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  • Writer's pictureRoss Bright

Hubspot vs Salesforce. Which CRM is Better in 2022?

One of the cornerstones of expanding your business’s reach and creating a seamless customer journey is using a client relationship management system – or a CRM.


CRMs help businesses interact with their customers, building a larger, more loyal customer base for your organization. There are many options for a great CRM on the market in 2021, with the two most popular platforms being Hubspot and Salesforce.


In this complete guide, we’ll explore exactly what a CRM can do for your business and compare the feature sets, pricing and use cases for Hubspot vs Salesforce. Ultimately, we’ll be answering one all-important question: which CRM is better for your customer relations in 2022?


What is CRM?


Standing for customer relationship management, the term 'CRM' usually refers to a CRM system. This is a piece of software that helps businesses keep track of information about their customers and helps easily manage interactions with their clientele.


The first role of a CRM system is to gather your customers’ data and store them for future use. A good CRM will also gather usage behavior data like purchasing patterns to provide higher-quality leads and thus increase sales.


Think of a CRM system a one-stop dashboard for anything relating to the customer. It can be used by sales teams, eCommerce departments and marketing teams as a customer-focused way to grow your business.


Not only does a CRM help boost your revenue, it also stimulates consistent growth on a long-term basis by improving customer care and promoting a great brand reputation for your business.


HubSpot vs Salesforce: At a glance


TABLE


Salesforce

Hubspot

Heavy integration between sales, marketing and customer service

Some integration between sales, marketing and customer service; mainly databases

Native Slack integration

Non-native Slack integration

Most marketing tools are addons

A complete automated marketing suite: including SEO, content marketing and automated emails

Helpdesk ticketing and integration with social platforms

Easy to use customer service tools and helpdesk ticketing

Rich app development ecosystem with add-on store (AppExchange)

Limited API capabilities

Highly customizable

Well optimized, harder to full customize

30-day free trial

Free version of CRM

Potentially expensive implementation

More affordable set up costs if out of the box

Solution becomes stronger as you grow into larger organizations ~100+ users

Very strong small business offering


Why Salesforce?

While estimates for its exact market share range from 19.8% - as quoted by the company themselves – to 33% (Capterra), there’s no doubt that Salesforce is the leading CRM by market share and number of customers.


The company was founded in 1999 by the former Oracle executive Marc Benioff to become the world’s leading provider of customer relationship management software. Salesforce’s main product offering is its integrated cloud-based CRM tools for case, task and issue management.


Why is Salesforce so popular? What are the most game-changing features this platform has to offer?


The easy-to-use Customer 360 platform


Existing customers of Salesforce appreciate the cloud-based service's ease of use. This is a particular advantage to small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) that may lack the IT expertise to deploy and operate a more complicated software solution.

The heart of this accessibility is the well-integrated Customer 360 platform.


Customer 360 empowers businesses to adopt digital workflows and allows all of your teams to access customer interactions. Salesforce calls this the ‘Digital HQ’.

With Customer 360, all of your teams – whether that’s Sales, Marketing or Customer Service – get a single, shared view of your customers and their queries. Salesforce consolidates all the information you have collected about a customer: their history, purchasing patterns and any actions left to be done. This allows anyone, whether that’s a sales rep, a customer service agent or a supervisor to pick up on a customer interaction.


The Customer 360 suite of tools focuses heavily on collaboration between all areas of your organization. With many businesses going fully or partially remote, smart collaboration that is united around the customer is key. Salesforce sees “uniting disparate departments” as vital for growing your business.


By partnering with the popular business communication platform Slack, Salesforce allows teams to benefit from quick communication, and connect with customers securely in real-time.


Tight application and integration ecosystem


Salesforce understands the need to mould and customize a CRM deployment to suit the unique needs of your business. That's why they've provided app developers with a robust API to create meaningful add-ons to the main Salesforce.com application.


It’s dubbed the Lightning Platform and uses a proprietary Java-like programming language that is simple to learn and create applications with. Is the main Salesforce service missing a feature your business needs? Users can install extensions through Salesforce's app store AppExchange. This adds extra functionality like gathering feedback through SurveyMonkey and speeding up the client onboarding process.


