Customer relationship management (CRM) software is essential for managing how you engage with your customers. The right CRM software can shorten the sales cycle and save you considerable time, work, and money on your sales and marketing campaigns.
While there are dozens of CRM solutions, two stand out for their popularity: SharpSpring and HubSpot. This article compares SharpSpring vs. HubSpot, including their varying features, pros, and cons.
What is SharpSpring?
SharpSpring is a CRM and marketing automation platform. The platform's overall goal is to help you optimize your inbound marketing campaigns, thereby increasing leads and sales. The platform was launched in 2014 and currently serves more than 2,000 agencies and 10,000 businesses with a 98 percent satisfaction rating.
What is HubSpot?
HubSpot is also a marketing automation solutions provider and CRM platform. It was launched in 2006 and is credited with articulating the concept of inbound marketing. It has been touted as the best enterprise CRM platform for its long list of features. Surprisingly, the HubSpot CRM platform is free to use with unlimited contacts, despite the quality of its features and solutions; however, users can upgrade to premium features by paying an annual subscription fee.
How is SharpSpring different from HubSpot?
Here is an overview of the advantages of SharpSpring and HubSpot. It is worth noting that these platforms offer closely similar benefits.
- Both platforms consolidate all functions and activities on one central platform, giving users optimal control over their campaigns.
- Both track and record your customers' activities on your website and other online platforms.
- Both platforms allow users to automate emails and repetitive tasks, saving their teams considerable time and money.
- Both offer excellent customer support via various channels, including in-app help, support tickets, and phone calls.
- They both also provide tools to compose emails and build landing pages.
Advantages of SharpSpring
- SharpSpring offers many social media management tools applicable to most social media platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
- SharpSpring offers monthly subscriptions, making it easy to drop the service whenever you want.
- Sharpspring allows companies to white-label the platform to reflect their brand better. This is a great advantage for agencies that resell the platform to their clients.
- The mobile app is intuitive and allows you to manage more of your marketing “on the go” from any smartphone or tablet.
Advantages of HubSpot
As mentioned above, HubSpot and SharpSpring offer similar benefits, including an intuitive platform, excellent customer support, and tools to aid you in your digital marketing campaigns. To this end, HubSpot offers many of SharpSpring's benefits and more, including:
- HubSpot offers a free plan constituting basic CRM features, including an unlimited capacity for adding users and contacts to your marketing campaigns.
- The platform provides a free live-chat feature for users to communicate with their contacts.
- Users can create contact forms in real time while your leads browse your platforms to increase conversion rates.
- The platform integrates easily with Gmail and Outlook, and users can send personalized bulk emails to unlimited contacts.
- Email tracking lets you see when a contact has opened or read your emails.
- HubSpot tracks and logs website visitors and provides real-time notifications of user activity on the website, email opens, link clicks, etc.
- Personalized bulk email sending is free.
- HubSpot's CRM is very user-friendly and intuitive.
- The payments tool allows you to embed payments links in your quotes, forms, meetings, emails, and more.
- The HubSpot meeting scheduler allows prospects to book a meeting automatically.
There is a significant upside to both CRM platforms, but no software is without drawbacks. Here is an overview of the shortcomings of both SharpSpring and HubSpot:
Disadvantages of SharpSpring
- Users need technical programming skills to customize the email and page builder templates.
- This platform doesn't offer a free plan (whereas HubSpot offers a free basic CRM).
- SharpSpring doesn’t have a Live Chat feature available.
- This platform is hard to navigate and not user-friendly.
- SharpSpring doesn't offer A/B Testing.
Disadvantages of HubSpot
- The mobile app version has limited features.
- The premium features are priced higher than competing platforms.
- HubSpot offers social media management, but it's limited to only Twitter.
A CRM platform's quality comes down to its range of features. Note that, like the advantages listed above, HubSpot and SharpSpring also offer similar features. Here is an overview of what both platforms have to offer:
Some of the most notable features available on the SharpSpring CRM platform include:
- Marketing automation
- Social media management
- Analytics and reports
- Landing pages
- Dynamic forms
- Smart email automation
- Visitor ID
- Integrations and integration partners
HubSpot offers all of the features available on SharpSpring and more, including:
- HubSpot sales
- Prospect sales funnel
- Full-spectrum automation tools
- Contact website activity tracking
- Contact management marketing
- Custom support form fields
- HubSpot Connect integrations
- Outlook and Gmail integration functionality
- List segmentation
- Conversations inbox
- Email templates
- Email tracking and notification
- Team email
- Task/activity builders for teams
- HubSpot Academy (learning database)
How to Choose the Best Platform for Your Business
Ultimately, the best CRM platform should meet your business's unique needs and limitations. As we've seen, these platforms vary in their range of features and the quality of services they offer. So, you'll need to consider both products and compare their strengths and weaknesses against your business's needs.
Below are some points to consider to help you decide when to use each platform.
When to Use SharpSpring
We'd recommend choosing the SharpSpring marketing automation and CRM platform over HubSpot if you find that you are:
- Working with multiple CMS platforms. SharpSpring is universally compatible with all major CMS platforms.
When to Use HubSpot
The HubSpot marketing automation and CRM platform is potentially the better choice than SharpSpring for businesses experiencing scenarios like:
- First time working with customer relationship management. HubSpot CRM is easy to set up and use, and its tools are designed to solve challenges like small team sizes and limited resources.
- Working with limited technical skills. Users may need programming skills to use some of SharpSpring's tools, but HubSpot automates everything.
- Working primarily from a desktop. As explained, HubSpot's mobile app offers limited features compared to the desktop version.
It's also important to note HubSpot's free tools and services give many other premium CRM platforms a run for their money. HubSpot is also easy to use and offers unskilled users access to a vast database of learning materials, such as how-to articles and video guides.
The Bottom Line
HubSpot's vast user base is proof of its popularity and the quality of its services. Eternal Works is a HubSpot Solutions Partner and a leading marketing services provider in Virginia Beach. We can help you leverage the best of what HubSpot has to offer and teach you how to use HubSpot like a pro to learn more about how we can help.