Dig into the pros and cons of HubSpot and Salesforce to determine which CRM platform is the best fit for your business.
When you think about CRM platforms, chances are one of two names immediately pops into your head: HubSpot or Salesforce. They’ve both been on the market for years and are used by a wide range of businesses, including some of the world’s biggest enterprises. Although the tools are similar in many ways, they have distinct differences that can make one or the other a better fit for your business.
The importance of finding a right-fit CRM system for a business can’t be overstated. A CRM platform can give you greater visibility into your sales pipeline and help simplify and even automate a variety of critical tasks. In this piece, we’ll look at HubSpot versus Salesforce to help you determine which platform is the best bet for your business.
Why choose HubSpot?
HubSpot is one of the most popular CRMs for mid-sized companies, enterprises, and high-growth unicorns — and for good reason. HubSpot was created to make sales and marketing processes easier to manage through the use of automation and clear dashboards. With HubSpot’s four core applications — Sales Hub, Marketing Hub, Service Hub, and CMS Hub — you can manage your entire customer workflow, improve your marketing, host your website, and more.
HubSpot includes a variety of tools for, among other things, contact management, sales automation, and sales analytics. Its key features include:
- Pipeline management: HubSpot’s emphasis on pipeline management is evident as soon as you open the dashboard. Because the platform aims to help you close deals as quickly as possible, HubSpot makes it easy to set up a visual layout of all your deals with a single click. You can then allocate tasks and check on progress right from the dashboard. HubSpot also makes it easy to customize your pipeline as much as you want.
- Email automation: HubSpot fully integrates with your email applications to help you connect with prospects, leads, and customers. The platform can automatically send out emails based on specific triggers, such as a person submitting a form on your website. It also delivers a huge number of email templates tailored to each stage of the sales funnel. You can even create email workflows to automate some of the sales process entirely.
HubSpot’s integration capabilities:
In addition to its native integrations, HubSpot offers the HubSpot App Marketplace, which features more than 500 out-of-the-box integrations. With so many options to choose from — including video conferencing tools like Zoom and data integration tools like Actiondesk — you won’t have much trouble finding a solution that meets your needs. Plus, if you want to connect a solution that doesn’t have an integration, you can use the HubSpot API to create your own connection.
- Clear, intuitive pipeline dashboards
- Highly customizable (even more so with a good data integration tool)
- Great third-party integration capabilities
- Email templates, tracking, and scheduling
- Automation for admin tasks
- It can grow with your business
- Analytics and reporting are still lacking despite ongoing efforts to improve them (an issue that can be addressed by a data integration tool)
- Quite expensive, making it a big investment for a smaller company
- Impossible to get out of your annual contract for any reason
Unless you opt for its basic Starter plan, HubSpot requires you to make a one-year commitment from the get-go. While you can pay per month over the course of your commitment, doing so is more expensive than paying up front. HubSpot Sales Hub offers three pricing plans (the prices below reflect the lower annual billing cost):
- Starter: $45 per month for the minimum of two users, plus $22.50 per month, per additional user.
- Professional: $450 per month for the minimum of five users, plus $90 per month, per additional user.
- Enterprise: $1,200 per month for the minimum of 10 users, plus $120 per month, per additional user.
Why choose Salesforce?
Salesforce has a lot in common with HubSpot. They both try to appeal to businesses of all sizes and types, and they both offer a range of features designed to help with more than just your sales process. Salesforce in particular customizes its solution to fit the size of your business and your specific needs. In fact, the tool offers a great deal of customization and flexibility, though you need to have experience with CRMs to fully take advantage of this. For that reason, while Salesforce is a popular choice for smaller businesses, it enjoys even more popularity among enterprises.
The solution’s key features include:
- Opportunity management: This feature helps you manage your pipeline, giving you a timeline for each of your deals. That way, you can easily track activities and see where you stand with certain sales at a glance. You can also receive updates when activities are completed.
- Sales collaboration dashboard: Salesforce is designed for collaboration, and this feature is a case in point. With Sales Cloud, it’s easy for users to call on other members of the team for help completing tasks. They can also share files, people, and information right from the web interface or mobile app to keep everyone on the same page.
Salesforce’s integration capabilities:
Salesforce’s native integrations are a little more limited than some of its competitors’ are. This may be because the platform’s designers expect you to do most of your work within the Salesforce software instead of in other platforms (that said, there are ways around this limitation). It does offer native integrations with the big players, though, including Google Workplace, MailChimp, and QuickBooks.
Like HubSpot, Salesforce provides an app marketplace. The Salesforce AppExchange lets you extend Salesforce through thousands of apps and integrations made by the community.
- Highly customizable
- Large range of tools and features
- Automation of admin tasks
- Offers social media tracking
- Extensive lead and contact management
- Can be overwhelming and complex if you don’t have CRM experience
- Expensive if you want to make the most of the available features
- Setup is complicated and using the platform requires training and/or support from external consultants
Salesforce SalesCloud offers four tiered pricing plans, each of which delivers more in-depth features than the one before:
- Essentials: $25 per user, per month
- Professional: $75 per user, per month
- Enterprise: $150 per user, per month
- Unlimited: $300 per user, per month
When to choose HubSpot vs. when to choose Salesforce
HubSpot and Salesforce each have advantages. As a general rule, if you’re a larger business that’s looking for a highly customizable CRM to fit very specific needs, Salesforce is the right choice for you. Of course, you’ll need to devote appropriate time and effort to ensuring your team understands how to use the tool effectively. You’ll also need to secure support to help with customization. But if you have the resources for these tasks, Salesforce is a great option.
If you want a tool that is still extremely powerful but a little easier to use, HubSpot is the way to go. Compared to Salesforce, HubSpot’s simplicity makes it easier to understand your pipeline and collaborate with colleagues. Its learning curve is much flatter, and you don’t have to sacrifice much robustness for this ease of use.
Even with a solid CRM solution like HubSpot or Salesforce, you might need a supplementary solution to drive real value. Do you maintain reports in Google Sheets or Excel that are based on your CRM data? Do you feel like you don’t have a clear view of key sales metrics like individual sales rep performance or average time required to close a deal? If so, you should adopt a data integration tool to ensure you maximize your ROI on HubSpot or SAlesforce.
Maximizing the value of your CRM
Choosing the right CRM can be tricky, but by carefully considering the pros and cons of HubSpot and Salesforce, you should be able to get a sense of which option will be the best fit for your needs. That said, no matter which CRM platform you choose, the best way to elevate your data (and your business) is to leverage an innovative data integration tool like Actiondesk.
Actiondesk combines the power of an advanced BI tool with the ease and simplicity of a spreadsheet to help you make the most of your data — all without any coding. The solution lets you import data from multiple sources — including Salesforce and HubSpot — with just a few clicks.
For Salesforce, Actiondesk lets you import, explore, and analyze your Leads, Contacts, Opportunities, Cases, Accounts, Campaigns, and Custom Objects in an easy-to-use spreadsheet interface. For HubSpot, Actiondesk lets you import, explore, and analyze your Contacts, Deals, Owners, Companies, and Marketing Email Data — again, all in an intuitive spreadsheet interface.
From there, Actiondesk enables you to build custom dashboards and reports that update automatically in real time as you change data in your platform (whether you’re using Salesforce, HubSpot, or something else). With Actiondesk, you can use basic spreadsheet formulas to manipulate your data, which means improved data analysis and insights with little to no learning curve.
Try Actiondesk for free today to discover how the solution can transform your data!