HubSpot or Salesforce - what CRM, Sales & Marketing software is best for a mid-sized or enterprise business?

authorToni Becker dateSeptember 02, 2020

Customer Relationship Management, also known as CRM, is a platform or software that businesses use to manage interactions with clients and potential clients. This kind of strategy helps businesses streamline their processes, develop customer relationships, increase sales, improve customer service and increase profitability. 

HubSpot v Salesforce - which is better for medium to large businessesHubSpot v Salesforce - which is better for medium to large businesses

When it comes to CRMs, HubSpot and Salesforce are the most sought after and respected platforms, but both have pursued very different CRM paths. 

About HubSpot

Hubspot v SalesforceHubSpot defines its software as: “An inbound marketing software platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers.”

Essentially, HubSpot is an all in one marketing software that provides tools for blogging, social media, SEO, email, landing pages, marketing automation and analytics. You have the choice of either integrating the software into your current website or you can build a new website through HubSpot - regardless, your website will act as a content management system once integrated with the software. 

HubSpot has become a leader in CRM as it provides the most advanced automation tools designed for optimising marketing campaigns. Since its inception, it has expanded its offerings and not only helps marketing departments, it is an extremely  useful tool for sales teams as well as customer service departments.

HubSpot offers software that includes: CRM, Marketing Hub, Service Hub and CMS Hub. 

About Salesforce

shutterstock_1099303310Salesforce describes itself as: “A customer relationship management solution that brings companies and customers together. It's one integrated CRM platform that gives all your departments — including marketing, sales, commerce, and service — a single, shared view of every customer.”

Salesforce is a cloud computing Service as a Software (SaaS) company, and has grown into the 5th largest software company worldwide. It specialises in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and allows businesses the opportunity to use cloud technology to easily connect with customers, potential customers, and partners.

The software gives businesses the ability to track customer activity and market to customers, as well as a variety of other services that are designed to better connect customers to businesses. 

HubSpot Versus Salesforce: Mid-sized and Enterprise Business

HubSpot and Salesforce are two very different platforms as stated above, but which platforms work best for mid-sized or Enterprise businesses when it comes to sales and marketing? 

HubSpot began its journey as a CRM focused on Inbound Marketing, however as the business grew, HubSpot organically built new hubs over the years while Salesforce has only grown through acquisition. This means that although Salesforce has an array of features, they are not coherent and do not work smoothly together. 

Salesforce was developed around sales, while, as stated above, HubSpot was built around a new marketing movement and was built as a platform that addresses the need to have your marketing efforts line up with your sales efforts - which means HubSpot delivers more value to both sales and marketing teams

Salesforce is geared to the enterprise space and is designed for specifically for sales, and the reason most enterprises use Salesforce is because it is customisable and easy to tailor - which is important for larger organisations.  That said, Salesforce customisation can be both a costly and time-consuming activity, which isn't idea for companies that are looking for fast-implementation.  But most people who use Salesforce do not make use of all its offerings because the platform is complex, and with complexity again comes cost, that is: cost of maintenance, training and consulting.

HubSpot on the other hand is exceptionally user friendly and gives enterprises full visibility throughout the entire sales pipeline, and in real time. There are hundreds of native integrations available with HubSpot and the added benefit of HubSpot's open API and integration processes means that virtually any other system can be integrated with low cost and ease.

It is also important to note that the learning process for new users on HubSpot is much easier than those on Salesforce as the site is designed for user experience and to make the process as coherent and streamlined as possible. 

