HubSpot

HubSpot CRM is a SaaS CRM (customer relationship management) service that integrates with HubSpot’s inbound marketing, sales, and customer service applications. The CRM is one of HubSpot’s core services and is one of the few CRMs available for small- and medium-sized businesses with a free tier of service.

HubSpot started out as a content management system (CMS) but has grown to become an all-in-one solution. HubSpot also offers a platform of tools for customer support, live chat, social media marketing, content management, search engine optimization (SEO), web analytics, and lead generation that integrate with the CRM.

Who uses HubSpot CRM?

HubSpot is generally used by small- and medium-sized businesses. The majority of HubSpot’s existing customer base is enterprise owners that need an all-in-one content marketing tool with a CMS that has integrated lead generation and tracking features. Other existing customers are marketing departments executing integrated marketing programs that need tools for evaluating campaign results and justifying returns on investment (ROI) to senior management.

Despite the robustness of its CRM, HubSpot only captures a negligible slice of the CRM market in 2021. However, it leads the marketing automation space with more than 30% of the market share. HubSpot users tend to be businesses that want a marketing automation tool with an integrated CRM, plus optional sales and customer service tools.

What are the key features and benefits of HubSpot CRM?

While the freemium CRM is a gateway to HubSpot’s platform for many businesses, HubSpot is fundamentally a CMS with integrated lead generation and other features that include the CRM. HubSpot combines blogging, social media posting, email marketing (including email scheduling and team email), and live chat for websites in one platform.

HubSpot’s CMS Hub offers a SaaS alternative to self-hosted WordPress websites. The SaaS model means services and products, such as hosting, plugins, security, maintenance, updates, and support, are included in the subscription. CMS Hub offers users a greater degree of convenience at the cost of some of the customizability of a self-hosted site.

Recognizing that many users want HubSpot for its CMS capabilities but are already invested in other CRMs, HubSpot integrates with other CRMs including Salesforce, SugarCRM, NetSuite, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. HubSpot also integrates with other third-party services such as Gmail, G Suite, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook, and more.

Other tools and services within the platform include the Marketing Grader that assesses and scores website performance, Twitter tracking, and Taboola (a global pay-per-click (PPC) native ad network). HubSpot practices the inbound content marketing it preaches with its HubSpot Academy that offers extensive resources to help users and non-users alike learn content marketing and inbound marketing.

The CRM feature allows users to track deals, tasks, ticketing, and prospects throughout the inbound lead generation, sales, and customer service process. Specific software for sales, marketing, and service departments are available with free and paid service tiers. For businesses looking for a single solution across all the above departments, HubSpot Growth Suite bundles the complete suite of services together into one solution.

While HubSpot provides the convenience of an integrated all-in-one solution, contracts are inflexible with no cancellations or refunds. Service features increase greatly with service tiers but the number of contacts in the CRM do not, which may be a problem for some businesses.

Alternatives to HubSpot CRM

Alternatives to HubSpot CRM will offer not only a CRM but also integrate well with marketing, sales, and customer service applications. Unlike many other CRM alternatives, HubSpot CRM integrates with a number of its competitors so other CRMs can be used with HubSpot’s CMS Hub. CRM and marketing automation alternatives include:

  • Salesforce
  • SugarCRM
  • NetSuite
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM
  • Insightly
  • Salesflare
  • Zoho CRM
  • Freshworks CRM
  • Active Campaign
  • Adobe Experience Cloud
  • Oracle Marketing Cloud
  • Salesforce Pardot
  • Sharpspring

Learn more about CRMs

With an average ROI of $8.71 for each dollar spent and expected market growth to more than double the current size by 2028, CRM software is a core tool to maximize the productivity of sales, marketing, and customer service teams of businesses of any size. 

For more background and tools to help with the research and selection of the ideal CRM for your organization’s needs, check out these resources.

Lucas Ledbetter
Lucas Ledbetter writes about technology in marketing, education, and healthcare and provides content strategy consultation for small businesses. In his spare time, he studies languages, dabbles in poetry, and tinkers with his Raspberry Pi. Follow him at thinkbettermarketing.com.

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