November 5, 2020

HubSpot vs. Zoho CRM: An In-Depth Look To Help You Choose Your New CRM

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Tags: CRM

This post has been updated for 2020.

Quick summary:

  • HubSpot and Zoho CRM are both popular CRM options for SMBs.
  • HubSpot CRM is free, while Zoho CRM is available in several pricing tiers. Read on for comparisons on features, pricing, integrations, and time to implement.

Both HubSpot CRM and Zoho CRM position themselves as alternatives for the other, but who should you believe? Both CRM vendors offer powerful solutions for small to medium-sized companies, and while one is free and the other is not, that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a clear option.

We’ll take a deep dive into both HubSpot and Zoho CRM, comparing them side-by-side on a number of criteria to help you make a more informed decision.

Read on for an objective comparison of the two CRM solutions, or check out our Product Selection Tool on our customer relationship management (CRM) software page to get a free, no-hassle shortlist of the best CRM software for your business. Click the banner below to get started.

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Table of contents

  1. What are HubSpot and Zoho CRM?
  2. Table comparison of HubSpot vs. Zoho CRM
  3. Pricing
  4. Features
  5. Implementation
  6. Choosing the right CRM for your business
  7. What to read next

What are HubSpot and Zoho CRM?

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HubSpot and Zoho CRM are both customer relationship management (CRM) software solutions. These systems are designed to help businesses keep track of their relationships, manage leads, and identify opportunities for converting leads to sales. It provides an in-depth look into all of your contacts, including notes, important dates, phone numbers, and email addresses.

Over the last few years, HubSpot and Zoho CRM have closed the gap in terms of features, so they’re now very similar. Hubspot is a great option for small businesses, while Zoho CRM offers more customization options for companies with the resources to deploy them.

Learn more about CRM software and compare vendors on our CRM software page.

HubSpot CRM

HubSpot logo.

HubSpot CRM is the free CRM offering from HubSpot, a sales and marketing software as a service (SaaS) company. Apart from being free, HubSpot markets its CRM as an easy way to optimize lead conversion and keep tabs on sales opportunities. Quick implementation is another key aspect of HubSpot CRM’s value proposition, and many users agree that the software provides a good user experience (UX).

Also read: Hubspot vs. Marketo: A Side-by-Side Comparison

Zoho CRM

Zoho Logo.

Zoho CRM is the CRM solution developed by Zoho, a business software company that develops software for everything from sales and marketing to human resources to finance. Zoho touts automated workflows with freedom for customization as one of the biggest selling points of its CRM. This solution is all about working smarter, not harder, so Zoho CRM also includes an AI-powered sales assistant called Zia that responds to voice commands much like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa.

Also read: Insightly vs. Zoho: Which CRM is Best for Your Small Business

Table comparison of HubSpot vs. Zoho CRM

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On the surface, HubSpot and Zoho are very similar, but don’t be dazzled by features alone. There are additional factors you’ll want to consider when choosing a CRM software, like pricing and customization. Use the table below to compare both solutions side-by-side to make sure they meet your requirements across multiple criteria.

HubSpot logo. Zoho Logo.
HubSpot CRM Zoho CRM
Average user rating 4.5/5 4.5/5
Quick facts
Pricing free low-end
Works best for SMBs Any sized business
CRM features
Contact management Yes Yes
Lead management Yes Yes
Sales forecasting Yes Yes
Email marketing Yes No
API No No
Order management Yes no
Notable integrations
G Suite Yes Yes
Social media Yes Yes
eCommerce Yes No
Microsoft 365 Yes Yes
Zapier Yes Yes

Pricing

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The biggest point of differentiation for HubSpot and Zoho CRM is, without a doubt, pricing. HubSpot’s CRM solution is “100% free, forever” according to their website, but if you really want to get the most out of HubSpot CRM, you’ll probably wind up reaching for your wallet. Zoho CRM does offer a free version of its software with limited features, but this is only available for teams of three users or less.

The additional sales features for HubSpot CRM are technically part of HubSpot’s Marketing Hub. Marketing Hub features include live chat, conversational bots, forms, email marketing, marketing automation, and an events API, depending on which one of the three pricing tiers you go with. Even if you don’t go for the additional features, HubSpot CRM does have many must-have CRM features. That’s not bad considering it comes without a price tag.

Zoho, on the other hand, is not free unless you spring for the three-user plan for home businesses, but it is reasonably priced. Compared to other popular CRM solutions like Salesforce and Insightly, it’s hard to beat the cost of Zoho CRM. Zoho also offers Zoho CRM Plus at one per-user, per-month rate, billed either monthly or annually if none of its regular pricing tiers appeal to you.

You might do fine using HubSpot CRM for free if you have one or two salespeople. But if you have several or more salespeople, you should consider either paying for the additional features in HubSpot’s Marketing Hub or going with Zoho CRM instead. HubSpot CRM is good for a free solution, but given that it operates on a freemium model, expect features to be reduced or limited.

