Customer relationship management is essential for ecommerce. However, we often find that cookie cutter CRMs don't have that many customizable features for the wide variety of ecommerce businesses out there. But sometimes all your company needs is a beautiful contact management dashboard, and a way to log and send out interactions with your customers and clients. In this HubSpot CRM review, you'll learn that you can have all of that for free.
HubSpot CRM is one of those cookie cutter CRMs, so it's not going to work for some businesses. You can't go in there and add unique features, so you're pretty much stuck with what's provided. However, I like HubSpot CRM for small and large businesses that can do without all of the customizations.
Not only that, but startups should consider HubSpot CRM, since it's a completely free solution, so you can keep your costs low early.
HubSpot CRM Review: How Can it Help Your Ecommerce Business?
I really enjoy the HubSpot CRM, since it's built to help out all sizes of businesses, especially startups that need a free, yet powerful way to interact and manage customer relationships.
With ecommerce, you end up working with thousands, if not millions, of customers and business partners. That's why a CRM is so important when it comes to organizing, tracking, and nurturing those leads and business relationships.
HubSpot CRM pairs well with standard email providers like Gmail and Outlook, so you can get your sales team set up within minutes. You're then able to manage your sales pipeline, which is bound to speed up the process in which you use to bring in those leads. The CRM removes the need for spreadsheets or other cluttered organizational tools.
The best part is that the HubSpot CRM supports up to 1 million contacts and unlimited users. Therefore, ecommerce sales teams of 1,000 should have no problem working with the HubSpot CRM. The same goes for organizations with one salesperson.
HubSpot CRM Review: The Best Features
The HubSpot CRM has standard features that you would expect from competitors who require you to pay for their software. What's great, however, is that several free versions of the Sales and Marketing Hub tools are also packaged in with the HubSpot CRM. Therefore, you're actually getting more than what you would expect from other alternatives, and you don't have to pay a dime. Yes, HubSpot is definitely trying to get you to pay for the other products, but that's not a bad thing since you're not being pressured, and you will probably consider those products at some point.
Anyway, these are some of the features we find most appealing from HubSpot CRM:
A Beautiful Pipeline Dashboard in One Spot
A large part of having a CRM is for creating a sales funnel. This means you're looking for a clean, efficient dashboard that's going to connect all of your salespeople and make it easier to see where every potential client is in that funnel.
HubSpot CRM has a wonderful dashboard design, with sorting for all of the deals you've won or lost, along with contracts you've sent out during the process. The interface includes options for tracking performance and seeing which of your salespeople are doing the best. I also like the idea of having appointment scheduling inside of the CRM, since that's often what you end up doing with business partners in the ecommerce world.
Some of this won't apply to customer-facing ecommerce companies, but a CRM like this is still essential for managing all of those users. In the dashboard, you can sort the deals by name, amount, owner, and the stage of the funnel the customer is in.
The dashboard also provides some great filters for quickly finding information about a customer.
Automated Sales Activity Logging
When you don't have a CRM, customer interactions often get lost or archived deep into your email folders. HubSpot CRM has a different approach, seeing as how it automatically records all of your customer interactions, whether they be phone calls, emails, or meetings. You'll also find that the CRM logs every social media interaction, which is an excellent way to minimize the amount of time spent on those actual social networks.
As we're going to mention a few times in this article, HubSpot CRM syncs up with your Gmail, G Suite, and Outlook accounts. So, if one salesperson talks with a customer, the next salesperson can go in and see what was discussed.
Lead Information in One Spot
Every time you get a lead, HubSpot CRM logs it for you in one location. This combines with the automated interaction recording, but with this module, you're able to see an individual lead and all of those communications.
For instance, it's obviously great to remember names and job titles. Those are all saved here. But, you also get the chance to see a whole list of other communications, such as emails, phone calls, meetings, and notes.
I like this for several reasons. The first is that one salesperson can log information about a potential client and other people in your organization can see it. So, if there's a problem client and there's no reason to speak with them anymore, the rest of your sales team isn't wasting time trying to call that person.
This interface also ensures that your sales team isn't sifting through email threads to figure out where the conversation left off. It's all nicely organized into one list, so they can jump right in and contact the lead without any questions.
Finally, HubSpot CRM syncs with the HubSpot Marketing program. Therefore, you can see all of the content that's been sent to the lead. After that, you have the opportunity to personalize your next message and not look silly trying to start the conversation over again.
HubSpot CRM Review: The Pricing
Yes, the HubSpot CRM is completely free, forever. That means you don't spend a dime every month, regardless of which country you run your business in. However, it's important to understand the features that come with the free plan, since HubSpot does try to upsell you for its other products, and some of these products have features you might assume come with the CRM.
As for the HubSpot CRM package, here's what to expect:
- Support for up to 1,000,000 contacts.
- Integrations with email providers like Gmail, G Suite, and Outlook.
- Integrations with other HubSpot products like the Marketing, Sales, and Service hubs.
- Custom support from the HubSpot community forum. Keep in mind that there's no direct support (like phone, chat, or email support,) for the free CRM.
- Unlimited users, or people who plan on using the CRM in your organization.
- Powerful contact management and company insights.
- Records for all companies you do business with.
- Deals and tasks.
- Forms for marketers.
- An analytics dashboard for your leads.
- Ads for Facebook.
- The ability to record contact activity.
- Email scheduling, templates, and tracking notifications.
- Meetings, calling, documents, and canned snippets.
As HubSpot explains on its website, the CRM is more than an integration with its other products. It's actually the underlying database that powers items like the Marketing, Sales, and Service hubs.
Therefore, it's not unrealistic to assume that you might pay for some of these other products after seeing if you like the CRM. The pricing for those include:
- Free Marketing Hub – $0 per month.
- Starter Marketing Hub – $50 per month.
- Basic Marketing Hub – $200 per month.
- Professional Marketing Hub – $800 per month.
- Enterprise Marketing Hub – $2,400 per month.
As for the Sales Hub pricing:
- Free Sales Hub – $0 per month.
- Starter Sales Hub – $50 per month.
- Professional Sales Hub – $400 per month.
And, the Service Hub (for things like ticketing and a knowledge base):
- Professional Service Hub – $400 per month.
Overall, the pricing is pretty straightforward when you get started. However, you might find that you would like something like landing pages or marketing automation from the Marketing Hub, or live chat from the Sales Hub. In that case, the pricing gets more complicated, but HubSpot still has some affordable options with the Starter and Basic plans.
Should You Consider HubSpot CRM for Your Organization?
HubSpot CRM is a great place to start for logging contact information, customer interactions, and leads. It's also an excellent tool if you're in need of a basic sales funnel for a startup or small business. I even see this working for larger ecommerce stores without any highly customized CRM needs.
But that's usually where companies run into problems with these cookie cutter CRMs. Sometimes you need some small feature customizations to make a CRM work for your business.
That said, I would recommend trying out the HubSpot CRM to see if it works well for your business. It's completely free for the base product, so you don't have anything to lose. However, you might eventually find that you need something customized. In that case, simply move onto a new CRM or consider some of the other HubSpot products to see if those fit your needs.
If you have any questions about this HubSpot CRM review, feel free to drop a line in the comments section below.