Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems empower organizations to manage relationships and data associated with their customers in an organized and strategic manner. Two leaders in this space are HubSpot and Salesforce, each boasting a range of functionalities designed to streamline and optimize business operations. We are a HubSpot solution partner with 20+ years of expertise serving a diverse range of B2B and B2C clients. Our knowledge of CRM platforms is grounded in practical, real-world application, allowing us to guide our clients towards solutions that best meet their unique needs. To help you make an informed decision, this blog post will not only compare these two platforms but will offer insights on each so that you can make the best choice for your organization. HubSpot also unveiled a whole new set of Sales features at INBOUND 2023 along with the all new HubSpot AI tools. These additions make the decision between HubSpot and Salesforce even easier.
Related article: Salesforce vs HubSpot
Table of Contents:
- History and Overview of Salesforce
- History and Overview of HubSpot
- Salesforce: Main Features
- HubSpot CRM and Sales Hub Main Features
- HubSpot CRM and Sales New Features including AI (Updated INBOUND 2023)
- Salesforce: Utilization Tips and Pricing
- HubSpot: Advantages Over Salesforce and Pricing
- Choosing the Right CRM for Your Business
History and Overview of Salesforce
Salesforce was founded in 1999, and from its inception, the company has been a trailblazer in the SaaS (Software as a Service) industry, particularly in offering cloud-based CRM services. The vision was clear and ambitious from the beginning - to change the software industry by delivering enterprise applications over the internet, thus enabling better access, easier integrations, and rapid innovation.
Over the years, Salesforce has evolved from being a CRM-focused platform to providing a comprehensive suite of software that cater to diverse business needs, including sales, customer service, marketing, analytics, and application development. Their ideal client is enterprise level businesses with thousands of employees and the way their platform has been built was by acquisitions, making each functionality a separate software and sometimes requiring complex integrations.
History and Overview of HubSpot
HubSpot was founded in 2006 by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). They identified a significant shift in the way consumers were behaving - people were becoming increasingly proficient at blocking out traditional outbound sales and marketing methods. In response to this evolution, they developed a new methodology, “Inbound”, that focused on attracting customers through valuable content and experiences tailored to them.
After witnessing the success of their customer centric inbound methodology, the duo decided to develop a platform to facilitate this approach, which gave birth to the HubSpot CRM. The main goal was to provide businesses with an all-in-one platform that allowed them to implement and manage their inbound marketing strategies effectively. HubSpot’s CRM was designed with a deep understanding of the need for businesses to have a holistic view of their customer interactions across marketing, sales, and service touchpoints in one tool.
The HubSpot CRM has been built from the ground up to be a user-friendly platform that helps marketing and sales teams organize, track, and nurture leads and customers. It is known for its clean and intuitive interface, allowing teams to start using it quickly with little training, which is often a pain point with other more complex CRM systems. It provides a shared view of every customer for all parts of an organization, which fosters improved collaboration and customer service.
Furthermore, HubSpot CRM's native integration with the larger HubSpot growth platform - which includes the Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Service Hub, Operations Hub, Commerce Hub, and CMS Hub - has been a game-changer for many businesses. This interconnected ecosystem allows companies to manage all their customer-facing activities in one place, creating a seamless, consistent, and personalized customer experience.
Review more comparisons in detail: G2 Salesforce vs HubSpot CRM
Salesforce: Main Features
Salesforce is well-regarded for its extensive and sophisticated features, which cater to diverse needs across organizations. Here's a closer look at some of the key features:
- Customization: Salesforce's powerful customization capabilities allow businesses to tailor the platform to fit their unique processes and requirements. This includes custom fields, custom dashboards, and personalized interfaces, ensuring a CRM solution that aligns perfectly with your business operations.
- Lead Management: Salesforce's robust lead management feature helps businesses track and optimize their entire sales process, from lead generation to conversion. The platform provides tools to track lead sources, assign leads, and move them through the sales funnel, ensuring no potential opportunities are missed.
- Sales Data and Reporting: Salesforce provides comprehensive sales data analysis and reporting tools. These tools allow you to extract actionable insights from your sales data, helping to inform strategic decision-making and forecast future trends.
- Files Sync and Share: Salesforce provides file sharing and syncing capabilities, ensuring all team members have access to the latest, most accurate information. This feature supports better collaboration and consistency across teams.
