The Big CRM Debate: Salesforce vs HubSpot - Which One Should You Choose?
HubSpot vs Salesforce is a heavyweight stand-off between the two most popular CRM platforms. While both offer powerful solutions for managing customer relationships and sales processes, each platform has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Thus, the final choice will depend on specific needs and objectives of your business.
In this article, we will compare HubSpot and Salesforce in detail, examining their strengths and weaknesses to help you determine which one is the best fit for you.
Salesforce vs HubSpot: What Is The Difference?
First, let’s briefly review what a CRM platform is so we better understand the value that Salesforce and HubSpot bring. A CRM tool allows businesses to store customer and prospect information, identify sales opportunities, record service issues, and manage marketing campaigns all in one place. By utilizing a CRM platform, businesses can gain deeper insights into their metrics and data and use dashboards to visualize them.
Both Salesforce and HubSpot are all-in-one CRM platforms, meaning, they offer a comprehensive set of features to help managers handle their entire business more efficiently. And to effectively compare HubSpot vs Salesforce CRM, it is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of both platforms. Let’s start with Salesforce.
What is Salesforce?
Salesforce is a cloud-based CRM platform that helps businesses manage their sales operations, customer data, and marketing campaigns. It stands out as one of the most comprehensive tools available today and offers a wide range of features, including but not limited to:
- Forecast management;
- Mass mailing;
- Customizable dashboard and reports;
- Pipeline management;
- Marketing campaign management;
- Lead management and scoring.
Salesforce offers several integrations with third-party applications and services, making it a highly adaptable CRM platform. It is a comprehensive tool for managing all aspects of customer interactions, from leads and contacts to sales data. With Salesforce’s extensive features, businesses can:
- Streamline sales processes;
- Optimize their potential for closing deals;
- Track customer journeys and log customer interactions;
- Get valuable insights into customer behavior and needs;
- Improve customer service;
- Receive real-time analytics and reports.
Although it may require some effort to set up, Salesforce provides ample support for your customization and integration needs.
The true power of Salesforce lies in its ability to match the CRM directly to specific sales pipelines of a business, thus tailoring the platform to your exact needs and preferences. This allows you to gain a deeper understanding of the entire sales cycle, including how each process is performing at any given time.
As a cloud-based service, Salesforce offers six types of cloud solutions:
- Sales Cloud: helps businesses manage their sales and customer support operations in a more efficient manner. One of its key features is the ability to provide real-time lead status updates, which is particularly useful for sales executives.
- Marketing Cloud: offers a wide range of tools to help businesses manage and execute their marketing campaigns effectively. The cloud enables users to automatically run marketing campaigns and manage emails, messages, social media, content, and analytics, among other features.
- Commerce Cloud: is a B2C and B2B commerce solution that helps brands create omnichannel digital experiences for their customers.
- Service Cloud: is specifically designed for service and support teams and provides a range of features, including workflow automation tools and self-service knowledge portals.
- Experience Cloud: enables businesses to connect with their customers, suppliers, partners, and workers through various channels. The cloud offers a range of branding and customization options, as well as seamless integration with third-party apps.
- Analytics Cloud: enables users to create detailed dashboards using available data, thus allowing businesses to gain deeper insights and analyze key metrics.
Salesforce also offers nine additional types of clouds for specific industries and applications. Aside from that, Salesforce supports more than a dozen languages and provides various training and tech support options.
You can also check out our past article to learn more about Salesforce and its history.
What is HubSpot?
Similar to Salesforce, HubSpot is a CRM solution that caters to all fundamental necessities of businesses seeking online success. It is designed to aid companies in attracting visitors, converting leads, and closing customers through inbound marketing and sales techniques.
The platform comprises five hubs that can be tailored to meet specific requirements. These hubs are:
- Marketing Hub: provides a comprehensive suite of marketing tools and features that enable businesses to streamline their marketing campaigns and assets.
- Sales Hub: enhances data organization and revenue generation speed, streamlines the sales process, and improves overall efficiency.
- Service Hub: improves customer service by providing various tools, can automate responses to frequently asked questions, gathers customer feedback.
- CMS Hub: is a comprehensive content management system that offers hosting, themes, and dynamic content, allowing users to create complete websites, not just landing pages.
- Operations Hub: allows users to clean and synchronize customer data while automating business processes.
Note that you can purchase access to individual hubs if you don't need them all.
HubSpot operates by integrating with an organization's website and utilizing a suite of tools across its Hubs to attract and engage leads and customers. It integrates marketing features with data from sales and other areas of your business to provide a centralized platform for running effective marketing campaigns. HubSpot offers a wide range of features, such as:
- Reporting dashboards;
- Deal tracking;
- Task management;
- Desktop integration;
- Pipeline management;
- Unlimited number of users;
- Unlimited storage.