The Benefits of Salesforce for Mid-Sized or Enterprise Businesses

  • Salesforce is highly customisable and has one of the biggest marketplaces for apps and integrations, this means, if you are happy with the complexity of the software, you can customise it to suit your needs.
  • With adoption, Salesforce is incredibly complex but initially, it is relatively easy to upload your current data to the platform - and if you are looking for sales representatives who know how to use the software, you will probably find them given how widely used the platform is in the sales world. BUT, if you are not familiar with Salesforce, chances are you will not be able to understand how to use the software on your own and will need a lot of training as it does not have a user friendly or intuitive user interface. 
  • Salesforce is also scalable, and you are able to scale it up and down as much as you need due to the number of apps available. 
  • As Salesforce is Cloud Based, your teams have easy access to the data and can use it on the go and it also comes with high level security to make sure your data is secure. 
  • Salesforce prices are set as per user as per month but the payments are made annually. Meaning you are putting down a serious investment - which isn't necessarily an issue for larger enterprises but given the current economic climate this needs to be considered. 
  • This process also increased the risk of being locked in with a vendor which is an issue for businesses who end up struggling with the difficult user experience of the platform - and a consultant can add up to upwards of 5 or 6 figures when you begin using the platform. 

Salesforce is undoubtedly a powerful CRM platform, and if you have a strong and experienced team who have the time to work through the platform, and you have the finances to support it,  it could be the right option for your Mid-size or enterprise business. 

The Benefits of HubSpot for Mid-Sized or Enterprise Businesses

Here, we take a look at HubSpot and how it can work for your medium-sized and enterprise business - just like above, we will unpack both the pros and the cons of this software system to help you make a decision when choosing the CRM for your business.

  • In regards to pricing, you will find different tiers and the price does go up with each, however HubSpot has managed to keep itself very competitive in its pricing, even as its tool sets have reached greater levels of functionality. There are no unexpected costs when it comes to HubSpot and the only additional cost would be the costs involved with upgrading your features. 
  • Unlike Salesforce there are no additional customisation costs, such as paid for support. And what sets the pricing model of HubSpot apart, is that you only pay for revenue generating sales seats so you are not paying for the management team. 
  • When using HubSpot the CRM tracks customer interactions automatically so you will always have the most up to date data available at your fingertips, while the Gmail and Outlook integrations also mean you can get information on your email engagement and email campaigns in real time.
  • When it comes to HubSpot's reporting, there are a few complaints that users have made in the past, but changes have recently been implemented to address these issues, which makes it certain that HubSpot listens to its clients and works to achieve the best possible functionality for them. That aside, the reports do have some incredible functions, from activity benchmarking and integration with marketing activities in place, reporting can provide a fully rounded overview of the entire marketing and sales funnel - something few platforms have the capability to do successfully. 
  • And this is where the primary benefit of HubSpot for medium-sized enterprises comes into play - the software syncs directly with your marketing tools. With this in mind, you can take your leads from your marketing to your sales team, effortlessly. Another significant benefit is that HubSpot has been built organically, and from the ground up with the user in mind at all times. This makes it a user designed product that is much more in line with the end user - making the process of learning and understanding the ins and outs of the software simple and easy. 
  • When it comes to enterprise businesses, HubSpot has grown to become one of the main players in this area as it has grown to meet the needs of much larger companies and teams. Unlike Salesforce, HubSpot has marketing and service functions built into it - and all you have to do is activate them. However, these integrations do come at an extra cost.
  • At the end of the day, HubSpot is designed to be user friendly and this means you can get it up and running swiftly - and your team will be quick to learn how the software works while Salesforce takes time and investment to learn and navigate. 

Which Software should you choose for your small to medium company?

If your marketing efforts are closely aligned to generating sales, it's vital that your organisation, no matter its size, has a powerful Customer Relationship Management Software system to help you track not only the performance of your sales team but also to measure the effectiveness of your sales process, win rates, success factors and closing patterns. 

If you are looking for a CRM to help your business, Nexa is here to help.  We'll work with you to understand the needs of your business, your goals, objectives and pain-points.  With this information, we'll recommend the best solution and software implementation for your business, while working with your sales and marketing teams to ensure that they are able to use the systems effectively to produce positive results for your business.  Talk to us today.

Contact us today and begin your Customer Relationship Management journey.