on a Friday at 3:00 PM But we still love her.

We miss you. We can't wait till next episode where you're back. But Max Devon, how the heck are you guys today? I'm feeling 

[00:00:39] Max Cohen: forgotten and abandoned. By Liz. Oh. Oh, damn. No, I'm good. I'm good. I'm feeling good. I feel all right. 

[00:00:47] George B. Thomas: In my neighborhood. Yeah. We could roast, we could roast Liz the entire episode, couldn't we?

Like the entire one? She's not here to defend herself. That would be terrible of us though. Yeah, don't do that. Devin. How you doing? 

[00:00:56] Max Cohen: My man? 

[00:00:57] Devyn Bellamy: I'm fantastic. And I have nothing bad to say about Liz, even if she's not here, cuz I'm not trying to catch that heat. So, Liz, yeah. Love you. Can't wait till you get back.

Hope you're enjoying all the things that you're doing. And, yeah, is, is a lesser experience without 

[00:01:10] Max Cohen: you. 

[00:01:10] George B. Thomas: Yeah, true. Devin Devin's thing was, Devin's thing is, I don't want to be part of a haiku. That's, that's what I heard Devin say. I don't wanna be part of a haiku. A poem, a song lyric. He's like, I got no time for that.

No time for that. Well, it's interesting because all of us have been doing this HubSpot thing for a while. We've, uh, You know, we've gone in different directions, done different things, and, and today we're really setting, this up for a future episode. Just all, all you listeners out there know that this episode is the, the foundation, if you will, the base of what is an episode to come in a couple weeks.

Uh, might be a month from now, but three weeks. I don't know. Anyway, we're gonna do a deep dive on reporting. We actually have a special top secret guest that's gonna show up and we're gonna talk about. HubSpot reporting, but today we're talking about HubSpot reporting mindsets. Mm. Misconceptions and dare I say, marvelous disasters.

So we're gonna go ahead and start with this. And Max, Devin, what is your personal relationship, cuz we like to get personal here on the Hub Heroes Podcast. What's your personal relationship been like with reporting inside of HubSpot? I, I don't know 

[00:02:21] Max Cohen: the definition of the word tumultuous, but I feel like that's the best word to describe it.

yeah, I mean, you know, I always, uh, I always was super scared of reporting. I'd say for the majority of the time I've been working with HubSpot. And I think a lot of it just kind of came from like, I don't know. I wasn't very good at math growing up. I didn't, I didn't pass a lot of math classes, uh, be it in.

You know, high school or, you know, uh, middle school for that matter, or even college. Um, so I always kind of felt like reporting was like totally something outside of my wheelhouse. And like I always found myself, sort of hamstring myself just saying like, Oh, you know, uh, you know, reporting is my weak spot, so I might have you talk to someone else about that, like, just to get outta the conversation.

but it wasn't until like I really had to learn it that I kind of realized it's not that hard. Um, you know, so as of lately I've, I've really been kind of digging into it a lot, try to find my own easy way of understanding it. Just kind of like how I deal with anything in HubSpot that I don't really kind of get at the beginning.

and I'd say now, I'm, I'm really comfortable with it. I'm, I, I feel like I can build a report on almost anything in HubSpot, and I also feel like I'm, I have a pretty good understanding of like what its boundaries are too, you know? so yeah, I mean, it's been up and down. It's been a wild rollercoaster.

It's been a, you know, it's been, it's been a, a, uh, a line graph that goes up and down. That's, that's been the relationship. Oh yeah. 

[00:03:42] George B. Thomas: I thought it was gonna be a journey map. Um, it's 

[00:03:45] Max Cohen: a bit of a scatter plot. 

[00:03:47] George B. Thomas: Oh, okay. A little hit or miss maybe. Devin, how about you, my man? How, how, what is your historical relationship with HubSpot reporting?

Uh, been like, well, 

[00:03:55] Max Cohen: I can't come out with 

[00:03:56] Devyn Bellamy: the dad jokes, uh, about the, the, the Gantt charts and stuff, freaking nerds. But, um, yeah, for me it, it, see, I've been using HubSpot reporting since it was an a la carte feature, you know? And, Back in the day, HubSpot recorded reporting was really good at reporting inbound metrics, but if you had wanted anything outside of that, Um, it wasn't the best tool.

So if, if, if I had to equate it to, you know, dating, it started out rough and, but then we got counseling and so for me now, with the customer reporting tools being as robust as they are, And with me, I'm on the other end of the spectrum. I'm a total math guy when it comes to analytics and calculating and all that stuff.

