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Updated May 29, 2024

Salesforce vs. HubSpot Comparison

Salesforce and HubSpot are two leading CRM platforms for small businesses. Here's how they compare.

Mark Fairlie
Mark Fairlie, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Ownership
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Editor's Rating9.5/10
Editor's Rating9.5/10

SMBs frequently turn to customer relationship management (CRM) software to improve their marketing campaigns, successfully convert leads, and provide excellent customer service. Salesforce and HubSpot are two user-friendly, feature-full CRM platforms that fit the bill. We’ll examine how these solutions handle contact management, email marketing, automating workflows, reporting and analytics, integrations, and more to help your business find the right CRM software for your needs.

Salesforce vs. Hubspot

Salesforce vs. HubSpot Highlights

Salesforce and HubSpot are among the best CRM software solutions around. These popular, capable and customizable platforms aim to improve business performance in multiple areas.

Criteria

Salesforce

HubSpot

Starting prices

$25 per user, per month

$30 for two users (CRM bundle)

Free trial for paid plans

Yes (30 days)

Yes (14 days)

Contact management

  • Personalized contact records
  • Detail-specific fields
  • Team-specific data access
  • Object control
  • Contact tools
  • Lead capture
  • Dynamic marketing lists

Email features

  • Generous email limit
  • Advanced Gmail and Outlook integrations
  • Email template library
  • Email automations
  • Fully integrated emailing
  • Personalized campaigns
  • Drag-and-drop design
  • Customizable templates

Workflows and automations

  • Workflow customization
  • Process creation
  • AI assistance
  • Lead nurturing
  • Trigger actions
  • Workflow editors

Reporting and analytics

  • Interactive visual dashboards
  • Performance monitoring
  • AI-driven predictive analytics
  • Sales forecasting
  • Demand insights
  • Lead quality
  • Revenue attribution

Integrations and API

  • 2,000-plus app integrations
  • API: $25 per user, per month on Professional or above
  • 1,000-plus app integrations
  • API available

Who Is Salesforce For?

Salesforce is best suited for SMBs that want a highly customizable CRM to boost overall business efficiency and improve sales, marketing and customer service. The software collects, manages and interprets data from marketing and sales teams and customer service departments to create a single data source for everyone. It helps you glean insights to create customized workflows and automations that make your business more effective, responsive and profitable. To learn more, read our in-depth Salesforce CRM Review.

Who Is HubSpot For?

HubSpot is the best choice for businesses focused on improving sales and marketing. It’s packed with features like an integrated email marketing suite for optimized and personalized campaigns. Its dynamic active list creation tool helps marketers pinpoint campaign targets. Sales forecasting and lead quality metrics are particularly useful for sales teams. The platform offers in-depth reporting and analytics tools — invaluable for providing actionable insights for sales and marketing managers and reps as well as C-suite execs. Our detailed HubSpot CRM review explains additional features and functionality.

Did You Know?Did you know
Investing in CRM software improves business efficiency through task automation and creates an invaluable information resource for your employees.

Salesforce vs. HubSpot Comparison

Salesforce and HubSpot are top-performing solutions in multiple areas. Here’s a direct comparison of their essential CRM features and pricing.

Contact Management

Contact management tools help small business owners track and monitor real-time prospect and client interactions. 

Salesforce

  • Excellent object control: Objects are spreadsheet fields (e.g., name, contact email, last purchase date) that add further depth to customer and prospect data. We like that Salesforce lets you add new, unique customer fields to analyze and monitor.
  • Deal tracking: Monitor every deal’s stage, expected value and success probability as it travels through the sales pipeline.
  • Data security: Only display the data co-workers must see to do their jobs. We appreciate that this protection helps you comply with CCPA and GDPR compliance and protect your business from data breaches

HubSpot

  • Efficient lead capture: We like that you can capture leads from multiple sources, including website forms, live web chats and mobile devices. The details are automatically placed into a database for follow-up.
  • Robust list management: HubSpot’s active lists automatically update to show which contacts might be receptive to a sales pitch. It monitors actions you specify, such as clicking on an email message link. HubSpot removes prospects if they don’t take specified actions in a certain time frame.
  • Advanced segmentation: We were impressed that you can segment customers and prospects by demographics, psychographics and past interactions. Create contact groups with shared characteristics to receive special offers.
Best for Contact Management
Hubspot
Salesforce offers excellent customization and object control. However, HubSpot's dynamic lead capture and management tools impressed us. We also really like HubSpot's time-saving and intelligent active lists feature that identifies contacts who might be ready to purchase soon. 

