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The Hub. The Spot.

The Place for a High Priced CRM

Hubspot’s name comes up a lot when companies look for a CRM with a lot of features because they offer a free CRM. What most people don’t know is how limiting Hubspot Free is and how insanely expensive it is to upgrade to a level where the CRM and it’s features become usable for growing businesses.

You can read through all of the most common complaints and problems with Hubspot and the true cost of the CRM below. If you’d like more bit sized info, you can review all the information in bullet points here.

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What common issues do users encounter with HubSpot’s interface?

Based on the comprehensive research into common issues users encounter with HubSpot’s interface and functionality, several key problems and their solutions have been identified across different sources. These problems range from initial setup difficulties, data migration challenges, to specific feature limitations. Here’s a summary of the findings:

1. Difficulty in Customization and Integration

Users find HubSpot’s interface user-friendly but struggle with its lack of flexibility for customization. This is particularly true for businesses with unique sales processes that the default settings do not support.

The solution is to invest in training ($$$) for IT-savvy employees to become experts in customizing HubSpot to fit specific business needs.

2. Migrating Legacy Systems

Migrating data from various platforms into HubSpot can be complex and time-consuming, especially for companies relying on multiple tools for different business functions.

The solution is plan carefully around data cleanup and testing for a smooth migration. Utilizing a team experienced in HubSpot migrations ($$$) can also facilitate this process.

3. Data Duplication

HubSpot users often face issues with duplicate data entries, which can lead to inaccuracies in client management and marketing efforts.

The solution is to utilize HubSpot’s data cleaning tools and automation workflows to identify and merge duplicate entries, ensuring data integrity. If you’re on a free plan or haven’t purchased the features, expect to shell out more $$$.

4. Incomplete Data

The effectiveness of marketing campaigns can be compromised by incomplete data in the CRM.

5. Custom Revenue Tracking

Customizing revenue tracking to fit specific business needs can be challenging within HubSpot’s default settings.

A “quick”, but pricey, solution is upgrading to the Professional plan ($$$) and investing in planning and customization ($$$) from the outset can address this issue.

6. Difficulty in Exiting HubSpot

Businesses may find it challenging to migrate to a new system due to data and content lock-in with HubSpot.

The solution is to higher or consult withIT experts or external agencies ($$$) to assist in data migration and website recreation, ensuring a smooth transition to new platforms.

Nutshell’s Solution: We offer FREE onboarding white-glove data imports for all new trial customers (and ongoing white-glove data imports for our Enterprise customers). We also provide free automatic data imports so you can transfer your HubSpot data automatically into Nutshell in just a few clicks. This saves your team a ton of time and money.

7. Specific Feature Limitations

Despite its comprehensive analytics capabilities, users may encounter limitations in HubSpot’s reporting features for highly detailed analyses.

Solution: Supplement HubSpot analytics with Google Analytics for more detailed insights. At Nutshell, we always recommend a secondary Analytics platform. Google Analytics is a great, free program to use. 

8. Concerns Over High Costs

The primary concern for many businesses considering HubSpot is its pricing structure. Signing up for the Free CRM or the lowest plan feels like a win, until you find out that you need to purchase more features and/or upgrade to actually use Hubspot the way you need to.

Solution: Evaluate the comprehensive value HubSpot offers in terms of features, support, and the potential for sales revenue improvement before making a decision.

These findings highlight the importance of setting realistic expectations when faced with the common issues customers have with HubSpot.

Sources

How does HubSpot’s pricing model compare to its competitors?

HubSpot Pricing Overview:

  • Free Plan: HubSpot provides a robust free plan across its services, which includes basic features suitable for small businesses or startups beginning to explore CRM tools.
  • Starter Plans: Starting at $20 per month, these plans target new or small businesses with foundational features to organize sales and marketing efforts.
  • Professional Plans: Beginning at $800 per month for Marketing and $1,600 per month for Sales, these plans cater to experienced teams requiring advanced automation, analytics, and customization options.
  • Enterprise Plans: Starting at $3,600 per month for Marketing and $5,000 per month for Sales, designed for large businesses with complex needs, offering the highest level of customization, scalability, and advanced features like predictive lead scoring and single sign-on.