And there weren't a lot of features, and so you'd have to use outside tools if you wanted to drill down into certain thing. So now just how robust HubSpot reporting is and combine that with the ability to, uh, Pull in data from custom objects and all those, uh, things. You can really get nerdy with your dashboards and, and don't even get me started on embedding and all that fun stuff where you can literally just have a daily meme pop up in your dashboard.

That's just crazy. 

[00:05:18] George B. Thomas: Yeah. See you did go to nerd level though. You brought up memes with reporting. I'm just gonna throw that. You don't need dad jokes. You got memes for the rest of this, uh, podcast episode. It's funny. I wanted to start out that way with that question because for me, HubSpot reporting actually has been a little bit of.

And Max, I'm with you for a while, the bane of my existence. And what's funny is as much as I would train HubSpot and as many people as I would talk to, whether it was onboarding or consulting, um, everybody, I'd ask, Hey, what are your Achilles heels inside of HubSpot reporting would be number one, workflows would always be number two.

And so I finally realized, well, I'm in good company because everybody's just confused about how to do this stuff in here. And max, you said, I'm not kind of a math guy. And Devin, you're like, oh man, I'm the, I'm the polar opposite. I'm a math guy, nerd man. I am more of a crayons guy. Right? Give me some crayons.

Let me be creative. I've never really been a math guy. But here's the thing cuz we're gonna go into to mindsets. We're gonna go into mindsets. And Max, when you said that about the actual, fact that you can, figure it out, right? Yeah. You said figure it out. Yeah. I started to think about how it was.

Less about math and more of almost like a Rubik's cube. Mm-hmm. And once you actually figure out how to solve that bad boy Yeah. Once you figure out what you need to drag where Yep. Now all of a sudden you're a, you're a puzzle solver instead of like a mathematician. Yeah. Which, which gets really interesting and we'll talk about as we kind of move in here.

But, so for me, Shedding the mindset that I had to be a mathematician to actually be good at reporting was a really great time for me. because now I'm like, oh. Oh, and it also gave me, by the way, a great next step to actually get better at reporting when I had that realization. But let's dive in a little bit and what are some of the mindsets that you two have gathered along the way or, or because you have worked with some really smart people the entire time, have seen in like HubSpot reporting ninjas that you've been around.

Like what do you think the mindsets of these people are, are thinking about or generating or, or maybe don't think about? 

[00:07:26] Max Cohen: Yeah, I can, I can say, like, for me, the wh when it really clicked is in that that Rubiks cube, uh, example is actually perfect. Like I, I learned how to do a Rubiks cube. I've, I've forgotten since, but I, I learned how to do one right before the pandemic.

shout out to Becca Stamp at HubSpot, who, who taught me how to solve a Rubic cube. For the first time in my life. But what was super interesting about that, analogy there is like with the Rubiks cube, you just kind of follow the same steps until you get to a certain place, and then there's always a way to solve it, right?

It's sort of the same thing with reporting in that, like, if you can put yourself in a pretty standardized, like mindset or like give yourself a framework, right? That the, the one that really worked for me is, uh, just realizing. HubSpot is HubSpot reporting. As long as you can understand the fundamentals of a, what data sources are you choosing?

B, what parameters are you measuring and C, how are you filtering the data? Right? If you know you just have to do those three things in order. You can build any report you want, right? And it's, if you break it into those simpler parts and understand why you have to sp pay special attention to those three different pieces, you can really figure out any sort of report you have to build in a HubSpot, right?

But you need like, A framework versus just kind of going it into it blind and like, not really, you know, solving those three things kind of in sequential order. 

[00:08:47] Devyn Bellamy: All right, so here's the thing with reporting is that you can't be looking at numbers for the sake of numbers. You don't want to be just diving into your numbers, looking at stuff, because then you can end up doing what's called p hacking, where you're looking at numbers and seeing, um, mistaking, uh, uh, correlation with.

Causation and, and thinking that one thing has to do with another. Like there's a study out that if you eat more donuts you'll lose weight, and it's like, no, that's not, of course what happened. You're just looking at these numbers and putting them together and thinking that, you know, something happened there.

What you should be doing. Everything in your reporting should start with a question. Even if that question is as simple as how is our sales team performing? What you should be doing is you should be. Taking these, uh, reports and, and you don't even have to create them. There are so many custom reports in the, uh, HubSpot library that's been developed over the years, and you don't even need to tweak 'em.

Not at times. You just load them and they're good to go. They have an entire dashboard that is preset. With most of the reports that you would even need and gives you ideas on some of the things that you weren't even thinking about looking for. So if you're like looking at, we'll say website analytics.

