The manner of interaction between businesses and customers has undergone a sea change in recent years.
If data is anything to go by, then about 91% of businesses that have 12 or more employees think about using CRM software these days.
Also, some business organizations with 10 or lesser employees consider using CRM.
These figures further highlight the importance of CRM software in businesses nowadays.
As far as the options for CRM software is concerned, business owners have the problem of plenty.
However, at present, HubSpot and Zoho have emerged as the two popular choices of CRM software among businesses.
Experts opine that both have their own share of pluses and minuses.
With features like email integration and workflow rules that are free to use, these two options rule the roost.
The best part about both these options is that they also offer free plans.
Zoho provides a strong footing in terms of social integration, whereas Hubspot empowers its users with the element of cost-effectiveness.
There is confusion among business owners as to whether they should go with HubSpot or Zoho.
A systematic comparison between the two is necessary to evaluate the strength and weaknesses of both these versions of CRM software.
So, which one between the two makes for the right choice ?
Read on to find out the answer to this question.
Businesses look for cost-effective solutions to offset the cost of operation.
On the part of a company, it is an important step in the direction of achieving financial goals.
For businesses that look to save money in using a piece of CRM software.
HubSpot is a great choice.
Unlike other options that are available in the market, it is cheaper as it is permanently free CRM software.
So far as the features of this CRM software go, it comes across with useful tools like email templates and contact management tools.
What’s more ?
It is also easy to learn.
What it means is that a company which uses it can also successfully offset the cost of training.
Along with the cost of operating the CRM software.
It is a great choice for teams that have just begun to test waters with regard to operating CRM.
If one has to list down the positive features of HubSpot in brief, the following points sum it up:
▪️ Permanently free solution to CRM software
▪️ Email templates
▪️ Contact management tools
▪️ Easy to learn and operate
Saving on money along with using tools and equipment is a major goal for most companies.
However, not all companies are ready to go for this option at the expense of helpful features.
Some business organizations are keen on investing in a piece of software which provides useful features.
They are more concerned about something which offers good value for money.
Normally, they are not hesitant to pay a little more.
For businesses that operate with the aforementioned mindset, Zoho fits the bill to perfection.
Zoho CRM brings an advanced set of features to the table.
It empowers a user with sophisticated features like social integration tools for various leading social sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Zoho’s free tier is the ideal choice to learn how to operate the software.
It offers the best opportunity for professionals to decide how they can include the features of the tool.
In their overall strategy in the best possible manner.
The core features of the CRM software may necessitate one to invest quality time in studying the manner in which one should operate the software.
But once a user gets used to it, running it becomes a piece of a cakewalk on the part of a user.
Equipped with the adaptability of the software.
One can better understand how to make use of the software when one plans to migrate to the higher plans.
In broad terms, the benefits of using the software can be put across under the following heads:
▪️ Free tier system to learn the features of the CRM program
▪️ Core features plus the ability to integrate socially
▪️Easy to operate
One of the best ways to compare and contrast both HubSpot and Zoho with one another is to take the features of both into consideration.
The features for HubSpot include the following:
▪️ Contact Management
▪️ Email Integration
▪️ Email Templates
▪️ Live Chat
Zoho offers the following features to its users:
▪️ Contact Management
▪️ Email Integration
▪️ Email Templates
▪️ Live Chat
▪️ Social integration
▪️ Inventory management
▪️ Workflow rules
From the above, it is evident that Zoho brings some extra features to the table.
But they also come at a price.
In order to use the additional features, one has to go for a paid monthly subscription.
HubSpot also offers premium subscriptions with advanced features.
But it is more cost-effective in comparison to Zoho.
Thus, for companies that want to operate with a no-frills budget-friendly option, HubSpot is the ideal choice between both the options.
The aforementioned features provide a comparison between both the versions of software in broad terms.
A full-fledged analysis would be necessary to analyze the usefulness of the software.
The focus on using CRM software for business has increased these days owing to two important features.
Firstly, a dedicated CRM makes it simple and easy for the professionals of business organizations to capture leads.
Secondly, it also helps manage contacts professionally in an organized manner.
As far as these features are concerned, there is no dearth of options these days.
Most variants of CRM software provide these features as a set of basic or fundamental feature.
Businesses look for additional elements such as business app integration.
