Arrows + HubSpot Quickstart Guide
To get up and running, follow this guide on day 1 in Arrows.
Updated — January 2023
📬 Get the rollout worksheet in your inbox. We’ve outlined the things you’ll want to consider. Feel free to fill this in and share with your team.
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1. What is Arrows
Arrows is the tool for onboarding, sales, and success teams to close revenue faster, and create happy customers.
The mutual action plans you create in Arrows become the customer-facing extension to your process, keeping customers in the loop as to what is next.
And since Arrows integrates with HubSpot directly, you and your teams get to manage the process without leaving your CRM or creating further data silos.
With that data living inside HubSpot, and you can leverage the native reports, dashboards, and workflow automations to evaluate, optimize, AND scale that process.
📬 Arrows Rollout Worksheet
We’ve outlined the things you’ll want to consider as you begin your roll out. Feel free to fill this in and share with your team.
2. Plans vs. Templates
Your process likely has many moving parts as a prospect goes from demo to closed won to onboarding and beyond.
All those handoffs, tools, and playbooks are important for your internal processes, however, your customers don’t need to know the entire story behind the scenes.
Plan templates are the foundation. You can create multiple templates to encompass the steps and tasks for each phase of the journey or for different customer segments.
Break your process into different phases (like getting started, kickoff, account setup, etc.) and then add the individual tasks for each relevant phase (like schedule a kickoff call, set your user permissions, etc.)
Once you have your process replicated inside of a plan template, you can quickly create plans for individual customers based on that template. In fact, you can automate the whole process right from HubSpot.
If you need to customize that plan, you can add or remove tasks on a specific customer’s plan without needing to change your main template.
If you find yourself constantly adding an additional step for customers, then add that step into the main plan template and save yourself that manual step in the future.
Repeat, repeat, and repeat, and you’re scaling the process while optimizing it.
Here’s an example of a plan created for a customer (Pasquesi Partners). The first few tasks are completed and next up is “Create your team accounts”
Clicking into any task expands the details and gives your customers an opportunity to complete the task, reschedule the due date, reassign it to another individual, or add a comment.
In addition to communicating clear next steps for customers, you can also drive action by using plans to:
- share files
- collect form submissions
- accept file uploads
- engage with comments
- set due dates for tasks
- set target dates for plan completion
- assign tasks to the respective person needed (example: a technical person to install a snippet vs. someone from legal to sign a contract)
- embed 3rd party tools (Calendly, Google Drive, YouTube, etc.) in a shared experience
- automate reminder notifications to customers for next steps
- or direct them to any link or URL (like in the example above for the “Settings page”)
3. Building the perfect template
Spoiler alert, there is no such thing.
Every process is different and every customer has a unique learning style. Your goal is not to spend months crafting the “perfect template” that covers every single step, help center article, and resource you’e ever created.
From the Template page inside of Arrows, you can easily edit existing plan templates or create new ones!
In the image below, you’ll notice
- an indicator to confirm you are in template editing mode
- toggle between edit and view mode, to make changes and quickly see what your customers will see
- update the welcome page (add a note and video here!)
- name the first phase
- name the tasks in your first phase
- and, add additional phases
Don’t over think this. Progress is better than perfection and you’ll forever be optimizing this process. Start with the most urgent phases and tasks, and build from there.
Although every process is different, some critical tasks to include are ones where you might need to:
- request information from a customer to move to the next step (upload files, documents, form submissions, etc.)
- ask a customer to take an action to proceed (book a meeting, update a setting, pay an invoice, etc.)
- assign “homework” for things that need accomplishing between check in calls AFTER you have taught them how to do it (example - show them how to upload one row of data and then have them do the rest on their own)
- share pertinent information your customer must read or see to progress (download files, articles, etc.)
- instructions for administrative settings that are critical for product usage (user permissions, profile authentications, etc.)
- anything in your process that MUST be completed now in order to go forward (save the advanced stuff for later!)
Once you have these tasks in your Arrows plan templates, you can make create and share plans with customers in seconds!
4. Using Arrows inside HubSpot
You’ll work in the Arrows app to create (or edit) plan templates (and eventually setup data connections to sync information between Arrows and HubSpot).
Besides that, the authentication of Arrows and HubSpot lets you run your entire process without leaving HubSpot!
Using HubSpot Deal or Ticket pipelines to manage onboarding
Deals and tickets tie to pipelines, pipelines tie to onboarding….
Onboarding is the epitome of a process that should have a clear outcome and measure of success.
Pipelines in HubSpot (or any CRM) are designed specifically for the purpose of moving a customer through a series of steps to reach a defined outcome.
Pipeline movements will always be timestamped making reporting much easier and you’ll have a visual way to see the progression of companies through onboarding and quickly identify bottlenecks.
Click here - for detailed instructions from HubSpot for creating new pipelines, we recommend setting one up for your onboarding flow separately from your sales (the same can be done if you’re using the Ticket object instead of Deals)
Below is an example of a Deal pipeline used for onboarding. This is a great way to give everyone at your company visibility into where customers are in your onboarding journey.
