HubSpot Vs. Salesforce: Who Should You Go With?

Written by Davey Warren

Published on May 11, 2020

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Today’s customers know what they want. When their interactions with brands are unsatisfactory, they will move on to other brands that can provide them with what they need. One of the most important things that they look for is the customer care service.

Here are a few customer care statistics and studies you should ponder on:

  • According to the 2020 Digital Trends Report, B2B companies consider customer experience to be the single most exciting opportunity for this year.
  • Reports show that 63% of customers would be willing to share data with a company that offers good customer experience.
  • According to the 2020 Customers Progress Report by Walker Information, customer experience professionals still experience challenges when dealing with personalization, ease, and speed concerning how customers are being handled.
  • When customers are highly engaged, they will buy 90% more frequently and spend 60% more per transaction. Their value is 3 times more annually than that of the average customer.
  • A typical $1 billion company will gain $775 million over the course of 3 years by making moderate improvements in their customer experience.

It’s safe to say that how you handle your customers can make or break that hot deal that you have in the works. For this reason, you need to understand as much as possible about your prospects and leads. They are your potential customers. And that is why you need to have an excellent Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. It will help boost your business sales significantly when used in the right way.

You may have heard of Salesforce. It is by far the biggest solutions provider as far as CRM goes. It owns 19.5% of the global market share. However, it is not the only CRM solutions provider. HubSpot is also in the game and currently occupies 3.4% of the global market share.

But don’t count the latter out yet. There is more to CRM that just the market share. It’s time to take a deeper look at how HubSpot compares to Salesforce.

1.  Cost of Acquisition

Cost is always a factor when it comes to the acquisition, use, and maintenance of any software. Many businesses operate on a limited budget. HubSpot and Salesforce have different pricing strategies.


HubSpot’s CRM is free. And it’s not just free for one person; it’s free for an unlimited number of users. Additionally, access to the CRM is free forever. You can store as many as one million contacts or companies within the software.

You can use the free CRM tools for contact management, prospecting, ticketing, ad management, and reporting. The CRM can also be used to create email templates and track their performance, schedule meetings, and manage documents among other things.

If you would like to have a more robust system that not only manages your customers’ relationships but helps with marketing and sales, then you can upgrade by investing in HubSpot Sales Hub among other kinds of products. The Starter costs $25/user/month while the Professional costs $100/user/month. The Enterprise version of that software costs $120/user/month. But it requires a minimum of 10 paid users.

There are also additional options for bundling multiple products from HubSpot. These may cost you anywhere from $50 per month to $4,200 per month. You will then be able to enjoy the free CRM as well as other premium products of your choice depending on what you pay.


Unlike HubSpot’s CRM, Salesforce is not free. Its four pricing models include Essentials at $25/user/month, Professional at $75/user/month, Enterprise at $150/user/month, and Unlimited at $300/user/month.

The Enterprise version is the most popular version. It offers a customizable CRM that can boost your business sales. If you are not sure about the price you can always try it out for free. But do bear in mind that you only get a free trial that lasts for 30 days.

There are also additional support costs associated with Salesforce. These include premiums such as administrative assistance and 24/7 support. Add-ons will also cost you more. For example, Pardot will cost you an additional $1,250 per month for up to 10,000 contacts.

HubSpot wins hands down concerning pricing. It is very affordable for small businesses and solopreneurs. One million contacts is a huge number. Even if your business grows and you need to upgrade the CRM to enjoy HubSpot’s enterprise tools, the cost per user is still cheaper than that of Salesforce.

2.  Ease of Use

Ease of use refers to the simplicity of the software tool and how easy it is to use. The more difficult a product is to use, the steeper the learning curve, and the more support you may need to pay to get the system going.

The easiest way to determine the ease-of-use is by paying attention to what real-life users of the system say about the products. To what extent are they satisfied with HubSpot and Salesforce?

HubSpot’s CRM scores 4.4/5 with regard to ease of use based on 2517 reviews on Capterra. Salesforce CRM however, scores 3.9/5 concerning ease of use based on 14220 reviews on Capterra.

But where does the difference lie?