Lightning offers forward-thinking enterprises a brilliant opportunity to develop apps tailored to their business. Salesforce is mouldable to specific use cases, with companies like Eli Lilly, Toyota Financial Services, and Seagate building their own apps to better utilize their CRM system.


This app development ecosystem allows unlocks integration with a whole host of services and platforms your business may regularly use. For example, a Zoom app allows businesses to use the Zoom video conferencing platform for customer and partner interactions through the Salesforce framework.

If your business already has a robust workflow, Salesforce can be customized and tweaked to suit your existing application toolkit.


Pricing


Salesforce aims to be the catch-all premium option on the market, and therefore it can be on the pricier side. Small businesses can opt for the relatively inexpensive Essential package for $25 per user per month.


This is a barebones package that includes account and contact management, and case management systems only. Most SMBs will be looking to opt for the Professional package – setting you back $100. This adds service contracts and the ability to automatically score leads, increasing conversion rates.

Pricing packages can go up to $325 (or more pending edition) per user per month.



salesforce pricing
Salesforce Pricing


This can lead to hefty ongoing costs for businesses looking to deploy a Salesforce CRM system. There may also be high implementation costs transitioning to Salesforce's ecosystem.


It’s not all doom and gloom, however. Smartcost.io can help drive down those costs significantly. Our experienced team can help you negotiate better pricing, saving your business between $2000 and $25,000 implementing Salesforce.

Get in touch with us at smartcost.io to see how we can help protect your bottom line!


Why HubSpot?


An underdog compared to Salesforce, HubSpot is an excellent alternative to its more expensive rival. HubSpot is also a cloud-based CRM platform that does indeed help businesses grow their sales, improve their marketing strategies and even manage their content and website.


Like Salesforce, HubSpot operates on a highly diversified business model, meeting a wide range of needs for SMBs. Alongside their main CRM offering – the Sales Hub – HubSpot’s CMS Hub is a useful Content Management System to help you build a brilliant website and deliver content to the web with ease.


How does HubSpot’s CRM platform compare to the seasoned and popular Salesforce Sales Cloud?


A more segmented approach


Salesforce is built around unifying departments and creating a central digital HQ. HubSpot, by comparison, prefers to offer distinct software solutions for different departments.


This does lead to a less unified customer journey, but it does allow HubSpot to optimize and focus its software solutions on specific workflows. If your organization has distinct roles for their sales, marketing and customer service teams, this approach might be preferred over Salesforce's 360-degree unified CRM platform.


Saying this, each ‘Hub’ still shares contact databases, which allows some degree of collaboration between your sales, marketing and customer service teams.

HubSpot’s offerings are split into three categories (or Hubs):

Hubspot hub comparison
Hubspot Hubs

Let's explore the key features of each product.


Introducing Sales Hub: a no-nonsense CRM


HubSpot’s core offering is their Sales Hub, a powerful sales software that helps teams track their contacts, close more deals and build deeper relationships with their clients.


Sales Hub is designed to remove the friction in reaching out to new and existing leads. It's easy to start conversations with customers, send emails and phone calls in one simplified sequence.


HubSpot is all about streamlining your sales workflow. Whether that’s through live chats, making calls, or sending emails, the admin tasks following interactions are slowing your sales teams down. The Sales Hub is bloat-free and offers a great workflow to go from on-boarding contacts to making meaningful interactions in minutes.


With Sales Hub, sales reps can set up personalized email templates and automate interactions throughout the sales process. Mundane administrative tasks can be taken care of with powerful automation tools, and predictive lead scoring helps sales teams prioritize outreach based on a lead’s likelihood to convert.


Sales Hub's CRM is far less customizable than Salesforce. It lacks the inventive add-ons and extensions the Lightning Platforms affords Customer 360 and the Sales Cloud. HubSpot customers therefore also miss out on the integrations with communications platforms like Slack and Zoom. However, for organizations that just want a CRM that works, HubSpot's approach is refreshing.


