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What Is HubSpot?An In-Depth Look At Your Business Software

Business software is quickly becoming a must-have tool for companies of all sizes in every industry. It’s no longer just geared toward enterprise-level organizations. From startups to mid-sized companies and beyond, every business has the opportunity to use kickass tools for all of their needs. 

This is evident when you comprehend the massive size of the business software market. Research found that companies worldwide spent $456 billion in 2019 on enterprise software. And that number is expected to climb to $503 billion in 2020. 

Some of the most notable benefits of using enterprise software include the following:

  • Streamline processes and reduce inefficiencies. 
  • Integrate all your business data related to your finances as well as your customers and prospects. 
  • Simplify collaboration by using centralized data. 
  • Create more accurate forecast reports. 
  • Ensure your business data is both accurate and secured. 

There are so many options available that fit everyone’s needs and budget. The biggest challenge is finding the right option, then implementing it. 

The most renowned enterprise software platforms include:

  • Microsoft
  • Oracle
  • SAP 
  • Salesforce
  • HubSpot

HubSpot stands out in the growing competitive marketplace for enterprise software companies because it’s structured by price and features in a way that grows while your business grows.

Table of Contents

  • 1What Is HubSpot?
  • hubspot-sprocket

    1What Is HubSpot?

    You’ve likely seen the iconic orange sprocket logo. 

    hubspot-sprocket

    The sprocket symbol is a great representation of what HubSpot is built to do: transmit motion. And with the help of the right software tools, your business can move forward continuously. 

    To truly understand the software, you need to know the history of the company. 

    The History of HubSpot 

    Co-founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah were at MIT when they noticed how much buying behaviors were changing in 2004. People were no longer responding well to interruptive marketing tactics. 

    These outbound marketing tactics were starting to be actively ignored. This change in buying behavior called for a change. For businesses to truly thrive, they needed to focus more on helping people first.

    They needed to focus on the customer, not just making more sales.

    Halligan and Shah opened their first HubSpot office in Cambridge, MA in 2005 as a marketing software company. Just five years later, they released the seminal book for the inbound movement – Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs.

    In 2013, HubSpot went international, opening their Dublin office. The next year ushered in their first public offering on the stock market. 

    What sets HubSpot apart from other enterprise software options is the fact that it is built with the inbound methodology incorporated into every facet of their tools. 

  • 2HubSpot Is Built On the Inbound Methodology
  • hubspot-pillarpage-flywheel-1

    2HubSpot Is Built On the Inbound Methodology

    What Is Inbound?

    Inbound is the method of attracting, engaging, and delighting people to grow a business that provides value and builds trust. This methodology applies to marketing, sales, and customer service. 

    All of these components work together to fuel the flywheel model.

    What Is the Flywheel Model?

    hubspot-flywheel

    Source: HubSpot

    The traditional approach many businesses use is the funnel. But the unfortunate truth is the funnel treats the customer like an afterthought.  This is where the flywheel differentiates itself. It’s a necessary shift in how businesses treat the customer. 

    As you can see with the funnel, after a stranger converts to a lead, gets handed off sales, then makes the purchase, they become a customer. But then what?

    They’re left on their own.

    But customers need continuous support and service. That’s why customer centricity is not just a business trend in today’s landscape.  Putting your customer at the center of everything you do is a must for your business to survive and thrive. 

    Here’s what the flywheel model looks like in your company, as marketing, sales, and service work together to attract, engage, and delight customers.

    flywheel-inbound-method-lifecycles

    Source: HubSpot 

    You want to spark momentum and energy to fuel momentum of your flywheel. Your ability to accomplish this depends on speed, the amount of friction, and how big it is. 

    You can increase your speed by adding force to big impact areas of your business. To reduce friction, you find inefficiencies and address them. In turn, as your flywheel gains speed, you continually delight customers, turning them into advocates that help grow your business. 

