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HubSpot CRM gets enterprise makeover

HubSpot might not yet frighten Salesforce with its competing platform, which now includes enterprise CRM, but the company definitely pushes upmarket with its latest offering.

As HubSpot users' businesses grow, they need tools that can scale up with them. The company, which made its name with a marketing automation platform, hopes its remade Sales Hub Enterprise CRM can fill those needs.

But with a more sophisticated HubSpot CRM, introduced today, the SaaS vendor also looks upmarket by giving prospective Salesforce customers another choice to consider.

New features added to Sales Hub Enterprise edition to support large sales organizations include advanced reporting, configure-price-quote (CPQ) and hooks into data sources such as LinkedIn Navigator. HubSpot also added connectors to accounting systems, including NetSuite, QuickBooks Online, Xero and Nubox.

Introduced today at the virtual edition of the annual HubSpot Inbound user conference, the features build on HubSpot's previous enterprise capabilities available from its third-party apps marketplace.

It's a growth play for HubSpot, which typically caters to small and medium-sized businesses with its flagship marketing automation platform, Constellation Research analyst Liz Miller said. Growing companies that might not need every bell and whistle Salesforce offers -- or those with departments setting up a new CRM instance -- may instead take a look at the HubSpot CRM.

"HubSpot is a lightweight, nimble, easy-to-use, well-liked and even loved tool across the small and midmarket business," Miller said. "As they try to move more intentionally into the enterprise plane and become a more direct competitor to Salesforce -- or even an Oracle -- they've found some holes in their functionality that needed to be filled."

A major plus beyond its sales, service and marketing clouds that will appeal to new users is the copious, detailed training materials HubSpot provides for its users that isn't overly technical, she added.

HubSpot Enterprise CRM screenshot
HubSpot's enterprise CRM organizes a salesperson's leads on both the desktop and mobile interfaces.

High midmarket at first

While HubSpot CRM first debuted in 2014 and Sales Hub Enterprise came along in 2018, the refreshed enterprise edition is more of a finished product, said Lou Orfanos, general manager of HubSpot Sales Hub.

As they try to move more intentionally into the enterprise plane and become a more direct competitor to Salesforce -- or even an Oracle -- they've found some holes in their functionality that needed to be filled.
Liz MillerAnalyst, Constellation Research

"You could buy that tier [before], but this is a relaunch of it, basically," Orfanos said, adding that he expects companies of 200 to 2,000 employees will constitute the bulk of customers using Sales Hub Enterprise. That would put HubSpot in some competition with Salesforce, but he said he sees Oracle customers likely out of reach for HubSpot at this time.

"Our customers are growing, and we don't want them to feel like they have to graduate off HubSpot anymore," Orfanos said. "That has been a thing in the past. 'Oh, we hit a certain scale and we should just go to Salesforce.' [Customers] have been asking for a lot of these capabilities around CRM and reporting."

He added that some customers use legacy CRM systems and want to move off them because they're too costly to maintain and don't have advanced features. With the new features, HubSpot designed its enterprise CRM to accommodate larger-scale business models than it could before.

Many HubSpot customers already use Salesforce's CRM and integrate HubSpot's marketing and content tools with it. HubSpot acquired PieSync, which syncs customer data between clouds, last November. PieSync syncs customer data between SaaS applications, and while is hasn't been built natively into Sales Hub Enterprise yet, the company said, customers can use it to sync multiple HubSpot portals to each other, as well as to sync with outside data sources.

Pricing for HubSpot CRM Sales Hub Enterprise starts at $1,200 per month for 10 users. HubSpot Inbound concludes Wednesday.

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