Migrating Existing Customer Data
Whether you’re moving to Sales Hub from a different CRM or you’ve never used a CRM before, chances are you will have to migrate your existing customer data. Before you begin, take an inventory of all the data that exists within your current information systems or manual records. Migration is a good time to make sure your data is clean, current, viable, and relevant. Scrub irrelevant data and fix any entries that need to be re-formatted or revised. This is your chance to understand what data needs to be migrated and how to translate it to make sense in HubSpot. In particular, here’s what to look out for:
- What entries need to be cleaned up?
- What needs to be updated?
- Are there any duplicate data-sets that need to be merged?
- Do you need to make formatting changes to .CSV file you’re exporting from your previous system?
Migration is a good time to make sure your data is clean, current, viable, and relevant.
Before making a bulk import, start with a small batch to see if the data is coming through as needed and without any errors. If everything checks out, you can go ahead and start your full import. The following are the migration tasks you need to conduct:
- Migrating objects to standard HubSpot objects (including contacts, companies, deals, and customer service tickets)
- Migrating object properties to standard HubSpot properties (including phone numbers, emails, industries, lifecycle stages, and more)
- Migrating custom object properties by creating new custom properties into HubSpot
- Migrating parent / child relationships in relevant objects
- Migrating data with associations
There are various methods you can use to migrate your data into the HubSpot CRM and we will do our best to detail them.
- CSV Data Load.
If you have your sales data in an older offline CRM you may have to first export the data out of that CRM and into CSV formatting. While cumbersome, cleaning the data prior to import is critical to a successful implementation. Make sure that contacts have email and ownership information associated with each of them. This will minimize data quality problems going forward. It may be easier to say “we can fix it after” but first impressions are everything. Build trust with your users by ensuring the data in the CRM is up to date and credible. User trust is the foundation of adoption and compliance.
- Third Party App Installation.
Another solution for moving data into the HubSpot CRM is by integrating it with other tools such as Mailchimp, Salesforce, and Quickbooks. The advantages to this are that your data will be pre-reconciled on both sides of the integration. It also means that any edits you make in one system may be replicated on the other side. After you integrate the HubSpot CRM with a third party tool you should then load in any additional data. That way you can merge any duplicate data you loaded into the data that was created via the integrations.
- API Integration/Migration.
The principles listed above about data hygiene apply to migrations and integrations. A detailed discussion of migrations is beyond the scope of this book. For API integrations, we recommend using a third party to handle API development or ETL services as HubSpot’s database structure is complex. The good news is that HubSpot is a leader in making its APIs public. HubSpot API documentation is accessible to everyone via https://developers.hubspot.com/docs/overview .
- Custom ID numbers.
It is critical that when migrating from another CRM that you retain any custom IDs that would be used to map data. Please ensure that you create a custom field to host this ID prior to import. Regardless of the mechanism you use to import the data, it is a good backstop if you missed importing a related item such as an attachment or note.
Importing Existing Deals
Once you have defined your sales process and set up your pipeline and stages, you can import existing deals into the CRM. Map the stages from your previous CRM (if applicable) to the stages in the HubSpot CRM prior to import. (It is easier to do it before the import than after!) You may need to create custom deal properties to store some types of data, or to prepare for data that will be collected in the future. This must be done before the data import or integration, or some of the data will not map correctly. For example, if you have a custom “probability to win” field associated with your imported opportunity data, you will need to create a custom property to map it and associate the two properties.
New fields that are created by HubSpot via import are created as a single line of text. If that occurs, then it will negatively affect your ability to run reports or calculate fields. One of the key features of the enterprise CRM is the ability to create custom calculated fields. The data used in the calculations must be formatted correctly for the calculations to function. Prior to a deal import, all custom fields should be created and mapped to the data so that the formatting is correct.