There’s a unique correlation between building positive customer relationships and the longevity of a business. Maintaining those connections is the present and future of business, with customer centricity taking front and center.
The customer is central to marketing, sales, and service. Everything a company does is in an effort to please the customer and keep them content with their business.
This is why you need customer relationship management (CRM) software.
What Is a CRM?
Customer relationship management is a means of, well, managing relationships with your customers. It’s pretty straightforward.
As simple of a definition it is, it’s actually central to your entire business, especially as it grows.
Keeping track of your customers and all of their details as your business expands becomes more and more of a task. But those are not details that you can risk losing or have disorganized.
Without ease of access to that data, your teams will be dramatically slowed down as they have to hunt for how a prospect has interacted with your business in the past.
CRMs create a home for all of your customer data, such as who they are, what they’re looking for, and what interactions they’ve had with your business. It helps keep customers at the center of everything, per the flywheel framework.
The Benefits of a CRM
There’s a lot more to CRM software than just housing data. In fact, a CRM does a lot to streamline your business’ sales process. It shouldn’t be dismissed as just another cog in the machine where data is entered and nothing of value comes out.
Here are some great benefits of implementing a CRM system into your company:
Customer Data is More Organized.
Keeping track of customer data is so much easier with a CRM. All of their behavioral data, such as the pages they visit, the content they download, and who they speak to, is logged.
This makes maintaining seamless, authentic engagement easier for your sales team as they follow up with contacts over email and phone calls.
You Can Segment Your Contacts.
Categorizing and defining contacts by specific criteria makes outreach easier and more efficient for your sales reps.
In a CRM, you can segment contacts by company size, location, deal stage, and more. Messaging becomes more targeted and contacts feel like they’re more than just another sale. Interactions become dramatically more personalized.
Sales Reporting Becomes More Accurate.
CRMs allow for the collection of customer and deal data directly related to your pipeline. You can get a clear overview of how your business is rolling through sales dashboards and reports provided by the system.
Forecasting Sales Is Easier.
With all of that sales data aggregated in one place and regular reporting being performed, it’s easier for sales managers to identify trends and predict and plan for the future.
They can identify which lead generation strategies and activities are the most profitable and strategize new ways to optimize the sourcing. It also helps develop sales projections and estimates for the company.
Sales Teams Will Be Improved.
Sales teams can use all of this collected data to recognize patterns and improve their interactions with prospects and customers. Their schedules become more organized since most CRMs display booked meetings, scheduled calls, and email logs.
Having one place to search for information streamlines your team’s operations and helps your business grow. And two of the best CRMs on the market are provided by HubSpot and Salesforce.
What Is HubSpot?
HubSpot is an inbound marketing and sales software designed to help organizations attract visitors, convert leads to customers, and close deals.
They have a full deck of tools that are equipped to host websites, landing pages, blogs, and create email sequences. Users can also log and track contact interactions and behavior.
Their incredible CRM is the heart of all these tools, pulling all of these different elements into one system.
Source: Simple Strat
A Brief Overview of the HubSpot CRM
HubSpot’s CRM makes it easier for sales to organize and grow their customers, but there’s always a flip side to every coin.
- The basic CRM is free to use by your entire team if you’re a HubSpot user.
- There’s a Live Chat tool for your hosted website.
- Customer interactions and behaviors are tracked automatically.
- The CRM is entirely customizable.
- Marketing and sales tools exist within the same system.
- Users can integrate with other CRMs.
- It’s still a relatively new system that isn’t as advanced, so large sales teams may run into obstacles.
- Complex sales processes may not fit the inflexibility of HubSpot’s operations.
- Frequent updates often interrupt user experience.
The Ideal User
HubSpot is perfect for organizations that aren’t familiar with CRM software and need a more lightweight, clean cut system that isn’t too big or complex.
What Is Salesforce?
Salesforce is another CRM provider that aims to bring organizations and customers together through relationship management. They highlight marketing, sales, commerce, and service all in one deck.
Their Salesforce Customer 360 program offers products that cater to 12 unique elements of a business.
A Brief Overview of the Salesforce CRM
It’s a robust system that offers a lot to experienced, large-scale companies, but can overwhelm those who are only just dipping their toes into CRM software.
- It’s a cloud-based CRM, therefore requiring fewer resources.
- Salesforce’s products cover a wide variety of business needs.
- It's customizable.
- Users can integrate with external systems easily.
- The system has features meant to optimize the user interface and improve user experience.
- Access and operation is 100% reliant on a strong internet connection.
- Extensive functionality and products requires higher expenses.
- Limited data storage for organizations operating on an international scale.
- Frequent updates often interrupt user experience.
The Ideal User
Salesforce is a uniquely feature-rich CRM that provides a ton of functionality to larger corporations who require a more hands-on approach to their CRM. But they may not be the ideal choice for organizations with smaller budgets or less experience.
The Ultimate Side-by-Side Comparison of HubSpot and Salesforce
HubSpot and Salesforce aren’t naturally competitors (HubSpot even offers Salesforce integration), but they do operate within the same market. Both companies provide a great service to their ideal customers, but it can be hard to decide which umbrella you fall under.
Here’s a comparison chart to display their similarities and differences directly:
Which CRM is Your Best Option?
For larger businesses with deep pockets and the need to integrate with a lot of the different apps that are available in the Salesforce marketplace, Salesforce is a great tool.
However, for smaller businesses that don’t have thousands of contacts (or are already on HubSpot’s inbound marketing platform), the HubSpot CRM is the easier, more affordable solution.
Ultimately, it might come down to which one is more in-line with your budget, team size, and current situation.
Of course, if you’re using the Salesforce CRM and have a HubSpot Pro inbound marketing platform for your marketing efforts, the HubSpot CRM integrates with Salesforce. This allows you to sync your HubSpot database with Salesforce so you can get the best of both worlds.