The 7 best HubSpot alternatives

HubSpot CRM is well-known for being cheap and easy-to-use - but there’s also plenty to criticise. Here’s 7 alternatives to HubSpot if you’re not a fan of the software.

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0 out of 0
Price per month (billed annually):
Score out of 5:
Features:
Storage:

Zoho CRM

Bigin

Salesforce CRM

Less Annoying CRM

Keap

£12 per user

Free plan, or £12 per user

£5 per user

£20 per user

£11.20 per user

£60.15 (dependent on contacts)

4.6

4.5

3.9

4.3

3.8

3.7

3

  • 100,000 contact limit
  • 5 webforms allowed
  • Email integration (250 limit per day)
  • Unlimited contact each month
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Autoresponses
  • Unlimited contacts permitted
  • Communication, ecommerce, and accounting integrations
  • Allows unlimited custom fields
  • 50,000 contact limit
  • Ecommerce integrations
  • Webforms
  • List segmentation
  • Automatic data capture
  • Mobile access and administration
  • Salesforce Inbox
  • 10 user limit
  • 50,000 contact limit
  • Onboarding assistance for teams with 10+ users
  • Communication integrations
  • 25,000 contact limit
  • One user limit
  • 5 automated workflows

200MB per organisation

2GB per user

N/A

1GB per organisation

10GB per organisation

10GB per user

Unlimited

Over the past five years, Startups’ specialist team of experts has been finding out everything there is to know about the best CRM software solutions for small businesses.

The results of our most recent round of research found that the leading HubSpot alternatives in 2022 are:

  • Zoho CRM for sales
  • Freshsales Suite for functionality
  • Pipedrive for usability
  • Zoho Bigin for customisation
  • Salesforce for reporting
  • Less Annoying CRM for contact management
  • Keap for help and support tools

The CRM market is very crowded, and finding the right platform can take years. When you see a heavily promoted product like HubSpot Free, it’s easy to just go with the first deal you see.

But savvier small business owners know that researching the options available is the smartest way to find the best solution for your firm.

If you’re looking for an alternative to HubSpot, you’re probably already aware that while it scores highly for marketing tools, there are other areas where its performance is shockingly poor.

Our testers gave HubSpot just 2.5 out of 5 for sales tools, for example.

Read on to learn more about the top seven alternatives to HubSpot for small businesses. Or, if you want to save time, use our specially designed Startups online quote-matching tool for a speedier overview of the best deals available.

Zoho CRM: best HubSpot alternative for sales

Zoho CRM screenshot

4.5 out of 5
  • Usability
    4.5
  • Customisation
    4
  • Functionality
    4.5
  • Pricing
    3
  • Help and Support
    3
  • HubSpot is free forever. Zoho CRM has a free plan or costs £15 per user, per month
  • Zoho CRM is better for customisation, including personalising lead information

If you’re running a small business where most of your employees interact with customers, such as an agency or retailer, Zoho CRM is your best alternative to HubSpot.

Using Zoho, you can assign leads to sales reps based on different criteria, create your own lead scoring rules, and convert leads to deals. You can also generate leads from webforms, the Zoho CRM Leads mobile app, live chat, and social media.

Contact management is similar across both Zoho CRM and HubSpot. Each time you add a lead into your database, you can either enter contact information manually, or the system can retrieve this information from form submissions or your email inbox.

Zoho CRM goes one step further here in that you can use the software to ‘score’ your leads. Scoring is a methodology used to rank prospects on the value they’ll bring to your business, and it's a good way to measure and optimise profitability.

Zoho CRM also permits a calendar view which HubSpot does not, as we outlined in our full guide to HubSpot. This means you can stay on top of upcoming client meetings or deadlines better with Zoho.

Freshsales: best HubSpot alternative for functionality

4.5 out of 5
  • Usability
    4.5
  • Customisation
    3
  • Functionality
    4
  • Pricing
    3.5
  • Help and Support
    3
  • We gave Freshsales 4 out of 5 for functionality, while HubSpot only earned 3.5 out of 5
  • Freshsales’ huge list of features covers a broader range of tools

If your CRM platform is short on functionality, you risk missing out on lots of great benefits. There’s no danger of that with Freshsales, one of HubSpot's most well-known competitors.

There’s very little Freshsales can’t manage. It has elements for everything from organisation (calendar view, reminders, and meeting scheduling) to customisation (custom fields, dashboards, and tasks).

This also makes Freshsales great for project management – which is why we featured it as one of our top CRM substitutes for monday.com.

Noticeably, Freshsales also enables users to contact customer support via email, live chat, and over the phone, while monday.com offers none of these options.

At £13.50 per user, per month, Freshsales is more expensive than HubSpot. But you’re paying for a huge number of added capabilities, which massively boost its overall value for money.

We recommend Freshsales to larger teams with lots of departments that need access to every type of specialism. For example, transport and logistics businesses.

