Skip to content

HubSpot Playbooks: A Step-by-Step Setup Guide (With Examples)

HubSpot Playbooks offer a transformative approach for sales teams to standardize and enhance their interactions with prospects and customers. Tailored to align with best practices and your company’s specific processes, these playbooks help guide your team through every stage of the customer journey. This guide will walk you through setting up HubSpot Playbooks, detail their benefits, and highlight unique features that make HubSpot an invaluable asset for your sales strategy.

What Are HubSpot Playbooks?

HubSpot Playbooks are essentially interactive guides that can be used during customer interactions to ensure consistency and quality in communication. They provide structured content such as call scripts, meeting agendas, and qualification questions that your team can use to drive meaningful conversations. Integrated directly into your CRM, these playbooks ensure that valuable information is always at your team's fingertips.

Benefits of Using HubSpot Playbooks

  • Consistency Across Interactions: Ensures all team members follow the same guidelines and processes, providing a consistent brand experience for customers.
  • Enhanced Training Tool: Great for onboarding new sales reps by providing them with ready-made guidelines and best practices.
  • Increased Efficiency: Saves time by giving reps quick access to the information they need, directly within the CRM.
  • Data-Driven Improvements: Tracks the effectiveness of different playbook strategies and scripts based on the CRM data and outcomes, allowing for continual refinement.

How to Set Up HubSpot Playbooks: Practical Steps

Step 1: Identify Your Playbook Needs

Before creating a playbook, understand the specific needs of your team. Identify common scenarios or parts of your sales process that could benefit from standardization, such as prospecting, qualification, or objection handling.

Step 2: Access Playbook Settings

Log into your HubSpot account. Navigate to the Sales dropdown and select Playbooks. If you haven’t used playbooks before, you might need to install the playbook tool from the HubSpot App Marketplace.

Step 3: Create a New Playbook

Click on Create playbook. Choose the type of playbook you want to create, whether it's for call scripts, meeting outlines, or qualification checklists.

Step 4: Design Your Playbook Content

Start adding content to your playbook. You can format your text, add bullet points, insert links, and even embed rich media. Organize the playbook into sections that make sense for the interaction flow, such as introduction, discovery questions, and closing steps.

Step 5: Assign Playbooks to Teams

Specify which teams or individuals should have access to each playbook. This ensures that only relevant personnel can view or use certain playbooks, keeping your CRM organized and focused.

Step 6: Train Your Team

Once your playbooks are set up, train your team on how to use them effectively. Ensure they understand when and how to utilize each playbook and encourage them to provide feedback to improve the guides.

Step 7: Measure Effectiveness and Iterate

Monitor how your playbooks are impacting sales activities and outcomes. Use HubSpot’s reporting tools to track usage and performance, and continuously refine your playbooks based on this data.

Unique Features of HubSpot Playbooks

  • CRM Integration: Unlike standalone documents, HubSpot playbooks are integrated directly into your CRM, making them more actionable and accessible during customer interactions.
  • Data Capture Fields: Playbooks can include form fields that capture crucial customer information directly into the CRM, enriching customer profiles and enhancing data quality.
  • Automation Capabilities: Automate certain actions based on playbook usage, such as task creation or moving a deal stage in HubSpot.

How to Log a Playbook as an Engagement

HubSpot Playbooks are designed to integrate seamlessly with your daily workflows, allowing you to log various interactions like calls, emails, meetings, and notes directly into your CRM. Each logging type has unique features that make it suitable for different scenarios in customer relationship management. Here’s a breakdown of how each type works and the unique features they offer:

1. Call

How It Works: When you use a playbook during a call, you can log the interaction directly into the contact’s, company’s, or deal’s record. This includes details about the call duration, the outcome, and any important notes or follow-up actions.

Unique Features:

  • Automatic Call Logging: HubSpot can automatically log calls if you use HubSpot’s calling feature or integrate with a compatible calling tool.
  • Custom Disposition Codes: Allows you to categorize calls based on outcomes, which helps in analyzing call effectiveness and follow-up strategies.
  • Call Transcription: Available with certain HubSpot plans, this feature transcribes calls for easy reference and compliance.

2. Email

How It Works: Emails sent using HubSpot or through a connected email client can be logged automatically. You can utilize playbooks to guide the crafting of emails, ensuring all communications align with company standards.

