As digital technology evolves, businesses are embracing new platforms for marketing and sales activities. But this can lead to disparate data, silos and reduced visibility, especially if certain data is stored in legacy systems. Consolidating data improves efficiency and empowers staff. We reflect on a recent HubSpot and MS Dynamics integration and how we achieved one source of truth for data to enable group-wide data visibility and process alignment.Introduction to the HubSpot and MS Dynamics integration project
The integration project was for AX UK, a company operating in Automotive and Insurance sectors. There are two core parts of the business, AX Innovation (intelligent software and expertise for in-car devices to protect vehicles) and AX Automotive (accident aftercare solutions).
The group wanted to better align systems and processes to enable Marketing and Sales teams to work together across both sides of the business. We explore the project's goals, challenges we overcame and the results and impact of the integration.
Let’s walk you through the project
AX approached Inbound FinTech (IFT) to integrate HubSpot and Microsoft Dynamics, and a custom CRM platform. We were chosen for our technical knowledge and skills in building custom integrations. The project ran from November 2020 to June 2021.
The key objective was to achieve a holistic view of the company data and sales pipeline. The organisation wanted a single source of truth, instead of having information spread out across systems and requiring manual, inefficient processes to get the right data.
AX UK’s primary challenge was a lack of visibility across its core functions, which hindered the ability to cross-sell to their target audience, personalise interactions and run efficient sales and marketing processes.
Teams operated in silos and sales leads were housed on different platforms, with no easy way of assessing ROI from marketing campaigns.
Clare Tucker, Group Marketing Director for AX UK, said of the group’s challenges: “One side of the business used Dynamics and another used a purpose-built platform that had been used for over a decade. We needed to bring the systems together to achieve group-wide visibility, align sales and marketing and leverage cross-selling opportunities.”
Integrating its three systems (MS Dynamics, HubSpot and a custom legacy CRM platform) was the only way to solve AX’s challenges, with HubSpot providing a single source of truth. The client also needed HubSpot customised to suit the differing needs of its business units.
Our solution was a full integration between three systems and a sales enablement plan tailored to the client’s needs, including training on HubSpot’s sales features from our specialists.
Hurdles we had to overcome
Legacy Back Office system
AX had used Microsoft Dynamics and Back Office software for years, but they weren't communicating with each other. Our HubSpot integration had to ensure data was consolidated to provide AX with greater control and flexibility. We provided support around HubSpot’s objects and object relationships, whilst the IT & Infrastructure team updated the Back Office software to push and receive data via API.
The HubSpot and MS Dynamics synchronization was complex. Next to the PHP middleware that would prepare and push the data to Dynamics endpoints, we developed a suite of Azure functions that would act like HubSpot webhooks - each time a property gets updated in a record (Accounts or Contacts) in Dynamics, they would call the middleware, which would prepare the data to be pushed in HubSpot.
Defining the single source of truth for data
As all three systems would have the option to create a new record, with unique identifiers based on the platform, another challenge was finding the best way to allocate a record ID as the single source of truth. We determined that HubSpot CRM was best qualified to be the source of truth, due to extended and comprehensive API endpoints and the ability to easily set up workflows and trigger webhooks. Each time a new record is created, Dynamics and Back Office receive the newly created HubSpot ID request, to ensure data consistency on future updates.
We also customised HubSpot for each Sales team to match their distinct processes and onboarded and trained them on key features.
We successfully synced data between HubSpot, Dynamics and AX’s Back Office system and delivered comprehensive data visibility to empower Sales and Marketing teams. Here are the key achievements:
- HubSpot provides a single source of truth for AX’s data
- Over 40 Sales staff were onboarded onto HubSpot
- We implemented a focused pipeline for three Sales teams
- Holistic data visibility was achieved
- Sales and marketing alignment enables staff to manage leads at the right times
- We delivered training on HubSpot’s sales and tools
Below are highlights of improvements AX have enjoyed as a result of the project:
- An increase of 734.21% in the number of deals created
- An increase of 5158.33% in the number of connected calls
- An increase of 627.32% in the number of sales activities completed
The following graph shows the huge upward trend of sales activities completed since the HubSpot and MS Dynamics integration was completed (March 2021) to September 2021 (time of writing).
The impact of our HubSpot & MS Dynamics integration
AX now has group-wide data visibility, offering countless possibilities, from better customer interactions and cross-selling opportunities to improved internal communication and strategic decision-making.
Our HubSpot and MS Dynamics integration makes it easy for AX to see what’s happening across the business, reducing silos and boosting efficiency. Thanks to our sales enablement strategy, teams can better manage their time, pipeline and lead progress.
Our client's thoughts on the integration project
Get the thoughts of Clare Tucker, Group Marketing Director at AX, on the project’s outcome and working with Inbound FinTech. Watch the video.
We hope this article demonstrated the importance of data consolidation, sales and marketing alignment and a single source of truth. Integrating key systems and overhauling legacy processes can breathe new life into your lead pipeline and empower business growth. Contact our team if you'd like to discuss an integration project.