HubSpot Review: In-Depth
Growing a business is hard, and HubSpot is meant to make the process go a bit smoother. Blending education, software, and community engagement, this site aims to help businesses work smarter, not harder.
Key & Interesting Features
HubSpot continues to be an adequate resource for sales and marketing needs, such as website and email integration and CRM details. The dashboard comes with all kinds of options, such as:
- Reports on traffic and website visitors
- Marketing statistics
- Email and inbound campaigns
- Templates and schedules
- Social media integration
HubSpot Review: Background Information
This is a company focusing on software development and marketing tools for business-minded people. The company was founded in June 2006 by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, both of MIT.
Within a year of starting, their revenue jumped from $255,000 to $15.6 million. The brand has worked with over 34,000 customers as well as the New York Stock Exchange and Michelle Obama. Their latest adventure was Customer Code, a webinar that is available on their website for anyone to use.
The company is still headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but it also has offices all over the globe, such as Berlin, Dublin, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo. Its three CEOs are Kipp Bodnar, Kate Bueker, and JD Sherman.
The service has been featured in the Boston Business Journal and CNBC as one of the best places to work. It has around 4,000 employees and continues to be one of the leading CRM apps.
Interesting Stats & Facts
Though the company has been around for years, there are still some little-known facts about its beginnings and founders.
- Raised over $100 million in fundings.
- Co-founder Brian Halligan holds an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering.
- Halligan previously worked with Longworth Ventures, which Microsoft later acquired.
- Halligan was the recipient of the 2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
- He was a contributor to Inc. and is the author of a couple of books with Shah.
- Co-founder Dharmesh Shah began his first start-up in 1994 when he was just 24 years old.
- He won the Boston Globe #1 Hi-Tech Innovator Award in 2011.
Customer Relationship Management Features
As a CRM company, there is no doubt that HubSpot knows what it’s doing in terms of client communication and customer service. Below are their highlights.
1. Construction CRM Features
By tracking an email, users can see when their recipients open the mail, click on any links, and view attachments or videos. This provides greater insight into how marketing efforts and emails can improve in the future. Plus, clients can know when to send follow-ups, which primes them for more sales and better customer service experiences. Below is a review of the CRM options.
- Track clients
- Forecast traffic and sales
- Project management
2. Financial CRM Features
Whether it’s B2B or business-to-customer, HubSpot can work with all industries to provide a clear view of a company’s sales funnel. The dashboard visually tracks and reviews interactions and communication with potential buyers across all media and organizes those leads into lists.
- Email templates and reports
- Visual sales funnel
- Track leads and sales
- Real-time notifications
3. Lead Management Features
Keeping ahead of contacts and tasks is easier than ever with the Marketing Hub. This is where employees can track reports related to sales, customer activities, and communication. There is also room for customization, which makes reviews and follow-ups with leads a breeze.
- Complete activities and sales
- Detailed contact reports
- Company and employee records
- Communication history
- Easy follow-up
- Outreach personalization
4. Mac CRM Features
This is a smart option that simplifies customer relations and helps businesses put their best foot forward. While the service provides everything that clients need, it doesn’t complicate things with frivolous add-ons. Of course, if a start-up or enterprise wants to grab ahold of more functions, they can opt for a paid CRM suite.
- Email tracking
- Updates on prospects
- Schedules and meetings
- Live collaboration and chatting
5. Online CRM Features
As one of the leading CRM apps out there, they do not disappoint. The platform helps clients build sales strategies or improve their existing workflow. Ideally, clients will be just dipping their feet into the world of customer relationship management, as there are great options for beginners.
- Detailed reports on sales activity, productivity, and performance
- Real-time analytics
- Visual dashboard
- Unlimited users and data
- Company insights
- Deal tracking
- Pipeline management
Search engine optimization and analytics are basic, and HubSpot goes beyond that. Below are some of their key features that will make any brand more efficient and powerful in their niche
1. Target Marketing
No matter the target demographic, the software hubs are there to help. From tracking conversion rates to website visits, clients can get all of the info they need to streamline their marketing efforts. Various corporations have taken advantage of these hubs, such as Suzuki, University of Southern California, and Shopify. This feature is perfect for companies that need some extra help with identifying their ideal customer and giving them what they want.
