How to chose between Salesforce CRM or HubSpot All-in-One

Kyle Hamer   •   May 26, 2020

HubSpot or Saleforce which CRM is better?

Selecting the right customer resource management (CRM) tool can be daunting. More often than not companies will be sold a software without much consideration for the actual business goals.

Why?  Most consultants are incentivised with exclusive partnership contracts to steer a company towards one solution over another.

Below you will find an indepth email to a company considering Salesforce CRM vs HubSpot.

Here is their usecase:

Current CRM: Lotus Notes

Current Marketing Automation: Marketo

Integration: None

Website CMS: Homegrown

Business Goals: Grow net new leads

The question on the table is what hidden costs are in the HubSpot content management system (CMS) and how should they budget moving into 2021. However, the challenge is HubSpot Marketing Professional  and Saleforce don’t have a great integration.  See the note below.

Here is a paraphrased response to the above usecase.

To start, it is important to pick a CMS based on what the business needs, not a market message from a provider.  I’ll try and be as clear as possible in my break down of what I would recommend.

The biggest selling point for HubSpot CMS is the integrated suite of CRM, Marketing Automation, and CMS.  Top to bottom it can create a holistic picture of where your leads are coming from, how they are converting, and provide many of the benefits you see with a Salesforce + Marketo + lots of other tools tech stack.  Here is a collection of how HubSpot spins the value of all their options:

HubSpot Enterprise CMS, CRM, and Marketing (plus service if you want a knowledge base/support tool) are a very well integrated solution. You will be able to track ads, SEO, Email, page visits, sales activity, outbound sales efforts, deals, etc with this type of solution.  At the Enterprise level there are solid price breaks for your list size, and ways you can integrate with the On-Prem  software/ecosystem (albeit I don’t have any technical understanding of how your website is built – if you can integrate it with an API or Sync tool – you will more than likely be able to connect all the important items with HubSpot CRM/Marketing.)

The ideal way to deploy HubSpot is to partner with a local growth agency who will help align your goals and strategy into the deploying your website, landing pages, email campaigns, and sales sequences.  Retainers can vary, but usually you will have a project cost for your Website Development.  For the type of pages you will need I would budget around $2K per page template, and $1K per page deployed fully designed by an agency.  Based on what I have seen in Marketo a HubSpot CMS will likely have 8 template pages, and developing the following pages will likely be between $15-40K (I am providing ranges because there is very limited scope here and a hybrid approach isn’t likely to work for how you need to scale – you really should define the core pages and build from there.)

Template page types:

  • Home Page
  • Product Page
  • Information Page
  • Contact Page
  • Blog
  • Landing Page
  • Video Page
  • Event Page

Actual Pages (easily could be 30 pages here):

  • Home Page
  • About Page
  • Contact Us Page
  • Events Page
  • Upcoming Auctions Page
  • Product Page A
  • Product Page B
  • Product Page C
  • Integrations Page
  • Landing Page
  • Blog
  • Blog Post page

HubSpot drawbacks

If you are not considering moving to the whole HubSpot ecosystem, its hard to make a case for HubSpot CMS.  Here are the biggest drawbacks.

HubSpot CMS management/template setup isn’t as easy as set it and forget it.  The system is designed to be supported by agencies who will have a web developer/CMS designer on staff.  Yes, you can buy templates, but they will cost money to customize.  The low end of HubSpot dev services is typically $150-175/hr.  If you go the freelancer route this leads to quite a few cooks in the kitchen and makes it difficult effectively control output.  I don’t recommend using HubSpot CMS and hiring ad-hoc freelancers, only because I’ve been there done that and I was burnt (in my previous role).

HubSpot CMS without HubSpot Marketing is silly, and HubSpot Marketing &Salesforce do not integrate well.  Yes, it can be done.  No it’s not pretty.  The information marketing uses to gather insights into campaigns, page visits, email communications, ads/conversion cost, opportunity reporting are all disjointed and very difficult to wrangle.  There will be time, energy, and anguish by deploying this type of solution.  Here’s a good example of the common challenge in the sync.

HubSpot CMS Costs:

Software – $3600 annually

Design – $25K (middle of the range I provided.)

Additional Pages: $1,500/page

Hourly Help: $150/hr

Training – You will have a startup cost from HubSpot – estimate another $500-1,500 unless you have a retainer with a HubSpot Partner Agency

My recommendation: Go HubSpot all the way or choose a different CMS.

