Sea of Knowledge

Using Leads in HubSpot [and How they Compare to Salesforce Leads]

HubSpot Leads were announced at INBOUND 2023 as part of the newly relaunched Smart CRM in Sales Hub. Now that HubSpot has released Leads, Salesforce Leads can sync with HubSpot Lead, and the data models will work together better than ever before. Right? Wrong. HubSpot Leads are not the same as Salesforce Leads. In this post, we’ll explain what HubSpot Leads are, how they compare to Salesforce Leads, and how you can use HubSpot Leads.

What are HubSpot Leads?

HubSpot Lead Management is a new feature in Beta designed to better enable sales teams to use HubSpot Sales Hub Professional or Enterprise. While Leads are shown as a new object in HubSpot settings, they do not have the full capabilities that an object has in HubSpot. Leads cannot exist as a standalone object. They exist as an add-on to Contacts or Companies in HubSpot CRM.

What you can do with HubSpot Leads

Leads provide a consolidated view of the current Contacts assigned to a rep and remove friction in scheduling and completing sales activities. Leads also surface insights into recent conversion data and outreach status to the Lead. 

With HubSpot Leads, you can:

  • Use Lead Stages to automatically identify how the Lead owner is progressing in making contact

  • Use disqualification reasons to better inform marketing retargeting campaigns and sales reporting

  • Create reports for Leads using the reporting tool

  • Use Leads as a filter for associated Contacts and Companies in the List tool

What you can not do with HubSpot Leads

Leads are not a replacement for Contact or a standalone object. With HubSpot Leads, you cannot:

  • Access, Modify, or Create Leads via API
  • Integrate HubSpot Leads with Microsoft Dynamics or Salesforce CRM Leads
  • Create a Leads-based list for marketing emails
  • Create a Lead without associating it with a Contact or Company
  • Create custom Lead properties or associations

How HubSpot Leads Relate to HubSpot Contacts

HubSpot Leads is an “object” in HubSpot designed to house, summarize, and streamline sales activities in Sales Hub Profesional and Enterprise. HubSpot Leads can be created and associated with Contacts and/or Companies. Leads appear in the related objects panel on the right side of the HubSpot Contact and Company record. 

How Salesforce Leads Relate to Salesforce Contacts

Leads and Contacts are independent objects in Salesforce. They both store data about an individual in the database. While they store similar data, they store it at a different point in the buyer’s journey. Leads typically store data before the sales team has connected with the person and confirmed purchase intent. Once purchase intent is confirmed, the Lead is converted in Salesforce to create a Contact, Account, and Opportunity.

Leads and Contacts are unique. They have unique IDs and are completely independent of one another.

How HubSpot Leads Sync to Salesforce

HubSpot Leads do not sync to Salesforce. Based on the terminology alone, it’s easy to think that HubSpot Leads sync with Salesforce Leads. Because Leads are not a true object in HubSpot and are not accessible by API, they do not sync with Salesforce. 

As of now, it is unclear if HubSpot Leads will ever sync with Salesforce in a meaningful way. Our recommendation is to pretend HubSpot Leads do not exist if you are using HubSpot for Marketing and Salesforce for Sales. If your sales team is divided between HubSpot Sales Hub and Salesforce, understand that if you choose to use HubSpot Leads, all reporting for these Leads will need to be done in HubSpot.

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