Last updated Aug 19, 2019

Introduction:

Wondering which software between HubSpot and Salesforce - will be the right solution for doing customer relationship management effectively for your business? Here at GoodFirms, we have thoroughly analyzed both the software to clear your confusion and help you pick the right CRM platform for your business.

CRM software was first developed before 3 decades to assist businesses in managing customer relationships and the data associated with them in a better way. To have a CRM platform in trade has become obligatory for almost every business, but in selecting one that satisfies the needs of your company and target market can be a difficult task. If your business is a startup and is clueless about how to fetch the data about leads or customers then it's not necessary to have a particular system to do the task, any CRM system can be a huge benefit. CRM is not merely a piece of software; in fact, they play a major role in a company’s technology stack as they foster the businesses by escalating the sales ultimately the profits. CRM possesses lots of features and other functionalities.

Customer Relation Management

Overview:

Instead of being in direct competition, think of HubSpot vs. Salesforce as a symbiotic connection. Both have similar features and audiences, but the companies’ aim to serve the purposes are different. When there comes something free, then it’s a human tendency to think or to assume that there might be some loopholes or some feature might be hobbled or will be missing. In the case of HubSpot free CRM application is offered to the user, and it turns out that the number of limitations is notably few in comparison to SalesForce. Through SalesForce implementation the needs of a large scale enterprise striving to promote the intricate portfolio of products sold through multiple channels can be satisfied; however, this is not possible via HubSpot. But for the small scale industries, the HubSpot CRM is a fruitful option.

HubSpot and Salesforce possess very different paths. SalesForce assists pathfinder to adopt the CRM software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications by initially converging on the needs of vendors working in small-scale organizations; while HubSpot earned its label by rendering automation tools for optimizing marketing campaigns. Therefore, it is advisable to concentrate on a CRM’s core features instead of the bells and whistles, and then later on work with the integrations to acclimate it specifically to your business necessities. One can get a clear idea about the features to be kept in mind while making the selection through the following flow chart -

Overview FlowChart

In brief, the selection process demands a bit of alertness. To trace, administer, and deal skillfully with every sales opportunity with precision, the team should gear with a tool that enables them to run their tasks smoothly and effectively. A successful CRM undertakes the three stages of the sales process which can be clearly understood through the below image -

CRM Sales Process

Features:

CRM is considered to be the heart of any business, which means it's critical to choose the right CRM software for your organization. Below are some of the factors which we focused on when testing these two software solutions; have a glimpse:

  • HubSpot is ideal for small business owners who don't possess the coding ability; whereas SalesForce is suitable for all kinds of businesses ranging from small to mid and large enterprises.
  • HubSpot is easy to use and intuitive platform; while features can be added or deleted in SalesForce as per the specific needs of the individual businesses.
  • HubSpot is a complete all in one solution; SalesForce is a complete and comprehensive CRM.
  • The Hubspot contains a treasure of knowledge for business owners to learn about online marketing; likewise, SalesForce is one of the most successful CRM solutions representing a well-versed team of sales reps in using the software.  

Feature Characteristics

Above-mentioned are some of the peculiarities of both CRM software. The key features which are necessary to consider before choosing the CRM Software satisfying your business requirements.

One can also have an idea about the most suitable software for their business by exploring the below-listed standard features:

  • Integration or Setup
  • Implementation
  • Costing
  • App Stores
  • Dashboards and Reporting
  • Lead Generation, Capture, & Management
  • User Interface
  • Review Comparison
  • Support
  • Summary

Integration or Setup:

HubSpot is easier to pick up but has fewer integrations compared to that of SalesForce. In reality, the main aim of any CRM apps is to facilitate management and administer any or all client-related data of an individual business which includes contacts, leads, active accounts, etc. CRM integrations correlate your CRM to other tools and empower you to do considerably more overall. Have a glimpse at few examples, with which you might want to connect your CRM tools such as MailChimp, FreshBooks, AirCall, Shopify, Zendesk, FullContact, and many others.

