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Look Before You Leap: Preparing for Salesforce & HubSpot Integration

Look Before You Leap: Preparing for Salesforce & HubSpot Integration

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Your team finally has approval to connect Salesforce & HubSpot. Soon you will have all the data you’ve wanted to perfect your nurtures and segmentation! 

But before you can access that sweet treasure trove of data each system is hoarding, you have to build the bridge between them. The gap between the two can be daunting and look like a far distance to leap across at first. And if you jump too soon, you might fall way in over your head.

Rick Astley falling

Thankfully we’ve got some gear to make that first trek across safer.

Check your equipment before connecting Salesforce & HubSpot

Salesforce Sales Cloud and HubSpot have a unique way of communicating with each other. There are a lot of moving pieces with any type of Salesforce integration, so it is important to check your available tools and make sure you understand how to use each of them.

Sales Cloud and HubSpot Object Connections 

HubSpot uses different names for common Sales Cloud objects. For one, Salesforce fields are called “properties” in HubSpot. But HubSpot also has “objects” that work the same as they do in Salesforce.

On a normal integration, HubSpot automatically connects its 3 main objects with the 4 heavy hitters in Sales Cloud.

Salesforce ObjectHubSpot Object

One big important thing to note is Leads and Contacts in Salesforce are connected to the same 1 object in HubSpot — Contacts. You will be able to map fields from both Contacts and Leads to a single HubSpot property.

When you set up your bridge between the two sets of data, you can select whether a new Contact in HubSpot creates a new Lead or Contact in Salesforce. This lets you continue your normal lead generation strategy, just with leads coming in from a new source.

There are additional object connections you may make, though it may require some extra work inside of Sales Cloud. The Activities object will let you track the activities a HubSpot contact has done, such as submitting a HubSpot form or clicking on a HubSpot email, back into Salesforce. You also have the option to sync custom objects from Salesforce with HubSpot.

Field Mappings 

HubSpot and Salesforce disagree on one important thing. While Sales Cloud uses “fields” to display values and content about a contact, lead, account, or opportunity, HubSpot calls the same thing a “property” in its own system.

HubSpot properties are the basis for almost all automation in HubSpot, and they work almost the same way as fields do in Sales Cloud. You can set a property to be a text value, a numerical value, a picklist, etc just like you can create fields inside of Salesforce.

Each property can then be mapped to an individual field inside of the Salesforce object. Only Company properties can be synced with Account fields, for example. For Contact properties, these can be synced with either Lead or Contact fields.

But what is the great “source of truth” — two systems of data are talking to each other, but who has the authority to make a change to a record? Well when you set your field mappings, you can choose which system has the authority over each field.

With each individual property, you are given 4 options on how the data should go if there is a conflict between what’s in a Salesforce field and the corresponding HubSpot property:

  • Prefer Salesforce unless blank
    Salesforce is the Source of Truth, unless the Salesforce field happens to be blank. Then HubSpot will write its own value into this field in Salesforce. From there, it will only update the field if the value is updated in Salesforce.
  • Always use Salesforce
    Salesforce stays the Source of Truth no matter what. Even if the value is blank in Salesforce, HubSpot will not write its own value into that field.
  • Two-way
    Both systems act as the Source of Truth. This revolves entirely around which system had the most recently updated value — if a property was updated in HubSpot 1 day ago, and the Salesforce field has not been updated in 1 week, HubSpot will write its value into the Salesforce field.
  • Don’t sync
    HubSpot and Salesforce will not talk about this field at all. If one value changes in Salesforce or HubSpot, the other system will not be notified or updated.

Salesforce & HubSpot integration limitations to be aware of

You will also need certain privileges in Salesforce to complete this bridge. Generally, having the Salesforce admin role or the HubSpot Integration Permissions set covers all the bases. But make sure you have access to the following abilities in Salesforce:

Action items before take off

Now that you’ve checked and understand your tool set, you might want to get Salesforce and HubSpot talking right away. But it’s important to take a breather. Once the two start communicating, they will talk all the time and major changes to one may no longer be possible. 

Do a Salesforce Field Audit

Comb through the fields in the 4 major objects in Salesforce that will talk to HubSpot. Make sure that you keep track of the following information for each field:

  • Field Name
  • Field Type (text, number, formula, etc.)
  • Any picklist values 

Once you have gone through the field audit for your Salesforce objects, now create properties in HubSpot that match all of the fields you want to make the two data powerhouses talk about. The property type needs to match the type of field in Salesforce. Picklist values will also need to match to prevent any sync errors.

Free template alert!

We’ve set up a handy spreadsheet template to get you started! (click ‘Make a copy’ and share to your own drive)

Connect Custom Objects

One great part of Salesforce is that you can highly customize it. HubSpot understands that flexibility is key, and thus has a way to connect custom objects your team may use.

HubSpot only allows for up to 10 custom objects to be synced though, so prioritize which objects are most needed for marketing if you must choose between several options — even if it feels like picking a favorite child. 

Focus on the custom objects that your HubSpot user team will need the most. Do they need to know customer support case numbers? If not, maybe keep a custom Service app unconnected.

Be sure to do an audit of fields for any custom objects you will be syncing as well!

Now you’re ready to go

Integrations can be tricky. The giant opening between your two systems can feel quite cavernous. But as long as you take a moment to inspect your gear and know the basics of the two systems, you will be more than prepared to bridge the gap between Salesforce and HubSpot.

Reach out to us if you have any questions or share your experience preparing for the Salesforce and Hubspot integration in the comments section below.

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  • Amanda Rhodes is a Marketing Automation Analyst at Sercante. After earning B.A.s in Journalism and Creative Writing at Southern Methodist University, she spent 10 years working for fast-growing technology companies to develop and fine-tune all elements of their marketing departments. With several certifications including HubSpot Marketing and Pardot Specialist, Amanda helps companies get the most of their marketing data and assets in Pardot. Outside of work, she enjoys filling her house with as many books as she can fit and snuggling with her cats and dog. Amanda specializes in project management and digital media. Her goal every day is to help marketers feel confident about automating their workflows.

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