Being in the CRM space for 7+ years now, we've played with nearly every CRM on the market.
While we personally prefer SMB (small medium business) software because it's typically more enjoyable to use (with a better UI/UX—a story for another day), this article will cover the two popular options for mid-market businesses (HubSpot and Salesforce). It's important to mention that in this case, I'm referring to mid-market as anywhere between 20-200 seats (actual people regularly logging into and using the CRM—e.g. there are many companies that may have a team of 500, but maybe only 50 of which need to regularly use the CRM).
To start off this article, this person said it well:
Who is it for: Mid-market businesses (20–1,000 seats)
What you should know about it:
Who is it for: Enterprise businesses, 1,000+ seats in the CRM (think Pepsi or Nestle size)
What's you should know about it:
The biggest mistake of using Salesforce as a mid-market business is investing in a solution that is too complex and expensive for your needs. Many businesses get Salesforce because they think they'll "grow into it" or that "its the gold standard" but this ends up being a very costly and frustrating experience.
If you're not currently at thousands of employees, it doesn't make sense—no, really, we mean it—we understand you may the dream/vision of having thousands of employees, that's fine. Still, don't use it. Use something else for now: it is normal and recommended to evaluate and change CRMs when you go through the evolution from mid-market to enterprise-scale. There are also plenty of agile startups valued at billions, who still have no true reason for using Salesforce. At this stage of business, optimize for: "move quick, be agile, and evolve" (all things that are impossible to do with Salesforce, or will cost absurd amounts if you tried to make that happen).
Salesforce is designed to handle the needs of large enterprises, which can be expensive (even impossible) for smaller businesses with limited resources to configure properly.
If you are an enterprise with 1,000+ CRM seats (many thousands of employees), and budget in the hundreds of thousands to millions, Salesforce is probably your best bet. And at that size, your company will be able to afford the costs required to build out Salesforce successfully.
If you have under 200 CRM seats (200-1,000 employees), HubSpot is your best bet—it's more affordable and user-friendly.
If you have under 100 CRM seats , HubSpot might still be "too large"—consider these options instead.
Read through this article where we cover some of our favorite CRMs like Copper and folk. Or send us a message through the chat icon and tell us about your business needs, happy to recommend a CRM based on your needs and our experience (before you make the choice).
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