If you're looking at website analytics and thinking, yeah, we, we need to get more traffic, that that's not gonna solve your problem. You can even. get Russian bots to build your traffic if you want to. That's not actually contributing to your bottom line in fixing the problem. That's just one isolated report.

Your reporting should be a part of a larger picture. Whatever report you're generating, a larger picture that is helping you understand where you are in relationship to your goals, where you are in relationship to your KPIs, and that's. What's going to help you understand what you need to fix. So the thing is, is that reporting.

People get lost and, and look at the forest for the trees and forget that all of these numbers are actually people in human behaviors and interactions. And so you'll start making actions based on, oh, let's make this number get bigger, or make that number get bigger. Whereas if you look at the whole picture, you can see that you might have a problem here, but it actually.

Uh, is gonna be solved by you fixing something over here, like, like a, a low conversion rate. Further down the, the, the, the sales pipeline, this is something I literally just finished talking about a couple weeks ago, uh, at experience inbound in Wisconsin. Shout out to Stream Creative. In wider group for putting on an amazing event.

Uh, and I apologize to everyone who was there who might have fallen asleep during my math lecture, but the thing is, is that it's all about looking at whatever's going on with your organization holistically, and not getting so drilled down into one number or one set of numbers and forgetting why you're even doing this in the first place.

[00:11:47] George B. Thomas: love that you brought this up because there's a couple things that come to mind. The first thing that I have to address right now is I need you to send me the data on that donut diet that you were talking about, that I can actually eat more donuts and lose weight.

I, yeah, I was gonna say I . 

[00:12:02] Max Cohen: Yeah. I really, I 

[00:12:03] George B. Thomas: went up. Yeah, I'm just saying I'm down with that. But here's the thing. I love that you said, uh, talked about starting with a question, right? Because the idea of starting with a question, when you ask a question, what do you want? An answer, and that's what your data should be providing you.

It should be providing you with an answer and insights and answer and insight should then, in your mind, drive a direction that you're going to go, whether it be with your traffic or your sales or your lead generation. But. Action, uh, insights answers based on those questions. And here's the thing, when I'm teaching HubSpot reporting to companies, I literally talk about how success leaves clues.

If you go into the reporting tool and you look at attribution reporting, seven questions under the create contact, seven questions under the deal. Seven questions under. The revenue. If you go into the custom report builder, what did they make sure to put in sample reports? How did they address those sample reports?

Questions. You are trying to get an answer to the question, so if you even see how they're baking out parts of the HubSpot tool, it's based on this philosophy of. Questions. Now, here's the thing I wanna address, because by the way, if you rewind this, max laid out two to three things. Devin laid out one to two.

Uh, things like you'll be able to rewind this and map together like a holy but Jesus, that's my framework for HubSpot reporting moving forward. But I'm gonna add in this one last element that when I figured out this is more like a Rubik's cube, less like being a mathematician. As I went and I looked at every single one of the pages that I could see HubSpot default properties and started to study 'em like they were the hottest things since, I don't know, sliced bread or the printing press or the iPhone or whatever you wanna throw in there, because then I wanted to know immediately what properties count.

Yep. What properties are dates? What property? Like amounts, because if I know the like created or became or counted or amounted, if I know those properties like the back of my hand and I start to attach those to my custom properties, my custom objects, or anything else that I'm tying together. Now you have a matrix for success.

See, the thing about jumping into HubSpot reporting and not understanding, the most important piece of it is that the data is being driven from properties that are being filled out by your reps, by forms being filled out by integrations. Like, so if you don't know this at a deep level, that's why we've been so historically confused on how do we get the right stuff to show on the page.


[00:14:48] Max Cohen: Yeah, I think that's a really good point. Like too, like. And, and you kind of said it, I'm gonna say it again. Getting really good at properties is not only just one of the best ways to become a HubSpot expert, but it's also the best way to like really understand reporting. Right. Um, and you could do so many things with it.

Like especially if you're trying to like, Measure when, like how many times something like very complex happened. You can have simply just like one single property that changes to indicate that that very complex thing happened to that record. And then literally you're building simple reports off of like filters of that specific.

Um, like of that specific property or like count of records that has that property checked off. Right? And like you simplify the way you're building reportings just by being super smart with the way that you understand why certain properties change when they change, what causes them to change, what they change to things like that.

Get a really good handle on properties and like so much of HubSpot will be unlocked for you right off of that one simple concept. 

[00:15:48] George B. Thomas: Absolutely, and to be honest with you, like we're on episode 35 right now, ladies and gentlemen, we knew how important this was because in episode. Eight. We literally did HubSpot, uh, custom properties, objects and groups 1 0 1 best practices.

