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Top 3 Sales Software Solutions: Comparison of HubSpot, Freshsales and Pipedrive

Category: B2B News
What is the best sales software solution?

The best sales software solution is HubSpot because it helps businesses achieve high levels of sales and operational productivity through efficient automation and acceleration of the sales process. Freshsales and Pipedrive follow closely in terms of their proven capabilities to help convert promising leads into actual sales for their business users.

In this cut-throat market environment, the top-selling brands were not made overnight; they’re the outcome of long, meticulous planning, sound decision-making, and determined actions, which include the sales management process as a core element. What’s definitive is that there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to what’s effective in sales as each business has its own specific contexts and challenges. This is why it’s best to make serious efforts before you choose the sales software platforms that you’ll use.

Good thing, there are now good sales practices that most of the successful companies observe. This is the reason why we’ve prepared this article–so that you’ll be kept abreast of what the top 3 sales software solutions are in the market today, and how their features fared against each other. This comprehensive comparison will cover the 3 platform’s pipeline management, lead management, email marketing, customization, reporting and analytics, integrations, mobile support, and customer support features to provide you with more than enough information to make a sound decision in selecting the best sales software for your business.

top 3 sales software tools

What are the top 3 sales software solutions?

In today’s world of sales, so much change had happened in recent years, where newer technologies had enabled businesses to achieve better outcomes and capacities, which were previously unthinkable. It appears, however, that the status quo in sales and marketing is about to become more challenging as a major shift in the consumer landscape unfolds. While the millennials had dominated the global market at the turn of the new century, the new Generation Z (or Gen Z) of consumers–those born from mid-1990s to mid-2000s–are beginning to flex their purchasing power. In fact, by 2020, Gen Z will become the largest group of consumers, both in direct spending and financial influence on other consumer groups, with their total sales impact totaling to almost $1 trillion.

The implications of this major change are vast to salespeople, to businesses, and how technology should be utilized, especially because a key benefit in using the best sales software solutions is its robust customer segmentation automation. It helps know the identity of your important customers, what type of messages appeal to them, and their location without even leaving your own desk. With these important insights, you can build the correct user experience and make the appropriate marketing spend, among other advantages.

So these are just some of the top considerations that salespeople must look into, along with their crucial choice of sales software, CRM tools, marketing automation, and other relevant technologies to help them in their trade. Before we compare the top 3 sales software tools, let’s first take a closer look at each product to pave the way for a better comparison in the next section.

1. HubSpot Sales

HubSpot dashboard example

HubSpot Sales is one of the most robust free sales software solutions that help you turn deals to wins faster by organizing, tracking, and analyzing leads. The free feature set includes email integration, contact management, email tracking and notifications, document management and reporting. At no cost to you, the freemium allows you to quickly create a working sales pipeline to associate deals and tasks and watch your sales team increase their efficiency and productivity at every stage of the pipeline. For its free offer yet robust features the solution got top marks and high rankings in our reviews.

The vendor offers a comprehensive free trial to get you up to speed with the features. You can sign up for HubSpot Sales free trial here.

HubSpot Sales

This award is given to the best product in our Sales Software category. It highlights its superior quality and underlines the fact that it's a leader on the market.

HubSpot Sales won our Best Sales Software Award for Q1 of 2018

Our score
9.8
User satisfaction
98%

Among its many benefits, you can automate email outreach while keeping a personalized tone. You can also turn recurring emails into templates and set the process automatically. You also get notified when your emails are opened or attachment downloaded and even send a follow-up email template in seconds to catch prospects right in their inbox. For increasingly more complex sales requirements the software scales to paid advanced features that match your growing needs. For instance, in a paid plan you get predictive lead scoring, phone and email support, smart notifications and sales automation.

Another notable thing about HubSpot Sales is that it natively integrates with HubSpot CRM and Marketing solutions, so your entire sales and marketing process can be automated and streamlined in one suite.

Why choose HubSpot Sales? If you’re a startup or small business the free HubSpot Sales version lets you organize your sales process at no cost. Not only does this offer huge savings to your budget, but it also boosts your lead-to-conversion rate and, ultimately, revenues, as your sales team becomes more organized, collaborative and accountable. They can now capture, follow up and track deals more clearly across the HubSpot sales funnel you’ve created. Enterprise sales teams can also leverage the HubSpot suite’s advanced features, including Salesforce integration, multiple deal pipelines, and meeting booking platform. As part of the popular HubSpot suite, the Sales module shares data and integrate processes with the CRM and Marketing modules. You get a 360-degree view of the entire sales and marketing process with drill-down capability to pinpoint specific activities.

