Sea of Knowledge

HubSpot 101 for Salesforce Administrators

If your company hasn’t integrated HubSpot and Salesforce yet, you may wonder, why would I do that? What is the benefit?

Connecting sales and marketing data and using it together, especially with automation, can completely revamp your operations. Let’s say your forms are hosted on HubSpot landing pages. With the HubSpot Salesforce integration installed, a new Lead is automatically generated in Salesforce when a new person submits a form, and your team can follow up. Then, as the Lead is being worked on, the data collected in Salesforce is synced to HubSpot for your marketing team to act on or report. This data flow creates a seamless experience, more targeted messaging, and an overall better process.

If you are new to HubSpot and Salesforce and how they integrate, you first need to know that there is a native integration you can install on the HubSpot App Marketplace. It is managed on the HubSpot side, and it creates a managed package in Salesforce along with a custom permission set, custom Fields, and different Visualforce components for users to access HubSpot data in Salesforce.

The integration process is easy, but only if you have a solid plan and experience with it. This post breaks down the tools you’ll use most and the ones that can make or break your experience. We promise it’ll all be smooth sailing from here.

Starting in Salesforce

On the Setup section in Salesforce, there are two sections:

  • The front end, or user-facing interface, is where you work with records and data.
  • The back end, where your system is set up, is what many people refer to when they talk about how customizable Salesforce is.

In Salesforce, you can customize how your Objects appear at the top and switch Lightning Apps to show different Navigations, Page Layouts, Custom Objects, or Reports, for example. Conversely, HubSpot is more cookie-cutter in that the navigation is static and can’t be changed (yet!).

Salesforce’s Setup is comparable to HubSpot’s Settings panel, which you can access in the top right corner. The main difference between the two is that every HubSpot User can access HubSpot’s Settings, although they may look different depending on their individual user access.

Moving to Objects

A big part of the confusion regarding the HubSpot Salesforce integration is that elements in HubSpot and Salesforce are not apples to apples. 

There’s an extensive conversation regarding Salesforce Objects vs. HubSpot Objects. At the root of the conversation is the fundamental difference in the data models supporting HubSpot and Salesforce. Salesforce has an account-based data model that puts company data at the center of customer relationships. HubSpot has a Contact-based data model that centers on the contact data. This is important to note as you plan to implement the HubSpot Salesforce integration.

To figure out which Objects you’re using to store data in Salesforce, go to Schema Builder under Setup. It allows you to check the different Objects used in your Salesforce account and see how they connect.

Many people wonder why there are so many Objects in Salesforce versus HubSpot. A big reason there are more admin-facing objects in Salesforce is the use of Junction Objects. These let you establish a many-to-many relationship, aka a way for a record to connect with multiple records from another object. HubSpot uses association labels rather than Junction Objects.

The Junction Object doesn’t exist natively in HubSpot, so the answer to the schema builder in HubSpot is the Data Model management tool. Similar to Salesforce, this tool lets you select what you want to see by checking the boxes on the left panel.

Want to transform the way your organization manages sales and marketing? The HubSpot Salesforce Integration Certification Course will give you the knowledge and confidence to secure buy-in, install, and maintain the integration with proven success.

User Management in HubSpot vs. Salesforce

When creating a user in Salesforce, you assign them a Profile, their base level of capabilities, or what they can do within Salesforce. Then, you enhance these capabilities with Permission Sets, which dictate what they can do with the records they see in HubSpot. To go further, you can use a Role that dictates the Records the User can see within Salesforce.

When creating a user in HubSpot, you assign them a Seat, a Permission Set, and a Team. The process is very similar to Salesforce, but the interface is simpler in HubSpot because Salesforce gives you more granular control.

In Salesforce, you can also create custom Profiles for your organization. The equivalent in HubSpot is creating a Preset set of permissions. Finally, the highest level of permissions is called a full Salesforce license, and in HubSpot, it would be the Core Seat, both of which grant the user access to the systems.

Page Layouts and Record Customization

A Page Layout in Salesforce is how the data on a contact is organized. You can use the Lightning App Builder to control the different modules on the page. You can also control which fields show up within the Details Section of the page.