And I would say that if you're listening to this and you didn't listen to episode eight, go listen to episode eight where we talk about custom properties. And I would say that you Google. HubSpot contact properties, default contact properties, HubSpot, default deal properties, HubSpot, default ticket properties, HubSpot default company properties.

You'll come up with four knowledge articles that again, when you take the time to read through them and start to understand the default properties and then tie it into your stuff, man, you will be jamming. All right, let's continue to move on. I wanna know. I wanna know from you guys what you think, is there a kind of major thing that maybe HubSpot users are missing when it comes to reporting?

[00:16:48] Max Cohen:

[00:16:48] Devyn Bellamy: absolutely got one. Uh, for me it's lifecycle reporting. It is an unsung hero in that you can use lifecycle reporting to look at your conversion analytics. And what that tells you is when you, most people look at it, they say, Hey, we have more SQLs than, or more MQs and SQLs, and. All right. And so let's see if we can get that.

That's part of it. But what you can do is look at those conversion rates. Look the percentages of how many people go from one life cycle stage to the next, and that will allow you to start thinking, okay, so we need to change this conversion rate. What can we do in order to affect that number? And like for instance, if you're having a problem between MQL and SQLs, then what that could mean is that what marketing thinks is a qualified lead isn't the same thing as what sales thinks is a qualified lead.

And those, that is a really huge, uh, really huge metric. and the other one is just dashboards in general. The, um, the pre-built dashboards for sales managers, for sales people, they are beautiful and informative and they allow you to almost instantly get metrics on team performance, and it's, it's almost turnkey.

It's beautiful. I 

[00:18:16] George B. Thomas: love that. I'm gonna jump in here, max, I'm gonna let you bring up the rear on this one. And ladies and gentlemen, I fully understand that this is an audio podcast and I'm just gonna do the best I can do. But when I was thinking about this question, I remember something that happened after I had used HubSpot for maybe let's say about eight or maybe nine years now.

I've only been using it for a little over a decade, so that tells you that this is something that I myself was like, wait, what? You can do that. So if I'm on any report, which by the way, it's just the easiest way to talk you through this. If I go to like a dashboard and I go to any report that I can click on, and you hopefully, you know that you can click on the reports by the way, somebody has out there listening, going, oh my God.

You can click on reports. If you click on a report that you can click on and it brings up that list, right? And you can see like the date and the, you know, whatever the thing is that you're reporting on, you're gonna see the metrics. And there's this little piece that sits there and I think hides from people, and it's called group data.

And what you can do is you can actually select the group data tab. And so in the case, in the report that I'm looking at, it then pops out and it says, select a dimension. And so you can look at that data and again, in my case I see published date message network, post campaign. All sorts of different things that I can literally go in and look at or kind of give it a dimension or a, a pivot or a different thing.

So if you don't know about grouping data, if you're curious about that, get the old Google machine out. Get the old HubSpot Caddy machine out. Get the old like, Hey, HubSpot support, what the heck is this? And figure out, or maybe, or maybe. Just bring it up to the community and see if other people have been using it, what you can do with it.

But the fact that so many people miss that and don't realize it's a thing that you can do was mind blowing to me as what I would call slightly seasoned user. Mm-hmm. 

[00:20:10] Max Cohen: I think something a lot of people are missing is just like an understanding of, of, of how, like HubSpot reporting sort of fundamentally works in that.

Like people don't realize. That it's all objects based. Right, like it's all objects and property based reporting, right? but then when, I think also when sometimes people hear the word objects, they're thinking about deals, tickets, companies contacts, but like, they forget things like marketing events or objects, marketing analytics events, emails like assets that you have.

These are all objects. If you think about HubSpot, it is a relational database. Right. It's just a giant relational database and like, technically everything you see in there that occurs more than once is some kind of object, right? Especially anything that you can bring in as a source, right, for your data, uh, when you're building those reports.

So, um, you know, I think like just having that, just like remembering. And next time you get like frustrated because you think there's some sort of like limitation of what HubSpot reporting can or can't do. You need to remember you're working with an objects based like database to build these reports and like that should sort of help you structure the way that you should expect this data to behave when you're building reports around it.

Right, and, and sometimes that can help meet your expectations. Sometimes that can help get you to an answer quicker. Sometimes that can help you just like solution, the type of report you need and the filtering and which objects you use. What do you choose as the primary versus like the other data sources that you're bringing in?

Right? Which is something I struggled with to understand. You know, for so long. Um, so I think just like remembering, remembering you're working with a relational database where all these things are related to each other, and that's what powers a lot of the cool, like cross object reporting stuff you can do and things like that.

