HubSpot v Zoho - Which is the best CRM platform for Digital Transformation?

Toni Becker March 03, 2021

With the rise of the digital age, internet usage and web-based sales, businesses have had to adapt to the changing needs and expectations of the consumer. Digital transformation is vital for businesses in the 21st Century and Customer Relationship Management systems form the foundation of this transformation. 

Today, the consumer has more power than before as they are able to self-educate through internet searches, social media reviews, and online communication. If your business does not provide helpful content, instant communication and personalised service, the consumer will quickly turn to your competitors at the click of a button. With this in mind it is vital that businesses put the customer first and provide them with the best possible service - and this is where Customer Relationship Management systems become vital. A Customer Relationship Management system, or CRM as it has become known, is designed to manage and nurture lead and customer relationships while fostering customer-centric company culture - necessary for business success in the digital age.

As CRMs increase in popularity (and necessity), CRM software has rapidly evolved in the space of just a few years. Many CRM companies have emerged and competition is becoming fierce, with these platforms consistently adding to their features and offerings. When it comes to CRM software, HubSpot and Zoho have risen through the ranks to become two of the most sought after platforms. These two platforms have strategically positioned themselves as great alternatives for each other, but which system is really better for your business? 

In this article we take a look at both CRMs and help you make a more informed decision when it comes to choosing the right CRM for your business. 


HubSpot v Zoho: Which CRM is better for your business?

About HubSpot

shutterstock_1445884670-1HubSpot is an inbound marketing and sales software that is made up of tools and features designed to help businesses attract visitors, convert leads and close customers. The software is well-known for its marketing, sales, and service alignment capabilities. Through the software you are able to host your website, create landing pages, automate emails, segment leads, store lead and customer data and manage interactions with leads and customers while tracking and analysing the success of your marketing and sales efforts. 

The HubSpot CRM provides tools that make it easier for your teams to optimise lead conversions while helping your sales team identify high-quality sales opportunities. HubSpot has also become well known for its simple implementation and integrations which is a key aspect of the platform's value proposition. 

To sum it up, HubSpot is an all in one marketing, sales and service software that houses all the tools and data your teams require in a single location that is easy to access, and easy to navigate. 

About Zoho

shutterstock_1228095670Zoho CRM is an on-demand Customer Relationship Management software that is designed for the management of marketing, sales, customer support, contact collection and related business functions. Zoho provides automated workflows that are easily customised and this is the key aspect of the company’s selling proposition. 

Zoho also comes complete with an AI powered assistant known as ZIA, that responds to voice commands to make the process of using the platform that much easier. 

HubSpot v Zoho

HubSpot v Zoho: CRM Features

To begin, it is important that we compare the features in HubSpot versus the features available through Zoho. This is a bit difficult as both platforms offer just about the same basic features, with both offering all the primary features most businesses are looking for in a CRM, including sales forecasting, lead collection and management, email marketing and lead and sales tracking.

  • Lead Management and Contact Management 

HubSpot: Contact management and lead management within the HubSpot CRM allows you to store 1 million contacts as well as all communication records. What makes HubSpot stand out in this department is that you can have the HubSpot CRM retrieve and store all this information for you via email communication and lead form submissions, or you can choose to do this manually. The CRM also tracks all lead and customer activity in real time and your teams are able to view a full history of your relationship with individual leads or customers - including marketing, sales and service activities. HubSpot also allows you to email and call your contacts without having to exit the platform, and you are able to create personalised and automated campaigns through the platform itself. It is this automation that makes the CRM so powerful and sought after across all industries, and businesses of any size can benefit from this platform as it can be scaled with your business. 

Zoho: The contact management feature provided by Zoho allows you to store up to 100 000 contacts - which limits its reach across large enterprise businesses. Similar to HubSpot, contact information is displayed in an easy to access box and the platform allows you to view communication history between a lead and your organisation. Zoho offers what is known as social listening which allows you to view when a contact reaches out to your business via a social media platform. 

In Summary: Both HubSpot and Zoho allow you to generate leads through a variety of marketing platforms such as your website, lead generation forms, email marketing and social media campaigns. However, HubSpot offers more space to grow with your business in terms of lead data collection and storage. 

  • Integration and Customisation

HubSpot: Not all businesses need to fully customise their Customer Relationship Management platform however, if your business needs to create custom integrations then HubSpot has all the tools you require. HubSpot has made an effort over the past few years to provide a software and APIs that can be easily integrated with most business software's to ensure simple integration across your business. 

