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Three’s a Crowd: Why Adding Outreach or Salesloft to your HubSpot/Salesforce Integration is a Bad Idea

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One challenge marketers encounter when switching their organization to HubSpot is the need to integrate their Salesforce CRM, to their separate sales enablement tool like Outreach or Salesloft. It never goes well. 

HubSpot and Salesforce have an excellent integration between the two of them that works really well. Adding the third sales enablement tool for sales emails like Outreach or Salesloft typically results in operational challenges and failures, culminating in annoyed customers, uncontacted prospects, and lost revenue.

Data Integrity: The Three-Way Dance’s Main Challenge

Maintaining contact data integrity is the main challenge with using three platforms that include CRM functionality, especially with different teams working in their own tool (e.g., SDRs in Outreach, AEs in Salesforce, and Marketing in HubSpot).

Each platform has its own status matrix for tracking lead progression and its own biases for how they work. If the definitions are not matched across all three platforms in use and data isn’t synced bidirectionally between all three, you won’t have a source of truth. It will quickly become difficult to determine where a particular lead may be in the process.

That will in turn cause the sales team to lose trust in the system and drive them to develop makeshift solutions (like spreadsheets) to keep track of everything outside of the systems. This will then further complicate the search for the source of truth and defeat the point of having a CRM in the first place.

Meanwhile, marketing will struggle to determine who is supposed to get nurture emails, who is supposed to get retargeting ads, who to use to create lookalike audiences, and more.

How to overcome this data integrity challenge? There are two options. The easiest is avoiding having to manage three platforms by convincing your organization to use HubSpot Sales Pro for sales enablement even if it wants to (or needs to) stick with Salesforce for Sales.

Alternatively, you can implement procedures to ensure data integrity across three platforms if your organization is set on (or locked into) using a separate sales enablement tool. While these will consume time and energy, it will be preferred to having to unwind significant data consistency issues down the line.

Using HubSpot for Sales Enablement

HubSpot Sales Pro includes most functions offered by popular sales enablement tools. Even if your organization uses Salesforce as the primary sales CRM, these can be used, eliminating the need for a third tool. It’s not just our team that finds HubSpot to be a great solution for increasing your sales team’s productivity – HubSpot Sales is at the top of the sales enablement and sales engagement rankings on G2.

Sales Tools: Why Three’s a Crowd – And What to Do if You Have No Choice

HubSpot can be set up to automatically sync with Salesforce and with only two platforms, you only need to manage one connection and two sets of status definitions. Additionally, if Gmail powers your email, HubSpot offers a Sales Chrome extension that allows you to track and send emails without logging in to the platform.

This approach significantly reduces data complexity and data management challenges, which offsets the only downside – the price. HubSpot Sales Pro starts at $450/month for 5 seats, making it about 20-25% more expensive per seat than stand-alone sales engagement tools. That comes out to roughly $200 per year per seat, which is a negligible cost in the grand scheme of things.

The cost of time spent managing a more complex three-platform system will more than offset those limited savings. (Depending on the size of your organization and complexity of your data, you may end up having to hire a dedicated ops person, whose compensation will fully consume those savings).

Stuck With Three: Now What?

Should you find yourself in a three-platform situation despite your best efforts (or join an organization using three platforms and refusing to change), you’ll want to take several actions to prevent data issues from getting out of hand:

  1. Create one unified set of statuses across all systems. You can do this by creating a matrix spreadsheet with each system’s available statuses and matching them based on how your organization uses them. This way, you’ll be able to configure bidirectional data syncs across all three platforms to keep statuses unified.

    a. If your organization is using an additional status for calling cycle, this can be contained in the sales enablement platform, but these need to be matched to the main status matrix to enable data syncing.

    b. These definitions should clarify where a contact is globally in marketing context (i.e., HubSpot Lifecycle Stage) and indicate which team the contact is with.

  2. Define deal and opportunity stages to keep them synced between Salesforce and HubSpot.

  3. Create a place to keep track of all major changes (property settings, workflow revisions, user changes, etc.) to ensure they are made in all systems.

  4. Create a test plan for ensuring data syncs are working as intended.

  5. Set up a monthly meeting to review changes and to execute the test plan.

As you can see, maintaining data integrity in a three-system sales and marketing environment will require a significant amount of effort and attention to detail by all teams. While some of this work will still be required even if you’re only using one system (particularly defining statuses and deal stages), the level of effort decreases significantly with each system removed from the equation.

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Additional Resources:

The Truth About B2B Sales
Eight Reasons to Build Your Website on HubSpot CMS
B2B Sales Teams That Your Investors Will Love