    This is why the flywheel model works. People don’t put as much trust in marketers and salespeople as they used to. 

    sales-trust-problem

    Source: HubSpot

    Now, consumers trust what people are saying about your brand. Therefore, when you constantly delight customers, you’re encouraging them to act as advocates for you.  This is why strong customer experience is your best asset. And the HubSpot platform is built for optimizing your customer experience. 

    Let’s take a look at each part of HubSpot and how it supports your business. 

  • 3The HubSpot CRM
  • hubspot-pillarpage-crm

    3The HubSpot CRM

    The heart of your business is your contacts database, which is built on your customer relationship management (CRM) suite. 

    A CRM is a must for many reasons.

    • It centralizes data in one place for all your teams to use. 
    • It helps you speed up sales cycles and decrease potential customer churn. 
    • It supports marketing and sales in lead nurturing. 

    You want your CRM to be easy to use, streamline access for all your teams, integrate seamlessly with your other software tools, and provide insightful reporting features. 

    This is where the HubSpot CRM stands out. Not only does it check all those boxes, but it also beats out the competition in pricing.   

    While many options charge per user on a monthly basis, HubSpot’s CRM fulfills the HubSpot Guarantee: It’s free. Forever. That’s a great deal when you look at all the features it comes with. 

    HubSpot CRM Features

    Here’s a high-level view of all the awesome features it comes with, which set you up for fast growth

    • Reporting dashboards: Access detailed sales metrics to track and manage performance. 
    • Deal tracking: Gain visibility on all deals your sales team is working on. 
    • Pipeline management: Monitor and manage everything in your sales pipeline. 
    • Company insights: View all your details and communications with each company you’re working with. 
    • Unlimited number of users: Have all hands on deck for no extra charge.
    • Unlimited storage: Keep all the data you need. 
    • 1,000,000 contacts and companies: Fill your database without worrying about strict limitations. 

    Your HubSpot CRM seamlessly integrates with the rest of your business tools, including your Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, and Service Hub.  

    Top HubSpot CRM Alternatives

    Aside from HubSpot CRM, there are several options to invest in. Here’s a look at the top five best HubSpot CRM alternatives:

  • 4The HubSpot CMS Hub
  • hubspot-cms-feature

    4The HubSpot CMS Hub

    A content management system, often abbreviated to CMS, is software that you use to build, manage, and update your website content. 

    The best CMS platforms are user friendly, so anyone can create and update website content without any technical knowledge. 

    The most important features to look for in your CMS include:

    • An easy-to-use content editor
    • Flexible design customization tools
    • Robust third-party integrations
    • Access to support and helpful knowledge base articles
    • User management and permission settings

    The HubSpot CMS Hub covers all the bases in two different tiers. 

    Professional

    Price: Starts at $240 per month when you pay annually. Monthly billing starts at $300. 

    The HubSpot CMS Hub was launched in 2020, boasting a ton of amazing features that are built in to help companies scale their site as their business grows. 

    HubSpot CMS Hub Professional users get access to the following:

    • Drag-and-drop editor: Make quick changes to your content and layout with modules. 
    • Website themes: Access pre-built themes or create custom ones to deliver a simple content editing experience for your marketing team. 
    • Multi-language content: Appeal to your global audience with simple content creation and testing tools that make translations easy.
    • Dynamic content with HubDB: Update content across your entire website quickly using data tables. 
    • Local website development: Leverage GitHub and other tools to manage version control and change web assets. 
    • SEO recommendations: Get insights on how to improve your site in an effort to boost ranking potential in search engines. 
    • Conversational bots: Connect with visitors instantly and improve engagement using chatbots. 
    • Smart content and reporting: Create a personalized experience for site visitors based on context. 
    • A/B testing: Conduct split tests to optimize content your site for increasing conversions.
    • Contact attribution report builder: Gain a full view of where contacts are converting to optimize your efforts. 
    • Content delivery network (CDN): Ensure a safe, efficient delivery of your content to people all over the world.
    • 99.99 percent uptime: Optimize site performance so your visitors are accessing the content they need at all times.
    • 24/7 security monitoring and threat detection: Prevent cyberattacks and ensure your site health is at its peak so you don't experience costly cybersecurity breaches. 
    • Standard SSL certificate: Protect your data, earn trust, and climb search rankings while making the internet a safer place. 

