Comparing HubSpot and Zoho for Startups

Choosing a CRM for your business is never easy, and as an entrepreneur or business owner you have to think logistically and with HubSpot and Zoho as the two biggest players out there in the CRM world, we have compared the two platforms to help you in your decision making process.

The goal is to explore what it’s really like working with each platform because it’s most likely that your sales and marketing pros will be working on the CRM for much of their day and completing tasks, sending emails, etc. using the software.

Since HubSpot and Zoho offer free versions and I have worked on the pro versions of both HubSpot and Zoho, here are insights from my experience:

  1. User Experience– While both have significantly advanced interfaces, HubSpot’s is more intuitive and user-friendly, rendering a smoother overall experience. Zoho’s setup can often be confusing and since I have personally worked with both for a variety of clients, I have definitely found myself adapting to HubSpot with much more ease. The experience with Zoho can be fragmented and if you’re someone who sets a store by aesthetics and what’s more ‘fun’, HubSpot might be a better fit for you.
  1. Functionality– Many of HubSpot’s functions render better to marketing than they do to other parts of running a business while Zoho offers functions like inventory management, vendor management, invoicing, etc. This is also while keeping in mind that Zoho also offers a multitude of apps that allow live document sharing, Excel-like Sheets, Writer, its own mail engine, and an in-house HR and recruiting platform. So if your business is looking for an all-in-one solution CRM, Zoho might be a better fit for your operations.
  1. Sales vs. Marketing- HubSpot has an intensive marketing engine that allows for advanced lifecycle management of marketing leads, mass campaigns, and extensive analytics. HubSpot also offers a library of highly edifying marketing course that teach you how to build better content and reach your audience better. On the sales front though, Zoho offers useful tools like mass emailing, lifecycle management and better contact databases. For instance, the mass emailing function allows you to email 500+ contacts from within the sales engine and save hours as a new business.
  1. Analytics– Both HubSpot and Zoho provide various tools for analytics and are each useful in their own way. HubSpot provides users with extensive activity feeds which provide detailed daily insights and timelines on accounts and email engagement by prospects. With Zoho, you have easier and real-time access to how your prospects are dealing with your emails and the CRM also provides you with detailed info charts on the bounce rate, sent rate, open rate, and click through rate- with insights similar to ones afforded by the HubSpot Marketing engine but tailored to your sales needs.
  1. Ease of Use & Tools– I’ve used both CRM engines quite extensively and have found both to be equivalent in terms of ease of use. There are specific functions which are easier in each, and it all really depends on what business priorities and personal preferences are. While recording calls could be easier in one, viewing tasks and completing them could be easier in the other and the best decision for a new business would have to take into consideration the kind of company you’re building, what goals you have for your sales team, and long-term marketing objectives. 

These insights can help guide you on what CRM new businesses you should choose between whether it be HubSpot or Zoho.  At VA Partners, for instance, we made a switch from Salesforce to HubSpot early on in the foundations of our business, and it proved to be a definitive one in the way we do business. And that’s absolutely something you can do as well. Both HubSpot and Zoho have free versions that I’d recommend you to try out before settling on one. If you’re considering choosing a CRM for your startup and need more insights, please reach out to me and we’d love to guide you by scheduling a meeting with one of our co-founders.

Comparing HubSpot and Zoho for Startups