The configuration of dashboards and the availability of reporting tools at no additional cost.
The usefulness of CRM software to a firm is based on two fundamental features:
Its affordability and ease of use. In addition, there are also some additional features.
These are listed below.
No matter what set of services one talks about, there is no substitute for customer service.
It is the main point of contact between the customers and the representatives of a company.
It not only allows customers to have their issues sorted out but also helps a company interact with both its existing and potential clients.
This is a vital department for a company to retain its customer base.
Due to the involvement of sales, there is also the possibility of adding new customers to the existing customer base.
Add-ons and integrations:
Add- ons and integrations are the tools which provide for the framework.
Wherein different set of tools can be operated in conjunction with one another.
This is one of the most important criterias.
Which marks the line of distinction between a good CRM program and an ordinary one.
Different presentations need distinct workflows, reports and dashboards.
These elements are company-specific.
In other words, the aforementioned aspects are likely to vary from one company to the other.
The availability of customization tools is essential to allow users to configure these aspects in accordance with their requirements.
Timely reports constitute one of the core elements of sales processes.
In fact, the financial goals of a company which deals with sales are centered on prompt reporting by managers.
Any delay or lack of urgency can affect the calculation of sales or financial figures.
At the end of the day, it affects the ability of a company to achieve its financial goals.
Therefore, every company invests in a piece of CRM software which involves reporting tools.
Contact details of customers or clients constitute the major chunk of business data.
The importance of customer contact information can be easily inferred from the fact that it is worthier than gold to businesses.
Why not ?
After all, the performance of a business revolves around the management of these data.
Its management can either seal or break the deal for any business as far as its chances of succeeding are concerned.
So, the ability to create, modify and manage client as well as customer data is a must-have feature in a CRM software.
Ease of use:
A popular saying in English says, “Time is money”.
This is absolutely true in letter and spirit when it comes to operating a business.
Every company invests generously in training its staff members about the features of a tool and the methodology of using it.
However, this doesn’t mean a tool has to be complicated by nature.
A complicated tool will only serve to increase the level of difficulty and make things difficult for staff members.
It is not feasible in the long run as it not only leads to the use of more time but also increases costs of training the professionals who are supposed to use it.
One of the highlights of functional CRM software is that it is easy to operate.
Generally, it is believed that the price of an item is the ultimate factor which has a bearing on the buying decision of an item.
It also holds true in the buying decision of CRM software.
Regardless of how big or small the size of a company is, the fact remains that every company has a budget.
Nothing beats the prospect of getting a piece of CRM software within budget.
These features define the usefulness of CRM software in the best possible manner.
The comparison of HubSpot and Zoho will be based on these features.
By running a comparison between both the features.
You will get a fair idea about which one is better than the other for meeting your business requirements.
While it looks like Zoho leads the race from the outset, the comparison based on the above-mentioned features will bring out the ultimate winner.
Pricing is the forte wherein HubSpot rules the roost and tops the list among all the CRM alternatives that are available in the market.
Being a leader, it is free and has the capability of supporting a large number of users.
How many users can it support ?
It has been tailor-made to withstand the load of an unlimited number of users.
A free piece of software with unlimited usage – it doesn’t get better than this for business in the business sense.
This is what its basic plan offers.
For users who wish to get the advanced features along with all the modern features of CRM software, there is an additional premium plan.
Priced at $50, it covers all bases with the latest CRM features to help meet the business needs of an organization in a comprehensive manner.
For both its free and premium versions, HubSpot CRM provides a plethora of features – basic as well as advanced.
In general sense, these can be summarized under the following heads:
▪️ Customer service tools
▪️ Marketing tools
These are core tools that enable a business to track the behaviour of a customer and offer them services accordingly.
Besides, it also involves tracking the activity of contacts. A business can acclimatize its services accordingly.
Here is a detailed analysis of the tools that belong to HubSpot.
Contact management is, beyond any question, one of the standout features of HubSpot CRM.
Apart from adding contacts to the existing database of customers and clients, companies can also maintain their records with ease.
For the successful operation of business activities, it is imperative that a company keeps its record up-to-date from time to time.
Contact management is the feature which simplifies the process in the competitive world these days.
Another way in which a company can make use of the contact feature of contact management is with regard to sales.
The facility to log sales activity is an added advantage which provides a business with a competitive edge over its rivals.
