Salesforce has been the industry leader of CRM platforms for over 20 years. They were the first to introduce cloud-based data storage and brought SaaS to the forefront of the business world. Salesforce evolved standard sales solutions into business solutions.
But, as IBM was once the leader and lost its footing, the same has happened with Salesforce. HubSpot is giving Salesforce a run for its money.
Why choose HubSpot?
The most common reason for migrating from Salesforce to HubSpot is that Salesforce is too complicated. While its customisability makes it powerful, it does impact the usability of the software.
Most CRM systems were designed to give sales leaders more insights into their team's pipeline and activities and the added admin to keep the CRM updated, never seemed worth it to sales reps. This affects the adoption success and limits the insights and forecasting your CRM can offer you.
HubSpot was designed with the sales leaders and the end-users, your sales team, in mind. It is enhanced with features to reduce the time spent on admin and add value to a rep's day. That means that manual data entry is limited and click paths are shorter, with an Outlook and Gmail integration that gives you access to enablement tools from within your email client. Combined with the advanced sales analytics and reporting functions, it makes for a CRM that is easy, and plea sant, to use for leaders and reps.
With this ease-of-use, you'd expect to compromise on power, as is the case with many SaaS solutions. HubSpot ensures you don't have to choose and gives you the power to customise your data structures with Custom Objects. They allow you to extend HubSpot's standard functionality by giving you the flexibility to define objects as your business data requires, beyond the scope of the standard objects (contacts, companies, deals, tickets and products).
That means you can customise your CRM to fit in with your data schema, and not the other way around. HubSpot custom objects look and act precisely as standard objects do, and can be used in reporting, marketing campaigns and accessed by all users. They can even be associated with other standard or custom objects, just like your standard objects.
Another typical case with most SaaS solutions, Salesforce included, is extending their footprint by buying other solutions and integrating it with their core platform. While Salesforce offer marketing, service, eCommerce, platform and integration solutions, the majority of these have been bought and integrated into the core Sales solution. That often makes for a bit of a Frankenstein software.
HubSpot, on the other hand, has chosen to develop all their solutions themselves, resulting in an interface that offers the same level of experience and ease throughout the platform.
This means that all your front-line teams can use the same software easily and ensures you have a single source of truth for your customer data. HubSpot has placed significant focus on providing you with out-of-the-box integration solutions that allow you to connect all your tools to HubSpot and give you a complete view of your customer. You can integrate your marketing events tool, your video conferencing and webinar solution and even your accounting software with the click of a button. The centralisation of your tools and data, also means your teams do not have to log into multiple platforms every day. You can do it all through HubSpot.
Another common reason for companies moving from Salesforce to HubSpot is the cost. HubSpot's CRM is free. You pay for the additional sales, marketing or service tools, but if you are only after a CRM, it will never cost you anything.
For those who are looking for the complete sales solution, though, there are other cost factors to consider.
With Salesforce, you pay an additional fee per user – for every user, whether they are a marketing user who simply wants to keep an eye on the data or a sales rep who uses all the tools. In many cases, companies need to purchase the Salesforce enterprise tier for just one single feature. That means you're often paying as much as double the price, with many of the tools of Enterprise not being used, and users who aren't using any of the tools.
HubSpot allows you to add as many users as you would like (whether you are using the free CRM or the paid-for Sales Hub). You only pay an additional user fee for the users on your team who need access to the advanced sales tools, like email sequencing and automatic lead assignment.
How to Migrate from Salesforce to HubSpot successfully
Despite these benefits, you'd be excused for being nervous about making the leap. A CRM migration is a massive and disruptive undertaking, but follow these steps, and you and your team will be moving over from Salesforce to HubSpot, smoothly and pain-free.
Step 1: Get your team onboard
The key to success in any software or process change within an organisation is team buy-in. Without support and enthusiasm from all levels of your team, the implementation will be a struggle. As humans, we are inherently resistant to change and unfamiliar territory, so ensuring your team are comfortable is a crucial step.
Team buy-in comes when there's a solid understanding of why changes are being made. Sharing justifiable explanations for changes and the benefits for them will help ensure buy-in from everyone.