Key Considerations:

  • Scalability: HubSpot scales with businesses, offering transitions from free to premium plans as a company grows, saying platform migration isn’t necessary (if you’re willing to pay the price tag). When you’re ready to outgrow your current Hubspot plan, it is very likely that you can find a CRM with all the features you’re currently using for way less of a price.
  • Cost: While HubSpot is renowned for its comprehensive feature set and user-friendly interface, its mid-tier and top-tier plans are significantly more expensive compared to some competitors.If you are a business using Hubspot and you’re ready to scale, you should also be ready to bail.
  • Features and User Limits: Each plan comes with a set user limit, with additional costs for more users. Notably, the Marketing Hub does not limit the number of users.
  • Customization and Add-Ons: HubSpot allows further customization through add-ons and integrations, although these come at additional costs. If you are on the Free or Starter plan and are looking to customize more or buy add-ons, expect a need to upgrade and increase your monthly bill by 4X+ (depending on total users).
  • Target Audience: HubSpot’s wide range of plans makes it suitable for B2B and B2C companies across various industries. However, the cost-effectiveness and specific features needed should be considered before ever starting with or continuing with Hubspot

HubSpot’s pricing model is structured to support businesses at different stages of growth, from startups to large enterprises. Its comprehensive suite of tools across sales, marketing, customer service, and content management can cater to a wide range of business needs.

However, potential users should carefully assess the costs associated with higher-tier plans and additional users, as HubSpot is usually far more expensive than some alternatives. The decision should be based on a balance between required features, the scale of operations, and budget considerations.

Sources

Want to see an example of what 10 Users really looks like for a year of Hubspot? See below.

What you’ll spend in the first year

Annual license cost
for a 10-person team

Email Sequences & Campaigns Nutshell Campaigns scales with your business, we’ll use 50,000 contacts for this comparison to Marketing Hub Professional

Implementation costs Source: Hubspot.com

CRM Advisor Source: Hubspot.com

Live chat support Source: Hubspot.com

Data storage Source: Hubspot.com

One-click dialing and call recording

Total Assuming the average of range prices and only 1 overage per overage category for 6 out of 12 months

Years 2 and Beyond Removing any Implementation or Onboarding costs

a blue and orange logo for HubSpot on a white background

$10,800

($90/user/month)

$24,816/year

(for up to 50,000 contacts – “Free” up to 2,000 contacts, $250 more per month per 500 contacts)

$10,000

(“one price fits all”)

$6,000-$38,400

(available, but not required)

$0

$1,100/month

starting after the first million

$50/month for 1,000 minutes

(3,000 minute limit)

$96,916

$86,916

(per year after year 1)

The even better news is, most Nutshell customers can get buy with minimal onboarding and help because it’s such an easy CRM to use.

If you stayed with Hubspot for 3 years, you’d be spending $270,748.

If you stayed with Nutshell for 3 years, you’d be spending $58,710.

What could your business do with an extra $212,038 over 3 years?

Are there any notable limitations in HubSpot’s CRM features?

The research on the notable limitations in HubSpot’s CRM features reveals several aspects where users might find constraints:

Customization and Complexity

HubSpot’s CRM offers extensive functionality and integrations but may present limitations in terms of deep customization for specific business processes. Some users find the platform’s customization options insufficient for their unique needs, particularly businesses with highly specialized workflows or those requiring complex, tailored CRM solutions.

Pricing Model

While HubSpot CRM provides a robust free version, the transition to advanced features necessitates moving to paid plans, which can be costly for many businesses. The pricing model, particularly for accessing more sophisticated features, may not be suitable for companies with tight budgets (or for businesses who don’t like to spend more many when they can get the same for less). Users need to be mindful of the cumulative cost of add-ons and advanced functionalities as these can significantly increase the overall expense.

