With all of the data-centric tools on the market, sales leaders and marketing execs truly have their work cut out for them. The need for dialed-in data is greater than ever when jobs and departmental budgets are continually evaluated against critical KPIs and performance metrics. There are currently hundreds of digital tools available to help your teams keep track of the leads marketing generates and pipelines that sales builds up, but chances are good that the departments are working off of multiple platforms in a silo-type environment.
If this scenario sounds all too familiar, your organization likely isn’t getting the most bang for your buck out of any of the platforms you’re paying for, especially if that stack includes HubSpot and Salesforce. While each platform on its own boasts features that can help teams stay organized, track progress, and measure performance, an integration between the two instances provides an opportunity to take results to the next level.
Points to Consider for the HubSpot Salesforce Integration
If you’re already aware of the potential gains and have moved onto researching possible solutions, take a close look at the following six considerations for the HubSpot Salesforce integration to see if and how it could improve your team’s efforts
- What is the Marketing team’s main initiatives?
There are many objectives outside of simple demand generation that marketing teams may be focused on. From raising brand awareness or improving customer relationships to launching products or entering new markets, it’s important to understand exactly what your marketing team is focused on to best determine how to properly configure an integration.
The reason? Their initiatives will likely drive the way they use the marketing automation platform, which in turn determines what kind of information they’re capturing and can feasibly pass along to the sales team. If the data they have will not be helpful to the Sales team, there is no sense in syncing it to Salesforce simply because it can be done.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that the sync can be just as effective in the other direction. Marketing teams can set up HubSpot workflows that are triggered by Salesforce activity intended to kickstart stale leads, provide sales support documents, or educate new customers through training sequences.
The Marketing team’s initiatives will not likely be a deterrent for the integration; rather, understanding and communicating them clearly to the team deploying the integration will ensure that it is configured most effectively to serve both teams.
- What are you looking to achieve with the integration?
There are many benefits of connecting your HubSpot and Salesforce instances, but it is critical to approach the integration with very clear expectations around what you plan to achieve. While wondrous in many ways, the integration is certainly not a magical solution to all your data woes. And it is definitely not a quick fix either. It can take several weeks and many phases to complete and refine a sound connection.
Here are some examples of the outcomes you can reasonably expect to see:
- Shortened sales cycles: by identifying prospects with higher levels of engagement and targeting them according to the activity intelligence on their record, sales members can more accurately meet prospects where they are in the buyer’s journey and reduce the amount of nurturing necessary to close deals.
- Reduced data gap: by creating contact records with more insight around pre- and post-handoff activity, the increased visibility between sales and marketing will lend itself to closed loop reporting and ROI analysis.
- More business closed: by connecting the two main systems your teams rely on in their day-to-day activity to produce sales, you can build out workflow follow-up systems and task queues to ensure no lead falls between the cracks.
- Is either database already integrated with other digital platforms?
If your teams have other integrations in place with either HubSpot or Salesforce, it will be important to understand the data flow between each instance to best minimize the irrelevant transfer potential and maximize the overall configuration to exceed multiple objectives.
What does that even mean? Well, if your marketing team has integrated Eventbrite and SurveyMonkey with HubSpot, there are several data points that could be leveraged inside of Salesforce post-sync. Now, that data won’t automatically sync into the CRM without proper field mappings and criteria in place, but it’s important to recognize if/how it could be useful to the Sales team.
On the other hand, if the Sales team has integrated their instance of Salesforce with the finance department’s accounting platform through the AppExchange, it is just as important to understand if/how the Marketing team could benefit from having access to certain data points through that integration.
Additionally, if your CRM is being fed leads from data aggregators, it is essential to consider how the impact those connections could have when a mass of contact records floods into the marketing automation database.
Remember, it’s not that additional integrations are prohibitive conditions for the HubSpot Salesforce integration; rather, it’s crucial to understand the full picture in order to develop the most effective architecture between the two platforms.
- How clean is the data in each of the environments?
If you’ve been using Salesforce for the last five or ten years, there is a good chance that there are obsolete fields, duplicate records, expired opportunities, and overgrown picklists. Together or individually, each and every one of these conditions will clutter your digital environment and prevent you from developing a streamlined lead management process that helps you meet your objectives.
And unless your team has diligent data hygiene processes in place to identify and eliminate unengaged contacts from your HubSpot database, there’s a good chance there are a bunch of records with a history of email bounces, unsubscribes, and inactivity clogging up your portal.
Either way, this will be a good opportunity to get into the trenches and do some deep cleaning.
- Do you have the resources to support the implementation and maintenance of the integration?
There are four main resources involved in any successful HubSpot Salesforce integration: time, adequate platform access, proper talent, and budget.
As I mentioned before, this integration is not an overnight endeavor. The time it takes to conduct an adequate discovery process, create an implementation strategy, build the syncing criteria, map all of the fields, construct notification or assignment workflows, and test everything before going live should be very carefully considered.
You’ll also need to confirm that you have the correct level of access to each platform that will support the integration. That means at least a Professional license on HubSpot and either Salesforce Professional, Enterprise, or Unlimited (not a trial account) with top-level administrator privileges or full object-level and full-field-level security permissions. Additionally, you’ll need to confirm the number of API calls your Salesforce license comes with, anticipating that a single contact sync can take up to four API calls per record.
It will also be critical to have the right people with advanced knowledge of these systems involved to ensure everything is properly configured and mapped out. It doesn’t necessarily have to be one person who is intimately aware of both platforms, but at least one representative for each system.
Finally, if you need to upgrade your current subscriptions or outsource the integration work to experienced professionals, you’ll need to be keenly aware of the budget involved to do so.
- Do you have buy-in from the Sales team?
If you want the integration to be successful, it will be important for you to include all members of the team in the planning and mapping stages to discuss critical components like the directional flow of data, the process for delivering and accepting leads, the property fields that need to be captured, and the contact criteria for suppressing marketing activity.
This would also be a good conversation to talk about the different ways that the integration could fail and what the consequences of failure look like. With everything out on the table, the team can collectively determine proactive measures to minimize the risk of failing.
Will Increased Data Flow Help You or Hurt You?
There's no denying the potential impact that syncing systems can have on your organization. However, it's important to keep in mind that the impact could possibly be negative if you haven't taken these critical things into consideration and move ahead with an integration between two key platforms. Bad data, a lack of resources, misconfigurations, and unrealistic expectations can all contribute to an integration that causes more problems than it helps to solve.
If you would like help evaluating if it's right for you or putting together a solid game plan fo implementing the HubSpot Salesforce integration, we'd be happy to discuss your current setup and objectives.