Statistics show that companies that use CRM software increase their sales by 29%. Given these numbers, it’s no surprise that more people are looking to integrate these solutions into their businesses.
If you’re in the market for the ideal CRM, you will likely have Zoho and HubSpot come up in your list of prospects. At a glance, the two providers have almost similar features, with a significant difference in the pricing. However, choosing between the two will need you to have a more in-depth look at what they both have to offer.
Sounds tasking, right? Well, I went to all the trouble, so you don’t have to. In this article, we review how the two compare against each other so you can make a more informed decision.
Let’s dive right into it.
Zoho & HubSpot at a glance
Zoho and HubSpot are both CRM software designed for small and medium-sized businesses. They provide systems that make it easier for businesses to manage their interactions with their customers and prospective clients.
Zoho CRM is one of the products by Zoho company, which develops business software solutions. Zoho’s most significant selling point as a CRM is the freedom of customization that comes with it. Zoho comes with an AI-powered assistant called Zia, which allows users to make voice commands. Besides, Zoho is feature-rich, making it a favorite tool for many small business owners.
HubSpot CRM is also quite popular among businesses that use CRM solutions. The CRM is offered by HubSpot, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company that has been in the game for quite a while. The HubSpot CRM is free forever and includes a single portal for all the features, as opposed to Zoho, which offers multiple apps for different tasks.
How do they stack up against each other?
With so many similar features, how do you decide on the best CRM for your business?
This review makes a side-by-side comparison in five different categories, which I believe are essential to look into when choosing the ideal CRM solution. These categories include the available features, pricing, software integrations, customization options, and customer support. Comparing the available options in these five categories will give you a clearer understanding of which provider will best suit your business needs.
Of course, the available features on your preferred CRM provider will be a significant deciding factor. After all, if the CRM provider doesn’t include all the essential features you need for your business, it won’t be worth giving up your bucks. Ensure that you’re getting the value for your money with whatever CRM provider you settle for.
Both Zoho and HubSpot stack up nicely in this category as they offer almost similar basic features. They both offer lead management, email marketing, and sales automation, among other features you’d expect of a CRM provider.
HubSpot allows you to store up to 1 million contacts and company records. You can choose to either enter the contacts manually or have the system retrieve these from your inbox. Whenever you add a new contact, HubSpot automatically creates a new company record, making it easier for you to trace everything.
A unique feature to HubSpot is order management, which allows you to track client’s orders from start to finish. This feature, which is missing in Zoho, makes it easier to track orders at whatever stage they are in. Although it may not be helpful to service-based businesses, companies that offer physical goods may benefit a lot from it.
Zoho one-ups HubSpot in lead management. The Zoho CRM offers more lead management services compared to HubSpot. You can generate leads from web forms, social media, and live chat. You can also use different criteria to assign leads to a sales rep.
Additionally, Zoho is feature-rich and includes a bunch of other valuable features. It has some extensive sales and marketing features that would be great to grow your business. From the dashboard, you can quickly access invoicing tools as well as time-tracking features. Zoho also has impressive social media integration. This feature makes it ideal for businesses trying to rope in more clients through social media channels.
Verdict: Zoho Wins
Deciding on the winner based on features is a gray area, mainly because the two are pretty similar. However, Zoho takes the lead, thanks to the more advanced features, especially in lead generation.
The most significant difference between these two CRM providers comes in the pricing. While HubSpot offers a 100% free forever plan, Zoho users have three subscription tiers to choose from. The free HubSpot plan is ideal for small businesses that only require the basic CRM features. However, if you would like some advanced sales features, you’ll need to part with a few coins.
You can choose from three bundled options if you’d like to upgrade your CRM suite range. The additional features included in the paid plans are part of the HubSpot Marketing and Sales Hub. The extra features include live chat, conversational bots, and an events API. The bundled plans for the CRM suite are the Starter, Professional, and Enterprise packages, which cost $68, $1600, and $4000 per month, respectively.
On the other hand, Zoho offers a 14-day trial that you can use to have a feel of the platform and decide if it works for you. The free plan is available for teams of up to three people. However, you will need to sign up for one of the three subscription plans once the trial period is over. The available features differ per package, and the CRM provider also includes a bundled package for its users.
The available plans on Zoho are Standard, Professional, and Premium, which cost $90, $190, and $290 annually per organization. The Standard plan includes only the most basic features and supports up to 3 invited users, while the Premium plan can be used by up to 10 users and includes unique features, such as the digital signature.
Zoho’s bundled product is Finance Plus, which focuses on customer-centricity. For $2388 per year, business owners can use Zoho for quotations, sales orders, invoicing, subscription management, and inventory management.
Verdict: Zoho Wins
As is the case with any SaaS provider, the HubSpot free plan means you have limited features. Although it may be sufficient for smaller teams with only a couple of salespeople, you will need to upgrade as your team grows. In this case, you’re better off with the Zoho CRM, which provides a broader range of features at an affordable price.