The selling point of HubSpot Sales is free yet robust. In fact, it’s one of the richest feature sets for a freemium across the SaaS landscape. With the free app you can quickly set up a working sales pipeline that integrates your Gmail or Outlook emails, organizes contacts and associates deals and tasks for clear visibility. You can also create email templates, set up notifications and track leads until they convert. Once your sales process gets more complex you can always scale to its paid plans and enjoy more advanced features; thus, future proofing your sales process.

Hubspot Sales features you should know about: Email marketing, pipeline management, and lead management.

2. Freshsales

Freshsales dashboard example

Freshsales is a popular CRM platform with intuitive sales management tools for handling the different aspects of the sales process. It helps to capture, nurture and funnel leads towards conversion. It also helps sales teams to keep a tab of contacts and their status across the sales stages. The system features multiple deal pipelines that allow you to configure the sale stages along with your business processes. The result is more clarity and logic to your sales pipeline. It also offers business users a 360-degree view of their customers, enabling quick and easy access to customer social profiles, helping determine key customer touchpoints, etc.–all conveniently managed via a single dashboard.

If you’d like to try out the software on your own first there is a great free trial plan offered by the vendor. You can easily sign up for Freshsales free trial here.

Freshsales

An award given to products our B2B experts find especially valuable for companies

Freshsales won our Expert's Choice Award for 2018

Our score
9.7
User satisfaction
95%

This intuitive solution acts as a central contact management hub for sales and marketing, and even for support activities. The UI is simple but can manage thousands of leads with tools such as call routing, call recording and auto-dialers that aid in capturing key information and context about a lead. Perhaps its most admired feature, Freshsales’ lead scoring can at once sort sales-ready prospects from thousands of contacts based on your rules; for instance, adding ten points to contacts whose job title is project manager. Right off the bat, the sales team focuses on quality, not quantity, leads that can only increase the conversion rate. Freshsales also features email marketing, sales campaigns, and reporting & analytics.

Why choose Freshsales? It has end-to-end sales tools for capturing, nurturing and converting leads. The lead scoring feature enables you to focus on quality prospects, while you prep them for deals through email tracking and sales campaign tools. You can then run sales activity reports to get an overview of your win-loss ratio. Moreover, if you have different sales teams following a variety of sales processes, Freshsales allows you to lay down multiple sales pipelines for each unique workflows.

The selling point of Freshsales is end-to-end CRM: Your sales team gets to access advanced lead scoring, built-in phone, email tracking, sales pipelines, and other sales tools in one platform. This end-to-end framework enables you to capture, nurture and convert leads, resulting in higher returns.

Freshsales features you should know about: Lead scoring and multiple sales pipelines.

3. Pipedrive

Pipedrive dashboard example

Pipedrive is another widely used sales and CRM solution that streamlines all your essential sales processes from capturing leads to converting them and generating visual reports that help you frame strategies and measure activities. Its visual pipeline management makes it easy to see the big picture, while the Activities & Goals feature keeps you in the loop of your team’s day-to-day actions. It is both a strategic and tactical sales management tool.

The vendor also offers a great free trial plan that allows you to try out all the key features of the software. You can easily sign up for Pipedrive free trial here.

The solution, which integrates sales management and CRM functionalities, provides a complete platform for planning, tracking and managing deals, and essentially working more efficiently to fast track the sales cycle and turn in more conversions. Pipedrive suits small businesses and large enterprises in most industries. The solution is designed for activity-based sales. All related records–conversations, leads, deals, and customer data–are associated and accessible from the pipeline, where customer interactions are put into context.  This is helpful to frame your deal along with the prospect’s needs or interests.

Why choose Pipedrive? Essentially, your sales team can work smarter. They have a clearer understanding of prospects and the next steps necessary to push the deal. With the proper context of customer interactions, sales reps can also pitch more appropriate deals. For instance, the visual pipeline lets you see the status of all deals and the tasks needed to push them further to conversion. The pipeline has a clean interface, simple and can be customized to the process that’s already working for you. You can, for instance, tweak the sales pipeline for unique leads, while keeping a default one for other leads. It also features mobile apps for Android and iOS, an open API and email integration with Gmail, Outlook and other email clients. Likewise, it features sales reporting and sales forecasting that lend insights to your past, present and future strategies.

