HubSpot and NetSuite: How to Get the Best of Both Worlds
Picture a midsized manufacturing company that produces a range of products, each consisting of several components. Every item rolling off the assembly line is top-notch, but the executive team feels their overhead is too high. They need to reduce costs sustainably.
After fielding various ideas, the CEO decides to hone in on three areas: procurement, inventory, and customer service, particularly the order fulfillment process.
But there’s a big problem. Even though procurement, inventory, and customer service have their own systems and data, they don’t talk to each other. For instance, procurement has no idea how many units are sitting in inventory, and the folks handling customer orders don't know how inventory levels may affect when each order will be ready.
The good news is they’ve identified a huge problem—and cost-cutting opportunity. The not-so-good news is they don’t have the software to automate any of it, so the only solution seems to be “Work harder!”
HubSpot and NetSuite for B2B: Why Use Both
The value of using these digital juggernauts in combination stems from their individual strengths.
A Brief Overview of HubSpot
HubSpot is a marketing and customer service platform that businesses use to foster growth. It gives users a full suite of tools that make it easier to manage their online presence and build fruitful relationships with customers. Companies often use it for marketing automation or to manage their sales pipelines.
For example, you can use HubSpot to strategize and implement an automated email marketing campaign. You can then monitor the results of the campaign, checking the data you gather against various goals and benchmarks.
A Brief Overview of NetSuite
NetSuite is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution based in the cloud. Businesses use it to manage their most important operations, from financials to sales to inventory, and more. Similar to HubSpot, NetSuite provides strategic data you can use to establish business metrics and then evaluate your progress against them.
Even though the use cases for NetSuite are virtually unlimited, organizations often turn to it to streamline invoicing and billing, manage inventory, or fine-tune their supply chain operations.
Advantages of Combining NetSuite and HubSpot
The core advantage of combining NetSuite and HubSpot is an integration that empowers you to intertwine your customer management and marketing systems with core elements of your operations.
Returning to our manufacturing story at the outset, data divisions between customer service and production create gaping inefficiencies. For instance, you should be able to tell how long it will take to fulfill an order, not by calling three different departments but with the click of a button.
A HubSpot-NetSuite integration makes this possible because each solution can collect and manage the data your business produces. They can then share this data, so you can analyze and use it to make decisions.
Here are some advantages you get with a NetSuite-HubSpot integration:
- Seamless data syncing between platforms
- Streamlined lead-to-customer processes
- Improved collaboration between marketing and sales
- Enhanced reporting and analysis
- Cost and time savings
To illustrate, suppose our fictional company decides to track the correlation between customer satisfaction and revenue. This can be one of the most rudimentary uses of a NetSuite-HubSpot integration. You keep track of customer satisfaction using HubSpot’s CRM, and revenue using NetSuite’s financial tools and compare them side by side.
The company collects and analyzes this data, and the correlation becomes crystal clear: Customers with higher satisfaction scores place more orders and spend more money on each order. Further, through HubSpot's automated surveys, the company learns that meeting order fulfillment deadlines has a dramatic impact on customer satisfaction. Clients want to know exactly when their items will arrive.
By integrating HubSpot and NetSuite, the customer service department can see, on a single screen:
- The order a customer is placing
- The components involved in producing the order
- How many of each component is sitting in inventory
- The time it will take to produce each unit
- The port the completed units will ship out of
- The average amount of time each unit will spend in transit
- The amount of money they should charge the customer if they want to expedite shipping or order fulfillment
The customer service representative can then say to a client on the phone, “We have the inventory on hand to start producing your order this afternoon. The team will finish making it in four days. It will be on a truck to the Oakland port this Friday. And based on the average processing time for Oakland and delivery speed, you should see it at your facility by Wednesday evening. You’ll get an email if any element of this process gets delayed. We can expedite shipping and bump your order to the top of the production schedule for 5% more, and you’ll get it by Monday instead. Would you prefer regular order fulfillment or expedited?”
After the customer responds, the rep sends them a one-question survey using HubSpot regarding how they felt about the interaction. The customer chooses to expedite the process, and this information gets automatically fed into NetSuite, which communicates it to the production team. They then prioritize the order, getting it done faster.
The team cranks it out at record speed, and the customer gets an email saying the order is ahead of schedule and is on track to arrive Sunday afternoon instead.
How do you think the customer feels when they get their order? Fantastic. How likely are they to place another one? Very.
Integrating HubSpot and NetSuite: Best Practices
The potential for a HubSpot-NetSuite integration is sky high; hypothetical use cases don’t do it justice. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be any challenges.
For instance, during the integration phase, it’s easy to lose momentum as you get bogged down trying different things. Also, low-quality data can easily “break” your system because it ruins the validity of the results. And when data isn’t properly formatted, the systems can’t communicate at all because they’re speaking different languages.
In addition, an unexpected problem can slow down production and cause confusion.
But to overcome these challenges and get the most out of a HubSpot-NetSuite integration, keep the following best practices in mind.
- Plan ahead instead of experiment. Whenever you have a pile of data to work with, it can be tempting to try this and that to see how you can integrate it all, but this may not work well with a HubSpot-NetSuite integration. It’s best to surgically choose the operations you want to integrate.
- Establish data governance policies. You’ll need to assess data quality, formatting standards, and data ownership expectations, as well as the responsibilities these come with.
- Test, test, and test some more. It’s easy to predict and address issues if you test enough scenarios ahead of time.
- Monitor and check your system regularly. You may be able to find ways to improve its performance as well as make it easier for stakeholders to use.
Maintenance and Support Considerations
In line with monitoring and checking your system, you’ll want to establish a maintenance and support infrastructure. This should include the following:
- Regular testing after implementation
- Security updates for both HubSpot and NetSuite
- Regular user training, for both new and experienced staff
- A documentation system that outlines:
- The system’s architecture
- How data flows through it
- Adjustments you make
- Troubleshooting tips
Get the Best of Both Worlds with Flawless Inbound/GSI
A NetSuite-HubSpot integration marries your customer service and marketing with the rest of your business’s operations. By combining the two, you can create automations that save money, improve efficiency, and keep customers coming back for more.
With Flawless Inbound by GSI, you can optimize HubSpot and ensure it integrates with NetSuite seamlessly. To learn more, get in touch with one of our experts today.