    Enterprise

    Price: Starts at $900 per month (billed annually).

    The HubSpot CMS Hub Enterprise tier gives you access to all the tools from the professional tier, plus the following:

    • Serverless functions: Build powerful web apps (e.g., event registrations, calculators), extending your site's functionality. 
    • Reverse proxy support: Get help with maintaining existing CDNs or addressing complex routing rules.
    • Memberships: Create and deliver content that is tailored to each individual site visitor. 
    • Partitioning: Give teams different permissions for your site pages, landing pages, and blog content.
    • Hierarchical teams: Organize all your users for different levels based on specific dimensions you set to fit your needs. 
    • Activity logging: Track every change across your whole site, seeing who made it, when it happened, and how it was executed.
    • Custom CDN configuration: Enable your IT team to manage the security of your content being hosted on HubSpot. 
    • Site performance monitoring: Build custom tracking dashboards for content to identify errors and address other issues hurting performance. 
    • Code alerts: Scan all your pages for common performance errors causing slow-loading pages.
    • Single sign-on: Simplify your user sign-in process while enhancing security and managing access control. 
    • Two brand domains: Build multiple websites for when you expand into two businesses or need a microsite. 
    • Adaptive testing: Create variations of a page and automatically monitor and serve the best performing site content.
    • Multiple currencies: Track and manage different currencies within your portal. 

    Top HubSpot CMS Hub Alternatives

    With so many CMS software options available, it's hard to determine which is the best fit for you. Here are the most notable alternatives to the HubSpot CMS Hub:

  • 5The HubSpot Marketing Hub
  • hubspot-pillarpage-marketing

    5The HubSpot Marketing Hub

    Marketing automation software helps companies in a variety of ways:

    • You ensure consistency across all your channels. 
    • You better segment and target your audience with personalized content. 
    • You streamline your marketing efforts to boost efficiency and save resources. 
    • You maintain accountability for your marketing team by tracking results. 
    • You test and optimize your tactics over time.

    The HubSpot Marketing Hub is a top choice, and it’s available in four different tiers. 

    Free

    The free tier comes with a ton of awesome features, including the following:

    • Forms: Add pop-ups, external form tracking, and native forms. 
    • Email marketing: Send bulk emails, use the drag and drop editor, and add personalization tokens. 
    • Ad management: Connect ad networks, create audiences in the CRM, and track results.  
    • List segmentation: Create both static and active lists using CRM properties and criteria. 
    • Live chat: Host one-to-one conversations with visitors in real time. 
    • Conversational bots: Route visitors to helpful content, and scale one-to-one conversations.
    • Reporting dashboards: Get a bird’s eye view of your performance using 10 reports in your dashboard. 
    • Custom properties: Associate specific data points with deals, companies, and contacts. 
    • Team email: Sync your team’s emails with your conversations inbox. 
    • Messenger integration: Connect and engage through Facebook Messenger. 

    Starter

    Price: Starts at $50 per month, or $40 per month if you pay annually. 

    While there are some restrictions with the free marketing tools, HubSpot Marketing Hub Starter comes with fewer restrictions, as well as these additional features:

    • Landing pages: Build conversion paths using the drag and drop editor and helpful templates. 
    • Ad retargeting: Show ads to visitors after they leave your site. 
    • Multiple currencies: Track and manage several kinds of currencies. 

    Professional

    Price: Starts at $800 per month.

    Along with fewer restrictions on the aforementioned features, the HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional comes with:

    Enterprise

    Price: Starts at $3,200 per month. 

    The additional features you get with HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise include:

    Your HubSpot Marketing Hub is built to guide your growth and to grow alongside your business. Gain control and visibility of all your ongoing marketing tactics. 

