Salesforce-HubSpot Integration & Migration Guide

Whether you’re planning to integrate Salesforce with HubSpot, or migrating from one platform to another, it can be challenging to navigate the whole process. To help you make the right decision, we’ve put together a detailed guide so that you can have a seamless transition. When done right, Salesforce-HubSpot integration can be extremely helpful in maintaining consistency between your marketing and sales teams.

HubSpot, Salesforce, or Both: Which One Is Better for You?

When we think of a CRM, Salesforce is perhaps the first platform that comes to our mind. That’s because it’s been in the game for the longest time and is used by a range of businesses. On the other hand, HubSpot also offers a powerful, easy-to-use CRM, which makes it a viable alternative to Salesforce.

But before you decide on what CRM to use, here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • The complexity of your sales cycle
  • The number of sales users
  • Integrations through finance or other operations
  • Whether sales production is an opportunity
  • The level of lead intelligence needed

Overall, HubSpot is geared toward giving sales teams the right tools whereas Salesforce focuses on serving the organization, not the individual user.

Here are a few more key differences between Salesforce and HubSpot:

Pricing

HubSpot's CRM suite includes free tools, Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Service Hub, CMS Hub, and Operations Hub. Their Starter plan starts at $68/month, Professional plan at $1,600/month, and Enterprise plan at $4,000/month (billed annually). See HubSpot pricing here.

 

The Sales and Service Cloud of Salesforce offers four pricing plans: Essentials ($25/user/month), Professional ($100/user/month), Enterprise, ($175/user/month), and Unlimited ($325/user/month), billed annually. Moreover, there are also extra costs associated with Salesforce. Most users have to hire specialized admins and pay extra for support as they scale.

 

Simply put, Salesforce has a lot of additional costs that add up over time while HubSpot offers a more transparent and scalable pricing model for developing businesses.

Current market stance & the future

According to G2’s comparison of HubSpot Sales Hub vs. Salesforce CRM, HubSpot Sales Hub rates 4.3/5 stars with 6,949 reviews. By contrast, Salesforce CRM rates 4.2/5 stars with 11,085 reviews. Based on user ratings, HubSpot surpasses Salesforce in terms of ease of use, ease of setup, quality of support, and more.

According to Datanyze, Salesforce has the biggest market share with 34.87% whereas HubSpot CRM has roughly 0.2%. However, HubSpot owns almost a third of the marketing automation market share (29.57% to be exact).

Getting Started with Salesforce to HubSpot Migration

 

The typical timeline for Salesforce to HubSpot migration is 6-8 weeks from start to finish, with a 2-week discovery and 2-week buffer of contract overlap. 

 

Before you start the migration process, here are a few things you should keep in mind:

Understand hard data vs. soft data

  • Hard data is defined as data that exists at the field-level of an object or record. 
  • Soft data includes data extracted from tasks, activities, emails, files, and attachments.

Identify all requirements and assemble a plan

For an effective Salesforce-to-HubSpot migration, you need to know the why, who, and how of the migration process. Consider asking your team these configuration-related questions:

  • Are there other systems integrated with Salesforce that require API calls? If yes, how many API calls should HubSpot be limited to per day?
  • Will HubSpot be integrating with a sandbox environment or straight to a production instance? (It is ideal for most organizations to test the integration in a sandbox when possible - in this case, the sandbox needs to be a mirror image of the production environment)
  • What credentials should be used as the Integration User? (Make sure to communicate the implications of Integration User choice as it relates to HubSpot AND Salesforce. For example, will there be cases where the Integration User is assigned as the Contact/Account/Opportunity owner?)
  • What kind of objects are used in Salesforce? (Leads, Contacts, Business Accounts, Person Accounts, etc.)
  • Will an inclusion list be used to control what data syncs between HubSpot and Salesforce?
  • When a HubSpot contact is created or updated, should a LEAD or CONTACT be created in Salesforce?
  • When a Salesforce Lead is created or updated, should a Contact be created in HubSpot?
  • When a Salesforce Contact is created or updated, should a Contact be created in HubSpot?
  • When a Salesforce Lead is deleted, should its HubSpot Contact also be deleted?
  • If a Contact's opportunity stage is updated in HubSpot, should the Lifecycle Stage be updated?

Build your form system

Once your sales team provides you with several important qualifying data points, it’s time to set up the forms you’ll be using to gather the data they require.

 

Consider creating a prioritized list of each field you need to include. This list is likely to be somewhere between eight and twelve fields long. After that, use this list to identify which fields will go on each of the forms in your system.

Build the flow of your sales process

Technically, the Salesforce-to-HubSpot migration itself isn’t difficult or time-consuming. You can simply sync both platforms together and HubSpot can extract all the info out of Salesforce in one go. However, the biggest challenge is internal alignment.

 

You need to appraise your sales process to accommodate new data sources, including all customer interactions and the new client information likely coming your way. Re-think, simplify, and optimize the flow of your sales process in HubSpot.

Pre-migration data cleanse

Before migrating your data from one platform to another, make sure it is good data.

 

  • Remove old records, even the completely inactive/incomplete contacts in the database that you’re hoping will come back someday.
  • Eliminate duplicate records to avoid data discrepancy. Keep in mind that not all toolsets have the same ability to auto-deduplicate and the ones that do may base it on different unique identifiers. You may use Insycle to deduplicate records.

Migrate the data

Migrating data from Salesforce to HubSpot CRM isn’t too difficult due to the native integration. You may also have a hybrid of both HubSpot and SFDC when going through the migration process. This is particularly helpful if your sales team has intricate reporting needs and has invested heavily in creating their own dashboards.

