Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms have become essential tools for managing customer interactions, streamlining sales processes, and fostering business growth. Choosing the right CRM platform is crucial to meet the specific needs of your organization and drive success.
As a digital marketing agency, we often get asked, “Which CRM is right for us?” when clients are considering an implementation or migration. The answer is always, “it depends” which we know isn’t always the answer you’re looking for. So, like last month when we compared HubSpot vs WordPress, in today’s blog post, we will compare two leading CRMs – HubSpot and Microsoft Dynamics – to help you gain a better understanding of these two popular CRMs and determine your best fit.
An Overview Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM
According to Microsoft,
“Dynamics 365 is a portfolio of intelligent business applications that delivers superior operational efficiency and breakthrough customer experiences enabling businesses to become more agile and reduce complexity without increasing costs.”
Dynamics provides organizations with a suite of tools and capabilities to manage various aspects of their business, including sales, marketing, customer service, finance, supply chain, and more. For the purpose of this post, we’ll be focusing on its sales and marketing tools.
MS Dynamics Sales and Marketing apps:
- Dynamics 365 Marketing
- “Dynamics 365 Marketing elevates customer experiences, allowing you to orchestrate personalized journeys across all touchpoints to strengthen relationships and earn loyalty.” (read more)
- Dynamics 365 Sales
- “Dynamics 365 Sales enables salespeople to build strong relationships with their customers, take actions based on insights, and close deals faster. Use Dynamics 365 Sales to keep track of your accounts and contacts, nurture your sales from lead to order, and create sales collateral.” (read more)
Target Audience and Industries:
Microsoft Dynamics caters to a wide range of industries and businesses of all sizes. It’s particularly well-suited for mid-sized to large enterprises and offers industry-specific solutions and functionalities in:
- Financial Services
Integrations and Ecosystem:
A key strength for Microsoft Dynamics is that as a Microsoft product, it integrates seamlessly with other MS products, such as Office, SharePoint, and Power BI. This makes it easy for users to leverage data across the full suite of Microsoft tools. It also offers integrations with popular third-party applications, including marketing automation platforms, e-commerce solutions, and productivity tools.
An Overview of HubSpot CRM
HubSpot is one of the leading providers of inbound marketing, sales, and customer service software. It offers a comprehensive suite of tools designed to help businesses attract, engage, and delight customers. HubSpot’s CRM is made up of multiple Hubs, or tools – similar to MS Dynamics apps, these can be purchased separately or combined. For the purpose of this post, we’ll be focusing on HubSpot’s Marketing and Sales Hubs.
- HubSpot’s Marketing Hub:
- HubSpot describes its Marketing Hub as, “An arsenal of integrated marketing tools for growing businesses. Automate routine tasks, convert traffic into leads, deliver on-brand marketing messages, and track and optimize performance.” (read more)
- HubSpot’s Sales Hub:
- HubSpot describes its Sales Hub as, “Powerful sales software to help teams close more deals, deepen relationships, and manage their pipeline more effectively — all on one connected platform.” (read more)
Target Audience and Industries:
HubSpot caters to a wide range of businesses, from small startups to large enterprises. Unlike Dynamics, HubSpot doesn’t offer industry-specific solutions, but they does a good job o highlighting how it can be successfully leveraged in industries like manufacturing, professional services, education, and more. It is particularly popular among businesses that prioritize inbound marketing strategies and value customer-centric approaches.
Integrations and Ecosystem:
HubSpot is well-known for its user-friendly interface and intuitive design. The platform offers a clean and organized layout that simplifies navigation and enhances user experience. Its intuitive drag-and-drop editors and easy-to-use tools make it accessible for users with various levels of technical expertise.
As with Dynamics, HubSpot offers many popular integrations and 3rd party apps.
Key Features Found In BOTH Dynamics and HubSpot
Both Dynamics and HubSpot are leaders in the CRM pack, therefore they both do a great job at providing the foundational solutions for your CRM. When choosing a CRM, it’s important to consider these features too. But, since they both do them well, in this section we’ll just focus on highlighting these points.
Both solutions are customizable, allowing businesses to tailor the CRM to their specific needs. This flexibility enables users to adapt the software to their unique workflows and processes. Additionally, both Microsoft Dynamics and HubSpot allow the addition of custom fields, empowering organizations to capture and organize the data that matters most to them. For example, if you need a custom field to track your customers’ birthdays, both CRMs have everything you need.
Adjustable Layouts and Page Views
Both Dynamics and Hubspot are equipped with the ability to adjust layouts and page views. This feature grants users the freedom to personalize their CRM interface, allowing you to customize your experience to your individual needs and preferences. Whether it’s rearranging fields, creating custom views, or modifying dashboards, both Microsoft Dynamics and HubSpot provide the tools to optimize the CRM’s visual representation.
Tracking and Reporting
Both platforms excel in helping businesses track their sales pipeline. Microsoft Dynamics and HubSpot offer robust sales management features, allowing teams to monitor deals, assign tasks, and forecast revenue. With detailed insights into each stage of the sales process, users can make informed decisions and drive revenue growth.
Product storage is another shared offering between Microsoft Dynamics and HubSpot. Both CRMs enable businesses to manage and organize their content, contact records, and more with included product storage.
The Pros and Cons of Microsoft Dynamics and HubSpot
Now that we have a good foundational understanding of both CRMs, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons. This is by no means an exhaustive list, however, it will highlight some of the things that we love about both, as well as some things that we don’t.
