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Oct 31, 2022

Which CRM Should I Use: HubSpot, Salesforce or SharpSpring?

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by Darby Kim
Choosing the right CRM can make a big difference in improving your business. Are you looking to increase lead generation? Increase revenue? All of the above? Well, which CRM do you choose?
In this article, we'll compare HubSpot, Salesforce, and Sharpspring CRMs so that you can decide which is right for your business.

What Is a CRM?

CRM stands for 'Customer Relationship Management.'
It's a system that helps you manage your contacts, leads, and customers. A proper CRM will allow you to track your sales process, including marketing campaigns and tasks related to each client or lead.
A good CRM will track all client interactions so you can see who they are, what they want from you (and when), how much money they spend with you, and more.
If done well, a great CRM will make it easier for new hires to get up to speed quickly on any given client because all their information is already there in one place—a huge time-saver!

Why does your company need a CRM?

If you're looking for a CRM, you must understand why you need one in the first place.
A CRM is an essential part of any business. 
It allows companies to keep track of their leads, customers, and sales information in one central location. A good CRM will also help you manage your marketing campaigns and stay on top of product development to grow your business effectively.
In order to choose the right type of CRM for your company, it's crucial to consider the CRM's capabilities and if it aligns with the size and goals of your company. 
Let's look at three popular CRM software platforms:
  • HubSpot
  • SharpSpring
  • Salesforce

The Comparison of HubSpot, SharpSpring, and Salesforce

Of course, choosing the right CRM depends on what kind of organization or industry you have, but when it comes to the many options for CRM software, HubSpot, Sharpspring, and Salesforce are, by far, the most popular and yield great results.

Why choose Hubspot's CRM?

Suppose you're a small business owner with little or no experience in marketing automation (and you want to save money). In that case, choose HubSpot as your CRM—it has everything you need without requiring extensive training or technical expertise.
Hubspot vs Salesforce | Watermark

Hubspot: Features and Benefits

Hubspot is a sales and marketing platform that helps small businesses grow. 
Its features include:
  • Landing pages, forms, and email templates: 
You can create landing pages for your website or Facebook ads that match the look and feel of your site—or use Hubspot's template library to build professional marketing and sales emails without writing any code.
  • Top-notch lead generation tools: 
Any contact with a lead can be organized logically, including calls, emails, meetings, and notes. You'll never have to scroll through a cluttered inbox or spreadsheet to figure out where a conversation began or ended.
  • Marketing automation:
With marketing automation, you can create automated workflows based on user behavior (like if they sign up for your newsletter) or use customer data from other platforms like MailChimp. 
You can also set triggers so that emails go out when someone fills out a form on your site or clicks through one of your blog posts; this helps you personalize follow-up emails, so people don't get confused about where they're supposed to go next in their journey with you!

The Benefits of Using Hubspot

-Track sales automatically.
-: Enjoy unlimited users, data, and a max of 1,000,000 contacts with no time limit or expiration date at no cost. 
-Scalable: While the initial tier is free, paid upgrades are available for scalability.
-Easily manage leads, deals, and workflows in a transparent dashboard.
-No experience or training is needed to get your CRM set up.
-Education: Hubspot is great with offering content on how to get the most out of their CRM and surrounding
- Inbound marketing focus: Hubspot was founded on , a notion that positions your sales and marketing teams as consultants rather than annoying or disruptive salespeople.

You can't have inbound marketing without a powerful CRM to back it up!

Not 100% on what a CRM can do for your business? Watermark is offering free self-serve training videos to guide you on how a CRM can enhance your sales and marketing teams.

Possible Cons to Using Hubspot CRM?

It's hard to find cons with this all-inclusive, intuitive CRM software, but reviewers have noted that:
Hubspot doesn't offer A/B testing in their basic or PRO package – If you want to run split tests, you will have to upgrade. With that said, partnering with a Hubspot-certified agency can efficiently work with you on your budget when utilizing A/B testing tools and analysis.
What if you have the budget for a paid CRM right from the start and need to implement marketing automation with your other marketing and sales tools? Consider SharpSpring. 

Why choose SharpSpring's CRM?

This is another great CRM for small businesses. 
SharpSpring will give you everything you need without breaking the bank if you're starting your business or still need to get a large team. 

A SharpSpring Overview

The platform is designed for small businesses and comes with an easy-to-use interface that makes it simple to navigate.
Sharpspring CRM for Small Businesses and Startups | Watermark

