These days, customer relationship management software (CRMs) are an essential tool for any company regardless of size, business model, or customer base.
You need it to track leads, contact details, and of course, collect data from multiple touchpoints and interactions.
In this article, we'll explore three popular CRMs--Pipedrive, Salesforce, and Hubspot. They're all reliable options for sellers looking to improve their productivity and collect better data, but each is geared toward a slightly different user.
Here's the feature breakdown, pricing info, and our take on who should use each one.
Hubspot's name might be more synonymous with its popular blog that focuses primarily on marketing tips, tricks, and trends. But, the company also offers a top-tier CRM with freemium pricing, making it a great entry-level tool for small companies. Paid plans offer a feature-rich CRM for growing brands with a budget to invest in SaaS tools.
Here's a look at the key features you'll find inside Hubspot's CRM.
Detailed Contact Records
Hubspot's contact management system is a straightforward solution that makes it easy for users to keep company and contact records organized, log sales activities automatically, and track cross-channel communications.
Anytime you add a new contact to your account, Hubspot automatically populates the record with information about the company, pulled from a database of 20m businesses. See every interaction you've had with contacts, and use this data to build campaigns that close more deals.
Interestingly, Hubspot leaves out a few things here. For one, all contacts are simply marked as "contacts." They're not leads or customers, the only tag you can apply here is changing the status to unqualified. The other issue is, you can only include one email per record.
Hubspot's Universal Inbox gives users a central location for all communications, integrating with top email clients like Gmail and Outlook and displaying emails alongside chat records, notes, and social media communications. From the email dashboard, you can also access email templates, set up email campaigns, send documents to prospects, and embed a calendar link to set up a sales call.
This way, you don't have to toggle between applications and lose time due to navigating between tabs.
Bots and Live Chat
Chatbots and live chat are becoming CRM staples, as they give customers "always on" service and offer brands a way to collect more data about the people that visit their websites. Hubspot's bot builder allows users to create sales-centric bots that can set up meetings, route inquiries to the right person, answer questions, and present content to visitors.
You can use canned responses if you don't know how to code, and you can route conversations to an agent after determining a visitor is a qualified lead.
Hubspot’s sales dashboard gives you a snapshot of individual and team performance. Here, you’ll find real-time data that displays progress toward your quotas, deals in progress, and a quick assessment of the overall health of your sales pipeline.
Under the Sales tab, activities are divided into two groups; Deals and Tasks. Deals allow you to list all steps that need to be completed in a kanban or table format, giving users visualization of what needs to be done to make a deal happen.
Users can add and edit deal stages and assign associated tasks to team members. You'll also be able to drag and drop deals into the next stage when they move from lead to prospect to customer--or however you choose to define your sales funnel.
Hubspot operates on a freemium model, so at a glance, it seems like it might be the most affordable choice in the CRM game.
If the free version won't cut it, Hubspot offers three paid plans that come equipped with more advanced features:
- Sales Hub Starter, $50+ per month
- Professional, $400+ per month
- Enterprise, $1,200+ per month
While basic features are free, the tool can start to get expensive if you want to add in premium features like sales sequences, prospecting, or multiple deal pipelines.
Still, you get quite a few features in the free plan, making it a solid option for small businesses that want more than contact management tool, but can’t afford an enterprise-grade solution.
Salesforce is likely the first name that comes to mind when you think of CRMs. The platform is known for managing complex sales cycles, and connecting with a wide range of SaaS tools from Gmail to Marketo, Outlook, and even Bonjoro.
We should mention, however, Salesforce offers several different options for users based on role, industry, budget, and how many advanced features you’d like to include in your CRM stack. Products include the Salesforce Sales Cloud, as well as Marketing, Service, Engagement, and E-Commerce platforms.
Here's a look at some of the key features found inside this robust platform.
Salesforce offers lead management that makes it easy to understand where you stand with each deal in progress. Each time you create a lead, the system automatically generates a task, but you can customize tasks and activities based on your organization's unique workflow.
The platform allows you to manage sales opportunities as they move from lead to order, tracking stages, marketing campaigns, and review relevant insights you can act on.