[00:22:02] George B. Thomas: I'm, I am so glad you brought that up, max, because it's hard to see what you were talking about, like from just a, I'm a regular everyday user, but when you go into the custom report builder and you see contacts, company deals, tickets, but then you see blog posts, landing pages, ad performance, media calls, quotes, payments, tasks, web act like all these.

Buckets. Right. And the one thing that I learned, and this is again, a recent, I literally, there was a reporting deep dive that Kyle Jepson's, um, HubSpot admins, um, hug did. and it was super dope, super smart, but they talked about, uh, data joins. Yeah. And how these are actually creating a data join table.

Yes. And what that affects and, and again, it's all about the hidden pieces that people might be missing, but the fact when you go to create a custom report that you can look over at the right hand side and see data, join info. And c selected data sources like contacts, companies, blog posts, and c numbers that actually equate to the contacts.

And yes, ladies and gentlemen, you can click on the freaking numbers and actually see like the things that you're pulling in there. It's, it's quite cool. Can 

[00:23:14] Max Cohen: we, can we, can we make that like primary data object thing just like super clear for everybody right now? So the, the best way to think about it right, is when you're, when you're choosing the data sources to, to.

To build a report off of, the first question that asked you is, what is your primary data source going to be? Right? Yes. So this is saying, which object do you wanna include? All of, when you're building this report, you could almost think of as, as like your very first like filter you're setting. Right? So the way that it works is when you select a primary one, think about all the objects they all have.

They're all just like these tables in the background, which are essentially like lists of objects. Right. So all these objects inside of HubSpot can relate to each other. That's kind of goes back to what we were saying about a relational database, right?

So what happens is when you're, when you're choosing a primary data source, you're basically telling HubSpot's reporting tool. I wanna bring in every single one of these objects and make it available to use in the report somehow. Right. Then when you request, what do they call 'em? Secondary or other? What?

What? What other objects? Secondary 

[00:24:29] George B. Thomas: data sources. Secondary data sources. Secondary data sources. Yep. Yeah. When you 

[00:24:32] Max Cohen: select secondary data sources, it's only going to bring in. Objects of those types that have an association to the primary one. Right? So an example of this is, let's say you have a thousand contacts and 50 company records, but only 40 company records are actually associated to contacts, right?

What's gonna happen is if primary, if your primary data source. Is contacts, right? It is going to bring in all 1000 contacts for you to possibly use in that report, but it's only gonna bring in the 40 company records that are actually associated to contacts. It's not gonna bring in the 10 that don't have any association to the primary.

Right? So you just want to think like, knowing that. What table of objects do I want to bring in everything for? Right. And you know, generally in those cases you're always building reports around objects and then you're doing some sort of like calculation or setting some sort of per parameter or variable for whatever the x, y and access is.

But it's, it's gonna be like pulling from another object to then like measure it. Right. So that was a huge unlock for me when I understood that, and you can visualize it because when you choose your different primary and secondary data sources on the right hand side, now it has this really handy tool that I think you were mentioning, George, where it says, okay, if you select this is your primary, And these is your secondary, this is how many company records we're bringing in.

This is how many, whatever records we're bringing in, and this is how many of the primary we're bringing in. Right? And it kind of shows you like, okay, I'm working with all of these and only associated ones of these and blah, 

[00:26:24] George B. Thomas: blah, blah. Yeah. I love this Butch, by the way, I, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention this is why, uh, outside of kind of reporting, but.

Tied to reporting. Whenever you bring in a custom object into your ecosystem, you want to think long and hard. Not only about just the stuff that you want put in it, but how it should associate to the things on what you're gonna wanna report about it. Like there's a, just a key thing to think about there.

All right. So moving onward and upward. I'm curious. I, and again, I think part of the f. Fixing the Rubik's cube, right? Solving the Rubik's cube that some people get stuck in is like, Oh, well, what report do I need? Like I don't what, what are the seven to eight reports? Or like what should a sales guide, what should a content market?

What should a, so I'm curious if you guys over time have found a favorite report or reports that you're like, they're, they're my go-to. Or even maybe just if not that a reporting tool that you're like, this is my favorite jam in HubSpot and this is why. Oh, 

[00:27:27] Max Cohen: I, 

[00:27:28] Devyn Bellamy: the, there's the number one way to have disasters just come upon you like it's the seventh seal has broken, is if you have bad data in the first place, if you have bad data, bad data entry practices, if people are.

Using different, uh, nomenclatures for things. If you have duplicate properties Oh my gosh. Deprecated properties that people are still using. Oh, that's so painful. And it makes getting good data. Impossible. Or if you just don't clean out, then, then the people that don't need to be in there And, and just like, I know, like I myself am guilty of this.