- Ad management
- Live chatbots
- Website activity
- Lead captures
- CRM alignment
Integrating is a seamless process for this platform, given its cloud-based automation. Paying clients can even talk to industry experts and customer success managers for advice on how to quickly implement the Hub into their business. Some of the most popular and profitable integrations include Gmail, Outlook, and Zapier.
By integrating with other apps, the software becomes even easier to use and incorporate into any industry or business. Since everything is cloud-based, the software seamlessly implements its strategies into every facet of the business.
3. Interface & Workflows
It can be difficult to get everyone on the same page, especially in a larger enterprise. The dashboard allows users to create accurate and visually-appealing profiles for the company and employees. This gets the customer interactions off to a good start and makes communication flow much more easily.
The collaboration aspect allows for simple assigning and scheduling and also gives clients the ability to track deals and sales. This is what makes the site such a mainstay for inbound marketing.
Plus, templates make automation seamless for all marketing efforts. These “recipes” are customizable and address things like adding new contacts or drafting fixed-date email and newsletters. While they’re not the most in-depth templates out there, they do save a lot of time and energy.
The great thing about these templates is that they make categorization easier, creating more organized collaboration among team members. It also helps to clear up the specific actions that each strategy should prompt, such as a customer reply, purchase, or other action.
4. HubSpot CRM Features & Benefits
Phone and email communication are simplified with this software. Track and schedule everything and even dial into customers straight from a browser. Live chat and automation services cover all of the bases while helping companies score big in customer support and lead generation. Even though there is Salesforce integration, some people say HubSpot does a better job altogether.
- Track and record calls
- Automatically log a sales call
- Better call planning and management
- Data prioritization
- Dial-in straight from a Web browser
The ability to track sales calls for free means that teams can save more time and put their energy into things like making more sales. The call log dashboard is streamlined and can line up an entire day’s worth of data and calls, including which employee is responsible for each interaction. Queue each call-up and chat straight from the browser for all-in-one customer service.
5. Get Organized: Contacts & Companies
Turning leads into sales isn’t the easiest thing, but the Hub makes it a more streamlined process and gives brands a head-start. With the ability to store contact information and organize them into specific lists, it creates a better system for tracking leads and scoring big on conversion rates. It doesn’t matter if a client is dealing with an individual customer or a full-blown enterprise.
While members can log and track calls, they can also keep a detailed report of each and every customer. This creates an individualized file on each client, so they always receive the right information and relevant recommendations.
6. Develop Leads Into Customers With “Deals”
HubSpot understands the art of the deal, and they share that information with their clients. Generating leads is exciting, but the Hub experts want businesses to go a step further and translate those leads into deals. This mimics a sales funnel in which users can assign their contacts to different parts of the funnel to make sure that the correct action is taken with the right person at the best time possible.
7. Capture Website Visitor Contact Information: Forms & Lead Flows
Along with leads, the Hubspace works with forms that support inbound marketing efforts. Once a client sends out an email or gets a hit on a newsletter form, their information goes into list storage. The software organizes those compiled lists so that all inbound marketing is more effective. Plus, employees will know just what to send to specific customers in order to pique their interest and make more sales.
It’s not the easiest thing to turn a potential client into a paying customer. Forms and lead flow allow for a more detailed approach that brings relevant offers and information that can bring more profit for the company.
8. Improve Customer Service With Ticketing
It’s obvious that a lack of customer support tends to result in poor reviews and a decrease in Web traffic and hits. In turn, that translates into less profit for the company. With this platform, that doesn’t even need to be a concern. The site’s expertise in CRM means that it offers ways for users to connect with their clients efficiently and seamlessly.
One of those methods is through ticketing, which can go into the company pipeline and be assigned to a particular employee for more hands-on assistance. Never underestimate the power of quick and detailed customer service. Word of mouth is powerful and can bring more people to a business.
9. Engage With Messages: A Live-Chat Tool for Your Website
In 2018, the service released a live chat function that brought greater communication to clients, both those who pay for a subscription and those who don’t. Setting up the live chat is quick and easy, with basic management controls that translate into big improvements.
