5 Common Pitfalls of the HubSpot Salesforce Integration [And How to Fix Them]
by Lauren Ryan on April 2023
The HubSpot Salesforce Integration allows marketers and BDRs to use HubSpot to fill the funnel. And sales teams use Salesforce to close deals. While there are a few ‘gotchas’ to watch out for, the integration is a powerful tool for sales and marketing alignment.
The common pitfalls of the HubSpot Salesforce integration include:
- Incomplete or Inaccurate Data Mapping
- Duplicate Records
- Data Syncing Delays
- Integration Setup and Maintenance
Let’s dive into each potential pitfall and learn why it’s a challenge and how to address it!
Incomplete or Inaccurate Data Mapping
What is data mapping?
HubSpot properties store the data you collect on records in HubSpot. For example, the First Name property on the Contact object in HubSpot stores a prospect's First Name. In Salesforce, properties are called fields and serve the same purpose. When integrating two systems, the properties storing data in each system must be mapped to the appropriate property in the other system. Salesforce fields must be mapped to HubSpot properties in the HubSpot Salesforce integration.
What happens if HubSpot properties are not mapped correctly to Salesforce?
If properties are not mapped, data stored in these properties will not sync between the systems.
Similarly, if properties are mapped incorrectly, the data will either not sync or sync incorrectly between HubSpot and Salesforce. Examples include mapping a picklist (a multi-select, drop-down field) in Salesforce to an open text property in HubSpot.
How do I map data between HubSpot and Salesforce?
When mapping data between HubSpot and Salesforce, it’s important to map the correct HubSpot properties with the corresponding Salesforce fields and ensure that the data types are compatible between the two systems.
Here’s a table of compatible field mappings between HubSpot and Salesforce.
HubSpot property field type
Salesforce field type
Dropdown select/Radio select
A step-by-step walkthrough of this process is included in Module 3 of our free HubSpot Salesforce integration course.
What are duplicate records?
Duplicate records are the single largest cause of sleep deprivation in CRM admins. Duplicate records occur when two distinct records in your CRM store different data about the same person or company.
How are duplicate records created in HubSpot and Salesforce?
Determining the source of your duplicate records is the first step of many to duplicate recovery. There is no one source creating duplicate records in HubSpot or Salesforce. There can be many, and it can be tricky to pinpoint the source.
Here are a few common sources of duplicate record creation in HubSpot and Salesforce:
- Duplicate rules in Salesforce. If your Salesforce duplicate and matching rules are not properly configured or allow the creation of duplicate records, you will have duplicate records in Salesforce.
- Using Leads and Contacts in Salesforce. When using Leads and Contacts, companies actually want to have duplicate records. Each time a new interest is expressed, a Lead is created (whether they already exist as a Contact or not). This intentional duplication can confuse the integration. We outline this in detail, along with a solution, here.
- Misconfigured integration user. The integration user connects HubSpot and Salesforce. HubSpot logs into Salesforce as any other user would and updates and creates data via that login. Suppose the user's profile, role, or permission sets are too restrictive or misconfigured. In that case, HubSpot can accidentally create duplicate records because those records are hidden from them in Salesforce. Module 3 of our free HubSpot Salesforce integration course outlines the steps to create a HubSpot Salesforce integration user.
- Additional integrations. Many teams use additional tools to manage their contact communications. For example, sales teams may use Outreach in addition to HubSpot and Salesforce. If misconfigured, these disparate tools may create duplicates in Salesforce.
What issues do duplicate records in HubSpot and Salesforce cause?
While the list is long, the core issue with duplicate records in a CRM is that the trust in and reliability of the data decreases. Duplicate records indicate one or more unique data sets representing the same person or company.
Here are three primary scenarios where duplicate records present issues:
- Data sync. Salesforce Leads and Contacts sync to HubSpot Contacts. Every record in Salesforce with the same email address will sync to one HubSpot Contact. So, if your organization strategically uses Leads to store and react to new interest from existing Contacts, mis-syncing of data will occur. The most recently updated Salesforce record visible to HubSpot (via the integration user) will sync with the HubSpot Contact with a matching email. This can result in a data loop if updates are being made to multiple Lead or Contact records with the same email address.
- Automation reliability. Automation is only as reliable as the data fueling it. In the previous scenario, you could have an existing Contact that is a customer that submits additional interest and is created again in Salesforce as a Lead. Both Salesforce records are now syncing to HubSpot based on which is most recently updated. If you have automations that trigger for Customers and automations that trigger for Leads, both of these automations will be triggered (sometimes multiple times) for this individual.
- Reporting. If duplicate records exist, individual accomplishments (leads generated, companies converted, etc.) may be double counted or excluded entirely from reports. Reports are only as accurate as the data they’re provided.
How can I prevent duplicate records in HubSpot and Salesforce?
The best way to solve a problem is to prevent it from becoming a problem in the first place. Sounds great, but how do we do that? There are a few steps to take to prevent duplicate records in HubSpot. In Module 5 of our free HubSpot Salesforce integration course, we go into detail.
Data Syncing Delays
How do data syncing delays occur?
