Finally decided to integrate your HubSpot account with your external CRM? Think the easy part is over? While convincing your stakeholders to sign on to the project can be difficult, the project itself can also prove challenging. However, at LyntonWeb, we’ve launched hundreds of successful integrations and have noted the common mistakes we see during the process.
Even if you fall victim to one or two missteps, the benefits of a working CRM integration outweigh any negatives. Because when your CRM and HubSpot are connected, it helps increase communication between sales and marketing and automates several of your business practices. With that said, here are some of the most frequent mistakes we see during integration projects and how to avoid them.
Not Involving the Right People
One of the most important things you can do for the health of your integration project is to designate someone from your company to be the main point of contact. When someone owns your project, they can keep in steady contact with the company doing your integration. They can set up meetings, ask and answer questions, provide logins, get status reports, and keep everyone alert of where the project currently stands.
Another issue that could affect your integration project is not having technical resources from the start. If you have a technical member of your team who can speak the language of your CRM and assist with any of the more technical aspects, they should absolutely be involved from the start.
Likewise, because an integration primarily affects your sales and marketing teams, you should consider having members of each team involved during the project. They can learn the finer details of the integration, making it easier to navigate when it comes time for testing and to launch.
Not Having a System of Record
It’s essential to choose which system will be your system of record – or, your single source of truth for all your important contact and marketing. Having one system of record will prevent the other system from overwriting or dirtying your data. Typically, the CRM platform is the system of record, which we recommend. Why is this?
Having a system of record helps you define boundaries and better set up data syncing standards. You are stating which system is your "home base" so that all other systems feed data into that system.
Sure data can sync bidirectionally, but knowing which system is the master helps define boundaries and rules for which one should have the final data.
Starting with Bad Data
“Bad” data can include things like obsolete records, duplicate contacts, or lots of incomplete records. The more data you have, the longer it takes for your initial sync. So, if you’re working with data that ultimately is useless to you, it’s best to clean it before your project begins to speed up your timeline.
Our tips on how to do this:
- Assess your CRM and HubSpot for duplicate records and merge them.
- Get rid of known old, or low-quality contacts within each system by marking them as inactive.
- Sync only active contacts and open or qualified leads in your initial sync.
Having Undefined Business Processes
There’s no point in taking the time to combine your CRM and HubSpot if you have no defined processes for how you use each. For example, some companies may only track the most basic information in their CRM, while others need more details to help move leads from prospects to sales qualified leads (SQLs) and beyond.
Similarly, some marketing teams may only be interested in contacts that haven’t opted out of email communication and sales might only work leads that have hit a certain lead score.
With a clear understanding of how both sales and marketing use their systems, you’ll be able to define better what goals you hope to achieve with an integration.
Not Knowing What You Want to Map
Again, not all companies use HubSpot and CRM systems in the same way. Some opt for the most high-level versions of both. Others, like sports teams, for instance, may need fields in their CRM to note season ticket holders on contact records. To avoid the pitfalls of not mapping the right fields between your systems to achieve real sales and marketing alignment, do your homework. Get your marketing and sales teams to work together to define the exact information you need to synchronize.
Here are some questions that can help guide this crucial step:
- Which fields and objects should be mapped between the two systems and in what direction is each object passing data?
- How do you want to filter contacts from HubSpot syncing to the CRM?
- What fields do we need for segmentation, workflow triggers, and content personalization?
- Do we need custom fields mapped? (think of the sports analogy again!)
- How fast do we need changes in one system to be synced to the other (i.e., every few minutes, hourly, daily, etc)?
- What do we want to achieve with this integration? (i.e., improve lead generation, lower churn, improve content marketing, track closed-loop reporting, boost revenue)
Not Allowing Ample Time
When it comes to integration of HubSpot and a CRM, there is no “one-size-fits-all.” People may assume this – and that can get them into trouble. You may even tell your boss it will be done in four weeks without considering all the possibilities. And because not every integration is the same, it’s essential to have realistic timeline expectations. The number of records you’re syncing, how many entities you’re mapping and testing can all slow your project.
However, you can use this general guide as a starting point:
- A standard integration, meaning one that doesn’t involve any custom field mappings takes anywhere from 30 – 60 days.
- A custom integration may take longer in the building, testing, and launching steps. However, an average custom HubSpot integration takes 90 days to complete.
- If your CRM is highly-customized, needing even more custom field mappings or custom sync logic, it may take even longer – possibly up to 12 weeks.
Not Choosing the Right Partner
Even with the best intentions and qualified team, mistakes can happen during any project. If you choose a certified integration partner – like LyntonWeb – who can keep these mistakes top of mind while guiding you throughout the process, you should be set up for success. To get started with your CRM integration, contact us today.
By: Corie Stark
After spending many years as a sports journalist, Corie switched to marketing in 2013. Her love of writing, talking to people, and keeping up with the industry enables her to use her skills for anything from social media to long-form blogging. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking with her dogs and making her cats chase the ever elusive red dot.
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