Pipedrive: best HubSpot alternative for usability

Pipedrive dashboard

3.9 out of 5
  • Usability
    4.5
  • Customisation
    3
  • Functionality
    3
  • Pricing
    2.5
  • Help and Support
    3
  • Compared to HubSpot, Pipedrive’s interface is much cleaner and easier to use
  • Pipedrive has more sophisticated security features than HubSpot

Our testers found HubSpot to be an unintuitive software, with a lot of important tools buried in its settings menu.

Pipedrive’s developers have clearly paid more attention to user experience. Navigation is simple, with each area of the platform easy to locate.

We were also impressed by Pipedrive's chatbot feature, which offered the quickest installation of all the brands we analysed. Chatbots have been estimated by Juniper Research to save consumers and businesses a combined over 2.5 billion hours by 2023.

As it’s free, HubSpot is technically cheaper than Pipedrive to start with. You can get more details on how their costs stack up using Startups’ specially designed quote comparison tool.

However, if we’re evaluating only the paid-for plans, Pipedrive is more affordable overall. HubSpot charges £28 per user, per month for its three CRM products, while Pipedrive costs £14.90 per user.

We gave Pipedrive 4.5 out of 5 for usability, while HubSpot scored 4 out of 5. While it might seem minimal, this difference is particularly crucial for small businesses that aren’t used to dealing with tech, such as offline retailers or cleaning businesses.

Zoho Bigin: best HubSpot alternative for customisation

Zoho Bigin dashboard

4.3 out of 5
  • Usability
    3.5
  • Customisation
    3.5
  • Functionality
    3
  • Pricing
    4.5
  • Help and Support
    1.5
  • We gave HubSpot 4 out of 5 for customisation, while Zoho Bigin scored 2 out of 5
  • Zoho Bigin is a cheaper alternative to the HubSpot paid-for CRM products

HubSpot is such a well-known, established brand that it has become a bit stuck in its ways when it comes to features.

In comparison, Bigin designs a CRM that is fully unique to your business. You can even build custom reports on the Bigin free plan, unlike with HubSpot.

Another Bigin bonus is its surprisingly sophisticated ‘Automated Workflow’ feature. HubSpot, on the other hand, only supplies auto responses.

Using Bigin's tool, you carry out a task and then choose an action to be automatically triggered upon its completion. For example, you can set up an automatic check-in reminder when you’ve added a new client to your database.

This is particularly useful if your company works in a heavily regulated industry that requires specific tasks to be carried out as part of client management or onboarding.

We think Bigin is a better choice than HubSpot for small businesses with pre-established or required sales processes, such as solicitors or healthcare companies.

Salesforce: best HubSpot alternative for reporting

Salesforce dashboard

Salesforce dashboard

3.8 out of 5
  • Usability
    4
  • Customisation
    3.4
  • Functionality
    3.4
  • Pricing
    2.5
  • Help and Support
    1.5
  • Salesforce is best for growing SMEs, while HubSpot is better for early-stage companies
  • We gave Salesforce an entire mark more than HubSpot for reports

As we outlined in our review of HubSpot vs Salesforce, the latter platform is more suitable for established small businesses with ambitious growth targets. That’s because it has a huge amount of features that aren’t typically prioritised by SMEs, especially in reporting.

Being able to produce reports is important for monitoring and improving your sales performance. It can also help you present your successes to stakeholders if your department is part of a larger team.

Here’s how Salesforce’s reporting features stack up against HubSpot Free:

 HubSpot FreeSalesforce Essentials
Calendarx
Custom Dashboard
Deal reports
Activity reports
Lead reports
Custom reports x
Recurring revenue reports

The irony is that HubSpot and Salesforce are actually a dream team when combined – which is why we made the former one of our best small business substitutes for Salesforce. That’s because HubSpot plugs most of Salesforce’s gaps, most notably when it comes to marketing.

However, we recommend Salesforce as an alternative to HubSpot for small businesses with larger teams.

In this scenario, you’ll likely have a specialist CRM or sales team that needs to create monthly reports and analysis – something Salesforce is far better for than HubSpot.

Less Annoying CRM: best HubSpot alternative for contact management

3.7 out of 5
  • Usability
    4.5
  • Customisation
    1.5
  • Functionality
    1.5
  • Pricing
    3.5
  • Help and Support
    2.5
  • LACRM gets full marks for contact management, while HubSpot gets 3.5 out of 5
  • LACRM has excellent onboarding features that make setup simple

We have to give it to the Less Annoying CRM (LACRM) branding team – their name is truly a testament to their aim.

It might not have as many features as HubSpot, but every CRM duty we enacted with the platform was simpler than with HubSpot – particularly when it came to contact management.

LACRM presents you with a guide on how to format your spreadsheet before importing it – with a noticeably more polished process than HubSpot’s input procedure.

