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5 tips to prepare for a successful HubSpot/Salesforce integration

Integration between Salesforce and HubSpot

One of the most powerful integrations HubSpot offers out of the box is the HubSpot/Salesforce integration. 
As this is a turnkey solution, there are many concerns you don’t have to worry about: the design of the integration process, building web services, implementing a middle-ware solution and many more technical considerations. However, using a turnkey solution doesn’t mean that you should switch the button without thinking first!  In this blog, get a few guidelines that will help you ensure a smooth HubSpot/Salesforce integration project!

1) Involve all relevant business stakeholders

Integrations aren’t a purely technical matter, it’s a business integration project that needs to involve your sales and marketing departments.  It is important to meet the needs of both teams, and to ensure they will work together to handover leads and contacts properly. Therefore, make sure that a key user from your sales back-office and another one from your HubSpot team can have their say on the integration. They are the ones whose needs need to be met!

2) Only sync the data you need

We recommend you start with a mindset to keep things as simple as possible.  Don't sync any data if you are not sure you need it.  It just adds complexity in setup, testing and maintenance later on.  Ask yourself following questions (examples):

  • Does your Marketing team really need that phone number in HubSpot?
  • Do you want to send notifications in HubSpot every time an event happens in Salesforce?
Start with the basic must-have (Accounts and Contacts, for example), and fine-tune your integration further when you get more comfortable with the solution.
In addition, you don't want to be crowded with too much information in HubSpot.
For example, if you don't create any specific workflows in Salesforce based on some fields, then they should only be displayed via the HubSpot VisualForce iframe.

3) Data Mapping

In a mapping table, list all fields you will integrate between HubSpot and Salesforce. This will help you keep track of what information you synchronise between the two systems, and monitor any differences there might be.
Two major information are needed here:

  • Which system is the master?
    Define a deciding/winning system and sync direction for each fields.
    Some data are more important in Salesforce, some other are better coming from HubSpot.
    Lead Score, for example, is a more Marketing-Oriented field and should be handled by HubSpot.  Only send it to Salesforce if it will actually be used by the sales people.
    Other example: people might put fake first/last name in HubSpot forms, and you might want to prevent this error to overwrite your (probably more accurate) Salesforce data! The Salesforce integration with HubSpot allows to put in place sync rules, which helps you decided whether or not certain fields like first name and last name may be overwritten.
  • Technical Names 
    Sometimes, fields have similar names and using the technical denomination ensures you are referring to the right property. Make sure that you mention this critical info in your mapping table.

4) Data Cleaning

Before syncing, ensure there are no duplicate or wrong data in any of your two systems.
Export the data separately and analyse it deeply, or use a specialised tool as described on this Hubspot blog. This is an important step, that could even be a project of its own! Typically, you want to avoid having personal email addresses from your contacts in HubSpot (so exclude @gmail.com, for example). Another example of low-quality emails are the catch-all email addresses like info@company.com. In addition, take the opportunity of this data cleaning exercise to also clean any weird characters or data like "no email", "tbd", or "???".

5) Test, test, test!

Even by following the few guidelines we’ve provided above, there might be scenarios that you can’t envision when designing the integration. So, it is important to test it first in parallel environments.
Copy your production Salesforce data into a sandbox tenant. Then, synchronize first with a test HubSpot portal that also reflects your existing HubSpot system. 
There, your end-users should test all scenarios and verify that the integration will correspond to their needs and business cases. When testing, also notice what kind of synchronization errors you get in the HubSpot logs. It will help your data cleaning exercise
It is critical to test as much as possible. Again, you don’t want to jeopardize your productive Salesforce or HubSpot data! 

We held a webinar where we gave a lot more information about our experiences with this integration. Click this button to view the recording and slides.

More about the HubSpot-Salesforce integration

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