    Top HubSpot Marketing Hub Alternatives

    There are so many marketing automation tools available. Here are some notable alternatives to the HubSpot Marketing Hub:

  • 6The HubSpot Sales Hub
  • hubspot-pillarpage-sales

    6The HubSpot Sales Hub

    Sales automation consists of software, artificial intelligence (AI), and digital tools working together to streamline manual tasks related to your sales processes. 

    Businesses with sales automation software enjoy several advantages, including the following:

    • Streamlining sales tasks. 
    • Reducing response time.
    • Maintaining sales data consistency.
    • Boosting productivity and performance.
    • Shortening the sales cycle. 

    The HubSpot Sales Hub is a top choice for sales automation software. Let’s go through each available tier. 

    Free

    With no financial commitment, you get access to a ton of awesome free sales tools, most notably: 

    • Live chat: Engage visitors in one-to-one chats.
    • Conversational bots: Boost engagement at scale by using chatbots to connect visitors with the information they need. 
    • Conversations inbox: Give your whole team access to all incoming chats and emails. 
    • Calling: Record and auto-log calls you make through a VOIP inside HubSpot. 
    • Email scheduling: Plan ahead by creating contextual emails and assigning a date and time to send. 
    • Email tracking and notifications: Get real-time insights and track ongoing email messages. 
    • Email templates: Optimize your top-performing emails and share them with your team for consistency while saving time.
    • Canned snippets: Build a bank of answers to FAQs that you can add quickly in live chat and emails. 
    • Documents: Create your sales documents library for easy sharing with prospects. 
    • Meeting scheduling: Share a link with prospects so they can see when you’re free and book meetings. 
    • Reporting dashboards: Access detailed metrics on sales activity and performance.
    • Deal pipeline: Track deals and predict future revenue based on how likely they are to close.
    • Custom properties: Add associations between specific data points and contacts, companies, and deals. 
    • Team email: Avoid leads slipping through the cracks by turning emails into tickets and routing them to a shared conversations inbox. 
    • Messenger integration: Use Facebook Messenger to leverage one-to-one conversations, chatbots, and more.
       

    Starter

    Price: Starts at $50 per month, or $40 per month if you pay annually. 

    After upgrading to HubSpot Sales Hub Starter, your free tools come with less restrictions and you gain access these features: 

    Professional 

    Price: Starts at $500 per month.

    The best tools that you can use with this tier include the following: 

    • Workflow extensions: Trigger more actions and transmit data to other tools. 
    • Esignature: Get digital signatures on documents and proposals. 
    • Phone support: Directly connect with the HubSpot support team by giving them a call. 
    • Custom reporting: Track the sales data that matters the most. 
    • Products: Build a product library and track what products and services are being purchased the most.  
    • Slack integration: Create tasks and get notified in integrated Slack channels. 
    • Record customization: Just as you get in the Marketing Hub Professional, you can match records to your sales process. 
    • Calculated properties: Create fields that roll data from other fields to calculate important sales numbers, like commission. 

    Enterprise

    Price: Starts at $1,200 per month.

    At the top level of the HubSpot Sales Hub, you get all you need to run big sales teams and maximize efficiency. Here are the enterprise-exclusive features, many of which you get access to using the other hub enterprise tiers:

    • Predictive lead scoring: Find the leads you need to focus on the most and prioritize your team’s engagement with them. 
    • Hierarchical teams: This is a must for massive sales teams spread across different regions.
    • Quote-based workflows: Set thresholds to monitor when they’re exceeded, which would then require approval for those quotes. 
    • Call transcription: Take the legwork out of manually writing down your entire discussion during sales calls. 
    • Recurring revenue tracking: Use detailed reports to manage and track recurring revenue. 
    • Playbooks: Develop a library of sales resources you want your whole team to understand. 
    • User roles: Ensure permissions are correct for the right sales team members. 
    • Webhooks: Enable your team to automate data transfers and send information seamlessly between HubSpot and other web applications.    
    • Single sign-on: Make it easy for your sales team to get into their account and access the information they need. 