Pros of HubSpot:
- User-Friendliness and Quick Setup: HubSpot’s user-friendly interface makes it easy for users to navigate and quickly get up and running with the CRM. The intuitive design and straightforward features reduce the learning curve, enabling businesses to start leveraging the platform immediately.
- Freemium Model: HubSpot offers a freemium model, allowing businesses to try out the CRM at no cost. This makes it a cost-effective option for organizations to evaluate the platform before committing to a paid plan. It provides an opportunity to explore the features and functionalities without a significant upfront investment.
- HubSpot Academy: HubSpot offers a wealth of free education and certifications through their HubSpot Academy. This resource provides users with valuable learning materials, courses, and certifications to enhance their marketing, sales, and CRM skills. The availability of free educational content is a significant advantage for individuals and businesses looking to expand their knowledge and maximize their use of the CRM.
- HubSpot Support: HubSpot offers a whole host of ways to get support – basically everything but the Bat Signal is included in their Help Center. We all know that when we need help in the middle of a project, we need it as soon as possible. With all the available support resources offered by HubSpot, you’ll find your answer in no time.
Cons of HubSpot:
- Not Always the Cheapest Option: One of the main concerns we hear about Hubspot is price. Although the platform offers a freemium model, as your business expands and you look to do more with HubSpot it may mean a higher price tag.
- Limited Granular Sorting Options: HubSpot’s sorting options may be insufficient for businesses with complex or siloed business units when compared to Dynamics. Organizations that require highly detailed and specific data sorting and filtering might find it challenging to accomplish their desired level of granularity within the CRM.
- Lack of Built-in Compliance Tools: HubSpot does not include all of the built-in compliance tools that Dynamics does. While businesses can still ensure compliance with regulations such as HIPAA by implementing their own processes and tools, the absence of native compliance features may require additional effort and integration.
Pros of Dynamics:
- Integration with Microsoft Suite: As a Microsoft product, Dynamics offers seamless integration with other Microsoft applications, such as Office 365, Outlook, and Teams. If your organization is already using Microsoft products, this interoperability allows for easy data sharing, collaboration, and a consistent user experience across the suite of Microsoft products.
- Free Trial: Microsoft Dynamics does offer a free 30-day trial to try out their range of intelligent business applications.
- Granular Data Breakdown: Microsoft Dynamics is designed with the enterprise market in mind, providing robust capabilities to break down and analyze data at a granular level. This feature is particularly valuable for businesses with multiple departments and divisions, allowing for detailed reporting and analysis tailored to specific needs.
Cons of Dynamics:
- Clunky Navigation: Microsoft Dynamics has a reputation for having a somewhat clunky navigation experience. Users might find it less intuitive to navigate through the various sections and functionalities within the CRM, which can lead to a steeper learning curve and slower adoption. However, those familiar with other Microsoft applications may disagree.
- Less User-Friendly User Interface (UI): When compared to HubSpot, Microsoft Dynamics’ user interface may be perceived as less user-friendly. The UI design and overall user experience may require more time for users to become comfortable and proficient in navigating and utilizing the CRM’s features.
What’s the Difference in Pricing?
Microsoft Dynamics typically follows a traditional software licensing model, where users purchase licenses upfront and pay annual maintenance fees. The cost varies based on the specific Dynamics product and the number of users. On the other hand, HubSpot offers a subscription-based pricing model with tiered plans based on the features and level of usage required.
As with most software, the pricing structure is somewhat complicated and not apples-to-apples. For example, HubSpot offers some “free seats” for team members who need visibility in the CRM for things like reporting, without day-to-day sales functionality. While Microsoft’s pricing model is per user regardless of function.
According to this breakdown (*full disclosure, this is from HubSpot), the estimated total cost for a business with 50 users for 1 year:
Microsoft Dynamics: $98,000*
Be sure to do your pricing homework, but I thought this breakdown from HubSpot provides a clear comparison.
HubSpot or MS Dynamics – Which is Right For My Business?
Now that we’ve covered both HubSpot and Dynamics in greater detail and talked about the pros and cons of each, we’re back to our original question – which is right for your business?
Choosing between HubSpot and Microsoft Dynamics depends on the specific needs and priorities of your business. If your organization values a user-friendly interface, quick setup, and cost-effectiveness, HubSpot may be the ideal choice. This freemium model, coupled with the wealth of free education and certifications in the HubSpot Academy, provides an opportunity to explore the CRM without a significant upfront investment.
However, HubSpot may have limitations for corporations with multiple divisions and may not offer the same level of granular sorting options as Microsoft Dynamics. It’s also important to note that HubSpot doesn’t include built-in compliance tools, although compliance can still be achieved through additional measures.
On the other hand, if your business relies heavily on the Microsoft Suite and requires extensive data breakdown and analysis capabilities, Microsoft Dynamics may be the better fit. Its integration with other Microsoft products, such as Office 365 and SharePoint, offers seamless data sharing and collaboration. Dynamics is particularly suited for enterprises with complex hierarchies and reporting requirements. However, it’s worth considering that Dynamics is known for its clunky navigation and less user-friendly UI compared to HubSpot, which may result in a steeper learning curve.
Ultimately, evaluating the pros and cons of each CRM, as well as considering your business’s unique requirements, will guide you towards the CRM platform that aligns best with your goals and strategies. With new software, we always recommend taking advantage of free trials, demos, and consultations to help make your decision.
No matter which platform you pick for your CRM, Growth Spurt is here to help you get things implemented correctly. Schedule a time to chat.