CRM software today is incredibly powerful and helps businesses manage their sales, teams, data, and customer accounts. Two of the most popular CRM platforms are Hubspot and Salesforce. These are two platforms that have similar features, but may not be suitable for the same types of business.
In this article, we compare Hubspot vs Salesforce to see which could be suitable for your business, and if there is a clear winner.
In this review…
- HubSpot overview
- HubSpot pros & cons
- Salesforce overview
- Salesforce pros & cons
- HubSpot vs Salesforce
- Data analytics
- Which is best: Hubspot vs Salesforce
Hubspot is a cloud-based platform that is primarily aimed at small to medium businesses that want to grow and scale their operations. It has a host of useful tools and features for sales, marketing, content management, and customer service.
It’s services are broken into different purposes depending on what your business requires. For example, there is the marketing hub, sales hub, and service hub. These each have a different set of features for specific business needs.
Hubspot is generally the cheaper option available and great for startups and smaller businesses that are just starting to grow. It also does have a comprehensive set of features that businesses can utilize to grow their brand, customer base, and revenue.
When it comes to the verdict on HubSpot vs Salesforce for small businesses, we recommend HubSpot.
Here’s our full HubSpot review.
HubSpot Pro & Cons
Salesforce can also be used for small to medium businesses, however, it excels at larger and enterprise-level business management. If you want more control and to customize your CRM platform to suit your business needs, Salesforce allows you to do this.
You can customize the dashboard as you wish, and you can also create complex business reports, and customizable leads, for example. Salesforce also allows you to create custom workflows which can automate many business processes and improve your productivity.
It is admittedly more expensive, and some may find the price plans overly complex. Also, it does have a steep learning curve, especially for admins who want to customize and setup the CRM platform for your business.
Here’s our full Salesforce review.
Salesforce Pros & Cons
Hubspot vs Salesforce: What can you Expect from These CRM Platforms?
To give a fair Hubspot vs Salesforce comparison, we have broken this review into different sections. We look at pricing, features, usability, and support, for example.
The pricing of these two CRM platforms varies greatly. Hubspot offers a set of single-price monthly subscriptions based on an unlimited number of users. In contrast, Salesforce has a set of monthly subscriptions per user. As a result, Hubspot is by far the cheaper option for small businesses.
Hubspot has different price plans for it’s Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, and Customer Service Hub. These are split into four tiers – free, starter, professional, and enterprise. The starter plan is just £38.00 per month (based on an annual subscription) for any of the hubs.
Interestingly enough, Hubspot also offers a decent free plan. This has decent functionality and gives a good set of features for small businesses. For example, this includes 2000 emails per month, 5 active lists, 3 reporting dashboards, and 1 automated email form. Whilst this certainly isn’t an extensive plan, it is a great place to start if you are still building your business.
Salesforce has four different price tiers – essentials, professional, enterprise, and unlimited. These apply to the different solutions including Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and Marketing Cloud. The essentials plan starts at £25.00 per month per user. These prices can soon add up for even a small 5-person team, for example.
So what does each CRM platform offer? Both Salesforce and Hubspot are comprehensive CRM systems that cater for sales, marketing, service, and analytics.
Hubspot has four different CRM solutions – marketing, sales, customer service, and operations. The Marketing Hub concentrates on lead generation, and turning those leads into customers. Alternatively, the Sales Hub allows you to manage data and generate more sales from those customers. Their Service Hub is targeted at customer retention and improving customer experience. Finally, the Operations Hub is aimed at interconnectivity and helps you sync data, and integrate apps.
These separate Hubs mean that you can use Hubspot exclusively for your business needs.
Salesforce has a similar structure of features. It’s Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Commerce Cloud essentially perform the same functions as the Hub Spot equivalents. There isn’t much to choose between the two in terms of their basic offering.
The usability of these platforms is highly important – especially if you have little knowledge. Hubspot offers a quicker learning curve although it lacks customization. In contrast, Salesforce has a steeper learning curve, but ultimately offers great customization and usability.
Both dashboards are relatively easy to use for standard users. They have a simple structure that allows you to navigate to different business areas like contacts and reporting.
Hubspot certainly gives an easier user experience. It can also be set up quickly with little CRM knowledge. However, as a result, you may also notice a lack of customization for the interface.
Salesforce can be trickier to set up. It can also have a far steeper learning curve, especially for admins. This is due to the sheer amount of customization available. For example, admins can set permissions so that different users can only access certain parts of the platform.
Many businesses utilize CRM platforms to find useful data about their customers and markets. Hubspot and Salesforce both have a useful set of tools for reporting and data analytics.
Hubspot offers a decent report generation feature. However, the basic package only has preset reports that you cannot configure. The premium version has more flexibility, but it still does not offer the same level of customization as Salesforce.
Salesforce allows you to create a myriad of different business reports. It also has a series of simple “out of the box” reports that require no additional setup. However, it really excels in it’s customization, and the available variables you can add to your reports. If you want to make the most of your available data, Salesforce certainly provides more opportunities and flexibility than Hubspot.
Content Marketing & Lead Generation
An important aspect of any CRM platform is it’s potential to generate business leads, and to improve content marketing. Both Hubspot and Salesforce have these features.
Hubspot offers excellent tools for lead generation. You can import contact information automatically from your website, for example. Also, you can email these customers directly from the platform. We also like that you can filter contacts by various fields like country and gender – this helps target different demographics. However, compared to Salesforce, the customization is somewhat limited.
Salesforce offers a similar structure in terms of automatic lead generation. You can also utilize third-party email solutions like Gmail and Outlook to email customers. It also has far more customization and utility than Hubspot. For example, you can create sets of rules for automatic lead generation. Also, you can set permissions to different customer lists so your team can only see the information they need to.
You should also look at the available customer support and training options. This is important if you are experiencing issues with the platform. Salesforce has an OK customer support service. It has a live chat, email support, and a free-phone 0800 number for UK customers. Also the support is available 27/4.
For learning and training, Salesforce also has a decent resource center. This contains a plethora of guides, videos, and reports to help you develop your Salesforce CRM knowledge.
Hubspot also only has OK customer support. Neither platform particularly excels at it. Their website has a live chat that uses a combination of the automated Hub bot, and actual support reps. Also, they aim to respond to any query within 24-hours. You can also pay for remote onboarding sessions and in-depth support sessions if you need help with your CRM setup (which are incredibly pricey).
Which is the Best Choice – Hubspot or Salesforce?
Is there a clear winner in our Hubspot vs Salesforce comparison? This depends entirely on your business and what it requires. Both CRM platforms have their advantages and disadvantages. Also, both platforms are suitable for different types of businesses.
Hubspot is the better choice for small businesses that are just developing. It is cheaper, and offers a simpler set of tools and features for businesses that do not intend to grow rapidly. In contrast, Salesforce offers far greater customization and value for money for medium to enterprise level businesses who can swallow the per-user cost easier.
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