Pipedrive vs. HubSpot: Which CRM should you choose?

Dec 4, 2023

Deciding whether to use Pipedrive or HubSpot isn’t a straightforward question to answer because both are good products. The answer depends on what type of company is going to use them and what you’re trying to achieve.

I’ll talk about my experience with using both and also share which of the two works best for certain types of companies and use cases.

There are other CRMs out there of course. In some cases, your best bet is Salesforce, Copper, or something else altogether but in this post, I’ll focus on comparing the two popular choices for SMBs and startups.

Key takeaways:

  • Pipedrive was created by sales pipeline management specialists, and that essence remains embedded in its product DNA. Even with significant changes, it retains its fundamental focus on sales pipeline management. This means it works best for intricate sales processes that demand multiple touches to successfully seal a deal.
  • HubSpot was built as a marketing tool initially. CRM was only added later. This makes it a good choice for all use cases where sales and marketing need to work together.
  • Outfunnel (that’s us!) can help you add some “best-of-breed” functionalities from other tools to HubSpot and Pipedrive alike so you can leverage the best features on the market for any use case.

The pros & cons of Pipedrive

Pipedrive pros

  • As a sales pro, I love and regularly use the pipeline view. It provides a clear understanding of what sales are in my pipeline and which deals I should be working on. 
Pipedrive’s pipeline view (screenshot from our testing account but you’ll get the gist)
  • Pipedrive was created by sales pipeline management professionals and remains one at its core. This means it’s going to excel if you’re selling something in a complex sales process where you need to go through multiple steps to close a deal. 
  • Pipedrive is built with the salesperson in mind. It’s quite user-friendly and filling fields or adding notes is relatively easy compared to the alternatives. 
  • Filters are easy to use and provide quick ways to analyze specific aspects of the customer base or pipeline.
  • Workflow Automation is a very powerful tool to, well, automate things. In fact, this is one of the best implementations I’ve seen in a CRM.

Pipedrive cons

  • While the built-in reporting is pretty good and your first set of reports will be easy to set up and share, customizing these reports can be a hassle. That’s why we’re not using these as much. 
  • I like Pipedrive’s filters but I’m starting to rely on them less because they recently added some limitations to them. For example, you can’t have more than ten filter conditions as per the current platform settings. 
  • Pipedrive does offer marketing tools like web forms and campaign tools but they’re rather basic. For example, with web forms, it’s impossible to tell which source a new lead came from. 

To make up for the missing marketing features, you can use an integration tool like Outfunnel to integrate Pipedrive with marketing tools like Mailchimp, Klaviyo, or WordPress.

What Pipedrive users are saying:

Pipedrive performs exceptionally well in its sales pipeline management abilities. The CRM gives a holistic view of our sales pipeline, making it possible for us to recognize bottlenecks, put in priority deals, and allocate resources efficiently. The drag-and-drop features can make it simple and easy to move deals between phases, update progress, and monitor overall performance. The comprehensive analytics and reporting attributes give useful insights into our sales performance, allowing data-driven decision making.

Source: Capterra

The pros & cons of HubSpot

HubSpot pros

  • HubSpot was built as a marketing tool with CRM capabilities added later on. Both modules rely on the same database though, so it’s a good pick for all use cases where sales and marketing need to work together.
  • HubSpot’s core CRM database is a bit more robust than what Pipedrive offers. Most companies won’t always need this but it’s worth noting that it allows for lots of customization. 
  • HubSpot is a bigger company and it simply has more built-in features and native integrations. 
Hubspot contact profile. Source: hubspot.com

HubSpot cons

  • HubSpot has all the great features that SMBs need but pricing isn’t exactly suited for them. The good stuff and features you’re actually going to need are only available starting with the Professional plan. This means you’d need to pay 10K/year to use them. 
  • The sales pipeline feature is usable, but nowhere as user-friendly as Pipedrive. Pipedrive really is “best-of-breed” for this. 
  • Having all of these features also makes it hard to make sense of it all. The platform is complex, but while they do everything, they’re not excelling at anything.

