CRM Cha Ching: Evaluating Tech Stacks By Cost And Other Factors

It is fairly costly to implement a CRM system. But most marketers say the technology is worth the price, according to A Look At the Cost Of Owning HubSpot vs. Salesforce, a study conducted by Ascend2 for Aptitude 8. 

Of the marketers surveyed, 46% strongly agree the technology is worth the cost, and 45% agree somewhat, while only 10% disagree. 

As the title suggests, the study is largely a comparison of the two big CRM stacks -- HubSpot and Salesforce.

We’ll end the suspense right here. HubSpot comes out on top in many areas.  

For instance, 63% of HubSpot users say it takes three or less people to support their CRM/sales and marketing tools as a core part of their job, compared to 55% of Salesforce users.

In addition, 42% of HubSpot users say it is easy to get a a comprehensive view of customer data, versus 35% of those who use Salesforce. 

In addition, 24% of Salesforce users report that low user adoption is a driving factor behind their decision to change components. So do 17% of HubSpot users.  



Finally, 50% are likely to say their CRM/marketing tech stack is worth the cost, as do 41% of Salesforce users. 

Loyal Salesforce users are free to disagree--in fact, sizable percentages do. And an Aptitude 8 blog post on the study provides this perspective: "If you're top down control and heavy on ops, and need a way to use a system to enforce a process across a wide number of users with discrete functions (think call centers, SDR farms, shipping/receiving, etc.), Salesforce wins every time. The ability to configure and implement validation rules, complex data sharing, and restrict users views to exactly what you want them to experience is unmatched."

Meanwhile, 66% of users say they plan to add, remove or replace components of their CRM or sales/marketing technology in the coming year.  

What would drive them to change? They cite:

  • Ongoing cost — 40% 
  • Lack of features/functions — 39%
  • Lack of integration with other tools — 38%
  • Inability to customize to meet specific needs — 36%
  • Inadequate customer support — 28%
  • Inadequate external vendors/service providers — 25% 
  • Lot-user adoption — 20% 
  • Difficult to use — 19%

But there are several impediments to change. The respondents experienced these challenges when implementing their current tools: 

  • Data migration — 45%
  • Cost of implementation — 42% 
  • Time it took to implement — 40% 
  • Training/adoption — 40% 
  • Ease of use — 37%
  • Integrating existing tech stack — 32%
  • Effectiveness of external resources — 27%

What do firms prioritize when evaluating a potential new CRM solution? They look at: 

  • Features/functionality — 42% 
  • Ease of use — 41%
  • Ability to customize to meet specific needs — 34%
  • Ongoing cost — 33% 
  • Customer support — 31% 
  • Implementation cost — 30% 
  • Timeline to implement — 27%
  • Additional tools/integrations needed — 26%
  • Amount of training required — 20%

The research shows that 51% of HubSpot users were extremely satisfied with their implementation process, while only 37% of Salesforce users said the same. 

In general, HubSpot was faster to implement — 52% did so in three months, 26% in four-six months, 12% in one month and 8% in 6-12 months. The latter was the only one for which Salesforce drew a higher number.  

How much do brands spend on their systems? 

HubSpot users are spending:

  • Less than $2,000/month ($24k/year) — 14% 
  • $2,001-$5,000/month ($24k-$60k/year) — 27% 
  • $5001-$10,000/month ($60k-$120k/year) — 35%
  • $10,001-$20,000/month ($120k-240k/year) — 21% 
  • $20,001-$30,000/month ($200k-360k/year) — 2%
  • More than $30,000/month ($360k/year) — 1%

Salesforce expenses are somewhat different:

  • Less than $2,000/month ($24k/year) — 10% 
  • $2,001-$5,000/month ($24k-$60k/year) — 31%
  • $5001-$10,000/month 9$60k-$120k/year) — 38%
  • $10,001-$20,000/month ($120k-$240k/year) — 18%
  • $20,001-$30,000/month ($200k-360k/year) — 3% 
  • More than $30,000/month ($360k/year) — 0%

Ascend2 surveyed 332 sales and marketing professionals who work in companies with 100-1,000 employees in December 2022.

Of this sample, 52% are in firms that use HubSpot, and 48% in companies that deploy Salesforce. 

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