So, you’ve decided you’re going to take the plunge and migrate your sales and marketing platform to HubSpot Enterprise. Perhaps there’s still a little nagging voice (the one we all have that hates change) that wonders if this is a good idea or not? Well, rest assured, it’s a great decision, and here’s why.
HubSpot Enterprise has revolutionized inbound marketing. Since its inception in 2006, the company has developed more and more sophisticated and integrated CRM software, culminating in its Enterprise suite.
Moving beyond the sales funnel, HubSpot developed a “flywheel” model of customer interaction where initial attraction and subsequent engagement drives delight, which re-attracts them to your sales process, driving repeat business. It’s a strategy that pays dividends.
HubSpot’s reputation as an easy to use but powerful CRM for scaling businesses, means that you’ll get up and running faster and the adoption rate of your reps is generally higher compared to competitors. The best CRM is the one that your team uses! Rival systems require a migration timetable of 10 weeks or more, HubSpot can be implemented in as little as six weeks, saving you time, money, and headaches. That’s a full 40% quicker than their closest competitors.
HubSpot’s huge range of native integrations and well-documented API means that you can connect your ecosystem to HubSpot as a central hub.
Enterprise grade implementation means that you often have a lot of users and a lot of questions. HubSpot comes with 24/7 chat, phone, and email support. You’ll pay a good 30% more for the privilege of priority support at Salesforce. Speaking of Salesforce, have you priced a Salesforce admin recently? The average salary is $77,000 and then you have all of the cost associated with hiring, firing, and benefits if you’re lucky enough that they work out over the long haul.
Rest easy, you’ve made the right decision. The important thing now is to get that migration and integration working as smoothly as possible. First, it’s important to note that, to migrate to HubSpot Enterprise, you are required to work with an onboarding specialist, either HubSpot’s own in-house consultancy (at a fee of $12K) or a certified HubSpot agency partner like No Bounds Digital.
Below, we’ll talk you through the process and point out any potential pitfalls to avoid and opportunities to seize.
Stage One: Preparation
When you migrate from a system everyone knows to one that, however wonderful, is dauntingly new, its vital to prepare the ground before you press “go”. That means engaging your teams, preparing your data, and agreeing a timetable.
Let’s talk through the five stages of the preparation process:
- Engage stakeholders early. We can’t stress enough how important it is that everyone is on board with the process. Ask all stakeholders to provide you with what they need from HubSpot to service their requirements. The last thing you want is to get halfway down the road and discover you’ve overlooked something vital. Collaborate what your teams tell you and use this to inform the customizations you’ll later implement.
- Write down the requirements and specifications that you have as project leader. Make sure the goals you set are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely). Integrate what your stakeholders have told you.
- Audit your data and content. Examine what you currently have in your datasets and whether it matches up with what you need. This is an excellent time to do some spring cleaning, removing duplicates, inaccuracies and junk data that serves no purpose.
- Audit your third-party apps. Your current system probably has a series of integrated apps and third-party tools. Some of these you’ll never use. Others will be indispensable. Have a look at HubSpot’s built-in offerings and its Marketplace to see if those tools can be better sourced from the new provider. This is a great opportunity to save money as well as streamlining your processes.
- Consider your business metrics. Your KPIs are “key” for a reason – these are the reports and statistics that prove your business model is working (or surface areas of concern). You’ll want to design a system that delivers these metrics as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Pro Tip: Consider pre-segmenting your data so that it can be logically integrated into HubSpot. This is a great opportunity to lose fields you don’t need and identify data you’d like to capture but currently don’t.
Migrating Your Third- Party Apps
Step 4 above requires a little unpacking. To take full advantage of the integrations available through HubSpot, or locate an alternative, follow these three stages:
- First check out what’s available in the HubSpot Marketplace. You may find a very similar app, or something even better, is already ready to slot in.
- If it’s not on HubSpot’s list of native integrations, you can check Zapier or Piesync to see if they can enable data integration between HubSpot and an app you’d like to use.
- Finally, you could look for a partner to create a custom integration (we use Integrate IQ). It’s often better to go the custom integration route than compromise with an only partially useful native third-party app.
Pro Tip: An integration partner must know at least one of the systems you’re trying to integrate. Choose one versed in HubSpot, secure in the knowledge that they’ll have the expertise to analyze even niche apps and integrate them with HubSpot.