- Sales Forecasting: Salesforce's sales forecasting tools use your historical sales data to predict future sales trends. This feature enables sales teams to better plan their efforts and allocate resources more efficiently.
- Complex Team Hierarchy: Salesforce allows businesses to set up complex team hierarchies that reflect their organizational structure. This feature enables businesses to manage access to data and delegate tasks based on roles and responsibilities within the team.
Overall, Salesforce's rich array of features are designed to support enterprise level organizations in developing a deep understanding of their customers, making more informed decisions, and enhancing their sales processes.
HubSpot CRM and Sales Hub Main Features
HubSpot CRM comes with an extensive suite of features designed to simplify the process of managing customer relationships, increasing productivity, and delivering superior customer experiences. Let's delve deeper into some of these key features:
- Lead Attribution: This feature allows businesses to track and understand which marketing efforts are driving leads and conversions. By attributing leads to specific campaigns, sales teams can better align their efforts with marketing, leading to a more cohesive approach.
- Appointment and Meeting Scheduler: This feature simplifies the process of scheduling meetings by allowing prospects to book a time directly on a sales rep's calendar. The tool syncs with Google or Office 365 calendars, ensuring that double bookings don't occur.
- HubSpot AI: HubSpot's AI-enhanced CRM streamlines customer interactions, optimizes email campaigns, and provides strategic insights through features like predictive lead scoring and intelligent content suggestions, making it a standout choice for businesses prioritizing efficiency and insight.
- Email Tools: HubSpot's email tools enable sales reps to manage all their email-related activities within the CRM. This includes email scheduling, tracking, and personalization features. With email tracking, sales reps get notified when a prospect opens an email, helping them follow up at the right time.
- Call Tracking and Recording: HubSpot CRM offers call tracking and recording features, enabling sales reps to make calls directly from the CRM, record them for future reference, and track the call's outcomes. This helps in understanding customer interactions better and provides valuable data for training and improvement.
- Sales Automation: HubSpot's CRM includes automation tools that help reduce manual tasks and increase efficiency. This includes automatic logging of customer interactions, task creation, and lead rotation, which frees up time for sales reps to focus on building relationships and closing deals.
- Sales Playbooks: This feature allows sales teams to create custom guides for their sales process, ensuring consistency and effectiveness across the board.
- Quotes: With the quotes feature, sales reps can create professional, branded quotes that can be sent directly to prospects from the CRM. This allows for a quicker and more streamlined sales process.
- Sales Analytics: HubSpot CRM provides in-depth sales analytics, helping businesses measure sales performance, identify trends, and uncover areas for improvement. These insights can drive strategic decision-making and help optimize sales processes.
In summary, HubSpot CRM's suite of features are designed to support marketing and sales teams in managing and tracking their activities, enhancing productivity, and delivering personalized customer experiences. Its intuitive design and user-friendly interface make it an accessible tool for businesses of all sizes.
HubSpot CRM and Sales New Features (Updated INBOUND 2023):
The CRM landscape is undergoing a paradigm shift, and HubSpot CRM is leading the charge. Their newly updated features for INBOUND 2023 are here to redefine how sales teams operate and thrive in this competitive market.
Redefining Sales Productivity
Gone are the days when mere increase in activities and hiring translated to sales success. The modern sales playbook requires strategy and intelligence. Growth isn't just about doing more; it's about doing what matters. Sales teams often find themselves overwhelmed, unable to form meaningful connections with customers or predictably scale. HubSpot's Sales Hub changes this narrative. It emphasizes quality over quantity, equipping sales teams with integrated tools to enhance productivity and offering the context required to establish deeper customer relations.
Notably, its transformative effect is evident:
- 12% more deals created after 12 months of Sales Hub use.
- 24% more deals closed after just 6 months.
- A staggering 3.3x higher deal close rate for those utilizing the reporting feature.
Source: HubSpot - Sales Software
Smarter Prospecting, Stronger Connections
With HubSpot's sales engagement tools, sales reps no longer shoot in the dark. They can:
- Manage leads and activities in one unified space.
- Transform effective sales emails into reusable templates.
- Track email interactions in real-time for timely follow-ups.
- Automate personalized emails and tasks to stay consistently engaged.
