With so many CRM solutions on the market, choosing one for your business can be a daunting task. In this edition of our comparisons for CRM solutions, we compare two capable systems, HubSpot with Dynamics 365 and look at the factors to consider when decided between the two.
Firstly a little about each program
HubSpot is a freemium (users can use the basic features for free, before upgrading) software solution launched in 2002. Since that time HubSpot has made a range of acquisitions that has grown the feature set to include the free basic CRM feature, an upgrade path to a range of chargeable features to help run a sales and marketing team, a customer service portal and more recently a Content Management System and Operations features.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 was released in 2016 as an upgraded, cloud-based consolidation of the already prominent Dynamics CRM and before then separate ERP system. Dynamics includes a broad suite of features from CRM, Marketing, Field Service (to help businesses manage remote staff), Operations, Financial and Project management tools along with Operations.
To help you make your decision on the right program to choose here is our view on the important differences between the two packages to consider:
How big is your business and how sophisticated a program do you need?
If you are a very small business or a start-up there is no doubt that the free features contained within HubSpot will provide you with something to get started with, and an attractive entry cost. Conversely, if you are a medium-sized or indeed larger business you may well find the breadth of features contained within the HubSpot eco-system somewhat limiting, particularly if you are looking to deploy a program across the entirety of your business. For most circumstances, both programs can be made to achieve outcomes, but the important difference to note is as you grow your business the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem can grow with you natively, that is to say you can stay within the Microsoft ecosystem, with HubSpot you would need to integrate with other third-party systems which can create a point of weakness and duplications of data sets.
Cloud versus On-Premise
Both Dynamics and HubSpot are cloud-enabled, they operate from remote databases hosted in either Azure in the case of Dynamics or AWS in the case of HubSpot, providing good reliability of access. One important difference in this area is if as an organisation you are looking to host your systems on-premise or as a mixture of both cloud and on-premise then you won’t be able to use HubSpot which we understand to be a pure cloud-based product.
Both Dynamics and HubSpot have a continuous upgrade program associated with them, providing users with upgrades ensuring that their systems continue to be modern and fit for purpose. We like the monthly updates model that HubSpot run providing a regular flow of updates for users to view. Microsoft prefers to deliver tranches of updates in ‘waves’ every six months providing users with a more significant scale of uplift each time there is a wave update.
There is a degree of flexibility to both programs. With HubSpot, you have a choice of modules to activate and the ability to integrate to third party programs. Within the Dynamics suite, we like the integration with the Power Suite and the Apps platform which provide you with a range of native ways to customise the function of the program to suit the needs of your organisation. Power automate within the Microsoft suite gets a big plus from us too as it provides a way of automating what would typically be manual administrative tasks required on your people.
Dynamics 365 integrates across the Microsoft Eco-system. This means you can use LinkedIn, Microsoft office (Word, Outlook) in conjunction with Dynamics and all your records remain in sync and up to date. Given the high level of use of the Microsoft Office eco-system, it is a big plus to use Dynamics as a CRM/ERP system and gain benefit from these close integrations.
If you are thinking about investing in a CRM system, there are undoubted quantifiable and tangible benefits for any organisation wanting to sell products or services to customers. The good news is that there are some very good, mature and well-functioning options on the market for businesses to choose from.
If you are interested in implementing a new CRM system, upgrading your existing system, or perhaps you want to get more value from your existing implementation, get in touch.