Unique Features:

  • Email Templates: Use playbook content as templates for consistency in communication.
  • Tracking and Notifications: HubSpot provides notifications when emails are opened or clicked, giving immediate feedback on engagement.
  • Personalization Tokens: Enhance your emails with dynamic content that pulls information directly from your CRM records, making each message personalized and relevant.

3. Meeting

How It Works: When scheduling or logging a meeting in HubSpot, you can use a playbook to outline the agenda, key discussion points, and objectives. This information can be logged as part of the meeting details in the relevant contact’s or company’s record.

Unique Features:

  • Meeting Links: HubSpot allows you to create personalized meeting links that can be shared with customers to schedule sessions based on your availability.
  • Integrated Calendar: Syncs with Google Calendar or Office 365, providing seamless scheduling without conflicts.
  • Pre-Meeting Reminders: Automatically send reminders to participants to ensure high attendance rates and preparedness.

4. Note

How It Works: Notes can be added to any CRM record to log specific details or reminders about a customer interaction. When using a playbook, you can standardize the information captured in notes, ensuring all relevant details are consistently recorded.

Unique Features:

  • Rich Text Formatting: Allows you to format notes with bullet points, bold text, and more, making them easier to read and more organized.
  • Tagging and Categorization: Notes can be tagged with specific topics or categories for easy retrieval and sorting.
  • Attachment Support: Attach files directly to notes for comprehensive documentation of interactions or important documents.


By using playbooks to log interactions across calls, emails, meetings, and notes, sales teams can ensure consistency in customer communications and improve the quality of data entered into HubSpot. This structured approach not only enhances customer relationships but also provides valuable insights into customer needs and preferences, driving more informed business decisions.

How to Configure a Playbook's Recommendation Settings

Setting up playbook recommendation settings in HubSpot is a strategic way to enhance both the efficiency and effectiveness of your team’s interactions with customers. By using playbook recommendations, you can guide your team to use the most appropriate playbooks based on specific criteria or triggers within the CRM. Here’s how you can practically set up and leverage these recommendations:

Step-by-Step Setup of Playbook Recommendation Settings

  • Step 1: Define Criteria for Recommendations: First, identify the scenarios or conditions under which different playbooks should be recommended. These criteria might be based on the type of contact, deal stage, customer segment, previous interactions, or specific attributes of a ticket or company. Clear criteria ensure that your team gets relevant playbook suggestions at the right time.

  • Step 2: Configure Playbook Triggers: In HubSpot, go to the Playbooks tool under the Sales or Service Hub. Here, you can create or edit a playbook and set up triggers that define when this playbook should be recommended. Triggers can be based on various CRM data points such as:

  1. Contact properties: e.g., industry, job title, or lifecycle stage.
  2. Deal properties: e.g., deal stage, deal size, or expected close date.
  3. Ticket properties: e.g., issue type, priority, or status.
  4. Company properties: e.g., company size, sector, or customer tier.
  • Step 3: Input Recommendation Logic: Within the playbook setup, input the logic that dictates the playbook's application. For example, you might set a playbook about "Enterprise Sales Strategies" to trigger when the deal size is above a certain threshold or when the deal involves an enterprise-level company.
  • Step 4: Testing and Refinement: Once you've set your triggers, test them to ensure they fire under the correct conditions. It may be necessary to adjust the logic based on feedback or observed usage patterns to better suit actual user needs.

Best Practices for Leveraging Playbook Recommendations

  • Prioritize User Experience: Ensure that the playbook recommendations do not overwhelm the users. Too many recommendations or poorly timed ones can lead to confusion or neglect. Aim for a balance where the recommendations add value without cluttering the workflow.
  • Use Dynamic Content: Make the content of recommended playbooks dynamic. This means they should adapt based on the information available about the contact, deal, or company. For instance, use tokens to personalize greetings or reference specific data points that are relevant to the interaction.
  • Monitor and Analyze Usage: Keep track of how often each playbook is used and in what contexts. This data can inform whether your recommendation settings are effective or need adjustment. HubSpot’s analytics can help identify which playbooks yield the best outcomes and should be prioritized in recommendations.
  • Train Your Team: Educate your team not only on how to use playbooks but also on how to understand the reasoning behind recommendations. This increases their confidence in using the playbooks and ensures that they can make judgment calls when the recommended playbook might not perfectly fit the interaction.
  • Continuously Improve: As with any CRM process, playbook recommendations should be continually refined based on new data, changes in business strategy, or shifts in the market. Regularly revisiting and updating the playbook triggers and content keeps the recommendations relevant and valuable.

