Salesforce vs HubSpot CRM: Choose the Best Option for You

Check out our breakdown of Salesforce vs HubSpot CRM features, pricing, and more, then decide whether either CRM is right for your business.

Salesforce and HubSpot CRM are industry-leading CRMs, albeit for different reasons. HubSpot CRM has a reputation for being an affordable, accessible option suitable for small businesses that may be new to CRM software. Salesforce is best known for providing large teams with a wealth of customizable, state-of-the-art features. Breaking down the differences between HubSpot CRM and Salesforce will give you clarity in deciding if either is right for your business.

Here are the situations when you want to use either HubSpot CRM or Salesforce:

  • HubSpot CRM: Best for small-to-medium businesses needing a user-friendly CRM that handles basic sales tasks well (free to $1,200 per month for 2 to 10 users)
  • Salesforce: Best for large-to-enterprise businesses seeking an enriched CRM with advanced analytics, automation, and customization ($25 to $300 per user, per month)

While HubSpot CRM and Salesforce are two industry leaders, they might not be the most ideal solution for you. If you’re looking for other options, check out our articles on the best overall CRMs and the best industry-specific CRM solutions. Otherwise, keep reading for a breakdown of HubSpot CRM vs Salesforce.

Salesforce vs HubSpot CRM at a Glance

HubSpot CRMSalesforce
Price Range (Annual)Free to $1,200 per month (2 to 10 users)$25 to $300 per user, per month
Core FeaturesStraightforward tools that help sales teams better understand their clientsAdvanced tools that offer deep insights into the customer journey
Ease of UseAccessible to users of all experience levelsGeared toward users already familiar with CRMs
ReportingSuitable for basic 
CRM reports
Capable of building any type of CRM report
Sales AutomationTask automation mainly for the sales pipelineAutomates tasks across various functions
Mobile AppIntegrates with messaging and calendar appsPowered by AI and caches data for offline access
App IntegrationsOver 500 apps, half of which are freeOver 3,000 apps, but over half cost money
Customer Service24/7 support is standard with all paid plansAll plans include support during local business hours
Visit HubSpot CRMVisit Salesforce

How We Evaluated Salesforce vs HubSpot CRM

HubSpot CRM and Salesforce perform many of the same functions, but each platform excels in its own ways. We’ve highlighted these differences by comparing the two platforms based on five key criteria businesses consider most when choosing a CRM. These include costs, features, ease of use, app integrations and customization, and user support.  

Our five weighted criteria are as follows:

  • Pricing: We looked at each CRM’s starting cost, availability of free versions, access to add-on features, and monthly/yearly billing plans. 
    • Criteria Winner: HubSpot CRM
  • Features: We combed through both platforms for essential CRM features like reporting and sales automation, along with advanced features such as sales forecasting. 
    • Criteria Winner: Salesforce
  • Ease of Use: This takes into account the learning curve associated with HubSpot CRM and Salesforce – based on our own experience plus external user reviews.
    • Criteria Winner: HubSpot CRM
  • App Integrations and Customization: We assessed how flexible both CRMs are in terms of their customizable elements and the amount of third-party integrations they support.
    • Criteria Winner: Salesforce
  • User Support: This covers each CRM’s available service hours via phone, email, and live chat. We also looked for self-service channels like forums and knowledge bases.  
    • Criteria Winner: HubSpot CRM

Outside of the weighted criteria above, we separated three core CRM features into their own individual categories below — reporting, sales automation, and mobile app — all of which Salesforce won. We prioritized these features since businesses tend to look for CRM software that will make their processes more efficient and aid them in making well-informed sales decisions.

Best for Pricing: HubSpot CRM

HubSpot CRMSalesforce
Free-for-Life OptionYes, with unlimited usersNo
Free TrialNo30 days 
(14 days with Essentials)
Starting Price (Annual)$45 per month for 2 users, then $23 per user, per month$25 per user, per month  (10-user maximum)
Enterprise Price (Annual)$1,200 per month for 10 users, then $120 per user, per month$300 per user, per month
Add-OnsFrom $200 per monthFrom $5 per month
Monthly BillingYes (except Enterprise)Essentials only

Winner: HubSpot CRM is the more economical choice, especially considering the strength of its free-for-life platform.

