In the great CRM game, Salesforce is perceived by many as the industry standard. Today’s sales directors grew up using it. The depth of reporting is great. So is its ability to offer custom objects, enabling companies to customise their CRM to meet their business needs.
For organisations with large data requirements (like the enterprise market), this level of functionality is essential, enabling swathes of customer data to be labelled accurately and stored correctly. As a result, the inability to customise objects in HubSpot CRM has meant some companies don’t end up choosing HubSpot. It’s just not customisable enough.
Today at INBOUND 2020, HubSpot’s Chief Product Officer Christopher O’Donnell announced that HubSpot’s enterprise-level productsnow support custom objects as a core functionality. Within Sales Hub Enterprise, this finally offers users the level of customisation they crave, while positioning HubSpot’s enterprise-grade sales product as a leader in the mid to upper range of the CRM market.
Read on to discover more about custom objects, what this exciting announcement means for the CRM marketplace and how your organisation could benefit.
Wait, what is a custom object?
In case you’re not familiar with custom objects, let’s quickly break it down.
Until now the objects available in HubSpot CRM have been: Contacts, Companies, Deals, Tickets or Products. For many businesses, this selection of criteria fulfils their requirements. Between them, the five options cover a lot of bases. But sometimes an object doesn’t sit neatly within these categories. It might be too niche or simply fall outside of these remits.
As an example of data modelling with custom objects, consider the manufacturing space. Beyond the need to store customer or product data — which would sit nicely with the ‘Contacts’ and ‘Products’ objects respectively — it may wish to track ‘Shipments’. This custom object would enable the company to store data on shipment dates, couriers used, expected delivery times, and other logistical information directly within the CRM.
“Another example could be IT resellers wanting to keep track of their vendors. A custom ‘Vendor’ object would allow them to house that information in the CRM. With this category defined, they could then get visibility over which ‘Contacts’ have licenses from which vendor.”
The sales, marketing and service implications of this level of data granularity are incredible. The first company could use HubSpot’s List tool to identify every contact who received a shipment in the last month, while the second company could set up an automated workflow to activate whenever a new ‘Vendor’ is created, unlocking new opportunities for personalised engagement and meaningful communications, even at scale.
Now, with HubSpot Sales Enterprise, they can, without any of the complexity seen in other CRMs.
Yes, it does. In the past, many sales directors have found their choice of CRM platform driven by a fundamental decision: does their organisation need power or ease of use?
Across the market, HubSpot wins on ease of use every time. But the requirement for custom objects means that in many instances, a sales director’s hands are tied when choosing between suitable platforms.
They'd agree that the level of complexity built into the most powerful CRM products on the market is debilitating, yet their processes often depend on configurability, so that complexity was tolerated.
“The inability to create custom objects has sometimes made it difficult for bigger companies to choose HubSpot CRM over an industry standard like Salesforce. Not anymore.”
HubSpot’s breaking announcement that Sales Hub Enterprise will soon support custom objects levels the playing field. It means big sales enterprises no longer have to choose between power or ease of use when it comes to their CRM platform. By investing in HubSpot Sales Enterprise, they can benefit from both, unlocking modern, enterprise-grade CRM features that are in-built and intuitive to use — everything today’s sales team needs.
What are those enterprise-grade CRM features and how will you benefit?
The upgraded Sales Hub boasts a variety of new and enhanced features that make it a serious contender in the decision between HubSpot vs Salesforce.
At a glance, those comparisons can be summarised in the following ways:
HubSpot Sales Hub
Endless customisation Pay for all users Pay for customer support
Flexible configurations Unlimited free users Customer support included
Let’s take a closer look at how the two products stack up against one another:
Total cost of ownership (TCO)
TCO is often one of the first factors taken into consideration when comparing products. In most cases, HubSpot is the more cost-effective solution compared to Salesforce.
Salesforce users must factor in additional costs such as notoriously high-priced add-ons to the basic Sales Cloud package and 20 to 30% to the total contract value for meaningful customer support, not to mention the costs associated with low and slow adoption rates or product training.