- Optimize calls with call tracking and auto-logging.
- Leverage HubSpot AI for drafting persuasive prospecting emails and crafting effective CTAs.
Accelerating Revenue: AI-Driven Deal Management
HubSpot's CRM and the updated Sales Hub are not just about generating leads; it's about closing deals, fast. By integrating
AI-powered deal management tools, the sales process is streamlined:
- Schedule meetings without the endless back-and-forth.
- Keep a repository of sales content and track which ones yield results.
- Access sales scripts, competitor analysis, positioning guides, and more directly from the CRM.
- Efficiently manage deals, tasks, and monitor lucrative prospects.
- Integrate payment solutions for quotes, forms, meeting invites, and more, making transactions smoother.
Scaling With Insight
True growth requires actionable insights, and HubSpot's integrated reporting and analytics tools are built to deliver. These features allow sales teams to:
- Achieve comprehensive visibility to forecast effectively.
- Harness the voice of the customer with Conversation Intelligence, facilitating better team coaching and revealing invaluable insights.
- Monitor quarterly progress, ensuring alignment and achievement of goals.
Leveraging AI in HubSpot CRM
While both HubSpot and Salesforce have been integrating AI into their platforms, HubSpot's recent AI unveiling at INBOUND 2023 has set a new benchmark. The suite of AI tools they've launched promises not only to streamline operations but also to provide actionable insights and supercharged efficiency that any business would find invaluable.
When evaluating a CRM, it's not just about managing customer interactions; it's about leveraging technology to enhance those interactions and make internal processes more efficient. HubSpot’s suite of AI tools covers a broad spectrum – from content creation and web development to social media management and customer support.
When comparing HubSpot and Salesforce, the inclusion of these comprehensive AI tools in HubSpot's ecosystem makes it an attractive choice for businesses looking to harness the power of AI in their CRM processes. The future is undeniably leaning towards AI-driven solutions, and with these advancements, HubSpot seems to be leading the way.
In a nutshell, HubSpot CRM and Sales Hub’s new features, as unveiled in INBOUND 2023, bring forth a game-changing approach to sales – one that combines the power of AI, the essence of meaningful relationships, and the intelligence to scale with insight.
Salesforce: Utilization Tips and Pricing
To effectively leverage Salesforce's comprehensive suite of services and get the most out of the platform, it's crucial to understand its functionalities and invest time in learning the system's full capabilities. One of the biggest pros of Salesforce is its ability to be customized to each business. This could also be considered one of its biggest issues, since implementing it might require a high investment in consultants who charge an average of $400 per hour.
Here are some tips on how to maximize Salesforce's value:
- Training: Salesforce has a steep learning curve due to its extensive and sophisticated features. It's essential to provide your team with proper training to ensure they understand how to use the platform optimally. Salesforce offers a wealth of resources for training, including the Salesforce Trailhead, an online learning platform with interactive guides and modules.
- Regular Data Cleanup: Keeping your Salesforce CRM data clean and updated is vital for maintaining system efficiency and accuracy. Regularly reviewing and removing obsolete or duplicate data can help improve system performance and the quality of insights derived from the data.
- Automated Workflows: Setting up automated workflows can significantly enhance productivity by reducing manual tasks. Salesforce's automation tools can be used to streamline processes like lead assignment, follow-up reminders, and data entry tasks.
- Report and Dashboard Functions: Salesforce's reporting and dashboard functions are powerful tools for deriving strategic insights. Regularly using these features to track key metrics and trends can help inform decision-making and forecasting.
- AppExchange: Make use of Salesforce's AppExchange, which offers thousands of pre-built solutions that can enhance your Salesforce experience. These apps can help fill any functionality gaps and offer specific solutions tailored to your industry or business needs.
Regarding the cost of Salesforce, it offers various pricing tiers to cater to different business sizes and needs:
- Essentials: Starting at $25 per user/month, this is designed for small businesses looking to get started with CRM.
- Professional: Priced at $75 per user/month, this tier offers complete CRM for any size team.
- Enterprise: At $150 per user/month, this level provides deeply customizable sales and service.
- Unlimited: Costing $300 per user/month, this is the most comprehensive tier for maximum CRM power and support.