HubSpot CRM has the edge over Salesforce when it comes to affordability. HubSpot CRM’s free-for-life platform is an excellent option for budget-conscious small business owners who want a robust set of lead generation and contact management tools. Plus, the free version supports unlimited users so companies can continue to use the software at no cost as they scale. When users are to upgrade their plan, they can do so from HubSpot’s free CRM to Sales Hub.

hubspot pricing page

Salesforce is pricier than HubSpot CRM overall, especially if you opt for any of Salesforce’s myriad add-on features. However, Salesforce’s Essentials plan is $25 per user, per month – only $2 more than the per-user price for HubSpot CRM's lowest paid plan (Sales Hub Starter). Salesforce doesn’t have a free version of its software, but there is a 30-day trial (14 days with Essentials). Salesforce Sales Cloud includes four levels: Essentials, Professional, Enterprise, and Unlimited.

salesforce pricing page

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Best for Core Features: Salesforce

HubSpot CRMSalesforce
Contact Management1MM contacts; auto segment updates360-degree overview; adds data from Gmail and Outlook
Lead ManagementLanding pages; lead routing to appropriate repsTracks lead sources; monitors multi-channel campaigns
Pipeline ManagementAdds deals to pipeline from contact records; auto-logs activitiesNotifications when action is needed; opportunity splits
Advanced FeaturesAdvanced analytics; deal and company scoringCustom field forecasts; pipeline inspection view

Winner: Salesforce has one of the deepest CRM feature sets we’ve seen and will appeal to businesses seeking advanced sales tools.

HubSpot CRM has a solid feature set to help businesses effectively manage contacts, track opportunities, and generate leads. Many of these tools are available on HubSpot’s free platform; premium upgrades include advanced analytics, sales forecasting, and contact scoring. HubSpot CRM’s core CRM features are straightforward and accessible so anyone can learn how to use them in a short amount of time, regardless of technical skill.

Hubspot crm core features example

Salesforce, however, boasts powerful features to help sales professionals optimize their workflow, access comprehensive contact information, generate accurate forecasts, and stay on top of every opportunity. Even the base Essentials tier includes custom reports and advanced automation tools. Of course, such high-level features contribute to Salesforce’s steep learning curve – but with proper time and training, sales professionals will see the benefits.

salesforce core features example

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Best for Ease of Use: HubSpot CRM

HubSpot CRMSalesforce
Ease of SetupFairly quick and easyTime consuming and complex
Learning CurveMinimalSteep
Common Positive ReviewsIntuitive interface, seamless integration, fantastic supportHighly customizable, detailed reporting, lots of integrations
Common Negative ReviewsWeak reporting, limited customizationConfusing interface, prone to lags and crashes

Winner: HubSpot CRM is accessible to users of all experience levels thanks to its intuitive interface and relatively simple setup.

HubSpot CRM is regarded as one of the most user-friendly CRMs. Its guided setup, along with HubSpot’s vast knowledge base and quality customer service, make implementation a fairly simple task that likely won’t require outside assistance. Users appreciate HubSpot CRM’s intuitive interface and how easy it is to add third-party apps, although they wish reporting and customization were more robust.

HubSpot CRM ease of use example

Salesforce has plenty to offer when it comes to features and flexibility, but the trade-off is a steep learning curve and a clunky interface. Setup is a time-consuming process due to the malleable nature of the software. Despite that, fans of the Salesforce platform praise its high level of customization, along with its excellent reporting tools and thousands of integrations.

Salesforce ease of use example

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Best for Reporting: Salesforce

HubSpot CRMSalesforce
Basic Report TemplatesAll plansAll plans
Custom ReportingProfessional and EnterpriseAll plans
Advanced ReportingProfessional and EnterpriseEnterprise and Unlimited
Reporting DashboardUp to 20 reports per dashboardUp to 20 reports per dashboard

Winner: Salesforce gives businesses the freedom to build any type of CRM report they need to make actionable decisions.