Apart from logging sales activity, it also helps in monitoring the website activity of the newly added contacts.
Knowing the behaviour of customers is the best bet for a company to provide services that are geared to their preferences.
All successful companies follow this simple trick to not only retain the existing customer base but to also add new customers to it.
If analyzed logically, this holds the key to making a company successful in the long run.
The contact management feature of HubSpot allows companies to monitor information pertaining to sales activities, form submissions and page views for a week.
It is not that other CRM options that are currently available do not offer this option.
Even if they do, they place a limitation.
Generally, other CRM alternatives that are available for use allow this facility only for a fixed number of users.
For instance, Zoho allows this feature for a maximum of three people.
In the case of HubSpot, there is no such limitation. As such HubSpot leads the race from Zoho in this regard.
Social integration is the modern version of social interaction.
It is one of the vital aspects of running a business these days.
Every business is centered on its customer base.
No matter what approach a company adopts, its customer base is one of the benchmarks of assessing its success.
The process of marketing has undergone a transformation over the last few years due to the advent of the internet.
Marketing digitally for products and services is the current form of marketing.
Gone are the days when the other means of marketing such as visiting door to door in person were used for the advertisement of products or services.
Going digital in popularizing the services of a company makes it simple and easy for the latter to reach out to its customers in two ways.
Not only does it save time, but also helps assuage the cost factor.
This happens due to the lesser number of people involved in getting the job done.
Apart from the ability to interact with a customer on various social sites.
The social integrations system of HubSpot also provides various options to capture contacts to the CRM software.
It is a simple and easy process.
The options by which one can capture contact information using social integrations feature of HubSpot include the following:
▪️ Office 365
▪️ G Suite
Lead ads are all the rage these days.
These advertisements constitute one of the popular ways of drawing the attention of customers to a particular product or service.
Keeping in mind the growing influence of Facebook and Instagram, this is a useful feature for any business.
In order to keep itself a step ahead, every business thinks of ways to include this feature in its overall strategy of digital marketing.
You would not need to make a separate arrangement if you go for HubSpot CRM.
You can capture contact information with ease by making use of this feature.
With Facebook and Instagram features at your disposal, the sky would be the limit for your business prospects in future.
In addition to capturing the contact information, there is one more way in which the social integration feature of HubSpot CRM.
Can help your business.
It automatically synchronizes the contact information of Facebook and Instagram.
If you compare this feature with the one provided by Zoho, you would find that it has certain limitations.
The major one among them is that it provides for social integration only for Facebook and Gmail.
How does a business grow ?
The answer is simple: by converting its leads into sales.
This is of critical importance to the business activities of a company.
The very essence of digital marketing and capturing the contact information of customers is geared toward the objective of lead conversion.
One of the major reasons for which a company lags behind its competitors is that it does not convert its leads into sales.
No matter how solid or foolproof the marketing strategy of a company is, its success squarely depends on how well it translates its leads into customers.
In other words, the success or failure of a company in achieving its business goals.
Solely depends on how well a company converts its potential clients or customers into actual clients or customers.
The live chat feature of HubSpot CRM comes in handy in this connection.
One of the advantages of this feature is that it supports the creation of tickets.
It is loaded with conversational bots which make it simple and easy for a business to interact with website visitors on a real-time basis.
If a visitor has a query, they can ask the question to a conversational bot by means of the live chat feature.
The short and crisp response given by these bots promptly not only reflects the professional approach but also transparency.
In terms of business conduct, this is counted as one of the best practices.
For any business, building the right image during the first interaction is important.
The live chat feature of the HubSpot CRM enables a business to do so with ease.
In addition, it also frees up the workforce for performing other tasks.
Zoho does provide the live chat feature in its CRM software for easy interaction with customers in the form of Zoho Sales IQ.
However, a user would need to pay an additional fee in order to make use of the feature.
In the case of HubSpot, it is available as an integrated feature.
Once you choose your subscription, you would not need to pay any additional feature in order to be able to use this feature.
Customizable sales reports are important for managers and other reporting heads of a business organization to keep track of the performance of a business.
It should be such that the professionals of a company who are concerned with reporting should be able to view it without any hassle.
Furthermore, it should also be easily accessible as and when required.
The reporting dashboard is like a vital cog in the wheel for an organization.