Subscribed customers get greater functionality, but even unpaid plans can access the most useful parts of a live chatbot. By managing incoming questions and comments, employees can offer more direct answers and solutions for their website visitors. People appreciate quick responses that actually answer their questions. The chat option is something that can immediately improve a company’s reputation.
10. Build a Chatbot
Speaking of live chats, the bot function comes in handy for those inquiries that don’t require a real person. Brands can set up their bots with primed answers and solutions that can remedy the most basic and common customer questions. Not only that, but clients can program their bots to handle things like scheduling, demos, and meetings.
11. Sales Professional
This is a product that brings together the primary components of CRM, email marketing, and managing leads. The result is a hub or system that allows five users to collaborate and manage tasks, projects, assignments, contacts, and more. The service is used in over 100 countries by more than 48,000 customers, so there’s no doubt about its effectiveness.
The integrations are seamless and are intended for larger-scale projects and sales as well as teams of agents. This professional product helps with keeping a record of sales goals and accomplishments such as shared content, lead scores, and assignment changes. The interface is wholly collaborative and intuitive.
Members can choose from things like email templates, snippets, meeting notes, prospects, sequences, and more. It makes keeping track of documents and tasks simpler because everything is all in one place. In 2018, the Sales Hub Enterprise took things up a notch and offered comprehensive options for the mid-market, such as an integrated sales console. There, representatives can manage sales and service-related calls, and much more.
12. Content Optimization System (COS)
COS is an intuitive and customizable feature that allows businesses to build SEO-friendly web pages and blogs. This helps teams ensure that their content is suitable for every customer on all of their devices. Even if a brand’s marketing efforts aren’t at a professional level yet, COS can make it look otherwise.
All of the content in the system is situated in one place, so teams can collaborate more effectively and integrate all of their functionalities and data. It doesn’t matter if they have more customers on mobile or PC because the content optimization system works every which way.
COS can be an awesome solution for businesses that are stumped on which ad campaigns to use. Quit worrying about what-ifs and start measuring actual progress. This content-creation center is intuitive and allows for customization and optimization. The drag-and-drop option literally allows members to mix and match their features.
13. Email Marketing
Email is where HubSpot shines, and it’s apparent in their marketing tools. Brands can draft better email lists and organize their contacts in a way that makes sense to them. Targeted messaging allows them to reach specific consumers with just the right content. Combined with the Hub’s other sales and marketing features, email is easier and more impactful than ever before.
Teams have the option of making emails from scratch, or they can choose from preset templates designed for a particular goal, such as outreach or sales. The A/B testing capability helps companies find the perfect approach, right down to the subject line and images.
Email marketing is one of the prime areas for this software, bringing targeted messages and integrations to each of their products. Just like their other offerings, there is room for customization as well as templates.
14. Use Automation to Engage With Relevant Messages
With automatic processes and messages, businesses can get more done with fewer resources. The professional software offers advanced automation settings for drafting email messages and more. While it’s only available on the paid professional plan, it can be a great investment for businesses big and small.
The automation workflow offers tons of options for organizing emails based on performance, recipient, and call to action. Decide which messages trigger the best response and how often to send them out. The intuitive, visual dashboard keeps everything concise and tidy, so workflows seamlessly.
If clients are on the fence about whether to opt for this automation feature, they should consider that it cuts time in half and boosts productivity. The ability to answer consumer questions and steer them in the right direction translates into more sales success and a better reputation across the board. Just be aware that it is only available on the Professional plans, not the Starter package.
15. Measure Effectiveness With Analytics
The more capabilities a software program has, the more organized it needs to be. Many employees struggle to report accurate findings and analytics without in-depth data readings. Depending on the package they choose, teams can see how each of their web pages is performing, down to bounce rate, average visitor time, and more. These detailed views allow for more precise and meaningful A/B testing.
