If you're considering integrating HubSpot and Salesforce, or if you've already made the decision but don't know where to start, don't worry. We're here to help make your integration experience as seamless as possible. In this informative guide, we'll break down the process step-by-step, covering everything from pre-integration planning to error resolution and continuous improvement.
Why Integrate HubSpot CRM and Salesforce?
For a data-driven team, the benefits of integrating HubSpot and Salesforce are undeniable. Not only does it streamline operations, but it also aligns your marketing and sales teams, leading to better collaboration, more effective reporting, and the ability to perform complex actions across both platforms.
However, as with all BizOps decisions and high-risk investments, make sure to weigh the pros and cons before proceeding with the integration.
Unified Data: Your team can access both HubSpot and Salesforce data from a single location. This can improve overall visibility and lead to better data-driven decisions.
Increased Efficiency: The integration can automate data entry, reducing errors and freeing up time for your team to focus on other tasks.
Improved Collaboration: With access to a unified system, your marketing and sales teams can work together more effectively.
Integration Complexity: The integration process can be complex and may require technical expertise.
Sync Errors: Errors can occur during the sync process, especially if the data fields in Salesforce and HubSpot aren't mapped correctly.
Cost: Depending on your needs, there might be additional costs involved with integrating and maintaining the systems.
Despite potential complexities, most revenue leaders and their teams find the benefits of this integration outweigh the cons. By connecting these two powerhouse platforms, your teams can better manage their pipelines, nurture leads, and close deals.
Popular HubSpot + Salesforce Workflows
Once connected, users can easily automate their workflows and use HubSpot's powerful Hub suite paired with Salesforce capabilities to enhance their marketing efforts. These kinds of workflows let your team track and manage leads, contacts, deals, and opportunities throughout the sales funnel, no matter where they occur.
Here are the workflows we see most commonly:
- Lead to Contact Workflow
- Contact to Lead Workflow
- Lead to Opportunity Workflow
- Lead Scoring and Grading Workflow
- Lead Nurturing Workflow
- Lead Routing Workflow
- Creating Salesforce Leads from New HubSpot Contacts
- Creating Salesforce Opportunities from New HubSpot Contacts
- Updating HubSpot Contacts from New Leads on Salesforce
How to Connect HubSpot CRM With Salesforce
To successfully integrate HubSpot CRM and Salesforce, you need to follow a systematic approach. Let's break down the process into key stages: preparation, setup, launch, optimization, and maintenance.
Stage 1: Pre-Integration Plan
Think of pre-integration like packing for a hike. You want to make sure you have everything you need before you hit the trail.
- Map Out the Integration Plan: Start by working with your team to develop an integration mapping document. This rule book outlines how data will move between the two CRMs and covers:
- HubSpot's properties and Salesforce fields
- Naming conventions for the same object types
- Sync rules for data
- Any custom Salesforce objects that will sync to HubSpot
- Criteria for lead intake and lead-to-opportunity conversion
- Create an Integration Power User: Next, create an "admin" Salesforce user specifically for the integration. This ensures the integration won't break if someone leaves the company or changes roles.
- Organize an Integration Huddle: Hold a meeting with key members of your team to kick off the integration process. Use this opportunity to discuss the project timeline, establish user roles, determine reporting requirements, plan management, identify necessary third-party software, and establish long-term support. With your integration team, be prepared to dedicate at least 20 hours towards the integration process over the course of two to three months, including time for troubleshooting and resolving any synchronization errors.
Stage 2: Setup & Launch
Now it's time to bridge the gap and connect HubSpot and Salesforce by setting up the backend connection between the systems; HubSpot provides a native Salesforce integration, making the process straightforward:
- Install the Salesforce App in HubSpot: In the HubSpot App Marketplace, search for Salesforce, click "Install app," and follow the prompts.
- Configure Settings in Salesforce: Customize the integration settings in Salesforce based on your specific requirements and mapping document guidelines. For example, for data mapping, there are four different update settings to choose from when mapping properties and fields:
- Prefer Salesforce Unless Blank
- Always Use Salesforce
- Two-Way Sync
- Don't Sync
- Enable Selective Sync: To enable selective sync between HubSpot and Salesforce, set up an inclusion list in HubSpot and a custom Salesforce integration user or use a HubSpot inclusion list. Establish a user or role as the gatekeeper for syncing with HubSpot and enable syncing between contacts, companies, and deals.
Finally, align property mappings and values by toggling on the "Sync?" icon and choose dropdown select or radio buttons over open text fields whenever possible. Manually map fields if necessary.
- Verify Data Integrity: Double-check that all data mappings, conversion criteria, and validation rules are accurately set up in both HubSpot and Salesforce. Data integrity goes beyond the one integration — but one poorly-implemented integration can wreck your org-wide data quality.
