- author: Darren Gordon
Founded in 2004 by MIT graduate students, HubSpot is one of the leading global companies for inbound marketing and sales tools. The company offers tools and software that help companies with their inbound marketing and sales efforts, manage and optimize campaigns that attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. These tools and platforms include a Sales Hub, a Marketing Hub, and a CRM tool. HubSpot’s CRM is one of the most popular choices for companies of various industries, thanks to its simple and easy-to-understand design, and useful features.
Plans & Pricing
HubSpot offers three products: CRM, Marketing Hub, and Sales Hub.
The CRM is completely free, no strings attached, and without any limitations. It’s great for companies of any size and industry, and there are minimal locked features that require additional payment. In terms of usage, it includes unlimited users, and as many as 1 million contacts and companies can be stored. The other products (Marketing Hub and Sales Hub) can be used together with the CRM for a more optimized and effective marketing strategy.
The Marketing Hub has 5 packages. The free package includes a lead analytics board, lead flows, collected forms, contact activity, contact management, and contact and company insights. The other four packages – Starter, Basic, Professional, and Enterprise – range in price per month and features. Except for the starter package, all of the plans are billed annually. You can also purchase additional add-ons and premium services, such as building a website, consulting, marketing training, etc.
The Sales Hub has 3 packages: Free, Starter, and Professional. The free package comes with many features, such as Gmail and Outlook integration, contact management, insights, and many more. The starter package is made for only one user, and the professional package can be used by up to 5 users.
When compared to other products, the marketing and sales tools are very useful and are priced reasonably. The CRM is incomparable to other leading products in price since it is completely free, with all features included and no limitations. Users can create a free account and start using the CRM within minutes, without having to provide any sensitive data or payment info.
Features and Functionality
Because HubSpot specializes in inbound marketing tools, their CRM includes both basic CRM features as well as other useful marketing and sales features.
Contact and Company Management
Import and manage contacts and companies in a spreadsheet with filters and customizable views. You can create entries manually, or upload with your own spreadsheet. To edit a contact or company, simply click the name and you’ll get a nicely designed page with all of the relevant information to review and edit.
The Deals feature can be accessed from the main menu once you’re logged in, and allows you to track how you’re turning prospects into customers, and how much you’re earning over a certain period of time. This is presented in a very visual page that makes it easy to understand and get a quick “big picture” of your activity and success.
Accessible from the main menu, the Task feature allows you to create reminders and tasks for yourself and team members so that you don’t miss out on important opportunities.
Direct Mail System
You can connect your email (either Gmail or Outlook) to HubSpot and install a Chrome extension in order to log emails directly into your CRM, track your email activity, and even send emails. As with other CRMs, you also have an analytics dashboard to review reports and monitor all activity.
HubSpot can be accessed and used on any browser and device, however certain things (like the Chrome extension) require Chrome. HubSpot also has mobile apps for iPhone and Android devices.
Ease of Use
The basic CRM features are pretty easy to understand, and when you start out there is a walkthrough and tutorials to ensure that everything is clear and you can make the most out of every feature. If you need any additional assistance, you can use the HubSpot Community to ask questions or search for your query.
Contacts & Users
Managing contacts is very simple and straightforward, and is very much like using a spreadsheet, which is common with most CRMs. The design is intuitive, and it is easy to understand how to upload a new contact or import contacts, and how to create and edit filters for the main contacts view. Editing individual contacts is extremely easy, and the design makes it a more pleasant experience than other, more complicated, CRMs.
Reporting & Integrations
The free CRM package includes reporting features that allow you to track activities like notes, emails, calls, and meetings. You can build up to 2 free dashboards with standard reports.
HubSpot offers over 70 integrations to choose from, all built from HubSpot and 3rd-party vendors. The most popular ones according to HubSpot are Gmail, Salesforce, HelloSign, Freshbooks, Outlook, Google Calendar, Zapier, and PandaDoc. Others include MailChimp, GoToWebinar, SurveyMonkey, and many more.
Pros & Cons
- Great intuitive design
- Easy to understand and use
- All features available, completely free
- Limited support
The level of support you receive varies depending on the package you choose. The CRM is always free, and includes only HubSpot Community access for support. The Community is very active however, and users will usually find the answers they need there. There is a learning center in the CRM where you can take mini courses and achieve HubSpot certificates.
There is also a pop-up help center in the bottom right corner where you can search for solutions to your questions. If you need additional help you can go to the HubSpot Community, which has hundreds of posts about various issues you might run into. There is also the option to schedule a talk with a User Success agent from HubSpot. Additional support via phone, email, and chat, is available only for users who purchase the paid Marketing Hub or Sales Hub packages.
Video TutorialsWhile the tool is extremely easy to understand and use, there are a few video tutorials on YouTube.
FAQThere is a comprehensive, highly detailed FAQ section that will help answer pretty much anything you want to know about the tool.
Community ForumThe community is vast and very active. Users can be almost certain that they can quickly resolve their issue here.
BlogThe blog is updated regularly and covers a wide variety of topics concerning everything marketing, sales, design and how to improve your processes and efficiency.
To summarize, HubSpot is a very advanced platform of marketing and sales tools, and includes a completely free CRM that is easy to use and includes all major CRM features. Companies can benefit from the CRM without any limitations on the number of users, and can upload up to 1 million contacts, all without any obligation or cost. It’s a great tool for companies of all sizes, and is a very popular choice among organizations around the world, especially if you’re already using or plan to use one of HubSpot’s other platforms for sales or marketing.