HubSpot and Salesforce are two of the most popular CRM software tools on the market today. Both offer a full suite of similar solutions for marketing automation, sales analytics, and customer service, but choosing the right option will depend on what your business needs.
If you are looking for highly customizable software with advanced sales features, Salesforce is your best bet. But on the other hand, HubSpot is an excellent option that gives you more functionality for free. To break it down, we compared the most crucial aspects of both software to help you choose the best option for you.
HubSpot Compared to Salesforce
HubSpot’s generous free plan, ease of navigation, and extensive integrations make it one of the best CRM software options on the market today. Even if you’ve never used a CRM before, HubSpot makes it a seamless experience with its all-in-one platform that can easily scale with the growth of your business. You can start using HubSpot for free or request a demo.
Salesforce offers an extremely customizable platform with reliable management features. With its wide range of affordable pricing packages, there’s a chance that you will find a solution that is suitable for your business needs. Start your free trial with Salesforce today.
More Top CRM Software
After reviewing dozens of CRM software on the market today, we narrowed it down to the top seven best CRM software to help you build solid customer relationships. We looked at who these products are best for and what features to consider before investing.
Check out our list of the top seven CRM software and compare these two companies to the ones on our list.
Where HubSpot Shines
With more than 143,000 customers in over 120 countries, HubSpot has mastered the art of supporting its users with extensive tools and features to help them learn, grow, and build solid customer relationships. Let’s look at where HubSpot shines and where it may fall short.
Generous Free Plan: HubSpot is the best free CRM software by far—offering the most generous free pricing plan that is even more comprehensive than some paid providers. With HubSpot’s free plan, you get more than 25 tools across marketing, service, sales, and operations. You can add up to 1,000,000 contacts and unlimited users, and invite your entire team to collaborate, all without a time limit.
Although you won’t have access to premium support with a free plan, HubSpot still offers expert advice through its knowledge base, and users can chat with others in the HubSpot Community forum.
All-in-One CRM: The best part about paying for HubSpot is that it gives you the option to build a unique, all-in-one CRM with its premium CRM suite. The CRM suite completely transforms your customer relationship management by combining the marketing, sales, service, CMS, and operations hubs. Having an all-in-one platform can help you navigate all of your data in one secure place.
You can pass contacts from marketing teams to sales teams without the need to sync information with another system or duplicate work. And speaking of contacts, the cheapest package allows you to start at 1,000 marketing contacts, which is an inclusive number for many small businesses.
Extensive App Marketplace: HubSpot might not be as configurable in some areas, but it still gives you options that will help you create a seamless workflow on a platform that works well for you. HubSpot offers an extensive app marketplace that makes it easy to find a diverse range of integrations from marketing and customer service to productivity and finance. HubSpot’s most popular app integrations include Gmail, Google Calendar, Outlook, Facebook Ads, Slack, and Zoom.
And if you’re particularly interested in dev and coding, HubSpot also allows you to build custom integrations specifically for your business. You don’t need to build OAuth management, and you can create access tokens for specific account data, so nothing ever gets lost.
Easy CRM Navigation: HubSpot is one of the few CRM software that gives you the full picture of your customer interactions. With its reporting dashboards, you get a clear overview of what reports your team has made. You also get access to precise contact records that hold all of your customer’s interaction information in one secure functionality, which allows you to pick up information from one person to the next.
You can also customize these dashboards by editing, moving, and resizing reports. Or you can add notes—in the form of text, images, and video—if you want to include context, extra information, or instructions for your team. And if you need help to make your dashboards more easily accessible, you can create custom filters.
Scalable: Not only can you start using HubSpot immediately, but its platform is incredibly scalable, and it can grow with you as your business needs change. The best part is that each HubSpot package offers the exact right amount of appropriate features and tools to assist your business growth, which we can’t always say for other providers.
Starting with a free account can help you get a feel for how HubSpot works, but it can also be an easy solution for small businesses. However, if you are experiencing increased growth, you can quickly upgrade any of the five hubs to Professional or Enterprise without switching systems or implementing new software.
Where HubSpot Falls Short
Most software on the market will fall short in some areas. Fortunately, HubSpot doesn’t have many negatives, but here’s what to look out for before investing.
Steep Pricing With Fewer Options: While there is a generous free plan, if you wish to upgrade HubSpot, the pricing can get a little confusing. HubSpot offers pricing for its marketing, sales, customer service, CMS, and operations hubs separately, and while there are still options for most business needs, HubSpot falls short compared to other solutions due to how steep the pricing gets as you move forward.
For example, the Marketing Hub starts at $45 per month and then shockingly increases to $800 per month, and then again at $3,200 per month for advanced features. When it comes to HubSpot’s pricing, it may be more valuable to purchase the full CRM suite, which also starts at $45 per month but increases to $1,600 and $5,000 per month, respectively. Although the price depends on your business needs, other providers don’t offer packages as steep as HubSpot.
Not As Configurable: HubSpot is not as configurable as other CRM software on the market, so if customization is significant to you and your business model, HubSpot might not be the solution for you. And while HubSpot offers Custom Objects within its Enterprise package, you still can’t custom-build many areas of the platform. However, it’s not all bad, as users won’t have to worry about their platform breaking during every update because it’s not overly customized, which can be a recurring issue for other software.
Where Salesforce Shines
Founded in 1999, Salesforce is one of the more well-known competitors in the CRM industry. Specializing in sales and small business solutions, Salesforce has been branded as the world’s number one CRM platform and continues to keep customers happy. Let’s look at where Salesforce shines and where it may fall short.
