When looking for a new CRM, Pipedrive and HubSpot are often held up for comparison.
HubSpot has Sales Hub, which is known as a free basic-version CRM for small and medium businesses. Pipedrive is more straight forward with a clear monthly fee.
I have more experience with Pipedrive, though I used the free version of HubSpot on one project for a non-profit association.
In comparing Pipedrive to HubSpot, I’ll focus on answering a commonly asked question: Why would I pay for Pipedrive when HubSpot is free?
Pipedrive and HubSpot licensing models
Note that the pricing and features on CRM systems are subject to change. HubSpot and Pipedrive’s prices and features were revised in the fall of 2020.
Pipedrive ordering model and pricing
Pipedrive is a CRM system designed as a complete and unified package for business sales. In practice, Pipedrive has four licensing options:
- Essential (cheapest)
- Enterprise (most expensive)
Pipedrive can be expanded with third-party add-ons. Add-ons are not part of the core product, but typically take advantage of the programming interface provided by Pipedrive. A common example is ready-made integration with an e-mail marketing tool.
The options are clearly designed for different target groups. The ‘Essential’ version is for an entrepreneur’s first CRM system, ‘Advanced’ streamlines established sales processes, and ‘Professional’ is for managing multiple sales teams.
HubSpot ordering model and pricing
HubSpot’s offering is broader than Pipedrive’s. In practice, the CRM is one module of the Sales Hub. Other Hubs include the Marketing Hub for marketing, the Service Hub for customer service, and the CMS Hub for website maintenance.
The entire sales and marketing ecosystem can be assembled on the HubSpot platform by combining different Hubs. Pipedrive can be expanded, if necessary, with add-ons made by other companies.
|Need||HubSpot users||Pipedrive users|
|E-mail marketing||Marketing Hub||MailChimp|
An example of a sales and marketing system using HubSpot and Pipedrive.
The HubSpot design allows for a more tightly integrated platform. The price can be significant if you have multiple Hubs in use. Pipedrive offers the possibility of assembling the whole cost-effectively from separate pieces.
HubSpot Hubs typically have four different price groups:
You can also get add-ons from third parties for HubSpot. The most represented in the marketplace are e-mail and website templates.
Sales Hub Free, or HubSpot’s free CRM, includes key features for salespeople, including the ability to create contacts, organizations, and tasks, for example.
It’s difficult to say whether HubSpot or Pipedrive will, with all your needs included, be more expensive. For now, we’re looking at how the free version of HubSpot’s CRM compares to Pipedrive.
Pipedrive and HubSpot price comparison
Let’s take the same priced Pipedrive and HubSpot CRMs for the comparison. Prices are per month and per user, billed annually. With the exception of the Enterprise versions, it’s about 20% cheaper to be billed annually with both Pipedrive and HubSpot.
|Pipedrive Essential||15 $||HubSpot Free||0.00 $||–|
|Pipedrive Advanced||25 $||HubSpot Starter||18.40 $||2|
|Pipedrive Professional||50 $||HubSpot Professional||73.60 $||5|
|Pipedrive Enterprice||99.00 $||HubSpot Enterprise||110.40 $||10|
The licensing options for Pipedrive and HubSpot are not one-to-one in terms of features. However, a price comparison reveals that compared to Pipedrive, HubSpot’s offering is much broader.
Pipedrive’s pricing is more flexible in terms of adding users, as no license option requires a minimum number. For example, HubSpot Professional requires at least five users, which could be a costly surprise for a three-person sales team.
Pipedrive for sales, HubSpot for marketing
Pipedrive’s identity is as a tool for managing challenging sales processes and business-to-business (B2B) sales. HubSpot’s overall image is more as a marketing tool.
HubSpot has exactly the same sales pipeline for managing sales processes as Pipedrive. With HubSpot, you can record activities, contacts, and companies. In other words, HubSpot’s CRM system does well with sales.
Pipedrive has recently responded to the competition by bringing marketable inbound features to its product. These include, for example, tracking the opening of e-mails, group e-mails, the Leadbooster chatbot, separating leads from sales, and generating leads using online forms.
So, it can’t be said that Pipedrive is just for sales, and HubSpot is just for marketing.
Next, let’s take a closer look at whether these conceptions hold true.
Critical features for sales representatives with Pipedrive and HubSpot
For comparison, I selected a few of the most sought-after sales features in CRM demos. Let’s see which subscription option is required to fulfill those features in Pipedrive and HubSpot.
|Customer service via e-mail or chat||Essential||Starter|
tasks, sales, sales pipeline
|Sales pipeline||Essential||Free: 1
|Customizable reports||Essential: 1
|Additional fields||Essential||Free: 10
|Chatbot||Leadbooster add-on is 32.50 $ / month||Free: Simplified|
Based on the list, it appears that HubSpot’s sales features on the free version are limited and, even with simple usage, you’ll quickly come up against restrictions. With a sales team that actively utilizes sales data, 10 additional fields are unlikely to be sufficient, even if used frugally.
A really big challenge is the number of sales pipelines. The paid Starter package only includes two sales pipelines. Sales are typically divided into sales pipelines by product group, customer segment, or geographical area. Even a small company typically has 1–5 sales pipelines.
HubSpot provides simple task automation in the Starter Edition. In practice, you can create tasks as your sales move through HubSpot’s sales pipeline. You can create much more advanced workflows with the automation found in the license options starting from Pipedrive Advanced.
Pipedrive offers customer service via chat starting with its cheapest option. With HubSpot, chat and e-mail customer service are not included in the free version.
A simplified chatbot does exist in the free version of HubSpot. The e-mail features in HubSpot’s free version also seem advanced. In Pipedrive, e-mail synchronization is only included from the Advanced version. The Pipedrive Leadbooster add-on also costs an additional 32 $ if you prefer to use the chatbot features. The price is per company, so for larger sales teams, the cost is affordable.
HubSpot’s Free and Starter packages offer a great alternative to Pipedrive, especially for lead collection. It would seem that the adages Pipedrive for sales and HubSpot for lead collection hold true.
Up-to-date information can be found on the Pipedrive and HubSpot pricing pages.
Pipedrive or HubSpot for your CRM system?
Compared to Pipedrive, HubSpot is suitable for extreme cases. If you just need to record customers and notes in the sales system, the free version of HubSpot has you covered. For bigger needs, HubSpot also offers features like the Service Hub, which you can’t get from Pipedrive for love or money.
Pipedrive is aimed at business sales. The affordable monthly price includes the features required for smooth and comprehensive management of the sales process.
The most affordable version of Pipedrive, Essential, offers an unlimited number of sales pipelines and additional data fields, while HubSpot’s free CRM severely limits these. Advanced automation in Pipedrive Advanced has a clear competitive advantage over even the paid versions of HubSpot.
Pipedrive’s pricing is more predictable than HubSpot for small and growing sales teams—the price doesn’t skyrocket because of one necessary feature. The big factor here is the minimum number of HubSpot users.
In many cases, Pipedrive is a more predictable package than the attractive-sounding free version of HubSpot. By choosing the right CRM system for your current and near-future needs, there is no need to change in a few months.
In CRM selection, a single critical feature or difference in pricing model can tip the scales toward a clear choice. So all you have to do is map out what functions your business needs.