So, you may leave SFDC in place until the migration is over and use the HubSpot Sales Pro tools (that work in Salesforce) to fill the gaps.

Do a backup and giant export of everything

Create a backup plan to avoid any data loss. Whether or not you’ll still have access to your past data once the migration is complete, do a backup of your entire dataset as a security measure in case anything should go askew.

 

HubSpot has an easy-to-use native migration tool that works great for simpler use-cases. You only have to export your current CRM data into a .csv file and upload it into HubSpot. This way, you can import contacts, companies, deals, tickets, products, and notes.

User acceptance testing and training

For a successful migration, it is crucial to dedicate the time necessary for a systematic testing phase. Test the system to expose any bugs or critical deficiencies.

You also need to train the team correctly in terms of:

  • Timing, giving them sufficient time to schedule dedicated testing periods
  • Clear instruction and detail regarding the use-cases they should be testing
  • Expectations for recording their feedback

Salesforce-HubSpot Integration: Where to Start

Similar to the migration process, the following are the key considerations when opting for HubSpot and Salesforce integration.

Identify all requirements and assemble a plan

For the Salesforce-to-HubSpot integration to work effectively, you need to understand all requirements, particularly related to the sales cycle and how your team is currently using Salesforce.

Build the form system

Also, consider the kind of information your forms should be gathering behind the scenes that will be beneficial for your sales team or your reporting and attribution initiatives.

Build the flow of your sales process

Review your project plan to involve all participants and build the flow of your sales process so that everyone has a clear sense of their role and responsibilities.

Pre-integration data cleanse

Clean up your data with a tool like Insycle before the integration. Some of the major items that you should tackle are:

  • Invalid or missing email addresses
  • Contacts with no owner
  • Duplicate contacts and/or companies
  • Lost deals

Integrate the data

Based on the option you choose for Salesforce-HubSpot integration (native integration, iPaaS tools, in-house, or outsourced custom development), it’s time to integrate the data.

Also, consider having a maintenance plan in place as integrations can “break” because of several reasons such as varying business requirements, updates to the platforms involved, user error, etc.

17 Things We Wish We Knew Sooner About the HubSpot and Salesforce Integration

This section focuses on the functionalities that we think people can get more use out of as well as some things you should watch out for during HubSpot-Salesforce integration.

  1. HubSpot campaigns are much better for tracking inbound efforts, and Salesforce campaigns are equipped with features that work well for outbound tactics. By using both tools, you can also use both kinds of campaigns.
  2. SFDC has historically allowed more objects. With custom objects, HubSpot has changed this and now operates similar to SFDC in this manner.
  3. Work with the system as it is built in Salesforce, not against.
  4. Avoid creating more work for sales reps by knowing your sales process inside and out. Make sure HubSpot/marketing team is only sending over leads that are qualified and ready to be in front of sales and in Salesforce.
  5. Minimize syncing data points by turning off some of the custom field mappings.
  6. Note info that the sales team is going to use for attribution and understand exactly when that transfer or hand-off from marketing in HubSpot to sales in Salesforce should occur.
  7. Contacts in selective sync can cause issues with opportunity sync. You can limit which contacts sync with Salesforce using HubSpot’s active lists tool (the inclusion list for your integration). Any contact that isn’t on this list will not sync with Salesforce.
  8. When creating a new integration, you have to map the properties of your contacts to sync with fields in Salesforce. Sync errors can happen when properties are deleted in either platform or if the HubSpot property and Salesforce field types are incompatible.
  9. When creating property mappings during your integration setup, define when and how these mappings will update in both platforms using any of the four options: Prefer Salesforce unless blank, Always use Salesforce, Two-way (taking the most recent value), and don’t sync.
  10. When it comes to field type matching, ensure you don't mix field types, and the values in the picklist match exactly.
  11. In HubSpot, there is one record for leads and contacts. In Salesforce, leads are completely new records that your sales team hasn’t reached out to. Even if associated organizations or records are present in Salesforce, leads won’t be tied to them until a sales rep converts them into contact. However, those leads will still sync with their corresponding contact record in HubSpot.
  12. Assign contacts to particular Salesforce campaigns based on specific marketing activity and engagement. You can accurately measure campaign success and overall ROI using HubSpot's workflows tool or by designating the appropriate campaign in the Landing Page builder.
  13. Inactive Pipeline Stages in Salesforce lead to Deal syncing errors.
  14. Property value errors are much more common. If the options for a given property vary over time, these errors can occur more frequently. You can use the error type column in HubSpot’s integration menu to detect affected records, resolve any errors, and resync your contacts.
  15. By accessing HubSpot intelligence from Salesforce, you can see the at-a-glance timeline of the contact’s activity and engagement with various marketing initiatives. This provides the context required to start the conversation at the right point in the initial outreach.
  16. Using the HubSpot workflow tool, you can create and assign tasks to SFDC users based on various triggers. For example, a follow-up task could be assigned to the contact owner after a lead has visited the pricing page more than thrice within a week.
  17. HubSpot not only automatically syncs contact fields with Salesforce, but you can also sync data between the Companies (Accounts in Salesforce) and Deals (Opportunities in Salesforce) objects to make even more data accessible and actionable for your marketing use in HubSpot.

Start Your HubSpot-Salesforce Integration Project 

Anyone can connect HubSpot and Salesforce, but not everyone can really integrate them. With this guide, we’re sure you'll feel confident to begin navigating the process.

But if you need more help setting up your HubSpot-Salesforce integration or would like to discuss what your business needs from its sales and marketing automation tools, we’d love to have a chat with you.

The Revenue River team specializes in all things Salesforce and HubSpot, and we have helped several businesses migrate/integrate their data. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.