By effectively setting up and managing playbook recommendations in HubSpot, you can significantly enhance the productivity of your sales or service teams. Recommendations help to standardize best practices across all interactions and ensure that all team members are equipped with the right tools at the right time to make the most of their customer engagements.

How to Use Playbooks with Different Objects

HubSpot Playbooks can be tailored to enhance interactions across various CRM objects like Contacts, Deals, Tickets, Companies, and even Custom Objects. Below are examples demonstrating how playbooks can be effectively applied to each type of object to streamline processes and ensure consistency in customer engagements.

1. Contacts: Onboarding New Clients

Scenario: Ensuring a smooth and personalized onboarding experience for new clients.

Playbook Content:

  • Introduction: Welcome message and overview of the onboarding process.
  • Checklist: Key data to collect, such as preferred communication methods and key contact points.
  • Expectation Setting: Outline what the client can expect in terms of deliverables, timelines, and communication.
  • Next Steps: Schedule next meeting, outline upcoming milestones.

This playbook helps sales reps and account managers provide a consistent and thorough introduction to new clients, ensuring all necessary information is captured and communicated clearly.

2. Deals: Closing Techniques

Scenario: Guiding sales reps through different closing techniques based on the deal stage and customer feedback.

Playbook Content:

  • Pre-Close Checklist: Verify all customer questions have been answered and objections addressed.
  • Closing Techniques: Different strategies such as the "Now or Never Close," "Summary Close," or "Assumptive Close."
  • Customization Tips: How to tailor closing remarks based on the customer’s earlier concerns or interests.
  • Follow-Up: Setting up post-deal follow-up actions and reminders.

This playbook aids in standardizing the closing process, providing reps with a toolkit of strategies to increase the likelihood of successfully closing deals.

3. Tickets: Handling Technical Support Queries

Scenario: Standardizing responses to common technical issues to improve resolution times and customer satisfaction.

Playbook Content:

  • Issue Identification: Steps to diagnose common problems.
  • Resolution Steps: Detailed procedures for resolving typical issues.
  • Escalation Protocol: When and how to escalate the ticket to a higher-level support team.
  • Feedback Collection: How to request customer feedback upon resolution.

Support agents can use this playbook to manage tickets efficiently, ensuring consistent and accurate responses to common technical queries.

4. Companies: Expanding Business within Existing Accounts

Scenario: Strategies for identifying and capitalizing on upsell and cross-sell opportunities within existing accounts.

Playbook Content:

  • Account Review: Regular check-ins to assess client needs and satisfaction.
  • Opportunity Identification: Criteria and indicators for potential upsell or cross-sell.
  • Proposal Guidelines: Steps for creating and presenting proposals tailored to the client’s ongoing business needs.
  • Negotiation Tactics: Effective strategies for negotiating with existing clients.

Sales and account management teams can utilize this playbook to maintain and grow the business within their current client base, ensuring they are actively seeking new opportunities.

5. Custom Objects: Managing Vendor Relationships

Scenario: Streamlining interactions with vendors to ensure timely deliveries and quality service.

Playbook Content:

  • Vendor Onboarding: Key steps for integrating a new vendor into your systems.
  • Performance Monitoring: Metrics and KPIs to regularly assess vendor performance.
  • Issue Resolution Framework: Procedures for addressing delays, quality issues, or other concerns.
  • Renewal Preparation: Steps to prepare for contract renewals, including negotiation strategies.

This playbook can be customized to manage different types of vendor relationships, ensuring that operational teams have a structured approach to maintaining high standards of service and accountability.

By incorporating playbooks tailored to specific objects within HubSpot, organizations can ensure that their teams have clear guidelines and support no matter the situation, enhancing overall efficiency and effectiveness in handling various business scenarios.


Implementing HubSpot Playbooks can dramatically enhance your sales team's effectiveness by providing them with structured, easy-to-access guidance tailored to specific customer interaction scenarios. By following these steps to create and utilize playbooks, your organization can ensure a consistent, efficient, and data-informed approach to customer interactions. Continue to refine your playbooks based on team feedback and performance metrics to maximize their impact.

Ready to streamline your sales process and enhance team performance? Explore the power of HubSpot Playbooks today and take your sales strategy to the next level.