HubSpot is a free CRM with extensive features and a focus on content marketing. It is an all-in-one marketing solution, while most of the other CRM platforms require third-party integration. HubSpot includes all the tools you need to create a robust website, develop high-conversion landing pages, send customized emails, boost sales, and streamline customer service.
Although HubSpot is primarily recognized as an inbound marketing tool and Salesforce is known as sales automation software, both platforms offer similar features. However, the two also differ a lot. Choosing the right platform will ultimately depend on understanding the specific needs of your team.
Salesforce CRM vs HubSpot CRM: Features and Functionality
When deciding between Salesforce vs HubSpot for your CRM needs, it's important to consider your priorities. Are you looking for a platform with extensive CRM tools or the one that is more user-friendly? Is top-notch customer support a must-have, or are you more concerned with affordability? Also, if you plan on integrating third-party apps with your CRM, you should consider it during your decision-making process.
Let’s take a closer look at the features and functionality of the two platforms and compare HubSpot versus Salesforce in more detail.
If you're looking for a cost-effective option, HubSpot is a more affordable choice compared to Salesforce.
HubSpot offers a range of pricing plans, starting with a free plan that includes basic marketing and sales features. The paid plans are:
- Starter plan (at $50 per month);
- Professional (starts at $800 per month);
- Enterprise (starts at $3,200 per month);
All paid plans include more advanced marketing and sales tools, which you won't find in a free version. The pricing for HubSpot's CRM is also included in these plans.
Salesforce CRM provides four payment options, each with additional capabilities and a higher monthly fee than the previous one. Unlike HubSpot, Salesforce does not offer a free version. However, the company does provide a free trial during which businesses can test the platform with preloaded data.
The CRM tool is also included in all of their plans. These plans are:
- Essential (at $25 per user per month);
- Professional (starts at $75 per user per month);
- Enterprise (starts at $150 per user per month);
- Unlimited (starts at $300 per user per month).
Overall, HubSpot's pricing is generally more affordable than Salesforce's, especially for small to medium-sized businesses. However, Salesforce's more comprehensive features may justify the higher price for larger enterprises.
Salesforce provides more flexibility and more advanced options for customization in comparison to HubSpot. For example, Salesforce users can create custom objects, fields, and workflows and have access to advanced reporting and dashboards
In addition, Salesforce offers extensive integration capabilities, which can save businesses from the endless patching cycles that may happen with HubSpot. Salesforce's scalability is due in part to its ability to integrate with thousands of other systems and platforms.
Moreover, Salesforce's customization interface is more user-friendly than HubSpot's. It allows extensive customization through a simple drag-and-drop interface. This empowers both tech experts and non-coders to create business apps in just a few hours using the "clicks-not-code" advantage.
In comparison to Salesforce, HubSpot has a more limited set of customization options, but it still meets the needs of most businesses. Users can customize their contact records and deal stages, as well as create custom properties and fields. HubSpot also offers a drag-and-drop page builder for creating landing pages and website pages.
Marketing automation implies using a platform or a tool to streamline and simplify repetitive marketing tasks, such as sending emails, publishing social media posts, and launching targeted advertising campaigns. The goal of marketing automation is to improve efficiency, increase revenue, and provide a better customer experience by delivering the right message to the right person at the right time.
HubSpot's marketing automation platform is built into its all-in-one CRM, which means that it seamlessly integrates with other HubSpot tools like sales and service. Also, one of the standout features of HubSpot's marketing automation platform is its ease of use. HubSpot's marketing automation features include:
- Lead nurturing,
- Email marketing,
- Landing pages,
- Forms, and more.
As for Salesforce, its marketing automation platform is part of its larger suite of marketing tools. Salesforce's marketing automation features include:
- Email marketing,
- Lead nurturing,
- Lead scoring, and more.
One of the standout features of Salesforce's marketing automation platform is its ability to scale. The platform is designed to handle large volumes of data and can be customized to meet the needs of enterprise-level businesses.
When it comes down to comparing Salesforce marketing cloud vs HubSpot, both offer powerful marketing automation capabilities. The best choice for your business will depend on your unique needs and requirements.
While HubSpot does offer exceptional analytics and reporting, it does not have dedicated modules or tools for advanced business intelligence. To obtain more comprehensive insights, HubSpot suggests integration with a BI tool like Power BI or Hotjar. Both are available within the HubSpot ecosystem through the app marketplace.
Salesforce, on the other hand, has a dedicated BI tool called Einstein. First introduced in 2016, Einstein was designed to serve as a smart assistant across various departments, including marketing, sales, and service. Einstein employs artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive modeling technologies to monitor and analyze data, thus helping businesses improve their operations. The predictive modeling feature allows businesses to meet customer requirements and improve revenue by building accurate forecasts on customer behavior and needs.
HubSpot's customer service platform is built into its all-in-one CRM, which means that all customer interactions are tracked and managed within the same system. HubSpot's customer service features include a ticketing system, live chat, a knowledge base, and more.