What CMS?  WordPress + Elementor or Guetnberg Core

Design Cost –  $10-20K base for the pages listed above (web dev company can do this pretty easily.)  What you’ll want is someone with the skills to connect with the product team and ensure an elegant transition between systems.

What about tracking inbound? You can use WordPress to create all the elements you need once you have the base design setup or you can continue to use Marketo Landing pages.  Here is a site with WordPress and Marketo landing pages integrated.

What about SEO?  Yoast is a great SEO tool for the platform and at $100 a year there are cost benefits and technical cost savings until you are ready for true technical SEO.

Hosting?  You can host locally, or there are specialized hosting providers for WordPress including security for bots/spam/virus.  They will typically run $149-$300 a month for a strong machine.

Security? Succuri – $199/yr  virus protection

WebDev Costs? $75-100/hr (unless with agency) but a WordPress web designer/developer is a 60-80K employee who can also do design, email, and other functions for the team.

Additional Sales/Marketing Software? Sync tool for Marketo & Salesforce – plan on $5-10K a year.

Advantages of HubSpot

What does going with WordPress give you that HubSpot doesn’t?  The biggest benefit to this setup is enterprise scalability.  If you are going to go with Salesforce, then you can keep Marketo.  In keeping Marketo, you don’t have the same need for HubSpotCMS features.  You will be able to track and report on everything you need inside of Salesforce using the Marketo sync.

Summary of points

  1. HubSpot Costs to anticipate
    1. Incremental costs:
  1. Software – $3600 annually
  2. Design – $25K (middle of the Agency range I provided.)
  • Additional Pages: $1,500/page
  1. Hourly Help: $150/hr
  2. Training – You will have a startup cost from HubSpot – estimate another $500-1,500 unless you have a retainer with a HubSpot Partner Agency
    1. Purchasing a premade template (if your mind is made up to skip an agency) – plan on $3-5K for a freelance webdev to modify design/setup and allow for substantial project management time to create drag and drop experience.  Or buy hours from marketplace author in blocks of 10 @ $150/hr
  1. Optionality to distribute costs of FY20
    1. Yes, it is feasible to migrate over in chunks.  you only have 4 public-facing pages today.  10 is likely the minimum to launch the site see pages above.
  2. Prioritization for the business
    1. I don’t know all the moving parts, but here’s how I would do this if I was going through the digital transformation
  1. Website – WordPress (Handyman approach – $7.5K designer/developer in one for 10-15 pages nonagency)
  2. Deploy CRM and Sync with Marketo
  • Integrate tracking and update tech stack to include visibility for marketing events to push to Salesforce through sync.
    1. Deploying a CRM is going to take 60-90 days, and Salesforce is so configurable you are looking at more based on all the items I know about your internal software.  This project will be something you will need to plan on taking a long time.
  1. Don’t expect Salesforce to help Marketing drive leads
  2. Don’t expect Salesforce to help sales drive outbound calls immediately.
  • Expect change management delays in deals and revenue while you deploy this system.

My recommendation:

IF SALES AND MARKETING TOP PRIORITY IS NEW INBOUND LEADS – Skip Outreach, and Salesforce and get the HubSpot CRM/Marketing/CMS package.  For the investment (almost identical) you will get much more out of your lean marketing team for driving demand, making good decisions, and building a pipe of new leads. The integration and visibility will help drive quality and volume of leads across the balance of FY20

IF SALES AND MARKETING PRIORITY IS UPSELL/CROSS SELL – Skip HubSpot and deploy Salesforce with a focus on integrating the data inside your product portfolio.  It may be slower than expected, but by Q4 there will be good insights and actionable data to drive EOY revenue.  You can still accomplish inbound with this model, but the focus on systems won’t be around the singular view, it will be on doing the right things and working a bit harder to track important events across the life of a prospect.

IF YOU ARE GOING TO USE HUBSPOT – Get a growth agency partner to help support the CMS, the campaign designs, email marketing, ppc, seo, sales enablement and more.  Leverage the agency until you can train up and hire the internal resources you need to use the system well (marketing operations).

Having gone through this before, I wouldn’t minimize the impact of ripping and replacing multiple systems at once.  It’s very painful.  If I were in your shoes, I’d keep Marketo, add Salesforce +sync, and deploy a WordPress site.  I’d hire an internal WebDev/Designer to manage it long term and provide additional support to the long term demand gen needs..