Navigating Your CRM Transition: A Step-by-Step Guide to Migrating from HubSpot to Salesforce

April 29, 2024
Stefanie Peijan


Switching from HubSpot to Salesforce involves many parts of the company. This change affects the way different departments work and use the CRM data. To make sure the transition goes smoothly, it's important to work closely with these key departments:

  • Marketing
  • Sales Development
  • Sales/Account Management
  • Customer Service
  • Customer Success
  • Revenue Operations
  • Finance
  • Business Intelligence
  • Company Engineering/Product Team

By considering the needs and inputs of these departments, we can harness their collective expertise and support, paving the way for a successful CRM migration.

HubSpot CRM Process Discovery

The Discovery of the goals, problems and requirements is maybe the most important phase as the output will be used to find the right set up, solutions and action steps. Therefore we will need to ask the right questions and dive deep into different areas.

  • Which end to end processes do we follow?

  • Which problems do we face on those processes (also on the CRM side)? -> *Understand the problems in a quantitative and qualitative way

  • Why is the process set up like this and not differently?

  • Which key data points are we collecting?

  • Which teams are involved in the process?

  • Which tasks are recurring and / or manual?

  • Which KPIs do we want to track? Which KPI target value implies success?

Through an extensive discovery we will understand not only what we will need to transition to Salesforce but also how to set up Salesforce without moving the current problems to the new set up, while getting rid of inefficiencies and building new capabilities.

The discovery additionally includes:

  • understanding the tech stack that is currently connected with HubSpot and potentially should be connected to Salesforce.

  • understanding the data structure and which records need to be transitioned to Salesforce.

The outcome of the discovery will be validated problem statements, clear user stories and a clear understanding of what we want to achieve with Salesforce.

Milestones and Project Plan

General Project approach

The general approach to the project is a combination of Waterfall and Scrum methodology.

By having the plan visualized in a Gantt chart with Milestones we provide clear visibility to stakeholders on the progress and we have a structured end to end tracking with a clear end goal.

The Scrum part will start later during the technical execution. It will help us to stay agile and adapt to requirements and needs that might come up later.

Generally it will be crucial to stay close to the stakeholders (regular updates) and include them in the solution design to a certain extent, to give them the feeling they are heard and they contribute.

Especially during the prototyping and testing phase we will require multiple iterations and feedback rounds. This will avoid push backs on implemented solutions.

And as a last point we will start with the change management early on. Transitioning to a new tool is a huge step and not successfully done with only a few training sessions. People should be involved and understand from the beginning why something is done the way it is done.

Additionally we will nominate a group of testers from affected departments, which will dedicate time for in depth challenging of the prototype.

Best practices

  • Over-communicate and start early with Change Management

  • Involve and train “Champions” from the beginning to enable internal support during and post go live

  • Don’t only train but sell the solution, explain the why behind it

  • Document the process and solution as the project is going

Phases and Milestones that we will reach

Project Plan and Milestones to ensure a successful transition

Potential Challenges

Migrating from one CRM to another is a huge task and error prone, therefore we should be preparing for challenges that might come up during the implementation and the project execution. Below is a short list of some regular challenges that can appear during this kind of project.

Push back from users on the solutions

To avoid this we are starting the change management early and include the teams often. This will

a) give them the feeling to contribute and

b) provides the possibility to give feedback and feel heard.

Additionally we will try to get the buy in from experienced multipliers and include them in the training sessions to convince the whole team.

A big customer base and even bigger lead / prospect base needs to be transferred with all relevant data

If there are hiccups after going live, we might face situations in which inbound leads are not being tracked, integrations with tools such as SalesLoft might not work as expected and worst case we lose customer data. We will avoid this through extensive discovery and testing, while also getting back ups of the HubSpot CRM data.

Transferring the weaknesses of the HubSpot CRM process to Salesforce

The goal should not be to transfer everything we have in HubSpot to Salesforce but rather take the Opportunity to use Salesforce as a blank canvas. Salesforce provides the chance to get rid of inefficiencies and legacy implementations that have not been touched for a long time.

We will tackle this challenge by challenging the current processes and asking ourselves what our goal is and what the ideal state is. This will uncover if a process / implementation is working towards that goal and help us to decide what not to implement or how to change.

Unexpected Scope increases

It is normal that new and bigger requirements get in at a later stage of the project, which can mean that either the target go live date is not realistic anymore or that more resources are required.

0. Expectation Management and proper Discovery during the Scoping

-> Communicate clearly and early what new requirements could mean for the project and ensure that most requirements are considered during the Discovery phase.

1. Categorize the new requirements

-> Is it an enhancement? Is it a prio 1 topic that needs to be tackled asap or a prio 2, 3 topic? What is the benefit of solving the problem and does it work towards the defined goal?

2. Analyze what it means for the implementation and the current set up

-> Can we implement it without breaking anything else? Is it blocking the go live? Can it be implemented after going live without requiring additional training?

3. Plan the implementation

-> Critical things are done first and maybe before going live and other topics will be done afterwards.

Success Criteria

How do we know that the transition was successful? We will look at qualitative and quantitative output.


For the quantitative part we’ll rely on a comparison of HubSpot vs. Salesforce data.

  • How is the field completion rate?

  • How did the conversion rates change (over time)?

  • How strong did the lead time reduce on Opportunity Stages?

  • How fast are we responding to inbound inquiries?


  • Did we achieve what we were planning? Are we covering all relevant processes in Salesforce or is something missing?

  • How is Salesforce being used? Are users finding workarounds offline or are they engaging with Salesforce?

  • What is the general user feedback?

This migration not only represents a technical upgrade but also an opportunity to enhance operational efficiencies and adapt to evolving business needs. By following the outlined steps and remaining responsive to feedback throughout the process, we can ensure a smooth transition that minimizes disruptions and leverages the full potential of Salesforce. Ultimately, the success of this migration will be measured not just by the seamless integration of systems, but by the enhanced performance and satisfaction across all departments

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