Marketing Hub: Powerful automated marketing tools


HubSpot’s marketing hub creates a database where all of your marketing data is held securely under one cloud-based roof. It also provides a dashboard to control all of your organization’s inbound marketing campaigns from content marketing, SEO, advertising and more.

hubspot marketing hub
Hubspot Marketing Hub

Marketing Hub offers marketing teams some fantastic tools for attracting the attention of potential customers. Through the lead capture dashboard, marketers can get a neat overview of their performance.


HubSpot’s blog creator gives organizations an easy way to get content out there to drive traffic. Through a couple of clicks, you can start publishing high-quality blog content. A smart website creator also allows you to create stunning landing pages.


Once you’ve created your web content, Marketing Hub helps you monitor your SEO performance and create smart content strategies to increase leads.

Marketing automation tools guarantee more visitors are converted into leads. You can send automated marketing emails, SMS messages and build smart forms. Marketing Hub gives marketers easy-to-use tools to convert these leads into paying customers.


Service Hub: Seamless helpdesk ticket management


The Service Hub is a powerful and easy-to-use customer service management suite to help conduct seamless customer care interactions. Smart and automated helpdesk ticketing tools cut down on admin time and help customer service teams resolve issues faster.


It's easy to convert frequently asked questions into a well-designed 'Knowledge Base'. This reduces demand on manned support channels, and feedback tools allow you to track the impact and usage of your Knowledge Base.


hubspot knowledge base
Hubspot Knowledge Base

When requests come in, ticket flow automation helps improve the customer journey. A simple flowchart system is used to design actionable workflows for each ticket, including sending internal messages and outbound external emails.

service hub
Service Hub

HubSpot’s live chat is every bit as powerful as Salesforce’s. Customers can engage in contextual website chat conversations as they browse a site, providing a satisfying customer support journey for your clients.


Pricing


HubSpot is across the board more affordable than Salesforce. This starts with offering a Free tier that gives businesses a surprising level of functionality.

The Free CRM tool delivers contact management, task management, forms, email marketing, live chat and basic bots. This isn’t a free trial; this is full access for free.

Bumping up to the paid tiers, there are two ways of looking at HubSpot's pricing. The first is a separate subscription for each 'Hub'. This is a great idea if you're looking for software for a specific department.


You should check out HubSpot’s extensive pricing page to explore each option.

The most comparable option to Salesforce is the CRM Suite, which bundles the corresponding packages for each Hub into one monthly (or annually) payment.

Here’s what each tier unlocks:


Hubspot pricing
Hubspot Pricing

Conclusion


Overall, both Salesforce and HubSpot are popular and feature-rich CRM platforms for your business. In this article, we’ve explored the difference in features and pricing between HubSpot vs Salesforce.


As the industry leader, Salesforce has had a lot more time to mature and develop into a multi-faceted platform for all business operations. The company’s intentions are clear with Customer 360, Salesforce wants to handle every customer-related action your organization takes.


This approach leads to a unified workflow and brilliant collaboration. In our post-pandemic corporate landscape, remote working is key to driving business growth. It will take a lot more time and funds to transition to using Salesforce, however.

Its implementation costs are higher than that of HubSpot, and it will take far more effort and money to customize Salesforce to meet your organization’s specific needs. HubSpot, on the other hand, is a great out-of-the-box solution. Their CRM isn’t particularly feature-rich and doesn’t have Salesforce’s extension add-on store. However, it works well for creating a streamlined sales, customer support and marketing workflow.


There's a clear reason why Salesforce is the most popular CRM on the market. Its customizability and ease of use is hard to beat. That's why Salesforce is the best CRM for 2022.


Never Overpay on your CRM Software Costs


Need some help reducing your software costs? Your business could be losing out on thousands through wasteful packages and bad negotiations. Smartcost.io helps lower your SaaS costs.


"The team at Smartcost was able to save us $4000 on our CRM software spend during the first meeting alone, and provide us valuable clarity into current market best prices."

- Ajay Mehra, Director of IT, MCM Capital


We can help you choose the best CRM package for your business and secure competitive pricing for businesses of any size. Get in touch with us today for a free estimate of how much we can help your business save.



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