Your business’s customer relationship management (CRM) solution is the most powerful tool in your arsenal – it houses critical information about every interaction your business has with its customers, helping your salespeople sell smarter and faster to improve productivity and increase revenue. Selecting the right CRM for your business is crucial – the wrong tool can cost you sales, valuable customer data, and can even increase the amount of manual work needed to be done by your sales teams.

Two of the more popular solutions on the market are Zoho CRM and HubSpot CRM, both of which offer a low (or no) cost alternative to other CRM solutions. If your business is considering adopting HubSpot CRM or Zoho CRM, here’s what you need to know to make an informed decision.

A major difference in focus

Before you decide between HubSpot or Zoho, it’s important to understand that these CRMs have a drastically different focus: HubSpot puts marketing at the epicenter of its operations, whereas Zoho puts all of the business relationships, from vendors to clients, at the epicenter of your business, enabling better insights and advanced business analytics. HubSpot’s platform has only the most basic features expected of a modern CRM. While this might work for a small business with simple needs, modern sales teams require far more versatility than HubSpot offers – things like detailed reports of business activities and financials, lead scoring, integration with other solutions, workflows, forecasting, and automation will be sorely missed in no time at all.

In order to get the most out of HubSpot’s platform, you’ll need to upgrade from the free version of HubSpot CRM to HubSpot Sales Hub, which still lacks the impressive range of features offered by Zoho CRM at a much higher cost – both initial and ongoing – for your business. Even with the upgraded version, HubSpot puts the focus squarely on lead acquisition and marketing efforts and does not adequately address all of the other relationships and business needs that Zoho does. 

Zoho CRM is part of a suite of apps, Zoho One, which includes other apps that allow for concise financial reporting, professional email campaigns, and even all of your business accounting. All of these apps tie into Zoho CRM, and it is all available for one low per-user cost per month.  

Zoho CRM is ready for use by businesses of all sizes as soon as it’s deployed, with full training programs available from ion8 for your staff in order to ensure adoption.  

Zoho is the best value for your sales team

An effective CRM means having access to more than just a list of leads – you need to be able to qualify those leads and determine which ones are worth spending valuable time on. Zoho CRM does exactly this by scoring leads and contacts, offering a guide to your salespeople so they know how they should be spending their time. Workflow automation is another valuable feature, cutting out the amount of menial tasks needed to be done by your staff, instead automating them so your employees can spend their time more wisely.

These features are an important aspect of increasing productivity across your workforce, letting your salespeople focus on what’s most important. While versions of these features exist within HubSpot, as with many other advanced CRM features, it requires spending additional money to unlock. The best CRM for your business should be the one that gives you the best value out of the box, rather than requiring costly upgrades only to be presented with inferior features that only serve to hinder your team.

Integrations and customizations: more important than you would think

Making sure your workplace solutions can share information and communicate with each other is an important part of improving employee productivity. Intelligent integrations are a must-have in the modern workplace. Zoho CRM is renowned for its nearly endless amount of integrations and the ability for developers to customize the solution to perfectly meet customer needs. Zoho CRM integrates seamlessly with popular tools like Gmail and G Suite, Office 365, PandaDoc, RingCentral, Shopify, Slack, MailChimp, and many more.

HubSpot also makes integrations easy, offering a Marketplace for its range of integrations, featuring popular tools including Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, Slack, Facebook Messenger, PandaDoc, Salesforce, Calendly, and Stripe. Many of the integrations featured in the HubSpot App Marketplace are added on at a monthly cost. 

HubSpot’s pricing structure, however, is a bit of a setback. They require all new accounts to purchase mandatory onboarding services at a one-time startup cost, and there are several pricing tiers which can be confusing. Zoho One is much more predictable, with one low per-user cost per month and no onboarding fees. 

Choosing the right CRM is about more than cost – it’s about value, functionality, and ability to scale. HubSpot’s lack of advanced features and integrations will quickly demand that you upgrade to a more expensive version of the app. 

Zoho CRM has the luxury of having countless intelligent features that add value and increase productivity, giving your sales staff everything they need to succeed. Zoho CRM also has the benefit of being completely customizable, with Zoho Advanced Partners having the ability to implement a custom CRM solution that perfectly meets the needs of your business, integrating it with your favorite workplace tools for unparalleled versatility.

ion8 is a Zoho Advanced Partner with a full team of experienced Zoho consultants, developers, and integration experts ready to improve the way your business sells by implementing and integrating Zoho CRM. To find out more about how ion8 can transform your business, contact us today.