CRM: HubSpot CRM vs. HubSpot Sales


HubSpot CRM vs. HubSpot Sales

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By Luke Marthinusen September 12, 2019 • 10 minutes to read

We often came across the question: What is the difference between HubSpot CRM and HubSpot Sales? The distinction has become a lot clearer as HubSpot has developed HubSpot Sales more, but it's still not clear to some of our prospects and customers.

In this blog, we will explain how the products fit together, and where the HubSpot CRM ends and the HubSpot Sales takes over. We’ll also explain the differences between the different HubSpot Sales licences from Free, Starter, Pro, and through to Enterprise.

HubSpot CRM’s selling point over most of its competitors is the price. It’s free. This is a massive advantage over its competitors, from Salesforce to Pipedrive. Yes, some businesses need a fully functional enterprise-grade CRM system, but the reality is most that don’t.

This is where the free HubSpot CRM is positioned, and with the addition of a paid HubSpot Sales licence it can become a very sophisticated CRM and sale enablement tool that competes head on with the top CRM solutions out there.

When we last looked at some competitive reviews of CRM software, HubSpot CRM featured in every single one of the top lists. Check out the link to our analysis at the bottom of the page.


So what do you get out the box with the free HubSpot CRM? HubSpot CRM gives you the ability to create contacts, company, and deal records. It allows you to create tasks and store up 1,000,000 contacts, and allocate unlimited users. This is all done in a seamless and beautiful interface.

So this is all free? What's the catch? Of course, there is a catch. HubSpot would not have invested in this product and made it freely available if they did not believe it would lead to more business. HubSpot does want to sell you HubSpot Sales to enhance your HubSpot CRM. However, we’re of the opinion that you don't have to take the all the additional products to get the best out of HubSpot CRM.

We know of a number of companies that are using just the HubSpot CRM to manage their company contacts. We know of a few that use the free version of HubSpot Sales. We also know a number of companies that have 20 users on HubSpot Free CRM, and 1 x HubSpot Sales Professional licence for five of their power users.


HubSpot Sales is an additional product that sits on top of HubSpot CRM and is designed to enhance the sales process and increase productivity. 

HubSpot Sales comes in 4 licences types:

  1. HubSpot CRM with free sales tool: $0p/m
  2. Sales Hub Starter: $50p/m x 1 user ($50 p/user p/m)
  3. *Sales Hub Professional: $400p/m including 5 users ($80 p/user p/m additional user)
  4. Sales Hub Enterprise: $1200p/m including 10 users (120 p/user p/m additional user)

*As of 1 Nov 2019, Sales Hub Professional. $500p/m including 5 users ($100 p/user p/m additional user). There are a few new features in Sales Pro as of 1 Nov 2019, including Calculated properties, eSignature, and more. 

HubSpot Sales Starter runs month to month, while Pro and Enterprise are billed annually. However, your HubSpot partner can negotiate a quarterly or bi-annual payment period and term.

HubSpot describes HubSpot Sales as "time-saving tools that help you get deeper insights into your prospects, automate the tasks you hate, and close more deals faster."

HubSpot Sales seamlessly integrates with HubSpot CRM, so that your sales team can easily log emails in the CRM. This process creates new contacts in the CRM with the click of a button. All email opens and email click activities are also tracked and reported. HubSpot Sales integrates perfectly with Gmail, Office 365, and Outlook desktop for a seamless integration with both your email and calendar.

When sending emails to clients, opens and clicks, attachments and more are recorded in the CRM contact record. This allows for very granular tracking and monitoring of your prospect's interactions with your company. The paid versions have a calling function, and if you make calls frequently or have international clients the flat p/month fee becomes very attractive. Best of all calls from HubSpot Sales come from your own number and can be recorded and saved in the CRM. You can dial out from you mobile phone or you laptop.


Learn how we use HubSpot CRM and HubSpot Sales in our own business to keep track of our prospects and clients. HubSpot CRM allows us to know our client better. Knowing them better allows us to service our clients to the best of our ability.


The Gmail, Office 365, and Outlook desktop email integration is included in the HubSpot Sales Free, so all client interactions via your email and calendar can be pushed to the HubSpot CRM. This is a hugely powerful free feature. You can even track email opens, create opportunities and deals to track your sales. You even get live chat on your website with bot functionality with HubSpot Sales free. 

However, take notice here. These are the three main reasons you would move from an entirely free HubSpot CRM solution to a paid solution HubSpot Sales solution.

3 reasons Free HubSpot CRM will not work for you or your team:

  1. You need 2 or more deal pipelines with restricted pipeline visibility to CRM users.
  2. You want to build a portal of sales documents, email sequences, resources and playbooks for a sales team to use.
  3. You require deal stage, task, and lead rotation automation. 
  4. You want to use HubSpot Marketing to send out mailers, manage social media, or do any marketing automation. You can send out 2000 mailers for free on HubSpot Marketing free. As soon as you plug in paid HubSpot Marketing - you need to pay for the number of contacts in your CRM according to the HubSpot Marketing licence requirements. Starter: $10 p/1000 contacts Professional: $50 p/1000 contacts.

Features that might 'tease' you to upgrade to paid

Other HubSpot Sales paid features that work in a limited ‘teaser-like’ fashion with the HubSpot CRM are: Email templates (saved templates for regularly sent emails), calling (free calling), sequences (firing off a series of sales emails to a prospect/client with one click), and meetings (a booking engine linked to your calendar where a client can see available times in your calendar and book them directly).

A word on HubSpot Marketing

Lastly, if you do want to use HubSpot Marketing to integrate your marketing and sales processes.- you will be forced to go paid. The all-in-one inbound sales and marketing platform will allow you to manage your digital marketing efforts including website, landing pages, content, social media, SEO, call-to-actions, contacts, reporting and more in the same place that you manage your sales process.

If you would like to know more about HubSpot Marketing Hub, I've written an article on the subject called: Is HubSpot Marketing Worth the Cost?

At $800 p/month for HubSpot Marketing Professional it's a significant investment over a 12 month period, but it's a very effective platform which truly integrates sales and marketing. HubSpot Marketing free gives you forms, pop-up forms, email marketing (2000 emails p/month), and ad management. Just remember the forms pop-ups and emails will have HubSpot branding.

Looking for a HubSpot South Africa partner? Read our article to find out what you need to consider.

Still not convinced? This article might be useful: What CRM should you choose?

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