HubSpot vs Salesforce (2021): Comparison, Pricing & Features

Christopher Sirk
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In the game of CRM Software, there are many names. HubSpot and Salesforce are two of the biggest ones.

Founded in 2006 and 1999, respectively, they've both been around the block. HubSpot ranks very highly for usage among small businesses (neck-and-neck with Zoho for the top 2 and 3 spots), while Salesforce has the largest usage rate in the CRM market overall.

If you're looking at HubSpot and Salesforce, chances are good you're seeking an all-in-one CRM. You want a platform for managing the entire sales cycle, marketing and service. You're seeking features like automation and workflow management tools, geared to make your sales team more effective with fewer resources.

Both platforms handle this list of functions very well. But there are marked differences between HubSpot and Salesforce in terms of data analytics, customization, and pricing.

Which of the two platforms is better suited for your business? Read on to learn about HubSpot and Salesforce product features, and to find out the differences between the two.

 

HubSpot

HubSpot is a major name in CRM solutions. They're also well known as pioneers in the field of inbound marketing.

The vendor offers a free CRM that handles the basics of the sales process and inbound marketing, including lead management and cross-channel tracking of customer interactions. Track leads and assign them to sales reps, centralize your record of customer interactions across various channels like email, social media, chat, website, and more. 

To get more out of this primary operational functionality, you can buy one of HubSpot’s add-on plans for marketing (Marketing Hub), sales (Sales Hub), service (Service Hub), or comprehensive growth (Growth Suite), which add a wealth of features including reporting, AI, and advanced automation.

The platform works with G Suite and Microsoft Office and has tons of Zapier integrations with apps like Slack, Facebook Lead Ads, and Google Sheets.

 

Salesforce

The biggest planet in the CRM solar system with a 19%+ market share, Salesforce is a pioneer in CRM and other workplace SaaS services spanning analytics, customer service, marketing automation, and app development.

The vendor offers deep, well-developed tools for sales processes and team collaboration, as well as many third-party integrations. Sales managers and sales teams will be able to construct sophisticated tasks management systems. Advanced automation provides for a dramatic drop in the need for manual data entry, and takes the tedious low-stakes decision making out of the everyday. Operations planning will benefit from centralized contact and sales information and having a “single source of truth” for data.

Salesforce CRM automates many tedious tasks and decision-making processes out of the workday. The platform also includes a Marketing Cloud module, which helps with everything from community engagement, marketing intelligence, customer sentiment, and more.

 

HubSpot Vs Salesforce: What is the Difference?  

So what are the quantitative and qualitative differences between the two platforms?

We've evaluated HubSpot and Salesforce according to several key criteria: ease of use, features, price, quality of integrations, customer support, reporting, platform migration, and what type of business it's ideal for. We've also checked out user ratings and reviews to see what kind of praises and complaints are common.

 

Ideal for...

HubSpot

Hubspot offers a free CRM. This entry-level product makes it ideal for small and medium-sized businesses to try out the vendor's offerings and while its add-on packages provide the kind of flexible, detailed features required by large enterprises, including AI assistance, deeper sales prospect insights, and high-end automation. 

If you're on a tight budget, the free HubSpot CRM has full-fledged inbound marketing tools, helping you guide blog posts towards search engine hits and offers decent email marketing. It also does a good job of managing workflows for improved project management. You’ll be able to effectively assign and track leads, keep an eye on the sales process, and record customer interactions across channels.

Salesforce

Salesforce CRM is targeted at organizations of all sizes, but it's probably most ideal for larger businesses or midsize enterprises that are growing.

This is because Salesforce drills down deeply into the full spectrum of business processes, from marketing and customer service to project management, revenue tracking, and more. The vendor's extensive list of add-ons provides further customization to suit niche and complex business applications.

With that in mind, it's not the simplest tool in the shed; Salesforce has at least a moderate learning curve and requires some time out for training.

 

Pricing

HubSpot

  • HubSpot CRM is free

  • Marketing Hub for 1,000 contacts, Sales Hub for 5 users, and Service Hub for 5 users all have starter plans starting at $30 per month billed annually

  • Professional plans for Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, and Service Hub start at $800 for 1,000 contacts, $300 for 5 users, and $240 for 5 users (respectively) per month billed annually

  • Enterprise plans for Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, and Service Hub start at $3,200 for 10,000 contacts, $1,200 for 10 users, and $1,200 for 10 users (respectively) per month billed annually

While the basic CRM is free, there are no free trials for the paid add-on plans.

Salesforce

  • Essentials plan for all-in-one sales and support is $25 per user/per month, billed annually

  • Professional plan offering complete CRM for any size team is $75 per user/per month, billed annually

  • Enterprise plan offering deeply customizable sales CRM for your business is $150 per user/per month, billed annually

  • Unlimited plan for “unlimited CRM power and support” is $300 per user/per month, billed annually

A 14-day free trial is available for all plans. 

 

Features

HubSpot

HubSpot manages workflows for improved project management. You’ll be able to effectively assign and track leads with intuitive dashboards, keep an eye on the sales process, and record customer interactions across channels.

HubSpot marketing synchronization helps you amplify and unify your brand messaging. A drag and drop email editor allows you to build attractive, niche-targeted marketing campaigns quickly. You can also easily create custom views, so you can have quick overviews of relevant information in one place. 

There's also robust social media marketing capabilities; you can monitor your brand's presence across channels and post directly on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. A wide range of integrations with third-party apps extend HubSpot's capabilities further.

