When you have an inbound strategy, is there really an alternative to HubSpot?
When people talk about HubSpot, it's almost like they have to say more than CRM. If they don't say “inbound,” are they really talking about HubSpot? In other words, when people are talking about driving growth, having an inbound strategy, focused on a flexible solution that is more than a CRM, is there really an alternative to HubSpot?
That's the question I got the other day. It came in the form of a quick email,
“Am I being dumb? Should I just shell out the funds and sign up for HubSpot? Do I really need this?”
Instead of emailing them back, I promised an article that would help them, and here it is. I think it might help you too, if you've heard of HubSpot, haven't signed up yet, and are wondering if your growth would be accelerated if you did.
Why do people choose HubSpot?
HubSpot has been around a long time. They're a market leader. If you want a holistic approach to growth, there's nothing like HubSpot.
This is what you'll hear. From anyone who is using them. From anyone who is paying $800/month or more. Because, after all, if you're paying that much, you better believe that it's the key to your success, right?
That said, I like HubSpot and think it's an incredibly powerful suite of tools. Check out this diagram they use to explain where and how they fit into your entire marketing and growth strategy.
Let me make it easy to answer the question.
People who choose HubSpot have likely tried other approaches and solutions and spent way more money and massive amounts of time to try to integrate a variety of systems and tons of data, to get an intelligent perspective of their prospects and customers.
Gee Chris, when you put it that way, it sounds like there is no alternative to HubSpot and I would be a moron not to sign up and give them my money!
Before we determine if that's my final answer, let's dig into why it's hard to find a serious competitor.
Why is it hard to find an alternative to HubSpot?
I think there are five reasons why it's hard to find a competitor.
First, HubSpot benefits from being in the market a long time. What it is today isn't what it was when it started. So anyone who has tried to step up to the plate likely looks up at a much larger solution with so many features built over time and decides it's not worth it.
Second, HubSpot brings a lot of features to the plate. It's not just a CRM. It's not just a marketing automation platform. It's not just personalization. It's not just conversations, chats and bots. It's all of them.
Third, it's easy to use. It's not software like some of the other well known platforms out there that require so much engineering to make things work. It's designed for use by people who aren't software developers.
Fourth, everything integrates to HubSpot. I mean it. Seriously. Everything. And that means you're never going to be out of luck when you tell them what tools you use. You'll discover HubSpot works with them.
Lastly, HubSpot is focused on your education. They're one of the originals when it comes to making sure they're educating their market and helping them “grow up” in the space.
If I haven't given you enough reasons, here are 50 reasons to use HubSpot.
At this point you're likely thinking my email reply should have simply been, “Yes, sign up.” But what if I told you I really did think there was an up and coming alternative?
Is there really an alternative to HubSpot?
There are a ton of companies that like to think they're competitors to HubSpot. But when you look closer, they only check off one or two of the features. So they're not really replacements at all.
What would a real alternative have to deliver?
Here's my list of 12 needed features:
- Clearly you need a CRM for prospects and customers.
- You need automation for following up – based on different events.
- You need tracking so you know which events to trigger those automations from.
- You need emails for campaigns. SMS for mobile messaging.
- You need chat for on-site engagement.
- That CRM needs tags and custom fields.
- That automation needs workflow.
- You need to be able to segment everything on behavior and/or data.
- You need forms and form follow up sequences.
- Personalization is important (they call it smart content).
- Contact scoring – yes, you'll need that too.
- A/B Testing would be important too.
Are you starting to see why most companies can't really deliver a complete replacement for HubSpot?
Before I give you my answer, here's one person's list and comparison (they don't have my list of 12 requirements, they have their own).
The company and product you should pay attention to
My answer to the question is that I do indeed believe there's an alternative to HubSpot that is worth paying attention to.
I showed you the software briefly in an article on anonymous personalization. It's incredibly powerful.
In fact, it delivers on all 12 of my requirements for an alternative.
Bento is the most powerful HubSpot alternative that you've never heard of. It's a powerful mix of CRM, Marketing Automation, Chat, Workflow, Form and Personalization software that helps your business grow without costing you $1,000 a month.
When I finish my on online course series (yes, I'm heading back to wrap that up), I'll be circling back to show you how powerful Bento is.