This image is the “board” view for the pipeline:
Changing from the board view to the list view gives you the opportunity add even more details, save views, and further manage your customers going through onboarding:
Once you’ve setup these pipelines, you create new deals for each customer going through your onboarding process and the magic really starts…
The Arrows card
Now that your pipelines are setup, the Arrows card will appear inside of your HubSpot Deal and Ticket objects.
It can be found in the bottom of right sidebar and you can drag it towards the top for easier access.
This card is used to create a plan for a customer without leaving HubSpot. When you click Create plan, you’ll be given the option to
- select the plan template you’d like to use
- adjust the plan coordinator (note: this is the main contact on your side and is prefilled based on the deal or ticket owner)
- adjust the plan start and stop dates (note: these can be preset in the template)
- and adjust the plan point person (note: this is the main contact on your customer’s side and is prefilled based on the deal or ticket contact)
Here is an example of it inside of a deal:
Once you create a plan for a customer, this card becomes your command center for understanding what your customers are doing on their end.
As your customers complete tasks, you see those details directly on the card inside of the Deal or Ticket.
In addition to this overview, the card also lets you:
- view the entire plan
- update the status of the plan
- share the plan with other participants
- and, delete the plan
Here is an example of an Arrows card with a plan in progress:
5. Send your first Arrows plan
Now that you’ve created a plan template, setup your pipelines, and created your first plan using the Arrows card inside of HubSpot, all that is left is to share it with a customer!
Sharing a plan is incredibly simple.
At the top of each plan, you’ll find a Share button along with indicators for the participants collaborating on a plan (whether that’s from your team, your customer’s team, or anyone else you invite to the plan!)
The main point-person is automatically assigned according to the contact on your deal or ticket.
To add others, all you need to do is type in their name and email when you expand the share button and we’ll email them instructions to access the plan.
Your participants do not need to setup an account or create a password; we use a “Magic Link” to securely grant them access to the plan and keep them logged in as long as they are in the same browser.
Once you’ve added participants on the customer side (your team will automatically appear) - you can assign individual tasks to individual participants (again, your side or theirs!)
As you add participants, you can also control the level of visibility into the plan you’d like for them to have.
If you open the participant panel from the plan overview, you can update those notification settings accordingly (we send email reminders to keep progress moving forward so you don’t have to!).
By design, the plan coordinator (your side) and the plan point person (your customer’s side) are set to receive all notifications (weekly plan digest email, due date reminders, and comment notifications).
You can also turn off or limit notifications for specific participants accordingly!
Once you share the plan, we’ll send them an invite and they’ll land right on your welcome page after they confirm their email.
And that’s it! Just like that, you’ve sent your first plan and your customers are on their way to know what’s expected next of them.
6. Using Arrows plan data to create an onboarding progress report in HubSpot
Setting up data connections
The Arrows card provides you visibility into plan progress and gives you control over the plan itself.
The individual plan attributes and data points behind them are the key to tracking and scaling your process. They unlock the full potential of integrating Arrows with HubSpot.
Data connections are how all the magic works.
From the Integrations page inside of Arrows you can create these connections to send information between customer-facing plans and properties in HubSpot on your Deal or Ticket objects (this depends on which one you are using to manage your onboarding process)
Sending information from Arrows → HubSpot
We have around 30 plan attributes that can be instantly synced to properties inside HubSpot - learn more here.
Once plan attributes are synced into properties in HubSpot, those properties can be used for reports and dashboards. You can create custom attributes as well, but this setup does not require them.
Here’s an example of an onboarding dashboard with a custom report to show high-level progress:
To set up this onboarding progress report in HubSpot, you’ll need to connect the following attributes with a property in HubSpot.
- Plan status
- Current phase name
- Days on current task
- Number of overdue tasks
- Days until target date
- Current task name
- Current task assignee name
First you’ll need to set up data connections for each of these attributes. To do so, you’ll need a property in HubSpot for each of these data points to be sent to. Here are detailed instructions from HubSpot for setting up custom properties.
In the image below, you can see the custom properties named with prefix “Arrows” and then the attribute name. For example, Arrows Plan Status and so on.
Once you have the custom properties created, head to the Integration page in Arrows and…
- select +Add connection
- name your connection for when you need to reference it later
- select the plan attribute and the property in HubSpot to sync the data too
- select Finish setup
Here is what your setup will look like:
Using the Arrows data inside of HubSpot to create custom onboarding reports
Once your data is flowing, head to your report builder in HubSpot to tie it all together.
You’ll need to create a deal-based report and add the above properties. Click here for detailed instructions from HubSpot for creating custom reports.
Inside of your report, select Add Deal Property (or Ticket property if you are using the ticket object) and choose your recently created Arrows properties. Feel free to add other data points if you’d like to see them in this report!
Once you’ve added the desired properties, go to the Visualization tab to finish setting up the report.
- select Visualization
- choose the Table chart type
- choose an Unsummarized data table
and, order the properties however you want them to appear in your report
Note: I’ve added filters to this report to only show deals in my onboarding pipeline and have a created date for “all time.” Be sure to use the filtering options how you find fit.