Setup or Integration is a collective term for all kinds of stuff to get the software ready and users trained. Integration and costing are not equal, but they are correlated with each other. Like for large enterprises, the SalesForce integrations may take months or even longer as one needs to manage the project as a strategic global initiative. Whereas integrating HubSpot may be difficult for the small scale firms as they need to scrub or reformat their client data. Salesforce consists of a number of app integrations and built-in features that functions nearly together to extend the basic CRM capabilities of the tool; likewise, HubSpot has expanded their total integrations to 153 inclusive of lead management, data management, mobile apps, and many others.

Thusly, it can be concluded that SalesForce is helpful to be sure that the client is making the most out of it, but it is also a bit front-heavy in terms of integration or setting up. On the other hand, HubSpot can be implemented in various cases and that too in a matter of minutes because the basic version is free and one need not have to go through the tedious process of sales.

Implementation:

When it comes to implementing the product and getting it running, not all products (CRM Solutions) are equal in terms of management. Most of the companies are going to find HubSpot CRM uncomplicated to implement, but neither of them offers products out of the “proverbial” box. Each platform entails a significant amount of data management effort to get up and run. Whereas, many companies wind up depending on professional consultants to get their Salesforce CRM instance up and running.

Thus, Salesforce implementation allows a 14-day free trial, but it’s merely a trial. Ultimately you’ll have to decide if you can spend up for a paid plan. While with HubSpot, you’ll invariably have the free CRM.

Costing:

HubSpot's costing pattern is excellent for small businesses that need basic CRM system functions, while Salesforce is a better investment option for the firms that get benefit out of exceptional features. Salesforce and HubSpot have extremely diverse models, and the demands of each personalized business will conclude, which is the most appropriate one for their business.

The most basic, and least customarily version of Salesforce is having a limit up to a maximum of five users; on the other hand, the basic CRM of HubSpot is free and for an unlimited number of users. The below table will clear the difference between the pricing for both the CRM platforms:

Pricing

The bottom line is that - Salesforce will get more pricey, but the HubSpot add-ons—if you need them—might be costly as you scale.

App Stores:

There are CRMs of every form and fashion in the market. You’ll get everything from costly apps you run on your own servers to web apps with dozens of plans and features to the simple contacts app in Gmail which can be customized. For HubSpot, the best free apps are - Zapier, SurveyMonkey, UberConference, Eventbrite, Hotjar, HelloSign, Databox, and Slack. While for Salesforce, before the Apple App Store, there was the Salesforce.com AppExchange. Now, Salesforce uncovered a new extension to this service, which is known as Private AppExchange. The idea is to provide companies the ability to build their version of Salesforce AppExchange, a platform that makes it simpler for its employees to search and install applications.

Dashboards and Reporting:

The most significant benefit the clients get from the CRM software is reporting and analysis. Salesforce beats out HubSpot in the most influential reporting insights into sales activities, pipeline, and forecasting. It is critical to monitor, track, and forecast the ongoing sales of the individual businesses and to evaluate the current value of each sales rep’s pipeline stagewise. Likewise, there are several other questions, too, while expanding the business on individual capacity. Whereas, HubSpot is limited only to pre-built reports for sales activities and sales pipelines. In general, it can be said that both the CRM gives out-of-the-box reports which help the startups to initiate the business who are not knowing the dashboards & reporting. But it has been poised that SalesForce offers more options in comparison to HubSpot.

One can have a look at the type of dashboard of both CRM respectively and can make the decision of choosing the right CRM solution for your business, respectively.

Sales Dashboard

Salesforce Dashboard

HubSpot Dashboard

HubSpot Dashboard

Lead Generation, Capture, & Management:

Salesforce contains most personalized lead management & scoring, whereas HubSpot can help the small enterprises run effectively and smoothly by lead generation obtained via content marketing. HubSpot is unique as it emphasizes on inbound services and content marketing while generating leads through content management system which gets feed directly into the CRM. On the other hand, Salesforce requires human resources to perform these tasks through a separate service like Marketo, and then it gets integrated with the CRM.

Lead Generation

Moreover, both CRM allow users to email the contacts directly so that the responses get feed right away into the systems. Once the contacts and the leads come into the system, Salesforce illuminates with its customization prospects; while HubSpot can edit some of the fields within a lead, contact or a deal.

User Interface

Need to immediately see the most comprehensive deals in your pipeline and whom to contact to lock the deal? What about inputting phone numbers and emails of new sales contacts you met at the last conference? That’s where the CRM software comes into the picture. The main aim of any CRM is helping organizations in managing all customer- or client-related data inclusive of contacts, leads, and active accounts alike.

