The present-day CRM has a history that goes well back to the ‘80s when computers started becoming a fixture in most offices, and direct marketing was slowly evolving into database marketing – a concept that was pioneered by Robert and Kate Kestnbaum. They introduced the notion of collecting and organizing customer data into databases, and analyzing it using statistical and predictive analysis to develop personalized messages and targeting campaigns.
However, it was the ‘90s that would bring us to closer to the realization of the first real CRM. The growth of the internet facilitated the emergence and dominance of early CRM systems like Oracle and Siebel. Finally, in 1999, with the aim of creating a cost-effective solution that eliminated the need for upfront installation costs and constant upgrades, Marc Benioff conceptualized and developed SalesForce. He would eventually build upon this system to accommodate functionality beyond that of the CRM.
In 2006, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, on observing the changing nature of the marketing landscape, wherein customers were no longer responding to traditional marketing tactics like direct e-mailing and cold-calling, introduced INBOUND MARKETING: a personable, non-disruptive approach to marketing and sales. Thus, was born the all-in-one CRM that is HubSpot.
Each of these platforms have found their niche as worthy competitors within the CRM space, with smaller to medium businesses opting for HubSpot’s streamlined and simpler functionality, while SalesForce rules the roost for businesses with complex sales processes, excelling in sales and post-sales reporting capabilities.
Inbound Marketing Changes Things
Seeing as the inbound methodology is centered on the buyer’s journey, the marketing and sales processes cannot be treated independently. They need to be viewed as contiguous, uninterrupted processes that effectively guide the user down the marketing-sales funnel. This is to say that there’s a need to align both marketing and sales – also known as “Smarketing”.
This requires synchronization between the business’ databases and an integration of the sales and marketing processes. In doing so, marketing teams can handle the lead generation process, with sales teams seamlessly stepping in when the leads are sales-ready.
If both processes are handled within one platform – this shouldn’t present much of an obstacle.
However, businesses often use more than one system to handle their processes. So, this brings us to the crux of this article: can a sales team that’s using SalesForce work seamlessly with a HubSpot marketing team?
Integrating Two Forces: HubSpot SalesForce Integration
The team at HubSpot developed a bi-directional integration so businesses can achieve an effective sales-marketing alignment. This marriage of the two leaders in Inbound Marketing and Sales, respectively, allows companies to derive detailed data-driven insights. This integration ensures an uninterrupted flow of information between the two databases. Your sales team is kept updated with the latest lead information coming in from the marketing team, while your marketing team is kept in the loop about the sales progress on leads they have generated.
Additionally, your marketing team can use the intelligence generated by the sales process to hone their marketing efforts to generate more leads. Likewise, the sales team can use the information generated by marketing to prioritize and personalize their interactions with sales-ready leads and increase their sales rates.
How the SalesForce-HubSpot Connector Helps in Sales-Marketing Alignment
1. Synchronization between Contact Lists
Smarketing centers on keeping both Marketing and Sales in the loop about all incoming prospective leads. Every time a lead fills out a form with their details, the information can be added synchronously to both databases.
2. De-duplication of Contact Records
HubSpot’s de-duplication function works so that there are no doubles entries. If it finds contacts with matching email addresses in both databases, it can merge or overwrite the records. This results in a single record for each lead or contact with all the associated information.
This way both the sales and marketing staff can see the same information for all the leads, eliminating any disconnect between the tactics required for each lead.
3. Synchronized Lead Scoring
One of the major factors that negatively affect a business’ ROI is the lack of agreement between sales and marketing on lead qualifying factors. To gain a higher qualified leads rate, sales and marketing need to be on the same page on what actions and engagements qualify a lead for further nurturing.
Now both teams can work together and agree on lead scores based on the various activities undertaken by the lead. They can track the lead’s progress through the funnel, and implement the right nurturing and closing tactics.
4. Transitioning Through the Sales Funnel
As visitors go through the various stages down the sales funnel to become a customer, the HubSpot-Salesforce integration allows for these transitions to occur between the two platforms.
When the marketing team marks a lead as converted in HubSpot, a sales opportunity is automatically created in SalesForce for the sales team to follow up on. Likewise, when a sale is marked closed/won in SalesForce, the status is automatically updated in the corresponding profile in HubSpot.
5. E-mail Personalization
Both CRMs include personalized emails to make messaging as relevant as possible for leads and customers. This integration allows the personalization tokens used in HubSpot to be applied to the e-mails generated in SalesForce as well, creating uniform communication for contacts throughout the sales cycle.
6. Tying your ROI to your Marketing Campaigns
One of the many challenges faced by marketing departments or CRM consultants is their inability to quantify their contribution to the revenue generated at the end of a campaign. Through this integration, however, the sales team can automatically send revenue data in SalesForce back to HubSpot, and help tie it to the marketing campaign that produced those sales.
7. Synchronized Contact Overviews
The connector allows SalesForce users to view information pulled from the lead’s corresponding HubSpot profile within the Salesforce contact record, without having to switch between the two platforms. This information is the HubSpot Intelligence window which includes data like the lead’s past activity, source, score, social information and company information.
As inbound marketing began making inroads into traditional marketing, the entire outlook on sales and marketing changed. Individually, as competing CRMs, SalesForce and HubSpot are forces to be reckoned with. But, within the context of inbound, they can combine to form a streamlined and highly effective lead closing process.
Since Smarketing is an essential aspect of the inbound methodology, HubSpot developed a bi-directional connector that allows businesses using both platforms to run targeted campaigns smoothly and effectively.