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a low-cost, effective way to engage with and sell to your target audience. 

Salesforce

  • Generous email limit: We were impressed that Salesforce Sales Cloud lets you send 5,000 email marketing messages daily from the platform on all plans.
  • Email integration: Sync Salesforce with popular email services like Gmail and Outlook to better manage standard emails and incoming replies to email campaigns.
  • Choice of email templates: We liked Salesforce’s well-stocked library of Lightning Bolts email templates. They make email design quick and easy with professional-looking results.
Salesforce CRM Gmail integration

Salesforce CRM includes Gmail integration, so you can view and work with Salesforce data directly in Gmail. Source: Salesforce

TipBottom line
Email marketing isn't a built-in Salesforce CRM feature. You must install a third-party plug-in or get the Salesforce Marketing Cloud plug-in. Read our Salesforce Marketing Cloud review to learn more about this robust email marketing solution.

HubSpot

  • Integrated emailing: We like that you can create, personalize and optimize email marketing campaigns directly from the HubSpot platform. We also like that HubSpot allows 2,000 promotional emails monthly, even on its free level. 
  • User-friendly design tools: HubSpot’s easy-to-use drag-and-drop email design app and customizable templates impressed us. Creating branded emails with clear call-to-action options only takes minutes.
  • A/B testing: We were pleased to see an A/B testing feature that lets you send two email designs to see which gets the better results. This tool can help you improve your email marketing campaigns.
  • Smart Content AI: HubSpot’s AI tool is impressive; it allows you to create personalized emails for every person or business in a segmented group on a campaign.
Best Email Marketing
HubSpot
HubSpot wins this round. Unlike Salesforce, HubSpot's email marketing platform is built directly into the platform. Its user-friendly tools make creating and launching campaigns quick and easy. Salesforce's plug-ins are good, but HubSpot's features are better.

Workflows and Automations

Workflow automations save you and your team time, so you can focus on improving the business.

Salesforce

  • Action-contingent steps: We like that when you add new objects or fields to a database, Salesforce lets you turn them into processes. For example, when a new lead lands in the system and your rep has made contact, you can require the rep to ask for specific details before moving the prospect to the next sales funnel
  • Highly adaptable: Salesforce makes workflows easy to help you improve task and team management. Add and tailor existing processes to fit your business needs.
  • AI-integrated Process Builder: The AI-integrated Process Builder impressed us. It suggests new and more efficient workflows by monitoring how you use Salesforce. While Process Builder is only on the Enterprise service plan and above, creating new workflows is still a relatively straightforward process on all levels.

HubSpot

  • Wide range of automations: We like HubSpot’s automated workflow-creation flexibility. For example, you can set call reminders and automate customer email responses. Automations streamline the sales process and improve customer management.
  • Drag-and-drop editor: We appreciated HubSpot’s intuitive drag-and-drop visual editor for building custom workflow automations. Build your sales and service processes without coding.
  • Revenue-based automations: We really liked HubSpot’s handy lead scoring HubSpot assigns a score based on the attributes you choose to prioritize the most viable leads.
Hubspot workflows

Creating workflows in HubSpot is straightforward, with no coding required. Source: Salesforce

Best for Workflows and Automations
Salesforce
Salesforce's extensive workflow and automation capabilities are flexible and precise. You can better manage teams, marketing campaign structures and much more. The platform’s Process Builder tool is superb. Although HubSpot's visual editors are more user-friendly, the platform doesn't offer Salesforce's advanced automation capabilities.

Reporting and Analytics

Reporting and analytics tools give SMB owners actionable insights to formulate growth strategies and improve inventory turnaround times. 