The selling point of Pipedrive is its quick deal closure: You get to associate all related records to a lead, giving you an accurate context of the deal. Sales reps can access these records from the visual pipeline, which clearly indicates the next steps, ultimately, speeding up the sales process towards conversion.  Moreover, you get the big picture via the visual pipeline, which you can customize in myriad ways that match your processes. Conversely, you get drilled-down details of everyday activities through the Activities & Goals interface. With this visibility, it’s easier to track the sales team’s performance and how they are meeting your goals in real time.

Pipedrive features you should know about: Pipeline management and Activities & Goals.

Comparison of HubSpot, Freshsales, and Pipedrive

Lead Management

All these three sales apps excel in lead management, particularly in nurturing leads to increase sales. HubSpot Sales’ lead scoring, for one, covers myriad metrics to base your score, including demographics, email engagement, online behavior, and company information. Freshsales, meanwhile, lets you filter prospects by company name, URL or by email interactions.

But when it comes to qualifying leads, HubSpot and Freshsales are better designed. Both have advanced lead scoring that enables you to prioritize high-value leads based on your metrics. Once you get inundated with leads, this is where you’ll appreciate this predictive tool.

Pipedrive’s Activities & Goals feature keeps you in the loop of everyday sales activities. It lets you know who is doing what, spot ineffective activities at once so you can pivot to a new direction to keep to your target.

Hubspot Lead Management dashboard

Hubspot Lead Management dashboard

Pipeline Management

The first thing we noted about HubSpot Sales is that the ideal sales pipeline lets you follow your natural process of selling. You can drag, drop and click deal stages, records and life cycle stages based on your workflows or a pipeline that is intuitive to your sales team. This way, you can easily spot bottlenecks and pile-ups and associate deals with tasks in seconds. Among the three, HubSpot Sales has the most intuitive pipeline that makes tracking deals to conversion easy.

Meanwhile, Pipedrive is noted for its highly visual sales pipeline method that can be configured along the process and stages that mean to you. While Freshsales can do the same thing, it lacks the neat UI and timeline clarity of Pipedrive. Sales teams see clearly the context of the deals and the next steps to take in a Pipedrive pipeline. All records are associated, updated and accessed from the pipeline, a fast way to move deals across sales stages.

It’s not to say Freshsales lacks these capabilities. In fact, it has one of the most intuitive pipelines, too. You can configure it in multiple ways, each one adapts to a unique product category, for instance, while you keep a default pipeline for general leads. This is, however, available only in its premium plan (Estate).

The solution also provides complete visibility across the sales stages. And we like the drag-and-drop simplicity (as with HubSpot Sales) to move deals across the pipeline. It is in terms of visual clarity of the timeline–you can’t quickly look up customer interactions in a chronological view–that Freshsales lags, but not so far, behind HubSpot Sales and Pipedrive.

Pipedrive Pipleline Management dashboard

Users love Pipedrive’s customizable visual sales pipeline method.

Customization

All three solutions allow customization of fields and relationships. You can customize the sales stages in HubSpot Sales, Freshsales, and Pipedrive to configure how the sales pipeline move leads to deals and to conversions. HubSpot Sales and Pipedrive have the advantage of providing a timeline view of customer interactions, which gives an accurate context of how leads are progressing.

All three can be set up for multiple pipelines. If you’re selling products that follow different sales stages, you’ll love any of these platforms.

Reporting & Analytics

HubSpot Sales has recommendable reporting features. It provides out-of-the-box and customizable dashboards and reports with drill-down capability, which makes it easy to share metrics during high-level meetings. Its smart design makes it easy to compare metrics over periods of time, match sales reps’ performance and understand the logic behind your key performance indicators like lead volume, conversion rate, and sales cycle.

On the other hand, Freshsales’s reporting is intuitive; it provides both a sales dashboard and lead generation dashboard. The quick look-ups help you to measure at once team and individual performance or gauge your campaign’s success.

Pipedrive’s visual reports feature compact tables and easy-to-grasp charts act as visual tricklers that let you see your sales performance and activities with quick-glance clarity.

Hubspot Reporting dashboard

Hubspot’s easy to use dashboard can hold up to 10 reports simultaneously

Email marketing

HubSpot is inbound marketing and this is where you’ll like this platform best. Its email sequences turn repetitive but effective sales emails into templates that you can automate to optimize your lead generation. It can also notify you of an opened email and let you send a followup message in seconds using automation rules. Likewise, you can schedule emails inside Gmail and ensure your message is sent at the right time.

