Introduction

In today’s competitive business landscape, seamless integration between different platforms is not just a luxury—it’s a necessity. As experts in Growth Automation Services, we frequently help our clients in bridging the gap between Salesforce and HubSpot. One of the critical aspects of this integration is synchronizing the lifecycles of contacts, accounts, and deals between these two platforms. Let’s delve into why this is so important and how to go about it effectively.

The Salesforce-HubSpot Dilemma

Salesforce and HubSpot have different approaches to handling leads and opportunities. Salesforce uniquely converts leads into accounts, contacts, and opportunities creating different object records than a lot of other CRM’s, HubSpot takes a more straightforward approach that largely manages these entities under the same categories but keeping the same object record for the Contact throughout the various lifecycle stages.

Why Lifecycle Synchronization Matters

 

  1. Consistency Across Teams: Using the same naming conventions and lifecycle stages ensures that both sales and marketing teams are on the same page, no matter which platform they use. This is one of the primary ways companies go wrong and needlessly make the integration more difficult for outside users.

  2. Streamlined Reporting: Unified lifecycle stages make it easier to generate cross-platform reports, leading to more informed business decisions. Usually there are some great BI guys in Salesforce, and SF might have a slight edge in reports, getting them to adopt Hubspot is often a challenge for them so making the data as uniform across platforms is the best way to keep them happy and use Hubspot or at least speak the same data language as the Hubspot BI guys. This can help produce some great reports rather than going in a bad direction of creating tribal competing groups in your org.

  3. Automated Workflows: Matching lifecycle stages between platforms facilitates automated workflows, helping you to automate tasks like lead nurturing or follow-ups. With the technology in the Account Based Marketing sphere and Paid Advertising, your systems all need to speak to each other. If you want to have set it and forget it automation in your company, synced clean data is a must have.

  4. Data Integrity: Keeping the data synchronized ensures that it remains clean, accurate, and up-to-date across platforms. This is the cornerstone of not wasting money and measuring the growth produced from your strategies.

A Convenient Guide to Planning Your Initial Project

Step 1: Pair Up Lead Status and Contact Lifecycle
  • Salesforce: Lead Status (e.g., New, Working, Unqualified)
  • HubSpot: Contact Lifecycle (e.g., Subscriber, Lead, MQL)
Start by making sure the naming conventions are the same or at least translatable between Salesforce and HubSpot. This will help stakeholders in different platforms understand what is happening without adding additional layer of complexity to remember. This is usually a good time to make sure everybody is still in agreement on the naming in your funnel.

Step 2: The Conversion Stage
  • Salesforce: Once a lead is qualified as an MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) or SQL (Sales Qualified Lead), it usually converts into a contact, opportunity, and account.
  • HubSpot: The lead remains a ‘Contact,’ and if you are using domains as account identifiers, the account might already be registered.
For this stage, using ‘Opportunity’ as the lifecycle stage and aligning it in the sync settings is recommended for most. You will still want to continue with the Lifecycle stages sync even though the primary tracking will now be in the Opportunity stages. So I like to make sure there is some stages that reflect where the Account/Opportunity stage is on the contact record. So I will usually in Customer, Not Ready Yet, Not Qualified, etc… to give people pulling up that contact information where it is.

Step 3: Opportunity Stages
  • Salesforce: Defines multiple opportunity stages (e.g., Prospect, Proposal, Closed-Won)
  • HubSpot: Similarly defines deal stages under Deals
These can be matched up fairly easily, provided your data is clean and consistent. Again this is usually a good time to get agreement on the stages and the naming convention so that it is the same or similar across platforms.

Step 4: Customer Conversion
This is generally straightforward. Once a deal is closed-won in Salesforce, it should sync as a ‘Customer’ in HubSpot. Most companies have custom processes around this so I will not go to deep into it.

Step 5: The End of the Line – Unqualified and DNC
Typically, ‘Unqualified’ and ‘Do Not Contact’ (DNC) are at the end of the lifecycle due to the linear path hard-baked into both CRMs.
A caveat about Hubspot is that you pay for marketing contacts. If you are cycling through a lot of prospects, make sure to set up periodic Hubspot cleanups to remove these contacts from your marketing contacts cost.

Conclusion

Synchronizing the lifecycle stages between Salesforce and HubSpot may seem like a meticulous task, but it is crucial for efficient cross-platform operations. Following a linear path that doesn’t like to move backward is often the best strategy when dealing with these two platforms and how they were built to behave with slight differences in their database approach.
Getting it right from the start sets a solid foundation for all your future sales and marketing activities. For any questions or professional help in integrating Salesforce and HubSpot, contact us at Growth Automation Services.
Mastering the synchronization of contact, account, and deal lifecycles between Salesforce and HubSpot can be a game-changer for your business. Whether you are a small business looking to grow or an established enterprise aiming for greater efficiency, this alignment can significantly impact your bottom line.