Salesforce

  • Useful insights tools: We like how easily Salesforce allows you to uncover actionable insights that can boost overall company performance. Customize its visual dashboards to show managers and team members how close they are to KPIs and other targets in real time.
  • Einstein AI tool: Einstein’s ability to predict deal closures accurately and perform sentiment analysis impressed us. It can present managers with live data analytics and provide front-line staff with targeted improvement suggestions. 
Salesforce visual dashboard

Salesforce’s visual dashboard reports on sales team activities in real time. Source: Salesforce

HubSpot

  • Sales forecasting: We like that HubSpot’s lead and campaign-targeting insights can save you time, optimize ad spend, and help you focus on higher-value deals.
  • Attribution reports: HubSpot’s attribution reports help you discover your most successful channels and refocus your ad spend.
  • Traffic and sales analytics: We were pleased to see that you can access detailed reports on website traffic and resulting sales. You can identify where on the online customer journey you’re losing leads and take action to fix the problem.
Best for Reporting and Analytics
Salesforce
Salesforce comes out ahead in this category thanks to its comprehensive toolset and visually appealing dashboards. The AI-powered Einstein tool and its predictive analytics and decision-making support add real value. However, HubSpot's reporting and analytics functions are also powerful; they're likely enough for most SMBs.

Integrations

CRMs can integrate with your other business software apps for better data synchronization across your business.

Salesforce

  • Huge selection: We were impressed that you can access thousands of apps via Salesforce’s AppExchange. Choose the ones you want and add extra functionality to tailor Salesforce to your specific business needs.
  • Intuitive navigation: AppExchange organizes add-ons by industry and use case, which makes finding the apps you need easy. We also like that you can choose from various competing apps to find the best one for your needs.
  • Advanced API interface: Salesforce’s well-executed API interface allows companies to build under-the-hood custom integrations.

HubSpot integrations

  • Extensive marketplace: HubSpot’s App Marketplace has over 1,000 apps to choose from. 
  • Sales and marketing focus: We were impressed by HubSpot’s wide range of sales and marketing add-ons, which is ideal for companies focusing on improving conversion rates.
  • Excellent API interface: HubSpot’s impressive API interface helps you improve functionality in data syncing, task automation and advanced analytics via custom integrations. (HubSpot imposes a $500 monthly fee if you make more than 1 million API calls a day.)
Hubspot App Marketplace

HubSpot’s App Marketplace has more than 1,000 apps to choose from. Source: HubSpot

Best for Integrations
Salesforce
Salesforce wins, thanks to its extensive range of third-party applications and superior API interface. Its AppExchange platform offers more choices than any other CRM we reviewed, including HubSpot. HubSpot also offers an impressive selection of marketing and sales integrations. However, the scale and depth of Salesforce's offerings make it stand out among CRM providers.
FYIDid you know
APIs are helpful when you want your CRM to connect to other business software, like the best email marketing services, in a specific way that a prebuilt app doesn't allow.

Pricing

Salesforce’s pricing is mid-tier in the CRM market; HubSpot’s most useful service plans are at the upper end.

Salesforce

The costs below are applied when billed annually.

Plan

Price

Features

Essentials

$25 per user, per month (up to 10 users)

  • Account, contact, lead, task and opportunity management
  • Duplicate prevention
  • Email integration with Gmail and Outlook
  • Automatic lead-information capture
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Salesforce mobile app
  • Mass email
  • Lead auto-assignment
  • Customizable reports and dashboards

Professional

$75 per user, per month

Everything in Essentials, plus:

  • Roles and permissions
  • Developer sandbox
  • Pipeline management
  • Rules-based lead scoring
  • Collaborative forecasting
  • Lead registration
  • Forecasting mobile app
  • Quote and order management

Enterprise

$150 per user, per month

Everything in Professional, plus:

  • Workflow and approval automation
  • Opportunity scoring
  • Advanced reporting
  • Sales teams and territories

Unlimited

$300 per user, per month

Everything in Enterprise, plus:

  • AI-powered sales insights with Einstein
  • Sales engagement hub
  • Sales cadences 
  • 24/7 support

Salesforce subscriptions range from $25 to $300 per user, per month. You can opt for the Essentials plan on a month-by-month basis, but all other plans require an annual contract. Note that the Essentials plan supports up to 10 users — if you need 11, you’ll have to pay $75 per person. 

Additional features and apps may cost extra. Salesforce offers a 14-day free trial so you can test drive the system to see if it’s right for your business.

FYIDid you know
All Salesforce plans let you send 5,000 email marketing campaign messages daily — a generous allowance we haven't seen from any other provider.

