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4 challenges when integrating HubSpot with an ERP

3 mins read

Integrating HubSpot with your ERP system can bring huge benefits to your business, giving you an overview of your marketing, revenue, customers and more.

Combining these two systems can align your organisation, streamline processes and allow your company to work from one source of truth regarding its data.

However, with many integrations, bringing HubSpot and your ERP together can present issues if not performed correctly.

In this blog post, we explore some common challenges of a HubSpot-ERP integration and offer some tips to avoid these problems occurring during your integration.


1. Issues with unique identifiers

Inside HubSpot, your objects, contacts, companies, deals, tickets and custom objects will all have unique identifiers.

Whether your data is flowing one way or another via HubSpot and your ERP system, there will always be a time when it needs to move into your ERP.

Your sales team will work in HubSpot, but when customer information moves to the ERP, you'll need to have your unique identifiers in order. 

The information won't translate clearly if there's no unique identifier linking what's in HubSpot and the ERP. A good unique identifier to work from inside HubSpot is a record ID; every record will have this unique number generated by HubSpot.

Many legacy ERPs won't have these unique identifiers, which can present a considerable challenge. If this is the case, you'll end up with a duplication every time HubSpot performs a sync. Therefore, you'll want all your data inside HubSpot to be high-quality and translate correctly into your ERP system.


2. Legacy ERPs causing headaches

Working with older or 'legacy' ERP systems can cause headaches, especially regarding data quality.

When integrating an older system, you'll need to identify which objects you want to integrate and their unique identifiers. So, ask yourself what all the records in your ERP should have.

For example, a contact's email address could be their unique identifier in HubSpot. However, in your legacy ERP, some contacts might not have an email address attached to their record. 

This is why it's vital to emphasise data quality throughout your integration. As a minimum, all of your records need your chosen unique identifier. 

These identifiers, like a customer ID number, can change from business to business and could be specific to your company.


3. Working with low-quality data

As we've just explored, working with low-quality data can hinder your chances of a successful integration.

Before you review your test data or build the integration, you'll want to run a spot check on your data quality.

Especially with older systems, the data may not have been reviewed in a while, so you'll need to perform an audit to check its quality before integration.

When auditing the data, compile a list of things you need to check for. For example, if all your records need a phone number as their unique identifiers, you'll need to check this before integrating.

Misspellings can also cause disruptions when information is passed between the systems. If email addresses are your unique identifier, any misspelling will create a duplicate record. HubSpot can stop duplicate records from being created by flagging any invalid inputs.

However, some ERP systems don't have this feature, so data will be synced poorly with HubSpot.


4. Nailing your associations

Before you start anything, it's vital to think about your goals and what you're trying to achieve by integrating HubSpot with your ERP.

Working backwards from the end goal, you'll need an associated contact to match your objects. If there isn't an associated contact to match objects in HubSpot, you won't be able to trigger workflows and your integration won't run smoothly.

Knowing this from the start is vital. Understanding what you can achieve and working towards this can save you time in the long run. 

This is due to the complexity of making small changes inside some ERP systems. Unlike HubSpot, where tweaks can be made instantly, many ERP solutions require extra steps to make changes, such as going to the ERP provider or lodging a support request.

Consider how your objects will associate with each other and don't overstep the mark of what you can achieve with your data.


Tips for a successful HubSpot-ERP integration

Preparation and awareness in the early stages are key to giving yourself the best chance of a successful HubSpot integration.

Start by visualising your data flow, your customer journey and the stage at which each platform will come into play.

This doesn't have to be too detailed early on; just a top-level data flow for your customer journey and the stage at which your data will be synced are enough for this stage of the process.

After this, you'll want to audit the existing data. Check your data quality to see if your information ticks your mandatory rules and unique identifiers needed to make the project successful.

Your data audit will give you a picture of the state of play before you begin and tell you what can be achieved.

It'll also help you figure out where you stand with certain unique identifiers. For example, if contacts having a phone number attributed to them is your mandatory rule, but 10-15% of your database is missing a phone number, you have to consider how long it will take to enrich your data manually.

With this in mind, it's always helpful to have backup options to hand if your data audit pulls through some surprises.


Looking for expert HubSpot integration advice? Speak to an expert

We have handled HubSpot integrations with ERPs for many years. No matter the size or complexity, our global team is well-placed to help you work out the best integration plan.

Whether you use a famous name or custom-built ERP, HubSpot integrations are possible and the ways of achieving it are numerous.

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4 challenges when integrating HubSpot with an ERP