The bigger your company grows the more data and leads you’re going to have to manage. This is a huge task and it can quickly become a mess if you don’t have the right system in place to keep it well organised. That’s where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software comes into play.
A CRM can enable sales and customer relationship strategies, identify leads and customers, plus manage your customer relationships too. But which one is right for your business? Well, this post will compare two of the most popular choices - HubSpot and Salesforce - and will help you decide which one is best for your business to use.
How do I choose the right CRM?
It’s important to realise there’s not a “one-size fits all” approach. No two businesses are identical, therefore they’re going to have different needs when it comes to managing their customer relations.
That’s why you need to select the CRM perfect for your business. Just because it worked for your competitors doesn’t automatically mean your company will take to it like a duck to water.
You have to take into account the overall size of your business, the structure and predicted growth, your budget and any other technology that you’ll in conjunction with it. These are key areas that should shape your decision in choosing the right CRM.
When it comes to choosing your CRM platform, a lot of businesses will place a huge priority on the price of the package. While it’s important you stick to the budget, the price shouldn’t carry too much weight when making the decision.
After all, just because one platform is more expensive than another, it doesn’t mean it’s going to guarantee you better results.
Salesforce calculates the total costs based on two factors:
Number of users. Basically, the more users you need, the more you’ll have to pay for licences.
User type: Essentials, Professional, Enterprise and Unlimited These categories act as tiers of different pricing. As you progress up the tiers, the capabilities of what you can do with the package increase. You pay more to unlock more functionalities and the basic packages are the cheaper ones.
Typically, you can expect to pay within the bracket of £25-£300 per month per user with Salesforce. Obviously, the price will depend on the level of functionalities of each package and you can mix and match the various levels according to each users’ needs.
With HubSpot, you can start free or go with a paid version. The best thing about the CRM platform is it scales with your business as you grow. So if your business needs the basics to begin with, go ahead and opt for the free tier. But as your business matures, you can pay extra to benefit from even more powerful features.
HubSpot includes all the features you need in its advertised price, so nothing is hidden and you only pay for additional revenue-generating sales seats. If you have team members who just need visibility into the business, for example reporting but less so actually using the tools, then they can benefit from free seats.
You can also choose to purchase additional sales and marketing tools to strengthen your platform. The added bonus is that if you purchase any or all of the hubs (marketing, sales, service and CMS), you still get access to the HubSpot CRM platform.
The combined power of these hubs means you can adapt quickly, align your teams and achieve adoption like never before. Plus, the built-in tools, reporting and integrations mean HubSpot lets you easily gather insights and connect with customers quicker.
When choosing your CRM, you need to look out for hidden costs as well as the monthly ones. What may seem like a cheap deal on the surface could turn out to be an expensive investment should you not realise what you’re actually getting with your package.
Salesforce costs can rise above basic licensing fees and depending on your needs, you may need to purchase some added extras too. Offline access, live video chat support and additional data storage are just a few of the additional costs that you may require when choosing Salesforce.
Also, you may require extra support from Salesforce experts when initially implemented, which could be billed monthly - on top of your current costs.
One things Salesforce does charge you for is if anybody in your team is using the platform, you need a paid account. For example, if your company's exec wants visibility into the team's performance or to take a look at the dashboards and nothing else, they'd still need a paid account.
HubSpot doesn’t have hidden costs as Salesforce does. If your business wants to integrate HubSpot with another software though, it may cost you to set this up.
The paid marketing and sales tools will also add further expense to your account. Other than that, you can use HubSpot’s CRM as a standalone system without having to fork out on other features.
Although, you do get some amazing free features such as the marketing tools, plenty of free apps and more. And unlike Salesforce where every user needs a paid account even for basic jobs, you can still be a 'free user' in HubSpot even within a paid version.
Here's a handy breakdown of HubSpot and Salesforce's pricing to find out exactly what you'd need to pay for with each platform.
Ease of use
Ease of use is completely down to the individual using the software. If you’re used to using different platforms and are experienced on computers, then it shouldn’t be too much hassle trying to pick up either system. Both are well laid out and are easily navigable with a simplistic design.
It’s hard to put a definitive answer on which one is easier to use as different people excel and stumble in different areas. However, taking customer reviews into account, the G2 ratings are:
- Salesforce ease of use - 7.8 out of 9330 responses
- HubSpot ease of use - 8.6 out of 5578 responses
- Salesforce ease of setup - 7.1 out of 2621 responses
- HubSpot ease of setup - 8.3 out of 1960 responses
The reason the HubSpot CRM platform scores highly is because it's built so you can customise it to meet your needs without adding any complexities. It's also crafted in-house from the ground up, so it can combine these powerful features while maintaining the ease of use so your team can achieve adoption much sooner.
The reality is Salesforce implementation can take several months. Just think of all the time spent on training and getting everyone to buy-in. Although it seems like a safe bet at first, it's actually forcing you to trade short-term gain for long-term pain.
There's a risk that a complex platform can slow you down. HubSpot doesn't require you to use a developers to make tasks work, for example. Anyone in the team can look up the information they need so they have power and control.
Integrations are a great way of tying all of your business’ different applications and records into one place. This gives companies easy access to their data and saves time as there’s no switching between different applications all of the time.
Plus, if your apps are integrated, there shouldn’t be any confusion or double-booking between the two.
Salesforce offers an ecosystem that’s made up of thousands of integrations. Not only can you integrate with already popular applications but you can also create custom integrations if you need to. This can be incredibly useful if you use less popular applications.
HubSpot continues to evolve and is now in a position to offer over 100 options when it comes to integrating the platform with apps and web services. Ranging from free to specific team apps, there's a whole host of integrations you can check out on the marketplace.
Whenever new technology is implemented, you’re bound to need a certain level of support to help you introduce it as smoothly as possible. Well, luckily with both of these platforms, there’s a certain standard of free support available.
Salesforce includes the following support features in its basic packages:
Knowledge basis content
HubSpot offers many different forms of support for its users. These sources include:
eBooks and other downloadable content
24/7 live customer support
Having weighed up both sides, we feel that there's only one winner: HubSpot. There are many reasons why you should but namely, it's because the HubSpot CRM platform is a comprehensive platform that offers everything you need with marketing, sales, customer service and content management tools. It has everything you need to plan and deliver effective inbound marketing campaigns.
From monitoring the entire buyer's journey and helping you to better identify prospects to including marketing automation options and more, HubSpot has a lot to offer.
It's all about growth. That's what every business wants and HubSpot realises that. That's the biggest benefit of the HubSpot CRM platform - it allows you to grow better compared to other options as you can align your success with your customers.
It's flexible, cohesive, empowering and the source of truth your business will benefit from. The right CRM platform can assist your business’ growth in many ways. But it’s not the only thing you need for your enterprise business to grow effectively.
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