If you are running a business you definitely want to grow it. To achieve that growth you would need best software tools and processes. You will also need marketing, sales and customer service to collectively drive growth. Instead of using several different disconnected tools it is better to use one single platform like Hubspot for growth. Over the past decade I have tried hundreds of different software and in my personal opinion Hubspot is still the best Growth Suite in 2020.
What is the HubSpot Growth Suite?
You have most likely heard of Hubspot – the marketing, sales, and service software that helps your business grow. It was founded by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah in 2006. With over 37,000 customers, HubSpot’s software products are designed to fuel growth by transforming how businesses attract, engage and delight customers with one stack of tools.
A 2012 review in CRM Search said HubSpot was not the best business solution in each category but that taken as a whole it was the best “marketing solution” that combined many tools into one package. It identified HubSpot’s “strengths” as its online ecosystem and its ease of use.
Hubspot has a lot of free features and some are paid. It is a popular misconception that Hubspot is very expensive but I feel its worth the value they provide even for a small company. They also offer 90% discount for startups in the initial year followed by 50% discount for subsequent year.
HubSpot Free CRM
HubSpot CRM is a free tool that helps businesses organize, track, and nurture their leads and customers. HubSpot offers 100% forever free CRM with unlimited users, data, and up to 1,000,000 contacts with no time limit or expiration date — whether you’re a team of 1 or 1,000.
Storing and managing the contacts is at the core of everything you do to grow the business. Hubspot can automatically create contacts from your website forms and from emails. With Hubspot you can build views and run automated actions to easily manage your contacts and data.
Contact website activity
You can get insight into what a contact is doing on your website. See page views, form submissions, sales activity, and more, all in one place.
You can Store, track, manage, and report on the deals (sometimes referred to as “opportunities”) your sales team is working. This is yet another crucial data which might have to be entered manually by your team members. I also use Hubspot reports for sales incentive calculation.
Companies & Company Insights
You can store records for every company in your database. View all your company details and communications in a single place. Companies, contacts and deals are interlinked.
Hubspot also provides useful automatic insights about companies you’re dealing with. So your sales team can spend more time selling and less time digging.
Tasks & Activities
You can store, track, manage, report on the tasks and activities that make up your relationships with customers. My team uses Hubspot tasks for follow up reminders. It also has various filters and table/board view. I also automatically create/assign tasks using workflow(paid feature).
Gmail and Outlook integration
You can connect HubSpot CRM to your Gmail or Outlook inbox to send email from the CRM, set up a shared team email account, and access dozens of other useful, time-saving tools.
You can use the prospects tool to see which companies are visiting your site, and see any available insights about them too. This is one the cool free feature of Hubspot.
Set up a shared inbox — for all incoming email and live chats — that your whole team can work from, easily managing 1-to-1 communications at scale.
Using Hubspot you can track one-off emails to contacts. Receive real-time notifications when emails are opened or clicked. This also works when you send mails from gmail (with chrome plugin installed).
Lots of outgoing emails from your team will have repetitive content. Save and reuse your best performing emails, and share them with your team for a faster and more consistent way to communicate with prospects.
Create a bank of reusable answers for prospects’ most frequently asked questions that you can quickly add to live chats or emails to save time and help prospects faster.
Build a library of sales documents that you can easily share with prospects. Get insight into when and where prospects are most engaged. For example many customers ask for W9 form, we just have it in Hubspot document and our sales team sends them quickly.
Hubspot has an App Marketplace offering integrations from hundreds of other software including zapier.
See detailed metrics on sales activity and performance. Use the data to know how you’re doing and where to improve.
Hubspot – Free Marketing Software
Hubspot is All-in-One Inbound Marketing Software. Hubspot offers everything you need to launch effective marketing campaigns that make people interested in your business and happy to be your customer.
Add pop-up, embedded, and collected forms to any web page tracked in your HubSpot account to gather the contact details that your business needs. You can also automatically create/assign tasks based on the form data(paid feature).
Send bulk emails that are tested and optimized for different devices and inboxes. Create better emails with a drag and drop editor and personalization tokens.
Create static or dynamically updating contact lists based on various criteria using HubSpot CRM properties. Use them to power more personalized content in email, on the web, and more.
Hubspot – Free Sales Software
Hubspot offers Time-Saving Sales Tools You Can Start Using for Free.
You get up to 15 minutes of calling per user per month. Call prospects through VOIP from inside your HubSpot account. Calls can be recorded and auto-logged on the contact record for future reference. This feature is not supported for some countries like UAE and I end up using Sonetel in those cases.