Most users love HubSpot’s set of features and how well they serve the average business. The HubSpot CRM makes it easy to manage contacts. Reviewers like how centralized contact data is and how easy it is to customize it.

The seamless integration with other existing systems and between the sales and marketing functions is also something that stands out. There are hundreds of apps that can help enhance your HubSpot system functionality. Additionally, it is easy to set up and offers lots of functionality for a cheaper price. However, the mobile app could do with some improvements if the reviews are anything to go by.


Salesforce, on the other hand, has a much larger feature set. But that also means it has a steeper learning curve. The setup process is one that some people consider difficult, time-consuming, and even confusing.

You need to ensure that people have the required training to ensure they can take advantage of all the features Salesforce has to offer. But once it’s up and running it offers a larger data set for businesses to analyze. It also allows for seamless integrations with hundreds of third-party systems that most businesses use.

There is no doubt that Salesforce has everything an enterprise needs. But the implementation is difficult for the average user and may require a paid-for consultant, which will add to the costs of using the software. Or you may need to learn how to do everything in-house. But that would mean having to learn the technical details including the Salesforce APEX language. It would, therefore, be better suited to large enterprises that have the budget required to set up the CRM and pay for training or in-house development.

Due to this difficulty in customizing the system, HubSpot holds its own with Salesforce despite having fewer customizable features. The free CRM would be a better choice for a small- or medium-sized business that is looking to set up systems quickly with minimal employee training.

3.  Sales Management Features

The goal of investing in a good CRM is to manage customer relationships in a way that enhances sales as much as possible in the most efficient way. So, it’s worth paying attention to just how well both HubSpot and Salesforce can help automate the entire sales process.


You can use the HubSpot CRM for deal management. At the core of HubSpot is its inbound marketing strategy. HubSpot can generate leads via its content management system and feed them directly into the CRM. You can email your leads directly from the CRM or integrate them through third-party systems like Gmail to accomplish the same task.

Once you have the leads in your system, you can use your HubSpot CRM to create emails, track them, set up meetings with hot leads, and call them. If you choose the upgraded version like Enterprise, you will enjoy additional benefits. These include the ability to organize your deal pipelines to suit your business needs, customize records, automate simple tasks, and even have your calls transcribed so that your sales team can refer to them later.

With HubSpot CRM, you can configure your deals in seven pre-determined stages. Also, it is easy to visualize everything on the pipeline dashboard provided. It provides real-time information about your entire sales funnel so you can chart the progress of your deals and your team sales team members’ performances.

But you get one pipeline per organization. However, with the premium options, you can implement multiple pipelines per organization. To associate products with deals, you also need to pay for the premium option. Such an option would also enable you to automate sales tasks to suit your business needs.

Other benefits include the ability to organize hundreds of sales teams, access to a reporting dashboard, predictive lead scoring, customized reports, and quote-based workflows. You will also be able to use eSignatures to close the deal in 200 different currencies if you desire.


With Salesforce, it is not possible to generate leads through inbound marketing in a way that feeds directly into the CRM unless you use there marketing automation tools or other integrations(additional cost). But once you capture leads, you can also use the Salesforce CRM to communicate directly with them or through third-party systems like Outlook. Salesforce has excellent customization options that will enable you to edit data about leads in more ways than HubSpot would make it possible. The CRM also provides lead scoring as part of its core functionality.

Salesforce also enables you to configure deal stages to suit your sales process no matter how complex it is. It also gives you the ability to associate documents at each stage of the sales process as well as an unlimited number of products.

Here is a break down of our comparison:


So, which one is better?

Well, it depends. With Salesforce CRM, you will have a very large feature set to choose from and have unlimited access to customization options to suit every sales situation. The software is excellent for large enterprises with complex sales processes.

But the average small- and medium-sized business does not need all those services. Neither can they afford them. They also don’t have the manpower. And that’s where HubSpot comes in. In terms of cost and ease of use, HubSpot CRM is much better. You will also be able to use the available features and buy what you need as your business scales upwards, which makes it the best CRM to grow with. It may not have the market share of Salesforce, but it is a worthy opponent and one that is definitely worth considering.

Originally published May 11, 2020 4:13:00 PM, updated Nov 30, 2020