Don't Neglect Timelines
The timeline for your migration is key. Get this wrong and you could waste a lot of time migrating data, then discovering your teams need to use old systems awhile longer, creating new data on the old system that will require a secondary migration. Consider using weekends or overnight processes to make your migrations run as smoothly as possible.
Also remember to build in time for errors in data transfer, which is an inevitable consequence of any large-scale migration. We are humans, not perfect machines, and there will inevitably be errors and omissions that could prove costly if you don’t give yourself the time to spot them and course-correct.
This may be a good time to bring some of those key stakeholders back into the process to help you sample and check data. Scheduling a test migration of a sampling of your database will help identify what’s working and what’s not – build this stage into your timeline too.
PRO TIP: Identify the KEY. What is your single most important business identifier – perhaps a Company or Individual ID. Start with this and check whether all the relevant associations are linked to this key field.
Stage Two: Implementation
Don't Obsess Over Data Security
It may seem counterintuitive in this era of data hacking and increased personal data legislation (such as the GDPR requirements in Europe), but with HubSpot you’re already buying into a system with a rigorous application of data security requirements.
HubSpot has both a SOC 2 Type 1 and SOC 3 report, which means it conforms to the TSPs (Trust Service Principles) established by the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants). Both reports are publicly available.
In addition, HubSpot allows for a very customizable set of restrictions for its users. You can set up team-specific restrictions or even bespoke individual-level dashboards to provide only the data your various staff members require.
Here is a simple three step procedure for setting up your security settings:
- Customize your user access and permissions.
- Establish data Partitions, further protecting the customer information you store.
- Set up SSO (single sign-on) for your users. This will enable them to use one ID process to access their relevant suite of dashboards data and apps. Requiring users to remember multiple IDs and passwords can lead them to write them down or use more readily memorable (and thus hackable) passwords.
Pro Tip: Two-factor user authentication is a convenient way to make SSO even safer. HubSpot allows you to text a security code to a user’s phone as part of the login process and also integrates with authenticator apps such as Google Authenticator.
Don’t be afraid to add users to HubSpot. Whereas your current CMS platform might require that you pay for additional access licenses, HubSpot’s package doesn’t. Since access rights can be tweaked ad infinitum per user or per team, you have nothing to fear from granting all your stakeholders access to just the information they need, in a format they find most helpful.
Permitting access in this way also helps with management buy-in too, since it improves transparency and adds value through increased staff engagement with the biggest asset you possess – your sales data.
When it comes time to considering what sort of reports you want to design, it’s always best to start with intended results (output) and work back to the data you’ll need HubSpot to input. This will inform how you prepare your data for migration, what associations you’ll make and what fields you need to create.
There are several different report types HubSpot can create for you, as well as a simplified report tool for mid-level companies without dedicated reporting staff.
- Multi-touch revenue attribution reports. A hugely useful analysis format, Multi-touch attribution relates revenue in the form of "credit" to customer interactions in HubSpot, so you can better identify how sales and marketing activities create revenue.
- Cross-Object Reports. These reports relate different object categories (i.e., companies, contacts, deals and tickets) to one another, giving you a deeper insight into both customer behavior and sales platform effectiveness.
- Calculated Fields. For the more numerically minded, this feature allows HubSpot to produce scores from behavioral statistics. These fields can then be analyzed and segregated in various ways to produce numerical datasets, ideal for visual report creation (via graphs, bar charts, pie charts and other graphic representations). Numerical data is measurable and can be easily related back to targets and goals.
- A Simplified Report Tool. If you have neither the staff nor the inclination to create complex bespoke reports, HubSpot has an integrated reporting tool. Using active lists, you can quickly report on the situation at any given point in time (helpful when the Head of Marketing wants quantifiable data right now).
Pro Tip: One great HubSpot function is that report generation can be automated, with scheduled reports sent out by email at regular intervals to key teams. Regular communication of such information provides reassurance and evidence that your sales and marketing strategies are working (or provides early indication if they are not).
Remember that you can also integrate automated alerts, generated by HubSpot, as a call to action. For instance, when a particular client places an order, you could arrange for an automated alert to be sent to the relevant team member to organize after-care.
Stage Three: Customization
Once you have coordinated the data preparation and implementation strategies, you can get creative with the interface between your employees and HubSpot. Hopefully, you have engaged all your teams as stakeholders early in the process, but this may be the right time to go back to them and double-check what their preferences and needs are.
