It's not a child's play to achieve business success. A company needs to boost productivity and increase sales, but not just by selling the services or products to consumers relentlessly.
To run a business successfully, you have to adopt a systematic and efficient way to gather leads, draw conversions and retain customers consistently. In other words, it's all about attracting, engaging, and delighting your customers. On that note, we must mention CRM and its valuable contribution in developing strong customer relationships.
But, with so many great CRM suits available in the market, which one should you go with? Well, we are here to answer that. We have chosen the forerunners of this race and has drawn a detailed comparison to help you make the right decision. So, let's dive in.
What is CRM?
Customer-relationship management is an approach to manage a company's interaction with current and potential customers. It provides an end-to-end user analytics.
It uses data analysis about customers' history with a company to improve business relationships with customers, specifically focusing on customer retention and ultimately driving sales growth.
A CRM system allows businesses to manage business relationships and the data and information associated with them. CRM is a combination of business strategy, software system, and processes that help build long-lasting relationships between a company and a customer.
CRM is a term that refers to practices, strategies, and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions. All the data travels throughout the customer life cycle to improve customer service relationships and assist in customer retention and driving.
A powerful CRM software brings together all the information from different departments throughout the company to give one holistic and comprehensive view.
Salesforce is a cloud computing SaaS-based company that specializes in customer relationship management (CRM).
Salesforce CRM software allow businesses to use cloud technology to better connect with customers, partners, and potential customers.
The software has become the number one for customer success and helps businesses track customer activity, market to customers, and many more services.
Salesforce is one of the first global companies to employ cloud-based CRM software successfully.
Salesforce has been able to leverage cloud technology and build various applications for businesses to better connect to their customers and help give them key insights into their services through analytics and apps.
Organizations needed a cloud CRM to deal with customer concerns varying from marketing and sales to customer service - to streamline the enterprise and help save valuable resources and time. In this article we will learn more about salesforce essentials.
HubSpot is an all-in-one inbound marketing and sales platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers.
HubSpot CRM is Intuitive and Affordable. If you're new to CRM and already use HubSpot's marketing or sales software, then HubSpot's user-friendly CRM is a great choice.
As your company grows and changes, you can upgrade to HubSpot CRM premium products, but its free version is the right choice for first-timers.
HubSpot No. 1 Free CRM. HubSpot is a popular free CRM solution that is part of HubSpot's sales productivity suite and is linked to the same database used by HubSpot Marketing and HubSpot Sales.
It is a great way to introduce your sales teams to CRM tools with no initial costs involved. HubSpot CRM is one of the leading CRM apps currently available on the market and a winner of the Expert's Choice Award for 2018.
Free and straightforward, HubSpot CRM is built to be a platform that allows sales teams to get started quickly without making much of a change in their existing workflow.
History of Salesforce & HubSpot
Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah founded HubSpot at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2006. The company grew from $255,000 in revenues in 2007 to $15.6 million in 2010.
In July 2017, HubSpot acquired Kemvi, which applies artificial intelligence and machine learning to help sales teams. The best analyzing quote of HubSpot is, "People don't want to be interrupted by marketers or harassed by salespeople. They want to be helped."
It was time to make the marketing and sales process human, treat buyers like people, not numbers on a spreadsheet, build an inbound community, and help people achieve their business goals in a more personable, empathetic way.
We called it HubSpot.
HubSpot helps SaaS companies attract higher-quality traffic to their website, convert that traffic into leads or trial users, and nurture those leads to customers.
As outlined in Benioff's 2009 book Behind The Cloud: "I started Salesforce.com in a rented apartment in 1999 intending to make enterprise software as easy to use as a website like Amazon.com."
Here's a brief timeline of how Salesforce came to exist and where it is today.
Benioff went on to found Salesforce in March 1999, alongside three software developers from Left Coast Consulting: Parker Harris, Dave Moellenhoff, and Frank Dominguez.
As outlined in Behind The Cloud, the idea was to "make software easier to purchase, simpler to use, and more democratic without the complexities of installation, maintenance, and constant upgrades".
Salesforce customers now get new features delivered to them via the web three times a year.
Salesforce soon started adding new capabilities to its platform, primarily through acquisitions, starting with the 2010 acquisition of PaaS company Heroku.
Here's a thorough comparison of HubSpot vs. Salesforce to help you choose the best CRM out of the two.
Comparison b/w the features of Salesforce & HubSpot
The right CRM depends on your company size, structure, budget, talent, and other technology. There are many HubSpot alternatives, and here are the specific points of comparison between the HubSpot CRM vs. Salesforce CRM to guide you to the right decision.
HubSpot is free, and Salesforce is not. Simple as that.
The HubSpot Sales Tool (CRM) is free to users– as many as you have (yes, that means unlimited users can access the tool).
Digging into the specifics, Salesforce offers a lot of different options to customize what you need -- and what you don't -- to stay within budget.
With the HubSpot CRM, you can have as many users as you need for as many contacts as you require, for free.
HubSpot also offers you the ability to upgrade to some premium HubSpot sales tools along the way if your team needs added functionality.
Salesforce pricing is based on a 5-user minimum + the add-ons you buy.
Here's how it breaks down
- Starter: $25/month
- Professional: $75/month
These prices do not include workflow automation with the CRM, however.
You'd have to bump up to the Enterprise level and pay $150/month per user. At this rate, you'd have the essential features you'd need to operate the Salesforce CRM– like workflow automation, API integration, and single sign-on.
