As HubSpot continues to make their sales tools more robust, more customers ask us about use cases where their sales team is using HubSpot sales tools to compliment an existing enterprise CRM.
While there are many potential advantages to this, we want to ensure you’re considering all aspects to your sales process when you decide where key sales functions are being performed, and the end-to-end process between systems.
At first glance, you may think you need to move your opportunity management (deal creation) into HubSpot. However, when we take a closer look at the process, its clear that the simpler, more efficient move is to continue to manage opportunities in your CRM and use HubSpot to manage leads until the sales qualified lead stage. Qualified leads would then trigger a sync between your operational CRM, like NetSuite or ConnectWise, and Hubspot.
Note: this discussion assumes you are looking to do more in HubSpot with your sales team. The majority of HubSpot-CRM integrations use marketing qualified lead as the trigger, using HubSpot as the marketing system and handing off leads into a third party CRM connected via Formstack Sync (NetSuite, ConnectWise, Microsoft Dynamics, SugarCRM, Zoho, Pipedrive, Insightly, Autotask, etc.).
Here are 4 key reasons to consider sales qualified leads (not opportunities) as your handoff from HubSpot into your CRM.
1. Not all data can sync from HubSpot to your CRM.
One of the key reasons to originate opportunities in your operational CRM is to ensure that you don’t end up losing data that is critical to your process for opportunity management.
For example, although HubSpot offers a quoting tool, that quote level data (e.g. line items) as of this writing isn’t accessible via the HubSpot API. For reference from HubSpot resources:
“Presently there’s no public API for the quotes section of HubSpot” and “To be candid, I’m not sure what the plans are for a Quotes API.”
Other limitations to be aware of are some CRMs restrict how opportunity data is managed within their systems. For example, ConnectWise has a set of revenue related fields, but those fields can only be populated from within ConnectWise itself via updating the fields directly on an opportunity or populated via quotes from ConnectWise Sell.
2. Syncing sales qualified leads is a much simpler process than syncing deals into your operational CRM.
When Formstack Sync syncs Sales Qualified Leads from HubSpot into a CRM, it’s a straightforward process that matches the syncing of Marketing Qualified leads from HubSpot into a CRM. It triggers based on a specific lifecycle stage, checks if the contact (by email address) already exists in the CRM, and then creates a contact with any mapped fields. Some processes, such as ConnectWise, Autotask, or NetSuite (where Lead Type = Company) require a company record to be created if it doesn’t already exist, and Formstack Sync handles this automatically as well.
A HubSpot Deal to CRM Opportunity sync adds more complexity to this, which may be okay but means that you’ll need to anticipate more resources involved in setting up and troubleshooting that sync on an ongoing basis.
Because opportunities are a separate object, and opportunities have to be added to companies, it means that you’re moving from a single object sync, to a multi-step, multi-object sync when bringing those opportunities into CRM. Totally doable, but something you want to make sure is worth it before you sign up for the added steps in your process.
The other part to this complexity is there may be workflows that your CRM administrator has set up on the CRM side, that as you try to auto-create new companies for opportunities to sync to, or the opportunities themselves, increase the likelihood of potential errors. You’ll want to be on the same page with your CRM Admin on this approach.
3.Originating opportunities in CRM means one process for both new and existing.
Originating opportunities in your operational CRM means you’ll have one process for creating opportunities across new and existing customers. If you were to pull that out for new customers only, then you end up with split processes. You also end up with a higher likelihood of company or account data becoming inconsistent if you have data originating in different ways across different systems.
4. Syncing sales qualified leads, then creating opportunities and syncing back to HubSpot is often a “best of all worlds” approach.
We find the syncing of sales qualified leads (not opportunities) is a “best of all worlds”, helping customers to get the most out of their systems, without creating undue process complexity. Here’s what it allows for:
- Using HubSpot sales tools to support lead prospecting, qualification and nurturing, with a clear, automated entry point into the CRM (sales qualified lead stage)
- Keeping complex opportunity management processes as simplified as possible, with “one creation point”
- Using Formstack Sync to automate the opportunity sync back to HubSpot – so that marketing & sales automation (e.g. rules-based sequences) can still be leveraged on the HubSpot side and also opportunity data is flowing back to HubSpot to power HubSpot’s closed loop reporting on your marketing efforts
Win for marketing, win for sales, win for operations, and a win for your data sync.