Apart from a good viewing experience, it should also be easily customizable in order to be useful to the staff members of a company.
With features such as drag-and-drop interface, it simplifies matters as far as viewing the dashboard reports is concerned.
Due to the availability of this feature, one does not feel the need of going to dashboard in person and view reports individually.
The whole process is automatic.
More importantly, one can also send across the reports in the form of email without any hassle.
This is ideal in organizations wherein there are numerous teams under a reporting head.
The reporting heads in such organizations can send daily, weekly or monthly reports, whichever they want, to their teams and pass on the information conveniently.
The reporting dashboard feature of HubSpot CRM includes the following features:
Larger companies operate with a business plan.
Keeping in mind the element of budget allocation for different business aspects, it becomes important for companies to figure out projected revenue.
The actual revenue which is generated by a company may be more or less, depending on the performance of staff members and other factors.
Deal forecast enables an organization to forecast the projected revenue in connection with deals in pipeline at each stage.
An organization uses a CRM program to create a contact for a reason.
In the business sense, there can be various deals associated with a contact.
The sales performance is the feature which makes the process straightforward.
For a company to find out how many deals were created for a contact and the sales performance against it.
In layman language, the sales performance of a contact is the aggregate of sales figure for each contact.
It provides the information of deals created vs. deals closed.
When it comes to operating a team, one has to adopt various contemporary approaches to ensure the process is smooth.
These approaches include sending emails, assigning various tasks, making and capturing calls, capturing the information of various meetings in brief and so on.
The productivity feature of HubSpot takes care of this element.
Closed deals with respect to goals:
Every team in an organization has assigned goals.
The team works with the view of achieving those objectives or goals.
While some companies monitor the performance of their staff members daily, others may do so on a weekly basis or a monthly basis.
The number of closed deals with regard to a goal gives a rough estimate of how well a company has been able to meet its financial goals.
Thus, the reporting dashboard feature of HubSpot CRM provides its users with an edge over their competitors.
Together with the other features, HubSpot can be a gamechanger for any business.
It can help a business in establishing its strong foothold in the market with all the aforementioned features.
Now that it is evident that HubSpot can prove to be advantageous to its users in several ways, it is time to also toss the other side of the coin.
What makes Zoho a popular choice for business organizations ?
Of course, this CRM software also brings a plethora of features to the fore.
However, before one takes those features into consideration, it would be a good idea to begin with its pricing.
When it comes to the cost of operating Zoho CRM, one can choose either the free plan or the one which offers premium features.
While the former is free, the latter can be used with a subscription fee.
The free plan of Zoho CRM only supports up to three users.
It provides core features that include workflow rules, reports, templates and email.
Though these features can come in handy on any given day, the lack of support for more than three users can be a serious downside.
It is good for organizations that have up to three staff members.
That said, it is also true that even smaller organizations have at least ten or more staff members.
So, at best, one can use the free plan of Zoho CRM to learn the method of using operating its tools.
So far as the premium plans of this customer relationship management software are concerned, again there are two options.
The standard plan comes at a subscription charge of $12 per user for a month.
The professional plan has a monthly charge of $20 per user and includes certain additional features.
Process management tools, sales forecasting and social integrations are some added features of this package.
The free plan of Zoho does provide the live chat support but it does not include conversational bots.
As such, one needs to pay a fee to use the feature in order to create tickets for website visitors.
Also, the lack of process management tools means one will not be able to either forecast or process reports.
Further, one will also not be able to integrate with social platforms like Snapchat, and Instagram.
The only social platforms with which one can integrate using Zoho CRM include Facebook and Twitter.
Thus, it is evident that HubSpot provides more freebies for its users without costing even a dime in comparison to that of its Zoho CRM equivalent.
Zoho’s standard and professional plans offer upgraded services to meet the requirements of businesses.
Not with standing its great features for reports and information lists, it does not provide the option to view sales figures in kanban style.
This feature is a deal breaker.
Any business would take the feature at the expense of other added features.
Simply because proper viewing can make or break the deal for making business decisions.
After running a comparison of the premium features offered by HubSpot and Zoho.
It can be concluded that the former leads the race with regard to features vs, price.
There cannot be anything more confusing than operating under the strain of paying an extra fee for certain features.
With the HubSpot premium plan, you would only pay the fee once and get to use all the features thereafter without paying anything extra.