HubSpot

HubSpot’s free service level impressed us — few competitors offer such a generous free tier (or any free tier). Its features include SEO recommendations, 2,000 monthly emails, and live chat. Paid service plans are as follows:

Plan

Price

Features

Additional User Cost

Starter

From $30 per month for two users

  • 1,000 property records
  • 10 dashboards with 10 reports each
  • 25 active and 1,000 static lists
  • Payment processing
  • Form automation
  • Email retargeting tools
  • Two deal pipelines
  • Document storage
  • Sales content analytics
  • Sales automation 
  • Removal of HubSpot branding

$25 per user

Professional

From $1,600 per month for five users; one-time $3,000 onboarding fee

  • Everything in Starter, plus: 
  • Customer reporting
  • Contact center attribution
  • Deal and company scoring
  • Dynamic personalization
  • A/B testing
  • SEO analytics 

$100 per user

Enterprise

From $5,000 per month for 10 users

  • Everything in Professional, plus: 
  • 10,000 marketing contacts
  • Additional tools

Not stated

HubSpot’s Starter level ($30 a month for two users) should suffice for businesses with straightforward needs. You’ll need the Professional tier ($1,600 a month for five users) to boost your SEO strategy with SEO analytics and add features like A/B testing, deal and company scoring, and contact center attributions. This is a significant price jump. Additional charges can add up: there’s a $3,600 annual fee for a dedicated IP for marketing emails and a $7,200 annual fee for transaction emails.

Best for Pricing
Salesforce
Salesforce wins because its entry-level plan is more feature-packed than HubSpot's and provides 5,000 free daily emails. Additionally, if you need more features, the price jump from Salesforce's Starter level to its Professional level isn't as jarring as HubSpot's jump from Starter to Professional. However, HubSpot is the winner for SMBs that want to test a CRM platform for free. 
TipBottom line
If you're interested in CRMs with free service plans, check out our review of monday CRM; monday is the only other leading CRM provider we reviewed with a free service level.

Salesforce vs. HubSpot Summary

Salesforce and HubSpot are both excellent general CRM platforms. We recommend both platforms for companies with the following specific needs.

Salesforce Is Best for Companies That Want a Highly Customizable CRM

Salesforce is feature-packed and user-friendly. As your business grows, this platform can accommodate ever-increasing operational complexity on your behalf. Salesforce is a high-level tool that can create custom databases with the precise information you want and build efficiency-boosting workflows. Its app store and API functions enhance its functionality and customizability. Salesforce isn’t cheap, but its features, ease of use and flexibility make it an excellent investment.

HubSpot Is Best for Businesses That Want to Improve Their Sales and Marketing Efforts

If your goal is to generate more leads and boost sales, HubSpot has many valuable features that can help. Its integrated email marketing platform, market segmentation tools, omnichannel capabilities, active lists and in-depth sales forecasting functionality will quickly become indispensable. The Professional package is competitively priced, given the platform’s flexibility. However, you can test the free tariff to see if HubSpot suits you.

FAQs

Is HubSpot or Salesforce better?

HubSpot is more straightforward and has a built-in email marketing platform. Its reporting and analytics tools appeal to companies that want to improve their sales and marketing performance. Salesforce offers more customization options, better reporting and analytics tools, and is easier to connect to other business software. Salesforce is better for companies that want to improve all aspects of customer-facing performance.

What is the biggest difference between Salesforce and HubSpot?

Salesforce is more customizable, with an extensive app store and a well-executed API interface. It’s generally better for more complex businesses. HubSpot is more straightforward to use out of the box and focuses on improving sales and marketing. HubSpot may be better for smaller businesses with less complex workflows.

Why is HubSpot so popular?

HubSpot is popular for several reasons, including its ease of use. HubSpot is helpful for companies that want to improve their inbound marketing campaigns; its built-in email marketing platform, landing pages and analytics tools are valuable. HubSpot is one of the few CRM platforms offering a free service plan with respectable functionality. This is important for companies that want to test the system without making a substantial financial commitment.

Mark Fairlie
Mark Fairlie, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Ownership
Mark Fairlie brings decades of expertise in telecommunications and telemarketing to the forefront as the former business owner of a direct marketing company. Also well-versed in a variety of other B2B topics, such as taxation, investments and cybersecurity, he now advises fellow entrepreneurs on the best business practices. With a background in advertising and sales, Fairlie made his mark as the former co-owner of Meridian Delta, which saw a successful transition of ownership in 2015. Through this journey, Fairlie gained invaluable hands-on experience in everything from founding a business to expanding and selling it. Since then, Fairlie has embarked on new ventures, launching a second marketing company and establishing a thriving sole proprietorship.
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