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Investing in a CRM is a big decision. Not only is it a huge financial investment, but the system you end up using will impact almost every aspect of your business. The top 3 CRM systems on the market are currently HubSpot, Salesforce, and Microsoft Dynamics 365. Each is a powerful, popular solution, but they all differ in terms of their functionalities and will suit different organisations depending on their needs. So, which CRM is right for your needs?

In this blog post, we dive into how well each of the 3 CRMs performs in the following areas, so you can ensure you choose the right one for you:

 

  • Ease of use - It’s crucial to work with a CRM that is truly intuitive and easy to use. Otherwise, user adoption will take much longer, as you and your staff will require an extensive amount of training.

  • Integrations - Your CRM should easily integrate with your tech stack, so you can get the most value out of the investment. It should allow you to move around seamlessly between your CRM and, for example, your accounting software or project management system, and save you lots of time in doing so.

  • Customisation - Each organisation is unique. Your future CRM should be easily customisable, so you can configure it in a way that suits your needs without needing a specialist to assist with customisation.

In order to illustrate the capabilities of each CRM in these areas, we hired freelancers to screen record themselves while carrying out tasks in each CRM, so you can see how they compare. All videos have been anonymised.

1. Ease of use

Choosing to invest in a CRM means that the way you do business will change. That doesn’t just mean that you’ll have a more organised view of your sales processes - it will affect each team across marketing, sales, service, operations and finance as all of them will use the system.

If you choose an intuitive CRM, user adoption will be more successful, which means that your staff areable to work more productively. This will have a positive impact on your ROI.

However, if your CRM is difficult to use, you’ll spend a lot of time training your staff or end up with a system that doesn’t work for them. This can not only lead to low morale and productivity, but also to mistakes being made and business being lost. 

When it comes to ease-of-use, don’t forget that if you buy a CRM to create a better user experience for your customers, you (and your staff) are the customer in the first place and the CRM should provide you with a good user experience, too. 

 

So, how good are HubSpot, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and Salesforce when it comes to user experience? Let’s watch how well they perform in this everyday task: 

 

View the timeline of an opportunity/deal.

Apply a filter through this activity timeline, to only show the website visits that this contact has had on the website.”

HubSpot Video

HubSpot

HubSpot Video

Dynamics 365

HubSpot Video

Salesforce

 

This is of course only a single task that you might want to carry out - you can find more example tasks here. However, it becomes quickly obvious that HubSpot has the most user-friendly interface and set-up. 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Salesforce require a custom integration or workaround to achieve the task. This adds in extra steps and takes more time. So in this case, HubSpot is the winner.

2. Integrations

When investing in a CRM, you should be thinking about how easily your current tech stack can integrate into your future CRM. 

If integrations require custom development, you will end up not only spending money on your CRM software, but also on developing custom integrations - adding to the overall cost, as well as the time it will take to get your system set up and ready to use. 

HubSpot, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and Salesforce are all able to integrate with other apps or solutions. However, you should  be thinking about the following questions when it comes to integrations:

 

  • How easy can specific apps integrate with the CRM?

  • Are custom integrations possible?

  • What extra costs are connected to integrations?

  • Are popular apps like LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. already integrated/natively connected with the CRM?

 

Let’s look at another everyday CRM task, that touches on how well the top 3 CRMs integrate with Facebook and text messaging:

Create an automation.

Send contacts an email that explains your company values when their deal reaches the “proposal” stage. Create an automation with the first step being a welcome email that greets them by name and includes the values. Next, enrol the contact into a Facebook audience so that they start seeing a banner ad campaign for 3 days. 

The third step should be a text message to the contact that says “we can’t wait to start working with you”. Finally, create a task for the sales rep to let them know that the proposal stage campaign is now complete for this deal.”

HubSpot Video

HubSpot

HubSpot Video

Dynamics 365

HubSpot Video

Salesforce

 

From what we can see here, it becomes obvious that, out of the three CRMs, HubSpot has put the most attention on integrations and natively providing users with a host of important and useful applications like Facebook and text message functionalities. As both of those are applications used in the  marketing functions of many companies, Dynamics and Salesforce fall a little short on this.

3. Customisation

Customisation is a key feature for any CRM, but it's important to consider whether the features you're looking for are already built into your chosen system, or if they will require an additional investment. 

It's also worth asking yourself what kind of customisation you'll need  in order for your CRM project to be successful – this may be extensive and expensive, or it could be very minimal and affordable.

For example, HubSpot offers a range of different ways that businesses can make their CRM work specifically with them. One option is 'self-service' customisation (where users are able to create their own reports) at no extra cost; another includes more advanced features like sales forecasting and lead management tools that do cost extra money.

As market leaders in the CRM environment, HubSpot, Salesforce, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 all have a variety of customisable elements.

But what can that look like specifically? Let’s watch one more task and see how customisation features in each CRM:

Enrol two contacts into a pre-built series.

The first communication needs to be an email which is already written but is personalised with the contact's name and a prompt for the user to enter the sport they like. The second step, set to 3 days later, is for the assigned sales rep to call the contact with a provided script.

HubSpot Video

HubSpot

HubSpot Video

Dynamics 365

HubSpot Video

Salesforce

 

Each of the CRMs easily manages to personalise the email with the contact’s favourite sport. Again, HubSpot has the smoothest interface, but all of the CRMs can carry out a task that involves an element of customisation. 

HubSpot, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Salesforce: Which one is right for me?

There is no denying that HubSpot, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Salesforce are all good CRMs - that’s why they are the top 3 in the game. 

However, it’s worth looking into the details and deciding which one might suit your company best, as they are all slightly different. This is why we at Huble have started our annual Mystery Shopper Campaign, a CRM software comparison initiative in which you can compare how well a range of day-to-day tasks can be carried out in each of the three CRMs.

We have looked at a few of these tasks in this blog post, and it’s clear that HubSpot did very well in all of them, especially in terms of user-friendliness. While Salesforce and Dynamics are strong options, they do need more integrations and are clunkier in their user experience. 

HubSpot is a reliable, powerful, and customisable CRM that has the potential to truly transform your organisation.

If you’d like to find out what that could look like for you, simply contact our team

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