One of the highlights of ideal CRM software is that it should operate without a fuss.
Generally, agents operate this software to perform various business tasks and operations assigned to them.
A complicated piece of software with intricate features can slow any agent down on any given day.
HubSpot is the winner on this front.
A majority of users who use this CRM program opine that one can run it effortlessly.
Its uncomplicated interface is simple to use.
What it brings to the fore is a plain-sailing approach which is unchallenging and trouble-free.
Moreover, it is undemanding in the sense that it does not take too long for a user to learn the method to use its features.
This applies to both free and premium subscriptions of the software.
On the other hand, Zoho’s features are a little complicated by nature.
For those who are not tech-savvy, it can be a little strenuous to use all the aspects in the right manner.
This is true both for its free as well as premium plans.
The premium plan can overwhelm any user on a given day.
Generally, it is believed that a program such as CRM software is better when it provides a majority of features.
However, this can be counter-productive at times.
The ease of use is an essential characteristic of CRM software for the simple reason that companies operate with a tight schedule these days.
One hardly has enough time to invest in learning the ins and outs of CRM software.
Therefore, HubSpot fares well when compared with Zoho in terms of ease of use.
Purchasing a piece of software is not the final chapter of operating and using it.
Rather, it is the beginning of the story.
A user should be able to sort out the issues that appear while operating them without any hassle.
This is the cornerstone of quality customer services.
For helping its subscribers to get rid of common issues, HubSpot has an online community.
The community includes those subscribers who either use the free or premium features.
Those who face an issue with the features have the option of posting their questions in the community forum.
People who are well versed in using HubSpot features share their opinion and answer the questions.
Zoho also has an online community for the same purpose.
However, in addition, it also has a set of other dedicated services to deal with the queries of its subscribers.
Apart from dedicated phone support, it also provides a knowledge base on the internet, videos featuring how to use different features of the software and free e-books.
There are also tutorials to help users learn the basics of making use of its tools.
Which one is better than the other on this front ?
It is a little tricky to answer. HubSpot has easy features.
So it believed the presence of an online community is good enough to ensure that its users are able to address various problems.
Zoho, on the other hand, has to have a dedicated customer support system as its features can take some time on the part of a user to get used to.
If one compares both the versions of CRM software in terms of customer support services, there would be a tie.
Both HubSpot and Zoho CRM have a proper system in place to address the technical problems of users.
Based on the type of features they provide.
Customer reviews are one of the best sources to determine what the users feel about an item.
This also applies to a CRM program.
HubSpot and Zoho being the top two leading platforms in the market at present, they draw a lot of attention not only from actual users.
But also those who are mulling their options to use them.
Taking into consideration the reviews for HubSpot and Zoho, HubSpot has a user rating of 4 out of 5 and Zoho has a rating of 3.5 out of 5.
Again, this makes HubSpot the winner between the two programs.
Why is this difference despite the fact that Zoho has more features on offer for its premium users ?
This difference can be attributed to the ease of use of the HubSpot CRM software.
It may offer lesser features in comparison to Zoho, but it provides stability.
Users can master the art of operating the CRM program effortlessly by investing a little time.
Zoho CRM is known for offering numerous features.
Though it is good from the standpoint of operating the software, it can be counter-productive for users.
Not all users are tech-savvy.
As such, it may take time for users to learn how to use the features.
As far as the duration of time for learning the software is concerned.
It would solely depend on the technological understanding of a user.
While HubSpot has intuitive features that aren’t too hard, Zoho has comprehensive features that require some level of understanding.
Besides, a majority of the users of Zoho have marked it down for slow interactions.
If the opinions of those users who have posted their reviews are anything to go by.
Zoho’s customer support interactions can be slow and hence frustrating at times.
Both HubSpot and Zoho have their own share of positives and negatives.
Which one between the two options is likely to provide a user with an edge is a matter of personal choice.
In the aforementioned comparisons, we have made a sincere attempt to break down various aspects of the characteristics of both the programs.
If these comparisons are taken into account, it can be said that HubSpot leads the race between the two.
In terms of value for money, we feel HubSpot is the real deal as most of its features are at par with what users look for in CRM software.
However, it is strongly recommended that users should put their head and heart together.
And match the features with their preferences to come to a conclusion.
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