One of the more exciting tools you'll find here is the Sales Cloud Einstein Lead Scoring, which uses the Einstein Analytics Platform to assign lead scores to each incoming contact based on historical data.
Keep in mind; if you're a smaller organization, you may not want to invest in a plan that includes the AI-lead scoring feature. According to Salesforce, this feature works best for companies that have generated at least 1,000 leads over the past six months and have converted at least 120 of those new contacts.
You can also manage and track marketing campaigns, which provides you with a direct link between social media campaigns or inbound marketing efforts and lead generation. Plus, you can automatically route leads to the right person based on custom rules.
Social Collaboration Features
Collaboration tools give users the ability to share information with each other about leads, deals, and company records.
The benefit here is, sales reps, marketing, and support teams gain access to a unified view of each contact and can add their own insights, comments, and feedback to inform the strategy moving forward.
Salesforce offers robust reporting tools users can customize based on the metrics that matter to them. The report builder operates on a drag-and-drop system, allowing users to add filters, groupings, and fields to a template fast. This gives teams access to real-time data they can start putting into action, from any device.
Salesforce is a subscription-based service billed monthly or annually at a discounted rate. Pricing depends on how many users need access to the system, as well as the number of contact records you need, customization options, and features.
Pricing ranges considerably, as there are a lot of variables that impact the final number. At the most basic, least customizable level, Salesforce starts at $25 per user, per month and supports a maximum of five users.
At the higher range--Salesforce could cost organizations up to $300 per user per month. In this case, you're getting AI-based lead generation tools like intelligent lead scoring.
Pipedrive is another Sales CRM that targets smaller teams and users seeking an easy-to-use set of tools that help them manage the sales pipeline and track deals. Pipedrive differs from Salesforce and Hubspot in that it focuses almost exclusively on sales-specific activities rather than providing the full suite of tools you’d get in a more robust CRM.
The visual sales pipeline simplifies the complex deal process, allowing users to see where opportunities stand and make decisions fast. You can also customize the pipeline to fit in with your unique sales process and add the sales stages and activity types that reflect your business' sales cycle.
Pipedrive's Sales Inbox is designed to help reps spend less time toggling between their inbox and their CRM, bringing in some automations that can save you time on daily tasks. You can email directly from Pipedrive, and emails will sync to your email account. You'll also gain the ability to track emails and create custom templates.
The site also mentions that for organizations that don't send a ton of emails, Smart Email BCC might be a better choice. This tool allows you to easily copy emails from your personal email to your Pipedrive account by BCC-ing your firstname.lastname@example.org email address. Those emails will then appear inside your Pipedrive account and can be used as templates to save you time later on. This feature can also be used to add new contacts to your account or update existing deals.
Additionally, users can use the email tracking tool to get real-time notifications anytime a prospect opens an email, and if they click on the links, you've included in the body. The benefit here is, sellers, gain more context to inform their follow-up strategy.
According to the Pipedrive site, activities are something you can define yourself, and represent anything that helps you move a sale through the pipeline. That might mean making a phone call, setting up a meeting, or following up via email.
Most of your reporting tools will live inside what Pipedrive calls your Live Dashboard. Here, you can sort deals based on a number of filters, including Newness, Person, Activities, Wins, and Losses. You can also navigate to the Statistics tab. There, you'll find reports that dive deeper into an individual prospect or organization.
Users will also have the option to customize the set of columns associated with each deal.
Pipedrive offers three different pricing plans: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Here’s how the features breakdown shakes out by tier:
What's the Verdict?
Ultimately, it comes down to what you want from a CRM. Salesforce is best suited for larger companies with complex sales cycles, whereas Hubspot offers a cost-effective solution for simple sales processes.
Pipedrive is also geared more toward the smaller sales-focused business but emphasizes more of the sales process than Hubspot—which almost takes on the sales cycle from a marketer's point of view. That said, all three come equipped with the standard CRM features — from opportunity tracking to contact management.
To learn more about connecting Bonjoro videos to your CRM activity, check out our integrations page.