    Top HubSpot Sales Hub Alternatives

    With so many sales automation software options, there are a lot of considerations to look at. These are the most notable HubSpot Sales Hub alternatives: 

  • 7The HubSpot Service Hub
  • hubspot-pillarpage-service

    7The HubSpot Service Hub

    Many businesses are using automation tools to make the most of their customer service efforts. There are many benefits of using customer service automation software. 

    • You minimize wait time.
    • You reduce the need for more employees.
    • You reduce the potential for human risk. 
    • You free up more time for your employees to support customers. 

    Here’s a breakdown of the four tiers of the HubSpot Service Hub

    Free

    For no charge, you can start delivering excellent customer service using several free tools you get through the other free hubs (e.g., live chat, conversational bots, meeting scheduling, messenger integration) as well as these free Service Hub tools:

    • Ticketing: Log customer issues and assign them as tickets to your team. 
    • Email and chat to ticket: Track one-off emails to contacts and get real-time notifications. 
    • Ticket creation bots: Create tickets and send them to the right location, boosting efficiency and scaling conversations. 
    • Calling: This is the same feature in HubSpot Sales Hub Free, where you can log and track service calls. 
    • Tickets closed reports: Measure your service team’s efforts on volume, response times, and other categories. 
    • Rep productivity reports: See productivity and response times for each rep to assess performance. 

    Starter 

    Price: Starts at $50 per month, or $40 per month if you pay annually. 

    This tier gives you fewer restrictions on free tools and provides access to the following features:

    • Email scheduling: The same feature for Sales Hub Starter, which you can use to plan out service team emails. 
    • Calling SDK: Integrate VOIP providers with the communicator on the contact timeline.
    • Conversation routing: Automate assignments of incoming calls and emails to your reps. 
    • Ticket pipelines: Split tickets into different pipelines and manage them to align with your processes. 
    • Multiple currencies: Just like with the Marketing Hub Starter, you get access to process several different currencies. 

    Professional 

    Price: Starts at $400 per month, or $320 per month if you pay annually. 

    Here’s a look at the best features you get with the professional tier: 

    • Knowledgebase: Crete help articles out of FAQs for your support team. 
    • 1:1 video creation and hosting: Create help videos for customers, then use them in emails, tickets, and knowledgebase articles. 
    • NPS surveys: Solicit feedback to measure how many customers are advocates and find how to turn more of them into advocates. 
    • Customer experience surveys: Request customer feedback about a particular part of your product or service. 
    • Customer support surveys: Get input from customers on their experience with your service team. 
    • Customer reporting: Gain customers’ perspectives on what they think about the overall customer experience. 
    • Ticket status, routing, and automation: Automate manual work like adding tasks, managing tickets, and following up with customers. 
    • Teams: Same as with marketing and sales, you can ensure the right people have the right access. 
    • Insights dashboard: Keep all your customer feedback in one place to measure and monitor service performance. 
    • Salesforce integration: Align your HubSpot with your Salesforce contacts database. 
    • Phone support: Call HubSpot for direct access to their support team. 
    • Sequence queues: Deliver personalized emails to multiple customers efficiently. 
    • Standard contact scoring: This is the same feature you get with the Marketing Hub Professional.  
    • Customer service automation: Reduce resources spent on manual tasks like writing emails. 
    • Record customization: Similar to marketing and sales, you can match your service records to align with your service processes. 
    • Slack integration: Stay on top of real-time engagement with your customers through Slack notifications. 

    Enterprise

    Price: Starts at $1,200 per month. 

    The top tier of the HubSpot Service Hub empowers large customer service teams to continually support and delight customers in a scalable way. The most notable enterprise features include: 

    • Playbooks: Centralize a library of customer service resources that your team can use. 
    • Call transcription: Save the pains of manually transcribing service calls. 
    • User roles: Assign the right access for the right people.
    • Single sign on: Make it easy for your service teams to sign in and get access to the information they need immediately. 
    • Webhooks: Allow your HubSpot to work seamlessly with other web apps. 
    • Goals: Set benchmarks and measure your service team success against clear objectives for specific metrics. 
    • Hierarchical teams: Organize access across your team for multiple levels of your company. 

