HubSpot vs Salesforce: Which CRM Will Be Better For Your Company?
Aug 5, 20216 min read
Chief Marketing Officer of Ideamotive. Travel addict and remote work advocate.
There are numerous CRM solutions out there: in 2017, it has become the biggest software market and it continues to rise. Such a great diversity is good but it can also drive you insane: it is quite challenging to find your perfect solution among thousands of similar software.
However, it is essential to choose the right CRM for your business. In a world, where more interactions between companies and customers occur online, you have to know how to attract new prospects and make a sale without your actual presence. A CRM tool may be both a curse and a blessing in this situation. If you choose the wrong solution, you may end up paying too much for features that you do not know how to use or do not need at all.
A perfect fit-them-all CRM tool does not exist, in fact. However, there is an ideal solution for your company. Your perfect candidate has all the features you need, fits into your budget, and provides the best user experience for your end-users, meaning marketing and sales team members. That is why it is better to write down your business needs and do your research rather than choose whatever tool is the most popular. As they say, you should find a solution to enhance your current sales process rather than choosing the most expensive CRM and wait for an automatic wonder that will save your sloppy sales.
We decided to help you out a bit by comparing two of the most used CRM solutions out there: HubSpot vs Salesforce. Both have their devoted fans. We are going to explore the views of both sides so you can choose between SalesForce CRM vs HubSpot CRM.
Overview of HubSpot
HubSpot is widely known as CRM: it offers helpful features for marketing, sales, and customer service. It also has a CMS Hub where you can build your website without coding skills using pre-made themes, modules, and drag-and-drop functionality. It is like WordPress but with additional benefits. So you can manage everything about your business within one platform.
As for this comparison, we are going to explore Marketing and Sales Hubs to their fullest. Marketing Hub offers blog management, SEO solutions, social media marketing, landing page builder, lead management, and advertisement tracking.
HubSpot is also well-known for its marketing and sales resources: their blog, case studies, and analytics/reports are popular learning sources for many businesses. The company positioned itself as an expert on the market and attracted numerous users in such a way.
HubSpot’s CRM tools are used by more than 103,000 companies in 120 countries. In 2020, their revenue reached $883.0 million, meaning a growth of 31% compared to 2019.
Overview of Salesforce
Salesforce is one of the most popular CRM solutions on the market. It provides numerous features to big companies to manage all external and internal relationships with customers worldwide. Its rich set features are divided into 4 main categories: marketing, sales, commerce, and service.
In the marketing section, you can find email marketing, customer journey builder, interactions manager, advertisement, social listening, and other tools.
Salesforce has more than 150,000 customers around the world, including Fortune 500 companies. Amazon, Adidas, American Express, Spotify, Toyota, etc. In 2020, its revenue reached $17,2 billion, with a growth of 29%.
HubSpot vs Salesforce: Pricing
HubSpot provides some of its functionality for free. You can access contact management, deals, tasks and activities, customer profiles, forms, ad management, email tracking, etc. You can access the full list of such features here. There are some limits though: you can send no more than 2,000 marketing emails per month, for example. Free tools are a perfect solution for small businesses who have not many customers and a tight budget.
On the other hand, Salesforce provides no free functionality.
Both solutions have free trials for their paid plans. They last from two to four weeks. However, it is not really enough to understand how the solution fits within your company. We recommend discovering HubSpot through free tools first and really weigh the pros and cons with Salesforce.
In HubSpot, you have to subscribe to Marketing, Sales, Service, and CMS (WP-like) Hubs individually. For example, you can buy only sales functionality, or both marketing and sales, or add CMS functionality to manage everything on one platform. The subscription to a single Hub will cost you from $50 to $3,200, based on the plan you will choose and the Hub. There are three types of plans: starter, professional, or enterprise. The more expensive plan you choose, the more functionality you can access. Marketing Hub has the most features and will cost you the most. Sales, Service, and CMS Hubs will cost you up to $1200. You can also choose to pay either monthly or annually. Annual subscribers get some sales but we do not recommend taking this subscription if you are not sure about the solution. You may also have to pay for add-ons and additional technical support.