Due to the high costs, many SMB customers have chosen to use HubSpot in combination with other sales and marketing tools. Outfunnel can help you connect HubSpot with your favorite marketing tools like Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Calendly, and more.

What HubSpot users are saying:

“HubSpot CRM has been a game-changer for our business, revolutionizing the way we approach sales and marketing. One of the standout features that has truly impressed us is its remarkable ability to seamlessly integrate our sales and marketing functions, creating an unparalleled level of synergy that has significantly enhanced our operations.”

Source: Capterra

What are the key differences between Pipedrive and HubSpot CRM?

Pipeline management 5/54/5
ContactsUnlimited1 million
Custom fieldsYesYes
Email templatesUnlimited from 2nd plan5 on the free plan,
5,000 on paid plans
Customizable reportsAll plansHigher plans only
Support24/724/7 for higher plans only
Marketing workflows and featuresBasicGreat, but costly
Capterra rating4,54,5
Free versionLimited
Plans start from$21.90 per user per month$30 per month for individuals

Use cases: Pipedrive vs HubSpot

While both HubSpot and Pipedrive provide a strong CRM module, the extra functionalities can be different at times. Here’s what use cases I recommend for each.

The use cases of Pipedrive

My favorite use cases for Pipedrive’s CRM include:

  • Centralizing all communication with leads and customers. Everything from call notes, to email engagement to web visits is recorded in our CRM. 
Example of a contact, listing data from various sources like lead source, lead score, marketing engagement, etc.
  • Automating repetitive tasks and workflows in the sales process. For example, auto-scheduling follow-up tasks for leads (free trial users in our case) that fit our ICP and have the potential to become valuable customers.
  • Lighter analysis and reporting, using Pipedrive’s filters and built-in reporting. 
  • Automating email marketing based on where a lead is in their buying cycle (using Outfunnel as a companion app – more on that later)

Let me be clear: Pipedrive has loads of use cases beyond just sales. PR teams, for instance, can use their CRM to reach out to journalists and publications while your partnerships team will find it easy to manage contracts, agreements, deliverables, invoices, and payments from within the same platform.

Marketing-wise though, Pipedrive is limited to its email marketing software. Even when sales is more important than marketing, you still need strong marketing workflows in Pipedrive. Outfunnel can help you integrate Pipedrive with tools like Calendly, Mailchimp, or ActiveCampaign.

The use cases of HubSpot

Som use cases HubSpot is great for include:

  • Creating automated workflows that trigger emails based on specific actions or timelines. For instance, when a lead fills out a form on your website, it can trigger an automated email sequence.
  • Coordinating a comprehensive marketing and sales campaign to launch a new product.
  • Implementing a lead scoring system to prioritize high-potential leads.
  • Automatically logging sales calls, tracking outcomes, and scheduling follow-ups
  • Visualizing and managing sales opportunities through a pipeline.

Going beyond sales, most HubSpot users will need some more advanced marketing automation features at some point. But you’ll have to pay approximately $900 per month for the Professional CRM plan. And depending on your needs, you may need to add per-user fees on top.

Choosing the right CRM for your needs

Choose Pipedrive if …

I’d recommend Pipedrive for companies where sales efforts bring home the bacon. So if managing the sales pipeline is the key revenue driver, you’re selling expensive products or services, or have many stakeholders and touch points throughout the sales process, consider relying on Pipedrive’s sales tools.

Choose HubSpot if…

HubSpot is for companies where sales still matter but tight integration with marketing is also important. For example, when it’s important to know the source of each lead or you need to guarantee smooth lead handover from sales to marketing.

It’s also a good option for companies that have “grown up” or there’s simply an increased need for a tool that does many things well. That said, at one point you’ll likely find out that you want a “best-of-breed” tool for a certain use case like marketing automation.

Since HubSpot has a free plan, I’d also suggest trying this tool if you’re just getting started and you’re not yet sure what your go-to-market strategy will be like. Trying out HubSpot’s extensive suite of features (albeit not advanced) will give you just enough time and insights to see what works best for you.