HubSpot CRM includes a wide selection of pre-made report types that users can filter and customize, albeit with limitations. For more granular reporting, HubSpot CRM offers a custom report builder, although it’s only available with its two highest-paid plans. For baseline reports HubSpot CRM is quite reliable, but businesses that require regular deep data dives may want to consider Salesforce instead.

Hubspot crm reporting dashboard example

Salesforce offers basic templates and custom reports at all price points. Its higher-tier plans include advanced reporting features such as cross filters and buckets to help businesses better organize and group their data. Salesforce’s custom report builder has more variables than HubSpot CRM, which will allow business owners and sales leaders to build comprehensive reports based on any CRM metrics they wish to track.

salesforce reporting dashboard example

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Best for Sales Automation: Salesforce

HubSpot CRMSalesforce
Workflow Editor InterfaceVisual point-and-clickVisual point-and-click
Workflow TypesContacts, companies, deals, quotes, conversationsDeal management, cross-object processes
Workflow Rule LimitsFree: N/A
Starter: Varies by deal stage 
Pro: Up to 300 rules
Enterprise: Up to 1,000 rules
Essentials: Up to 5 rules
Professional: Up to 5 rules
Enterprise: No limits
Unlimited: No limits
Workflow Templates
Workflows From Scratch

Winner: Salesforce is capable of automating a wide variety of simple and complex tasks, which will benefit busy sales teams that need to optimize their processes.

HubSpot CRM’s sales automation features are largely tied to the sales pipeline. For instance, it’s able to automate email follow-ups, data entry, and team-wide notifications when certain actions are taken. Depending on the plan, users can set up as many as 1,000 workflow rules. However, sales automation is noticeably missing from HubSpot’s free CRM.

Hubspot crm automation example

Salesforce, on the other hand, supports a much broader range of sales automation functions. Its point-and-click Lightning Flow Automation tool enables users to build flows and processes around nearly every function of the CRM. It can also automate internal admin requests such as expense reports and travel approvals. All Salesforce plans include a minimum of five workflows, with unlimited rules reserved for the highest tiers.

salesforce automation example

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Best Mobile App: Salesforce

HubSpot CRMSalesforce
Mobile App CostFreeFree
Mobile App PlatformsiOS and AndroidiOS and Android
Mobile Sync With CRM
Offline ModeContacts, notes, dealsVarious items
Standout FeaturesIntegration with other mobile apps, business card scannerAI-powered insights, customizable elements

Winner: Salesforce gets the victory here because of its offline access to key sales data via its mobile crm.

HubSpot CRM has a mobile app that features many of the user-friendly lead management tools of its parent software. It also includes app-exclusive functions like a business card scanner and the HubSpot Keyboard, which inserts HubSpot CRM contact data into compatible third-party messaging and scheduling apps. However, it falls short when it comes to offline access, a crucial component given how unreliable phone and wireless networks can be while traveling.

hubspot crm mobile example

Salesforce’s mobile app syncs with the desktop version and allows for data caching of up to seven items at a time, including dashboards and opportunities. (The HubSpot CRM mobile app, on the other hand, only enables offline access for contact data.) The Salesforce mobile app also features AI-powered insights courtesy of Einstein Analytics, along with the ability to customize the app to match company branding.

salesforce mobile crm example

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Best for App Integrations: Salesforce

HubSpot CRMSalesforce
App MarketplaceHubSpot App MarketplaceSalesforce AppExchange
Number of Total AppsOver 500Over 3,000
Number of Free AppsOver 250Over 1,200

Winner: Salesforce wins based on the amount of integrations it offers, but HubSpot CRM gets an honorable mention for its higher ratio of free apps to paid apps.

HubSpot CRM and Salesforce both support a large volume of third-party applications. The ever-growing HubSpot App Marketplace currently has over 500 native integrations. Roughly half of those apps are free – some of which include Gmail, Mailchimp, and Facebook Messenger.

hubspot crm integration example

Salesforce AppExchange, meanwhile, boasts more than 3,000 pre-integrated apps that span a range of use cases, although more than half of them cost money to implement. Among the most popular free integrations in the AppExchange are Zoom, Slack, and Asana.

salesforce integrations example

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Best for User Support: HubSpot CRM

HubSpot CRMSalesforce
Standard Business Hours24/7Weekdays during local business hours
Support ChannelsLive chat, phone, emailLive chat, phone, email
Knowledge Base
Community Forums
Certification ProgramsHubSpot AcademySalesforce Trailhead

Winner: HubSpot CRM includes all-hours support as standard in its paid plans – not to mention, its user support team has an excellent reputation.