A benefit of Page Layouts in Salesforce is creating different sections and having different fields show up for different users. With the Page Layouts, you can create multiple layouts and assign them based on user Profiles, Lightning Apps, and Device Types.

The equivalent of Page Layouts in HubSpot is Record Customization, which allows you to customize the left sidebar, the middle column, and the right sidebar. You can also customize Association cards regarding how your records associate and what information is displayed. This can be done on a Team level so that everyone on a particular Team sees the same relevant data.

How Reporting Works

The primary reporting tools in Salesforce are Dashboards and Reports. They can be standalone, and you can subscribe to them. Most importantly, a single Dashboard may have multiple filters to splice data.

Salesforce Dashboards are more customizable than HubSpot Dashboards in that you can use one Report to represent multiple visualizations in Salesforce, and you have greater control over the type of visualizations available. Most notably, Salesforce is able to report on custom percentages while HubSpot is not (yet!).


HubSpot also has Dashboards, but they are built differently than Salesforce Dashboards. When you create a Report, the graphic is already formatted a certain way. Let’s say you add a report for Deal Volume by Source; the report is a number report with a singular number. You can select a donut, a pie, etc., but how you format this Report is the only option for visualizing it on the Dashboard. So if you want 20 different visualizations of a data filter in HubSpot, you would create 20 reports and add those to the same dashboard. 

Psst. In case you were wondering, you CAN set up multitouch attribution reports in HubSpot. Easy peasy.

The HubSpot Salesforce Integration Certification Course helps you plan, create, and maintain dashboards in HubSpot and Salesforce.

Lists vs. Reports

Lists and Reports are another confusing element of the HubSpot Salesforce Integration. In Salesforce, a List is what you see when you go into an Object, where you can see all different categories and create filters and list views. If you have the correct permissions, you can also do inline editing from within the List.

The List tool in HubSpot allows you to create lists of Contacts, Companies, Deals, or Custom Objects based on specific criteria like Property Values.

The most similar tool to Salesforce Lists in HubSpot is a View. In HubSpot, a View is a pre-saved list of filters under each Object. While it is not identical to the Salesforce List, the View's functionality is much closer to what you could expect as a Salesforce user who is used to using Lists going into HubSpot.

Validation Rules

One major pet peeve Salesforce users have is feeling like they don’t have as much control over HubSpot as they would like. While this is partly true, the counterargument is that HubSpot is much more user-friendly. It makes training your sales team easier and adoption much better, which reduces the need for so many process validation steps.

In Salesforce, you can create Validation Rules for an Object. The Salesforce Administrator creates Validation Rules that check the data a user has entered against a set of parameters before allowing the user to save the record.

In HubSpot, you can create Validation Rules for Properties. A Property in HubSpot is equivalent to a Field in Salesforce. It’s a short data piece attached to a Record.

In Salesforce, Validation Rules can be created using formulas. A Validation Rule can be a required Field, for example, so it can't be saved if the Record doesn’t have a value in the required Field. Validation Rules can be very complex, and get very specific as to what you’re trying to achieve.

Property Validation

In HubSpot, use Property Validation which is managed on the actual property rather than a code on the Object as a whole. 

When creating a new property, there are different Validation options based on the property type. You can require a Unique Value, a Minimum or Maximum Character Limit, Restrict to Numeric Value, or Don’t Allow Special Characters.

HubSpot and Salesforce Work Hand in Hand

As you see, there’s some overlap in terms of functionality between HubSpot and Salesforce. But more than focusing on those similarities, it’s essential to understand how each complements the other to build the most robust infrastructure to grow your business better.

One key takeaway is that HubSpot's user interface is more user-friendly and straightforward. In contrast, Salesforce’s UI is similar to a developer view and may require more advanced technical knowledge. Both are powerful tools in your sales and marketing stack made stronger by the HubSpot Salesforce integration.

Every month, we host live training sessions where we examine the biggest pain points for HubSpot and Salesforce users, discuss the latest feature launches, and resolve the most common issues integration users encounter.

Can’t wait to dive in? Our extensive training library is available on demand exclusively to members of the Navigators Community. Join now to get immediate access.

Do you prefer to watch than read? Watch the full training that inspired this blog. Our founder, Lauren Ryan, presented it as part of the HubSpot Admin HUG on April 9, 2024.


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