On average, our researchers found LACRM takes around five minutes and 16 seconds to import data into categories, while HubSpot takes a comparatively tedious 17 minutes. We also struggled to input some records from industries that HubSpot couldn’t understand.

You’ll be able to create as many custom fields as you like with LACRM, while HubSpot only permits you to build 10 of these.

We think LACRM is good for SMEs that engage in cold-calling or other sales activities, such as B2B firms, and need to be able to manage complex datasets with ease.

Keap: best HubSpot alternative for help and support

Keap setup

3 out of 5
  • Usability
    2.5
  • Customisation
    1
  • Functionality
    3
  • Pricing
    1
  • Help and Support
    5
  • We gave Keap 5 out of 5 for help and support, and HubSpot just 1 out of 5
  • Keap costs a lot more than HubSpot, so it’s only a good option for cash-rich SMEs

Not having software-skilled workers is a key issue for companies at the moment. According to a report by CWJobs, only 9% of companies surveyed said they had trained all necessary staff in the tech tools they invested in during 2020.

While HubSpot has zero contact options, Keap offers onboarding assistance on all of its plans, so you can be fully set up without needing to lift a finger. Its customer team is also contactable via phone or live chat 24/7.

Keap even has a smart user interface and a good amount of organisational tools.

Still, it's considerably more expensive than HubSpot, costing £60 per month to start. You also need to pay a setup fee of around £380. For a lot of SMEs, that’s an instant no.

However, we think if you’ve got the budget to spare, and you want a powerful CRM software that can take care of itself, Keap is the best HubSpot alternative.

Best free HubSpot alternative

0 out of 0
Price per month (billed annually):
Free trial?

HubSpot

£38 (flat rate)

Of course, rather than spending any money at all, you could also search for the top free CRM software for small businesses.

Freemium platforms are a good way to get used to a system if you’re unfamiliar with CRM. Another obvious benefit is that they’re much more wallet-friendly than paid tools.

We recommend monday.com and ClickUp as the two best examples of a free alternative to HubSpot. Like HubSpot, both offer zero-cost plans with unlimited dashboards, unlimited documents, and mobile apps. They also both beat HubSpot in customisation and usability.

One thing to note is that monday.com’s free plan is only available for teams with two account users or less.

Best alternative to HubSpot Sales Hub

0 out of 0
Price per month (billed annually):
Features:
Storage:

HubSpot

Zoho CRM

£38 (flat rate)

£12 per user

  • 2,000 emails per month
  • 5 active contact lists
  • Up to 3 dashboards permitted
  • Chatbots
  • 100,000 contact limit
  • 5 webforms allowed
  • Email integration (250 limit per day)

5 documents per user

200MB per organisation

The HubSpot Sales hub does exactly what it says on the tin. It hosts a specialist set of tools designed to optimise your sales process, such as call tracking, prospecting, sales automation, and quote generation.

However, given HubSpot’s marketing focus, our researchers weren’t surprised to discover that Zoho CRM is actually more successful in this area than the HubSpot Sales Hub.

Sales is an important aspect of CRM, but it’s a weak area for HubSpot. Zoho has comparatively more powerful lead management capabilities, better product list tools, and is also noticeably better for contact relationship management.

Next steps

We think Zoho CRM is the best alternative to HubSpot. Our top-rated small business CRM is well suited for companies with high sales volumes, such as retailers or travel agencies. It also beats HubSpot on customisation and usability.

We’ve spent over five years learning about the hugely competitive small business CRM market. As part of a huge research project, we’ve looked at every brand on the market and compiled this conclusive list of the best CRM brands for small businesses.

But you might want to do your own research, and look for the solution that best fits your unique business strategy.

If that sounds like you, try the Startups online CRM comparison tool. Simply tell us a few general facts about your business and what you want to gain from your CRM product, and we’ll match you with the most suitable provider.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Which is better: Pipedrive or HubSpot?
    It depends on your priorities. We gave HubSpot a higher overall score than Pipedrive, but the latter beats HubSpot for usability, customisation, and help and support tools.
  • Is there something better than HubSpot?
    HubSpot is our fifth-highest rated CRM software for small businesses. Zoho CRM, Freshsales, Zoho Bigin, and monday.com all scored higher in our testing.
  • What is the best CRM for a startup business?
    We think Freshsales is the best CRM for startups. It has excellent usability and a quick setup time, so you don’t need a ton of software knowledge or experience to get started.
  • What is the best CRM for sales?
    Zoho CRM is our highest-rated CRM for sales tools. Its comprehensive set of tools enable you to sell across multiple channels through an efficient and organised sales pipeline.
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Helena Young
Helena Young Senior Writer

Helena "Len" Young is from Yorkshire and joined Startups in 2021 from a background in B2B communications. She has also previously written for a popular fintech startup.

Included in her topics of interest and expertise are tax legislation, the levelling up agenda, and organisational software including CRM and project management systems. As well as this, she is a big fan of the films of Peter Jackson.

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