HubSpot CRM offers its paid Sales Hub subscribers 24/7 access to live chat, phone, and email support. (Note that phone support is not available with the Starter plan.) Users of HubSpot’s free CRM are unable to access these support channels, but they can turn to HubSpot’s active user community and vast knowledge base for help at any time.

hubspot crm help center example

All Salesforce plans come with email and live chat support, along with access to Salesforce’s community forums and knowledge base. Premium support plans can be purchased separately, regardless of which Salesforce tier you have. (Pricing for these support plans is available upon request.) They include 24/7 support, one-on-one coaching, and advanced diagnostics.

salesforce help center example

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Who Shouldn’t Use Salesforce & HubSpot CRM ?

HubSpot CRM and Salesforce tick the right boxes for a lot of organizations, hence why they’re CRM industry leaders. However, there are reasons not to select HubSpot CRM or Salesforce as your next CRM. These cons don’t take away from the pros of either CRM, but they are important to consider. Ultimately, the best CRM for your business is the one that meets your unique sales needs, and there’s a possibility that HubSpot CRM or Salesforce won’t meet them.

Who Shouldn’t Use HubSpot CRM

The following business types tend not to be a great fit for HubSpot CRM:

  • Large and Enterprise Companies: HubSpot CRM doesn’t offer enough customizable elements compared to Salesforce, which may hinder big organizations.
  • Mid-Sized Business on a Budget: HubSpot’s free CRM is strong in its own right, but growing companies will want to scale, and upgrades and add-ons are pricey.
  • Sales Teams That Need In-Depth Reporting: HubSpot CRM is sufficient when it comes to basic reporting, but its custom reporting tools leave much to be desired.

If you identify with any of the above, don't simply default to Salesforce. First, take a look at who shouldn't use it below.

Who Shouldn’t Use Salesforce

The businesses and reps below likely won’t get much out of Salesforce:

  • Small Businesses and Startups: Salesforce’s robust feature set will be too overwhelming (and expensive) for smaller teams and organizations.
  • Sales Reps New to CRMs: Salesforce has a steep learning curve, even for people who are familiar with CRMs, so it’s not recommended as a first-time CRM for most people.
  • Companies That Need 24/7 Support: Salesforce offers around-the-clock support, but it costs extra. HubSpot CRM includes this amenity at no additional charge.

Should you feel neither HubSpot CRM nor Salesforce fit what you want in terms of functionality and affordability, there are other CRMs to consider that can better suit your needs.

3 Best Alternatives to Salesforce & HubSpot CRM

HubSpot CRM and Salesforce do many things well, but there’s the possibility that neither is the right fit for your business needs. Whether you’re seeking a more affordable premium CRM or a particular set of sales tools, there are plenty of other options out there. However, we find the following three CRMs to be the best alternatives to HubSpot CRM and Salesforce.

  • Zoho CRM: Best for businesses that need an affordable, customizable CRM with multichannel touchpoints and tight social media integration (free starting price)   
  • Freshsales: Best for businesses seeking robust AI-powered sales automation at a cost that’s lower than most comparable platforms (free starting price)
  • Pipedrive: Best for businesses wanting a user-friendly CRM with visual pipelines that make it easy to follow the sales process from start to finish ($12.50 starting price) 

Check out our lists of the best HubSpot CRM alternatives and the best Salesforce alternatives to learn about the their competitors and decide which is right for you. There, you'll find the additional CRM options' use cases, pricing, features, and more.

Bottom Line: HubSpot vs Salesforce

Salesforce is the clear winner when it comes to features and customization, but HubSpot CRM reigns supreme in affordability and usability. Ultimately, the best CRM for your business adequately addresses your pain points, fits within your budget, and is fully adopted by your intended end users. Depending on your circumstances, the best CRM may be HubSpot CRM, Salesforce, or something else altogether.

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