I hate deleting anything. Like I, I still have a poem that I wrote 15 years ago saved in my Google Drive cuz I can't help myself. But, and it was a really bad poem. but the thing is, is that if you. Have bad data, then you're gonna have bad reporting. No tool is going to save you from that. You gotta have clean data and clean reporting out.

That's, that's the easiest way. And, and for me personally, I've inherited so many portals. With bad data and just things everywhere, and you're just going back and you're looking like the meme of the guy of the first day on the job that lied about on his resume. Like, that's how I feel like trying to dig through all of this because like at this point I'm gaslighting myself.

Like, is it, is it me? Am am, am I the problem? Like, am, am I just not understanding what's going on while trying to reverse engineer, like just the the, the shenanigans that happened before I came. And, and it's not you, it, or I should say it's not me. It probably is you. You need to go through and, and dig through and, and, and clean up your data.

Even if that means partnering with a solutions partner that specializes in things like rev ops and reporting. 

[00:29:36] George B. Thomas: Yeah, let me jump in there real quick cuz Devin, you said lifecycle and it's gonna be real quick Max, so don't be like No, no, no. Your brain away. No, no, no. But um, Devin, you said lifecycle reporting and I just want everybody who might not know, cuz there might be somebody new to HubSpot listening to this podcast.

Uh, funnel reports. Mm-hmm. Funnel reports, life cycle stage reporting. That's how you'll get there. Go ahead, 

[00:29:58] Max Cohen: max. I take one that says dad, so I'm not gonna make this a zebra commercial, but one thing I will say. Is, uh, one thing that she just made it as zebra commercial, by the way, by saying you're not gonna do it.

You just did it. Man. I'm trying to be a grownup here, man. Let's move on. There's nothing I wanna spend one second on it, and then I wanna tell you what I, I, the one I, the, the real one that I realized, but like the, the cool thing that I've, you know, realized, um, and have been having a lot of fun with lately is like monthly recurring revenue reporting, right?

Because, The way it's built in HubSpot isn't so great, but it's not any fault of theirs. It's that the fact that you, up until you had things like HubSpot payments or Zebra bringing in like subscription data. It's not that HubSpot's reporting tools couldn't handle like M R R reporting. It's that the data just wasn't structured in the right way in order to do that.

Right? And so to kind of like take that conversation away from like a product placement for Zebra, that same idea goes for a. Getting a healthy understanding of like what custom objects can do for you from a reporting standpoint, right? Oftentimes, you just have to think about how you're structuring your data to get the right reporting that you're trying to achieve, right?

Moving past that, the big tool specifically that I am obsessed with right now is customer journey analytics. Especially when you start pairing it with things like custom behavioral events, right? So hear me out. What's super cool now is like, let's pretend you're like a SaaS company and you have some kind of SaaS product and you have a feature in that SaaS product that people use, right?

A great use case for custom behavioral events is you can go and create an event. And then through the HubSpot api, you can tell HubSpot when a certain event is taking place. So you might make an event for, you know, one of your users in your tool using some kind of feature that you have, right? You can tell HubSpot that that's happened through a custom behavioral event.

And on that contact record you'll see, oh, uh, Devin used the cool new feature, like whatever it is. Now the cool thing about customer journey analytics is it combines things like the normal marketing stuff you do in HubSpot, such as like sending people emails, people filling out forms, visiting certain pages, doing all the normal stuff that you would like wanna track.

But it also brings in custom behavioral event stuff, right? So what's super cool now is you can literally build a report. That like shows all the steps that you would want someone to kind of go through and let's use that SaaS company as an example. Let's say you come out with a new feature, right? You create a custom behavioral event to track to see if people are actually using that feature.

And then what you can do with customer journey analytics is you can build this report that shows you. How many people received the new email about the new, or received the marketing email about the new feature? How many people opened the email about the new feature? How many of those people clicked the CTA to like go into the tool that's telling them to go, Hey, try this new feature.

And then how many of those people actually used that new feature? And you could see it all in one report and how it p it like, That group of people starts with like a bunch of people getting an email and then it whittles down further and further and further until people actually got to the end of that journey that you would kind of put together.

Right? So customer journey analytics is something that's like super exciting. Unfortunately it is like a hu oper, uh, sorry, a HubSpot Marketing Enterprise tool. So like, You know, you gotta have enterprise in order to be able to do it, but you can get really, really smart. Yeah. You can get really, really smart and, and use it as a tool to test your assumptions as a marketer about these different journeys that you're building, even when those actions that people are taking.

