Pairing HubSpot and Your Sales CRM for a Win-Win

Written by Formstack on June 18, 2018

Posted in Workflow Automation

Here’s the situation: You are fully bought into HubSpot as a growth engine for your business, with it’s all-in-one marketing hub as a centerpiece. You see it as a way to reduce the number of systems your marketing team needs to touch, while giving you a platform to ignite your content marketing and lead generation, all in close alignment with sales.

There’s one challenge though: Your company—and your sales team—are heavily invested in their existing CRM system. With the number of sales people and sales processes touching it, that system is core to your business. Any marketing system that you add to it has to integrate with it.

“It” could be any number of CRM systems, like Microsoft Dynamics, NetSuite, Salesforce, SugarCRM, Zoho, ConnectWise, Pipedrive, or Autotask. Whichever CRM your business uses, it is critical to many of your business processes. Having your CRM easily integrate with HubSpot is a must to be successful.

What is a Standardized HubSpot-CRM Integration?

You may want to start by making sure your entire team is aligned on why a sales and marketing sync is crucial. This is all about alignment between sales and marketing on the why, use cases, data, and process.

Traditionally, data integrations can be incredibly complex, multi-month (or longer) projects. Formstack Sync allows you to cut through this complexity, with a standardized HubSpot-CRM integration.

What do we mean by standardized?

  • No code required to customize
  • Using a set of standard objects: Contacts, Companies, and Opportunities
  • Configurable to meet your needs, including custom fields, rules for when data syncs, and rules to govern data updates
  • Ability to self-manage the syncing of data

Why You Need a Standardized HubSpot-CRM Integration

Let’s start by framing the technical need for a HubSpot-CRM integration, which is a Multi-Object, Bi-Directional Sync.

Multi-Object means it spans more than just a contact sync, and includes contacts, companies, and opportunities, and the relationships between the objects. These objects are required to hit the use cases that you’d expect in a sales and marketing systems integration, which we’ll describe in a moment.

The other core requirement is that the sync is bi-directional, meaning that records can be created or updated in both directions, based on your rules. Sales and marketing are engaging with prospects in a back and forth way, and updates to records across both systems therefore need to sync back and forth. It’s not just a matter of pushing a record from one system to another and you’re done. This is why a single object, uni-directional sync tool like Zapier falls short and doesn’t hit the mark for Marketing Automation-CRM data syncs.

There are four high level use cases that we find the core functionality of a HubSpot-CRM sync can be grouped into. We’ll list them here and then go into the details further below:

Use Case #1: Automated lead delivery
Triggering qualified leads from HubSpot to be synced into your CRM and syncing updates back to HubSpot.

Use Case #2: Visibility via CRM to key marketing intelligence
Syncing key HubSpot data to give context to CRM/sales users, and help them be as effective as possible as they follow up to engage.

Use Case #3: Segmentation via marketing automation based on CRM data
This is across contacts, companies, and opportunity data and includes segmenting data both for a “one-time campaign” as well as automated email sequences triggered by data syncing from CRM to HubSpot.

Use Case #4: Closed loop reporting in HubSpot
Using HubSpot to power closed loop marketing analytics, based on syncing CRM/opportunity data back to HubSpot and tracking how original HubSpot leads progress to opportunities and customers (closed won deals).

Let’s now go through each use case in more detail.

Automated Lead Delivery to Sales

HubSpot is used to capture and manage new leads. With Formstack Sync, you can determine the rule for when you want these leads to sync to your CRM. We recommend keeping this rule very simple by basing it off of one of the HubSpot lifecycle stages such as Marketing Qualified Lead, or even Sales Qualified Lead.

On the HubSpot side, you can drive how you want this process to work. You can perform a manual lead review, or automatically update by specific form-fills, prospect actions, or scoring.

When a contact reaches the specified stage in HubSpot, Formstack Sync will automatically sync the new data to your CRM. Formstack Sync will check if that record already exists as a lead or contact in the CRM using the email address. If it does, the existing record will be updated without creating a duplicate. If it does not exist, Formstack Sync will create a new record and bring over any fields set during your field mappings.

Some systems require the creation of a company record in order to create a new contact. These systems don’t have a “free standing leads” concept like you’ll find in most CRMs. For these CRMs, Formstack Sync will handle this logic, and create a new company record (if not found, by name) and related contact for this newly synced lead. Systems where this applies include ConnectWise, Autotask, and NetSuite with Lead Type = Company configurations.