Ease of Use
How easy is HubSpot CRM to use, and how does that compare to Salesforce?
"Ease of use" is incredibly subjective and ultimately depends on the person. A product that a software engineer would describe as "intuitive" probably wouldn't get the same review from a sales pro who hates technology.
It isn't very easy, so the right answer is likely crowdsourced from real product users in sales and marketing roles.
Aggregating both CRM platforms' scores across review sites like SoftwareAdvice.com, Capterra, and G2Crowd.com, Salesforce gets an average customer satisfaction score of 4.07/5.
On the other hand, the HubSpot CRM customer satisfaction score average is 4.4/5.
However, you should take these reviews with a grain of salt since Salesforce's score comes from around 22,000 reviews, and HubSpot's score comes from approximately 4,300 reviews.
When it comes to getting the product up and running, not all software or CRM are created equal. Implementation is a catch-all term for all of the stuff needed to get the software ready and users trained: installation, configuration, customization, integrations, testing, training, and adjustments.
Salesforce implementation can require anywhere from $5,000 to well over $80,000 or higher, writes CRM consultant Ranger Lewis on Quora. He states Salesforce implementation may be costlier if your company is switching CRM.
- Requires lead and customer data cleaning or formatting
- Needs custom integrations with software or processes
- A need for many different features
- Requires advanced training or consultant support
- Time-to-implementation isn't the same as pure cost, but they're related.
Salesforce CRM integrations may take months or even longer, especially for large enterprises that need to carefully manage the project as a strategic global initiative.
You may need to prepare to start using HubSpot CRM if you meet some of the criteria for tough implementations listed above. There may be a need to reformat or scrub your data. Some team members may need training, and you could have to build custom integrations.
However, the chances you'll need a consultant are pretty unlikely to get started with HubSpot unless you're a massive company that needs professional change management support.
There are two ways to look at the customization of technology, and we'll consider both.
- Can you change it?
- How easy is it to change?
Salesforce is highly customizable and markets its product as the "most customizable CRM." HubSpot is also customizable to your business's processes and structure and offers an Open API, but is likely not too customizable to the same extent as Salesforce.
However, it's complicated. A sales pro with average technical savvy can customize HubSpot deal stages, pipelines, and "views" of deals.
This same person can leverage HubSpot CRM pre-built integrations with other software, but they'll need a developer to use the Open API for custom integrations.
Salesforce Administrators can also customize processes, workflows, and users without IT help. It's probably harder than HubSpot, but this is due to how many features are offered.
However, there's an entire industry of Salesforce Developers who use relatively advanced tech skills like Java developers to build custom functions, apps, and integrations in a cloud sandbox environment.
Who Wins? We'll call a tie between Salesforce and HubSpot CRM.
You pick the winner depending on what you mean by "customize" and how much customization you want.
If you want a product that makes it easy to adjust the software to fit the software your business fast, HubSpot wins. If you want a product that allows customization to infinity and beyond, Salesforce wins.
HubSpot provides internally-supported integrations, including integration with SalesForce, WordPress, SurveyMonkey, Zapier, Google Calendar, Chrome, and Wistia. Additional externally-built integrations are available.
This list is expanding, and the open API offering allows companies to build their custom integrations.
The Salesforce ecosystem comprises thousands of products and integrations, which can be explored in their App Exchange. Thus, you can choose from a wide range of Salesforces CRM integrations.
Salesforce licensing costs include limited support. According to a datasheet, they listed free support features for an Enterprise license without any paid support upgrades included:
- Read-only access to knowledge basis content
- How-to Guides
- e-School Courses
- Certification Tracks
HubSpot offers many forms of support for CRM users, much of which is freely-available without signing up for the product.
Support products available to free users include
- Training Courses
- Multiple Certification Tracks
- eBooks, White Papers, and Interactive Downloads
- User Documentation
- 24/7 Live Customer Support
- Local, In-Person User Groups
- Community Forums
- The HubSpot Academy
If you upgrade to paid HubSpot products, you gain additional access to 24/7 phone and email support.
Who Wins? HubSpot.
Did we mention that Salesforce has a LOT of features? It does.
For brevity, we'll take a look at how these tools stack up on their offerings of 20 standard features associated with CRM technologies, using data crowdsourced via 5,775 real user reviews on G2Crowd.
Opportunity & Pipeline Management
Reporting & Dashboards
Output Document Generation
Data Import & Export
Document & Content Management
HubSpot integrates with Salesforce and is made to be "stacked" on top of your existing CRM if needed. Customizations in HubSpot doesn't impact your existing CRM, but the two systems can share data.
It's a great option, especially if you're considering replacing Salesforce with HubSpot since you can test-drive both systems and see how they stack up against yourself.
Make the decision carefully before you're locked into a contract. By evaluating factors like reporting, alignment and cost, you can make an educated choice to drive your business more traffic, leads, and sales.
I prefer HubSpot vs other alternatives for pricing, integration, and features.
Much like any business decision, deciding which CRM is best for your business boils down to your goals. If you plan to create an enterprise-wide ecosystem in one platform, with ample opportunity for customization, then Salesforce is right for you.
If your goal is to implement a "lightweight" CRM that makes sales reps more efficient and allows for closed-loop reporting on sales and marketing initiatives, then HubSpot CRM is best for you.