Before we get started, let’s clarify something: We love all things HubSpot here at HelloGuru. We use it as our CRM and as an MAP to some extent, and we definitely take advantage of having it during the early stages of our company.
That said, we also know nobody, not even HubSpot, can do all things perfectly. Being in the reverse-etl and integrations world, we’ve noticed that when it comes to some specific systems, users can struggle integrating them with HubSpot.
Some are more obvious than others, simply because of the number of people using the system in conjunction with HubSpot. As a result of this, the native integration is quite basic. In other cases, these tougher integrations are less obvious, because the problems that arise are more specific, and are not visible to the basic user. As a matter of fact, it is usually CRM Administrators, Revenue Operations folks and developers that complain about these issues.
HubSpot and Salesforce
This is one of the non-obvious, merely because of the fact that many companies use these systems together. In the majority of cases, companies will be using Salesforce as a CRM and HubSpot as the MAP, especially in the enterprise. However, that’s rapidly changing, and large companies are staying with HubSpot, contrary to the belief that Salesforce is what you need after a certain stage.
In any case, when users integrate these two systems there are a couple of things you cannot do with the native integration. For example, anything related to activities in Salesforce will not be synced to HubSpot. These are things, such as meetings. calls and emails.
If you want to do this, there are two workarounds. One is to use a trigger based system like Zapier to log a call/meeting/email to HubSpot, every time something occurs in Salesforce. However, that is not very efficient, both from an operational and cost perspective.
To do this, we would actually recommend using a tool like HelloGuru (shameless plug) and create daily or weekly syncs using the raw data model. What you can do is simply create a recurring sync between the two systems that upserts activities into HubSpot.
Another obstacle people face when doing this integration lies in the fundamentals of Salesforce. If you have used both tools, you’ve probably noticed that Salesforce uses Leads and Contacts, whilst HubSpot only uses Contacts. Ask any RevOps person about this, and we can guarantee a rant about how to understand and manage this from an integration perspective.
HubSpot and SalesLoft
This one is definitely more rare than the HubSpot <> Salesforce integration we talked about above. Simply put, not as many companies use these two tools together as the previous ones. SalesLoft is more commonly used with Salesforce than with HubSpot. For those who don’t know, SalesLoft is a robust sales engagement platform that helps sales reps automate their day-to-day manual tasks.
When it comes to the integration with HubSpot, the problem is the length to which the integration goes, and how much work both companies are willing to put into it. Don’t get us wrong, both systems are amazing by themselves, but they haven’t been made to talk to each other yet.
Something else to keep in mind, integrating with SalesLoft is pretty hard as itself. Not many integration providers can sync data to SalesLoft, not even Zapier. Their API documentation is certainly available, but still not many manage to enter data into their data model.
In terms of the specific issues HubSpot users face with this integration, we can see that it mostly relates to the difficulty of syncing sales activities from SalesLoft over to HubSpot. and being able to pass over the company and contact owners. The latter tends to be quite a cause for bad reviews on the HubSpot marketplace.
HubSpot users want to have SalesLoft information in HubSpot for two reasons. First, because they want HubSpot to be their source of truth, which makes sense considering that they’re using it as a CRM. In addition, SalesLoft reporting capabilities are known to not be the best, or at least not as good as HubSpot. As a result, reporting on SalesLoft data in HubSpot can be quite an advantage.
HubSpot and Outreach
Like SalesLoft, Outreach is one of the most popular sales engagement platforms although it is said to have more robust functionality and better reporting than its rivals. In any case, when talking about the integration with HubSpot the use case is practically the same thing, have your sales activities in HubSpot to have everything in one single place.
The struggle here comes when you don’t have HubSpot Operations Hub. Without it, the integration is really limited as you cannot sync custom fields from Outreach into HubSpot. To be fair, that’s really what you want, since you already have the standard ones in HubSpot anyway. Without the ability to sync custom fields, making HubSpot an ever better source of truth is harder.
In order to do this, as we recommended with Salesforce, is to go with a Reverse ETL tool like HelloGuru, that allows you to plug data directly into the HubSpot API. Doing that, you’ll be able to sync custom fields from Outreach into HubSpot.
HubSpot and Airtable
This is an interesting one due to the variety of reasons people need it for. In some scenarios, users require this integration because Airtable used to be their CRM and now they have decided they need something more robust, such as HubSpot. Another scenario is where Airtable acts as a product database, perhaps because the company is not ready to move to a PostgreSQL DB or something of that style.
If you’re under the first scenario, a data migration, the problem lies in the fact that you can only sync data to contacts and companies, unless you have HubSpot Operations Hub. Sure, syncing things to only contacts and companies covers a lot, but there are cases where companies had much more in Airtable, such as historical meeting notes, and deal information.
Truth is, if you’re making this migration, Operations Hub probably doesn’t make sense to have yet. Not only for the fact that it is an additional cost, but it also requires some time to master.
Under the second scenario, the integration is again limited. There are various complaints by users with the fact that the two way integration is extremely simple and therefore if you want to have product data on your CRM it can be a hassle to do it without Operations Hub.
HubSpot and Stripe
E-commerce and Product-Led companies are going to love this one (just kidding). Stripe has become a staple both for startups and large companies, simply because it works amazingly.
Now, integrating it with HubSpot can be looked at from various angles. First there is the use case of collecting payments via Stripe from HubSpot quotes. At the basic level it works pretty well. We’ve used it here at HelloGuru, and collecting one-time or subscription payments is quite easy to set up and use. However, when it comes to trials and more complex forms of payments it can be a headache.
Besides collecting actual payments, the other side of the Stripe integration is getting transactional data into HubSpot, a data sync. This is the part HubSpot users really struggle with. Gathering transactional data for a contact or a company is not an easy task.
First, because using the subscriptions object in HubSpot is not easy. Second, with the basic native integration you can’t sync data that is beyond contact and company information, As a result, transactional data is out of the question, which is a bummer if you have a subscription business model.
The Bottom Line
HubSpot is amazing, and we’re sure that it will continue to develop amazing products for all their customers. We’ve even seen that in the data syncs spectrum with the relatively new Operations Hub. That said, users that can’t afford Operations Hub to do more advanced stuff can struggle with the basic native integrations, mostly because of how basic they are.
Just because a business is small, it doesn’t mean that their operations are. Our recommendation is, if you can’t use HubSpot Operations Hub and native HubSpot integrations are too basic for you, use a reverse-etl or other IPAAS tool. That will allow you more flexibility in your data syncs.
Contact us if you’re ready to get started!