If you’re at all interested in inbound marketing, you’ve probably heard of HubSpot. They’re a leader in the digital marketing industry, and their blogs, videos, and certification courses are pretty popular. While you might know who HubSpot, the company, is, it’s a little harder to know what HubSpot, the software, does.

There’s a lot of industry jargon thrown around, and to be fair, HubSpot is a huge platform; it’s hard to outline all of its capabilities in just one sentence. Since we use HubSpot every day, we thought we’d take a shot at breaking it down for you. Here’s our plain English guide to getting started with HubSpot: what HubSpot is, and what tools and benefits it can offer you:

What Is HubSpot?hubspot logo

HubSpot is a cloud-based CRM designed to help align sales and marketing teams, foster sales enablement, boost ROI and optimize your inbound marketing strategy to generate more, qualified leads.

Okay, but in English?

HubSpot is a software platform designed to help your company market and sell more effectively.

HubSpot’s Background:

To understand what HubSpot is and does, it’s helpful to know just a little about where HubSpot, the company, came from. HubSpot started back in 2005 as a resource for marketers. Back then, they offered tools and resources that helped companies get started with inbound marketing.

We won’t go too far into inbound marketing, which HubSpot sort of invented, but feel free to check out our complete guide to inbound marketing if you want to know more.

HubSpot works to help companies market better. Click To TweetTo do this, they developed one cloud-based platform where all of a company’s digital marketing efforts could be housed.

Everything from blogging to social media posting to email marketing was combined on one single platform that can be accessed from anywhere.

That way, every marketer in a company can use HubSpot’s tools to nurture qualified leads until they are ready to pass on to the sales team. When a lead is ready to convert, they’re easily passed onto the sales team for a simple, seamless experience that helps companies turn warm leads into happy customers.

But that’s just the beginning of the HubSpot software.

Now, years down the line, HubSpot offers that original software in the form of a free CRM, along with specific software for sales, marketing, and service departments, all of which integrate together seamlessly to help your company grow.

If you’re thinking that still sounds like kind of a lot, you’d be right.

That’s why we’re breaking each department’s service down here, starting with the free CRM:

The HubSpot CRM

HubSpot started with just their CRM (customer relationship management software), which we described above. It’s a platform where companies can organize their contacts and keep track of every conversation they have with each contact.

In the beginning, the HubSpot developed their CRM primarily for marketers. It offered a way for marketers to organize all of the leads they were talking to, nurture them according to their buyer persona and unique pain points, and then pass them seamlessly onto the sales team.

Today, the HubSpot CRM is still an essential component of HubSpot’s software — it’s just a little more robust. Instead of functioning primarily to support the marketing team, HubSpot’s existing CRM works to help every customer-facing team in a company, from marketing to sales to customer service.

Think of HubSpot's CRM as the launchpad for all other marketing, sales, and customer service tools. Click To TweetThe CRM stores every company contact and lead. Each department can access leads there, and use whatever additional tools they need from their own department to improve that lead’s relationship with the company.

The HubSpot CRM is completely free, for anyone, forever. It has no time limit and never expires.

Some of the benefits of the HubSpot CRM that we love for our clients are:

  • Unlimited Users — Your entire team has access to your company’s CRM. No limit.
  • You can store as many as 1 million contacts and companies on the free platform.
  • HubSpot will store all of your records and conversations with any of those contacts.
  • Gmail and Outlook Integration so your team’s conversations with leads and clients are stored, and their workday isn’t interrupted.
  • Email Scheduling — for your newsletters and email marketing campaigns
  • Team Email — to make sure everyone’s on the same page and working to the same goals
  • Live Chat for Your Website — so you can capture leads even after working hours are over
  • Deals, Tasks, Ticketing, and Prospects — allowing you to keep track of where every prospect is in the sales process, and make tickets for any clients who might have a question.

Ultimately, the HubSpot CRM is one of the most robust free platforms on the market. It offers a long list of tools you can use to draw in qualified potential leads and do better business with your existing clients. The rest of HubSpot’s software is built on top of this functional, free CRM. 

HubSpot Marketing Hub

The HubSpot Marketing Hub is a set of tools designed to help your marketing department. It integrates seamlessly with the HubSpot CRM and works to help your marketing team draw in and nurture more qualified leads.

The HubSpot Marketing Hub helps your company increase website traffic and convert more visitors into leads.

The goal of the Marketing Hub is to make life easier for your marketing department. It offers seamless content creation for your blog, email, social media accounts, and website, and provides exceptional metric tracking and reporting of all the data you care about most. See easily how many people are coming to your site, where they’re going, when they leave, and how much they like your landing pages.