Below are some of the elements you may wish to focus on:
Custom datasets. As described in the security section above, this is where you start tailoring which data is visible to which teams and individuals.
Custom dashboards. Making the visual display work for each role is important if you want to streamline HubSpot’s functionality and design a more effective sales and marketing process.
Custom objects. You’ll have all the usual suspects (contacts, companies, deals, tickets et al) but you may also want to create your own objects. For instance, a commercial property broker might require a “property” object which identifies a specific building and address. These can be easily generated in HubSpot.
Pro Tip: Although it is easy to create custom objects, your aim should always be to keep your data stripped down and streamlined, without duplication or redundancy. Therefore, if a standard object or custom property fits the bill, you should adopt and adapt it, rather than generating a brand-new custom object.
Four Tips For Successful Integration
- Map Those Apps. Map out the tools you have access to (your tech stack) and identify which of these must be kept, which can be replaced with HubSpot native or third-party integrations, and which can be dispensed with entirely. Expect a little bit of push-back here. You may be surprised to find that some team members are reluctant to part with even redundant applications they’re used to using!
- Reverse Engineer. Work backwards from the desired output to the data you’ll require to obtain it. This one tip can save you weeks and headaches, since you’ll be more likely to identify reasonable due dates and the steps necessary to end up with the result that you are looking for.
- Go Deep. Depth of integration is as important, if not more important, than breadth. Deep integration is getting as much data as possible from your customer interactions to all the teams within your organization that can meaningfully use it. This should be the primary aim of an integration. You’ll need to include whatever third-party apps and tools give you the depth you require.
- Monitor Your Plan. You should keep an eye on how integration is working for you. Keep a lid on what customizations are being made and whether the system is still sufficiently streamlined. All systems become messier over time, but natural decay can be slowed or countered if you are aware that it’s happening.
Three Common Data Migration Errors
These are the things that will most commonly throw a wrench in the works:
- Property Type Errors. A field is expecting a date but is given a text string instead. These errors can be avoided in the preparation stage by comprehensively spring-cleaning your data prior to the migration.
- Associated Object Errors. You are trying to associate two object types that cannot be associated. This is a logical error that can be addressed at the stage of formulating your reports and reverse engineering the associations you’ll need to devise to produce them.
- A lack of understanding on the part of any third party you engage will most likely not be because of a lack of understanding of the system that you’re moving to, HubSpot. Always work with an experienced HubSpot migration partner such as No Bounds Digital – check out our helpful webinar below for further insight into the process.
Don't Neglect Training
Whether you are going it alone, or working with a migration partner, you need to build in time and resources for training. Here are some tips for how to do so effectively:
- Plan Training Sessions with your teams and onboarding specialist. Make sure all parties understand the process, the timeline, and their role in ensuring the data is streamlined and provided in an accurate and timely manner.
- Define A Project Plan. This should be a comprehensive - and comprehensible - document outlining exactly what is going to happen and when. There should be no surprises or team members left out of the picture. Remember to factor in new hires too.
- Get In-House Involved. Even if you are using a dedicated onboarding specialist, it is important to maximize buy-in and utilize the experience of your own IT professionals. Remember, however, that as migration project leader, you are driving the process and managing those relationships.
- Integrate All Your Teams. Remember that HubSpot access can be tailored right down to the level of individual data fields. We recommend being thoughtful and open to permissions for your users especially with granular field level permissions there’s reason not to add anyone who benefit from any piece of information or process built in HubSpot. Remember - this is a great way to obtain stakeholder buy-in as well as build cohesive sales and marketing teams.
Pro Tip: Make sure you factor in time and opportunity to play with HubSpot and all it’s capable of before your data goes live.
Part of what you’re paying for with HubSpot is world-class customer support, use it. Encourage your teams to contact support if they are uncertain about any aspect of the new CRM system once it is up and running.
Remember – it’s not a case of “launch and leave”. A good migration specialist will help you launch your new system then return to monitor results, course-correct with you and implement any necessary fixes. What you are buying is peace of mind (and an additional time saving too).
Before you decide whether to work with a migration specialist, such as No Bounds Digital, why not download our enterprise migration checklist, to make sure you don’t miss key aspects of the process.
Just click the button below.