hubspot and salesforce integratin
hubspot and salesforce integratin
hubspot and salesforce integratin

Jan 15, 2024

HubSpot and Salesforce Integration Series (1/3)

HubSpot and Salesforce Integration Series (1/3)

HubSpot and Salesforce Integration Series (1/3)

The integration between the Salesforce and HubSpot is a popular integration. Specifically, businesses want to use the Sales Cloud as the main CRM and the Marketing Hub as an automation platform.

In this series, we will look at 3 parts of the integrations:

  • The Preparation

  • The Integration Work

  • Sync, Use Case, and Best Practices

Let’s start with a topic that is on everyones mind.


The Elephant in the Room: Competition

The native integration does a great job in connecting both platforms but we can not forget that HubSpot and Salesforce are competitors. 

The consequences of this competition is that integration could technically be better if they wanted to. But in both cases you get more value if you went all-in with one vendor. Be that Salesforce Account Engagement and the Sales Cloud or HubSpots Marketing Hub and Sales Hub. For example, one big challenge is marketing attribution when using the two platforms. It is so much easier when just using one platform. 

The sales representative of each platform know that and they try everything they can (aka huge discounts) to get you to switch. The consequence of this is an amplified divide between marketing and sales teams.

Eventually, we see many businesses going fully into one platform. We wrote a guide that helps you choose between the two.


Preparations

Before activating the integration there are some preparations that you want to make.


Clean data and duplicates prevention

One prerequisite for the integration is clean data and duplicate prevention. The biggest issue with duplicates is that they pollute your database, skew your reporting, and break the synchronisation. The biggest issue for HubSpot and Salesforce is the sync between contacts and leads.


Duplicate Lead and Contacts in Salesforce

HubSpot and Salesforce use the email address as a unique identifier. 

This means if you have a contact with the same name and other fields are similar but the email is different then it isn’t a duplicate. This makes as sense as every country has names that are very common. E.g. “Tim Carter” in the United Kingdom or “Max Müller” in Germany.

The issue with the sync between HubSpot and Salesforce starts once leads and contacts have the same email address. In that case, the integration matches the lead to the most recent record but there are also instances it would randomly provide a match at random. 

The consequence of this is that wrong leads get matched and we get sync errors. This will create a loss of information and depending on how many duplicates exist it can skew reporting. 

Hence, it is crucial that there are close to zero duplicates in each system. This can be accomplished by proper duplicate rules in Salesforce, good data hygiene, and regular data clean ups. We recommend the use of deduplication tools to maintain a clean database.


Duplicate HubSpot Contacts with different emails

There can be the case that a HubSpot contact is the same but has two different emails. E.g. downloaded a content piece once from a work email and once from a private email. In the case of duplicate HubSpot contacts that correspond to one Salesforce leads / contact, make sure to merge the HubSpot contact to the one that is in sync with Salesforce.

 

Design decision for the integrations

Here are a few design decisions for the integration. 


Minimum object requirement

For the integration to work, you need to synchronize at least HubSpot Contacts with Salesforce Leads and Contacts. Other objects like opportunities or accounts are optional.


Decision to create leads or contacts

The HubSpot sync can only create a new lead or a new contact in Salesforce - not both. In 95% of the cases you will select that the integration creates new leads. 

In the recent year, some organizations started to skip the Lead object and only use Accounts and Contacts in Salesforce. We recommend caution with this approach. While it can work and has clear benefits (primarily no confusion between leads and contacts).

The issue starts with your overall ecosystem of platforms. There are many other third party platforms that require the lead object to integrate with Salesforce. Hence, we saw many organizations that implemented Salesforce without the lead objects but found themselves turning it back on after a year due to integration requirements.

Another issue is that duplicate management is now also concerned with only using Accounts and Contacts. HubSpot can’t create a new contact if there is no Account in Salesforce. The risk is then that it will create a new contact but it was not able to match it to an account and create a duplicate account. 


Similar data types

Data types are fields or properties in the two platforms. Examples include text fields, picklists, checkboxes, etc. A requirement for the integration is that the data types are identical. Check out the table below for some example cases.

Example of a drop down list in a pick list

Salesforce allows setting a picklist value as inactive. This means that the value can not be selected anymore but old records that have the value can still display it. The problem is that the integration can not handle inactive values as those are not supported in HubSpot and hence synch error will occur.


Customization, workflows, validations, and other rules

Salesforce allows you to set up rules that help to govern your data. For example, you have the “Job Title” as a mandatory field in Salesforce. But in HubSpot the equivalent field is optional. This could create sync errors when the field is not provided in HubSpot as blanks would not be accepted in Salesforce due to the mandatory field.

It is important to be aware of all those validation and other rules. We recommend to map them all out and check if they will impact the integration.


Object and field mapping

A helpful exercise is to prepare an object and field mapping between the two platforms. In that exercise you will match each object with the corresponding fields. We recommend for each object a separate table. See below an example for one table.

HubSpot Contact  <> Salesforce Lead & Contact


Change Management

The final step is to prepare your team for the integration. Solution owners and end users will both be impacted by the integration. It is important that everyone is aware of the upcoming change and how it will impact their work. This proper communication will help with the adaptation

Next, week we will talk about the actual steps of the integration.