The performance reports come with all kinds of filters, so businesses can find just the right information they’re looking for. This pertains to all industries and niches, as well as teams of all sizes. With the click of a button, users can add a report to the dashboard, which is perfect for collaboration. Additional metrics include:
- New contacts
- Submission rates
- Entrances and exits
- Contact conversion rate
- CTA views and clicks
All of these analytics are right there for employees to glance at and optimize.
16. Noteworthy Features
The platform has another feature that works when a user adds a URL to their contact record. The software automatically pulls data on that specific company contact, including things like a number of employees and geographic location.
Just be aware that it is a third-party app that the software uses to track these contact records. This is what helps them get so much information in such a short period of time. It’s definitely beneficial for busy clients who don’t want to be bogged down by research when they could be doing better things.
The Contact Record function allows users to send a direct email to the company they’re looking up. There is also the exclusive voice call feature called Voice-Over-IP. It keeps a log of detailed history reports about each call, including recipient and duration. Now managers can keep tabs on the companies that they’re working with, including how many employees they have and who their primary audience is. They can also schedule future interactions with them.
VoIP isn’t just for the sales and marketing industry either. Any business niche can make good use of it.
The ability to integrate other applications and add-ons are what makes HubSpot such worthwhile software. After all, most companies are using a multitude of programs for their marketing campaigns, sales funnels, social media outreach, and more. It only makes sense that the Hub would offer fully-integrated features.
There are over 200 different apps that integrate seamlessly into the software, but here are just a few:
- Design Wizard
- Helm Tickets
Just about any popular app that comes to mind will probably be compatible with the software. This includes applications specifically designed for mail, news, Web design, customer success, agencies, and start-ups.
Some of these apps are made within the software itself while others are specifically designed for agencies, sales teams, market experts, start-ups, and customer service reps. Other categories include advertising, calling, e-commerce, content success, events, webinars, and more. While a company may not need all of these integrations, it’s good to know that their bases are covered.
When navigating to the pricing page, users can choose to select add-ons for the package they’re buying. Add-ons allow for greater customization and overall success, and they apply to teams of all sizes. Prices vary but can total to a few hundred dollars. Options include additional tools for ads, CMS, and reports. These allow for greater personalization within a plan so that the client has everything they need to succeed in their industry.
19. HubSpot Academy
This is the place to dig a little deeper and learn from the experts behind the software. It’s an awesome opportunity for an entrepreneur or an entire agency. The Academy is designed to improve professional skills that will serve teams well in the workplace. Popular courses include inbound marketing and sales, content creation, emails, SEO, and strategy. From quick webinars to comprehensive presentations, it can all be found on the Academy.
Upon completing a course, the “student” will receive certification from HubSpot within that particular area. The recognition they earn can be displayed on their website for all of their customers to see. It will appear as a little badge that they can attach to their business site, landing page, and social media profiles. This is a great way to let others know that the team has gone above and beyond to provide expert knowledge and advice.
20. Certified Trainers
Users can take it one step further and become certified trainers themselves. When they receive their training certificate, they can then teach the skills they learned to others. It’s a great way to pay it forward and make oneself more profitable. It’s also a way to grow a brand or agency, or even a solo business. Trainers receive exclusive resources that they can use in their lessons as well as access to a members-only community.
The fact that they can access these courses for free makes it even better. This is ideal for entrepreneurs who are trying to bring their business to the next level, or who want to expand their team. As a certified trainer, they can pass along their knowledge and skills to their employees to create a highly-qualified team. Courses and certification programs are taught by industry experts, so they’re legitimate classes that will teach students everything they need to know.
HubSpot Plans & Pricing
The platform is free to use, and the bulk of its services won’t cost clients a dime. This includes things like customer service tools, schedules and templates, CRM features, ads and email marketing, and analysis reports.
Marketing, sales, and service features are available a la carte, or clients can opt for one of the “growth suite” packages, which are described below.
1. Starter Plan
This plan is for those who want to take their free tools to the next level. Whether it’s a solo entrepreneur or a start-up team, this package will grant the benefits of better management and some automated features.