It's essential to note that the listed prices are base prices, and additional costs may be incurred for professional setup, ongoing maintenance, or additional functionalities. Salesforce offers additional services like implementation, training, and support that come at an extra charge. It's advisable to consult with a Salesforce representative or certified partner to understand the total cost of ownership fully.
Average price of a Salesforce Implementation Expert: $400 per hour
HubSpot is more user-friendly and somewhat more budget-friendly.
HubSpot: Advantages Over Salesforce and Pricing
While both HubSpot and Salesforce are robust and comprehensive CRM platforms, there are certain areas where HubSpot shines brighter. Here are three major advantages that HubSpot holds over Salesforce:
- Ease of Use: One of the most significant advantages of HubSpot is its user-friendly interface and intuitive design. Its design simplicity means a shorter learning curve and less training required for your team. This ease of use allows your team to get up and running quickly, enabling them to focus more on engaging customers rather than navigating a complex CRM system.
- Lower Setup Costs: HubSpot's setup costs are generally lower than Salesforce's. While Salesforce often requires assistance from a certified Salesforce partner for setup - which incurs additional costs - HubSpot is designed to be more straightforward and user-friendly, reducing the need for professional setup.
- Shorter Time to Implementation: Due to its intuitive nature, HubSpot typically takes less time to implement compared to Salesforce. This allows businesses to hit the ground running faster, accelerating the time it takes to start seeing return on investment from their CRM.
In terms of pricing, HubSpot offers an incredibly flexible model that caters to businesses of all sizes:
- Free CRM: HubSpot offers a free version of their CRM, which provides basic features perfect for small businesses or startups just beginning their CRM journey.
- Starter: Starting at $45 per user/month, the Starter plan offers additional CRM capabilities and integrations, ideal for growing businesses.
- Professional: Priced at $450 per month with 5 users, the Professional plan offers a complete suite of sales tools, perfect for an expanding sales team. ($90 per user)
- Enterprise: At $1,200 per month with 10 users, the Enterprise plan is the most comprehensive, providing advanced reporting and team management capabilities for larger businesses. ($120 per user)
In addition to these tiers, HubSpot offers bundle pricing options with its Marketing Hub, providing a complete solution for businesses looking to integrate their sales and marketing efforts seamlessly. As with any software investment, it's important to note that pricing can vary based on additional services or functionalities, so consider your business's specific needs and budget when choosing a CRM platform.
Average price of a HubSpot Implementation Expert: $250 per hour
72% of Sales Hub Professional and 84% of Enterprise customers display high Sales Hub feature usage.
Choosing the Right CRM for Your Business
Making a choice between HubSpot and Salesforce is a strategic decision that will significantly impact your business operations. Your decision should be driven by the unique needs and requirements of your business. Here are some factors to consider:
- Budget: Consider the costs involved not only in the software subscription but also the setup, training, and maintenance. While HubSpot tends to have a lower entry cost and straightforward pricing, Salesforce can offer more depth at a higher price point, but the cost of implementation will be higher.
- Team Size: Salesforce's complex features may be more suitable for larger organizations with complex sales processes, whereas HubSpot's user-friendly design is an excellent fit for medium-sized businesses.
- Sales Process Complexity: If your sales process requires a high degree of customization, Salesforce's customizable nature may be beneficial. On the other hand, these customizations come at a high cost, and if your processes are more straightforward, HubSpot's simplicity may be more advantageous.
- Customization Requirements: Salesforce stands out for its high degree of customization, which can be great for businesses with unique processes. In contrast, HubSpot offers less customization but excels in its out-of-the-box functionality and flexibility.
- Integration Needs: Consider which other tools and systems you currently use. Both platforms offer a wide range of integrations, but one may align better with your existing technology stack. Learn more about the HubSpot ecosystem.
- AI integrations and features: HubSpot's recent AI advancements distinctly set it apart in the CRM landscape. HubSpot's AI capabilities make it a superior choice for businesses seeking both efficiency and strategic insight. Learn more about HubSpot AI.
HubSpot Case Studies: Explore HubSpot CRM and Sales tools case studies
Both Salesforce and HubSpot are powerful CRM platforms, each offering a unique set of features and strengths. Choosing between these two giants is not a decision to be made lightly. It should hinge on your organization's specific needs, goals, resources, and long-term growth strategy. Remember, the best CRM is not necessarily the one with the most features but the one that best fits your business.