The integration between the Salesforce and HubSpot is a popular integration. Specifically, businesses want to use the Sales Cloud as the main CRM and the Marketing Hub as an automation platform.

In this series, we will look at 3 parts of the integrations:

  • The Preparation

  • The Integration Work

  • Sync, Use Case, and Best Practices

Let’s start with a topic that is on everyones mind.


The Elephant in the Room: Competition

The native integration does a great job in connecting both platforms but we can not forget that HubSpot and Salesforce are competitors. 

The consequences of this competition is that integration could technically be better if they wanted to. But in both cases you get more value if you went all-in with one vendor. Be that Salesforce Account Engagement and the Sales Cloud or HubSpots Marketing Hub and Sales Hub. For example, one big challenge is marketing attribution when using the two platforms. It is so much easier when just using one platform. 

The sales representative of each platform know that and they try everything they can (aka huge discounts) to get you to switch. The consequence of this is an amplified divide between marketing and sales teams.

Eventually, we see many businesses going fully into one platform. We wrote a guide that helps you choose between the two.


Preparations

Before activating the integration there are some preparations that you want to make.


Clean data and duplicates prevention

One prerequisite for the integration is clean data and duplicate prevention. The biggest issue with duplicates is that they pollute your database, skew your reporting, and break the synchronisation. The biggest issue for HubSpot and Salesforce is the sync between contacts and leads.


Duplicate Lead and Contacts in Salesforce

HubSpot and Salesforce use the email address as a unique identifier. 

This means if you have a contact with the same name and other fields are similar but the email is different then it isn’t a duplicate. This makes as sense as every country has names that are very common. E.g. “Tim Carter” in the United Kingdom or “Max Müller” in Germany.

The issue with the sync between HubSpot and Salesforce starts once leads and contacts have the same email address. In that case, the integration matches the lead to the most recent record but there are also instances it would randomly provide a match at random. 

The consequence of this is that wrong leads get matched and we get sync errors. This will create a loss of information and depending on how many duplicates exist it can skew reporting. 

Hence, it is crucial that there are close to zero duplicates in each system. This can be accomplished by proper duplicate rules in Salesforce, good data hygiene, and regular data clean ups. We recommend the use of deduplication tools to maintain a clean database.


Duplicate HubSpot Contacts with different emails

There can be the case that a HubSpot contact is the same but has two different emails. E.g. downloaded a content piece once from a work email and once from a private email. In the case of duplicate HubSpot contacts that correspond to one Salesforce leads / contact, make sure to merge the HubSpot contact to the one that is in sync with Salesforce.

 

Design decision for the integrations

Here are a few design decisions for the integration. 


Minimum object requirement

For the integration to work, you need to synchronize at least HubSpot Contacts with Salesforce Leads and Contacts. Other objects like opportunities or accounts are optional.


Decision to create leads or contacts

The HubSpot sync can only create a new lead or a new contact in Salesforce - not both. In 95% of the cases you will select that the integration creates new leads. 

In the recent year, some organizations started to skip the Lead object and only use Accounts and Contacts in Salesforce. We recommend caution with this approach. While it can work and has clear benefits (primarily no confusion between leads and contacts).

The issue starts with your overall ecosystem of platforms. There are many other third party platforms that require the lead object to integrate with Salesforce. Hence, we saw many organizations that implemented Salesforce without the lead objects but found themselves turning it back on after a year due to integration requirements.

Another issue is that duplicate management is now also concerned with only using Accounts and Contacts. HubSpot can’t create a new contact if there is no Account in Salesforce. The risk is then that it will create a new contact but it was not able to match it to an account and create a duplicate account. 


Similar data types

Data types are fields or properties in the two platforms. Examples include text fields, picklists, checkboxes, etc. A requirement for the integration is that the data types are identical. Check out the table below for some example cases.

Example of a drop down list in a pick list

Salesforce allows setting a picklist value as inactive. This means that the value can not be selected anymore but old records that have the value can still display it. The problem is that the integration can not handle inactive values as those are not supported in HubSpot and hence synch error will occur.


Customization, workflows, validations, and other rules

Salesforce allows you to set up rules that help to govern your data. For example, you have the “Job Title” as a mandatory field in Salesforce. But in HubSpot the equivalent field is optional. This could create sync errors when the field is not provided in HubSpot as blanks would not be accepted in Salesforce due to the mandatory field.

It is important to be aware of all those validation and other rules. We recommend to map them all out and check if they will impact the integration.


Object and field mapping

A helpful exercise is to prepare an object and field mapping between the two platforms. In that exercise you will match each object with the corresponding fields. We recommend for each object a separate table. See below an example for one table.

HubSpot Contact  <> Salesforce Lead & Contact


Change Management

The final step is to prepare your team for the integration. Solution owners and end users will both be impacted by the integration. It is important that everyone is aware of the upcoming change and how it will impact their work. This proper communication will help with the adaptation

Next, week we will talk about the actual steps of the integration.

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