How understanding the Dunning-Kruger Effect can increase the value you get from HubSpot

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By Estee Hall - February 01, 2021

When you first start using HubSpot, it can be very exciting. Finally, you have a tool that brings together your sales, marketing and customer service! Your performance is going to skyrocket!

Except when you do start using it, it doesn't... You aren't really seeing the value that you thought you were going to and you're not sure why. What's going on? 

In our experience, this could all be attributed to the Dunning-Kruger Effect (DKE) and once you understand the DKE, you can start taking the steps you need to, to get more value from HubSpot. 

What is the Dunning-Kruger Effect?

The Dunning-Kruger Effect is a cognitive bias first suggested by social psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger in 1999. The DKE suggests that incompetent people think they are more competent than they are, in part because they do not possess the necessary skills to identify incompetence in themselves. Tal Yarkoni put forth the following example in a 2010 article

"if you’re not very good at learning languages, it might be hard for you to tell that you’re not very good, because the very skills that you’d need in order to distinguish someone who’s good from someone who’s not are the ones you lack. If you can’t hear the distinction between two different phonemes, how could you ever know who has native-like pronunciation ability and who doesn’t? If you don’t understand very many words in another language, how can you evaluate the size of your own vocabulary in relation to other people’s?" 

Now, I think it's worth mentioning at this stage that I am not saying that the reason you are not getting the expected value from HubSpot is that you are incompetent! Let me explain the DKE in a bit more detail, with the help of a visual:

See the source image

When you first start learning about something, you get excited and could become confident enough to start talking knowledgeably on the topic. At this stage, you're at the peak of Mount Stupid. However, as you learn more, you realise that there is a whole lot that you don't yet know about the topic and could become so discouraged that you abandon your learning - often referred to as the termination zone. If you keep at it though, you'll soon hit the Valley of Despair when your confidence about the topic is at an all-time low. But keep at it for long enough and your learning will soon lead up the slope of enlightenment where your confidence builds at the same pace as your knowledge, eventually leading to the plateau of sustainability: you have enough knowledge to sustain your confidence!

You've likely witnessed this process in politics, at work or even in yourself, but how does it relate to HubSpot?

How the Dunning-Kruger Effect applies to HubSpot

Dunning-Kruger-Effect-updated-min

This graph is slightly different, but it makes all the difference when applying the DKE to software adoption. When you first get HubSpot, your expectations of what it is going to do for you is very high, but when you realise the complexity and effort required to get it set up and operational, your expectations and spirits could take a dive. This is where you currently are - you know your HubSpot isn't working for you but you don't yet know how to get more value from it. 

Now, you might be feeling hopeless and leaning towards giving up on HubSpot, but if you are currently reading this blog, it means you are so close to starting to see the turnaround at the bottom of the Valley of Despair, that I urge you to keep going until you reach the peak again! 

When you start putting in the right strategies and the required effort, you will start getting the value you expect from HubSpot. 

How to overcome the Dunning-Kruger Effect and get more value from HubSpot

When it comes to new HubSpot users, my first choice is to get you on an accelerated onboarding programme that focusses on getting your portal configured and ready for you to implement effective strategies as quickly as possible. 

But, if you've gone the 90-day onboarding route, you might be feeling disheartened because it's taken so long to get set up and you haven't started seeing ROI. So what can be done?

To get started, conduct a thorough portal audit and make a list of recommendations and opportunities. Firstly, you need to identify any quick wins that you can implement immediately. Focus on identifying opportunities for high-impact, easy-to-deploy deliverables. Once these are in place, shift your focus to high-impact strategic initiatives that can be deployed in the short, medium or long term. You should start seeing light at the end of the tunnel in no time. 

Learn more about the what, why, when and how of HubSpot portal audits in our blog. 

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