    Top HubSpot Service Hub Alternatives

    Customer service automation software is transforming how companies deliver A+ customer experiences. Here are the most notable HubSpot Service Hub alternatives. 

  • 8Notable HubSpot Integrations
  • hubspot-pillarpage-integrations

    8Notable HubSpot Integrations

    One of the best parts of HubSpot is how many integrations you get access to. There are many platforms you can use with HubSpot in the following categories:

    • Email
    • Productivity
    • Live Chat
    • Connector
    • Customer Success
    • Events & Webinars
    • Social Media
    • Ecommerce
    • Advertising
    • ABM
    • Video
    • Calling
    • Sales
    • Lead Generation
    • Analytics and Data
    • Content

    hubspot-integrations

    Source: HubSpot

    Here are some of the most notable HubSpot integrations. 


    Databox

    Databox is a business analytics that pulls all data into one location. Users can build comprehensive reports from various data sources, giving full visibility of all the metrics that matter. 

    There are many ways you can integrate your HubSpot with Databox. Learn more from these resources:


    SurveyMonkey

    SurveyMonkey is an online survey solution that makes creating and distributing surveys easy. They also provide software for marketing, human resources, and customer experience teams. 

    Here are some resources to learn more about managing integration between HubSpot and SurveyMonkey: 


    Salesforce

    Salesforce is a leading CRM solution, and it works perfectly with HubSpot. You can learn more about the integration by reading these resources: 


    Typeform

    Typeform is another leading online survey solution, but they also specialize in online form building. Used by top companies, it’s not surprising that it’s a leading name in SaaS. 

    Check out these resources about the integration: 


    Drift

    Drift is one of the best software solutions for conversational marketing. They provide live chat, video, email, and other automation tools. 

    Here are some resources about integrating your Drift with HubSpot: 


    LinkedIn Sales Navigator

    LinkedIn Sales Navigator is an excellent tool for your sales teams that is worth the price. When you connect it with your HubSpot, your team becomes unstoppable.

    Review the basics of this integration in these resources: 


    Slack

    Slack is a collaboration tool that helps teams collaborate and stay connected in real time. It’s one of the most powerful business communication solutions.

    Here’s what you need to know about integrating it with HubSpot:


    Gmail

    Gmail is a leading email service that works perfectly with HubSpot. Learn more about the integration in these resources: 


    Mailchimp

    Mailchimp is a top choice for marketing automation, specializing in email marketing. To see how it works with HubSpot, check out these resources: 

    Shopify

    Shopify is a go-to ecommerce platform that helps users build online stores and manage everything from products and inventory to shipping and payments. 

    Here’s what you need to know about the HubSpot-Shopify integration

  • 9Conclusion
  • hubspot-pillarpage-conclusion-1

    9Conclusion

    Now that you have a solid understanding of HubSpot and each of their tools and features for every tier, you can see exactly how it can take your business to the next level. 

    Most importantly, you can visualize how all areas of your business – marketing, sales, and service – work together to deliver the best customer experience. 

    Customer centric businesses win big. They're 60 percent more profitable than companies that don't focus on the customer. And those companies that provide a superior customer experience earn 5.7 times more revenue than their competitors who are falling behind in creating good customer experiences.

    With the right business software, you're well equipped to put the customer first.

    Additionally, you can see how integrations work with the tools you currently use. HubSpot is quick to implement and easy to set up. When you get all your software tools working together, you unify your entire organization.

    That’s the ultimate goal of any business looking for software: to bring their teams together and build frictionless processes for maximum efficiency. HubSpot is the ultimate solution for building an inbound organization and creating a sustainable flywheel model for your business. 

    With HubSpot, you’re not just setting yourself up for success. You’re going to grow better.