Like all of HubSpot’s tools, the Marketing Hub is offered in tiers according to the size of your company, and the number of tools your company would like to use. HubSpot's first tier is always free, regardless of which Hub you're interested in testing out. Click To Tweet

Some of our favorite tools offered in the HubSpot Marketing Hub include:

  • Blog and content creation tools
  • Social media organization and scheduling
  • Calls-To-Action — Providing in-depth tracking of click-through rates, impressions, and other important KPIs.
  • Mobile Optimization — For everything from emails to blogs
  • Landing Pages Create landing pages that integrate seamlessly into your website, and then use HubSpot’s sophisticated metrics to track and optimize performance.,
  • Goal-Based Nurturing Your marketing team can choose specific goals based on buyer persona research and previous performance, and set the HubSpot Marketing Hub to help nurture leads with those goals in mind.
  • A/B Testing — Optimize your site and inbound marketing efforts for top performance

The HubSpot Marketing Hub also offers Salesforce integration and a whole host of additional tools that we couldn’t fit into this one intro blog. Check them out for yourself, or feel free to get in touch with us for more info.

HubSpot Sales Hub

The HubSpot Sales Hub was designed to help your sales department close better deals, in less time. Each tool offered on this software is designed with efficiency in mind — so your sales team can focus their full attention on what matters most — closing deals with qualified clients.  HubSpot Sales Hub has been very successful as it’s one of the few software tools that’s designed specifically for sales teams, with the inbound marketing methodology in mind.

HubSpot Sales Hub gives sales teams the tools they need to provide excellent service and close deals the minute a lead is ready to convert.

Sales Hub lets your sales team see what leads are visiting your site, on what pages, and how often. The software also offers instant alerts whenever a prospect opens an email, and sales team members can even automate personalized workflows that offer quality information exactly when a lead is ready for it. And because Sales Hub syncs up with the HubSpot CRM, your sales team can easily see which deals are won, lost, or still in progress.

Some of the tools the HubSpot Sales Hub offers are:

  • Email Sequences — Automated email workflows designed to nurture qualified leads
  • Email Tracking and Notifications — Your sales team is notified when a prospect opens an email or clicks over to your website.
  • Meeting Scheduling Forget confusing back and forth scheduling that can drop leads. Instead, let potential clients pick meeting times that work best for them.
  • Reporting dashboards —  So your team can see how their efforts are impacting business, and so you can see who is selling well, and why.
  • Multiple deal pipeline —  Not every lead is the same. Make it easy for sales teams to customize their service to the unique needs of your buyers, and implement and track distinct sales processes with multiple pipelines.

Just like the Marketing Hub, HubSpot’s Sales Hub has a vast offering of sales tools, depending on the tier that best fits your company. And, they all integrate with the Marketing Hub, the Service Hub, and of course the HubSpot CRM.

HubSpot Service Hub

The HubSpot Service Hub is designed to support customer service teams. It offers a full suite of tools that make it easier for your customer service teams to identify issues clients are experiencing, and resolve them quickly in a way that leaves your customers happy.

HubSpot Service Hub helps your client service teams offer the best solutions, efficiently.

The HubSpot Service Hub includes:

  • Live Chat and Conversational Bots — Customers and clients get the help they need, whenever they need it. No waiting for business hours; solve problems now.
  • Email Templates — Check in with clients you haven’t heard from in a while, or request service reviews with email templates that are easy to format and send, and even easier to track.
  • Canned Snippets — Those questions you get every day? Send back the perfect answer automatically with canned snippets.
  • Phone Support and Customer Feedback
  • Knowledge Base — Pull up all the information in your database on any client, so your service team knows who that client has talked to, and about what, so they can get to the right solution, quickly.
  • Multiple Ticket Pipelines — Easily Organize tickets based on customer query subject 
  • Customer Service Automation

The HubSpot Service Hub works on top of your free HubSpot CRM, so anyone on your service team can see previous interactions a client has had with marketing and sales teams, and determine quickly how best to resolve any potential issues. This streamlines the amount of time it takes for customer service reps to resolve a client ticket, and ensures your clients experience the best customer service possible.

HubSpot Growth Suite

The HubSpot Growth Suite is HubSpot’s complete suite of services bundled together. If your company can benefit from all three of the above Hubs, the Growth Suite is perfect for you. You’ll get the benefits fo all three hubs, for only slightly more than the price of one.

HubSpot’s Growth Suite is best for companies who are familiar with inbound marketing, or who have made a concerted effort to transition to the inbound marketing methodology. Since it includes all of the Hubs and is built on top of HubSpot’s CRM, the HubSpot Growth Suite platform is the best way to align your entire team towards a single growth goal.

HA Digital Marketing is a HubSpot Gold Agency Partner, which means HubSpot is what we do. If you have questions about any of HubSpot’s software offerings, whether it’s one of the Hubs, the CRM, or all of it, we’d be happy to help. HubSpot can be a little complicated to figure out at first, but once you see it in action, it’s one of the most user-friendly growth tools on the market today.

Get in touch to learn more about HubSpot, and how we can help you leverage it for overall company growth.
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