Features

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Comparing features in HubSpot vs. Zoho CRM one-to-one is tricky because they match up pretty well on the basic features. Both offer the main features most companies look for in CRM platforms, including lead management, sales forecasting, email marketing, and contact management.

The main place these two CRMs differ are order management, customization, and integrations. While these may not make or break a software for your business, they could heavily influence the way you use your CRM.

HubSpot CRM may satisfy all your base feature requirements, and you might be able to live with or without the additional features Zoho CRM offers. Check out these comparisons to get a better idea of which software is right for you.

Contact and lead management

Screenshot of contact management in HubSpot CRM.

Contact and lead management in HubSpot CRM lets you store up to one million contacts and company records. You can either enter contact information manually, or you can have HubSpot retrieve this information from form submissions or your email inbox. A contact’s information is listed in a vertical column on the left hand side of the page, and an activity timeline shows you the history of your relationship with that contact, including sales information.

HubSpot CRM automatically creates a company record anytime you add a contact from a new company, pulling company information from HubSpot’s proprietary business database. As you would expect from any good CRM, HubSpot CRM also lets you email and call contacts without having to leave the CRM. In fact, you can even create email marketing campaigns from the platform. Dashboard and reporting features are available as a paid add-on.

Screenshot of the contact management feature in Zoho CRM.

Zoho CRM’s contact management feature allows you to store up to 100,000 contact records, no matter which pricing plan you decide to go with. Like HubSpot CRM, Zoho CRM offers its own account management feature for storing information about the companies you work with.

Contact information displays in a horizontal box across two vertical columns, which makes it easy to see all contact information without having to scroll down. You can leave notes on a contact and see overviews of your interaction history. Zoho CRM also offers social listening, so you can see right from the CRM whenever a contact reaches out via social media.

In terms of lead management, Zoho CRM offers more capabilities than HubSpot CRM. Using Zoho, you can assign leads to sales reps based on different criteria, create your own lead scoring rules, and convert leads to deals. You can also generate leads from web forms, the Zoho CRM Leads mobile app, live chat, and social media.

Order management – Hubspot

Order management is the process of tracking a customer’s order from start to finish. It begins when the customer places an order and ends when you deliver their package. HubSpot provides an order management system that simplifies order tracking. You can view which stage the order is in at any time and resolve issues as they arise.

Order management can be very helpful for companies who deal in physical goods. Being able to track inventory, manage sales, and track packages can resolve a lot of problems before they can even show themselves.

While Zoho CRM doesn’t offer order management as part of their CRM, it may not be a requirement for your business. Service-based businesses have less need for this type of software since they aren’t delivering tangible products. However, if you decide you do need order management, Zoho offers it through another of their products, Zoho Inventory.

API – Zoho CRM

Not every company will need to customize their CRM. If your company does need custom fields or integrations and you have the resources to do it, Zoho CRM has the tools you need. An API is a set of programming instructions that ensures different types of software can work together. Zoho offers a variety of software integrations, but if a tool you are currently using can’t be easily integrated with Zoho CRM, your development team can create an API to make it work.

HubSpot offers a variety of integrations for other applications, but if they don’t have what you’re looking for, you don’t have the option of an API with HubSpot. Most small businesses prefer to work with software as it comes, so this may not be an issue. Customizing software to fit your needs is extremely expensive and time consuming, so it’s usually only enterprise businesses that engage in the practice.

Implementation

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Among other careful considerations you’ll want to make when choosing between HubSpot and Zoho CRM is implementation time. This is the amount of time, from start to finish, that it takes to migrate from your old CRM to a new one. According to a 2019 study from TechnologyAdvice, companies migrating from an old CRM to a new one should expect implementation to take longer than companies that have never used a CRM before.

Also read: 2019 Software Research and Implementation Benchmark Report

Good preparation is essential to implementing a new CRM on time and on budget. No matter the CRM solution you choose, preparing to migrate to a new system will take much longer than the actual migration process itself. This varies by obvious factors such as the number of records you need to move and the size of your sales team, but it also depends on whether you’re taking the CRM as it comes or customizing it.

It should come as no surprise, then, that implementation time for HubSpot CRM is significantly lower than implementation time for Zoho CRM. Depending on how many records you have and whether or not you choose HubSpot’s free CRM versus one of HubSpot’s paid tiers, you can expect implementation of HubSpot CRM to take anywhere from one day to a couple of weeks. By contrast, Zoho CRM typically takes 30 days or longer to implement.

Choosing the right CRM for your business

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Finding the right CRM for your business can feel like a long, drawn-out process. Let us make it easy for you.

When you use our Product Selection Tool on our customer relationship management (CRM) software page, our team of Technology Advisors will get in touch with a free, no-hassle shortlist of the best CRM solutions for your specific needs. Getting started is easy and takes less than five minutes.

What to read next

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For more information on HubSpot vs. Zoho CRM and for more information on CRM software in general, check out the following articles. Feel free to contact us should you have any questions.