Share a link with customers that lets them see when you’re free and book meetings with you, cutting out those tedious ‘what time works best for you’ emails.
You can chat 1-to-1 with visitors as they browse your site, and give them the information they need about your business. This is one of the least developed feature of Hubspot. It does not even show the geography of the person you are chatting with. I hope Hubspot will focus on adding more features to the live chat.
I do not recommend using this, instead use something like Drift. I recommend Drift because it has the best integration with Hubspot. It not only syncs the contact but also push the chat details into Hubspot contact’s activity.
Scale live chat using bots. They can qualify leads, collect and store contact data, book meetings, and send leads to the right salesperson.
Again I use Drift instead of Hubspot for bots as well.
Connect team-wide email addresses to your Conversations inbox. Turn incoming emails into tickets, or send them straight into your shared inbox. No more questions slipping through the cracks.
Write one-to-one prospect emails, and schedule them for the right send and receipt time.
Keep track of deals and predict future revenue based on how likely they are to close.
Free Service & Support Software
You can log customer issues as tickets. They can then be assigned to team members, organized and prioritized, and tracked in a central location. Hubspot also supports adding custom fields to your support forms to gather the right information for your team, and generate tickets.
Tickets closed reports
Measure your customer service efforts. Get in-depth reports that show volume, category, and response times.
Rep productivity reports
See productivity and response times broken down by rep, and use the data to spot high performers and who needs help.
See how long customers are waiting for their questions to be solved, and use the data to improve response times and processes.
Premium Marketing & Sales Software
The core CRM functionality of HubSpot CRM is free for everyone to use. When you start using HubSpot CRM, within your account you’ll also find some free versions of the tools available in our paid marketing and sales software. This means our CRM goes above and beyond what a typical CRM does so you can improve your marketing and sales processes.
However I think some features of Hubspot are worth upgrading and paying for.
Hubspot Marketing Hub Starter ($50/month)
The free marketing tool offers only 2000 email sends per calendar month where marketing starter allows 5X contact tier email send limit per calendar month. Additional cost of $21/mo to $35/mo per 1,000 contacts.
The free version stores first seven days of website activity after the contact was created. This is a very crucial data for your team and I recommend to upgrade to Marketing Starter to have unlimited days data.
Hubspot Sales Hub Professional ($500/month)
The first major reason to upgrade is email sequences(not available in free). You get 1,000 sequences per account, and up to 150 daily enrollments per user. Sequence queues included.
The second reason to upgrade is workflows(not available in free). With professional version you get upto 300 workflows.
Professional version also helps you build a product library, and report on the sales performance of different products. Use the data to see which products and services are selling best. This is not available in free version.
It’s 2020, we have a pricing page with direct purchase option and yet customers ask for quotes. This is especially requested by employees in large organisations who might need to get approvals. Upgrading to Hubspot sales profession will allow you to create and share professional-looking proposals in just a few clicks.
Hubspot Free version allows up to 15 minutes of calling per user per month and upgrading to professional will make it 16 hours of calling per user per month.
Email tracking and notification in Hubspot free version is limited to 200 notifications per month and upgrade will make it unlimited.
Hubspot Free sales software allows upto 5 email templates per account and professional makes it upto 1,000 email templates.
Hubspot Free sales tool allows upto 5 snippets per account and professional makes it upto 1,000 snippets.
Free Hubspot sales Software allows upto 5 documents per account and professional makes it upto 1,000 documents.
Free version of Hubspot supports 1 dashboard with 10 reports (out-of-the-box reports). With professional you get 2 dashboards, including 10 reports per dashboard (custom or out-of-the-box reports). Personally, this is an essential requirement for me.
Free version of Hubspot supports 1 deal pipeline per account and professional makes it upto 15 deal pipeline. I personally needed more than 1 deal pipeline.
Hubspot sales professional will also enable you to see how productive your reps are using the templates, sequences, and calling tools.
Hubspot sales professional will also add smart send time feature. Your team can get suggestions for the best send time for each prospect. Schedule your email to send automatically at that time.
With Hubspot premium, you also get upto 20 custom reports, video creation, stripe integration etc.
Hubspot Sales Professional includes 5 users. You can still have more team members on free Hubspot version and assign select users to paid version features.
Is Hubspot the Best Growth Suite in 2020?
I would definitely say YES. HubSpot Growth Suite is a 4-in-1 package offering.
You need to start thinking about growth on day one. Growth tool like Hubspot must be part of your organisation’s foundation if you want to be successful and sustainable company. Using Hubspot‘s free tools you can setup the initial marketing, sales and service process in place. As you scale you can always upgrade for paid features.