On the other hand, Freshsales and Pipedrive do the standard integration with Gmail, Outlook and other email clients via IMAP. Bulk emails can be sent inside both systems through integration. Pipedrive connects relevant emails to contacts and deals, as we’ve explained above, providing you the context of a deal with customer interactions.

Freshsales also has email tracking and automatic email follow-up and capability to sync with the sales reps’ calendar, but it’s less integrated than HubSpot Sales’. The former’s lead-scoring tool, however, can also automatically spot relevant metrics in each email and clue you in for potential deals.

Freshsales email marketing dashboard

Freshsales email marketing via its integrated CRM

Mobile Support

HubSpot Sales, Freshsales, and Pipedrive have Android and iOS apps. This means you can take your sales pipeline with you anywhere you’re online or connected to the cloud.

Pricing Options

HubSpot Sales is the clear winner here. Despite Freshsales having a free app also, HubSpot’s freemium is robust. It offers 200 email notification streams, email templates, documents and even 15-minute calls per month. To top it, it integrates with the free HubSpot CRM, extending further the sales functionalities. For more advanced features, HubSpot Sales offers a Starter Plan (from $50 per month), Professional Plan (from $400 per month), and Enterprise Plan (from $1,200 per month).

Freshsales offers a “free forever” startup plan for up to ten users. It includes sales force automation, email forwarding, built-in phone, lead scoring, basic analytics, and mobile apps. Its paid subscriptions start at $12 per user/month (Blossom Plan), $25 per user/month (Garden Plan), $49 per user/month (Blossom Plan), and $79 per user/month (Forest Plan).

Pipedrive is available in three price tiers that meet the requirements of businesses of any size, from small business to large enterprise. Subscriptions start at $10 per user/month (Silver Plan), featuring full sales management tools, and at $29 per user/month (Gold Plan), which helps businesses optimize their sales process. Its premium plan costs $59 per user/month (Platinum Plan), inclusive of phone, live chat, and email support, plus customizable email templates and a standalone server for security and speed.

Integrations

The HubSpot suite is arguably hard to match. You can streamline and automate your entire sales and marketing process with HubSpot Sales, HubSpot CRM, and HubSpot Marketing, including Salesforce CRM. This makes sharing data, documents, and insights across your revenue-making units more seamless, collaborative and productive.

Meantime, Freshsales has native integration with Freshdesk. Your sales, marketing, and support use a centralized customer data the better to communicate with customers with more accurate and timely information. Sales and support, for instance, can be communicated closely in the platform to help resolve issues or spot resell opportunities.

Pipedrive impresses with a wide array of integration with other systems. These include apps for automation, email marketing, communication, analytics, and third-party connectors. Among others, Pipedrive integrates with Zapier, MailChimp, Trello, Yesware and Google Apps. However, it lacks the native integration of the two sales solutions.

Hubspot Salesforce Integration dashboard

Integrating Hubspot with Salesforce is straightforward, without the need for technical expertise.

Customer Support

Freshsales has an advantage here, being built on the strength of the same vendor that brought us Freshdesk, a small business help desk app renowned for its reliable support.

But HubSpot, the vendor, is an unmatched content machine, among the three, providing a huge knowledge base of helpful articles and advice to marketers and salespeople. Its live chat also makes sure you get a reply even as you browse their site for information.

Pipedrive’s customer service is also reputed to be responsive and has a robust knowledge base.

Which Software is Best on What?

Overall, HubSpot Sales has the best email marketing platform, the more intuitive pipeline management, and lead management and, best of all, best value-for-money especially its freemium plan. Freshsales and Pipedrive are also a top choice because they are a CRM platform with sales management tools that cover all the stages of the sales funnel. HubSpot Sales excels in lead scoring along with Freshsales, while Pipedrive excels in visualization.

Still undecided which software to choose for your business? If you want more options there are plenty of other efficient sales software in the market. But you can’t go wrong with any of these three. Why not test the top-ranked solution first so you’ll quickly see for yourself why experts, businesses, and sales professionals are heaping praises for it. You only need to sign up for HubSpot Sales free trial here.

By Louie Andre

B2B & SaaS market analyst and senior writer for FinancesOnline. He is most interested in project management solutions, believing all businesses are a work in progress. No stranger to small business hiccups and drama, having been involved in a few internet startups. Prior to his for-profit ventures, he has had managed corporate communications for a Kansas City-based Children International unit.

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