Free CRM: Is HubSpot CRM Really Free?
HubSpot CRM is free! Seem too good to be true? Why is HubSpot CRM free when all the other CRM's on the market, especially the top CRM's like Salesforce CRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and others are actually pretty darn expensive?
Is HubSpot free? Yes, the CRM is free
What if I told you that to hit your sales targets and keep all your customers happy - all you needed to do was:
- Organise all your contacts, deal pipelines, and tasks;
- Get notified the moment a lead opens your email;
- Track and manage relationships with your prospects.
What if I told you that you could do all of this with HubSpot free CRM?
And that there is no need to shell out money for other paid solutions.
HubSpot’s free CRM is not a trial. You don't need to put your credit card in to start using the system. The CRM is 100% free, and you can continue to use it forever. You'll be able to add up to 1,000,000 contacts, as well as unlimited users.
What do you get with HubSpot Free CRM?
- Contact management
- 1 x Deal pipeline
- Email tracking: Get notified when your emails are opened
- Quotes (With HubSpot branding)
- Meeting scheduling (With HubSpot branding)
- Live chat (With HubSpot branding)
- Reporting dashboard
HubSpot CRM deal pipeline:
Choose to log emails in HubSpot CRM or to track email opens (Gmail & Outlook):
HubSpot quote setup:
HubSpot quote template:
HubSpot meeting scheduling link:
So with all that functionality why would you want to upgrade?
What do you get when you upgrade to a paid solution?
So above I answered my own question - Is HubSpot Free? - with a yes. And HubSpot free works great, but you can upgrade to a paid solution to get some extra (but not always necessary) features.
First off - a quick note - all the paid HubSpot CRM upgrades are called 'HubSpot Sales', and not 'HubSpot CRM'.
Although it's just aesthetic, one great perk of upgrading to a paid solution is that the HubSpot branding is removed. This is most relevant for the website live chat, meeting scheduling, and quotes.
Here's what you get as you upgrade to paid from HubSpot free CRM to HubSpot Sales Starter and then move up the paid HubSpot CRM stack to Professional and Enterprise.
HubSpot Sales Starter:
Starting at $50/month for 2 users, $45/month if paid annually upfront.
- Everything in Free
- Simple automation
- Goals (Revenue only)
- Conversation routing
- Trigger tasks and email notifications based on deal stage only
- Unlimited email open and click notifications
- 5 currencies
- 1,000 custom properties
- Custom reporting: 10 dashboards, 10 reports per dashboard
HubSpot Sales Professional:
Starting at $400/month for 5 users
Starting at $500/month for 5 users, $450/month if paid annually upfront.
Additional users can be added one by one after the first 5 users.
- Everything in Starter
- Deal stage, task, and lead rotation automation
- Create teams, eg. Can use to report on a sales team's performance.
- Full sales automation (Workflows)
- Email Sequences
- Sales forecasting
- 30 currencies
- Custom reporting: 25 dashboards, 20 reports per dashboard
- Phone and in-app support
HubSpot Sales Enterprise:
Starting at $1200/month for 10 users
Additional users can be added one by one after the first 10 users.
- Everything in Professional
- Custom objects
- Predictive lead scoring
- Quote-based workflows for automated quoting (great for software or contract renewals)
- Goals (Multiple types)
- Recurring revenue tracking
Free HubSpot CRM: Use cases
If you fall into any of the following use scenarios, then HubSpot CRM is free for you. If you don't, take out your credit card and upgrade to HubSpot Starter, Professional or Enterprise.
You want somewhere to store your contact database, including contacts and companies.
You want to be able to segment your database and integrate into your Gmail, GSuite and Outlook.
You want to track any email conversation you have with any of your contacts permanently in your CRM.
In addition to the above functionality, you want to keep track of opportunities and deals in a single pipeline, and to manage your sales process by moving your deals down a sales funnel.
In addition to scenarios 2 and 3 above, you want your team to track conversations and meetings in the CRM.
You want this to happen automatically directly from their email client and calendar applications.
You also want to keep track of their activities and track their sales process by moving deals down the sales funnel.
All the above scenarios can be managed with the free HubSpot CRM. HubSpot free CRM will run an entire sales team and company. It will do this with some very useful (and free) email tracking, reporting, templates, website pop-up forms and website live chat.
So why is HubSpot CRM free?
HubSpot wants you to upgrade to a paid solution. As explained above, you don't always have to upgrade. Regardless, let me explain HubSpot's business model.
HubSpot's additional products, including Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Service Hub and CMS Hub aren’t just integrated with HubSpot CRM; the CRM is the underlying database (and foundation) that powers all of these products.
This means that when you add these products into the mix, they'll be seamlessly integrated with your CRM data and ready for super-fast deployment and success.
HubSpot presents its product set like this, with the CRM in the centre:
However, this is a better way to see how the products will fit into your clients' acquisition or sales process:
HubSpot offers their freemium CRM model because they know when their clients see the business benefits from the free CRM, they might well upgrade to a paid solution to gain even more functionally and benefits.
The cool thing is - it's your choice if you want to go further down the rabbit hole with HubSpot. And you can make the right call on this - because you are using the software already. We think that's a super compelling offer. And that's why I personally recommend HubSpot free CRM to all businesses without a CRM system. What have you got to lose?
Wrapping it up
HubSpot's low friction upgrade path from freemium to paid is a very clearly thought out product matrix from a super slick software firm. However, this should not discourage you from using this really great free product. (Heck, and staying with HubSpot free forever!)
Too many companies still use bloated Excel spreadsheets for sales pipelines and contact storage! Every single one of these businesses should scramble to use this free tool from HubSpot.
Need more info? Check out this article on What CRM to choose?.