Ensuring your team is aware that HubSpot's CRM and sales tools haven't been created with just sales leaders in mind, will go a long way towards securing their buy-in. While traditional CRM's are mainly built to provide sales leaders with reporting and forecasting tools, HubSpot does that and so much more. HubSpot empowers sales reps with sales enablement tools, AI and insights tools to make data capture and management more effortless.
By highlighting these benefits and getting the team involved in the implementation process, your team is sure to buy-in to the migration. Empower the team to help mould the implementation strategy by appointing key team members to champion the new software and process. These champions will entrench themselves in the migration and become experts in the new software. They will get an opportunity to influence the changes and be the go-to resource for their other team members. Providing the opportunity to assist in a new implementation, where they get to shape the new process and structure, gives your team added purpose. When your team members buy-in to an undertaking of this scale, it doesn't feel like more work, even with the responsibility to truly champion the implementation as one of the new experts in your organisation.
Communicate clearly with your teams on the purpose, benefits and methods for a seamless transition. Without support and buy-in from your teams, any implementation will be a struggle.
Step 2: Planning
We hear the saying' failing to plan is planning to fail,' and that couldn't be truer with a CRM migration. Throwing a new CRM software at your sales team without planning, strategically implementing and training will result in misuse and frustrations, which are more than likely going to create resistance to using HubSpot.
Focus on the following three areas during your planning:
1. Review your current processes to identify opportunities for optimisation and efficiency.
Every company has a sales process unique to them. While they will roughly follow the traditional marketing and sales funnel or flywheel, the unique aspects will vary. The most significant aspect of recreating your process is defining the interactions between your marketing and sales teams. How your marketing team qualify leads and how those leads are communicated to your sales team will play a huge part in defining and recreating the process that works in HubSpot.
Knowing and defining how your team prospects new clients, follow up with existing clients, and the reports needed for these interactions to work is vital. HubSpot allows your team to record notes, or even use tools like playbooks to record the data collected on a contact or company. This information is available to all steps along the way to make prospecting through sales run smoother.
Even when your Salesforce process worked, don't forget to take the opportunity to audit the process and make improvements. The best time to change the process and adopt the custom properties and integrations is before beginning onboarding onto HubSpot.
2. Plan your migration timeline and system retirement plan, including cutover dates and a training plan.
Be sure to define exact dates for the cutover, to ensure your team avoids data gaps between systems.
How? Your pilot group are working with the Salesforce data migrated to HubSpot during the initial data migration. However, the rest of your team will still be using Salesforce and inputting data during the pilot period. Any changes made within Salesforce between the first migration and the cutover date should be migrated during a delta migration. Any data input into Salesforce after this delta migration would need to be manually re-input into HubSpot to prevent loss of data, which does double up on administration and is a waste of time for your sales reps.
3. Plan your data migration and data mapping.
Preparing your data for migration is a crucial first step. Clean your data by removing duplicates, confirming active contacts, and removing items not used. View migrating to a new CRM like you would when moving houses: you don't pack up the rubbish and bring it with you.
You also want to spend some time mapping the data between objects and properties. Data mapping is a complex initiative, but necessary for successful migration and sustainable use of your new platform.
The data mapping necessary for your migration from Salesforce to HubSpot requires tracing each object and property in Salesforce to each object and property in HubSpot. Though this appears to be a one to one transfer and should be straight forward, custom objects and custom properties make this a bit more challenging. Transferring data records requires alignment between objects, such as Salesforce Accounts translate to HubSpot Companies, but Salesforce Leads translate to HubSpot Contacts. You need to do the same with properties and identify which custom properties need to be created before your migration. Knowing the appropriate alignment of each object and property between platforms helps keep the migration of data records accurate and error-free.
You will also need some planning to align your sales and marketing teams on the data mapping, including an investigation into lifecycle stages and how they will be defined going forward. Take this a step further to define lead scoring and the handoff process from your marketing to sales teams. Mapping out the full process with thorough definitions during your planning will help your implementation go smoothly.
Step 3: Choose your HubSpot Plan
As mentioned previously, the HubSpot CRM is free, but you'll likely want to supplement your CRM with the Sales Hub. If you need Marketing and Service tools too, the HubSpot Growth Suite includes all three Hubs and comes with a 25% discount.