Salesforce

Salesforce provides a wide range of CRM and extended business productivity features, including contact record, task management, lead management, email integration with Microsoft and Google-based inboxes, sales forecasting, opportunity management, and a content management system (CMS).

The sales tools of the Salesforce CRM can be extended with add-ons like the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. The suite provides a range of tools for improving content marketing and overall marketing strategy, such as building landing pages with its included Email Studio product.

There's also Salesforce Einstein, which offers artificial intelligence-driven business analytics.

 

Ease of use 

HubSpot

HubSpot is clearly designed around small business adoption. It's easy to use out of the box. You can quickly figure out how to navigate sales features and optimize workflows without the need of technical support. As your use of the platform expands, you can make use of classroom training.

You can also check out the HubSpot Academy for tips on boosting your overall sales and marketing strategy.

Salesforce

Salesforce is heavy on features, and it takes a while to learn how to navigate between dashboards effectively. To get the most out of the platform for your sales team, you'll likely need the assistance of a technical support person.

You'll also need to train your team. Fortunately, the company offers a gamified, well-designed, online training resources in the form of Trailhead.

 

Customer Support

HubSpot

HubSpot supports its customers through online training, community forums, and conventional one-on-one support channels. The vendor offers a variety of certifications focusing mainly on inbound lead generation. 

Dedicated phone support is available with the Professional and Enterprise-level paid plans.

Salesforce

Salesforce supports its users with well-developed online training and certification infrastructure that leads you through the technical aspects of its CRM tools. There are also community forums and the usual multi-channel support channels for troubleshooting specific issues that arise.

24/7 support and configuration services are available with the highest-tier Enterprise plan.

 

Integrations

HubSpot

HubSpot is designed to work with both G Suite and Microsoft Office, so whichever platform your business favors, your work processes will run without headaches. Zapier integration makes it easy to share information across apps (Google Sheets, Slack, Facebook Lead Ads, etc.) and streamline tasks.

The vendor also offers many third-party integrations within the HubSpot App Ecosystem. This presently includes 200+ integrations, and more are added every month.

Salesforce

Salesforce integrates with thousands of third-party software tools, including familiar ones such as Mailchimp, G Suite, Slack, Dropbox, and Quickbooks. You can easily port customer data from Gmail as well.

If you're looking for specific tool integration, Salesforce AppExchange provides an incredible range of solutions for extending your use of the platform.

 

Reporting

HubSpot

HubSpot delivers an intuitive reporting system for essential sales activities. It provides detailed views of who your best customers are, where your leads come from, sales pipeline pain points, customer motivation for purchasing from you, and more. You can also track metrics like quota attainment, emails sent, number of meetings, and number and type of deals closed.

However, if you're looking for more in-depth reporting, you may find Salesforce offers more options.

Salesforce

Salesforce handles complex sales reporting needs, with a near-infinite amount of reporting configurations allow you to build, read, and share data. You can control data fields, report types, filter data by case type, and format your reports in a tabular, summary, matrix, or joined layouts. Store and search for reports, and analyze report data with AI, including Einstein data insights. 

Reporting tools can be further extended through integrations with other tools, including Tableau, Zoho Reports, and many more.

 

Platform migration

Migration to HubSpot

Migrating your data from other CRMs or CSV files to HubSpot is fairly straightforward, as the platform does a good job of getting rid of data duplicates. Data import is built around recognizing and sorting data according to HubSpot's four major object categories: contacts, companies, deals, and tickets.

HubSpot also provides website migration to HubSpot's CMS assisted by a designated Migrations Specialist. 

Migration to Salesforce

Salesforce includes a utility called Data Import Wizard, which allows you to convert accounts, contacts, leads, and data for custom objects into objects the platform recognizes. You can do bulk import of up to 50,000 records at one time.

Data migration can sometimes create issues with access and permissions. You may find manual amendments are necessary to keep data from being corrupted. This is particularly the case if you've started building and structuring data in Salesforce, then go back and try to merge old data.

 

Ratings & Reviews

HubSpot

The HubSpot CRM platform gets a lot of positive feedback when it comes to pricing, ease-of-use, and the desktop app's functionality. Lead assignment and reporting tools also get good marks.

On the other hand, some users gripe about how HubSpot's CRM has limited feature customization options. Others are not super impressed with the mobile app, finding it clunky and lacking in functionality.

Salesforce

Users generally like how comprehensive and extendable Salesforce's features are; it truly is a one-stop shop for business productivity software. The platform gets accolades for deftly managing leads, opportunities, analytics, contact record, and sales pipelines. 

At the same time. Salesforce's CRM does get some knocks from users for its cost and complexity. In particular, people find generating and interpreting reports to be overly involved and time-consuming.

 

Conclusion

HubSpot and Salesforce both offer powerful CRM systems with a lot of features. The bottom line is this—choosing the "best" customer relationship management platform always comes down to niche business needs.

That said, if you're running a very small business, it's highly likely you're going to favor HubSpot. HubSpot's pricing structure is much more favorable to small teams, who can start out with the free CRM and then buy either of the Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, and Service Hub add-ons, all of which are $30 a month for 5 users. Salesforce pricing is per user/per month, which translates to higher initial overhead. 

Salesforce has an edge in raw power and possibilities. The platform has really robust data analytics and reporting, and an almost endless list of well-built integrations. HubSpot has plenty of integrations too, and although its reporting tools aren't as powerful, they are more intuitive and time-saving. 

Fortunately you can compare the two for yourself at no cost. Simply download HubSpot's free CRM and sign up for Salesforce's 14-day free trial at the same time. 

After a week or two, it will become quite apparent which of the two is better for your business.

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