HubSpot is widely recognised across the market for its superior usability. As of September 2020, G2 Crowd reviewers rate Sales Hub at around 8.6 out of 10 for ease of use, while Sales Cloud sits at 7.8.
Salesforce tools are powerful and customisable. However, with customisation comes complexity. Depending on your use-case and your fit, that might not be the best option for you. In the end, many customers need a system built for their needs and for ease of use.
The ability to scale and meet demands of large enterprises (1,000 employees +) is a central value proposition for Salesforce, backed by a strong market presence. Salesforce pins its continued growth on the enterprise deals they make so that’s where they invest most heavily.
In comparison, HubSpot lets the front-line user or team manager get much further after the initial setup, which means that your business can then focus on accelerating growth at scale by focusing resources where they’re needed most at the beginning. So, while Salesforce generally wins on scalability, faster time to value is HubSpot’s advantage here.
You’ll recognise by now the near limitless potential for customisation made available to Salesforce customers. However, this can make it too complex for an operations leader, sales leader or an individual rep that needs to navigate the system on a day-to-day basis.
HubSpot provides an alternative that is flexible when you need it but also built to be more nimble and easy to use as your business is changing. If something changes in the business and you want to go back and rework your CRM, it’s more of an overhaul within Salesforce compared to HubSpot, which is more intuitive.
Think of Salesforce like a construction project. It can take a significant amount of time to get it configured for your business, and once it is complete your admin team will have to decide which additions are worth your time to build out to make those improvements or changes that are needed. This can have a significant impact in terms of maintenance and upkeep.
In terms of integration with other software products, Salesforce holds an advantage in the number of applications in total. Their highest-profile integrations are of good quality (and recognised).
While Salesforce has more integrations, the quality of HubSpot’s integrations are still very high. In terms of platform cohesion, the advantage is to HubSpot. Salesforce has a vast line-up of products to fit almost any need. Some of these products, such as Pardot, came about through the acquisition of companies, and this is how Salesforce has built out its platform. But customers are likely to experience a less-integrated platform in general.
HubSpot’s products, on the other hand, were developed in-house and operate from a single code base. This is essential to the effortless integration of features and functions across the platform.
One example is the level of effort required to connect your marketing tools to the CRM, which is becoming increasingly of a priority with CRM-driven marketing. In HubSpot, this is automatic. In Salesforce, the connection is either set up on the customer end, requiring customer maintenance, or purchased as an add-on service, leading to more costs.
Support and services
This is where user reviews really shine on HubSpot. Salesforce and HubSpot take very different approaches to customer support in general.
HubSpot leads with world-class support available to all customers through 24/7 support online or via phone. This is included in the base price and doesn’t change regardless of how many users or products a customer has.
Salesforce, on the other hand, provides limited support in their basic package. To get comparable support on Salesforce, a customer is charged 20-30% of their net cost, which adds a substantial amount to what they’re already paying. Even after investing in support, Salesforce customers still rate it lower than HubSpot’s on G2 Crowd.
For help unlocking the full value of HubSpot Sales Hub, HubSpot Solutions Partners (like us!) are on-hand to help you scope, configure, implement and rollout the platform, enabling organisations to see the biggest return on their investment in the shortest possible time.
The advent of custom objects in HubSpot CRM and the suite of additional upgrades and features being rolled out across HubSpot Sales Enterprise means sales directors no longer need to settle for industry standards like Salesforce. Now, for the first time, they can unlock enterprise-grade power and ease of use within a single, fully integrated CRM platform.
And with the best of both worlds at their fingertips, they can finally compete with today’s most successful companies. These are the brands offering streamlined, customer-focused, hassle-free buying experiences that consumers have come to expect as standard — whichever industry they are in and whatever they are buying.
The CRM game has changed. Are you playing to win?
Get in touch with us to find out more about these exciting new features and how your organisation could benefit from HubSpot Sales Enterprise.