Visibility to Key Marketing Intelligence

HubSpot stands out versus other marketing systems in the amount of data it automatically collects and packages for each contact record. Most other marketing systems require system processes or workflows to be setup to capture the data, while HubSpot collects this info automatically and packages it as fields on their contact record. There are over a hundred such fields to choose from including most recent conversion, most recent conversion date, first conversion, first conversion date, and original source.

Formstack Sync allows you to choose which of these fields you want to sync to your CRM. You can set up custom fields in your CRM and then map them from HubSpot using Formstack Sync. This allows you to create a snapshot of key marketing intelligence that a CRM user can consume in seconds, giving them the context they need to most effectively follow up with that prospect or customer.

So here’s how that would look like in:

Microsoft Dynamics



At a glance in the CRM system, your sales/CRM user gets the key info they need, without having any extra clicks or needing to learn a new interface. Nothing complicated like iFrames or embedded interfaces.

We’ve compiled a list of the HubSpot marketing intelligence fields that customers most typically sync to their CRM to give visibility to their CRM users. You’ll see that one of those fields is a URL/link to the HubSpot contact record. In the event that there is more info you need your CRM users to see beyond these fields, you do have the option to allow them to click directly to the HubSpot contact record (login protected by HubSpot, for security purposes).

Segmentation in HubSpot – Including Automated Nurture Campaigns

Now that leads are in your CRM, any updates will sync bi-directionally back to HubSpot. This includes updates to lead status (qualified, disqualified, etc.) and any updates made by the CRM user. As leads are converted to contacts, accounts, or opportunities, records will sync back and update inside of HubSpot.

If you are managing opportunities in your CRM, this does not mean you need to manage the opportunities in HubSpot as well. All that is done behind the scenes, since the opportunity data is automatically synced back to the deal record in HubSpot.

Thus, your HubSpot users will be able to use the standard HubSpot smart list functionality to segment your database, based on any of this data syncing back from the CRM to HubSpot. When smart lists are created for individual emails, an automated campaign, or sequence, your HubSpot users will be able to use the contact, company, or deal data to do this.

So for example, you might want to segment a campaign based on accounts that fall into certain criteria based on fields syncing from your CRM back to HubSpot. Or you might want to segment contacts that are part of certain opportunities.

These are all things you can do, including automated trigger campaigns. So maybe you want to feed a field from your CRM back to HubSpot that’s used to push contacts into a certain follow-ups sequence. Formstack Sync will sync this custom field back to HubSpot from the CRM, and then you can use that field as a trigger/enrollment campaign for your HubSpot smart campaign.

Like with all opportunity syncs into HubSpot, opportunities can only sync to a specific HubSpot deal pipeline (not multiple).

Closed Loop Reporting in HubSpot

The other key use case for syncing opportunity data back to HubSpot is enabling HubSpot to provide a picture around closed loop marketing analytics. This information is pulled from the original leads all the way through to CRM outcomes, made possible by syncing that data back to HubSpot. HubSpot can ensure that the lifecycle stage of those leads (and others at the same company) are updated to Opportunity and Customer.

For any reports you’re looking at in HubSpot, like a lead sources report, you can not only track how many leads have been generated, but track through to opportunity and customers acquired.

Formstack Sync isn’t doing the reporting for you—it’s bringing the data back to HubSpot so that you can use HubSpot for that reporting, making HubSpot a more effective tool for you.

Managing and Evolving Your Data Sync

All of the above is delivered through that multi-object, bi-directional sync, and facilitated over a standard 30-day on-boarding process.

And that’s only part of the value. We find that customers realize more value on an ongoing basis, because they can use their Formstack Sync software to manage updates to the data sync, and not be reliant on programmers or third parties to manage the integration for them.

So as business needs inevitably evolve, sales wants to see more data in their CRM, and marketing needs more data from the CRM, the integration can evolve to meet these needs. Using the Formstack Sync interface, you can add a new field mappings or adjust a rule such as system of record for a specific field at any time. You’re not stuck waiting for an update through a ticket to your IT team or a change order request from your vendor.

Do you have a specific question around what’s possible for your HubSpot-CRM integration? Please contact our team to learn more.