The five key benefits of a CRM system are contact data organisation, sales reporting, accurate sales forecasting, customer segmentation and scaling a sales process.
You need to be able to add new contacts and companies to your database in seconds, keep contact, company and deal records up-to-date, log all sales activities automatically, and send optimised emails in less time.
It’s really important to understand your options, so you can invest in the system that fits your business best. So let’s put two CRM giants in the ring and see how they measure up.
In the orange corner we’ve got HubSpot (HS), the powerhouse of inbound marketing. When HS unveiled its CRM, it was with the sales person and modern sales process in mind. From email and phone to your website and social media, it’s perfect if you want to adapt to the new way customers buy. It tracks and keeps records of every single interaction your leads and customers are having with your business online, so you’re not missing out on hot leads and can recognise those who aren’t quite ready to buy yet.
In the blue corner, we’ve got the colossal alpha-geeks of CRM, Salesforce (SF). These guys have been around for a long time, and offer a scaleable solution that can be competely tailored to your business needs, whether you’re a startup or a massive blue-chip company. If your business could benefit from using a platform that is designed to drive efficiency and allow for growth, you’ll be a perfect fit for Sales Cloud.
It’s easy to use and has some great out-of-the-box features, but if you want to make the most of this powerful system, a partner is strongly advised — that’s where we’d come in. On top of this, the Salesforce platform has more APIs then you could shake a stick at, so connecting your other business apps should be a doddle. They also have a host of alternative features that work hand in hand with Sales Cloud, such as Service Cloud (case management), App Cloud (Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Marketing Cloud/Pardot (marketing automation).
User Experience (UX)
HS is a famously user-friendly platform which runs on all the current browsers and tablets, mobile, and desktop. They’ve got some Android and mobile apps knocking about too. There’s a whole array of available integrations and it’s also pretty easy to get the hang of, so doesn’t require much training.
Integration-wise, SF is an independent CRM, but there are tonnes of App Exchange applications out there to make integrations easy. There are tools like API’s and Email handles that can make integrations simpler. In terms of automation, you can make use of workflow, process builder and automation rules to automate processes — but to use marketing data you’ll have to buy Pardot or Marketing Cloud to help you with this. SF are also currently investing heavily in their new Lightning Experience UX — which makes using the system easier and faster than ever before.
86% of consumers admit that personalization plays a role in their purchasing decisions, and 25% of consumers claim that personalization plays a significant role.
HS allows sales reps to customise their settings so they’re tailored to their individual needs. It allows users to create custom contact, company and individual deal records as well as a customised display, lead scoring and form field mapping. This gets the most relevant information to the right people.
Every user has different needs, and SF makes this easy by allowing administrations to customise most aspects of the platform. You can configure your CRM to make teams and individuals as productive as possible by providing only the fields/objects [tables] they need. By creating applications pages and tabs that contain meaningful content, administrators can create use custom objects [tables] to build additional functionality into the core platform. But I’d advise using a partner to help you to set that up.
Depth of analytics and reports
HS generates analytics reports fast by using data from both the CRM and the marketing platform. You can also access analytics in the mobile app from anywhere you like.
SF makes reporting easy, there’s a stack of reports that are out of the box, but where it is really powerful is creating custom reports. Any data that’s stored in SF is reportable, including formula fields. This means that with the drag and drop functionality, you can meet 95% of your reporting requirements. When you need the other 5%, Wave Analytics is perfect. This provides a really fast reporting platform that can interrogate multiple tables, including those stored outside of SF (for additional ££). It’s optimised for mobile, and provides a hugely powerful reporting-suite, where the data is grouped within a few clicks, and you can get any statistic you need by digging right to the bottom of the data.
Here’s some reviews gathered by G2 Crowd:
“I love that Marketing and Sales get to become even closer with [HS] CRM!”
“The ease of set-up and the ease of use are big plus points for [HS] CRM. I like also the speed of the system online. It is almost immediate. That goes towards the ease of use of the CRM. I have been part of implementing complex CRM systems in large corporations in the past and it was always a big headache. Here it is easy to setup users and teach them how to use the system.”
“After years of using [SF], I welcomed the opportunity to test [HS‘s] new CRM. Within minutes (and without training) I was able to navigate through the software and get a real feel for the product.”
“[SF] is an incredibly powerful, rich, and functional CRM application. It is a good fit for SMB to large enterprise. It is very easy to administer, but has the power to do very complex workflow and analytics when/if needed.”
“I like the fact that this CRM can be completely tailored to our organization. Once it is set up it feels like it was designed specifically for our company (which it is).”
“If it is your first time using the tool be prepared to be confused and overwhelmed. It took me about 3 weeks to begin to understand everything that [SF] has to offer and can do for a salesperson. It is so large and complex that if you don’t buckle down and attempt to learn it, it will not be useful for you.”
This is where HS CRM wins big over SF CRM: HS CRM is — *gasp* — FREE, forever!
Sadly, SF isn’t. Though it offers a free trial, if you want to continue, the Salesforce IQ CRM starter starts at $25 per user, per month and goes up to Lightning Unlimited, which is $300 per user, per month.
The winner of HubSpot CRM vs. Salesforce?
Well, it’s entirely up to you! HS targets smaller businesses, providing a growth platform with loads of guidance material to help you and your team start thinking inbound and how to integrate your sales and marketing processes.
SF, on the other hand, caters for businesses both big and small; it’s scaleable whether you’re a small SME or huge enterprise. What really matters is that you consider your budget and the features your own sales organisation requires; after all, it’s all about finding the right platform for your specific team.
Alternatively, you could be really clever and consider both! Here at oe:gen, we use and integrate both platforms for a truly powerful combination. We also specialise in helping loads of other companies do the same. Want to learn more? Chat to us today!