Switching such an important system is a bigger project than simply clicking your way through a setup wizard. However, this doesn’t mean it has to be a painful, expensive, risky, or time-consuming experience.
You may have already read that it’s easy to migrate from Salesforce to HubSpot — and it is (technically). The native integration between the two platforms makes it simple to import contacts, companies, deals and more, and also to import their relationships.
HubSpot is very easy to use, and the Marketing Hub has the best integration with Salesforce of any marketing automation platform (even their own).
But this article isn’t advising you on the technical aspects of moving from Salesforce to the HubSpot CRM and Sales Hub. It's aim is to help you make the case for switching and to find a viable alternative.
This is an opinion piece to help you construct a business case for switching — I’m not even trying to make a balanced argument — but everything I say about HubSpot here is true.
5 factors you need to consider before deciding to migrate your CRM
Before you embark on the journey of making the case for migrating, there are some factors to consider:
Verifying if your sales reps have adopted the current CRM system
Checking whether it is connected or integrated with other systems
Understanding the pain points driving the decision to switch
Ensuring team alignment
Designing a solution for your needs
1. Sales rep adoption
One of the biggest problems with CRM systems is getting the sales team to use it properly. If you’ve nailed this, so your sales team is always on top of its CRM admin and you can trust the data that comes out of it, then brilliant — don’t change it.
Unfortunately, the term GIGO (garbage-in, garbage-out) is synonymous with the CRM industry. When sales reps are focused on selling, admin always comes as a distant second. A hard-working sales rep constantly out on the road with back-to-back calls rarely completes their admin as they go. This means the key data input is late. Relying on memory and hastily scribbled notes inevitably means things get missed.
The burden on the sales team really starts to add up, especially if you have the sales director chasing for updates.
Is the CRM connected to other systems? Commonly, the CRM may be integrated with your billing platform or into a full-blown ERP system that manages data across your entire business. This used to be the main reason why changing to a new CRM was ill-advised. Since it was expensive and painful to integrate the first time, no one wants to go through the process again, nor do they want to take the blame if the new system doesn’t deliver the same reports as the old one.
The eye-watering costs are usually a factor but only part of the story. If you can already calculate ROI and prove a return on your marketing spend using your existing CRM and the business can’t operate without it, it has to be way out on price to justify the hassle of swapping it. Get clear on what the pain is, across all users, and build your case from there.
4. Get your team aligned
Who on your team will have the power to switch CRMs? How can you make it a positive change for the whole business? Understanding all of the needs, obstacles, and wish-lists at this stage will later save time and money. We can facilitate this, helping you to scrutinise all the requirements, document them, and get everyone in the business on the same page.
Cloud-based CRMs boast versatility in how they’re configured to your needs, but there are two sides to this particular coin.
It can be tempting to just dive in and work it out as you go along, but there are many ways this method can go right or wrong. Looking at how someone else has switched CRMs in the past is rarely going to deliver the best solution for your current needs, while designing the system from a single viewpoint, and then aiming to add in features for other people later, will lead to a never-ending CRM rollout. And by the second or third renewal date, everyone will have given up using the system.
TOP TIP: Understand the problem as best as you can first. As part of your methodology for designing a successful CRM implementation, you need to involve the right people, processes and technology.
Switching from Salesforce to HubSpot
After considering the above factors, you’ll be ready to make the case for moving to HubSpot CRM. Here’s everything you need to know about doing that, wrapped up in a neatly fictionalised but entirely recognisable story you can use to make your point.
Once upon a time, back in the 1950s (or maybe a little earlier), a computer scientist found himself in a sales office. Horrified by the inefficient manual processes and coffee-stained desks, he spotted an interesting device on the desk next to the phone. A Rolodex. The scientist thought to himself, ‘I bet I could make an electronic version of one of those’. Thus was born the first CRM.
This system consisted of an electronic filing cabinet (server and storage) for the sales team to file data and for the finance people to pull out reports. But the quality of data was completely reliant on the vigilance and accuracy of the sales team — the one team in the business who were arguably least suited to those traits.
They were probably the main cause of the claimed 80% failure rates of CRM implementations back in the day.
Fast forward several decades and now we’ve arrived at the creation of super-powerful and complex cloud-based CRMs that have fantastically lower costs to get started than anything that was on the market before Salesforce appeared in 1999.
Salesforce and every other cloud-based copy that has appeared since all operate using the same dataset, and they still place the burden of admin on the salesperson. All, that is, except one.
HubSpot CRM is not an ancestor of the Rolodex. It was born in the cloud as an app for marketers to understand buyer behaviour and tune their campaigns to provide an ‘inbound’ route to becoming a customer. This is fundamentally important because buyer behaviour is HubSpot’s primary dataset in the cloud. It’s much bigger than anything you’ll have in your existing CRM. It’s chaotic and unstructured, but the HubSpot tools do a very fine job of capturing and organising that data for the salesperson.
AI, machine learning, pattern recognition, inbound marketing, account-based marketing, social selling, and web analytics are integrated behind the scenes to serve up quality information on the right person, at the right time, so your sales team can reach active buyers with the right message.
If your business wants to be truly customer-centric, a great place to start is giving your sales team the tools to be customer-focused and trustworthy.
In a nutshell, HubSpot uses technology such as AI, machine learning and pattern recognition integrated with website analytics to deliver contextual information to salespeople. Salesforce simply cannot match these standards as they continue to rely heavily on the sales team to handle admin.