Zoho: Zoho is also dedicated to providing easy integration and offers a set of instructions to ensure a variety of software's can be integrated with the platforms. This is known as an API and allows you to customise the software to suit your business needs - however, your development team will have to create an API to make most integrations work.

In Summary: Both platforms allow for integration across most external business software's. 

  • Order Management

HubSpot: This feature refers to the process of tracking a customer's order from start to finish as well as tracking service beyond purchase and this is where HubSpot excels. HubSpot provides an order management system that simplifies the entire tracking process and you are able to view which stage an order is in, at any given time, allowing your service teams to resolve any issues before they arise. 

Zoho: The CRM doesn’t offer an order management system and this means that if you are a business that provides goods or products, the Zoho CRM may not be an ideal choice. 

In Summary: When it comes to tracking goods - HubSpot is the clear leader.

Essentially, HubSpot offers services that suit all businesses in any industry - and all its features can be scaled with a business, ensuring longevity and greater return on investment.

HubSpot v Zoho: Implementation

Now that we have taken a look at the important feature differences between HubSpot and Zoho, we need to take a look at ease of implementation across businesses. A CRM should be easy to roll out across your business making for a smooth transition into the world of digital transformation. If the system is difficult to align throughout your organisation, it will cause frustration and create significant barriers between teams. Of course, it is important to note that good strategy and preparation is required when rolling out a CRM and preparing for migration will always take longer than the migration process itself. 

  • HubSpot: As stated previously, HubSpot is dedicated to creating the most streamlined integration process and the company has taken great lengths to ensure that rolling the system out across your organisation is just as seamless. Depending whether or not you choose to use the free CRM or you are using one of HubSpot’s paid tiers, the implementation can take a day or a few days - which is a significantly low implementation time. Making for less hassle and of course, less stress.

  • Zoho: In stark contrast to HubSpot, the Zoho CRM takes well up to 30 days (or longer) to implement across your business. 

In Summary: If you are looking for easy integration and seamless migration then HubSpot is the CRM for your business. 

Table of Features and Integrations

The below highlights the high level features offered by each platform as well as the ease of integration with related platforms.

Contact Management    
Lead Management    
Sales Forecasting    
Email Marketing    
Order Management    
Quote-based Workflows    
Call transcription    
Deal stage, task, and lead rotation automation    
Rep Productivity Performance    
Alerts & Escalations    
Document Storing    
Email Integration    
Reporting/ Analytics    
Real Time Chat    
Multi-channel Communication    
Ticket Routing    
Task Automation    
Hierarchal Teams    
Video Hosting & Management    
Customer Surveys    
Landing Pages/ Web Forms    
Reporting / Analytics    
A/B Testing    
Drip Campaigns    
Template Management    
Contact Website Activity    
Email Health Insights    
Behavioral Event Triggers & Reporting    
Social Media    
Microsoft 365    



The greatest difference between the two platforms lies in pricing. The HubSpot CRM is free, but you will have to pay to add extra features to the offering. 

  • HubSpot: The HubSpot CRM is free, but you will have to pay to add extra features to the offering but it is important to note that HubSpot’s free CRM is powerful even without paid extras. The additional sales features that HubSpot offers are a part of the HubSpot Marketing Hub. Marketing hub, as the name suggests, provides marketing solutions and tools including conversational bots, live chat, email marketing, forms and marketing automation - depending on which of the three piercing tiers you choose for your business. 

  • Zoho: In contrast, Zoho does offer a free version of the software but it is only available for teams of three people or less and comes with limited features, as opposed to HubSpot’s free CRM which is powerful even without paid extras. Zoho also offers Zoho CRM Plus at one per-user, per-month rate, billed either monthly or annually if none of its regular pricing tiers appeal to you.

In Summary: As the HubSpot CRM is free, you can begin with the unpaid version and scale up by adding extra paid features as your business grows through the CRM.

Sourcing the Ideal CRM for your Business

HubSpot is the ideal CRM for scalability and integration while offering you marketing, sales and service alignment in a single, easy to use place.

Zoho provides great functionality however, you may find the software to be more difficult to navigate and implement than that of HubSpot.

If your customer service efforts are closely aligned to generating sales, it's vital that your business, no matter size or industry, invest in a powerful Customer Relationship Management Software system to propel digital transformation across your organisation. The CRM you choose should be able to help you track not only the performance of your sales but also to measure the effectiveness of your sales processes and track and analyse your lead and customer engagement. It is also important that you invest in a CRM that can grow alongside you business and scale with you as you grow through Digital Transformation

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.