Are happening outside of the realm of what HubSpot can normally track. If you get really smart with custom behavioral events, right? So customer journey analytics, miso, custom behavior events, a lot of cool stuff you can do there. 

[00:34:12] George B. Thomas: Go try it. Yeah, I love that. I love that. And you know, it's, it's hard to pick just one, like, you know, it's like picking your favorite kid, which don't tell, well, now I won't say it because then they'd hear it.

But no, I don't have a favorite kid. I'm just totally joking, but it's hard to pick one. But I'll tell you what, I've had one creep up over the last, uh, you know, 11 months, almost 12 months. That before I was like, eh. Okay, nice. But as being a business owner, I'm like, this is my gym. And it's goals in forecasting.

Yeah. My gosh. Being able to go in and set a revenue goal. And then being able to forecast and see all of the great dope stuff. And by the way, I think there's a little bit of like pavlos dog, like gaming, gamified. I, I don't know, there's something going on there psychologically because the fact that I can pick to be notified, like.

When I'm gonna miss the, uh, mark, or when I hit the mark, or when I surpassed the mark, and like I could be having the most shitty of crap days, and all of a sudden I get an email. It's like, you have surpassed your goal. And I'm immediately like, Victoria, best day ever. And you know, and it's, but it's because.

I'm using a reporting tool that HubSpot set up with goals and forecasting, and then it also does some special magic in some of the pre-built reports with actually seeing goals that move over time instead of just being a flat goal that you can set in custom report builder. So that would probably be my favorite of favorites, at least at this present time, to be honest with you.

You can I, can I make, 

[00:35:50] Max Cohen: can I make an embarrassing 

[00:35:51] George B. Thomas: admission? I Do you wanna do that now or in the reporting disasters? 

[00:35:56] Max Cohen: Oh, I don't know. I've never figured out the goals tool. I've never figured it out. I have, I I, I, I need you to sit down and look at it because like, I, I don't get it. And that's my bad. I'll, I'll do better.

Hub spot product team. I'm sorry, 

[00:36:12] George B. Thomas: I'm, I'm, I need a great moral combat like sound right now. Now, like, Finish him like, right, right. Oh, I could have done my human voice. I could finish him. Yeah, we could have just done that anyway. We did just do that. So, alright, let's continue moving on because time flies when you're having fun and, uh, I do want to get to this kind of disastrous conversation.

Um, and that is ha have you been part or seen any HubSpot reporting disaster happen? What, say you two. 

[00:36:43] Devyn Bellamy: I think the fact that you can go to the library and dig through, I, I know I touched on it before, but there are some I would recommend just going through the library and looking at all the individual reports.

Um, like all of them, a lot of them won't make sense or won't be applicable. but there are so many that will. If anything, give you insight into numbers that you should be tracking that again, are a part of that larger picture for the larger problem that you're trying to solve. So you don't get caught up in vanity metrics.

Um, but there will be things that will, uh, help you see that. But then, On the other side, you'll see that when you're trying to use some of the reports, the data may be flawed or non-existent because of how you're using the software. And that can lead you to, uh, some best practice tips like, um, skipping steps and deal stages.

Uh, if your conversion, uh, Metrics are all messed up because people are going from step one to step five, uh, because they haven't been logging or because the prospect genuinely skipped that. That's something that you should take into consideration because what may end up happening is that you may need to reevaluate your sales pipeline.

You may need to look at the steps that are in your sales pipeline, say, Hey, this is how we used to do things, but now it's no longer applicable. Or maybe we just messed up and we initially created it, which is fine. It's only bad if you stay messed up. And so doing these things will, will help you, um, be better at operations as well as reporting.

So keep digging through, um, that, uh, library. I think that's, that's the best tip I can give for people who aren't total numbers. Nerds, I just, 

[00:38:36] Max Cohen: I just got a really good idea for a hat. Um, cause I'm sure we've all, you know what, nothing makes me cringe more than looking at like, reporting on a dashboard and seeing.

No value in parentheses and having it be the biggest data point there is. I just wanna make a hat now that just says no value in parentheses and see how many marketers and HubSpot users, it absolutely triggers, um, data. Oh, I like that. I was, I was halfway waiting for you to stay at Devin. If you, if you have bad data, you're gonna have a bad time, but you want in a more educational direction than that.

Um. Yeah. Yeah. You and me both let me know how it works out. Um, yeah. I don't know if I've been involved in any, well, I mean, it depends on how you, I guess you classify disaster. I mean, I've just seen people dump hours and hours and money and money into these dashboards that just don't tell you anything useful.