SharpSpring CRM: Benefits and Features

While it's more complex than HubSpot to get up-to-speed on (and doesn't have a free tier), SharpSpring offers more advanced features like:
  • Sales and Marketing Automation 
Automate tasks like lead generation and sales follow-up.
  • Integrates third-party apps and other tools 
Use the SharpSpring CRM with other tools your company uses, like Dropbox and G Suite (formerly Google Apps). Users can also connect AP or Zapier to integrate with other CRMs like Salesforce, Pipedrive, and others.
  • Smart Mail App
SharpSpring's Smart Mail is an app that helps customers easily set up follow-up emails and workflows for incoming leads.
  • Customization
Use SharpSpring to create custom deal stages for every lead within the customer journey. You can adapt these stages to your company's brand standards and business model.
  • Easy-to-Use drag and drop visual sales pipeline
Move prospects through deal stages with the simple drag-and-drop interface. Get a quick overview of each prospect's sales cycle and make decisions with all the relevant details readily available.
  • Real-Time Lead Scoring:
The Lead Scoring tool automatically identifies hot prospects and assigns them a score based on engagement, page tracking, and fit and completeness of the information. SharpSpring can also detect how leads naturally change over time and adjust the score accordingly.
  • Customized Reporting
SharpSpring's platform provides customizable reports that allow you to focus on specific areas for improvement. Reports include pipeline, conversion, activity, projection, and more information.

The Benefits of Using of SharpSpring:

- Free trial with a 14-day money-back guarantee.
- No learning curve: Everything is in one place, so there aren't any extra steps required when managing clients/prospects/leads etc.
- Easy-to-Use Email Templates
-Integrates with many other third-party apps
- Affordable pricing:  Even though they have a free version, the paid plans start at $9 per month and go up to $49 per month, depending on your needs.
-Scalable:  There is enterprise pricing if your company has more than ten users or requires additional features not included in their standard offerings.
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Possible Cons With SharpSpring?

We say possible because there really aren't "bad" CRMs; it depends on your specific needs. With that said, reviews of the SharpSpring software have noted that it doesn't have a live chat feature or free tools like HubSpot.

What about Salesforce?

We think HubSpot and SharpSpring are perfect CRMs for many reasons, but what if you work at an enterprise-level organization that handles thousands of monthly leads across multiple departments worldwide?
If you need robust reporting capabilities to make crucial decisions about which prospects are worth pursuing—then go with Salesforce.
Salesforce Sales Cloud vs HubSpot Sales Hub

Why choose Salesforce?

Salesforce is a popular CRM amongst companies with many employees, a vast customer base, and a lot of data to keep track of. 
Examples of industries that use Salesforce are primarily IT, financial and national or worldwide publicly-held companies because it is a cloud-based option.

Salesforce: Features and Benefits

Salesforce is a cloud-based CRM that offers a comprehensive set of tools to manage sales and marketing activities across teams of large companies.
Many large companies have a lot of data to track throughout multiple departments. Having access to a single-source CRM for extensive marketing and sales teams is one of the reasons Salesforce is a popular choice.
Salesforce features include:
  • Managing sales pipeline and forecasts
  • Log and track sales activity, including emails
  • Store your customer data in one place
  • Sales and Marketing Automation

The Benefits of Salesforce:

-Integrates other software
-Mobile app abilities
-Workflow automation
-Ability to handle large amounts of data
If your company is large enough to work with Salesforce, reach out to them here:

The Possible Cons of Using Salesforce?

While Salesforce is a powerful tool with much to offer, it isn't the best fit for every business. 
Here are some reasons why:
  • Cost: 
If your company is starting out or not making much money yet, you may be unable to justify the steep price tag of Salesforce (or any other CRM). The fees are based on the number of users who have access to it; this means that if your team consists of only one full-time employee and one part-time intern while you're still trying to figure things out, there's no good reason for them both to pay $240/month each just so they can use the software together!
  • It's difficult (and expensive!) for small businesses to use:
It's not enough for a CRM to have a long list of features and functionality. For it to offer long-term business growth, evolution, and value, the implementation must be done right. But you'll have to pay extra if you want help with data entry, personal training, or using its technology.

How do you choose the right CRM for your business?

As you can see, there are a lot of options when it comes to choosing a CRM. Research and leaning on partnering with with CRM expertise can help you find the right one for your business and needs.
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you consider which CRM might be best:
  • Can I use this software with my current technology infrastructure?
  • How will this impact my existing workflow processes? Will it make them more efficient or less so? Will it change how things get done in my office at all?
  • What features will help me reach my marketing goals most effectively (e.g., lead generation, customer retention)?
  • Does this CRM fit my company's budget?
  • Is the CRM scalable?

We could go on, and on about the many features and benefits of all the different CRMs out there. Still, to save you time, we've narrowed down the top three for three different-sized companies and highlighted all the benefits, strengths, and weaknesses. 
To sum it up:
  • HubSpot is great for solopreneurs, startups, and small businesses.
  • SharpSpring is also an excellent choice for smaller companies with a more extensive marketing and sales budget.
  • Salesforce is the popular choice with large, publicly held companies with a wide range of departments that need to communicate with each other and stay on the same page.
With that said, knowing you need a CRM is half the battle, it's knowing which CRM will help you hit your goals and increase conversions and ROI that is the key.
Watermark, a digital agency based in Denver, has helped , from solopreneurs and startups to national and international companies. 
We know not all CRMs are created equal, and it's not a one-size fits all approach, but we also know you need a CRM if you want to grow in this digital world. 
So, are you ready to start? We're here to help you choose!
A CRM is only as strong as your marketing and sales strategies. Learn more about inbound marketing today!
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