Includes: HubSpot CRM, Marketing Hub Starter, Sales Hub Starter, Service Hub Starter
Features Included:1,000 contacts, Chatbots, Email marketing, Live chat, Mobile optimization, Reporting dashboards, Service Hub Starter, Ad management, CRM tools, List segmentation, Marketing Hub Starter, Pop-up forms, Sales Hub Starter, Team email
Sales Hub Users: 1
Service Hub Users: 1
- Lack of automation
- No video capabilities
- Starter tools
2. Professional Plan
This plan is for those who are stepping up their game and want a better handle on their email campaigns, sales strategies, and social media presence. The price jumps up a lot, but there are also plenty more goodies that come with this package.
Features Included:All Starter plan features, Chatbots, Salesforce integration, Standard SSL certificate, Competitors, Marketing automation, Social media, Subdomain availability
Sales Hub Users: 5
Service Hub Users: 5
- Lack of video functionality
- Better marketing capabilities
- Salesforce piece
3. Enterprise Plan
The top suite package is the Enterprise plan, which has a hefty price tag but also unlimited features. A/B testing, smart content, and video hosting are some of the prime capabilities here.
Features Included:All Starter and Professional plan features, Attribution reporting, Salesforce integration, Teams, A/B testing, Multiple currencies, Smart content, Video hosting and management
Sales Hub Users: 10
Service Hub Users: 10
- A/B testing
- Expensive pricing
- Video capabilities
Pricing Comparison Table
Below is a table comparing the three growth suite packages in terms of pricing and details. While a free version is available, the Starter, Professional, and Enterprise packages are paid monthly and offer additional features. These include things like analytics, automation, optimization, reports and data, collaboration, and more.
Terms & Conditions
Unlike other service providers, HubSpot lays out there legal terms and conditions in a comprehensive and detailed document. There are even separate terms for customers, partners, and developers. This legal information was recently updated on July 2020, and users can request a PDF copy for their records.
In terms, the company makes it clear that they use third-party apps for some of their capabilities. They are mostly used for subscription-based features such as the integrations, templates, and partner directories. There is also info on their consulting services, billing and fees, and termination.
The company collects navigation data and history from visitors when they come to the website. This helps the team optimize the content and make it easier to maneuver the web pages. They promise not to sell any of this info.
The company does not allow refunds or cancellations on their consulting services. Most subscription fees are non-refundable, as is sales tax. If a customer wishes to end their contract early, they will not receive a refund. Basically, be certain about a purchase before going through with it.
HubSpot Customer Support
Fortunately, there are various ways to get in touch with the customer success team.
The team is available at 1-877-929-0687 as well as 1-888-HUBSPOT (482-776). There are also phone numbers for each of the global offices. The office can also receive faxed information at 1-617-812-5820.
It seems that the software team prefers communication via phone or chat. They do offer an email address for those who want to report wrongdoing: [email protected]. Also, the team can be contacted via social media, particularly Twitter, @HubSpotSupport.
Upon navigating to the website, visitors will be prompted with an online chatbox. It will show up in the bottom right-hand corner and features bot technology. People can type a message, or they can choose from a list of pre-selected topics, such as learn about products or pricing.
The help center or “Knowledge Base” is where visitors can find all kinds of information and answers to frequently asked questions. The top of the page has a search bar where anyone can type in an inquiry and pull up possible solutions. They can browse answers on the entire website or specifically from the Hub blog.
Quality of Service
Overall, the company has one of the shiniest reputations out of all inbound marketing software. Trustpilot gives them an average user rating of 3.3 out of 5 stars. The Better Business Bureau gives them an A+ rating as well as BBB accreditation. According to various online reviews, the enterprise is a high performer in CRM. Some of the paid features may be a bit too expensive, but there is definitely attention put to providing quality products.
The software will appeal to all kinds of clients, although there are some that will be a better fit for this service.
A smaller brand can definitely take advantage of these programs. The Starter Growth Suite would be perfect for an up-and-coming agency that wants to rev up their inbound marketing efforts and snag more contacts.
Perhaps an even better fit for the software is a mid-sized corporation. They won’t be too big or too small for the features, plus they can make full use of the integrations. All kinds of industries and brands would be welcome there.
As for more significant companies, they may or may not want to use the programs, although they would be a huge help. With a larger budget, there are more options available, but the choice is ultimately up to the consumer.
