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Ultimate Salesforce to HubSpot CRM migration checklist

Ultimate Salesforce to HubSpot CRM migration checklist Blog Feature

Joe Bachir

HubSpot Trainer, 6+ Years of Digital Marketing Strategy Expertise

July 6th, 2020 min read

You have decided to embark on the journey of migrating to the HubSpot CRM from Salesforce. Congratulations!

There is a lot to keep in mind when migrating platforms and it can be extremely overwhelming, so make sure to follow the steps below so you can avoid common pitfalls. 

Follow this checklist and use it as a guide for when migrating into HubSpot and you’ll be fine.

After all, many have made this move before you — even HubSpot itself moved its own team from Salesforce in 2018and you can learn from their experiences.

Why would you want to move from Salesforce to HubSpot?

First, let’s start with why you would be moving from Salesforce to HubSpot. I go more in-depth into why you would want to do this in another article, but to sum it up, there are usually three main reasons why a company would choose to switch from a CRM like Salesforce to HubSpot: 

  1. Salesforce is too complicated for some teams
  2. HubSpot is more scalable, offering many integrations and other services that work well in that ecosystem
  3. HubSpot is more user friendly and the learning curve isn’t as steep as Salesforce

To put it simply, HubSpot is a much better fit for smaller teams that don’t need to over complicate their CRM — and for companies that need to make sure it is easy enough for multiple teams to use it.  

This checklist will help you get your teams off of Salesforce and into HubSpot as smoothly as possible.

Salesforce to HubSpot migration checklist

When you are ready to start the transition, the items below can help make sure it is a straightforward process.

1. Identify the internal person or team responsible for the migration

Just like many big internal projects, someone needs to own your migration. Identifying this before you make the jump will help the team stay organized. 

This person will be responsible for making sure that all the other items on this list are completed. They will assign responsibilities to the team and identify which resources are needed in order to make this transition successful for both the marketing and sales teams. 

On top of all that, this person should also be the one responsible for planning out the education that is needed for this project in order to align the marketing and sales teams. More on this later.

2. Plan out how much time and resources you think you will need before you jump in

Be prepared for the time investment needed to migrate CRMs. 

From my experience, it can take up to three months to get the HubSpot CRM set up with all your data and processes in place.

You will also need to plan for the time the team will need in order to educate themselves on the HubSpot CRM.

For those new to the HubSpot ecosystem, HubSpot Academy offers free courses to help train your team. These take time, however. 

According to HubSpot, obtaining the "CRM certification for marketers” and “sales software” certification can take at least two hours, and there are many additional certifications and trainings that can take even longer. 

3. Get organizational buy-in

As you may have already been able to tell, this process is going to involve a lot of people from your marketing and sales teams if you want it to be successful. 

To go about getting the requisite buy-in, you should schedule a meeting with the various teams that will be using HubSpot.

It all starts with getting everyone in the same room to discuss the plan in order to be on the same page. You will also want to make sure leadership is there from those teams that will be involved. If they are bought in, it will be much easier to get the rest of the team on board. 

Prepare your pitch to get buy-in from both teams in order for them to participate in this migration. 

The main way we have seen this work is to specifically showcase the value that the HubSpot CRM can add to each team as it helps them in their tasks.

For example, for the sales team, show how HubSpot CRM can be used as a way to keep notes of their sales calls organized, create tasks for themselves and others, and track other prospecting activities. 

4. Identify your training plan

A CRM works best when all stakeholders are aligned on how it is to be used within the organization. 

That means sales, marketing, customer service, and anyone else. 

Since most (if not all) team members will be new to HubSpot as you migrate, you will need to identify the best way to train them. Also, since each team might be focusing on how HubSpot specifically pertains to them, there might be reasons that the sales team will want to train differently than the marketing team. 

The good news is there are many resources and options out there.

HubSpot does an amazing job at providing lessons and certifications for pretty much every part of the CRM for every team that might be involved. This is all located in HubSpot Academy. HubSpot also has many instructive articles that can answer your questions. 

You also have the option of working with a HubSpot trainer who can help educate your team for their specific needs and goals.

5. Clean your data before importing it to HubSpot

Make it a point to clean your data in Salesforce as much as possible before you even bring it into HubSpot. Think of it like moving to a new house. You wouldn’t want to bring dirty furniture to your new living room, so make sure you thoroughly clean it first.

You want to make sure everything you bring is useful and in the best functioning order. 

You also want to make sure if you are going to have HubSpot’s GDPR settings turned on so you are not bringing contacts into HubSpot that haven’t specifically given you permission to have their data or communicate with them.

6. Create a plan on how you will structure your data

There are differences between the platforms in how they structure data. The objects, or category of data, for each platform breaks down as such:

  • Salesforce: Contacts/Leads = HubSpot: Contacts
  • Salesforce: Accounts = HubSpot: Company
  • Salesforce: Opportunities = HubSpot: Deals

Salesforce also allows custom objects while HubSpot currently cannot. Before you import your data, you will want to map out how it fits into this HubSpot structure so that you don’t run into any errors when you are importing. 

7. Create a list of data points you will need to create in HubSpot

On a similar note, there will be data fields in Salesforce that you will not have in HubSpot. 

HubSpot data will only exists in the platform’s default fields (or as HubSpot calls them, properties).

Because of this, you will need to identify the fields that are missing so you are prepared to create custom properties in HubSpot before your migration. 

This will also help you identify, when you are creating those properties, what type of property field type each will be (drop down select, check boxes, multi line text, etc.).

This allows you to control the data coming into your CRM by restricting data options or standardizing the format.

8. List which HubSpot tools are replacing the tools you use in Salesforce

If there is a Salesforce tool or feature your team relies on to make their job easier, you will want to find the equivalent in HubSpot.

The goal is to not migrate and then be lost because you don’t know which tool you are using as an alternative to the one you were using in Salesforce. 

You also want the transition to be as smooth as possible for your team, so make a list.

This could include things like replacing the live chat app your team uses (which HubSpot natively has), or even something as small as how your team schedules meetings with prospects or customers. 

9. Find tools that are not in HubSpot but might integrate well

HubSpot is certain to be better for your team in many ways, but it might not have everything you need right out of the box.

The benefit of HubSpot is that if there is something that HubSpot doesn’t do, there is usually an integration that will accomplish what you need. You can check HubSpot integrations in the HubSpot App Marketplace.

Plan out what other functionalities you might need and research how each be can integrated into the HubSpot CRM.

Zapier can be used to get data into HubSpot if there is no integration. It allows you to create an automation that sends data from 2,000 apps into HubSpot without there actually being a HubSpot integration.

10. Identify whether this will be an internal job or if your team will be working with a partner

Finally, you need to decide how you will be taking this on. Will this be completely internal or will you be working with a partner? There are many companies out there that can help with onboarding and migrations.

You will need to identify if you have the budget to do this, and if so, what type of agency or partner would be the best fit for you.

For example, there are many traditional HubSpot agencies that can help with implementation work during onboarding, setting up emails, workflows, campaigns, and more.

At IMPACT, we believe that your team will be more successful if you become the experts. That’s why our onboarding program focuses more on training your teams to make sure everything you are doing is correct so that your company can become self-sufficient HubSpot experts. 

It’s time to migrate

If you are prepared to tackle everything above, and have your plan ready, it is time to jump in.

Migrating from one CRM to another is no easy task, but you don’t have to go it alone.

Luckily, this isn’t a new problem and there are many resources and partners to help with your transition.

If you are looking for an agency to help educate your team on how to best migrate to HubSpot's CRM, make sure to check out IMPACT’s HubSpot services page.

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