Planning a HubSpot Data Migration Project
Your company has decided to switch your CRM to HubSpot. The very next step you need to take is to create a plan - a kind of roadmap for your HubSpot CRM data migration, from start to finish. Proper planning of your data migration will ensure that the process runs smoothly and that you make the most efficient use of your time and resources.


Before you get lost in the details of mapping data, setting up reports, integrations or any other functions of your new CRM database, it's important to stop and take a look at the 30,000 foot view of what your migration project is going to entail. These key components will be critical to everyone involved in the migration, and it's best to have the answers well thought through and documented before you begin.

Loop in the right people.
Your CRM is not used by just one person. You want to be sure to facilitate a collaboration with those that will be most impacted by the decisions and the results from migrating the data. They should be a part of the process, during the steps that make the most sense for their particular role. This doesn't mean that the CEO needs to be on every status call or validating test import results. What it does mean is that your sales manager checks that they have the data they expect to see to track their team's progress, and even your marketing team can review that all their prospects are labeled correctly. Anyone using the database should be made aware of the timing of the migration, when testing will happen which may impact the reports they view, and so on. Not only will their involvement ensure everything goes smoothly, but it can also help divvy up the responsibility of validating the import results. If you can, allocate the review of import test runs to those most familiar with the data. For example, you can have each sales rep check contact and deal records assigned to them, and so on. This will significantly increase the confidence and accuracy of the migration results.

Determine the method of migration.
You're here because you are considering a third-party service, like Import2, for your HubSpot migration (a good choice!) When looking at your options, you should carefully review the advantages and disadvantages of those before you commit, as well as how they fit with the resources (time and expense) you can allocate to the project.In a nutshell, you will decide if you want to:- Import data via CSV file. HubSpot has a self-service CSV importer at your disposal, if you already have your CRM data in CSV format. You can upload contacts, companies, deals, products and notes using their CSV importer. Note that this means you cannot import tasks or emails, meetings, calls or attachments. There are also limitations on how you can link records together, and it can be very labor-intensive to setup the CSV files correctly in order for the import to be accurate. - Use HubSpot API. If you have developer resources at your disposal, you can use HubSpot API to import data into your new CRM. Before you look into this option, be sure that you are able to extract data from your old CRM as well - either by API or CSV. - Hire a HubSpot consultant. There are a ton of consulting services listed in HubSpot's directory. These consultants will essentially work as a project manager for your CRM migration - albeit this can be a costly and slow-moving option. Be sure to read reviews and discuss in detail what they are capable of moving into HubSpot's platform. - Use Import2 to automate the technical aspects of the migration for you. We work with you to scope the requirements of your project, and you can offload much of the heavy-lifting of the migration - such as mapping fields, dealing with errors, and actually exporting and importing the data.

Decide what data you wish to move.
This means carefully considering what data you want to keep, and what data (if any) you will exclude. A successful CRM migration does not necessarily mean migrating every piece of data. In fact, a migration to a new CRM database is the perfect time to take stock of your current data and assess what is truly useful for your team. Practically speaking, it is typically more expensive (and more labor intensive to review and validate) to move more data. So, if you don't need large chunks of data for your business processes or reporting moving forward, decide now and leave it behind.

Prep your data
You know the phrase - messy data in, messy data out. If you don't take care to clean-up your data as best as possible prior to the migration, you will still end up with a messy database at the end - just in a shiny new package. If you have years of bad data collecting in your old CRM, it may not be possible to get it perfect. However, you can still try to tackle any major items before you make the move, such as:- Invalid or missing email addresses- Contacts with no owner - Duplicate contacts and/or companies - Lost deals There are many approaches to cleaning up data, and you will have to decide what makes sense for your business and the current state of your CRM database. The end goal should be to achieve a set of data that you feel comfortable moving over and using in HubSpot.

Prep your new HubSpot database
There are some basics you'll want to have setup before you begin any practical steps to migrating your data. You should ensure you have:- Setup any custom fields you need to accommodate your old data- Added your users who will need access to the database- Turn off any integrations that may be affected by data coming in and out. For example, if you have an active sync between Salesforce and HubSpot setup, we highly recommend turning this off for the purpose of the migration. It can result in duplicate records, and make it very difficult to find and validate the migration results.

Determine a cut-off date.
This may seem obvious, but it's a bit more nuanced than you may think.

The main cut-off date is when you have agreed as a team that you will no longer enter data into your old CRM. This ensures that when you begin your import that you are migrating the most up to date data, and you won't lose any updates or new records that your team may enter after the fact. A cut-off date will allow you a clean, accurate and timely transfer.


However, you may also have planned a period of time when you will still have access to your old CRM database, in case of any post-migration needs that may come up. This may be to perform checks on the migration results, or for referencing old reporting or analytics before you've set those up in your new CRM database. The most important thing to keep in mind is that, while the old database may still be available, once you start your migration, any new records or changes should be done in HubSpot! The old system should act as an archive, not as a live database.


Speaking of archives - when you've reached your cut-off date, make a backup of your database! Whether or not you will still have access to your old data once the migration is finished, we highly recommended that you have created a backup of your entire dataset as a security measure in case anything should go sideways.


Finally, know your "unofficial" cut-off date. This is when you can say with confidence, that you are satisfied with the results of the migration and anything that may come up after this point, is not critical. This is when you can say goodbye to your old database, shake hands with your project manager, consultant or therapist (just kidding!) and consider the migration project complete.