Client: Erik Remmel

Title: “Battle of the CRMs: PipeDrive, InfusionSoft & HubSpot”


Source: Part 1 | Part 2
Word Count: 684 (part 1), 1,060 (part 2)
Notes: This is a 2-part blog on request of the client, merged together into this one project.

"CRM battle"June is the month as a team we chose to focus on having more time with our families. Having more family time means less time spent on our business. The only way we can safely take a break from business is through automation. Setting our business on autopilot allows us to automate the majority of usual processes. It doesn’t make sense to outsource administrative tasks when there are hundreds of systems and tools available to do it for us. When it comes to managing your business, you want to ensure it’s nurtured the right way, no pun intended. Welcome to the Battle of the CRMs. In this 2-part blog, I’m going to cover three major Client Relationship Management (CRM) systems: PipeDrive, InfusionSoftand HubSpot. I chose these three brands as they are highly-rated among their users, extremely robust and very popular among marketing professionals in general.

If you’ve spent even 5-10 minutes in the world of marketing, you may have heard about SalesForce–one of the industry leaders. In the automotive industry, it still is a leader as it offers exactly what salesmen need. In my experience, SalesForce often comes with a love or hate relationship. There is no in between like there is with ClickFunnels, LeadPages, Zoho, Insightly and many others. However, marketers need more capabilities if they’re serious about marketing their product or service. A lot of CRMs share the same functions, but not all of them offer the same features. Let the battle begin…!

PipeDrive: The Facts

First, I’ll start simple with PipeDrive. Founded in 2010, PipeDrive is available to 15 languages and offers multiple currency exchanges. Their coverage is larger than that of Verizon: over 140 countries around the world. According to their site, they maintain 50,000 global users. Everyone goes straight for the bottom line when shopping for any business tool and so will I. Pricing is very reasonable for this CRM. After a brief undisclosed trail run, their plans start at $10/month. From there, they move up to $63/month (with annual billing and monthly billing options available). If you’re smart and do a little digging like I did, you can grab hold of a unique 21-day promo trial.

PipeDrive: The Differences

PipeDrive is a strong CRM with its pipeline management dashboard. At first glance, it’s quite impressive with so much available customization. Sales reporting and sales forecasting is a big staple on their features list, which is useful no matter who you ask. Full email sync (and integration) brings a new level of utility to your standard email system. Even Gmail can’t touch this integration!

However, it doesn’t include marketing automation like InfusionSoft and HubSpot does. Customizable web forms offered by PipeDrive prove very useful with a simple design. Because they would be sent to your customers and prospects, simple is the right way to go. You don’t want to overload anyone involving your business!

From a bird’s eye view, PipeDrive is a simple, popular CRM. It provides the majority of features an entrepreneur, a solopreneur or newer business owner would need. Depending on how robust your business is or how much it can branch off and grow, PipeDrive may be more than enough. One downside to PipeDrive is they do not offer a payment system. There’s no way to take or send direct payments. If you need more power and payment integration in your new CRM, you may need to upgrade to something with eCommerce.

InfusionSoft: The Facts

According to their website, InfusionSoft has 125,000 global users. When it comes to the competition, InfusionSoft does not have an equal competitor in the traditional sense of the word. ActiveCampaign and Ontraport are close, but without the cigar. ClickFunnels and PipeDrive are also close, but neither platform provides true marketing automation. InfusionSoft stands alone in their own space for the SMBs (small-to-medium-sized businesses).

Stay tuned for my next blog as I wrap up the second half of the CRM battle. Next week, I’ll cover what sets InfusionSoft apart from the others. I’ll conclude with the facts and differences about HubSpot.


"CRM battle"Thanks for tuning in to my first blog on the comparison between the 3 top marketing CRMs. If you missed it, you can click here to start reading from the beginning first. I split my previous blog down the middle. Now, we’ll resume with the second half of InfusionSoft and dive into HubSpot last.

InfusionSoft: The Differences

InfusionSoft has developed their own partner system to grow their company. Certified InfusionSoft partners promote the software in various capacities. Their other primary role is to bring customers up to speed with on-boarding. I’ve encountered a few InfusionSoft partners through my travels in networking. One InfusionSoft partner in particular stood outas very knowledgeable and passionate about consulting business owners. The major plans they offer tier up easily with options:

  • At $99/month, the STARTER package includes their CRM and marketing automation for 500 contacts and caps at 2,500 emails per month.
  • For $199/month, ESSENTIALS delivers the CRM and marketing automation for 2,500 contacts and 12,500 emails per month.
  • A first $299/month DELUXE package adds in sales automation on top of the essentials package. It also adds on another 2,500 contacts and 12,500 emails per month for 5,000 contacts and 25,000 emails per month.
  • A second $299/month DELUXE package swaps sales automation for eCommerce with the same contact and email limits.
  • The fifth and last COMPLETE package is just that: complete with the CRM, marketing automation, sales automation and eCommerce. Contacts are capped at 10,000 and emails are capped at 50,000 per month (which is more than enough for SMBs).