Each Hub is offered with varying plans to suit every business. You can select the Free, Starter, Professional or Enterprise plans. When evaluating which HubSpot license to use, it is critical to evaluate the features you need before price. Your business and operational goals should guide your assessment. Ensure you have the features you need to ensure the implementation is a success. There is a significant difference in price between Pro and Enterprise, so you should only leap if the majority of the Enterprise features will be utilised in your company.
If you select the Professional or Enterprise plans, HubSpot requires you to purchase onboarding, which will help you migrate successfully. HubSpot has a guided onboarding structure, presented by the HubSpot services team in virtual sessions. As the name suggests, these sessions are to guide you through setting up your account yourself and to train you to be able to train your team on using HubSpot. A HubSpot implementation specialist is assigned to you to help you get started. You receive technical set up assistance, but your team members will do much of the work. If you have employees already familiar with the platform, this method of onboarding works well. However, if not, expect the process to be slower as team members are learning the platform, let alone knowing what to put where.
The onboarding offered by HubSpot takes up to three months to complete and is compulsory when signing up to a Professional or Enterprise account. HubSpot only waives the onboarding fee if you are completing onboarding with a HubSpot Solutions Partner. Solutions partners offer different onboarding options, including a guided programme (similar to that offered by HubSpot) or an Accelerated option. Accelerated onboarding can be completed within the timeframes you have set and gives the added benefit of having your account configuration and customisation being implemented by the partners. You'll also have the choice of whether to use the partner to train your team or whether you'd prefer to adopt a train-the-trainer approach, as would be the case with HubSpot onboarding.
If you are migrating from a legacy CRM, you'll need to migrate your data over into HubSpot. With the HubSpot Guided onboarding, you will receive guidance on how to migrate your data. When working with a solutions partner, you will have access to technical resources that can migrate your data smoothly and successfully. The complexity of your data set and your level of comfort will determine whether you should tackle the migration yourself or whether you need a professional.
The onboarding process is time-intensive, regardless of whether you choose to work with HubSpot or a partner. However, the benefit of having a solutions partner is leveraging their experience to set up HubSpot faster and in a way that works for your unique business.
Your budget will also play a role in your decision of whether to use HubSpot or a solutions partner and will influence a partners level of involvement. For example, it is more costly to have someone configuring the platform and training you versus doing a guided onboarding.
Step 4: Set up your integrations
There's a high probability that you have been using integrations to expand the functionality of your CRM platform. HubSpot works the same way, integrating into other commonly used platforms to bring their functions into a single user interface. Without these integrations, the data you collect on your prospects and customers through various tools will remain scattered across multiple platforms. Your interactions with prospects and customers will be adversely affected if your customer-facing teams never have the full view of all interactions between your company and your prospects or customers.
When planning your CRM migration, plan your integrations as well. As you progress through piloting HubSpot, you can use the opportunity to test the integrations and make changes before carrying out the roll out to the entire company. HubSpot uses an app marketplace to display applications and tools available for integration via an out-of-the-box solution. If what you need isn't already available in the App marketplace, custom integrations would be your next port of call, as HubSpot allows for open API development.
But, as there are currently over five hundred currently available HubSpot CRM Integrations, we know you'll find it easy to connect the tools that help you achieve your business goals.
We know there are challenges when migrating between CRM platforms, but we also know the handoff from Salesforce to HubSpot CRM is going to be worth it. Our team is here to help make the transition easier, smoother, and provide insight into making sure you know your options for customisations and integrations available for all your needs.
Step 5: Enable your sales team
Another critical factor for success is creating sales collateral and internal playbooks. These two tools enable sales and create a repeatable process for your sales team. You want your message to be consistent no matter who on your team is talking to a client, especially since you can't always guarantee the same person will touch the same client every time.
Playbooks not only help your existing team perform but make onboarding new team members faster with scripts for cold calls and warm leads, email templates and even sequences to execute with new leads to nurture them through your funnel. The Playbooks within HubSpot are intuitive and can be set up for use by your entire sales team. Whether through interactions with customers, or predictive scoring, follow up call automation, chat, meeting schedules and more, we know this is a tool to streamline your team.
