Whether you've just started to think about HubSpot CRM integrations or are still debating its potential value to your company's growth, there are some fundamental bases you'll need to cover in order to make the most logical decisions.
More specifically, there are some basic questions you'll need to ask yourself in order to make the smartest choice regarding a potential HubSpot CRM integration.
Why use questions instead of just giving advice?
In my 10+ years of digital marketing and technology experience, I've discovered the best strategies are almost always generated from targeted questions that reference known quantities (plus, I'll take any opportunity I can to create another Yoda meme).
Where these questions fit within the CRM integration process:
The questions I've listed here are intended to clear your mind of all the technical BS in order to evaluate whether or not a HubSpot CRM integration makes sense from a business perspective (aka the best perspective). They also assume you currently have a CRM and HubSpot software license.
There are many additional and more technical questions that come after deciding to move forward with an integration (to be listed in a future post), but the questions below are strictly focused on helping you make that first crucial decision to integrate your CRM with HubSpot or not.
In the process of going through these, you may uncover integration benefits beyond the obvious closed loop reporting and better customer engagement. Conversely, you may uncover some drawbacks that slow your project down or negate the concept entirely.
Regardless of what you discover, just know the outcome will ultimately be positive - gaining a more informed and objective perspective focused on what's best for your particular company.
The hidden cause of failed CRM integrations with HubSpot
CRM integration projects of any kind, let alone those with HubSpot, have the potential to be amazing growth-drivers or brutal budget-killers. No surprise there.
But what may surprise you is that the biggest factor contributing to the failure of a CRM integration with HubSpot is NOT the technology itself - it's ambiguity.
Does it matter what type of CRM you're trying to integrate with HubSpot? Yes.
Does it matter what 3rd party platform or APIs might be involved? Absolutely.
However HubSpot, CRMs and many 3rd party integration platform issues can typically be managed with a bit of troubleshooting and software expertise. An ambiguous or non-existent integration strategy on the other hand...not so much.
As Simon Sinek's popular book suggests, start with why.
You MUST know why you're integrating your CRM with HubSpot, what the expected outcomes are and be able to accurately convey those things to all parties involved in the integration.
Otherwise, you risk wasting time and money on something that may not even deliver the results you seek. Not cool.
6 questions to determine if you should integrate your CRM with HubSpot
As with all things in business and life, the simplest questions are frequently the most overlooked. In this case, they're also the most important!
Here are 6 basic questions you should ask yourself to determine if you should integrate your CRM with HubSpot:
- Why do you want to integrate your CRM with HubSpot?
- What does a successful HubSpot CRM integration look like to you?
- Is your sales process well documented and understood by the marketing team?
- Once the integration is up and running, what do you plan on doing with it?
- Do you have the resources needed to execute your post-integration plan?
- Do you currently have financial, operational, technical or cultural challenges that may negatively impact your CRM integration with HubSpot?
The primary goal of these questions is not to forcibly create or argue reasons to integrate your CRM with HubSpot, but rather to determine if there is a valid reason to integrate at all.
If you found it hard to answer the questions confidently or your answers seemed immaterial to the growth of your business, it may be best to hold off on the integration until it makes more sense. You can also enlist the help of outside HubSpot integration specialists to see if they can offer additional perspective.
If you were able to answer the questions with relative ease and the answers referenced significant impact on your business, you should begin the next step(s) of researching integration partners and/or identifying required fields and properties for the integration project.
The secondary goal of these questions is to utilize the answers as the foundation of your HubSpot CRM integration strategy. I would even argue that they're the most valuable asset within the entire integration process, as the answers directly impact the direction, speed, impact and even cost of the results.
If it's clear that integrating your CRM will be beneficial for your growth, you'll want to make sure you can easily reference your answers to better ensure that the expected outcomes become actual outcomes.
Dedication. Documentation. Domination.
If you feel tempted to skip these seemingly meaningless (or perhaps annoying) questions, you’re not alone. Marketers and business leaders skip them all the time.
...and they pay dearly for it.
Resorting to inferior CRM alternatives or prematurely engaging in CRM integration projects can cost a company thousands or even millions of dollars in opportunity cost, stifled productivity and unnecessary project fees.
The key message here: Don't be hasty.
Dedicate ample time to answering these pre-integration questions above, demand any potential stakeholders do the same and don’t over-complicate the process.
Most importantly, document all answers!
Do these things and you're guaranteed to make a smarter decision regarding HubSpot CRM integration and the overall alignment of your company's sales and marketing efforts.