Like any other business worth its salt, you are probably using a bunch of other software. Your CRM should allow you to integrate all these programs and apps seamlessly to have a smoother workflow system. On this front, both CRM providers don’t disappoint since they offer an impressive selection of third-party integrations.
The HubSpot App Ecosystem is a thoughtful feature that every small business owner is going to love. The HubSpot team keeps adding to the list of third-party integrations. The database currently holds about 500 partner programs, with several others joining each month.
The HubSpot App Ecosystem includes many tools for just about anything you’re going to need for your business. These include lead generation, sales, workflow, analytics, and automation tools. Thanks to the ever-growing ecosystem, you are more likely to find some of the favorite apps that you already use. Besides, the large pool also ensures you have several options to explore before settling for whatever works for your business.
Zoho also integrates quite well with the popular software solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. You can easily connect with some big brands like Gmail, WordPress, and Slack through Zapier. Additionally, the CRM works well with the other Zoho products. Therefore, if you are already using other business software solutions from Zoho, you will have an easier time getting everything to work together.
Most Zoho users commend the CRM’s integration with social media. You can quite easily connect your account with Facebook and Twitter to make the most out of your social media marketing and bump up your business sales.
Verdict: HubSpot Wins
This was tough to call, seeing as they both offer an impressive collection of third-party integrations. However, HubSpot takes the win on this one since it has a more extensive database and continuously adds to it.
Customization & Ease of Use
Most businesses usually use CRMs as they come, without the need for making any changes. However, depending on the nature of your business, you may need to make a few tweaks to customize your CRM, so it works for your business. In this case, you will need a CRM provider that makes it easy for you to make any necessary changes without running into too much trouble.
Both HubSpot and Zoho feature an easy-to-use design. After signing up on both platforms, you will have access to the starter guides that help to show you around. That said, HubSpot is in the lead for its intuitive design. The dashboards are well-designed, making it easier for you to get around the myriad of available features.
The self-starter guides help you to set up your account the first time you sign in. A massive difference between HubSpot and Zoho is that the latter requires a bit more customization before you can start using the account. However, just like HubSpot, Zoho offers an intuitive design that looks and feels good. Although setting up your account for the first time may take quite a while, you will end up with a CRM that was specially designed for your business needs.
When it comes to customization, Zoho takes the lead. The CRM provider offers a ton of customization options, depending on the chosen subscription plan. For example, users at the professional level can change page layouts and add custom buttons and modules. What caught my attention, however, was that Zoho offers an API. Therefore, if you can’t find any of the tools your team currently uses, you only need to create an API to integrate it with the CRM.
Verdict: Zoho Wins
Besides the numerous customization options, Zoho’s inclusion of an API makes it the winner for this category. Users can easily design their CRM to suit their needs, a massive plus for the Zoho CRM. It’s also worth mentioning that Zoho supports several languages, including Chinese and German, making it easier for business owners from different countries to use the CRM. HubSpot only supports English, which is quite limiting.
So, what happens when you can’t figure out how a specific feature works? Or perhaps your account suddenly doesn’t seem to work? Here’s where customer support comes to play.
When choosing a CRM provider, you need to check what customer support they offer and when they are available. Ideally, your CRM provider should offer 24/7 support through different channels. This way, you’re assured of getting prompt help whenever you need it. Both Zoho and HubSpot ranked well in this category, with a few mishaps for each CRM.
Both CRMs offer comprehensive customer support for the paid plans only. HubSpot users on the free plan have to contend with the FAQ sections and the user community. You can also use the informative guides found on the site, which are rather extensive and quite informative. Upgrading to any of the paid plans gives you access to 24/7 email and phone support, plus a 24/7 live rep. Users on the free and paid plans can also use the help button on the site.
Zoho also offers a range of customer support options, for which you need to subscribe to one of the higher-tier plans. Besides email and phone support, Zoho users get access to the customer portal that supplements the knowledge base available on the site. Like HubSpot, Zoho has a vibrant user community that could come in handy when you need some instant help.
Verdict: It’s a tie!
Both CRMs offer several channels for users to contact the support team. In both cases, you can only get advanced customer support by subscribing to the higher-tier plans, which is quite the norm in the SaaS industry.
Final Verdict: Which one is the best?
Well, it all boils down to what you’re after. HubSpot is ideal for small and medium-sized businesses that only need the basic CRM functionalities. The free plan is sufficient for people who are working on a shoe-string budget. You get a bunch of useful tools without spending a dime.
Zoho takes the lead in this review, mainly because it offers more features at an affordable price. Additionally, Zoho caters to businesses of all sizes and would work for small and large businesses. That said, both tools would be an excellent addition to any business. You just need to find the one that best suits your business.