Give your report a name and be sure to save it. You can now share this report with anyone in your organization looking to learn where customers are in the onboarding process. If anyone on the team wants extra details, they can open each deal or ticket and view the entire Arrows plan without ever leaving HubSpot!
When you save it, you’ll get the option to add the report to a dashboard. Click here for detailed instructions from HubSpot for creating and managing dashboards. Dashboards are a great way to group multiple reports into one view for easy access.
7. Automate the hand-off between sales and customer success
A prospect is most eager to get started right after they have signed the contract and paid your invoice. The Arrows plan you present them will keep them focused on what’s next. The transfer of ownership between your teams, as a prospect becomes a customer, is just as important as the plan itself. And your customers expect it to be a well oiled machine.
We all know that’s not always the case though.
But HubSpot’s workflow automations can help streamline the process.
This example shows a workflow that…
- creates a new deal in the onboarding pipeline when the deal is closed-won in sales
- updates properties on the company record
- creates a HubSpot task for the onboarding CSM to be notified of the handoff
- transfers the Arrows plan from the sales deal to the onboarding deal
Note: this same process can be done to create a new ticket if that’s the object you are using with your Arrows plans.
From there, you can automate additional parts of the process - like moving deals or tickets through pipelines based on plan progress, creating plans for customers, and setting internal task for future customer success activities.
We recommend using deal or ticket pipelines to manage the onboarding process (learn more here).
Now let’s set up the workflow.
Whether you are using deals or tickets to manage the onboarding process will determine which type of record you’ll want to create in step 1.
In this example we are creating an onboarding deal since we have an onboarding deal pipeline to measure our onboarding activity.
The deal enrollment trigger is set to start the workflow once an existing sales deal is moved to the Closed Won stage in the sales pipeline.
1. Set enrollment trigger for your workflow
Name your workflow and then…
- click Set up triggers
- select the deal filter and choose Deal stage as the trigger type
- choose the stage in your sales cycle that indicates a customer is ready for onboarding
- apply the filters and press Save on the next screen
Note: if you are using a ticket pipeline to manage onboarding, you’ll choose that instead of the deal trigger.
2. Create a new onboarding record in the appropriate pipeline
Once the trigger is set, you’ll want to start by creating a new record for that onboarding record.
Select the Create record action from the list of available actions
Now you can add some details for that newly created record, an onboarding deal record in this example.
Adjust these according to your own process or needs…
- select a Deal record type to be created
- select Specific user for the deal assignment
- select the user from your team (Shareil Nariman, in this example)
- use a deal token and add a suffix for distinction ( - onboarding, in this example)
- select the appropriate pipeline stage to create the deal record for (the Ready for onboarding stage in the onboarding pipeline, in this example)
- add additional properties you want copied over (the deal amount, in this example)
- hit Save
Note: before you hit save, you can choose to associate contact and company history with this deal, we’d recommend doing so to ensure whatever notes exist are accessible with this record.
3. Update additional properties on associated records
In this example, we want to make sure a property on the company record is updated as this customer progresses through their lifecycle.
- select the Set property value action
- choose the object for the property you want to set (company, in this example)
- choose the property to you want to set (CRM Name, in this example)
- choose the value to set that property to (HubSpot, in this example)
- hit Save
Note: repeat this step for any additional properties to you want to set, copy, or update on any of the associated records with this customer!
4. Create a HubSpot internal task to notify the right person for onboarding
We strongly recommend creating a “ready for onboarding” task for the appropriate team member on the onboarding or CS team inside of HubSpot once a customer is done with sales.
- adding a Create task action to your workflow
- give the task a name
- set a due date and email reminder for the task
- add notes for your onboarding and CS team (use personalized tokens here to customize these notes!)
- add a priority (High, in this example)
- assign the task to a specific user (or team lead for re-assignment)
- hit Save
5. Copy the Arrows plan to the most recently created deal or ticket
If you introduced the onboarding plan during sales (NICE JOB being proactive), you’ll want to make sure it’s attached to the newly created onboarding record.
The Arrows + HubSpot integration allows you to Attach the latest Arrows plan to a newly created deal or ticket.
- creating an action and finding the Attach latest Arrows plan action type
- hit Save from the next screen
Note: this will work for deals or tickets, respective of the starting object in your workflow
6. Review and publish your workflow to turn on the automation
Once you’ve added your last desired action(s) to the workflow above, you’ll want to Review and Publish it to turn it on.
The screen below appears once you click Review and Publish.
You’ll need to…
- confirm if you want to enroll existing deals that meet your trigger criteria (we chose No in this example because we only want it to start going forward)
- confirm or edit your workflow trigger (the thing that starts the whole flow)
- and click Turn on to begin the automation
As you continue to add structure and steps to your internal process, workflow are the best way to scale the parts of the process that are ready for automation.
Feel free to edit this workflow or create new ones to ensure customers keep moving through your lifecycle regardless of what is happening behind the scenes in your CRM.