Free Plan Limitations

The free version of HubSpot CRM, despite being generous, comes with limitations that will affect businesses as they scale. These include restrictions on the number of emails sent, data storage limits, and limited access to premium features such as advanced automation, detailed reporting, and comprehensive customer support options. Imagine growing your business and then losing your next 10 hot leads because you reached your limit and have to pay way more money to increase your plan.

Integration and Scalability

While HubSpot boasts over 500 integrations, some businesses may encounter challenges when attempting to integrate HubSpot CRM with other specific tools or platforms not directly supported. Additionally, while HubSpot CRM scales well for a wide range of business sizes, very large enterprises or those with intricate sales processes might find the platform less adaptable to their complex needs.

Support and Learning Curve

Access to live support is very limited for users on the free plan, which could be a drawback for businesses requiring immediate assistance. Furthermore, despite HubSpot CRM’s user-friendly interface, the full suite of features comes with a learning curve, especially for users new to CRM systems or those transitioning from more straightforward platforms.

While HubSpot CRM is celebrated for its comprehensive features, user-friendly design, and strong integration capabilities, businesses will most likely face limitations related to customization depth, the pricing model for advanced features, limitations within the free plan, challenges in specific integrations, and the learning curve associated with maximizing the platform’s potential.

Our thoughts? Don’t get caught up in the Hubspot trap.

Sources

Challenges in Integrating HubSpot with Other Tools

Businesses face numerous challenges when integrating HubSpot with other tools, which can significantly impact their operational efficiency and data management strategies. These challenges stem from the need to ensure seamless communication between HubSpot and various enterprise tools, impacting everything from marketing and sales to customer service.

Ensuring Seamless Data Flow

Integration aims to centralize data within HubSpot’s ecosystem, enhancing data consistency and minimizing redundancy. Achieving efficient data flow between HubSpot and other systems is crucial for reducing latency in data-driven processes and promoting unified operational environments. One slip and you could be stuck in a huge mess.

Technical Cohesion

The integration process must ensure technical cohesion to expedite decision-making cycles and elevate the precision of data analytics. This is essential for maintaining a competitive edge in a technology-driven market.

Diverse Integration Options

HubSpot offers various integration options, including native integrations, middleware integrations, custom integrations, and API integrations. Each type presents unique challenges, from ease of use and direct connectivity (native integrations) to bridging gaps with middleware tools and developing bespoke solutions (custom integrations). Most of the time you’re going to need to hire a 3rd party to help ($$$) integrate anything custom.

Middleware Integration Challenges

Middleware tools, acting as the intermediary layer, must ensure smooth communication and data exchange between HubSpot and other software systems. They play a critical role in connecting software tools that lack pre-existing direct integrations, posing challenges in flexibility, scalability, and real-time data sync. If not looked after, these can easily break and leave your business scrambling.

Custom Integration Complexities

Custom integrations address unique business needs but come with challenges such as higher initial costs, maintenance requirements, and longer implementation times. These integrations demand a deep understanding of both HubSpot and the specific use-case scenarios of the business.

API Integration Utilization

Leveraging HubSpot’s API for integration requires technical savvy and presents challenges in ensuring secure, real-time data exchange and custom functionality alignment with operational needs.

Integrating HubSpot with other tools involves navigating a complex landscape of native, middleware, custom, and API integrations. Each approach has its challenges, from ensuring seamless data flow and technical cohesion to addressing the specific requirements of custom integrations and the technical demands of API utilization. 

Sources

HubSpot’s customer support & user satisfaction

We get it. CRMs can be difficult to use and each CRM is just different enough that it helps to have a Support team to lean on when using a new platform or working through a new add-on. We’ll admit it – it’s tough to keep every customer happy and educated.

Here are a few selected G2 reviews where customers point out how Hubspot and Hubspot’s support has let them down:

 

What are the main criticisms of HubSpot’s marketing automation capabilities?

While HubSpot is a leading platform offering a wide range of automation features for various business aspects, including marketing, sales, and customer service, it has faced some criticisms regarding its marketing automation capabilities. The detailed analysis from the sources reveals the following key criticisms:

Cost Concerns

Does “cost concerns with Hubspot” sound familiar yet? HubSpot can quickly become expensive, especially for any business. The price escalates as your businesses grow and require more contacts, making it less accessible for growing businesses.