Right. And I think, you know, we, we talked a whole lot about the beginning. It was like, make sure. A report is answering a question, right? I'd say a layer that you should take, uh, that mindset a little bit deeper or a layer deeper. You can go with that mindset is say, what are you going to do about it? When the data looks one way or another, right?

So not only have like, all right, what, what question is this answering? Is there something that I would actually do? Is there an action I would take? Is there something that I would stop, start, or continue when the data tells me one thing or another? And if the answer is no, it's probably a pretty stupid thing to track and spend any time figuring out.

Because sometimes, like, you know, Building a report and getting it just right and like waiting for the, the data to manifest over time and said, that takes a while. Right? And like, that's all billable hours for somebody or time that could be spent better doing something else. And if you're, if you're wasting it all just to create un actionable data, that's just gonna make you mad to look at, right?

And not really. Give you anything from it, then like what's the point? Right? Losing a whole bunch of time is disaster and it's in itself when it's the most valuable resource we have, right? So yeah, just, just think about it and say, cool, what are we gonna do about it? All right. And you'll be good. 

[00:40:52] George B. Thomas: I love that.

What are we gonna do about it? Because again, action, act, insights and action. Uh, so here's the thing, and I didn't say that it had to be like a major catastrophe. Like it's just like a reporting disaster. I can't tell you the amount of people that I've seen, uh, during a training onboarding process, helping them with whatever.

Where they'll create the dashboards, create the reports, and then I'll circle back, you know, two weeks, two months or a year later and be like, so when's the last time you looked at those dashboards? Because you can tell that nobody's looked at the dashboard like I. Nobody's moved the dashboard, nobody. So to actually take some action and then not use the action of what you have at your fingertips.

Um, again, we could go back to how many times in 35 episodes have we said quit using HubSpot? Like an email automation tool. Yeah. Like use it for what it is, uh, which is like something to run your entire freaking business on and reporting should be. Not a small part that you're scared of cuz you feel like you're not a mathematician, but about like a bazillion parts of what you're paying attention.

Because you wanna be successful in your business, in your sales, in your service, in your marketing, in your operations, in everything that you actually create. You need to be able to show success or failure to make smart decisions. So quit hiding from reporting. Go over to the HubSpot Academy. Take the report certification.

The reporting certification. Go look at, uh, search on Google, HubSpot reporting, deep dive, uh, you know, HubSpot, super admin hub, whatever you gotta do, do it. All right, what is some last action statements, ideas, words of wisdom that you wanna leave the hub, heroes. Audience, before we get outta here, guys, 

[00:42:46] Devyn Bellamy: for me, start with simple questions.

Um, you don't have to start with complex, like what is the conversion rate from? No. Just start with how are we performing, um, regarding such and such, how are we doing for our customers with blank? And then like, how many customers are coming in from the website and just simple questions. And that's how you determine what.

Uh, reports that you're going to need in order to answer those questions and then be able to look at those reports and extrapolate. Data reporting isn't just about numbers. Reporting is about telling a story, and if you can use your data to tell a story, you're winning and reporting's gonna help you do that.

[00:43:36] Max Cohen: mine seem to be, uh, you'd be surprised, um, how many reports are simply just using the count of X records, um, property in those parameters. Um, so a lot of reports are almost just as simple as filtering things in a smart way, thinking about date properties the right way, and then just using those count of record fields, and that's gonna comprise probably 90% of the reports you ever build.

So keep it simple. 

[00:44:02] George B. Thomas: I like this simple, simple kind of thing that you guys are going with. I'm gonna give you a, uh, what I think is a simple three-part mindset of a reporting master in HubSpot. One, you need to have the mindset of the great collector. There are many analyzed tabs in HubSpot that hold reports that you can literally hit save report to add it to a dashboard or add it to your reports area.

You didn't have to create anything. You had to click one button. You have to have the mindset of a great curator. Remember, I think it was Devon said that there's literally an entire library with over hundreds of reports that you can curate into areas or for whatever you need. Again, dashboard or reports area to be able to use and then.

After those two, because this is where most people start, by the way. Then you have to be thinking about how can I be a great creator? Because you see HubSpot, the way it's built, it can probably do 75 to 80% of all the reports you need. Outside of anything that you've created that is a custom property.

And by the way, this is the tip I'm gonna leave you with. If you have not gone to your properties area, filtered out anybody that created properties other than a HubSpot in your portal and asked yourself, what type of report could I make on any of these, you may be doing yourself a disservice. Hey, ladies and gentlemen, we'll see you next week.

I wish we had a haiku or poem, but we're gonna let you get back to your normal. Scheduled day. Love you.