In Salesforce, you also have to pay for different products. It is a good way to choose only the functionality that you need. However, it is also hard to estimate the total cost of the subscription since Salesforce provides way more products than HubSpot. Its most popular product is Sales Cloud, which ranges from $25 to $300 per user per month. Other services are more expensive and many of them are priced by quote. So you need to contact their experts to actually find out the costs of your desirable subscription. The overall bill can cost you thousands of dollars per month if you want a rich set of functions and have many users. For example, if you want more team members to see the reporting, you will have to pay for every single user, even if they do not use any other features and want to see analytics exclusively. You will also have to pay annually: there are no options for monthly billing.
Final result: HubSpot. It offers more transparent and affordable pricing.
HubSpot vs Salesforce: Features
HubSpot and Salesforce are both CRM solutions so their feature set is kind of similar. The functionality also depends heavily on the plan you buy: you can unlock more opportunities with more advanced plans and add-ons.
However, Salesforce offers more features. Its main focus is big businesses and corporations that have very specific business needs and require the highest possible levels of automation and customization. You can customize all the Salesforce’s features and get more advanced tools, compared to HubSpot. However, you might need some additional help from Salesforce developers to make sure that all customizations work and do not slow down your website significantly. It also has more customization opportunities for individual industries, like finance, healthcare, communications, retail, transportation, etc. That is why the price of Salesforce is much higher than HubSpot’s.
At the same time, small or mid-sized businesses probably will not want that many features and will be better off using less expensive tools. Advanced tools also bring more unnecessary complexity which can scare off marketing and sales teams and actually slow down the optimization and automation.
Final result: Salesforce wins in this HubSpot Sales vs SalesForce battle, as it offers many features and industry-specific functionality. It can be too much for smaller businesses though.
HubSpot vs Salesforce: Easiness of Use
Easiness of use will determine how fast you can onboard the CMR and whether teams will be able to use it. In the worst cases, marketing and sales team members can ditch the solution because of its complexity or use only 10% of its functionality. Consequently, it can turn into a wasted budget very quickly.
Salesforce requires intensive training since there are too many solutions and products. In fact, there is a university for Salesforce experts where you can learn everything and later assist businesses in adopting and using the solution. All companies have to hire such software consultants because they can not figure out the platform otherwise. Costs of a Salesforce expert contribute to the overall priciness of the solution.
HubSpot is known for its intuitive interface and small learning curve. While Salesforce is known as the most function-rich CRM, HubSpot is voted as the most user-friendly one. You need little time to figure out all the integrations and functions and you definitely do not need any university studying.
Before we compare HubSpot to SalesForce it’s worth noting that both solutions offer support from its web developers via email, phone, and social media. You can also ask for help in communities of both CRM tools and get your questions answered within the resources page. HubSpot and Salesforce have a strong documentation and video guides archive that can help with almost any question or problem. However, it is important to note that HubSpot does not provide help via email or phone to those who use free tools only: those will have to rely fully on the community’s support. Luckily, it is a big and very active one.
We also decided to include the implementation in this part. Salesforce offers implementation for $5,000 and HubSpot delivers onboarding only for an enterprise plan and it costs up to $3,000. The reason behind HubSpot’s onboarding limits is that you do not need experts to help you with free tools, starters, and professional plans: the setup is really easy and you can access video guides if you experience any issues.
Final verdict: HubSpot. Both support teams work exceptionally well but HubSpot does not require a costly onboarding process for all of its plans.
Table of Comparison
So let’s summarize everything that we have got to learn about HubSpot and Salesforce in a table.
As we have mentioned before, there is no best and worst solution. There are those that meet your business needs better.
Therefore, we can say that HubSpot is for businesses that:
are small or of medium size
have a tight budget
do not need too many features
want to start using the CRM tool as fast as possible
want a user-friendly design
Salesforce is a better solution for companies that:
are big. Think multinational enterprises
have a budget for pricy subscription, implementation, and Salesforce’s expert salary
are ready to invest time in learning and onboarding
want to access as many features as possible
From our own experience, HubSpot turned out to be the best choice. Our website is built on its CMS and we extensively use its CRM features. This all-in-one platform with a unified environment allows us to enjoy a seamless user experience and drive more conversions and website visits. We were also able to reduce tech team involvement and maintenance costs.
Michał is a digital marketing veteran with a growth hacking mindset and 10+ years of experience. His goal is building high-quality technological content, with particular emphasis on React and Ruby on Rails. Traveler, climber, remote work advocate.