Extremely Customizable: Salesforce shines when it comes to customization, as users have complete reign over many areas and can personalize it to their business needs. With Salesforce, there is room to create custom widgets and layouts without creating code or having experience in customization. You can customize list views, record highlights with compact layouts, record details with page layouts, buttons and links, and custom quick actions.
As a completely customizable CRM, Salesforce also lets you develop, run, and optimize your own apps and integrations to perform an unlimited amount of tasks. With the App Cloud, you can store all your personalized integrations in one secure place. You also get access to basic configuration options, so complete beginners don’t need to worry about having a difficult time setting up the software.
Curated For Small Businesses: Small businesses need to start somewhere, and there’s no better place than to start with Salesforce. As a curated solution for small businesses, Salesforce can help you find more customers and keep them happy with advanced tools that you can manage from one intuitive platform. Small businesses will find it easy to work with Salesforce because of its carefully crafted pricing packages for sales, marketing, and customer service areas.
Not only does Salesforce take into account the average budget of a small business, making its packages affordable, but it also offers the right amount of tools and features in each, so you know you are receiving your money’s worth.
Sales-Specific Features: As software specializing in helping you grow your sales, close more deals, and collect cash faster—it’s no surprise that Salesforce offers valuable intelligent automation and integrated sales tools. First and foremost, Salesforce works with Slack to ensure all of your apps, data, alerts, and conversations are neatly stored in one place.
Salesforce offers substantial sales tools to help you grow relationships and close deals, including contact management, opportunity management, sales forecasting, process automation, and mobile CRM for on-the-go access. You can also increase rep productivity and grow revenue by tracking your performance. The best part? You can do all of this while receiving support every step of the way with free on-demand training and a community dashboard.
Where Salesforce Falls Short
Just like HubSpot, Salesforce also falls short in some areas other providers may shine in. Here’s a quick overview of what to look out for before investing.
Poor Customer Support: Customer support should be the main priority for a large software developer, but unfortunately, this is not the case with Salesforce, as its customer support has quite a poor reputation. Many users have complained that Salesforce’s customer support wasn’t very attentive, and the wait times were longer than they should have been. According to other users, customer representatives change often, meaning most of them are new and without proper experience or extensive training, leaving customers feeling dissatisfied or simply without help.
Not User-Friendly: In terms of the interface, many users have found that Salesforce isn’t exactly user-friendly. While it offers intuitive tools and configurations, the interface is hard to navigate, and many complain that seemingly simple tasks take too many actions to complete. It’s not software that you can set up immediately, with many users finding it difficult to implement when simple actions such as error messages are unclear and offer no insight into how to fix them.
Salesforce’s usability and customer support issues usually go hand in hand. Many users have found that when an issue arises during implementation, it’s almost impossible to receive help for it.
The Final Verdict on HubSpot Compared to Salesforce
HubSpot offers pricing plans for its marketing, sales, customer service, CMS, and operations hubs. But its most valuable package is the HubSpot CRM Suite, which includes everything in one package but with different limitations, depending on what your business needs. Here’s an overview of HubSpot’s CRM Suite pricing:
Starter — $45 per month, billed at $540 per year.
HubSpot’s Starter plan comes with the Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Service Hub, CMS Hub, and Operations Hub Starter packs, with 1,000 marketing contacts and 25 active lists. The Starter plan gives you access to the standard features of CRM software with limited advanced capabilities. However, it is an excellent choice for small to medium-sized businesses looking to upgrade with the essentials.
Professional — $1,600 per month, billed at $19,200 per year.
The Professional plan offers advanced features and tools across the board. This plan would be perfect for any business that has seen a serious increase in growth. HubSpot offers 2,000 marketing contacts, 25 dashboards, 1,000 active lists, and up to 10 teams.
Enterprise — $5,000 per month, billed at $60,000 per year.
As the name of the plan suggests, HubSpot’s Enterprise package will best suit an enterprise-level business or an organization experiencing fast-paced growth. This plan offers the most comprehensive features, such as 10,000 marketing contacts, 1,500 active lists, 50 dashboards, and up to 300 teams.
Salesforce’s pricing packages are structured differently, with a wide range of options that can get confusing to understand. For the sake of this post, we will break it down into smaller subsections, but we encourage you to check it out for yourself to understand the full depth of Salesforce’s pricing.
Salesforce offers pricing packages on 13 different products, which is why it can get confusing, especially when you aren’t sure which one to choose. Here’s a quick overview of each package:
- Small Business, Sales, Service, Sales and Service, and Platform — all of these packages start at $25 per month and increase depending on team size and how advanced the tools are.
- Marketing, Commerce, Analytics, MuleSoft, Industries, Success Plans and Professional Services, and Work.com Solutions — all of these packages offer editions, and pricing varies depending on each product offering.
While HubSpot is more expensive than Salesforce in many areas, it still offers incredible value for money. Salesforce offers too many packages that can get confusing and may cost you extra in the long run without an all-in-one suite of features.
Overall, when it comes down to price, usability, and scalability, HubSpot generally outshines Salesforce for most users. However, Salesforce is still an excellent option for optimal customization and small business support. At the end of the day, it really depends on what your business needs are.
If you’re interested in reading more about some of the top CRM software on the market today, you can read our full in-depth review here.
- HubSpot – Best CRM software for most
- Zoho CRM – Best CRM for deeper visibility
- Freshsales Suite – Best automations for marketing and sales
- Salesflare – Best CRM for strictly focusing on sales
- Streak – Best CRM for working 100% from within Gmail
- Monday Sales CRM – Best CRM for handling sales from anywhere
- EngageBay – Best all-in-one CRM suite for small business