Salesforce excels in customer support CRM features, particularly in their Service Hub, giving them an advantage over HubSpot. The platform offers more communication and ticketing channels, as well as greater offline functionality. However, Salesforce lacks customer feedback functionality, such as surveys.
Ease of use
A CRM that is difficult to learn and navigate can be counterproductive. Thus, a great CRM should be user-friendly and intuitive, making it easy for everyone in the organization to adopt and utilize it effectively.
Both HubSpot and Salesforce offer user-friendly onboarding processes and useful walkthroughs to help users get started. HubSpot has an intuitive platform that allows users to learn as they go. The onboarding process is straightforward, and most users can navigate it with ease. As users' needs evolve, HubSpot offers classroom training to learn new features and suggests joining the HubSpot Academy to learn more about how to enhance sales and marketing strategies.
Salesforce, on the other hand, takes a more self-guided approach, offering pop-ups and quick demos as users explore the platform. It may be more complex than HubSpot, especially for those unfamiliar with CRM platforms. To help users, Salesforce provides a helpful dropdown menu with resources specific to the page they're working on and online training resources under the Trailhead banner. These resources are well-designed and gamified for a better experience and enjoyable learning.
Compatibility With other software
When selecting a CRM system, it's important to consider its integration with your existing software. HubSpot offers a robust set of integrations through its HubSpot App Ecosystem, with over 200 options and new ones added regularly. These integrations cover a wide range of areas, such as marketing automation, customer service, ecommerce, and more. HubSpot's integrations are designed to be easy to set up, and the platform provides detailed documentation and support to help businesses get started.
Salesforce, on the other hand, offers an extensive library of integrations through its AppExchange marketplace, which includes thousands of third-party integrations across various categories. The platform also offers native integrations with popular tools such as Microsoft Office, Google Apps, and Dropbox.
Reporting and analytics
HubSpot and Salesforce both offer powerful reporting and analytics tools to help businesses gain insights into their sales, marketing, and customer service activities.
HubSpot's analytics capabilities are very well visualized, making it easy for businesses to track their progress and make data-driven decisions. However, HubSpot's reporting capabilities are limited in some payment plans, and advanced features require a higher-tier plan.
On the other hand, Salesforce offers a more extensive and personalized reporting and analytics suite, making it a better choice for businesses with complex reporting needs.
HubSpot vs Salesforce: Comparison
Comparing Salesforce and HubSpot, both platforms offer similar services and features, but each has its strengths and weaknesses. Here is a comprehensive table outlining the main differences and similarities between the two.
Salesforce vs HubSpot: Which is better?
Ultimately, the choice between HubSpot vs Salesforce depends on your specific needs and goals. Both platforms offer powerful solutions for managing customer relationships and sales processes, but they have different strengths and weaknesses.
Salesforce is a cloud-based CRM software that has been around for over 20 years and is used by businesses of all sizes and industries. It provides a comprehensive suite of tools for sales, marketing, customer service, and analytics, all integrated into one platform. Salesforce is highly customizable, making it a popular choice for businesses that require advanced customization options. It also offers robust reporting and analytics features that can help businesses gain valuable insights into their sales and marketing efforts.
On the other hand, HubSpot is a newer player in the CRM space that is known for its inbound marketing tools. HubSpot offers a wide range of features, including lead management, email marketing, and social media management, all in one platform. It is user-friendly and offers an intuitive interface that makes it easy for businesses to get started quickly. HubSpot also offers a free version of its software, making it an attractive option for small businesses that are just getting started.
In conclusion, both Salesforce and HubSpot are powerful CRM platforms that offer similar sets of features, but they differ in their approach and focus. Evaluate both options and choose what's most beneficial for your business.
Q: What is Salesforce?
A: Salesforce is a cloud-based customer relationship management software that helps businesses manage their interactions with customers and prospects. It provides a suite of tools for sales, marketing, customer service, and analytics, all integrated into one platform. Salesforce allows businesses to store customer data, track customer interactions, and automate sales and marketing processes, among other things. This CRM is used by businesses of all sizes and industries to improve their customer relationships and increase revenue.
Q: How businesses or companies use Salesforce?
A: Businesses and companies use Salesforce in a variety of ways to manage their customer relationships, streamline their sales processes, automate their marketing campaigns, provide customer service, and develop custom applications. Salesforce's CRM capabilities allow businesses to track and manage customer interactions, providing a complete view of each customer. Its sales tools help businesses automate tasks, track performance metrics, and close deals more efficiently. Overall, Salesforce is a versatile platform that can be customized to meet the specific needs of any business or company.
Q: What is HubSpot?
A: HubSpot is a cloud-based software platform that provides a range of marketing, sales, and customer service tools for businesses of all sizes. It offers a suite of integrated tools, including CRM, marketing automation, social media management, email marketing, and analytics, designed to help businesses attract, engage, and delight customers. HubSpot also provides a range of educational resources and support services to help businesses improve their marketing, sales, and customer service efforts.