This is the group that is least likely to go for this software, especially the paid features. A solo entrepreneur who is building their brand is probably not going to have enough money to afford the big packages. That being said, they can certainly take advantage of all the free functions.
HubSpot`s Pros & Cons
Overall, the website offers many more benefits than disadvantages. For one thing, the majority of their features are available for free. Purchasing a package simply means that the customer will get access to more exclusive content and more in-depth reports.
On the downside, the pricing can be a huge turn-off for some people. Also, it does take a bit of time to get the hang of how to use all of the different programs.
- Lots of free features
- Valuable paid subscriptions
- The Academy and trainer certification
- Requires a brief learning curve
Of course, the company is not the only CRM software out there. Below are some other options that can rival the Hub’s expertise.
Another leader in the world of CRM, Pipedrive offers assistance with sales and Web development. Their user dashboard is visually appealing and quite organized. There is also lots of room for personalization and categorization.
Another award-winning CRM tool is Salesforce. It is widely known and has a sparkling reputation. They specialize in lead management, marketing automation, data and funnels, and partnerships.
Like its competitor, Insightly is a cloud-based solution system. They have over half a million users and are strongest in pipeline and task management and collaboration across entire organizations.
Their visuals aren’t as attractive, but Zoho is an expert in building a brand. They specialize in lead and contact management, purchase control, and funnels. They also appeal to corporations of all sizes and industries.
Integration is very easy with Copper, especially with the Google Suite of apps. Reporting, task automation, pipelines, and selling forecasts are what they do best. They are also a good alternative for people who want to do CRM on a budget.
The contact profiles and reports on Nimble’s platform are very similar to the Hub’s. They also provide deep analytics and different ways to engage with an audience. The dashboard includes all of the basic capabilities needed to develop a profitable strategy.
Comparison Table for Software Alternatives
Below is a chart to show the main similarities and differences between these programs. While they all focus on CRM, they offer various features and functionalities, which may benefit some businesses more than others.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is HubSpot CRM?
It is a large platform that helps corporations develop better relationships with consumers. There are way too many functionalities to list here, but some of the best ones include contact records, automation, and a variety of marketing tools. Plus, the majority of these solutions are available at no cost. There are paid subscriptions for those who want to delve deeper into the features.
Is HubSpot CRM Any Good?
Yes, especially since it has a ton of free options. This is great for someone who wants to test the waters and get a feel for how the suite works. Then, they can continue using the unpaid version, or they can purchase one of the suites. It is also great that the platform integrates seamlessly with so many different apps.
What is HubSpot Known For?
They are one of the most popular CRM apps out there. They are also widely recognized for their expertise in creating sales funnels, helping with inbound marketing, and improving connections between employees and audiences. The platform was founded and developed by MIT graduates who have won various awards for innovation and web development
What Makes HubSpot Unique?
It is distinct because it offers a multitude of CRM tools (and more) for free. There aren’t a lot of companies like this who give out their features at little to no cost. This isn’t a trial version either; it is free forever. If someone is looking for a platform that can help with drafting better emails, organizing contact lists, and automating organization-wide tasks, this is the solution.
How Do I Get HubSpot Certified?
All it takes is a visit to the Academy. This is where anyone can access free courses in things like SEO, social media, and sales. The classes are taught by a variety of experts and can be completed in a few hours. What’s great is that students can go at their own pace. When they complete a course, they can decide if they want to become certified to teach it to other people.
Is HubSpot Easy to Use?
Yes, it is extremely easy to use, and the help center can be a great guide if there’s anything confusing. The Academy is also a wonderful way to get more comfortable with the tools. The programs are available to entrepreneurs and corporations big and small. To meet the needs of different people and teams, the platform needs to be easy to use.
The Final Word
As this review shows, yes. Overall, there are plenty of reasons why this solution continues to be a competitor in the world of CRM. They are budget-friendly, good for start-ups, agencies, and large enterprises, and they offer countless resources. While it takes some getting used to, it can become an invaluable source of information, insights, and expert tips and tools. It’s definitely worth checking out this cloud-based solution, especially since it’s free.