For business owners who don’t want to incorporate another tool in their repertoire, InfusionSoft has you covered. Their payment system is straight-forward: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction without any setup, batch or hidden fees.

A caveat to the annual plan is the requirement for new customers to purchase. This is their version of on-boarding with a business coach. Ensuring customers are knowledgable and have a business strategy to follow is a way to track success!

  • Basic — Kickstart Lite: $999
  • Intermediate — Kickstart: $1,999
  • Advanced — Kickstart Pro: $2,999 

When you pull out your calculator to see what your initial payment will be, don’t panic. InfusionSoft does occasionally offer specials and promotions so be sure to do a little more research! 

From a bird’s eye view, InfusionSoft is a powerful CRM that provides marketing and offers sales automation through a few well-composed packages. They strive to create a community with their coaching, partners and knowledge base. There is surely no lack of knowledge or support.

HubSpot: The Facts

According to their website, HubSpot boasts a customer base of 21,000 global users. Based on their features, 21,000 is an impressive and quality-size clientele in my opinion. I first learned about HubSpot from my own computer desk. ICON was only a brief thought; therefore, I never heard the CRM name in conversation. I didn’t attend Inbound 2016. Oddly enough, I discovered them in my Facebook news feed.

A few clicks later, I learned how big their following was. Compared to a lot of other tools available on the market, HubSpot really puts in the effort. They easily reach millions with their social engagement. Bringing awareness to the community through blogs and content creation gives them credibility. It’s at the level where they stand out from the majority. After all, isn’t that what we’re all trying to achieve–recognition from the rest of our competition?

HubSpot: The Differences

Out of all 3 platforms, HubSpot has the MOST differences. They also provide customers the most options when it comes to picking the package for their business. Think of HubSpot as a two-story building. You’re bringing your business in the door to grow. On the ground floor is where the newer businesses would start. You have three departments at your disposal: the CRM, marketing, and sales. They offer different packages based on the components: Marketing, Marketing + CRM, and Marketing + CRM + Sales.

When you’re ready to scale up into marketing, you’d then move upstairs to the more advanced marketing departments. HubSpot does offers a free marketing package as well as 3 paid marketing packages–you will surely get what you pay for. Similar to InfusionSoft, HubSpot requires one-time on-boarding fees. The basic marketing package starts at $200/month. Basic requires a $600 on-boarding add-on fee and allows you 100 contacts. Every extra 1,000 contacts afterwards ups your monthly payment by $100 so plan ahead before choosing!

HubSpot’s basic marketing platform is off the charts for an all-in-one CRM. I mean: really impressive! I don’t know of another system that includes blogging, landing pages, email, marketing automation, lead management, analytics, a website builder, social media management, SEO, strong click-through tools and ads all under the same digital roof!

HubSpot’s pro package, which is the most popular, comes with a $800 monthly price tag and a required $3,000 on-boarding fee for the first 1,000 contacts. Every 1,000 contacts after is only an additional $50/month. Their enterprise option is a staggering $2,400/month with a required $5,000 on-boarding for 10,000 contacts. It only costs $10/month extra per extra 1,000 contacts.

Similar to InfusionSoft, HubSpot offers their own partnership program with many verticals. You have the option to become an integration partner, a marketing agency partner or a sales partner.

From a bird’s eye view, HubSpot is a complete standalone CRM. Its CRM can tie into their up-gradable marketing software and up-gradable sales software. I see this as a huge pro. If you know you’ll eventually need a powerhouse system with all the bells and whistles, I recommend starting off small with HubSpot’s CRM. Become acclimated to how it works and how your business can plug into it. As you scale up, you have the tools right there to integrate smoothly. Everything PipeDrive and InfusionSoft offers, HubSpot has already included to some capacity in their product line.

If you’re not sure you need ALL the bells and whistles, consider something more middle-of-the-road. All 3 CRMs provide customers their own mobile apps for CRM’ing on the go. They also all provide strong levels of integration and their own version of API for consistent application integration. Now, figure out what is best for you!


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