- Use a Sandbox for Testing: Using a sandbox environment can make testing HubSpot CRM and Salesforce integration easier and quicker. This will save time troubleshooting errors later on. To connect HubSpot to Salesforce Sandbox, follow these steps in the Salesforce Sync Settings Tab.
Stage 3: Ongoing Optimization
After successfully launching the integration, it's time to focus on optimizing and continuously improving your integrated system. Ongoing optimization will impact everything from the functionality of your entire IT infrastructure, down to the short- and long-term performance of your campaigns, so don't underestimate the maintence efforts required by a functional tech stack.
- Refine Workflows and Automations: Monitor and analyze essential performance metrics to pinpoint areas for enhancement and optimization. Regularly refine workflows and automations based on user feedback and evolving business needs. Conduct audits to identify and address gaps or inefficiencies in your integrated system to maintain smooth operations.
- Stay Updated with Platform Enhancements: Stay ahead of the game and keep your integrated system up-to-date with the latest advancements in HubSpot and Salesforce. Benchmark against best-in-class practices and stay informed about industry trends to continuously improve and innovate. By seizing opportunities for enhancement, you can outperform your competition and achieve greater performance.
- Gather User Feedback and Engagement: Gather user feedback (particularly on marketing-sales alignment and SLAs), engage them in the optimization process, invest in training programs, and provide ongoing support to maximize end user adoption and success.
Common Integration Errors
Of course, it's important to be ready to encounter some roadblocks. Here are the common HubSpot-Salesforce system and sync errors you might face during the integration and practical solutions to navigate them.
Duplicate Records in CRM Databases
After the integration and two-way data sync, one or both CRM databases may contain duplicate records. These duplicates can cause confusion and impact data accuracy. To resolve this issue:
- Identify shared fields between HubSpot and Salesforce.
- Establish unique index criteria to minimize unintentional record duplication.
- Regularly reconcile and monitor duplicate records to maintain data integrity.
Inconsistent Treatment of Leads and Contacts
HubSpot treats leads and contacts as contact records, while Salesforce treats leads as new records until they are converted to contacts. This difference requires careful consideration for creating HubSpot contacts in Salesforce to align with your sales process. To address this:
- Carefully consider how you create HubSpot contacts in Salesforce to align with your sales process.
- Define a clear lead conversion process to ensure accurate contact and account linking.
Mapping Discrepancies Between Properties
Mapping properties between HubSpot and Salesforce is crucial for seamless data synchronization. However, discrepancies in property mapping can lead to data inconsistencies. To overcome this challenge:
- Regularly review and update property mappings to ensure accurate data flow.
- Be mindful of any deleted properties or mismatched field types that may cause discrepancies.
- Regularly audit the data mapping process to rectify errors and ensure accurate dataset harmonization.
- Check your property values and picklists to avoid syncing issues caused by outdated values or un-updated account owners.
Data Gaps in Contact Syncing
To prevent data gaps in contact syncing between the CRM, prioritize establishing effective system interoperability, which is key to an impactful tech stack. Here's how you can tackle this issue:
- Define inclusion lists or criteria to control which contacts are transferred between the systems.
- Regularly check syncing settings to ensure they align with your expectations.
- Configure sync rules properly based on your specific needs.
- Choose the appropriate update settings to accurately reflect changes in one platform to the other.
Unexpected Behavior with Custom Fields
Custom fields can sometimes exhibit unexpected behavior during integration. To address this issue:
- Review the configuration settings of each custom field, from the overall object level down to individual attributes.
- Replicate or reset the integration if necessary to resolve persistent problems. Seek technical assistance if needed.
Single Sign-On (SSO) Issues
If you encounter SSO errors, follow these steps to resolve the issue:
- Verify the URL, headers, and login details in both HubSpot and Salesforce.
- Reset the SSO configurations to establish a secure connection.
Lost Connection between HubSpot and Salesforce
In the event of a lost connection between HubSpot and Salesforce, review configuration settings and server logs to identify any potential issues. If no alerts or inconsistencies come up, reset and reconfigure the integration to restore communication, ensuring data field compatibility.
After successfully integrating HubSpot CRM with Salesforce, maintenance becomes key. Regularly update property mappings, conversion criteria, validation rules, and contact assignments in both systems. Frequent reviews and performance monitoring will ensure your integration runs smoothly, allowing you to reap maximum value from both platforms.
Your HubSpot Salesforce integration journey doesn't have to be daunting. With the right approach and guidance, you'll soon be harnessing the power of these platforms to drive your revenue strategy forward.
Wyatt is a Revenue Operation Specialist at New Breed. He works to implement Marketing and Sales automation to align both departments with a strategy for combined success.