How about marketing integrations and workflows of Pipedrive vs HubSpot? 

We at Outfunnel are big fans of sales and marketing working together. It’s the only way to win big, really. So it pays to look at how easy it is to integrate sales and marketing workflows. 

The three most popular marketing workflows are automating email marketing (based on live data changes in the CRM), syncing new leads from website to the CRM, and prioritizing leads. Here are my 2 cents on how Pipedrive and HubSpot perform there.

Marketing integrations for Pipedrive

Pipedrive and marketing automation

  • Pipedrive comes with a native Campaigns feature but it’s lightweight. It’s also a paid add-on. 
  • You can connect Pipedrive to Mailchimp through a native integration but this is light as it only syncs contacts one-way, and is limited to person fields only. 
  • With Outfunnel you can connect Pipedrive with popular marketing automation tools like Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, Brevo, HubSpot, and Klaviyo two-ways so that contacts are synced from Pipedrive to the marketing tool and email engagements are synced back.

Pipedrive and lead forms

  • Pipedrive’s offers native web forms as part of the LeadBooster add-on which costs $32.50 per month per company. They’re great for basic use cases but I’ve heard gripes about their customizability. Marketers often point out that new leads are a “black box” as these forms use technology that omits all lead source information and UTM tags. 
  • Pipedrive Marketplace offers native integrations to many web forms like Google Forms and Typeform. 
  • Finally, Outfunnel lets you create seamless connections between various form tools and Pipedrive. There’s comprehensive field mapping and you can customize the workflow in Pipedrive after form submissions. Plus, our customers really like that our integration can auto-capture lead sources and record this in Pipedrive.

Pipedrive and lead prioritization

  • Pipedrive doesn’t currently offer a lead scoring feature, so you’d need to buy an add-on (for example, Autopilot, Salespilot or Outfunnel) if you’d like to prioritize leads.

Marketing integrations for HubSpot

HubSpot and marketing automation

  • HubSpot obviously has great native marketing automation capabilities but it can get pricey. For instance, for a team of five, you could pay an extra $890/month on the Professional plan that still has its limits and missing add-ons.
  • You can connect HubSpot to 3rd party tools like Mailchimp or ActiveCampaign with native integrations that are pretty good but usually limited as they only sync contacts one way.
  • With Outfunnel you can connect HubSpot with popular marketing automation tools like Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, Brevo, and Klaviyo two ways so that contacts are synced from HubSpot to the marketing tool and email engagements are synced back. The HubSpot-Klaviyo connector, for example, automatically records Klaviyo sends, opens, clicks, as well as website visits and sends them back into HubSpot.

HubSpot and lead forms

  • HubSpot has its own native web forms as part of the Marketing Hub. While the tool offers extensive customization capabilities, the costs can add up. For example, if you want to remove the HubSpot branding on your lead forms and benefit from unlimited form automation, you’ll need the Professional plan at $890/month.
  • HubSpot also offers basic native integrations with many if not most form tools. Their WP plugin enables syncing new leads into HubSpot and many forms offer native integrations via the HubSpot Apps Marketplace. According to feedback I’ve seen on the user community, these solve most basic use cases but sometimes fall flat when the setup is more complex. 
  • Outfunnel may be able to offer deeper integration with your favorite form tool if the native integration doesn’t fulfill all your requirements.

HubSpot and lead prioritization

Pipedrive vs HubSpot: My verdict

I might be a bit biased as Pipedrive is our chosen CRM. It suits SMBs well and offers manageable costs. We’ve also used our own integration capabilities to deeply connect Pipedrive with our marketing tools and internal processes, making an all-in-one solution like HubSpot unnecessary for us.

However, if your marketing team already uses HubSpot and your budget allows, opting for their all-in-one solution with the Sales Hub addition could be beneficial. Investing in the HubSpot package, if feasible, can also yield significant value for larger organizations — or if you want to try out diverse marketing campaigns and techniques.

Ultimately, give your preferred CRM a try, whether it’s Pipedrive or HubSpot’s CRM, and connect it to your favorite tools with Outfunnel.

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