These are exactly the sets of activities that both Salesforce and HubSpot streamline. Both CRMs possess a similar structure, i.e., accounts, deals and reports can be simply accessed via a menu bar at the top of the dashboard. In both software, you can quickly assess specific contacts, for instance, email address, phone number, and records of contact activity. The best part is when you are installing the software (HubSpot or SalesForce), it allows you to import your contacts via Excel effortlessly.

Salesforce proposes many alternatives for how menus can be customized, as users can supplement tabs for items like Quotes, Tasks, Files, and Sales Groups, beside the standard tabs.

One can get an idea of using Salesforce from the below-shared video: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2YvL8LycAg

On the other hand, the basic version of HubSpot is free thereby not requiring to sign any contract or make any initial payment.

Check the link below to get a brief idea about HubSpot:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_gjs0WbG50

Review Comparison:

Till March 2019, HubSpot has 56,500 users in 100 countries (statistics obtained according to their homepage). Whereas, Salesforce, in comparison, has over 150,000 shoppers according to their 2018 Annual Report, with an approximated 25 subscribers per customer.

In all 29 reviews are fetched for SalesForce at GoodFirms, of which it shows that clients are happy with the accuracy and consistency in the solutions provided through it. Also, mostly the clients find it secure and easy to use. Whereas, in the case of HubSpot, GoodFirms has received around 70+ reviews. The clients are in general satisfied with HubSpot CRM, as it helps them to keep up with the cost. Also, they find it simpler to use in terms of integration with Marketing & Sales modules with powerful dashboards. Thus, it can be said that HubSpot, unsurprisingly, wins on the sheer number of reviews.

Support:

Salesforce licensing costs are inclusive of confined support. Whereas, HubSpot provides many kinds of support for CRM users, much of which are available free without signing up for the commodity. Both HubSpot and Salesforce have active online user communities and offer certifications, education, and live events to encourage customers to increase their proficiency and knowledge. HubSpot offers many kinds of certifications focalizing largely on inbound lead generation. Salesforce coaching and certification (also known as the Trailblazer Community) emphasizes more on technical aspects of CRM tools, instructing users how to customize the system, setting up complex workflows, and also code in Salesforce's proprietary APEX language.

Summary:

It is clear from the above points that there is no single winner when it comes to selecting from HubSpot and Salesforce.  To bring down the conclusion to its essence, the differences you’ll want to pay consideration when choosing HubSpot vs. Salesforce CRM are connected with external resources and company locus. Salesforce and HubSpot are both great CRM options for different kinds of businesses, but each possesses different intensities.

When it comes to cloud-based CRM, Salesforce reports can be tailored, scheduled, and sent to clients. Also, there are many flexibilities when it is all about crafting automation around workflows and sales management.  The best part of the HubSpot CRM is natively combined with HubSpot's marketing automation tool, facilitating a smooth transition between marketing and sales, as well as a seamless transfer of data. Generally, Salesforce is helpful for companies with upwards of 100 employees; while the HubSpot is preferable for around 10-200 employees. HubSpot is FREE and lets you store as many as 1 million contacts and companies. But if you ever need access to their Sales, Marketing, or Service Hubs, other charges may apply. Salesforce Essentials is $25 user/month for up to 10 users.

Pick the CRM taking into consideration the size of your business,  features, required budget and other aspects like the technical acumen of end-users. Regardless of which solution you choose, a CRM should be such that it adds an invaluable addition to your tech stack.

 

Nathan Sebastian

Nathan is a Content Writing Expert at GoodFirms.co, a dedicated research & review firm for digital marketing companies, showcasing their genuine portfolio and clienteles to service seekers. Nathan has been in the content development of marketing & technical spheres for two years now. His focus stays occupied with SEO friendly content for the web to assist GoodFirms in making its' IT research reach millions.

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Comments
Priyank Acharya
June 13, 2019 10:35

Very comparision between two CRM Softwares. It really helpfull for most of the people . I will definitely be coming back here more often. I am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. I am also a developer who develop this type of Management software, Your post help me a lot. Can you please tell me something about Custom CRM development. It will be helpful. Thanks for sharing!!!!

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