The HubSpot Salesforce integration syncs at a 15-minute interval. Updated data in ‘triggering’ fields update between systems every 15 minutes. But, this is not a bulk refresh of all data. Certain properties in HubSpot will trigger a sync with Salesforce, and others will not. The properties that do not trigger a sync with Salesforce will only update when manually resynced with Salesforce or when a triggering property is updated.
Why do data syncing delays exist?
Data syncing delays are not unique to the HubSpot Salesforce integration. Every marketing automation platform that syncs with Salesforce (including Pardot and Salesforce Marketing Cloud) sync in this manner with a minimum delay of 15 minutes.
Syncing delays exist to optimize API usage between two integrated systems. In the HubSpot Salesforce integration settings, you can see the allocated Salesforce API calls available for HubSpot to access each day. HubSpot minimizes the amount of data triggering a sync with Salesforce to not overwhelm the API calls by using all available calls on non-essential fields that may limit the transfer of necessary data later in the day. You can easily increase and decrease the amount of API calls available to HubSpot if you need to do larger data transfers.
What are the consequences of data syncing delays?
If key data is not communicated between both systems when updated, it can lead to missed opportunities or outdated information. Usually, issues with this do not occur as new support data usually comes along with updates to key data. The most common issue may be a supporting field not syncing to Salesforce when a form is submitted. A good way to combat this is enabling Activity sync between HubSpot and Salesforce. This will create records for Form Submissions in the Salesforce activity feed and communicate all the submitted data to the user.
Integration Setup and Maintenance
How do you set up the HubSpot Salesforce integration?
Before you prepare to set up the HubSpot Salesforce integration, you need to get a few things in order. First, you need to secure a HubSpot Professional or HubSpot Enterprise-level subscription. This allows you to use the Salesforce integration.
Clean Your Data
Once you have secured your HubSpot contract, clean up your existing Salesforce data. This means deduplicating records and cleaning dirty data (like placeholder emails or deleting purchased lists).
Plan Your Integration
Now, it’s time to make a few decisions. If you’re using the Lead and Contact object in Salesforce, you’ll want to decide if you want one or both to sync with Salesforce. This will guide your sync settings during the setup process. Additionally, you’ll need to decide what data you want to live in HubSpot and Salesforce. If you need to hide pieces of key data from HubSpot, you’ll need to implement Selective Sync. If you want to keep data in HubSpot until it is Marketing Qualified, you’ll need to use an Inclusion List.
Install the Integration
Once you’ve finished preparing, it’s time to install the integration. Enroll in our free HubSpot Salesforce integration course for a full walkthrough of the steps required to install and configure the integration (and a walkthrough of each step).
What challenges arise when setting up the HubSpot Salesforce integration?
While the setup process is fairly straightforward, there are a few potential mistakes to get ahead of early on.
First, disable the “Create and associate companies” setting. Find this setting under Setup > Objects > Companies. This setting will create a new Company every time a Contact is added to HubSpot via Import or Form Submission. This will create duplicate Companies as Salesforce Accounts are created and associated with records. Downstream, this will lead to Companies misassociating to duplicate Companies that shouldn’t exist in HubSpot. To start on a clean slate, turn this setting off.
Dedicated Integration User
The integration user connects HubSpot and Salesforce. All of the updates HubSpot makes to records in Salesforce will show as edited by the integration user. Many Salesforce Admins do not want to dedicate a license to the integration (as the license needs to be paid for and cannot be used for anything else). But, it’s important to connect HubSpot to Salesforce with a dedicated integration user.
Mapping ID Properties
When the integration is installed, the Record ID properties for Salesforce records are created in HubSpot. These are Salesforce Contact ID and Salesforce Lead ID on the Contact object, Salesforce Account ID on the Company object, and Salesforce Opportunity ID on the Deal object. These fields are not automatically mapped between HubSpot and Salesforce. Add these field mappings to the correct object's sync settings and choose “Always use Salesforce” as the sync setting.
How do I maintain the HubSpot Salesforce integration?
Once the integration is installed, it will need ongoing management. Depending on the size of your organization and the volume of data coming in, this could take 5-30 hours per week. Here are a few weekly (or daily) tasks needed to maintain the integration:
- Spot-check reports between HubSpot and Salesforce to discover any missing data.
- Set alerts for new sync errors in the integration and resolve them as they arise.
- Keep an eye on new Salesforce validation rules or automations that may cause sync issues.
- Monitor and manage duplicate records as they are created in both platforms.
If you don’t have a dedicated Revenue Operations, Marketing Operations, or Sales Operations team internally to manage the integration, you should consider hiring an operations-minded team member to manage the integration or outsource ongoing integration maintenance to a consultant.
While HubSpot is a highly intuitive platform, every new tool has a learning curve. Failing to invest in proper training for your internal team at the beginning of an implementation will not lead to strong results.
While HubSpot Academy and Salesforce’s Trailhead are great resources for learning each platform, there are not many resources specifically for the HubSpot Salesforce integration. Our team built a solution for learning how to use the HubSpot Salesforce integration.
Our free course contains eight modules designed to walk you through why you would use HubSpot and Salesforce, how to install the HubSpot Salesforce integration, and how to manage the integration long-term. Register yourself or sign up for your team for free and feel confident in your future with the HubSpot Salesforce integration.