Enable your sales team further with collateral for your reps to use during the sales process. As leads progress into the consideration phase, you need to provide factual product/service documentation. This can be accomplished with product guides, brochures and case studies. Also make sure to arm your reps with branded presentations, competitor comparisons and quotes. This is your opportunity to show your company's value and make sure the lead sees and understand the value they are buying into. Use HubSpot's CPQ tools and Document tool to host these and make them available to your team quickly. The analytics insights from the Documents tool and the status updates provided by the CPQ tools, enable your team to monitor the engagement and plan their next steps accordingly.
Be sure to encourage your team to set up and use the other HubSpot sales enablement tools, like Meetings, Tasks, Sequencing, Templates and Snippets. HubSpot also features a native Vidyard integration that gives your sales team the power of video selling from within the CRM. It's an essential tool for selling post-Covid.
Step 6: Training your team
A critical aspect of high product adoption from your team is closing the loop with exceptional training. You cannot expect your team to perform without proper understanding and training of the software, integrations and process you have designed for your team.
We recommend starting training with the system basics. Give them the tools to perform their job and make sure they are comfortable in your new HubSpot CRM platform. Once they're comfortable with the basics, provide more training on additional tools to enhance their performance further.
Breaking down your training into small groups or one on one sessions will yield the best result, but many people learn best from someone they know. If that is the case, train one of your team members to act as the trainer to the rest of your team.
Whoever your trainer, be sure to adapt the training to the learning styles of the group: visual, auditory or kinesthetic. Each person learns differently and taking the time to present training in a way that helps each individual learn, will ensure higher adoption of HubSpot.
Step 7: Cutover
Running a pilot with a group of bought-in individuals is a must.
The pilot group will run a test of the HubSpot CRM after setup and data migration has been completed. After training on how to use the software to perform their job functions, the pilot group should be given time to test HubSpot in multiple ways from sales, reporting, and even prospecting to work out any potential areas of failure.
Use the feedback and data from the pilot group to make optimisations and implement changes to the architecture and process.
After optimisation, you'll cut over the rest of your team. There needs to be a set date at which point everyone will start using HubSpot, and Salesforce will be retired. Establishing this set date is intended to prevent data loss.
During the cutover process, your team should have access to a technical support team to answer any questions. Scheduling frequent Q+A sessions or training sessions throughout the cutover process fosters a mindset of openness and helps your team feel empowered to ask questions freely. Open communication during this change in your organisation will help everyone have access to the information and tools they need to be successful.
Step 8: Do a delta data migration
The time between your first data import and the final cutover needs to be accounted for. The data entered into and changed in Salesforce while business continued from the start of your pilot group is unaccounted for in HubSpot until you complete the delta migration.
Migrate the data, and then instruct your team to stop entering data into Salesforce. Though you can keep a backup of your Salesforce data or leave it active for a short period to assure your data has migrated successfully, there is no need to open and maintain that system any longer after the delta migration and cutover.
Some things to keep in mind
Following these steps will ensure your migration is as pain-free as possible, but there are a couple of other things you need to be mindful of during this process:
- Only import the data that you want to keep going forward into HubSpot - make sure to clean and de-dupe the data before import. Your new system is only as good as the data in it.
- Your team needs to understand why you are migrating. Make sure they see the benefits and that you have their buy-in.
- Place value on integrations. The most significant value of HubSpot is that it gives you a central source of truth. It holds your marketing, sales and service data on your customers, all in one place and gives you a full view of the customer. Don't lose that value by using systems that you don't integrate with HubSpot.
- Integrate your email tool with HubSpot to log your emails to customers into your CRM. It will help you keep track of all customer interactions and give insights to everyone working on the account.
- Know when to use custom objects and when to use custom properties. HubSpot helps simplify this and will recommend standard objects to match the fields you're trying to program when building custom objects. If it recommends a standard object and it fits your need, stick with the standards.
We are more than confident that HubSpot has all the right solutions for your company. At Struto, we're here to help you migrate to the HubSpot CRM platform smoothly, and we're here every step of the way.