Complexity and Usability

HubSpot’s comprehensive features come with a steep learning curve. Users have reported difficulties in setting up custom workflows and navigating through its extensive capabilities without sufficient onboarding or training.

Limited Flexibility

The platform is designed to be an all-in-one solution, which can be a drawback for businesses looking to integrate or use it alongside other tools. This approach limits flexibility for companies that may only want to leverage specific features of HubSpot.

Template Modification Challenges

Users have found HubSpot’s email and landing page templates difficult to modify without knowledge of CSS, restricting customization options for those without technical expertise.

Nutshell offers no-code design for both email and landing page templates.

Lack of Advanced Features in Lower Plans

Essential features like A/B testing and more advanced marketing automation capabilities are reserved for higher-tier plans, which can be prohibitively expensive for many businesses.

Reporting Limitations

While HubSpot offers analytics and reporting, some users have noted that its capabilities could be more advanced, particularly regarding segmented traffic reports and mobile user navigation data.

Additional Costs for Support

Access to technical support and more advanced onboarding services comes with extra charges, which can add up and increase the overall cost of using HubSpot.

Availability of Cheaper Alternatives

There are several more affordable alternatives in the market that offer similar features to HubSpot, making it a less attractive option for businesses operating on tighter budgets.

In conclusion, while HubSpot provides a powerful suite of tools for marketing automation, its pricing structure, complexity, and limitations in flexibility and customization have been significant points of criticism. Businesses, especially smaller ones, may need to carefully consider these factors against their specific needs and budget constraints before adopting HubSpot as their marketing automation solution.

Sources

TL;DR Summary

Common Issues with HubSpot’s Interface

  • Customization and Integration: Limited flexibility for unique sales processes; requires IT expertise for customization.
  • Data Migration: Complex and time-consuming, especially from multiple tools.
  • Data Duplication and Incompleteness: Requires data cleaning tools and list management for accuracy.
  • Exiting HubSpot: Challenging data and content migration to new systems.
  • Feature Limitations: Analytics capabilities may be limited; use Google Analytics for detailed insights.
  • Cost Concerns: Pricing structure perceived as expensive; evaluate value against features and sales improvement potential.

HubSpot’s Pricing Model

  • Plans: Free, Starter ($20/month), Professional ($800/month for Marketing), and Enterprise ($3,600/month for Marketing).
  • Scalability: Scales with business growth, but higher-tier plans can be expensive.
  • Features and User Limits: Set user limits per plan; additional costs for more users.
  • Customization and Add-Ons: Available at extra costs.
  • Nutshell: Transparent pricing, Add-ons that don’t cost an arm and a leg, and a CRM that scales with you (yes, if you move up plans it does cost more – but no nearly as much for what you get!).

Limitations in HubSpot’s CRM Features

  • Customization and Complexity: Limited deep customization for specific business processes.
  • Pricing Model: Transition to advanced features requires costly plans.
  • Free Plan Limitations: Restrictions on emails, data storage, and premium features.
  • Integration and Scalability: Challenges with non-directly supported tools and scalability for large enterprises.

Challenges in Integrating HubSpot with Other Tools

  • Seamless Data Flow and Technical Cohesion: Essential for reducing latency and promoting unified operations.
  • Middleware and Custom Integration Challenges: Flexibility, scalability, and real-time data sync issues.
  • API Integration: Requires technical expertise for secure, real-time data exchange.
  • Costly: All of the above could cost your business a pretty penny.

Impact of HubSpot’s Customer Support on User Satisfaction

Criticisms of HubSpot’s Marketing Automation Capabilities

  • Cost Concerns: Expensive for small businesses as they grow.
  • Complexity and Usability: Steep learning curve for custom workflows.
  • Limited Flexibility: Designed as an all-in-one solution, limiting integration with other tools.
  • Advanced Features and Support Costs: Reserved for higher-tier plans; additional charges for technical support.

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